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    Ertugrul Ozkok: Solution for Kurdish issue should be sensitive to Turks and Kurds

    Hürriyet Haber
    22.10.2008 - 10:59 | Son Güncelleme:

    We had given great importance to the dinner meeting attended by Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, the deputy chairman of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and three parliamentarian of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) last week

    Therefore we covered this news on the front page of the newspaper.


    I have been defending an open door policy with the DTP since July 22.


    However, we encountered an unexpected reaction from the AKP after the report.


    Firstly, they told "the parties had coincidentally run into each other at the restaurant".


    But later after speaking with the restaurant, journalists from Hurriyet daily and broadcaster Kanal D learnt that a reservation for four had been made by members of the DTP members.


    In other words, the AKP's explanation of the situation was immediately proved wrong.


    Then, they denied that "the meeting was held with the knowledge and approval of the prime minister (Tayyip Erdogan)".


    I can only hope that such a meeting would be held with the knowledge and approval of the prime minister.


    * * *


    As I mentioned above, it is beneficial that both the government and the opposition keep their doors open to the DTP.


    Therefore, I was planning to take a risk and write a bold column.


    For example, I would write that everything should be done to prevent situations that lead to rumors suggesting "Abdullah Ocalan (the leader of the outlawed PKK organization) is being badly treated in Imrali prison."


    Especially some segments of Turkish society still recognize him as "the leader", while we refer to him as "the head of the terrorist organization".


    And their "leader worship" is stronger than us.


    We need to be distanced from discreditable actions if we really want to solve the problem that exists between us.


    Not being able to break down the "psychological walls" is the biggest problem preventing the Kurdish issue from being solved.


    This issue will continue if the walls fail to be brought down.


    Therefore, I would write that it would be beneficial to lift the television and newspaper ban at Imrali jail and slightly ease the restrictions on meetings with Ocalan.


    I would tell that even though he is the leader of a terrorist organization, he was still Turkey’s prisoner and he has the right to treated in a manner that befits a civilized country.


    * * *


    Have I changed my mind now?


    No, I would repeat what I write.


    I did, however, change the priority of the column because of the tense atmosphere of the last three days that dominates Ocalan's supporters and some members of the DTP.


    Before I say anything to the Turkish State, I realize I need to say a couple of things to the DTP.


    The provocative demonstrations throughout Turkey during the last three days, the statements made by the most reasonable members of the DTP, including Ahmet Turk, and the incidents that happened during the prime minister's visit to the southeastern province Diyarbakir, gave me the following impression:


    "The PKK's deadliest attack on Aktutun is behind this spoilt-ness..."


    Yes, I also write my thoughts openly and say that this spoilt behavior does not solve the issue; it only makes it more complicated. And the cost is very high.


    A raid on a military outpost, a few landmines located here and there, a few street demonstrations that sink so low as to involve children, burning eight or ten cars in the cities, and forcing the region’s traders to close up shop...


    Does anyone think that these acts will to lead a solution?


    If they anyone does; then this person is either naive or a completely ignorant provocateur.


    I state very clearly that we can not reach a solution through actions that raises the anger of a Turk.


    But, I also state openly that actions that wound the pride of the Kurds would not lead to a permanent solution.


    This is why the statements made by Ahmet Turk over the last two days confused me and made me ask myself this question in relation to him.


    I viewed Ahmet Turk as a constructive individual; was I being naive or were his true intentions well hidden?


    We need to speak these issues seriously if the spoiled days are left behind.



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