Government meets over Kurdish bid amid tension

Government meets over Kurdish bid amid tension

Government meets over Kurdish bid amid tension

The meeting comes at a sensitive time during the peace process. AA Photo

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has convened a top-level meeting to review the state of the Kurdish peace process, amid ongoing tension over the right to mother tongue education.

The Sept. 18 meeting brought together top civilian officials and security officers under Davutoğlu’s leadership, with deputy prime ministers Bülent Arınç and Yalçın Akdoğan also present.

The meeting came just days after militants set alight a number of schools in Turkey’s southeast over the closure of Kurdish-language schools, raising questions about the course of the ongoing peace process.

The top-level meeting evaluated the state of the peace process and reviewed the steps to be taken to secure its future, also touching on the situation regarding the burnt schools.

During his visit to the southeast province of Van on Sept. 18, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ discussed the issue of the three Kurdish-language schools that were closed down in recent days. “Unfortunately, these schools were opened without completing the necessary procedures or receiving permission,” Bozdağ said.

He added that “the people” had given their approval for the process in the March 30 local elections. “We are taking our steps within this frame. As the new government, we’ll take steps to support the steps we have already taken. Our prime minister will run the process through a team that he leads,” he added.

Bozdağ also claimed that the school burnings were part of a “smear campaign” against the government, stressing that there was no problem regarding education in Kurdish but this requires full compliance with the rules and regulations.

“There is no such problem in Turkey. We are ready to give licenses to those who want to open such schools,” he said.