PM Davutoğlu wants a new Middle East for Turks, Kurds, Arabs
Selçuk Şenyüz/ Faruk Balıkçı DİYARBAKIR
DHA PhotoTurkey is seeking a new Middle East that will be a home for Turks, Kurds and Arabs together, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said, while pledging success in the ongoing efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.
“We aim at a new Middle East,” the prime minister said while addressing the provincial congress of his ruling Justice and Development Party in Kurdish-dominated Diyarbakır.
“Against the tyrants in Syria we want a new Middle East that Turks, Kurds and Arabs build [together] in everywhere,” he said.
“Turkish, Kurdish and Zaza braves will be together everywhere again. Hopefully, this brotherhood will become eternal,” he said, saying that Turkey would continue representing Islam, with the crescent on its flag.
Some nationalists aimed at removing the crescent from the Turkish flag during the Feb. 28 period, Davutoğlu said, in reference to a process that is widely known as the “post-modern coup,” which unseated Turkey’s first-ever Islamist prime minister.
Some 103 defendants, including the then-chief of General Staff, retired Gen. İsmail Hakkı Karadayı, are being tried in the case as suspects in the military intervention that ultimately forced the late leader of the Welfare Party (RP), Necmettin Erbakan, to resign after a meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) on Feb. 28, 1997.
“The [Kurdish] resolution process is a struggle of existence for us,” the prime minister said. “This is the future of the nation.”
He also pledged to insist on brotherhood, peace and a new Middle East against those who benefited from conflict, he said, adding that efforts to solve the issue had faced sabotage throughout history.
Today, some gangs in the state are aiming at restarting a dark era, such as it was in the 1990s, he said. The mid-1990s was the height of the fight between the Turkish military and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The prime minister named the Gezi Park protests in the summer of 2013, which spread across the country, turning into a wave of anti-government demonstrations, as a provocation that aimed at halting the Kurdish peace bid.
“Our president and I promise on the behalf of our nation that this process will achieve success whatever happens,” he said.
“We are in talks with not only one side but all parties for the resolution process, which is owned by the whole nation,” he said.
The prime minister also said Diyarbakır No. 5 Prison, known for killings and many human rights abuses, would be turned into a museum.
The prime minister saluted Kurds in their own language, drawing bursts of applause. “I want to learn our nice Kurdish language as much as our nice Turkish language if I can find some time,” he said, noting that his close bodyguard was of Kurdish origin.
The prime minister also visited the spot where Gaffar Okkan, a former Diyarbakır police chief, was assassinated in 2001. He said the killing of Okkan was part of an effort to prevent any peace in the area.
A group of cabinet ministers accompanied Davutoğlu for his Diyarbakır trip before the team went to neighboring Batman.