Kurdish politician Tu?luk: Bad things will happen


Kurdish politician Tu?luk: Bad things will happen

Aysel Tu?luk
Aysel Tu?luk, the co-chairwoman of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) — a group affiliated with the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), said on Thursday that “bad things will happen” in Turkey, accusing the Turkish state of failing to address the Kurdish issue.
Speaking during a DTK meeting in Diyarbak?r, Tu?luk was referring to earlier remarks by President Abdullah Gül, who said “good things will happen in Turkey,” in reference to the government’s reform plans to address the Kurdish issue. Her remarks were interpreted as a “warning” or even a “provocation” by Turkish newspapers on Friday ahead of upcoming elections on June 12.
Tension has been increasing in the run-up to the elections. On Wednesday, assailants killed a police officer and injured another in an attack on a convoy that had escorted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an during a visit to the northern province of Kastamonu for an election rally. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday.

“I don’t want to say it, but I have to voice my feelings and I think bad things will happen,” Tu?luk said, noting that Gül’s positive expectations have not yet been realized. Arguing that the country is on the verge of a “disaster” on the Kurdish issue, she said Kurds have run out of patience.

“Our people [Kurds] are very organized and ready to establish their own democracy and to live within the system they establish if this does not happen with the [Turkish] state. I do not know whether this will happen according to the Syrian or the Egyptian model. However, a status will be obtained and it will be defended regardless of the cost,” she said.

An immediate reaction to Tu?luk’s statements came from Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Ar?nç, who said the Kurdish politician’s remarks are “worrisome.” “I personally find [Tu?luk’s] statements wrong. I know that our society, in which Kurds and Turks live together, strongly condemns such thoughts. … Tu?luk’s speech is very worrisome. Causing fear and violence in society does not befit a politician,” he said on Friday.

Condemning Tu?luk’s remarks as “confrontational” and conducive to “inciting violence,” Ar?nç said Kurdish politicians should stop their “efforts to create an atmosphere of chaos in this period of 40 days before elections.”

The DTK, which describes itself as a local organization of Kurds in eastern Turkey, is known to be defending the “Democratic Autonomous Kurdistan Model” on the Kurdish issue. The organization announced this model at a conference in Diyarbak?r earlier this year and proposed democratic autonomy for Turkey’s Kurds.

In its final declaration on Thursday, the DTK said Kurdish deputy candidates supported by the BDP may even consider not running in the upcoming elections in protest of the current situation on the Kurdish issue. Arguing that the Turkish security forces’ ongoing operations in the Southeast against the PKK had eliminated the conditions for the candidates to run in elections, the declaration said the congress is mulling over many options, including refusing to run in the elections, as long as the operations continue.

DTK Co-chairman Ahmet Türk also spoke during the meeting and said Kurds have struggled for freedom more than Tunisian and Egyptian protestors. He earlier compared recent acts of civil disobedience launched by the pro-Kurdish BDP to recent uprisings in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

Turkey’s Kurdish issue has been present since the early years of the republic but turned violent in 1984 after the establishment of the terrorist PKK. More than 40,000 civilians and security forces have been killed in PKK-government clashes to date.

One killed in PKK-Hizbullah clash in Yüksekova

In what could be seen as a development related to Tu?luk’s comments, one person was killed on Thursday during a clash between PKK and Hizbullah members in the Yüksekova district of the southeastern province of Hakkari.

Members of the Mustazaf Association, run by Hizbullah, attacked PKK members who were protesting the death of seven PKK members in Tunceli by security forces, killing one. Yüksekova District Governor Üzeyir Aziz Özer said the bullet that killed Ubeydullah Durna was not fired by the police, which intervened in the clash, but by the protestors. An investigation into the incident has been opened and four people were detained on Friday.

Turkish Hizbullah is a Kurdish, Sunni fundamentalist organization that arose in the late 1980s in southeastern Turkey. In the early 1990s, when the Turkish government’s conflict with the PKK was at its most fierce, Hizbullah began attacking suspected PKK sympathizers. The violent group has been mostly inactive since the mid-1990s, when top leaders of the group were either killed or arrested in a major crackdown.

Meanwhile, 16 people were detained on Friday in Çukurca, Hakkari province, for being involved in illegal demonstrations.

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