Turkish PM Erdoğan regrets lack of support from opposition for resolution

Turkish PM Erdoğan regrets lack of support from opposition for resolution

Turkish PM Erdoğan regrets lack of support from opposition for resolution

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AA Photo

Turkey's opposition is doing too little to support the present efforts to solve the conflict between the army and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 3, noting that past government and opposition parties have also delayed a resolution.

“Covering up the problems, postponing or ignoring them will later lead to the healing of wounds that are difficult,” Erdoğan said at a meeting with representatives of civil society organizations in the northwestern province of Balıkesir.

“In the last 10 years, whenever we have taken a step to resolve the terror issue, we found obstacles, walls and pits, and whenever we took action, we found provocations and sabotage. I’m not saying these are excuses,” Erdoğan said, highlighting their determination to achieve a resolution.

Erdoğan he accepted main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu request for an appointment in June 2012, but added that CHP has not introduced a proposal for the resolution of the terror issue since then.

With regard to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Erdoğan said they did not have anything to say about a resolution other than plenty of insults and swearing.

“The CHP asks for an appointment, he refuses; the AK Party asks for appointment, he refuses,” Erdoğan said, without openly citing the name of MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli.

“Why does a political party that avoids gathering [with other political parties] to this extent exist then in this country? Why does it exist if we are not going to talk?” Erdoğan said. Noting that even people who have feuds with each other because of a murder are able to gather and make peace, he added that their situation was not that dramatic either.

“I asked for an appointment three times and he refused,” he said, suggesting that Bahçeli – again without citing his name – was acting high and mighty. “I’m not asking for this personally, but asking on behalf of my nation.”

Erdoğan, meanwhile, strictly denied speculation suggesting that the government was planning a general amnesty that would include PKK members.

“We have repeatedly said that there will be no general amnesty,” he said, reiterating that he believed that the state should have no authority to forgive a killer.

In his remarks on March 3, Erdoğan did not directly refer to the leak of a meeting between jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and deputies of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The meeting held on Feb. 23 was part of an ongoing resolution process and its alleged content was published in a daily on Feb. 28.

Erdoğan delivered his first remarks on the leak in a speech in Balıkesir on March 2. AKP executives and members of the Cabinet were at four corners of the country on March 2 on different occasions and the need to continue the process despite any ill-intended counter-efforts was a common message delivered by all, as they also downplayed the possible damage of the leak on the process.

In a bid to contain possible damage from the leak, both the government and the BDP underlined how the leak itself was an attempt to undermine the ongoing resolution process, while in Iraq, the PKK leadership signaled its readiness to take part in this process by releasing captive state officials.