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 Turkey: DTP-Kurdish politician responds to military chief  

 Source : Turkish Todays.Zaman
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Turkey: DTP-Kurdish politician responds to military chief  3.10.2007 


The pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DPT) on Monday responded to a statement by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanit calling for legal measures to stop the DTP, which is represented in Parliament.

October 3, 2007

Ankara, -- In a speech Monday morning at the Istanbul Military Academy, Gen. Büyükanit recalled statements from DTP members refusing to acknowledge publicly that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is a terrorist organization, saying: “These statements are grave, and precautions should be taken against them.” Hours later, the head of the DTP’s parliamentary group, Ahmet Türk, responded in a speech at a parliamentary reception, claiming that his party was being made a target.   

Ahmet Türk, the head of pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (L), Turkish General Yasar Buyukanit (R)

“We are faced with a mentality that does not call the terrorist organization ‘terrorist,’ that defines members of the terrorist organization as ‘our brothers’ and that refers to the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] as ‘separatists,’” asserted Büyükanit. “A solution within the law absolutely has to be found,” the military chief stressed, calling for legal action to be taken against the DTP.

In his reaction later that evening, Türk asserted: “We are being turned into targets for thinking differently. We are the ones who make an effort to put an end to violence and clashes, but they are trying to make us seem like the ones responsible. We have turned into a party that is being made a target, as if we are the reason for all of this [separatist violence].”

Both Türk’s later statement and Büyükanit’s earlier speech made their mark at the evening reception in Parliament yesterday. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to disagree with the top general. He said he hadn’t seen the complete text of the general’s speech, but added: “Those who are in Parliament have come here through a legal process. They come here by legal, not illegal, means. If there is any situation that is outside the law, then the judiciary will take the necessary action. Has the Supreme Election Board made any negative decision [about the DTP’s participation in Parliament]? No.”

In response to a question about what course of action his party would take in regard to possible moves to lift the legislative immunity of the DTP deputies, Erdogan said it did not make sense to announce a stance for a still-hypothetical situation. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli also responded to questions from the press concerning the statements made by the DTP, saying, “These people [DTP members] don’t know what they are saying,” and accusing them of not having remained loyal to their parliamentary oaths.

** Kurds are not recognized as an official minority in Turkey and are denied rights granted to other minority groups. Under EU pressure, Turkey recently granted Kurds limited rights for broadcasts and education in the Kurdish language, but critics say the measures do not go far enough.

The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously rejected due to its alleged political implications by the Republic of Turkey, which does not recognize the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan" Southeast Turkey.

Others estimate over 40 million Kurds live in Big Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia), which covers an area as big as France, about half of all Kurds which estimate to 20 million live in Turkey.

Turkey is home to over 25 million ethnic Kurds, some of whom openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK for a Kurdish homeland in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media. The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet has led to judicial persecution in 2000 and 2003

The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan but unofficially flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey where flying it is a criminal offence" 

Southeastern Turkey: North Kurdistan ( Kurdistan-Turkey) wikipedia        


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