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Kurdish question in Turkey : the corridor

Monday 15 October 2007, by Göksel Bozkurt

How will the DTP vote on a motion to authorize a cross-border operation?

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) decided to send a motion to Parliament to authorize the military for an operation into northern Iraq. Earlier, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt had said they were awaiting a “political decision” on the matter.

As the terrorist attacks increased and the number of martyrs escalated, there was no room left for the AKP. The motion will be sent to Parliament next week, after the religious holiday, to ease the public pressure on the government.

Well, the question now is what will be the position of the political parties who have groups in Parliament? Today’s picture says that almost all members of the AKP, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will vote in favor of the motion. Even though they think that it will not be very useful, the AKP’s deputies from southeastern Turkey will have to say “yes” to the authorization as well.

But what about the Democratic Society Party (DTP)? The spokespersons of this party, while emphasizing peace, underline that the problem will not be solved through military options. The DTP’s Chairman Ahmet Türk says, “it cannot be solved this way. Social, economic and psychological dimensions should also be taken into account. A dialogue is necessary.”

Surprising words

On the other hand, the party’s parliamentary group deputy leader, Selahattin Demirtaş’s statement titled “It is enough” surprised many here because it was the first time that a DTP official was calling fallen soldiers “martyrs.”

Furthermore, he was calling on Parliament to find a solution to put an end to this bloodshed. The solution produced by the government and Parliament is to send troops to northern Iraq through the motion.

What will the DTP members do during the vote? Are they going say yes or no? Or will they abstain or not be present in Parliament during the vote?

The DTP’s approach toward the problem in the southeast is well known. From the very first day in Parliament, the DTP has been seeking a solution based on “peace and democracy” where the guns are laid down. However, this motion contradicts the DTP’s point of view.

My impression is that the DTP will oppose the motion. This will also be a sign of serious DTP-MHP tension, which will undermine the reconciliation process started by a warm encounter between the leaders of the two parties on the opening day of Parliament.

This question is occupying minds in Ankara where there is growing concern over a tough confrontation between the political parties. We will witness how this confrontation will affect the DTP’s relations with other parties in the upcoming period after the Ramadan Holiday.

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Source : Friday, October 12, 2007 TDN

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