Parliament for the first time came to think about Ahmet Türk

Ahmet Türk, President, Democratic Society Party (DTP)

From Hürriyet Daily News…

Opinion by Mehmet Ali Birand

Monday, November 16, 2009

In politics it’s always like that.

Those who want to cover up the issue will succeed to a certain extent. But no matter how hard they try in the end it will surface.

And those who want to solve the problem first start by discussing the issue.

If a society started to discuss a subject it means we are getting somewhere. For, everything that nobody dares to talk about during discussions becomes part of your daily life.

For example, once it was a crime to say, “Honorable Öcalan.” People were tried for that.

What happened next?

Discussions became so widespread that now everybody says Honorable and Honorable became casual.

Last week in meetings at the Parliament words were spoken that indicated that the Kurdish initiative has progressed much. It was understood that this was not to be stopped anymore. This meeting was a historic one. With its content and broad discussions regarding the Kurdish issue the meeting was a turning point

I was not able to write about this session. Even though a few days passed since, I wanted to make an analysis of the discussion.

Ahmet Türk gave one of his most brilliant speeches

It was not very catchy but DTP leader Ahmet Türk gave one of his most sensitive, calm and brisk speeches loaded with never-before-heard reality I have ever witnessed before. He confronted us with the past and made us feel ashamed when he talked about how we treated our Kurdish citizens. And he did it without exaggeration. He calibrated.

When he said, “Please put yourselves in our place,” he reflected his most sincere feelings.

The most important aspect of the speech was the part where he said that the Kurdish issue is in fact a Turkish issue. He approached the subject from Turkey’s perspective. He looked at it from the Turkish perspective, not the Kurdish.

Türk, for the first time under the roof of the Parliament, said the PKK is a result of ill treatment of Kurdish citizens in public. He openly revealed this reality that everybody knows but ignores.

Ahmet Türk couldn’t help but touch on the weakness of steps taken so far. But nevertheless he contended himself by saying he left the door open to see what will come next. He criticized the government but did not break bridges. But his strongest criticism, which was in fact justified, he directed toward the CHP.

In this respect Türk was the star of the session.

Prime Minister obligated himself strongly

The prime minister‘s speech was full of signs of how he adopted the Kurdish initiative. He might have had to take on such an attitude in view of brisk criticism from the opposition. Sentences he used in his speech would have put prosecutors into action five or six years ago.

Erdoğan while assuring that his administration will stand behind this process, tried to be careful not to appear cooperative with the DTP but still keep in touch. He only applauded Ahmet Türk out of all the opposition parties.

Speeches in Parliament once more showed how difficult a job the administration does. Despite that it was interesting to see how strong the AKP stood in respect to this subject. To tell the truth, I did not expect the prime minister and the AKP to carry this subject this far. Now we know how right a decision it was to appoint Atalay as the coordinator.

I can’t help but say this much.

Initiative packages suggested so far are in my eyes still insufficient. If no real steps are taken it means we’ll only try in vain.

For the rest of Mehmet Ali Birand’s opinion piece, click here.


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