DTP leader Türk reiterates loyalty to unified Turkey

DTP leader Türk reiterates loyalty to unified Turkey

DTP leader Ahmet Türk

August 15, 2009, Saturday/ 17:05:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
The leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), Ahmet Türk, has underlined once more that the objective of his party is to find a way to resolve the longstanding Kurdish question without leading to the division of Turkey's territory.

“We are fully aware of the dangers of ethnic nationalism. Our objective is not to divide Turkey. Our objective is to solve the Kurdish question,” Türk stated yesterday. The DTP leader stressed that Turkey should settle the question while considering the sensitivities of its 72 million citizens.

“We are living in a country where there has been an armed conflict for 30 years. It would lead to future problems if we were to turn a blind eye to the existence of those who should assume an effective role in the solution of this question. Here I am referring to the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] and the Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK]. It is the political parties who will implement the [Kurdish] initiative, but we should take all views into consideration,” Türk said.

Asked whether the Kurdish initiative could lead to a division in the country, Türk said: “Our political and democratic culture is based on the approach of living together and sharing what we have at hand. We are striving toward an atmosphere where people can express themselves freely. Boundaries are not exciting for us. It is neither for the benefit of Kurds nor Turks to divide two people who have been living together for 1,000 years. We see the harmful aspects of the ethnic conflicts in the Middle East.”

Türk also said Turkey's democratization journey could not be completed with the existing Constitution. He underlined that his party does not favor the idea of including the word "Kurd" in the planned future constitution.

The DTP leader said politicians, members of the military and civilians understood that the question would not be settled through armed means. He also expressed dislike toward the stance the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have adopted towards the Kurdish plan.

"Turks and Kurds are negatively affected by a deadlock on the issue. Objection to a project which aims to develop fraternity among peoples means the feeding on blood. Its consequences will be very severe. Everyone should contribute to the process," Türk said.

Both the CHP and the MHP have displayed staunch opposition to governmental efforts to find a solution to the Kurdish problem, which has drawn the ire of analysts as they believe strong opposition to the initiative would hinder its settlement.

On the question of whether his party believes the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, should be addressed regarding the solution to the Kurdish question, Türk said: “Is Öcalan one of the parties in the question? Yes. Does he have an impact on the PKK? Yes. Does society attach importance to him? Yes. So, we should take into consideration what everyone who has sensitivity regarding the question says. It is Öcalan who will have the greatest impact on the PKK. He is also the pioneer of [Kurdish] politics. Thus, if we believe that his remarks will be beneficial in turning this period into a period of peace, then we should attach importance to what he says.”

Türk also said the government could find several alternative ways to establish dialogue with the terrorist leader. “What is important is the realization of his role in the process. There are various formulae in the world [to establish dialogue with Öcalan],” he added.

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