Kürkçü: Four conferences planned for the coming weeks

ANF – Amsterdam 24.04.2013 – ANF interviewed Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Mersin deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü about the ongoing process of talks in search for a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question.

Commenting on the developments that have gained momentum since the call Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan made on Newroz on 21 March, Kürkçü said that he regarded the currently ongoing process as the gradual disclosure of a general agreement reached between the Turkish state and Kurdish leader Öcalan. “What we are currently going through is not a process of negotiation but the assessment of the results of a finalized negotiation. The phase of global decisions has been finalized but the second phase of its arrangement and practice is being subjected to negotiation at present. In this respect I see that the government is tending to control the entire process and avoiding shaping the process with the participation of various power groups in the society”, he underlined.

Referring to the Commission of Wise People which has been established to serve in the process of negotiation between the state and Öcalan, and is projected to work for three months, Kürkçü said that the Commission couldn’t deal with relevant matters within such a short period of time. “This is not a work that could be finalized in three months, a period which has been put forward as a formal condition. I am of the opinion that the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission would have been able to take an active role in this process had it not failed on its work on the Roboski massacre. A sub-commission affiliated to the Human Rights Commission, which is a permanent one, would otherwise manage to lead the process till the very end. Internal regulations impose a time restriction on parliamentary commissions, which is the reason why the Commission of Wise People will not be enough to lead the process in a well coordinated way. It will not go beyond being there for the sake of formality”.

Kürkçü also criticized the Commission of Wise People for not consisting of names qualified enough to intermediate and arrange the negotiation process and non-conflict environment. Remarking that the commission consisted of 16 out of 90 people BDP had proposed, names of importance in the peace and labour struggle, the BDP deputy said the commission would not do anything apart from presenting reports after giving a formal service for three months, two left by now. “The present commission resembles a gathering aiming to organize the bases of non-governmental organizations in particular, failing to reach the ground of true opinion leaders, NGOs and labor activists. Instead of getting stuck in hotels at city centers, members of the commission need to get in touch with the people by visiting them in neighborhoods, factories and all areas of life, which can currently be practiced in Diyarbakır and the Kurdish region alone for these areas already have a ground for such works. I don’t think the commission is accomplishing sufficient results in the western part of the country. This is because of the fact that the capability of this formation doesn’t lend itself to be suitable for further progress. This is not what we expected to happen”.

Kürkçü pointed out that the currently ongoing process is being kept on the right route thanks to the efforts Öcalan has made, adding, “A process of four conferences is lying ahead of the process now. These conferences, which will take place in Turkey, Europe, Kurdistan and South upon the proposal of Öcalan, are of importance but there will be some difficulties in this process because of the fact that it shall be led by Öcalan, not by people from the outside. As far as I understand, Öcalan is planning to end the withdrawal process by September. This process could make a better progress if Öcalan has the opportunity to initiate a wider work in Imralı by summer, as expected, and if we can also pay visits to Imralı and have talks with him”.

Kürkçü noted that according to him the AKP government was intending to run the process by being on good terms with the nationalist circle. “Peace is a manipulator of this process to the government, while it is a purpose in itself to us, a purpose to pave the way for the non-conflict environment and a general democratic area”, he added.