- BayBak, Voice of a Nation - http://www.en.baybak.com -
Military outlines its ‘red lines’ on AKP’s Kurdish move
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1366 days ago | Wednesday, 26th August , 2009 , 02:41 [am] | Azerbaijan
|.|| indirectly criticized by opposition parties for remaining silent on the governmentâ€™s recent initiative to solve the Kurdish question and end terrorist attacks, the military Tuesday announced its â€œred linesâ€ on the issue.
While it urged the government to be sensitive in its handling of the issue, the military emphasized that the freedom to discuss everything openly
According to Hurriyet, indirectly criticized by opposition parties for remaining silent on the governmentâ€™s recent initiative to solve the Kurdish question and end terrorist attacks, the military Tuesday announced its â€œred linesâ€ on the issue.
While it urged the government to be sensitive in its handling of the issue, the military emphasized that the freedom to discuss everything openly should not lead the country into a state of polarization and division or an environment of conflict.
â€œThe Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] will not allow any harm to be done to the nation-state and the unitary state structure,â€ Chief of General Staff Gen. Ä°lker BaÅŸbuÄŸ said Tuesday in a statement issued on the occasion of the commencement of the Victory Week.
The militaryâ€™s statement came following strong reactions from the two main opposition parties, which criticized the supportive statement released last week by the countryâ€™s top security board. The National Security Council, or MGK, which is composed of both top military and civilian official, gave a green light to the governmentâ€™s holding of consultative meetings in an attempt to find a solution to the Kurdish question.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workersâ€™ Party, or PKK, has been fighting against Turkey since the early 1980s, demanding the right of self-governance in an autonomous region in southeastern Anatolia, where the majority of the population is of Kurdish origin.
â€œAs stated in the third article of the Constitution, â€˜The Turkish State, with its territory and nation, is an indivisible entity. Its language is Turkish.â€™ The TSK is on the side of protecting the nation-state and the unitary state structures of the Turkish Republic and will continue to be so,â€ the militaryâ€™s statement read. â€œProtecting the unity of countries and nations has a cost. The TSK is aware of its historical duties and responsibilities with regard to this cost.â€
Red lines and messages
BaÅŸbuÄŸ also said the TSK holds the belief that the state should take steps in the economic, socio-cultural and international fields along with the military measures. The general then listed the militaryâ€™s to-do and not-to-do lists, highlighting the following points:
- The TSK will not allow any harm to be done to the nation-state or the unitary state structure. With this line, BaÅŸbuÄŸ once again made clear that the military would never accept any proposal that would lead the country toward a federal system. As he likely made the same points during the MGK meeting last week, BaÅŸbuÄŸ conveyed this message to the opposition parties.
- The military respects cultural differences. However, politicization of these cultural differences â€“ or, in other words, turning them into a tool for political representation or into a socio-political identity â€“ cannot be seen as possible within the Constitution. In his famous April statement, BaÅŸbuÄŸ made the same reference with regard to ethnic identities, saying the integrity of the Constitution cannot be eroded with the introduction of a single ethnic identity.
- The military will not engage in any sort of activity that might lead to direct or indirect contact with the PKK or its supporters. BaÅŸbuÄŸ totally rules out any meeting with the PKK.
- The TSK can never accept terrorist activities being tolerated by those who are enjoying the privileges of the democratic system. This part of BaÅŸbuÄŸâ€™s message was directed at the Democratic Society Party, or DTP, which has refused to cut its links with the PKK despite frequent calls to do so from both inside and outside the country.
- In line with the principle that â€œmethod and style determine essence,â€ the military believes that utmost sensitivity should be paid to the methodology. This time BaÅŸbuÄŸâ€™s message was aimed at the ruling party. Without explicitly saying what were the shortcomings are, BaÅŸbuÄŸ asked the government to handle it in a suitable way.
- The TSK believes that the freedom to discuss everything openly should not lead the country to a state of polarization and division. BaÅŸbuÄŸ here asks everyone who is publicly contributing to the process to take care to remain within the boundaries of integrity of the country and its people.
Reactions from the parties
Each party has evaluated BaÅŸbuÄŸâ€™s statement from its own perspectives. The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKPâ€™s, deputy parliamentary group leader, Bekir BozdaÄŸ, said he found the statement â€œvery positiveâ€ and supportive of the governmentâ€™s move.
â€œThough it was not explicitly declared, it proves the clear support given to the democratic opening process,â€ BozdaÄŸ told reporters Tuesday. â€œIn the meantime, it calls on the government and the opposition to be careful.â€
The Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, however, expressed a belief that the statement symbolized â€œthe end of the opening process,â€ deputy parliamentary group leader Mehmet ÅžandÄ±r told reporters Tuesday. â€œAfter this statement, insisting on the continuation of this project would be seen as treason toward the future of our country,â€ Åžandir said.
HakkÄ± SÃ¼ha Okay from the Republican Peopleâ€™s Party, or CHP, said his party was not surprised to see the statement and said it was aimed at alleviating concerns caused by the governmentâ€™s secret plans.
The pro-Kurdish DTP meanwhile accused the ruling AKP of not being sincere in carrying out the Kurdish move. Describing the AKPâ€™s stance on recent developments as â€œworryingâ€ in a written statement issued right after the ruling party said it welcomed BaÅŸbuÄŸâ€™s words, the DTP asked the ruling party to be more courageous, serious and democratic in this ongoing process.
â€œOtherwise, it will be you [the AKP] that will lose most,â€ the statement read., Voice of a Nation