Iraqi Kurds set for role in Turkey’s peace bid

ARBIL / ISTANBUL – Hürriyet – 5.3.2013 – The Kurdish administration in northern Iraq supports the recent efforts in Turkey to solve the Kurdish issue peacefully and is ready to play a role in the process, the KRG prime minister says.Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ calls on Turkish political parties to back up the process.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the autonomous administration in northern Iraq, is ready to lend support the ongoing Turkish process of finding a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said in a press meeting in Arbil yesterday.

“We support this peace process. We are ready to play every role reserved for us. We hope that the problem will be solved in peace and democracy,” Barzani said at the meeting, which was also joined by Ahmet Türk, the Turkish deputy and co-chair of the Kurdish-umbrella organization, the Democratic Society Congress (DTK). The duo met at Barzani’s house in Selahaddin, 40 kilometers from the center of the regional capital of Arbil. For his part, Türk said the meeting was part of the ongoing solution process. All parties should act sensitively in a bid to finalize the process through peace, Türk said. “Belief in peace will solve everything,” he said.

“We want Kurdish parties to play their part. Kurds are working for peace, but peace is not simply unilateral. Turks and Kurds need each other in the Middle East,” Doğan News Agency quoted Türk as saying. However, he criticized the recent Turkish military bombings in the Kandil Mountains of Iraq, which is known as the base of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Also yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ urged all political parties to lend support to the “resolution process,” particularly singling out the Republican People’s Party (CHP) for its approach towards the process. “Let’s claim the will for resolution together,” he said. “The occurrence of anything to disrupt this process against the nation is out of question.” According to Bozdağ, CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu has so far yet to keep his word about his “credit” given to the government in its attempt to solve the conflict in the country.

‘All parties will gain’

“It is understood that Kılıçdaroğlu has decided not to criticize for a while. When you look at today’s statements, this is not support, but it is an approach to not criticize for a while. Sure, the CHP is not acting sincerely. When the resolution process yields a good result, the CHP will gain, the MHP will gain, the AK Party will gain and the BDP too,” he said. Bozdağ also reiterated that there would be no amnesty as part of the process. Kılıçdaroğlu, meanwhile, said in a press conference at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport yesterday that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should unveil the notes of talks between the BDP and the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. He was referring to alleged texts of the talks between a Feb. 23 BDP mission and Öcalan, which were made public by daily Milliyet last week.

Kılıçdaroğlu described the texts as the “documents of shame,” criticizing Erdoğan for not making open statements about the issue even five days after the publication. “Abdullah Öcalan, one of the partners [in the process] has revealed what has happened until today. Now it is the other partner’s turn,” he said. “Tayyip Erdoğan is not giving the slightest insight into the process. ‘Trust me,’ is all he says,”

CHP Deputy Chair Loğoğlu also labeled the process “unhealthy,” stressing that the government had so far avoided informing Parliament on the issue.