Shielding military, Erdoğan bashes BDP

Shielding military, Erdoğan bashes BDP

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Shielding military, Erdoğan bashes BDP

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks at the parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Parliament yesterday. Hürriyet Daily News photo by Selahattin Sönmez

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday defended the chief of General Staff against deriding comments by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in a rare show of solidarity between the Army and government.

“Targeting the chief of General Staff and insulting him with the aim of swearing at this nation is arrogance. In this country, being a non-commissioned officer is a source of honor and dignity. Go to your armed masters and they will tell you all about the heroic non-commissioned officers,” Erdoğan said at the parliamentary group meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

His remarks were directed at BDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who last week scoffed at Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel as a “non-commissioned officer” after the general said he was against Kurdish-language education.

Keeping up charges the BDP collaborated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Erdoğan said the BDP was feeding “on the blood of innocent Kurdish children” and had become “leverage for terrorism.”

‘Go to mountains’
Erdoğan also lashed out at BDP Deputy Leyla Zana, who was recently quoted as saying “the arms are an insurance” for the Kurds against the state. “Why have you come to Parliament then? You should have also gone to the mountains,” he said.

However, the premier stressed the government was against banning political parties and favored instead the punishment of party members who broke the law.

Keeping up pressure on the government to reveal who supplied the intelligence for last month’s botched strike at the Iraqi border in which 35 civilians perished, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu implied the United States or Israel could have been involved.

“Did you get the intelligence from the [Israeli-made] Herons or from the [U.S.] unmanned aircraft based at İncirlik? I’m asking openly: Did you get the intelligence from Israel or the United States? This is what happens when you entrust your intelligence-gathering to others,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Relentless in its criticism of the government, the BDP warned a draft bill designed to ban imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan from meeting his lawyers for up to six months would be applied to all anti-government intellectuals behind bars.

‘Resume contacts’
The law would serve as a “legal cover” for Öcalan’s solitary confinement, BDP Co-Chair Gültan Kışanak said, urging Ankara to abandon the move and resume contacts with the PKK leader. “The government must return to this track as soon as possible and develop it into a policy opening the road to peace. A government that fails to do that will be responsible for anything that happens in this country,” she said. “We’ve seen your most murderous face in the past, and we have not surrendered. We will not surrender today either.”

Peace and Demcoracy Party,