MHP: Turkish PM extended olive branch to PKK in Mardin
CİHAN photoTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has extended “an olive branch” to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) with a recent speech in the southeastern province of Mardin, Turkey’s nationalist opposition leader has suggested, comparing Davutoğlu with figures from British history whose reputations in Turkey have been associated with efforts against national interests.
“The goal is not fighting terror but declaring an armistice,” said Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), as he addressed his party’s parliamentary group after a three-week hiatus due to heart surgery.
“The goal to which the 10 articles in Mardin and the 10 articles in Dolmabahçe serve is one and the same,” Bahçeli said, referring to a Feb. 28, 2015, agreement between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) officials, dubbed the “Dolmabahçe Agreement.”
Bahçeli quoted Davutoğlu as saying “instead of digging holes, come to [parliament’s] constitution commission and say what you wish.”
“To whom is he telling this? He is telling the PKK. Serok [leader in Kurdish] Ahmet. That’s to say, Davutoğlu has openly invited the PKK to the table in Mardin,” Bahçeli said.
During a visit to Mardin on Feb. 5, Davutoğlu unveiled details of a 10-point plan to restore security in the region, which has sustained heavy damage since the collapse of a two-year period of de facto non-conflict between security forces and the PKK last summer. His plan involves a budget of 26.5 billion Turkish Liras (8.1 billion euros/$9 billion) to revive the area whose economy has been severely affected since the violence reignited, notably through investment incentives and subsidies to small and medium enterprises and farmers. The plan, however, also includes a security element to “establish public order” in the area.
Davutoğlu, meanwhile, repeated that security operations would continue until “public order is fully restored” in the region.
“I wonder whether the United Kingdom has given you a list of special messages and instructions before coming to Mardin because Lord Curzon or Lawrence of Arabia would speak just like you if they had delivered the Mardin speech by rising from their graves, and they would spread discord just like you,” Bahçeli said.
Also addressing his party’s parliamentary group on Feb. 9, Davutoğlu announced that he named the anti-terror action plan aimed at restoring the East and the Southeast as the “unity, serenity and democracy action plan.”
“God willing, we will grow a rose garden at the site of the fire,” Davutoğlu said, repeating his previous remarks delivered in Mardin. “As the country, we are resuming our fight against terror in the most effective way on one hand, and on the other hand, we are also taking all kinds of measures to eliminate the victimization of our citizens who have been harmed by terror. Now, I declare the name of this action plan as the ‘unity, serenity and democracy action plan.’ We will always cite it this way,” he said.
British officer T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, helped Arab leaders fight a guerrilla insurgency against the forces of the Ottoman Empire in the desert during World War I. Modern Turkey was built on the ruins of the empire.
Lord Nathaniel Curzon (1859-1925) was the British foreign secretary during the War of Independence leading to the founding of the Republic of Turkey on Oct. 29, 1923.