Gov’t works on ‘clear road map’ for Kurdish peace bid
‘It has been decided to work on a new roadmap and take quicker steps for results,’ Atalay saysRefuting the presence of any stagnation along the resolution/peace process, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has said the government is preparing to intensify the process through bold steps.
Atalay, however, did not elaborate on the steps regarding the peace process aimed at ending the three-decade long conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“In the last months, there has been an endeavor to take further steps,” Atalay said yesterday in an interview with channel Kanal 7.
“The issue was on the table with its all dimensions; determination was formed to give new momentum [for the process] and new decisions were made,” Atalay said, referring to a May 19 summit that gathered Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with top-level members of his Cabinet.
“I will not go into the content of the new decisions, but I can say it has been decided to work on a new roadmap and take quicker steps for results,” Atalay said. After the government contacted the “political segment,” road blocks set by PKK militants started in the predominantly Kurdish populated southern Anatolia, the deputy prime minister said.
“Our interpretation is: When more serious steps started to be taken, then some [circles] assumed provocative behaviors and stances to sabotage this. We have also met with the political segment. This cannot be accepted,” Atalay said, in an unveiled reference to the government’s contacts with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), two sister-parties represented at Parliament that share the same grassroots as the PKK.
“The state of the Republic of Turkey is not indifferent to any security and public order threat within its own territories. Like how it intervenes in Istanbul, it intervenes elsewhere. As a matter of fact, it did so” Atalay said.
He was apparently referring to a May 30 intervention when Turkish forces fired teargas and used water cannons to try to reopen a highway blocked since May 17 by the PKK.
PKK militants have blocked various points on the highway between the provinces of Diyarbakır and Bingöl with trucks and cars seized over the last 10 days in protest of building several new military outposts. As of yesterday, tension was still high in the region, while a message expected to be released by jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is playing a central role in the peace process, was likely to be decisive in the future of PKK militants’ activity.
The HDP’s two deputy group chairs, İdris Baluken and Pervin Buldan, and the HDP’s Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder were on İmralı Island yesterday in order to visit Öcalan, who has been serving a life-sentence in the island prison in the Marmara Sea since he was captured in 1999.