Opposition MHP snubs CHP’s Kurdish initiative

Opposition MHP snubs CHP’s Kurdish initiative

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Opposition MHP snubs CHP’s Kurdish initiative

Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Faruk Loğoğlu, the deputy chairs of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), hold a press confence in Parliament to share the details of the party’s proposals to seek a solution to Kurdish problem. AA photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) submitted yesterday a proposal to Parliament for the creation of cross-party committees to work on a settlement for the Kurdish question, but its bid was quickly spurned by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said he would meet with the leaders of the other three parties in Parliament in a bid to drum up support for the initiative. “Mothers should stop crying. And this issue should not be abused. If we are sincere in putting an end to terror, everybody in this country should put a hand to the plow,” he said.

But even before Kılıçdaroğlu spoke, the MHP’s Oktay Vural gave the cold shoulder to the bid. “There’s no Kurdish question in Turkey. There is a terror problem. But our party organs will evaluate any proposal that we receive. The CHP has come to a point of carrying the banner of the [government’s Kurdish] opening policy. We cannot accept any approach that would pave the way for new [Kurdish] openings,” Vural said.

Establishment of two commissions
The CHP proposal, submitted to Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek by the party’s deputy chairs Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Faruk Loğoğlu, calls for the formation of a joint “Social Consensus Commission,” similar to Constitution Conciliation Commission. It also envisages the creation of another panel outside Parliament, the “Wise People Commission,” to discuss ways of resolving the Kurdish conflict.

Under the proposal, the Social Consensus Commission would be comprised of two deputies from each of the four parties. Each party will also nominate three people to the Wise People Commission who it considers specialists on the Kurdish issue. The commissions would finish their work within six months and submit a report to Parliament, which would in return select certain proposals and submit them to the government. The government would then be asked to implement the proposed policies.

Tanrıkulu urged all parties to give up their prejudices and come together to hammer out a solution. “There’s no reason to reject our proposal. If there are any criticism of our proposal, we are ready to accept any contribution,” he said.

Loğoğlu noted that a similar committee has been established to work on a new charter. “While Parliament is seeking a public consensus on constitution, there is no point in not doing a similar job regarding the Kurdish issue,” he said. “We believe that this proposal will help base the search for a solution on a democratic basis.”