Gov’t won’t allow ‘Lebanonization’ of Turkey: PM Davutoğlu

Gov’t won’t allow ‘Lebanonization’ of Turkey: PM Davutoğlu

Gov’t won’t allow ‘Lebanonization’ of Turkey: PM Davutoğlu

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu speaks aboard the plane on his trip back from the Philippines, as selected reporters copy his words. AA Photo

The government will not allow Kurds to destroy the unity of Turkey and will not allow the “Lebanonization” of the country, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has vowed.

Referring to demands for increased decentralization to local administrations across the country, Davutoğlu said Turkey was “too cosmopolitan to be divided in line with Kurdish autonomy.”  

“If one said ‘Kurdish autonomy,’ then where will Turkey allow autonomy? In Istanbul, for instance, or regions where predominately Kurds live? There are districts in northern Konya where Kurds are the majority. Will we move toward such a structure? Will Turkey move toward Lebanonization?” he said, speaking in a televised interview late Nov. 19.

“If there is such a demand, it’s not possible,” he added.

Davutoğlu underlined remarks by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and from other Kurds that they “did not reject a unitary state structure,” and said those statements are an integral part of the peace process.

He also objected to the argument that the Kurds of Turkey are represented only by the HDP and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), saying the Justice and Development Party (AKP) also represents Kurds.

“They can say ‘a federal administration is good,’ and launch a political movement to that end. That’s freedom of expression. But it’s a crime if they appeal for armed action,” the prime minister stated.

‘Peace process conducted with all parties’

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters ahead of his trip to Baghdad on Nov. 20, Davutoğlu said the government is conducting the peace process with “all parties within the action plan,” and again stressed that maintaining public order is essential for the government.

“A clear manner would be adopted to maintain politics in a democratic environment, for the end of violence, including disarmament, which is the final perspective of the peace process,” he stated.

Davutoğlu also hinted that the HDP’s delegation may visit İmralı to resume talks with the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, after his return from Iraq this weekend.