Turkish lawmakers visit countries with conflict resolution success stories amid Kurdish process
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces raise their fists during a show of force inside the camp in Camp Darapanan, Maguindanao province, southern Philippines March 27, 2014. REUTERS PhotoA group of intellectuals and deputies are preparing to visit the Philippines, as part of their recent tour of countries where conflict resolution has been used to diffuse political tension.
Some ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies, along with members of NGO’s, scholars and intellectuals who have previously visited Germany, Northern Ireland and South Africa, are set to visit Moro in the Philippines.
AKP Adıyaman deputy Murtaza Yetiş said he was among the group that paid a visit to countries where
conflicts are successfully resolved in a peaceful manner.
Turkey’s Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) organizes the visits within Turkey, while the UK-based Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) organizes the visits abroad, according to Yetiş.
Yetiş said the group first visited South Africa where they learned about the countries experience under the federal system, and then to Germany to learn from their experience after the unification of east and west.
The last country the group visited was Northern Ireland where they met with both sides of the political spectrum, from former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Yetiş said no country can be used as a model in conflict resolution as every conflict is unique.
Yetiş said that the media did not contribute positively to the negotiations in Northern Ireland and added that they have to make studies over the media’s role in Turkey’s conflicts.
He said they were told by the officials they met in Ireland that a third party is necessary for the conflict resolution process. However, the situation may deteriorate in Turkey if a third party enters, said Yetiş.
The Turkish government has started a peace process to end the decades-old Kurdish problem and state officials, as well as lawmakers, are regularly holding meetings with Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who is currently in prison.
Öcalan told a group of deputies in their recent meeting that the process should be more transparent from now on, underlining the importance of the legal system during negotiations, according to daily Milliyet.
Öcalan reportedly told the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Deputy Parliamentary head İdris Baluken that after the law is enforced for the negotiations a monitoring delegation should be established.