Government says BDP demands in settlement process not realistic

“The BDP also knows that steps are being taking to ensure an advanced democracy. They are trying to hijack the scene to be able to say it was thanks to them that these reforms happened,” Çelik said.

Government says BDP demands in settlement process not realistic

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has a long list of demands that include certain requests that “will never become reality,” Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman and spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik has said.

The BDP administration and the government have had a series of meetings in the past week in order to tackle the recent tension in Lice, a Diyarbakır town where one demonstrator was shot dead by security forces during a rally in protest of the planned construction of a security outpost in the city on June 28. The two parties have been trying to protect the ongoing settlement process that started with negotiations with the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan in October of last year.

Çelik, responding to questions from Today's Zaman on the current situation in the process, said: “We have developed a roadmap to make sure that nobody in our country feels like ‘the other,' and we are fulfilling our plans step by step. Our target is making Turkey an advanced democracy, and we will do whatever is necessary to achieve this end. We are abolishing the pieces of legislation that need to be removed, such as Article 35 of the Turkish Armed Forces Domestic Service Law [which has served as a basis legitimizing military interventions in the past]. We are fulfilling our 63-item list we announced at the fourth AK Party congress. As part of the negotiation process, members of the Wise People Commission took the pulse of the nation and submitted their reports. We will carry out serious work on this during the summer.”

The deputy prime minister criticized the BDP, which is planning a series of rallies titled “Government, Take a Step,” to push the government to heed its demands. The BDP claims that most of the PKK's militants have left Turkey, as agreed during the settlement talks, and that it is now the government's turn to do its part and address the BDP demands. “The BDP also knows that steps are being taking to ensure an advanced democracy. They are trying to hijack the scene to be able to say it was thanks to them that these reforms happened,” Çelik said, explaining why the BDP was organizing these rallies. However, Çelik said the nation is aware of who is responsible for what development.

“These steps for an advanced democracy are being taken for our nation. The aim of the settlement process is not the silencing of the weapons, but that they are laid down. No party should put up any obstacles so that the process can advance.” Çelik also said that construction to renew military outposts cannot be a reason to stir up unrest. The government says no new construction is taking place but insists that ongoing construction projects are either renovations of existing structures or additions to buildings. “The state doesn't ask for anybody's permission for a new military outpost. The needs are identified and wherever they are needed, a gendarmerie outpost or a police station will be built. These are for public safety. Doesn't anyone in need go to the police when they need to? This is how the rule of law works. There is nothing acceptable about the objection to building military outposts.” Çelik said provocations such as Lice had reached 19 in number since the PKK stopped attacking during the settlement process. “These could be the work of groups that the PKK can't control, or maybe they are just allowing this to happen to send the message that we can put up an obstacle at any time. The process shouldn't be poisoned with these things.”

He also said it was wrong to act hastily in the settlement process, which seeks to end the violence of the past three decades. “What needs to be done is not something you do overnight. That can only happen on paper.” Çelik said the Britain-IRA negotiations lasted for years.

He said the government was ready to talk to the BDP about every issue that excludes violence or blackmail. “At the point Turkey has reached today, every issue can be talked about. There are no taboos. As long as there is nothing violent, glorifying terrorism or that includes blackmail or imposed demands ” He said the government was ready to meet the BDP's reasonable and legitimate demands. “They announced a 25 article list of demands. There are also demands here that we might say ‘We can't do these.' The important thing is that lines of communication are open and that the process goes on. The government has no intention of backing down on the settlement process.”


Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Temmuz 2013, 10:29