Gov’t, opposition cross swords over peace bid

Gov’t, opposition cross swords over peace bid

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Gov’t, opposition cross swords over peace bid

MHP leader Bahçeli (2nd L) says at his party’s group meeting that the peace process is a conspiracy, the ultimate aim of which is to found a Kurdish state. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The political climate in Turkey is becoming increasingly confrontational, with the government and opposition parties crossing swords by questioning each other’s patriotism over their approach toward the ongoing peace process.

“History will not forgive these two leaders,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, addressing a parliamentary group of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), as he pointed the finger at main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli. “When terror is over, when this country reaches serenity, history will remember these two leaders as a black stain since they struggled so that terror would not end,” Erdoğan said, while fiercely defending and praising 63 members of a Wise Persons’ Commission recently formed as part of the peace process aiming to end the three-decade-old conflict between security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Kılıçdaroğlu, meanwhile, went on the defensive, stating that his party was not at an obstacle preventing the government from resolving the terror issue, while also challenging the AKP over its capacity to resolve the issue on its own. “If his power had been sufficient for resolving this problem, then he [Erdoğan] would not have exerted such pressure, saying ‘Let the CHP come and get involved in this issue.’ Why is he pressuring the CHP? He is playing both ends against the middle, saying, ‘I would resolve the problem but the CHP has been an obstacle in front of me,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Elsewhere in Parliament, Bahçeli reiterated his firm objection against the peace process run by the AKP on the grounds that their ulterior motive was to divide the country while collaborating with the PKK.
Bahçeli said the peace process was a conspiracy serving the U.S.-led Greater Middle East and North Africa Initiative (BMENA) and that its ultimate aim was to found a Kurdish state. He said the peace process was a pretext for imperialist games being played on Turkey in cooperation with the AKP. “The similarity, moreover the uniformity, between ideas and ambitions of Prime Minister Erdoğan and the chief murderer [jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan] essentially shows that the last round of the BMENA is rapidly being approached to,” Bahçeli said.

The MHP leader was particularly targeted for criticism by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Gültan Kışanak. Expressing the wish for the participation of all four parties in a planned parliamentary investigation commission, Kışanak said, “Especially the MHP’s manner is a provocative … one.”

“We hope everybody will express themselves with an understanding of the democratic nation, with respect for each other’s identities and on the basis of equality and law... We hope they will assume such an approach,” she said.