Turkish government resentful, says PKK undermining the process
Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan. AA PhotoThe government has said actions by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) against public order, including extorting, kidnapping and interception, made the peace process “fragile” even before last month's deadly street violence that left around 35 people dead.
Since the "democratic opening” the issue has had two dimensions, Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan said late on Nov. 9, referring to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s 2009 initiative. The opening turned sour after harsh public reactions against a group of PKK militants crossing from Iraq into Turkey via the Habur border gate with the consent of Turkish authorities.
“[These two dimensions] were ending terror and the organization’s disarmament. Of course, within the resolution process, this part is at the forefront. While this target was being approached through ongoing meetings, we experienced recent incidents on Oct. 6-8 that turned cities into battlefields, violence and vandalism. Even before these actions, there were some incidents that poisoned the process, issues such as extorting, kidnapping and interception. These were issues that had already made the process fragile. When the incidents under the pretext of Kobane erupted, turbulence took place,” Akdoğan said, during an interview with CNNTürk.
Street unrest that peaked on Oct. 6 and 7 led to the deaths of dozens of people in clashes between rival groups, following protests over the government’s perceived inaction toward Syrian Kurds besieged by jihadists in Kobane. Consecutive attacks against members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) escalated the situation, bringing the process almost to a deadlock.
After almost 40 people died in the unrest, the government cannot go on with the process as if nothing had happened, a governmental official told news site Radikal.
“These interceptions, forming courts, extorting, and street violence, etc. should stop,” the senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying in Murat Yetkin’s column published by Radikal on Nov. 10.
“There may be some exceptions that are out of political control; we can understand them to a certain extent. However, we need to see that these incidents come to an end,” the official said.