Speaking in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Friday (July 9), President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of “ending the resolution process.”
Speaking about the resolution process for the Kurdish question, Erdoğan said, “We initiated the process, but it was not us who ended it. Their ill-intentioned, malevolent and hidden agendas ended the resolution process. Those going around with their so-called political identities have never distanced themselves from violence and terrorism.”
Kurdish politician Hatip Dicle, who was also a member of the delegation having talks with the imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in İmralı Prison during the mentioned resolution process, has responded to the President’s claims about the issue.
Speaking to Özgür Paksoy from the Mezopotamya Agency (MA) for an interview published by daily Yeni Yaşam, Dicle has briefly said:
Both the AKP and Erdoğan see that they are going through a process of meltdown. They can detect that the meltdown on the part of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is bigger.
Defining President Erdoğan’s visit to Diyarbakır province as “a planned move”, Hatip Dicle has said, “They are the ones who best know their problems with the Kurds. This is also a perception operation. Erdoğan’s latest visit was a quest to find out how he could deceive the Kurds agaib and how he could increase the votes, at least at the next elections.”
To the question “How do Kurds view Erdoğan,” Dicle has said:
Kurdish people are experienced and political people who have gone through so much pain. What has happened after the İmralı process and in the last five-six years has been fresh in the memories of our people. Our people know how hostile an attitude the appointed mayors have taken against Kurdish, how the MHP is openly hostile to Kurds and how the AKP is also totally hostile to Kurds. For this reason, I don’t think that these remarks will have an influence on the people. Will the Kurdish people be deceived by this or not? We will see it all together.
How did the resolution process end?
Hatip Dicle has also talked about President Erdoğan’s statement of “It was not us who ended the resolution process”. Dicle has said:
“Everything was recorded. For instance, what did Erdoğan say five-six years ago? He once said, ‘We put it in the freezer.’
“When he told such lies as ‘The Dolmabahçe Agreement was made without my knowledge’, some channels put forward what he said and when he said them; so, all of these can be refuted in an instance.
If we are to talk about how the İmralı process came to an end… At the end of 2013, on December 17-25, Erdoğan’s association with the Fethullah Gülen community in the form of a coalition came to an end. A big fight for power started between them.
“Erdoğan knew that they were a state clique. Taking this state clique on himself and coming down on the Ergenekon organization together with these Gülenists gave Erdoğan a pause; he did a u-turn.
“Some things were also sensed while the talks were ongoing. But it was completely revealed after some time. Forced by the Ergenekon and MHP, it was decided to completely eliminate the Fethullah Gülen community from the state and to end the resolution process with Kurds.”
About Hatip Dicle:
Born in Diyarbakır in 1954, the Kurdish politician studied civil engineering at Istanbul Technical University. In 1990, Hatip Dicle returned to his hometown, where he was elected local chairman of the IHD Human Rights Association and entered the state parliament in 1991 as a candidate for the SHP (Social Democratic People’s Party). During his term as a Deputy, he served as Vice-President of the HEP (People’s Labor Party).
In 1993, then Turkish President Turgut Özal asked him to visit PKK President Abdullah Öcalan in Lebanon to personally convey the government’s desire for an indefinite ceasefire. Ozal, for his part, wished to intensify his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue following the ceasefire.
Öcalan accepted his bid and declared a ceasefire on 16 April 1993. But a day later, the Turkish president died in an unexpected manner. Following Ozal’s death, peace efforts failed.
In the course of the reignited war, the HEP was banned. Hatip Dicle was elected president of its successor party, the Democratic Party (Demokrasi Partisi, DEP), at the end of 1993.
On March 2, 1994, Parliament lifted the immunity of Dicle and three other deputies; all were arrested on the same day at the parliamentary exit and later sentenced to 15 years in prison and released after a total of ten and a half years.
After Dicle was elected co-chairman of the Congress of the Democratic Society (Demokratik Toplum Kongresi, DTK) at the end of 2009, he was again imprisoned. While in prison for five years and the main KCK trial was ongoing, he was elected as an independent candidate in the 2011 parliamentary elections, but the election was subsequently annulled.
After his release in 2014, Dicle was part of the delegation (Selahattin Demirtas, Pervin Buldan, İdris Baluken, Sirri Süreya Önder, Ceylan Bagriyanik) that held a total of ten talks between the Turkish state and Öcalan on the prison island of Imrali and with the PKK leadership in the Kandil Mountains. The result was a statement with a total of ten articles which provided the framework for a negotiating process in the direction of the Kurdish issue. The goal was also the comprehensive democratization of Turkey.
However, things have not gone that far, as Turkish President Erdogan has unilaterally stated the negotiation process is over. Since that time, Erdogan has led the war by all means against the PKK. The democratic opposition and in particular the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) suffers from an arbitrary and systematic repression of the Erdogans regime. Thousands of HDP members and politicians have been imprisoned. Hatip Dicle is among the thousands of people that had to leave the country. At present he lives in exile in Germany.