The determination of both parties to solve the issue, even if it requires sitting at the same table, was welcomed by many, yet columnists believe it is critical now to sustain this determination.
“Even though it may not yield results, the meeting is a positive one as it shows that both of the parties grasp the seriousness of the issue,” says Ahmet Altan of the Taraf daily. However, we have seen enough to realize that holding meetings with good intentions does not necessarily solve anything. The only way to solve the issue permanently is to provide equal rights to Kurds. The Kurds will not be content with anything less, as Altan says.
The AK Party once took the biggest step in Turkish history by attempting to resolve the issue according to EU criteria, but was forced to take a step back when it did not receive enough support for these measures from the public. It then adopted the strategy of tackling terrorism as a precursor to the Kurdish problem, which also failed as a strategy. Now it shows signs of again turning to political dialogue. Erdoğan made a fascinating speech at the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting; if he focuses on the issues he mentioned at that time and realizes those aims, greater steps can be taken toward resolution, and with more success, which, as Altan remarks, now has the support of nearly 80 percent of the Turkish population, having also won over the CHP’s supporters.
According to Star columnist Sedat Laçiner, this meeting and others likely to follow will ease recent tensions in the political climate. After all, these two parties are staunch opponents that have rarely reached a consensus on any issue, and it is reassuring to see them at the same table on the country’s most important issue.
Praising both parties for ending the “cold war” between them, Mahmut Övür from the Sabah daily argues that the AK Party’s democratic reforms in recent years have led to a change in CHP policies and its hard-line stance. Just as today the AK Party bears no resemblance to the Welfare Party (RP), which appealed to a narrower segment of society with its limited ideologies, today’s CHP is not the shallow party of years gone by. Today’s CHP is aware of the fact that it needs to undergo a transformation in order to increase its support base.