By Hüseyin gülerce, Today's Zaman
"Diyarbakır is a fort, but it will never fall. If the prime minister wants war we will fight," said Diyarbakır Mayor Osman Baydemir.
The July 22 election showed that only two parties remain in Turkey's east and southeast. The Democracy Party (DEP), the Democratic People's Party (DEHAP), and the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) gave way to the Democratic Society Party (DTP) and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). The DTP has never taken a stance against separatist terrorism nor has it criticized the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan. In fact their first step in Parliament was an attempt to modify the prison conditions for Öcalan.
The DTP acts more like an organization rather than a political party. Everyone is aware of the facts. But there is a problem in the Southeast that poses a threat to our future and progression. In order to resolve this problem, we must look into how we benefit from the DTP's existence in Parliament.
The prime minister appealed to the DTP to recognize the PKK as a separatist terror organization during the discussion over the new government program. But his appeal went unanswered. Will asking the DTP to do something that it won't help the search for a solution in Parliament? I would say no. The AK Party's election victory manifested a solution to the problems in the Southeast. We must interpret the support the AK Party received properly and thoroughly because it is the first time Turkey has seized an opportunity to resolve its most critical problem. The local people say "peace comes first" and believe the solution rests in Turkey's unity. The AK Party's efforts in the region and its embracing of the people reinforce the belief that such actions will win more support for the party.
The message of Diyarbakır and the surrounding region must be correctly interpreted. The DTP is still suffering from its election loss and the upcoming local elections will be a life or death matter for the party. Instead of engaging in verbal attacks with the DTP, the AK Party must embark on a journey of exerting more efforts to serve the people of the East and Southeast. The connection between the DTP and the PKK is solely between administrative staff. Both the PKK and the DTP have values in contrast to those of the public that supported them.
Analyst Altan Tan highlighted this fact, saying: "We need to consider the current political structure in the region to be like a pressure cooker. The lid is a Marxist and Alevi design. A significant majority of the PKK administration has roots in Pazarcık, Elbistan and Tunceli. Many come from a Stalinist mentality. The pot itself is Sunni, Shafi and Naqshbandi. Therefore there is contract between the lid and the pot. But the pressure cooker is whistling. It is making noise trying to say it's ready, calling for its lid to be taken off. None of the 22 DTP parliamentarians pray five times a day or fast during Ramadan. I say this not to offend any one but as an observation because 70 percent of the public they represent fast while 60 percent pray five times a day. The DTP's constituents are just like the AK Party's, and the Republican People's Party's (CHP) -- the DTP deputies do not look or act like the crowd they represent." (Interview by Devrim Sevimay, Milliyet, July 30, 2007)
There is a contrast that exists deep inside the people of this region. But through touching hearts, providing services, implementing true bonding projects and ensuring stability, this contrast will fade away. Besides we now have a platform and opportunity to broaden human rights and democratization during our European Union membership bid. The AK Party must not overlook essential steps and should abstain from engaging in futile arguments.
Diyarbakır should be read correctly
Both the PKK and the DTP have values in contrast to those of the public that supported them.
By Hüseyin gülerce, Today's Zaman