Rifat Başaran ANKARA – Radikal

The Democratic Society Party, or DTP, is not the political wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, said the leader of pro-Kurdish party.
“We are interlocutors in the Kurdish initiative, but the initiative needs to be looked at broadly. We are not the political wing of the PKK,” said DTP leader Ahmet Türk.
“We are one element that wants to see the Kurdish issue solved. But we say that the logic that says ‘talking to the DTP will result in the PKK laying down arms’ is flawed,” he said.
Türk did, however, insist that the government must talk to the PKK in order to solve the Kurdish problem.
Opposition parties had earlier accused the government of emboldening the DTP with its initiative and said the DTP was beginning to make threats.
Türk said at this stage of the initiative it is time for the government to reveal clues about the long-term projects it is planning. He said the DTP is not aware of what is entailed in the road map for a Kurdish solution but the party has always mentioned three issues that need to be addressed.
“There are three fundamental points: A new constitution, a mindset that sees richness in diversity and empowering locals and including them in administration,” said Türk.
If this initiative is to achieve the setting aside of weapons, then the players involved also need to be engaged in negotiations or a convincing formula has to be put on the table, he said.
“The DTP is certainly an interlocutor but if other players are not involved, what can the DTP do?” Türk asked. “The DTP wants the guns to be silenced and when it says the people bearing the guns need to be convinced, it is not wrong.”
“We never said the government should sit at the same table with the PKK. We suggest a group of wise men as a solution,” added Türk.
Türk said the DTP was alerting the state because it knows the reality: This initiative will not work without involving the PKK. He said this was not a threat, but part of the negotiation process.
“If getting rid of violence is on the country’s agenda, we will support it. We will stand against all forms of violence,” said Türk. “But if getting rid of violence means just a one-sided affair, then the Kurds are concerned.”
As soon as something is mentioned, some party objects and refers to the unitary state, flag and national anthem to create unease in society, but these things are not on the agenda of the Kurds, said Türk.
“A unitary state does not mean an ethnic state. The problem can be left unresolved, but that will result in a heavy price,” he said. “Not finding a solution results in clashes. We don’t want to experience such a thing. When we say this, some people call it a threat. In such an event, Kurds will suffer even more.”
Türk also slammed Deniz Baykal, the leader of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, saying he is trying to agitate the public with his remarks. This is a period when people should take a more patient and serious approach, the DTP leader said.