MP Tanrikulu: AKP approaching Kurdish issue as a mere means for electioneering

MP Sezgin TANRIKULU, Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman and CHP MP for Istanbul


Dear valued members of the European Parliament and dear esteemed participants,

I would like to express, first of all, my regret for not being able to participate in your conference due to a predetermined visit to the US. Even though we have been discussing the subject of "frankness and sincerity regarding peace" every single day; we continuously come back to this same subject as if rotating around a circle. Engaging in an exchange of views with you, even regarding this subject only, would have been very significant for me.

The Kurdish Issue, which has become one of the top priority issues not only for Turkey but also for the greater region of the Middle East, unfortunately seems likely to remain on our agenda for a long time to come, considering the content and method of the works that the AKP has been performing regarding the problem. Precluding discussions about vital issues regarding this problem, removing these issues from the agenda while at the same time trying to tackle the problem through artificial issues introduced into the political agenda only serve to complicate this problem.

The rejectionist approach of the AKP that reveals itself especially in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey regarding the works that we have been performing in the name of peace, and the bills and motions that we have been offering, should not be disregarded. The fact that during the process of the drafting of the new constitution the AKP has conspicuously turned a blind eye on the demands for reconciliation, demands which would contribute to the achievement of peace in the society, is likewise suggestive that the AKP is far from dealing with this issue in any other way than approaching it as a means for electioneering.

The resolution of the Kurdish Issue; which has its roots in the military, political, economic and cultural policies that need to be evaluated in their historical context; can only be possible through the conduct of substantive revision and restoration in all of these areas. The writing of a new and democratic constitution constitutes the most important pillar on which this process shall stand.

The Kurdish Issue is a contemporary as much as a historical issue. The AKP, however, is trying to rid itself of this problem by approaching and discussing the historical and contemporary aspects of the Issue only through symbols, while at the same time manipulating these symbolic discussions into votes. Yet, the resolution of such a profound problem and the achievement of peace can be possible neither through symbolic steps nor through a politics based on symbols. While symbols are important for the perpetuation of peace, the constitution of peace can only be possible through structural changes.

An active opposition sustained by us politicians, as well as by other social and political dynamics of the society, is crucial in obliging the government and the state to the establishment of peace and of a permanent resolution. While we make the maximum effort in the Grand National Assembly through concrete proposals, it is essential for the making of peace that actors outside of the Assembly keep an attentive eye on our efforts, appropriately evaluate these efforts and that they convey these efforts.

Countries of Europe and the European Parliament must also make an active effort to pressure the AKP towards peace and towards a resolution. It needs to be remembered that the Kurdish Issue has become a European issue as well. Even the slightest effort for the resolution of the Kurdish Issue, a highly intricate issue that has turned into a regional and inter-state problem, has a historical significance.

With this last remark, I would like once more to greet with respect the organizers and the participants of this Conference.

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Turkey, the Kurds and the Imrali Peace Process:

An Historic Opportunity

Brussels, European Parliament, 4th & 5th of December 2013

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MP Sezgin TANRIKULU's written message

Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman and CHP MP for Istanbul

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Brussels, 4th December 2013