Turkish gov't says Kurdish opening 'not slowing'

Spokesman Cicek said the government was determined to proceed with the initiative.

Turkish gov't says Kurdish opening 'not slowing'

Government Spokesman, Minister Cemil Cicek said Wednesday that the government was not taking things slowly in the "democratization initiative", aimed at addressing Turkey's Kurdish issue.

Replying to criticisms that the initiative lost momentum, at a press conference following Monday's cabinet meeting, Cicek said the government was determined to proceed with the initiative noting however that it was a long process.

Cicek underlined that the long standing Kurdish issue had two dimensions: "ethnic separatist terrorism" and "democratic standards."

"We are aware that this issue is a tough one. We are also aware that the deadlock is making things even harder, and everyday we see and experience --first hand-- the pain and suffering caused by taking things slowly or handing down the problem to other governments," said Cicek.

Cicek said the process was moving slowly due to the nature of the issue, denying that the determination of the government and the importance it attached to the issue was eroding.

"Closed hearing"

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced in July that his government initiated a move to deal with the Kurdish issue and the Ministry of Interior was assigned with the coordination of this task.

At a press conference held to inform the public about the government's move, Interior Minister Besir Atalay made clear that this was a process where measures would be shaped along the way through consensus of all state organs and all components of the society expressing intention to visit political parties to ask for their contribution and support.

Though the content of the measures package is not yet revealed, the opposition which is sceptical of the government plan severely criticized the government on the grounds that the initiative would cause ethnic separation and refused to meet Atalay who was seeking their support and contribution.

Atalay, so far, visited several political parties and non-governmental organizations.

The government wants to reveal the content of the measures at a closed hearing at the parliament after the beginning of the new legislative year, but the opposition, especially the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) strongly opposes this and accuses the government from hiding things from the public.

Answering a question on the opposition of MHP to a closed session during Monday's press conference, Cicek rebuffed accusations saying the government was not hiding anything, but was trying to prevent such a crucial issue from being exploited for political purposes.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Eylül 2009, 08:50