Members of the Democratic Society Party, or DTP, should avoid inflammatory statements that damage the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP’s, Kurdish move, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.
“I appeal to some of [the DTP] party representatives to avoid provocative statements that raise tension and damage the process. Please do not take any steps that would undermine this atmosphere of accord,” Erdoğan said Friday during a party meeting on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the foundation of the AKP.
“We have to see this issue above all politics and consider the sensitivity of the entire country. We do not have any aims other than to stop the tears of mothers,” he said.
The AKP kicked off a process with many new, but unpublicized packages, ranging from encouraging the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, to put down its weapons to resolve the issue of Kurdish rights. As part of this new process Erdoğan had a meeting for the first time with DTP leader Ahmet Türk to talk about the process, the PKK and Kurdish rights. Since the early 1980s, PKK attacks have cost thousands of innocent lives and billions in financial damage.
The two main opposition parties, the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, and the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, strongly reacted to the initiative and refused to talk over the issue with the government. Despite criticism, Erdoğan stressed that the AKP would go ahead without concession on its policy on the Kurdish issue and accused those who opposed the government’s initiative of treason.
“It is time to bring a permanent solution to this problem and a suitable environment for reconciliation is needed. However, those exploiting this issue and intending to hurt the AK Party at that point want to hinder the process. Upon any terms or cost, we have taken the necessary steps in this way and will continue.”
Erdoğan criticized the opposition leaders’ uncompromising attitude and called on them to join the solution for the sake of Turkey. “The hastiness based on inadequate information will serve nobody’s interests. Come on, do not stay out of this process. If we will not agree on this issue, what will we do? It is time to conduct responsible policies, not sacrifice this process to political polemics. If we do not act bravely and in a determined fashion, the Turkish public will lose out. Those who sway will suffer the consequences that will arise in the future” he said.
“We should be on the alert against provocations, disturbances and aspersions by other political parties and react necessarily with on time and with marked composure,” Erdoğan said to party members from 81 cities.
Erdoğan reminded deputies of the AKP’s general convention that will take place Oct. 3, and called on party representatives to focus on 2011 parliamentary elections and express the party policy on the Kurdish issue.