Turkish government, BDP in bid not to allow halt in peace process

Turkish government, BDP in bid not to allow halt in peace process

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish government, BDP in bid not to allow halt in peace process

People march during the funeral of Medeni Yıldırım, who was killed during a clash with soldiers in Diyarbakır’s Lice. All parties should act responsibly after the incident, the government says. DHA photo

The government and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), key players of the peace process, held a meeting to discuss steps to be taken for smooth progress within the process amid mutual expressions of resentment for each other.

Deputy BDP parliamentary group chairs Pervin Buldan and İdris Baluken held a meeting with Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin at Parliament late July 2 at which the deputy group chairs conveyed their criticism of the handling of the Lice incident.

Additionally, the BDP once again reiterated their demand that the government take democratic steps to advance in the peace process, while Ergin affirmed that they had been working on it.

Especially in the aftermath of the violent clashes in the Lice district of Diyarbakır on June 28 that left one person dead, tension between the government and the BDP has escalated.

The government said particularly in the aftermath of the provocative Lice incident, all parties involved in the peace process should act in a responsible manner for the sake of the process, pointing the finger at the BDP. The BDP said the government should either end the peace process or take the necessary steps to advance it.

The BDP also suggested to Ergin that a joint commission be formed of members of the Wise Persons’ Commission, the parliamentary commission on the resolution process and other figures who have been involved in the process in order to monitor it. The BDP said such a commission would be able to intervene in cases like the Lice incident. This idea was originally floated by jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan during a recent meeting with a parliamentary BDP delegation, yet has not so far been taken into consideration by the government.

As part of the peace process, “a democratization package” – set of reforms – the BDP has complained is already delayed is expected to be submitted to Parliament by the government either in July or August to be debated when Parliament returns from its upcoming summer recess.

BDP asks for new codes

The BDP wants the package to be sent to Parliament as soon as possible in order to demonstrate that the process has been working.

During a meeting with a delegation from the Women’s Initiative for Peace on July 3, BDP co-chair Gültan Kışanak spoke about the meeting with Ergin.

Parliament is set to enter its summer recess in a few days, Kışanak said, adding that this would be wrong at a delicate time like this regarding the process. There should be a mechanism to call Parliament for an extraordinary meeting when necessary, she said. “We went there [referring to Buldan and Baluken’s meeting with Ergin] with a proposal saying ‘Let’s form a mechanism together as a consultation and dialogue mechanism between deputy parliamentary group chairs, so that we will run the upcoming process appropriately. They [Ergin] said they took this proposal seriously and that they would assess it,” Kışanak said.