Turkish government pledges no step back in its peace bid

Turkish government pledges no step back in its peace bid

Turkish government pledges no step back in its peace bid

‘We also have to solve [the Kurdish issue] with wisdom and politics; find social, economic and political solutions,’ Deputy PM Arınç says. AA Photo

The government will not step back from the ongoing peace process, despite the negative repercussions of the Kurdish talks leak, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told reporters at the headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Bursa on March 2.

Arınç compared the publication by daily Milliyet of the alleged record of the Feb. 23 meeting between the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and three Kurdish deputies of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) to the killings of three Kurdish women, including one of the co-founders of the PKK, in Paris on Jan. 9.

“All were incidents due to happen that we were expecting back when we [first] took this road. So we are not surprised. But we are not at a point where we can turn back, either,” he said. Arınç also objected the criticisms questioning the legitimacy of talks with Abdullah Öcalan, referring to the fact that part of the media labels the jailed PKK leader a “baby killer.” “Call him the killer of 30, 40,000 people if you wish, or call him another name. However, he is still a central, important actor for those masses who love him,” he said.

Arınç emphasized that weapons and jets were only efficient to a point. “[The process] has a number of opponents and can be hampered at all of its phases. We have to be patient,” he said.

Atalay: Risks taken

Likewise, fellow Deputy Minister Beşir Atalay also stressed the government’s determination to carry the process to its end during his visit to the AKP’s provincial administration in Kars yesterday. “We are taking every risk. We are very determined. Policies driven by fear and timidity were conducted until now. We have reviewed all [these policies]. We ask everyone [to show] sensibility,” Atalay said.

In a bid to contain possible damage from the leak, both the government and the BDP underlined how the leak itself is an attempt to undermine the ongoing resolution process

The recent leaks aim to sabotage the ongoing peace process, but will not be allowed to do so, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputy Pervin Buldan said on March 2. “We know very well that the recent leak aimed to sabotage the process. ... Whatever happens, even if they put up obstacles in front of us, even if they try to sabotage it, we are in the peace process, she said. The PKK leadership signaled its readiness to take part in this process by releasing captive state officials in 10 days, according to the BDP co-chair Gültan Kışanak.