Main opposition unveils terms for Kurdish bid panel role

Main opposition unveils terms for Kurdish bid panel role

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Main opposition unveils terms for Kurdish bid panel role

CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The main opposition party left the door ajar to participation in a planned parliamentary commission to oversee the ongoing peace process, provided the panel is modified to bring it in line closer to the party’s earlier proposal for “a societal reconciliation commission.”

“If a commission resembling the societal reconciliation commission can be formed, we could surely take part in it. I am not overlooking it; the proposal voiced by Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] and repeated by [Deputy Prime Minister Beşir] Atalay is serious,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Faruk Loğoğlu said at a press conference yesterday when reminded of Atalay’s suggestion to merge their proposal with the CHP’s.

Loğoğlu said his party was not categorically rejecting every proposal by the government as opposed to what the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been doing when it comes to proposals made by the CHP, adding that the main opposition supported the process, which is aimed at ending the three-decade-old conflict between security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“In today’s environment, if the societal reconciliation commission can be formed in Parliament, the first thing to do must be the government’s declaration of the content of the negotiations exactly as they are. If they do that, Turkey would be relieved to a great extent. The MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] may oppose it, we may oppose certain things, and the BDP [the Peace and Democracy Party] may say ‘this part is missing,’” Loğoğlu said. “But as for the AKP, if they can demonstrate such virtue, we will know that they are sincere about this. God willing, as Mr. Atalay mentioned, there can be a move that is close to our proposal. The proposal by the government is not only insufficient, but is also against the Constitution and [Parliament’s] internal regulations. When four parties take part in such a formation, we will say that ‘it fits with our understanding.’”

Elsewhere, CHP deputy chair Sezgin Tanrıkulu said his party could participate in the commission if the AKP agrees to ensure the equal representation of all four parties, while also giving the green light to the commission even if the MHP eventually refuses to join.

“The ruling party may give up their seats, and internal regulations are available for this,” Tanrıkulu told the Hürriyet Daily News. “If the CHP’s proposal is accepted and if there is equal representation at the commission, we would also like to have the MHP. But … every party doesn’t have to join investigation commissions.”

The statements by the CHP came a day before today’s General Assembly debate on the AKP’s proposal to monitor the ongoing peace process. The proposal could be united with similar proposals by the CHP and the BDP.

According to procedures, investigation commissions function temporarily for four months with the four political parties present in Parliament represented on the commission according to the proportionate amount of seats they hold in the legislature.