CHP calls for public to press on Kurdish woe

CHP calls for public to press on Kurdish woe

Zonguldak / Ankara - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP calls for public to press on Kurdish woe

CHP’s Kılıçdaroğlu says the process for the Kurdish issue can take ‘months.’

Establishing an inter-party commission at the Parliament to solve the Kurdish question first requires a softened political climate and strong public pressure on parties to sit around the same table, according to the leader of the main opposition party, who predicts this process could take “months.”

“We first have to wait until the political tension is diffused and that we have a softer climate. But in the meantime, mobilization of the civil society to put more pressure on parties to find a way to solve this issue is also needed. This requires a process and can take months,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) told a group of journalists travelling with him to Zonguldak on Saturday. Kılıçdaroğlu said he would seek a rendezvous from the leaders of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) but not in immediate terms.

“This problem will sooner or later be solved. But delaying this claims more lives everyday. Each party has a responsibility. Every person living in this country has a responsibility. I do not understand why our proposal is not accepted,” he said.

The process he mentioned aims at establishing the Societal Conciliation Commission at the Parliament composed with an equal number of deputies from each of the four political parties represented in the Parliament. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) welcomed the move, while the MHP and the BDP have remained cool to the proposal.

Despite harsh rhetoric from MHP’s leader Devlet Bahçeli, Kılıçdaroğlu remains optimistic as he observes greater public interest to his initiative. “Leaders of the Türk-İş and Türk Metal-İş openly supported this,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. Türk-İş and Türk Metal-İş are the unions with the largest number of members and also represent the nationalist worldview.

“All the components of civil society; trade unions, universities, academics, media and non-governmental organizations should support this move and impose pressure on parties to talk on this issue,” he said, adding that they will try to mobilize them in this sense.

‘I understand MHP’

When asked how to break MHP’s insistence on not changing its position, Kılıçdaroğlu recalled that this problem is now 30-years-old and that the nationalist party has developed its current policy throughout these years. “All parties have developed their own rhetoric. Each party has its own position, so has the MHP. I do respect and understand it. But it should not be forgotten that the current picture is that: All four parties look at the same funeral from four different windows. No one is listening to the other,” he said.

“It’s not easy for any of the parties to adopt new policies,” he said, adding that’s why a better political climate was needed to ease the hands of politicians.

‘CHP is no coalition partner’

One of the most important questions asked to Kılıçdaroğlu was whether the CHP would accept launching a process with the AKP to solve the Kurdish question in the case that the MHP and BDP cannot be included. “What we offered is [the establishment of] a legitimate parliamentary body. We are no coalition partner, we cannot share responsibility of the ruling party,” he said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pressed on Kılıçdaroğlu last week to make his decision over his proposal to establish a CHP-AKP committee, hinting he would use this as an argument in his political rhetoric against the CHP. “I am not concerned of it. As a government, they can bring anything to the Parliament and there we’ll decide whether to support it or not in line with the content of their move [regarding the Kurdish quest],” he said.

CHP works on Kurdish issue

The main opposition party is not only working on the methodological aspect of the problem but also on its content, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “We of course have ideas on how this problem could be solved. We have outlined a number of them before the elections. We see that some of them have already been realized by the government,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, but remained tight-lipped on the party’s road map as it could hurt the ongoing process of creating societal consensus.

‘Oslo meetings were illegitimate’

Kılıçdaroğlu said he was opposed to any sort of “illegitimate meetings” when asked about the much discussed secret talks between Turkish intelligence service and senior officials of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) in Oslo.

“The state carries out meetings on illegitimate grounds. Not any state saves those who carry out such illegitimate talks from justice. It’s just like the ‘Mission Impossible’ series,” he said, referring to Erdoğan’s move in protecting Hakan Fidan, head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) from being prosecuted.