BDP’s ‘war damage’ offer triggers debate

BDP’s ‘war damage’ offer triggers debate

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
BDP’s ‘war damage’ offer triggers debate

BDP deputies propose a ‘war damage compensation’ in the Parliament.

A Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) proposal to establish a “war damage compensation” focusing on the aftermath of the conflict between the military and outlawed militants has drawn anger from other parties, with some saying the motion is akin to the 1920 Sèvres Treaty that would have dismembered Turkey.

The BDP proposed the new article on “war damage compensation” during a sitting of Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission on April 24 even though the article had not been included in previous constitutions.

“A parliamentary commission shall be found to determine war damages, to effect the return of those who were displaced because of war and to support them economically, to restore areas of habitation and agriculture fields which were damaged and to make restitution and compensate for damage,” the BDP proposal said.

Strictly objecting to the use of the term “war,” Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Faruk Bal said that even the Treaty of Sèvres had not featured such content, while the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Rıza Türmen said the issue had already been addressed with a law.

“We didn’t see such conditions even with Sèvres. It’s as if the Republic of Turkey is a defeated state and is signing a state agreement by agreeing to give compensation to its own people. I feel like an Ottoman diplomat who has been tasked with signing Sèvres,” Bal said, referring to the conflict between Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).For his part, Türmen questioned who the parties of the “war” were before addressing the BDP deputies: “There is already a law in force which compensates damages of terror. If you are complaining about that law, then you can appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.” Law No. 5233, adopted in July 2004, covers compensation for damage that occurred due to terrorism and the fight against terrorism.

Turkish civilian and military officials particularly refrain from using the word “war” in addition to the word “cease-fire,” when the issue is the PKK on the grounds that the words could legitimize the PKK by accepting it as a counterpart.

The non-ratified Sèvres Treaty of 1920, forced through by the World War I victors, would have divided Anatolia and provided outright independence for the Armenians and autonomy for the Kurds leading to their independence.

“We believe that every opinion should be discussed at this table. This is a BDP proposal which we don’t agree with, but it cannot taken out of the records,” AKP deputy chair Mehmet Ali Şahin said at the meeting.