Statue row aims to ‘hit Kurdish bid’: Interior minister
A protester, Mehdi Taşkın, was killed earlier this week as soldiers attacked to dismantle the statue of Mahsum Korkmaz, built in Diyarbakır's Lice province. DHA PhotoInterior Minister Efkan Ala has refuted speculation surrounding the removal of a statue of a founding member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey, maintaining that the rumors aimed at incriminating the state were actually the brainchild of those who want to torpedo the resolution process.
Ala, speaking at a joint press conference with visiting Tunisian Interior Minister Lutfi bin Jiddu on Aug. 22, was asked about claims that the Interior Ministry was informed by the Gendarmerie at all stages regarding the statue, from its creation to its removal.
“It is in itself illogical, inconsistent, speculative and unnecessary assessment,” Ala said, recalling that both Gendarmerie and the Police Department were working under the Interior Ministry.
“These are efforts aimed at incriminating our Gendarmerie organization, the entire Interior Ministry and actually the Turkish state,” Ala said.
“Their aim is to abolish the entire resolution process, blocking [the process] with various collaborations and impeding this state of affairs of Turkey. They will not be able to achieve this,” he said, referring to the government-led initiative to end the three-decade-old conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the PKK.
A protester, Mehdi Taşkın, was killed earlier this week as soldiers attacked to dismantle the statue of Mahsum Korkmaz, while a soldier, Uğur İnal, died in an accident while being deployed to the area.
Ala, meanwhile, speaking in an interview with TGRT channel late on Aug. 21, implicitly blamed the media for blowing the issue of the statue out of proportion.
“It is a statue made of fiberglass. Look at the newspapers which disclosed a simple statue and what happened in Turkey the next day. Look at those who squalled [at the statue] and the collaboration for impeding this process in Turkey. They are the ones who will be nourished by the continuation of this problem,” Ala told TGRT.