May 15, 2008
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Türk to Erdoğan: PKK not cause, but effect of Kurdish problem 

Today's Zaman

Ahmet Türk, the chairman of the parliamentary group of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), said yesterday that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is not a cause, but an effect of Turkey's Kurdish problem and that the country must first solve the Kurdish problem if it is to solve the PKK problem. 

Speaking at the DTP's parliamentary group meeting, Türk said: "The state has been waiting for them to surrender for 20 years. Mr. Prime Minister finds consolation in these empty expectations. They think that the problem will be solved when people surrender. Shouldn't you tidy your home before calling people to return home? Who would want to return, given the current state of this home? Who returned in the past? At this point, the essence of the problem should be addressed. The problem is not one of the return of several people or of introducing pardons. The PKK is the result of the Kurdish problem, not its cause. If you do not solve the Kurdish problem by tidying your home, then this PKK will go and another PKK will come. Turn the pages of history and see this. … Why do you deny this? The problem is inside this house. It should not be sought in other places, in the mountains or rocks. Do you really want those young people in the mountains to come back? Then, start the democratic participation process. Take a step toward it."

Touching on Sunday's Mother's Day celebrations, Türk said: "I wonder how I can celebrate this day immersed in blood and tears. Unfortunately, we are living in a place where mothers tend to lament for their lost ones. How can we celebrate this day in such an atmosphere? What can we say to our mothers? Are we giving them peace or friendship? What is the present we offer to them in return for their unique labors? How can we celebrate this day? Let us give our mothers the best of all presents: peace and friendship."

Türk also briefed his colleagues about the DTP's three-day visit to northern Iraq and its meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. He noted that the DTP and Talabani agreed that a solution to the Kurdish issue should be based on a common strategy. Türk maintained that Turkey was the only place where the Kurdish problem can be solved, adding that Turkey has closed itself to Iraqi Kurds because of its fears.

"However, we believe that the Middle Eastern peoples may contribute to the process. We are not seeking external support, as some groups are doing. The reason why we attach importance to this dialogue attempt by Ankara is that we think that this will contribute to Turkey overcoming its 'Kurdophobia.' The peaceful atmosphere that is based on friendship Turkey will establish with the Iraqi Kurds may contribute to the solution of the Kurdish problem," he said.


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