Nationalist leader warns of division

Nationalist leader warns of division

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Nationalist leader warns of division

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli addresses his lawmakers in Parliament. Daily News Photo

The recent coalition of the ruling party and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for the ongoing peace process said to be aimed at convincing the PKK to lay down their arms, will eventually lead to the establishment of an independent Kurdistan state, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has said.

“It is obvious the PKK has no intention of laying down their arms. At the end, the bloody organization which has turned into a regional actor and an international gang, will take the issue to the point of dividing Turkey, securing a federation and establishing the independent Kurdistan,” MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli said Jan. 15 while addressing his party’s parliamentary group. “Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and his party are ready for this.”

From the very beginning, Bahçeli has been vocal in his objection to the process involving PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan which aims to bring an end to the three-decade old conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people since the PKK took up arms in 1984 in its fight for autonomy for Kurds in southeast Turkey.

“As far as it is leaked by the pro-government press, the lies suggesting that the İmralı murderer [Öcalan who is imprisoned on the İmralı Island in the Marmara Sea] is not demanding a separate state and that he gave up the idea of ‘democratic autonomy’ are being presented to the public opinion as part of a psychological operation,” Bahçeli said.

The ultra-nationalist leader suggested that the picture he has been painting about the ongoing process was just “the tip of the iceberg.”

“The government’s failure and its quests for agreeing, reconciling and negotiating with the separatist terrorist organization have dealt a big blow to the Turkish nation. İmralı has been presented as an island of peace; Kandil as a mountain of freedom; and terrorists as poor guerillas whose rights and demands have so far been oppressed.”

The Kandil Mountains are a range located along the Iranian border of Iraq; Kandil has become a byword in Turkish politics for the PKK, which has had its headquarters and military camps there for nearly 20 years.

He also strongly rejected the assumptions that his visit to imprisoned former chief of staff served to equalize Ret. Gen. İlker Başbuğ with Öcalan since it apparently came as a reaction to officials’ contacts with Öcalan.