CHP demands Erdoğan act transparently on Kurdish bid
“In Britain,” sighed Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), “The prime minister took his file on the IRA problem and went to Britain’s main opposition party, which gave him the support he needed. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan has given no information whatsoever to us so far on his bid to end the Kurdish problem and is still asking for blank-check support. How can we be in a process that we have been told nothing about?”
Following recent criticism that the CHP had no program regarding a solution to the Kurdish problem and the problem of terror stemming from the three-decade-old campaign of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Kılıçdaroğlu organized a press meeting with the editors of national Turkish papers on May 10 in Istanbul and declared that his party’s solution to the Kurdish program was “through democratization,” under 19 titles. Those include lowering the 10 percent threshold which is the demand of both the PKK’s imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which is focused on the Kurdish problem and which is playing a key role in the government bid to find a political solution to the Kurdish problem, initiated by Erdoğan.
But it doesn’t include obligatory first education in languages other than Turkish as one of the main conditions of the PKK. “We think it can put a divide between people,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, “We are for the learning of mother tongues other than Turkish – we were the ones to propose it to Parliament, but not obligatory primary school education. We are for individual rights, as the European legislation suggests, but not collective rights, or group rights as the PKK wants.”
The CHP leader also believes that the BDP will join their “inclusive” definition for Turkish citizenship, when announced.
“Here, we are declaring our program,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “But the prime minister has not said anything so far. Neither we, nor the Parliament, nor even most of his ministers, know anything about the process with the PKK, expect five people.” He says he did not expect “100 percent transparency” about such a delicate issue, but at least something could be shared with the people, with Parliament and with the main opposition, if its support is needed that much.
“I guess Karayılan is going to topple Arınç,” he says, making a reference to Murat Karayılan, the acting chief of the PKK based in the Kandil Mountains of Iraq, and Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bülent Arınç. “Karayılan is making the statements nowadays as the government keeps silent.” He keeps asking: “And if the process is going so smoothly, the PKK is leaving the country and is going to abandon their arms and peace is around the corner, why is Erdoğan accusing us of not being part of the initiative? He can take all the credit if it is so successful. Or is he trying to find an accomplice for a possible failure?”
Kılıçdaroğlu did not hide his disillusionment because of the CHP coverage of the media which he finds leaning toward the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti).
“Now some of you might interpret what I say as if the CHP is against the government’s Kurdish solution process, or some of you might say that the CHP actually supported it,” he explained. “Both are wrong. We want the success of the initiative. Let us want and wish for the success of this initiative. We will all lose if it fails. We are questioning the methodology followed, we need a sincere attitude by the government and some transparency.”
A journalist asked whether the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had briefed him about what is going on. “Our opinion will be renewed with every bit of information we get,” he replied. “But our worries increase with the things we keep hearing.”
The CHP’s suggestions for a solution to the Kurdish problem, as well as some criticism against the government initiative are open to discussion, as you may read in detail in today’s Hürriyet Daily News. But Kılıçdaroğlu has a point when he questions Erdoğan’s demand for being a partner of the initiative without being officially and properly informed about it.