PM, CHP meet for Kurdish woe

PM, CHP meet for Kurdish woe

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
PM, CHP meet for Kurdish woe

Main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu to hold key Kurdish talks with PM Erdoğan. DAILY NEWS photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has dismissed criticism that his party is proposing a “new opening” for the Kurdish issue, saying the party has instead suggested a method for solving it.

“We are not offering a new opening. We have proposed a solution. How will we solve this problem? Why don’t we political party leaders, opinion leaders and intellectuals come together and create a solution? This is our starting point. Let’s come together in Parliament like we have for the new constitution,” Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday, on the eve of his meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss his party’s new initiative proposal on the Kurdish issue.

Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu will have a ground-breaking meeting today at 3:00 p.m. at the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) headquarters in Ankara, to discuss the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP’s) 10-point “road-map” to find a resolution for Turkey’s decades-old Kurdish question. The proposal suggests establishing a joint “Societal Conciliation Commission” in Parliament and a group of “wise people” linked to the parliamentary commission to work on the issue.

Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu said the CHP was not trying to impose its own solution on the Kurdish issue.

“We don’t have any prejudices. We are not in a bid to impose our own solution either. We will go [to the AKP headquarters] in good faith. This country has the capacity to create a solution [to the issue].

I’m sure there are reliable people in each political party who will work for a solution. We should come together and use the nation’s collective will to find a solution,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also accused Erdoğan of stoking up tension around the issue for his own political gain. “This policy of tension will bring Turkey to a deadlock. Why don’t we live in peace? Especially those citizens who voted for the AKP should ask this question,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The move is ‘treason’

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, who spurned the CHP’s request for a meeting, criticized the CHP, denouncing the move as “treason.” Claiming that Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) also proposed establishing a “Wise People Commission” in 2008, Bahçeli said: “The CHP, which prides itself on founding the Republic, is proud of speeding up the process of its collapse. Unfortunately, the AKP, CHP, BDP and PKK have joined hands and are competing fiercely to open death fields for the Turkish nation. Therefore, we have no intention of exchanging opinions [with them] in the context of the so-called Kurdish question. We did not debate the destruction project of the AKP in the past, and we will not debate the collapse plan of the CHP today.”

Also speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş praised the CHP initiative, adding that the BDP had always advocated dialogue and negotiation to solve the Kurdish issue.

“[That] the CHP, which bears historical responsibility for the emergence of the Kurdish question, seeks to create a formula for a solution ... is very important. We are open to dialogue if the CHP’s initiative corresponds with what we advocate. If we approach the issue from the point of view of rights and freedoms and facing up to the past, we can make progress,” Demirtaş said.