President downplays meeting with BDP

President downplays meeting with BDP

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
President downplays meeting with BDP

President Abdullah Gül meets Belgian Crown Prince Philippe at Çankaya Presidential Palace. AA photo

President Abdullah Gül confirmed he held a meeting with three leading deputies of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) yesterday as the Kurdish issue is a permanent item on the country’s agenda after a news report leaked information on the rendezvous.

Gül’s meeting with a BDP delegation led to assumptions that the president and the government had embarked on a new process to finding a resolution to the long-standing Kurdish issue. Yet, both Gül and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) executives brushed off such assumptions. In response to reporters’ questions, Gül said yesterday it would be wrong to draw a conclusion as if there is “a new situation.”

“But I want to remind everyone that these are the most important issues for Turkey. We would be making a big mistake if we do not see that these issues are the most vital issue in Turkey. So, everybody should exert efforts to correct these problems for Turkey’s future. Otherwise, if these situations are left up to destiny, they proceed down unexpected paths and result in dead-ends. This would have a big cost for future generations. That’s why this is in any case a permanent agenda item for Turkey,” Gül said. “Take this [meeting] within this framework. It is an issue that we always deal with.”

Erdoğan’s remarks

On his way from Baku Erdoğan said the government had been doing everything it could in order to put a stop to terrorism.

“We are aware of everything. MİT [National Intelligence Organization] can do anything at anytime. For example, if it is necessary to go to İmralı [where Öcalan is imprisoned] tomorrow, I would tell the MİT undersecretary to do what is necessary – just so that the bloodshed stops, [so that] there would be a result,” Erdoğan said on Oct. 16.

For the BDP an escalation of tension in the country, the continuing of clashes and statements from the prime minister that boil down to “if needed, the government would returned to the Oslo meetings” were among the reasons they had reached out for an appointment with Gül, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek and AKP parliamentary group executives. In its statement, the party highlighted that all meetings which took place upon request of BDP.

“During the meetings, we tried to understand the State’s and the government’s attitude, policies and approach. We voiced our party’s views on both the Middle East and Syria and on Turkey’s democratization and resolution of the Kurdish issue,” a spokesperson from the BDP said. “Since there was no new situation which could be shared with the public opinion at the end of the meetings, no need was seen to announce the meetings to the public opinion.”