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February 05, 2013, Tuesday

Dialogue is not a jacket

We have seized a significant opportunity with the İmralı process to attain domestic peace. It is true that the process has raised great expectations among the people. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorism may be linked to the Kurdish issue, as evidenced in its attempts to gain popular support in the past.

But what really needs to be questioned is what was done under the sponsorship of the state to create a Kurdish issue, which the enemies of the nation wanted.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan frequently stresses that there is no longer martial law practices in the country. Thousands of unidentified and unresolved murders have been committed up until 2003. There are no longer JİTEM tortures, village burnings, evacuations and tortures in Diyarbakir prison. No unsolved murders have been committed in the Southeast and East since the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power. The restrictions over language and cultural rights are being removed and eliminated. There is no longer a policy of denial and assimilation. Owing to civilian initiative, the state is going through a change of mentality. The prime minister gives assurances, “Our security units are not fond of executing operations. If there is no security problem, our police officers stay at the stations and the military at the barracks.”

This stance reflects sincerity in the name of peace. Let us say that there is no sincerity and that this is done for political ends. In this case, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK)-PKK-Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) alliance should act sincerely and abort these moves. The AK Party cannot be going after some political calculations considering that people have great hopes. The people who have the responsibility of governing and addressing the problems of the people cannot go after insignificant political results. Besides, if this great problem is resolved, this would become the most important political success.

Now the whole issue is the attitude of the BDP administrators and the deputies. From one perspective, there is some change of style that relieves the people. For instance, the Turkish flag was displayed in the 2nd regular convention of the BDP Diyarbakir local party branch. Co-chair Gültan Kışanak said: “We always display the Turkish flag; we have never had any problem with the flag.”

As we were preparing to appreciate this stance, BDP Şanlıurfa deputy İbrahim Binici ruined everything. During the events in Viranşehir in Şanlıurfa, he called the police officers who interfered with the protestors dishonored people and attempted to use his gun. In the press conference he held in the parliament, he made things even more complicated: “If I had attempted to use my gun, I would have made a perfect shot.” He refers to the police as target. Which one is the true stance of the BDP?

True, the new process raised some hopes; however, failure in the attitude is always the greatest provocation. True, there are many countries behind the terror issue. Even if you want to resolve this problem with İmralı and Kandil, there will always be somebody who would attempt to halt the process. But what really matters is our ability to resolve this problem on our own. This could be done by dialogue and constructive approach.

Dialogue is not a jacket that you wear when it is necessary. Dialogue is not a path through which you save the day. Dialogue is not hypocrisy and deception. Dialogue requires sincerity. Dialogue requires respect for all. It requires empathy, patience, good faith and sacrifice. I would like to ask something from the security units. The prime minister says that our security units are not fond of operations and with this statement he attracts support. There are still people who violate laws at the BDP protests. For the sake of the peace process, use of excessive force and coercion should be avoided in such provocative demonstrations and protests.

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