Turkey can solve its longstanding Kurdish problem as long as it maintains its confidence, Interior Minister Beşir Atalay, who is meeting with political parties and civil society organizations as part of a government initiative to find a comprehensive solution to the Kurdish issue, has stated.
Speaking yesterday during a visit to the headquarters of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), Atalay said: “Let us have confidence. We can solve this, as long as we have self-confidence,” speaking after a one-hour meeting with DTP leader Ahmet Türk. Atalay was welcomed by DTP parliamentary group deputy chairman Selahattin Demirtaş as he entered the party's headquarters yesterday. In his statement after the meeting, Atalay told reporters that his contacts with political party leaders about the democratization package were continuing. Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group deputy chairman Bekir Bozdağ and AK Party Deputy Chairman Abdülkadir Aksu accompanied Atalay on yesterday's visit.
Atalay said in the press statement that the meeting had been very productive, providing an important opportunity for exchanging opinions. He said: “We have wished from the start for this project to be carried out under the roof of Parliament. We think the contribution of Parliament and our political parties to this project of brotherhood and peace is very important. We explain, in these visits, the work we have been carrying out. In all the meetings we have had so far, including with three political parties, we have listened to valuable opinions that light the way of our project.”
Interior Minister Beşir Atalay talked with DTP leader Ahmet Türk yesterday as part of a government initiative to find a comprehensive solution to the Kurdish issue.
He said yesterday's meeting had also been very beneficial for the government and thanked Türk and other DTP officials.
Atalay said he and the DTP leader talked about the government's work being carried out on the subject. He also announced that he would be meeting with representatives of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜSİAD), Turkey's most influential businessmen's association, next Tuesday. The interior minister also visited the Union of Turkish Bar Associations and workers' unions Türk-İş and Hak-İş yesterday.
In a statement after the meeting, DTP leader Türk said a political effort was being made by the government to put an end to 30 years of bloodshed and pain. Türk said his party was working for normalization in Turkey, noting that they were very optimistic that a solution was near and adding they did not want to be frustrated.
“Our [aim] is to solve the problems, not dissolve Turkey,” he said, expressing his opinion that military operations and weapons cannot solve the problem. Türk said they were working for societal consensus and embracing differences.
Türk said their target as a party was to contribute to a democratic Turkey, highlighting that a road map that appeals to the sensitivities of all 72 million citizens of the country will come out of the process.
The DTP leader also stated that they expected the contribution of opposition parties. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Republican People's Party (CHP) have refused to meet with Atalay. Türk said both parties should contribute.
“We also would like to see this pain end and evolve into peace, and we are making efforts for Turkey's normalization. We hope that these efforts won't end in frustration. We are optimistic, because everybody has seen that our problems cannot be solved with guns and violence. This is why the ongoing process is so important. The government and the interior minister are conducting the work on this. As a political party, we are ready to fulfill our responsibility in this process,” he said.
In response to a question from the press on whether the DTP had made any concrete suggestions to the government, Türk said the initiative is an ongoing process, noting that its final shape will emerge through contributions from all segments of the society.
He also said the MHP and CHP should be part of the process, as political parties of the country, adding, “Our expectation is that other parties show the sensitivity needed to end this painful process.”