1.12.2012 – Journal of Turkish Weekly – Heads of chambers of commerce and industry from eastern and southeastern Anatolia lent their support to the main opposition’s proposal to establish a joint parliamentary commission for a Kurdish resolution, in a closed-door meeting held with Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Nov. 30.
“A resolution could be achieved with the reconciliation of four parliamentary parties. A two-party solution could not gain public acceptance. This problem should be resolved without seeking political gain,” a chamber head was quoted by CHP sources as saying. Another chamber head, meanwhile, urged the CHP to oppose lifting the immunities of nine Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmakers and one independent deputy, who were seen embracing militants in August.
Kılıçdaroğlu met with a delegation composed of 37 heads of chambers from eastern and southeastern Turkey and led by the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu. Having already met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week, the delegation will also hold a meeting with other political party leaders.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Hisarcıklıoğlu did not specifically refer to the Kurdish issue but said, “Heads of chambers are the opinion leaders of their regions. They are the ones who are profoundly affected by increasing woes in this sore process. We are conveying their opinions to leaders.”
Kılıçdaroğlu praised the chamber heads’ efforts, saying, “As politicians, we failed in coming together and debating the issue. You behave more actively and make efforts to bring us together.” A chamber head said they keep an equal distance to all four parliamentary parties and have been endeavoring to bring them together to achieve a solution regarding the Kurdish issue. The CHP previously proposed establishing a joint parliamentary “Societal Reconciliation Commission” to discuss possible methods to solve the Kurdish issue. In line with the proposal, Kılıçdaroğlu met with Erdoğan to seek his support on the initiative in the summer. However, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chairman Devlet Bahçeli rejected the proposal, likening the action to treason. Erdoğan suggested that Kılıçdaroğlu set up a body consisting only of representatives of their two parties, leaving the MHP and BDP out of the process, but the CHP insists on four-party participation.