HDP suggests accelerated process for Kurdish bid
Deniz Zeyrek ANKARA
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş. AA PhotoSelahattin Demirtaş, the co-leader of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), has urged the government to accelerate the Kurdish resolution process, underlining that delaying the process would result in more provocations.
“Our party is in favor of launching new meetings that we can call ‘negotiations,’ through which all of its dimensions can be discussed. Both our delegation [visiting jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan] and our party is ready for that. We want quick steps and accelerated negotiations. The developments in the Middle East, especially in Syria, do not allow us to delay the process,” Demirtaş told daily Hürriyet on Nov. 12.
“The dialogue can be resumed very soon if the government adopts a similar approach. But the negotiation format is up to the government. It should make a decision,” he said.
Demirtaş’s statement came as the government and the HDP issued calls to each other to resume dialogue after weeks of tension due to Kurdish politicians’ reaction against the government’s perceived inaction over Kobane, a Kurdish populated Syrian town on the border that has been under siege by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since late September. Street protests claimed the lives of more than 35 people on Oct. 6 and 7 and created an angry row between the government and the HDP that led the former to suspend ongoing talks in the peace process bid.
“The government has taken the easy way out. It blamed the HDP and tried to save itself by kicking off a political lynch campaign against the HDP,” Demirtaş said.
“The government is chasing the enemy at the wrong address. The danger is not the HDP; the danger is the problem itself, the open wound. There are so many circles who want to scratch this wound in the regional aspect. What we should do is heal the wound ... As long as this wound is open, whether the HDP exists or not, there will always be some others who want to scratch it,” he added.
Asked whether the process could overcome the turbulence witnessed recently, Demirtaş said there was no properly functioning negotiation process even before the unrest began. “After these recent incidents, the dialogue was cut. It should be resumed and should speedily turn into a negotiation process. It’s wiser to look at the future,” he said.
‘Diyarbakır killing really hurt us’
Calling on the government to limit the tension and to take measures not to provoke violence, the HDP co-chair reiterated that his party would do its best to avoid armed conflict.
“What happened recently disturbed every one of us. No one wants to live in a climate of conflict. War is not a normal thing. It should not happen. The death of even one single person is a loss for all of us regardless of his identity. Soldiers killed in Yüksekova, policemen killed in Bingöl, members of the PKK executed in Kağızman, a non-commissioned officer who was assassinated in Diyarbakır in front of his wife’s eyes … All of them are grave incidents,” he said.
Demirtaş cited the killing of the non-commissioned officer in Diyarbakır as an incident that truly "hurt their hearts," distancing the HDP from what took place. “Even war has ethics. Whoever violates them should be revealed. These are the methods of dirty powers. These things should not be repeated. I really do not see any other option than the peace process,” he said.
“The fact that there will be no elections until 2019 after the next [parliamentary election, scheduled for June 2015] might be an advantage for the resolution process. The political language shifts before elections. Politicians may move in a much more relaxed manner about solving some fundamental problems,” he said.
‘Bijî Obama is not our slogan’
Demirtaş also touched on the controversy caused by the Kurdish Peshmerga's reported chanting of “Bijî Obama” (“Long live Obama" in Kurdish) while crossing into northern Syria from Iraq via Turkey.
“Bijî Obama is not our slogan. We can never have such an approach. It cannot be attributed to us,” he said.