20.02.2014 – Hemin Khoshnaw – BasNews, Erbil – In an exclusive interview, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Leading Council Member Muzafar Ayata discusses the current internal tension in Turkey and puts forward his own suggestions regarding the Kurdish case.
According to Ayata the current tension and conflict between Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish preacher, former imam, writer, and Islamic opinion leader, Fethullah Gülen, has a long history. Gülen could not have sparked the conflict without the support of the US, however Erdoğan also has the support of the US as well as Europe. The conflict is therefore likely to expand into the government in the future.
Erdoğan could defend himself and weaken Gülen supporters through military actions, said Ayata. The Turkish government arrested many military generals who had allegedly planned a coup d’état. Furthermore had Erdogan not controlled the corruption operation against the government and ministers’ sons – accused of being involved in cases of corruption and bribery – he would have risked a court sentence. Ayata explained that Gülen began expanding his power through the establishment of education centers that involved Kurds as well as Turks and then ultimately taking up a role in Turkish politics.
Furthermore, said the council member, Gülen is against the peace process between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish government.
“Erdoğan is where he is due to US support, but he has created concern within the US due to his financial backing of Iran, Egypt and the Syrian opposition. Once he strengthened his position, he ignored the EU and democracy, but it is early to say outsiders support other political parties in Turkey because they don’t believe in them,” said Ayata. Regarding the Kurdish stance towards the Erdoğan and Gülen conflict, Ayata said: “Kurds support those who step toward democracy. Ocalan has played a major role in Turkey in the last two years. He has previously warned Erdoğan that there is a coup d’état plan against him. Kurdish people don’t support this coup d’état because they don’t want to fight for more decades of democracy to achieve their legal rights.”