Turkish deputy PM says Kurds, Turks have no separate future
Deniz Zeyrek - ANKARA
REUTERS photoTurkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has dismissed suggestions of an “emotional disengagement” on the part of Kurds toward the state due to ongoing clashes in the southeast, saying Kurds and Turks have a joint future because of their joint history.
“In Turkey, Turks and Kurds have never engaged in a civil war, they have never been enemies of each other, and they will not be either today or tomorrow either, Inshallah. Turks and Kurds have always been together in every field of life,” Kurtulmuş said late Dec. 29 during a gathering with a group of Ankara bureau chiefs of some media outlets.
“Now, some people may desire the emergence of an emotional disengagement in Turkey. God forbid, if there was a conflict between the two peoples, then not only emotional disengagement but other disengagements could also happen. Today, people, both Kurds and Turks, are aware that Kurds do not have a future separate from Turks, and Turks do not have a future separate from Kurds,” he said.
“Both of these peoples’ past is one and their future is one, too. As long as it goes this way, God willing, no emotional disengagement will take place in Turkey,” he added.
Kurtulmuş also touched upon recent comments suggesting that the parliamentary immunity of deputies of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) could be lifted and that the party could eventually be closed down because an investigation had been opened against one of its co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtaş, by the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office for “crimes against the constitutional order and the functioning of this order.”
Similar incidents occurred in the past and failed to yield any positive result, Kurtulmuş said.
“Political bans are not a solution for this matter,” he said. “That’s why an extreme historical responsibility falls on the shoulders of the HDP. It is a must for them to go on making politics in a democratic style that will not harm the nation and their own voters,” he added.
A fragile peace process, dubbed the “resolution process” by governmental officials, was shattered in mid-summer following a two-and-a-half-year de facto period of non-conflict.
Turkey has beefed up efforts in fighting terrorism, with aerial campaigns and ground operations targeting militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Local governors have imposed curfews in several towns in the country’s east and southeast to clear the towns off of militants.
The army says more than 200 PKK militants have been killed in the current campaign in the southeast which the government says is aimed at flushing out PKK militants from urban centers.
According to Kurtulmuş, current conditions do not offer a ground for debating “the resolution process.”
“But this will not go on forever. It will finish in the shortest time, and then we will take steps which will produce ‘national unity and fraternity.’ In doing so, the counterpart is all of Turkey – the entirety of the people, politics and civil society in Turkey. From the very beginning, we have been insistently emphasizing one particular thing: ‘While you hold a Kalashnikov in one hand, you cannot dance the halay with your other hand. While extending one of your hands to peace, you cannot throw a bomb with your other hand.’ This is unacceptable. For a process to continue, the people’s support is a must. And for the nation to be eager for that process, terror should be eliminated as a threat.”