Monday, December 21, 2009

The Zaman Newspaper "From now on, Öcalan is one of the main actors and playmakers of the Kurdish initiative process.

Öcalan reality once again comes to agenda

Former leader of the now-defunct Democratic Society Party (DTP) Ahmet Türk announced during a press conference on Friday that former DTP deputies would continue to serve, contrary to earlier statements that the 19 remaining ex-DTP deputies would resign in protest of the Constitutional Court’s decision to shut down their party.

The rationale behind the DTP deputies’ decision to stay in Parliament was made public by Türk at the same press conference, where he acknowledged that one of the reasons behind this change of mind was an appeal from the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, urging the deputies to continue their political struggle in Parliament. This latest move by Öcalan, whose role in the government’s democratic initiative to settle the Kurdish issue has long been debated, seems to have caused many to re-evaluate the Öcalan reality during the initiative process.

“Let me make a conclusion without attributing any negative or positive meaning to it: From now on, Öcalan is one of the main actors and playmakers of the [Kurdish initiative] process. Maybe he was so before as well, but now everyone understands this situation,”
says Mümtaz’er Türköne from the Zaman daily.

He recalls some other recent events that show Öcalan’s influence on the course of the initiative. “DTP deputy candidates were determined by Öcalan, as were the DTP mayors. The 34 PKK members who entered Turkey from the Habur border gate [in October] came at the behest of Öcalan. And most recently, Öcalan’s complaints about his prison conditions were behind the recent mass violence in streets, and in the end, the storm that erupted following the DTP closure ended with his order to DTP deputies. Maybe it would be more correct to evaluate these examples as a process governed by Öcalan, who looks for opportunities to prove his power,” says Türköne.

According to Milliyet’s Fikret Bila, Türk made it clear on Friday that it is impossible for Kurds to take a step as part of the Kurdish initiative that Öcalan does not approve. Stating that Türk’s remarks once again proved that the actual leader of the PKK and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which was established to replace the DTP, is Öcalan and that with this move Öcalan wanted to show his power in the Kurdish initiative process, which the government is determined to move forward with, Bila says it is now up to the government to go on with or without Öcalan.

Murat Belge from the Taraf daily thinks that the emphasis on “Öcalan’s advice” in Türk’s remarks has two aims: One is to stress that the actual location of the Kurdish issue is İmralı, where Öcalan is in prison, and the other is to show that Öcalan is proposing “temperance.” Belge also highlights that DTP deputies’ decision to listen to Öcalan rather than Kurdish civil society organizations, who were in fact the first to oppose the DTP deputies’ possible resignation, was not a good sign in terms of democracy within the Kurdish political movement. Article:
Zaman Newspaper.