Pick a side on Kurdish issue, says Turkish FM

Pick a side on Kurdish issue, says Turkish FM

Pick a side on Kurdish issue, says Turkish FM

Ahmet Davutoğlu

Lawmakers from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) should decide whether they are on the side of peace or terror, the foreign minister has said, adding that Tuesday’s terrorist attack should not break the positive atmosphere for a solution to the Kurdish question.“There are two sides: those who suggest dialogue for a solution to this issue by making the four political parties come together, and those who still go for terror. … The side the BDP lawmakers choose is very important, not only for Turkey but also for their political careers,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told CNNTürk in an interview.

Timing of words

His words came after the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) attack against military outposts in the Dağlıca district of Hakkari province on Tuesday, which killed eight soldiers.

Describing the attack as a provocation aiming to break the existing positive atmosphere for a solution to the Kurdish question, Davutoğlu recalled the recent statements of Leyla Zana, an iconic figure in the Kurdish political movement, as well as the initiative of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to establish an interparty commission to deal with the issue.

He said the ideal way to find a solution to the Kurdish issue was to form a broad framework with the inclusion of the four political parties represented at Parliament. “If this cannot be reached, then the ruling and main opposition parties could launch a process to establish a social consensus,” he said.

For Davutoğlu, not only BDP lawmakers but also all relevant actors, including those in northern Iraq, should also choose their sides and decide whether they want to be allied with Turkey or against it. “We should force all actors to choose a side. Is this process going to work in the framework described by Zana, or in the framework drawn by terrorists?” he said. “Everybody will have to make their choice.

Those who prefer to stand with Turkey will gain, those who stand against it will lose.” Masoud Barzani, head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government, took some positive steps in blocking the activities of the PKK in northern Iraq, Davutoğlu said, but added that northern Iraq should no longer be used by the PKK as a base.