Germany, Iran ‘unhelpful’ in Kurdish peace process

Germany, Iran ‘unhelpful’ in Kurdish peace process

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Germany, Iran ‘unhelpful’ in Kurdish peace process

Deputy PM Beşir Atalay has accused Germany and Iran of complicating the Kurdish peace process. AA photo

Countries like Germany and Iran are complicating Turkey’s efforts to end a militant Kurdish insurgency at perceived injustice, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said at an ambassador’s conference on Jan. 13.

Expressing the government’s intention to proceed with the peace process, Atalay said the matter was made more difficult by the upcoming local elections. The government is mulling a new democratization package, Atalay also said, while dismissing claims that the government was planning to announce a state of emergency.

The resolution process, also dubbed the peace process, refers to an ongoing government-led initiative aimed at ending the long-running Kurdish issue by ending the three-decade-old conflict between security forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Following the launch of the extensive graft probe on Dec. 17, 2013, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said one of the objectives of the current “plot” against the government was to sabotage the Kurdish resolution process.

“On Dec. 17, an assassination was committed against our peace [process] in Diyarbakır. They covered it with a veil of corruption to influence public opinion. Preoccupying the people’s attention with these corruption claims, they set up traps to take revenge on Diyarbakır, the Mavi Marmara, Oslo, Feb. 7 and Halkbank,” Erdoğan said.

Addressing ambassadors yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç also noted international reports on the Gezi resistance last year, and said “Turkey’s image in Western countries could be harmed.”

Arınç asked ambassadors to inform the government on how to act against such a perception.

The mass resistance began at the end of May against a government redevelopment plan for Istanbul’s Gezi Park. The attempt to save the last green area in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square evolved into the country’s most widespread unrest in recent history, with prolonged protests across the country, resulting in the deaths of six protesters and one police officer. Widespread police brutality also resulted in thousands of injuries, some of them serious.

Arınç also rebuked international media for their reporting on jailed journalists in Turkey. Although government officials have briefed representatives of foreign outlets about the charges laid against imprisoned journalists, some outlets continue to misconstrue the story, Arınç claimed.