Turkish PM Davutoğlu mandates Arınç over Kurdish peace bid

Turkish PM Davutoğlu mandates Arınç over Kurdish peace bid

Turkish PM Davutoğlu mandates Arınç over Kurdish peace bid

The coordination of the Kurdish peace process will be conducted by Bülent Arınç.

With the minor Cabinet reshuffle, the dossier on the Kurdish resolution process has been handed over to Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç to the contrary of expectations that it would be given to Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan.

The peace process to resolve the Kurdish issue will be under the responsibility of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu upon his request, Arınç said, but the work will be conducted by the secretary general of public security. The secretary general, at which Arınç, the interior minister and the heads of all relevant organizations will be part of, will be strengthened, he said, adding coordination will be conducted under Arınç. The statement came after the first Cabinet meeting under Davutoğlu.

“There are not only issues about the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK], but other terrorist organizations that are linked with Turkey’s security,” Arınç said, stressing the secretary general and its coordination will not only be responsible for the PKK.

There were wide expectations that Akdoğan would receive responsibility for the process, although he will still be part of the team. Akdoğan is regarded more hawkish when compared to Arınç regarding the peace process.

Every state institution is aware of what other institutions are conducting Arınç said referring to recent statements by Gen. Necdet Özel who implied the government does not share information with the military in its efforts to resolve the Kurdish question.

“We present what we discuss at the National Security Council as a declaration afterward,” Arınç said in reply to a question regarding Gen. Özel’s remarks. What Gen. Özel wanted to state was another issue, Arınç added. “We have said in the past that we will do what is necessary if our red lines are crossed and we will continue to say what needs to be said. We have been conducting this fight for 30 years,” Özel said during a reception at the presidency Aug. 30.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan preferred not to delve into Özel’s words publicly, as he said he will discuss the issue with the army chief during a weekly meeting.

Diyanet under Davutoğlu’s helm

In the meantime, as part of the assignments in the new Cabinet, Prime Minister Davutoğlu wanted to have the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) under his subordination. Arınç said though previously subordinated to another ministry, Diyanet will be under Davutoğlu’s responsibility upon the prime minister’s choice. 

Akdoğan will be responsible for dealing with state-run Anadolu Agency, state broadcaster TRT and other relevant institutions.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş will be responsible for the Turkish Cooperation Agency (TİKA), among other issues, while deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan will continue to be solely responsible for coordinating the economy.   

Turkish hostages

When asked about the Turkish Consulate members in Mosul who were kidnapped by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Iraq, Arınç said they are still in contact with the hostages and their whereabouts are known.

“Fortunately they are alive,” he said, noting the case has a special situation and they have not been able to bring them back to Turkey.