Trouble ahead unless government takes a step, says Demirtaş

Trouble ahead unless government takes a step, says Demirtaş

Trouble ahead unless government takes a step, says Demirtaş

AKP needs to fulfill promises made to Öcalan while putting in extra effort to solve the mother tongue issue to speed up the process, according to the BDP. DHA photo

The Turkish government’s lack of concrete steps with regard to the ongoing peace process is creating “serious trouble” for the prospects of resolving the Kurdish issue, according to Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş. 

Demirtaş said government officials had been meeting with BDP representatives over the past week, which was “significant” due to the timing ahead of the Sept. 1 deadline that was set previously by a leading figure of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as the end of withdrawal if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to meet demands. 

“We are facing serious trouble due to the brutal wasting of time by the government,” Demirtaş said, adding that the recent AKP attempts had all been “so concealed and worried” and based on voter reaction, daily Radikal reported. “You cannot solve the Kurdish issue like that,” Demirtaş added. 

Demirtaş accused the government of portraying the Sept. 1 deadline as a PKK imposition, saying, “This is wrong. It could be a few days before Sept. 1 or a few days after, but the government should have already declared its own democracy program, and put in some work by Oct. 15.” “We don’t have any hope that the government would use the calendar well. Beyond stalling for time, the government acts only on its own agenda, and for its own interests. They govern with a view that only takes the AKP’s future as the core. That puts the process in trouble. It diminishes hope.” 

Tough opposition 

Demirtaş added that the PKK was very willing for the process, and such an atmosphere would not be very easy to come by again. The BDP leader further added that that if expectations failed, the BDP would conduct “a tough opposition” against the government. 

“When the mother tongue issue remains unsolved, the Kurdish issue also remains unsolved by 99 percent. We as the BDP come from a tradition of struggle. We will use all democratic means to fight. We could do rallies, marches and use the parliament,” Demirtaş said.

A few days back, Interior Minister Muammer Gülerhas urged the outlawed PKK to fulfill its responsibility and complete the withdrawal process as part of the resolution process amid concerns that efforts could be nixed due to growing mistrust between the government and Kurdish political groups. The government believes only 20 percent of PKK militants have withdrawn from Turkey into northern Iraq, although the outlawed group promised to accomplish this process in late June. 

In return, PKK officials have criticized the government for delaying the opening of a democracy package that would involve substantial steps. The PKK withdrawal was never meant to be a 100 percent withdrawal for the first stage of the process, Demirtaş added.