World Bulletin / News Desk
Kurdish politicians have sent the message to US officials that Kurds can play an important role in the “New Middle East,”
“On the one hand, Turkey wanted to be one of the role model countries in the Middle East, and wanted to be a regional power […], but without solving their internal problems they could not – they understood that. Since 11 years of AK Party government they understood that without Kurds, without solving the Kurdish question, they could not be a role model country, a democratic country in the Middle East,” said Nazmi Gur, Turkish MP and vice-chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Washington while speaking at a BDP-hosted conference on the future of Kurds in the Middle East.
According to co-chair of the BDP Selahattin Demirtas, the efforts of the Justice and Development Party government to produce an accord with Turkey’s Kurdish minority fell far short of what is needed.
“Unfortunately this past year, that we have been continuing on this dialogue, we have come to see that Turkish state, as well as the AK Party government, is not prepared for this dialogue resolving the issues based on participatory democracy,” he said.
Kurds positioned to value inclusion
Demirtas added, “As Kurdish political parties, given these previous experiences, we know what not to be done in this political struggle,” he said. He further stated, “While we are governing our country, we cannot say that we are the only ethnicity in this country. We cannot say that Kurdistan belongs only to Kurds. We cannot forbid other languages, and cultures in Kurdistan.”
“In unity, plurality should be recognized, and every single element should be recognized in this new model,” he added.
Gur added that the recent efforts to foster democratic change within Turkish society as a whole were similarly lackluster.
“Democratization package was really not a democratization package,” said Gur. He added, “[Erdogan] never negotiated this package, not only with the Kurds, but also with the Turkish democratic movements. What he said simply within these packages, that he just have some small steps, as some consider as a positive steps, but in fact will never cause for a deep, fundamental, changes.”