Gov’t, HDP at odds after hopeful week on Kurdish issue

Gov’t, HDP at odds after hopeful week on Kurdish issue

Gov’t, HDP at odds after hopeful week on Kurdish issue

AA Photo

A recent thaw between the government and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) that had fostered hopes of progress on the Kurdish issue has given way to renewed pessimism after the prime minister criticized the party for opposing a security draft.

“Democracy in Turkey is well-rooted, everyone can express their demands within the normal judicial order. Those who think that they can achieve something with guns in such an atmosphere cannot be counted as sincere in the resolution process,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said late Feb. 16 as he left Ankara for Pakistan.

He was commenting on a recent pessimistic statement by senior leaders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq.

“There is no room for guns, violence of terror in democratic politics,” he said.

Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-leader of the HDP, lost no time in responding, telling journalists yesterday that the ball was in the government’s court for further improvement.

“A debate on laying down arms is continuing about the resolution process, but the government already has 10-part homework,” Demirtaş said after announcing his party deputies in parliament, accusing the government of disregarding its duties.

He was commenting on a question over an expectation that the PKK would announce disarmament on Turkish soil.

“No one can speak of peace where the opposition is oppressed,” Demirtaş said.

The written statement by the Kurdistan Communities’ Union (KCK), a supra-organization that includes the PKK, blamed the government for not taking concrete steps.

“Or else … the process has come to the very dangerous, crucial point of ending for us,” it read, referring to a specific Feb. 15 date, when the government and the HDP were expected to make a joint statement.