Government, HDP on fresh track for Kurdish bid

Government, HDP on fresh track for Kurdish bid

Government, HDP on fresh track for Kurdish bid

DHA Photo

Turkey’s efforts to end the decades-old Kurdish question have reached a new point as ongoing talks have produced a “draft negotiation frame” on which a substantial reconciliation process would be based for a solution.

The statement on the agreed draft negotiation frame was made Nov. 30 by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), whose delegation paid a snap visit to İmralı Island on Nov. 29 to resume the suspended meetings with the main interlocutor of the peace process, Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“Öcalan has said he and the state delegation discussed in detail his own ‘Peace and Democratic Negotiation Process Draft’ and came to an agreement over a frame on which the negotiation could be launched,” the statement issued by the HDP read.

The frame consists of three main titles; “proposals for a solution, negotiation chapters and action plan,” the HDP said, informing it will soon be introduced to the public for their views and contributions and then will be returned to Öcalan for his considerations. 

Providing legal assurances of the democratic solution is of vital importance and a final settlement based on peace and democracy cannot be reached if these assurances are not met, it stressed. In an open call to the government, the HDP said it was time for the ruling party to undertake its own responsibility by taking practical and legislative steps for the sake of the peace process.

In four to five months

In the case the parties run the process correctly, seriously and determinately, the HDP said Öcalan expressed his belief that the “great democratic settlement” that would affect the entire Middle East would be reached within four or five months. However, the absence of seriousness and determinacy would deepen the regional chaos, urged the HDP.

Öcalan’s statement that a solution could be provided within four or five months also corresponds with the HDP’s calls to the government to finalize this process before next June’s parliamentary elections. Co-leader of the HDP Selahattin Demirtaş recently urged that this process should not be delayed given the chaotic situation in the Middle East and practical steps should be taken before the elections.

Train on the rail

The first indirect reaction to the HDP’s statement came from Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan, who is heavily involved with the Kurdish peace process. “The train is now on the rails, but what will affect its speed? Steps to be taken, sincerity and honesty will determine the speed. There is the need to be sincere, honest, determinant and brave during such processes,” he said at his Justice and Development Party (AKP) meeting in Kocaeli, Nov. 30.

Recalling some attempts to sabotage the process had happened at critical stages in the past, Akdoğan said the AKP has never given up of its efforts to resolve this problem. “The resolution process was launched by the AKP … It is for Turkey’s survival. We said, ‘This problem is threatening our unity and internal peace.’ That’s why this process began.”