Posted by: hevallo | August 28, 2009

Turkish Prime Minister Speaks to the Nation on Kurdish Question!

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has termed the planned democratization package aiming to solve Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish question a “project of fraternity” and stressed that opponents of the package are causing the greatest damage to the nation.

“Whoever is attempting to derive a plan for treason from this project of fraternity is causing the most damage to Turkey. The limits determined by the Constitution are clear. We will never allow any intention or attempt to divide Turkey or cause damage to our national unity or to the unitary structure of our state,” the prime minister stated on Thursday during his national address.

Erdoğan was referring to recent criticism by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, who accused Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) of committing treason over efforts to settle the Kurdish problem, and by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, who claimed that the democratization package would totally damage the national unity and political identity of the Republic of Turkey.

“We will not take even the smallest step that could harm Turkey’s interests. What we are doing is for the benefit of our country. It is for the benefit of our 71.5 million citizens,” Erdoğan emphasized.

For the past few weeks, the AK Party government has been engaged in efforts to settle the decades-old Kurdish question through democratic means. The full content of the planned Kurdish initiative has not yet been made public, but the government hinted that it would bring broader cultural and political rights to Kurds.

“We want our children to live in peace in these territories. This is a democratic initiative; this is an initiative of love and fraternity. This initiative is the revelation of the common mind,” noted the prime minister, adding that the democratization package would bring an end to mothers’ mourning.

During his address, Erdoğan touched upon Turkey’s long fight against terrorism and terrorist groups: “Turkey has been in a fight against terrorism for many years now. Our country has spent these years in pain and tears. Steps that should have been taken toward prosperity were taken toward poverty. We have lost so many generations in this fight. We have lost many young and brilliant people who were the pupils of their mothers and the hopes of our nation.”

The prime minister also gave assurances that the democratization package will not solely target Turkey’s eastern and southeastern regions, but the entire nation. “When we are talking about an initiative of democratization, we are not referring to the east, the west, the north or the south on its own.

We consider this country as a whole and want the state to eliminate all problems and acts of injustice. We want a country where all our citizens will live in peace under its flag. We don’t want any more shameful acts or unsolved murders. We don’t want culprits to go unpunished,” he remarked.

Erdoğan was self-critical in the name of the state, saying that the Turkish state had failed to say “stop” to those who had sown the seeds of hatred within Turkey’s residents. “We should have said it 25 years ago [referring to 1984, when the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) staged its first bloody attack.] We should at least say ‘stop’ now after the suffering we have been through and the heavy costs we have already paid,” he noted.

The prime minister underscored that the Kurdish question is not an issue to be settled through military measures. He said that it was a multifaceted issue, with social, economic and cultural dimensions, and added: “It has a psychological dimension. Above all, it has a diplomatic dimension. It is an issue of humanity. It is an issue of democracy.”

Erdoğan called on every individual in society to support the government’s efforts to solve the country’s problems, including the Kurdish problem.

“Everything we have lost is a source of grief for us. Why add to our losses? Why continue adding new generations of our country to our losses? Why victimize the future of our country for such dark intentions? We will not. … We have always denounced terrorism, and we continue to do so. We have declared the terrorist organization [PKK] our enemy. We believe that the focus of badness will lose power as democratic initiatives gain ground, and no one will be able to use terrorism as a method [for solving problems]. Within democracy, every problem has a remedy. Let’s cling on to sincerity in every issue, starting with democracy,” the prime minister stated.


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