Turkish government slams BDP for march on Kurdish issue

Turkish government slams BDP for march on Kurdish issue

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish government slams BDP for march on Kurdish issue

A crowd marches during a protest on June 30, in Diyarbakır, where one person was killed in a June 28 shooting. AFP photo

Particularly in the aftermath of a provocative incident like the violent clashes in Lice, Diyarbakır that left one person dead on June 28, all parties involved in the peace process should act in a responsible manner for the sake of this process, which is facing serious risks, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said, as he pointed the finger at the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

The process, which aims to end the three-decade-long conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) requires very serious sincerity and confidence, Atalay said, speaking at a press conference in Kırıkkale on July 1. Nobody should cheat the other party, while being careful vis-à-vis sabotage and provocations, he said.

“I mean, we are indeed reacting with concern to assessments and statements from the BDP in recent days,” Atalay said, as he referred to a recently launched campaign by the Kurdish issue-focused party that involved convening rallies over the course of the summer to urge the government to take steps forward in the “peace process.”

The BDP released its announcement June 28, hours before the killing of a civilian and wounding of 10 others in Lice district when gendarmerie forces fired shots to disperse some 300 people protesting against the expansion of an army outpost. It reiterated its call on June 30 with a detailed schedule of rallies.

Atalay said he regretted the marching of people in Lice to the outpost and was saddened over the killing of the 18-year-old Medeni Yıldırım. He noted the kidnapping of a soldier on a highway between Diyarbakır and Bingöl on June 28 and said all of these developments had posed serious risks to the peace process. “We find it odd that the BDP has again called citizens to the streets, and we do not consider this a responsible manner regarding the process. Those who administrate the resolution process should be very careful,” Atalay said.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler, speaking in the southeastern province of Mardin on the same day, echoed Atalay’s view, as he said the government or the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are not the sole responsible parties and everyone who has been criticizing the peace process should contribute to it as well.
“This process should not be our party’s process. It should be evaluated as a historical process that all our people are involved in,” he said, addressing a training seminar of his ministry.

Minister warns of provocation

Güler said some might be uncomfortable with the process. “Of course, there will be efforts to disrupt this resolution process.” He added that the process would lead up to a grave change within the civilian administrative system. “Especially events of smuggling on the border, in the events of narco-terrorism or interest groups that would like to maintain the order they set, it is normal that they would be uncomfortable with this process. This region will be developed,” he said.

In Ankara nonetheless, mainly based on the assumption that the government had been “misrepresenting facts” about the Lice turmoil, the BDP submitted a proposal to launch a parliamentary inquiry into the turmoil surrounding Lice.

“The tradition of getting away from the matter by linking every civilian massacre to the deep state for 30 years has been replaced by the method of getting away from the matter via statements of provocation,” the BDP said, in the reasoning of its proposal.