BDP’s ‘hard-line plan’ depends on government

BDP’s ‘hard-line plan’ depends on government

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
BDP’s ‘hard-line plan’ depends on government

This file photo shows clashes during a Nevruz celebration in Istanbul. The BDP can activate its toughness policy at Nevruz on March 21 together with the masses. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Turkey is entering another significant turn in the Kurdish issue. The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) is inclined to determine its 2012 action plan according to the government’s stance. The critical threshold target is Nevruz on March 21, a festival that marks the beginning of spring. If the government does not take positive steps by that date, the BDP, which primarily focuses on the Kurdish issue, may bring forward an “unprecedented toughness.” 

The Uludere incident has caused indignation in the grassroots of the BDP. The increased pressure that came with the end of the initiative, military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the arrests of the alleged urban wing of the PKK (Kurdish Communities Union, KCK), are all forcing the limits of the party grassroots. The agitated grassroots are pressing for the BDP deputies and the party administration to be more “hawk.” The protests at the entrance of the prime minister’s office in Parliament and the bursts of anger at the podiums are expressions of restlessness. 

The BDP can activate its toughness policy at Nevruz together with the masses. A prominent BDP member says even they cannot stand in front of a surging flood of the rage of the Kurds and that the government has significant duties in the new year. Other BDP members I have spoken to have similar views. “If the government takes positive steps in the new year, then peace is near; otherwise, the language of clash will be spoken,” they point out. The BDP’s expectations depending on the government’s stance range between short, medium and long term. 

 In the short term, they want the obstacles in the freedom of expression, politics and organization to be lifted and those anti-democratic clauses to be eliminated in the Turkish Penal Code and the anti-terror law. End of the isolation of Öcalan, end of operations against the PKK and end of arrests of KCK are among other demands.

In the medium term, they expect the initiative to continue and the restart of the “dialogue” process. They are ready to take on active duty, including arbitration. In the long-term plan, the new constitution emerges. The BDP has a tendency to take on an active role. They want a new constitution “that embraces the Kurds and that is liberal, democratic and has an equal distance to all colors.” If they do not meet sincerity in that aspect, they may opt for radical alternatives including leaving the table. 
They also propose a “negotiation plan” in the long term that would provide uninterrupted peace including an amnesty. They also emphasize that if the government they consider as being hawkish recently turns its back to a solution then there would be irremediable injuries in society. 

The impression I gathered at BDP corridors is that unless the government restarts the initiative, opens the doors of dialogue and takes steps toward normalization, then quite tough days are waiting for Turkey at Nevruz. And the BDP front this time looks more determined than ever…

Secret aims of the opponents within the main opposition

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Opposition in the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), supported by former leader Deniz Baykal and former Secretary-General Önder Sav, will today start collecting signatures for a special statute congress. Even though the aim seems to be a “more democratic statute,” I am hearing other speculations. According to the CHP statute, an extraordinary congress can be convened with the signatures of one-fifth (260) of the delegates.

Elections are not conducted in this case, but if the number of those who demand an extraordinary congress exceed absolute majority of congress members, in other words 651 delegates, then a “vote of confidence” and “election” items can be included in the agenda. If the opponents who aim to convene the congress with 600 signatures can achieve this, with the effect of that wind, they can force for “vote of confidence” and “election” by reaching the support of 651 delegates. As a matter of fact, after CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s mention of “the Brutuses inside the CHP,” it looks as if the opponents have been more sharpened against the current administration.

Kamer Genç doesn't let go of the lantern

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) amendment proposals to the internal regulations of Parliament aim to silence the voice of the opposition. There is a special “Kamer Genç” clause in the proposal. The proposal bans deputies from entering the General Assembly with non-work related objects.

Genç has been, for a long time, protesting the government’s stance of the Deniz Feneri (Lighthouse) charity embezzlement scandal case by holding a lantern (“fener” in Turkish, the same word for “lighthouse”) in his hands and wandering around with it. He also takes the lantern to the podium with him. If the motion passes, what will Genç do? He seems to be determined. “They are trying to make Parliament dysfunctional. I will still come with my lantern in my hand. I will continue wandering around with it indoors and outdoors and also in the corridors. If the motion is accepted, I will make my own road map,” he said.

It is apparent that Genç will not let go of his lantern; he will continue to take it to the podium. If he is not taken down from the podium by force, his punishment will be “condemnation.”

Tayyip Erdogan,