Candidate İhsanoğlu calls for peaceful solution to Kurdish issue under unitary state
The state cannot violate people’s rights by banning their mother tongue, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu said, once again pointing to Parliament for the solution of the matter. AA PhotoTurkey should solve the Kurdish issue in peaceful terms, said Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, joint candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), calling for the continuation of the unitary state.
“We have to solve this in peace. We have paid a big price for this,” he said during an interview on broadcaster Halk TV.
“We have lived together on this soil for 1,000 years,” he said “There is no difference between us and our brothers other than our language. And we should show respect to their language.”
The state cannot violate people’s rights by banning their mother tongue, he said, once again pointing to Parliament for the solution of the matter.
“Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, won the War of Independence together with Parliament,” he said. “We should solve this problem at the Parliament. We should have a national consonance. The unitary structure, the territorial integrity, unique flag and official language should be protected,” he said.
His statements came at a time when the Parliament has started discussing a law package that would grant protection for the actors of the government-led initiative to find a solution to the Kurdish issue. The CHP criticizes the government for the lack of transparency in the process.
Embracing Gezi protesters
The candidate embraced last year’s Gezi Park protesters, calling it a “brave” action against the trees being cuts.
“This demonstrates love for the nation also. The youth was oppressed [during the protests],” he said, adding “all of the bad things, such as the deaths,” would not have happened if the state had preferred dialogue. İhsanoğlu said he was ready for any task on the issue.
The Palestinian case is the largest case on earth and it is still continuing, he said, recalling his own role in a deal between Hamas and al-Fatah in 2006.
He also said during his seat at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, he succeeded in receiving 54 votes out of 56 for Palestine’s observer state status at the United Nations.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu criticized İhsanoğlu July 8 for his remarks declaring impartiality on the Palestinian cause, and saying it was impossible for Turkey to assume an impartial stance when the issue is Palestine and Israel.
If anyone says one would be impartial, that would mean taking sides with “the cruel,” the minister said, stressing that failing to be partial would be in the interest of “certain circles” – an indirect reference to Israel.
“Turkey’s politicians and president cannot be alienated from the question of Palestine,” he said.