Friday, August 12, 2005

Erdoğan in Diyarbakir for a peaceful solution of the 'Kurdish question'

PM Erdoğan visited Diyarbakır for the first time since he has been elected PM. The visit had been on the agenda since last week, because of recent frequent armed clashes in the region. But before, in his meeting with a 12-strong delegation of intellectuals, Wednesday Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Kurdish question was a problem of democratisation, stressing the government would not tolerate those who applied violence.This unusual meeting and development provoked many discussions in the last days, when the main topic on the all platforms was the PM visiting to Diyarbakır. There were a lot of different comments about the visit.

All the NGOs, unions, bar associations, 57 mayors of region Human rights defenders made statements that the PM have to make statements about the Kurdish Question in Diyarbakır.
The main demand from the region to the Pm was to establish the conditios of peacefire and to stop the armed clashes.

A hopeful atmosphere has been in place since the meeting between the intellectualls and the PM.
The PKK/Kongra-Gel commander Murat Karayılan called the Kurdish public to make democratic protest and not to involve his speech in his statement three days ago. But after the atmosphere which exist after the meeting with the intelletuals he made a new statement that "They evaulated their protest decision again" and he called not to make any active protest against Pm ,they will let the PM to tell his alternatives and policies how they will solve the Kurdish Question. So the protests were stopped by that statement in just one day. This shows still the strong influence of PKK/Kongra-Gel on the public.

Another important discussion point was the PM visiting programmme in Diyarbakır. On the PM's agenda there is not the visit of the Diyarbakır elected mayor Mr Osman Baydemir. This provoked a very negative reaction in the public. And in spite of all recommendations the Pm did not put the visit of municipalities on his own agenda.

But all the mayors went to the airport to welcome the PM.
Pm came to Diyarbakır this morning and went to the housing estate opening ceremony. He made a speech there. In his speech he made an imporatant statetement. Quoting a famous Turkish writer he said: "there have been faults in the past and we are strong enough to solve these faults and questions. And the Kurdish question is also my own problem" he added.

He stressed they will solve this question in the frame of "one nation and one goverment": "We will solve this question within the principles of the people who left this country to us and in the concept of the constitution with more law and more comfort, welfare. And Turkey will not go back from the point it came. We will produce more democracy, we gave the promise of more democracy promise and we still are giving more. We are the only adress for all the problems in the turkey. And the democracy progress will not come back. We are against regional and religious nationalism. The only relation which keeps all of us together is the Turkish Republic relation."

The speech was important because the Pm used for the first time the expression "Kurdish Question" and talked about democracy, but we can easily say that looking at the details of the speech there is no new point. Because he did not talk about any concrete solution or step on how they will stop the armed crashes or on the democracy demand of the region.

Also another important point is there were a very small group from the public who came to listen to the Pm. There was also a passive demostration against him according to reports.

Also now people are waiting with great interest for the PKK/Kongra-Gel reply to this visit and statement.

(Many thanks to Ozlem)

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