ORHAN – What does ArIn’s visit to HAK-PAR mean?

What does ArIn’s visit to HAK-PAR mean?Deputy Prime Minister Bulent ArInand#39s visit to the Rights and Freedoms Party (HAK-PAR), which up until two months ago was chaired by Kemal Burkay, one of the leaders of the Kurdish socialist movement, did not attract the attention it actually deserved from the public due to the detentions of media persons last week. However, this was a meaningful and important visit because it gave a signal indicating that the Peoplesand#39 Democratic Party (HDP) is not viewed as the only actor in the settlement process.

Burkay and his colleagues come from a socialist background, arguing that only a federative solution would be realistic in the Kurdish issue but, as the title indicates, this is a party paying attention to the democratic rights and freedoms and to the reform process. This party, currently chaired by Fehmi Demir, is the second pro-Kurdish party taking part in the elections next year even though it did not receive substantial support from the people.

ArInand#39s visit was one held as a part of the settlement process, as confirmed by HAK-PAR Chairman Demir and it could be seen as a sign that the government would rely on a different approach. The Oct.

6-8 incidents forced the relevant actors to adopt a different approach. By this visit, the government is stressing that it will rely on a different approach and method in this matterIf you travel to the southeastern region of the country, the criticism you would hear most is that the government talks to the HDP and the Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK) alone and that it ignores the other pro-Kurdish political actors and civil society.

The people now believe that this has been the case since the Oct. 6-8 protests they mainly think the government cannot discuss the rights of the Kurds with PKK leader Abdullah calan or anybody else.

They think only the Kurdish people are the proper actors to make these discussions. But of course, the PKK and HDP can be involved in the talks when it comes to PKK-related matters, disarmament and their democratic participation.

In a panel discussion I attended in Mardin, one of the participants said: andldquoNobody can discuss my basic rights without asking my permission. Neither the HDP nor the government can do it.

andrdquo It is obvious that this is a widely endorsed approach among the Kurds.It is now apparent that picking the HDPKK as the only legitimate actor to carry out the talks is not a proper option.

I recall that I have covered this matter in my columns here and in the Star daily. The HDPKK did not appreciate the fact that it was considered by the government as the only legitimate actor that is able to participate in the negotiation process.

On the contrary, they tried to exploit the settlement process.The government is making a proper and well-grounded assessment here.

It proved that political engagement with the Kurdish society and the attainment of normalization is not possible through the HDPKK I hope that there will be subsequent moves and dialogue will be established with other Kurdish parties as well. I believe that this would make a huge contribution to the settlement process.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman