“Parliament Speaker’s Kurdish Document is Too Ambiguous” / BIANET

Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek presented an 11 point document intended to solve the Kurdish issue during a press meeting on Tuesday. Prof. Büşra Ersanlı, who spent 8.5 months behind bars in connection with the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial, told bianet that the contents of the document were too murky, however.

29 August 2012, Tuesday BIANET – Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek presented a “text of agreement” intended to solve the Kurdish issue during a press meeting on Tuesday. Prof. Büşra Ersanlı, who spent 8.5 months behind bars in connection with the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial, told bianet that the contents of the 11 point document were too murky, however.

How do we explain Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç’s reaction to the document that it does not adress anyone?

Both the contents of the document and the methods by which it was prepared are ambiguous. Does Çiçek mean that those who embrace the text should sign it? It is right for Arınç to ask whom the text is adressing, but through this question he means to say that the government is not the adressee. This represents an enactment of plurality from the government to the government. [They] present such debates like in the U.S. as [evidence of] democracy. In other words, we could call it the plurality of the AKP (Justice and Development Party.) Could we talk about an “agreement” [that takes place solely] within a family?

If you do not dare to come together with other political parties, convene Parliament and debate over the Kurdish issue within the framework of [what happened] in the last 35 years, then it means that you are establishing your project through the understanding that everyone should continue to serve in prison by pointing toward the Effective Repentance Law.”

How do you evaluate the agreement with all its positive and negative aspects?

The first article says “No understanding that identifies with violence and terrorism can be accepted.” While this is true, it then proceeds to talk about effective repentance, as defined by the laws. They know all too well those articles need to be amended.

[We] must evaluate the essence of the problem and its historical development through the principle of pluralism. It is one thing to deter people from employing violence as a method, and quite another thing to say they should deny all their past, inform on their relatives and completely change sides. First and foremost, around some 8,000 prisoners, most of whom are members of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) who have nothing to do with terrorism, ought to be released.

The second article says “the government should be in harmony with political parties and non-governmental organizations (NGOs.)” For the incumbent government to attempt to impose such a document either through a person speaking on his own behalf or by means of the Cabinet is tantamout to upholding the regime of the majority. After all, the CHP (People’s Republican Party) proposed to convene Parliament, but the AKP turned it down. Çiçek says this should be above [partisan concerns.] How is that going to happen if the parties cannot even come together; that is very murky. He also wants the support of the citizenry. How does he expect support for something so murky and abstract?

The fifth article says “security forces’ capabilities will be enhanced.” Why does the Parliament Speaker make such an assertion? That is not his job. Immediately afterwards, he calls for a pluralistic constitution. This is right but not concrete [enough.] Pluralism can only be attained through legislation and a shift in mentality, and not through a majority. At this juncture, the CHP and the BDP should resist forcefully with respect to the new constitution. They are doing this, but they need to bring it down to a more concrete level.”

Çiçek also talked the Spanish model and strengthening local governments in the document?

A person speaking about Spain should employ contemporaneous concepts and get down to the bottom of the matter. Decentralization, self-rule, autonomy, localization. The agreement, however, not only fails to mention decentralization, but it also speaks about an “administrative tutelage.” There is already a tutelage in place; local governments do not even exist in name. To speak only about the development of the southeast in strengthening local governments is to impose a classical developmentalist model. Development is only one aspect of local government. (NV)