MHP-DTP flirtation draws quiet approval

If we put those who want to highlight Kurdish identity and use their mother tongue outside the public buildings in the same basket with the separatists who resort to terror, we will be walking down the wrong path.

MHP-DTP flirtation draws quiet approval
By Fatma Dişli, Today's Zaman

The handshake that took place between Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) leader Ahmet Türk during the oath-taking ceremony in Parliament on Saturday has received much appreciation from opinion leaders in society.

These two parties, which represent completely opposite ideologies and have fought for so long, have in a way turned a new page with this gesture, apparently putting former prejudices aside.

Zaman's Mümtaz'er Türköne thinks that "courage" is the best term to describe DTP leader Türk's going to Bahçeli on the first day of Parliament and extending his hand politely. He explains that politicians are the people who take on the responsibility of the masses, and that courage means to go beyond one's limitations for others -- not for one's own sake.

Hence he thinks that Türk displayed a show of true courage in the name of protecting the rights of the masses he represents. "Türk even showed the hardest and the noblest kind of courage, that is to say social courage," maintains Türköne. As for Bahçeli kindly extending his hand with a smiling face, Türköne thinks that this too was a show of courage, again a very difficult one. "It is the courage of putting aside all prejudices and a dark past."

He argues that this handsome gesture that marked the first day of the Parliament should be recorded in memories as the tabula rasa of the DTP and MHP, calling on everybody to keep this picture in mind while speaking about the relationship between these parties from now on.

Milliyet's Taha Akyol, welcoming the warm exchange between the DTP and the MHP, thinks that these two parties should not be disturbed or surprised by people's appreciation or their giving a special importance to this. He explains that these parties occupy completely different frontiers regarding the nationalism issue, but with their move over the weekend, they showed that they can have civil relations while at the same time representing opposite ideologies.

"Turkey's success in the future depends on the development of spheres that allow joint actions among all segments of society like this," he claims. Indicating Bahçeli's individual efforts to prevent the MHP's enthusiastic youth members from becoming involved in violence and his quick responses to terrorist activities, Akyol acknowledges that Bahçeli's stance encouraged the DTP deputies.

They would never have gone to Bahçeli to extend their hands if they had sensed that they would be rejected, he notes. "Actions that would inspire DTP deputies to act moderately are all well done. And it is completely wrong to adopt a stance that isolates DTP deputies in Parliament," emphasizes Akyol.

Bugün's Toktamış Ateş, appreciating the warm exchanges between the MHP and DTP, points to one important thing he believes all the parties in the Parliament should pay attention to. He says that the DTP deputies are representatives of mainly Kurdish citizens, and no matter what their ethnic roots are, they are the citizens of this country.

Therefore he thinks that if the DTP deputies in the Parliament are seen as the sympathizers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), as are the people who voted for them, this will mean a loss for their cause. "First and foremost, we should not mix up 'Kurds' with 'pro-Kurds' or 'separatists'. If we put those who want to highlight Kurdish identity and use their mother tongue outside the public buildings in the same basket with the separatists who resort to terror, we will be walking down the wrong path," asserts Ateş.
Last Mod: 08 Ağustos 2007, 09:48
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