Atalay: Government agreed on concrete steps for peace process
by Daily Sabah
Jun 02, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jun 02, 2014 12:00 am
Deputy Prime Minister Atalay says the government is ready to take more concrete steps to further the peace process in eastern Turkey, despite pro-PKK groups attempting to provoke the region's local population
ISTANBUL — DeputyPrime Minister Beşir Atalay said the peace process with the Kurds that began in 2013 is continuing at full steam and the government agreed to adopt concrete and fast steps to further the peace process in a meeting held on May, 19.
Speaking in a televised interview aired on Kanal 7, Atalay stated that the peace process is the government's most important project and has been carried out with sincerity.
Referring to the March 30 local elections, Atalay said Turkey's eastern region witnessed a violence-free election on March 30 and the region has demonstrated it does not want to be subject to conflict or terror.
Atalay warned those who aimed to create a chaotic atmosphere in the region and added that those groups will ultimately lose since all related governmental bodies in the region have been working together to ensure the groundwork has been laid to complete the peace process. "In general, certain people are not happy with the peace process and are looking for ways to sabotage the process and we are on this issue."
Atalay reiterated that the government held talks with Kurdish left-wing Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and that the government is working to set a course for the concrete outcome of the process and avoid a U-turn in policy.
When asked whether Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of illegal PKK terrorist organization that took up arms against Turkey to carve out a separate state in southeastern Turkey, has the same determination for the process, Atalay said there has been no interruption in dialogue and the process is running its course.
Commenting on the presidential election that will be held on Aug. 10, marking the first time Turkey's president to be selected in a popular vote, Atalay said the presidential election will be held in a peaceful atmosphere and added that there is an overall tendency in the ruling AK Party to nominate Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as president, but the AK Party has not yet officially agreed on the issue.
For Atalay, the presidential election can be a historic example if the Putin-Medvedev model is used by Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Erdoğan.
Atalay said that should a declaration announcing that "President Gül will take the post of prime minister when Erdoğan is nominated as president" be made, it would relieve both the AK Party's grassroots and the nation.
When asked what happens if Gül does not accept a Putin-Medvedev model, Atalay said there can be other alternatives, but for now there is no definite decision on the issue.
Atalay further noted that what is important ahead of the presidential election is to ensure a safe and hopeful transition within the AK