No place for excuses!

No place for excuses!

EKREM DUMANLI

Mr. Fethullah Gülen, a well-respected Turkish Islamic scholar, has made a very important statement. He says when we consider that people are endowed with rights and freedoms indiscriminately by God, we understand that no one has the right to introduce prohibitions against certain groups. This principle should be applied to the Kurdish issue. Mr. Gülen's remarks on education in one's mother tongue is a high-level democratic move. Mr. Gülen suggests that "some private schools can provide education in Kurdish for a while until proficient teachers who are capable of teaching in Kurdish are trained, and then the number of schools providing education in Kurdish will increase." While saying this, Mr. Gülen also underlines the importance of Turkish as it is a part of Turkey's reality.

Many Kurdish politicians including Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies Sırrı Sakık and Esad Canan and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Diyarbakır deputy Galip Ensarioğlu support Mr. Gülen's remarks and this situation indicates the democratic expectations of Kurdish people.

There is another side of the coin: Media outlets affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are insistently targeting the Gülen movement and spreading black propaganda against it. If you look at the websites of these outlets, one would get be misled to think that the settlement process is proceeding flawlessly while the Gülen movement keeps obstructing it. These outlets that act as the PKK mouthpiece resort to every sort of lie and slander.

Unfortunately, there are some setbacks in the settlement process. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently said that only 15 percent of PKK terrorists have withdrawn from Turkish soil. Fikret Bila, a Milliyet columnist, says the withdrawal has hardly begun. According to a newspaper report, the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) reports also confirm that the withdrawal of PKK terrorists is not happening. In addition to this, a military helicopter has been shot at, a military outpost has been attacked, construction sites have been burnt down, people have been kidnapped, and the terrorist organization has distributed diplomas to what it calls students of a "police academy" and set up checkpoints.

We hope that the settlement process does not come to a halt. We hope that this process, which has led to great expectations, will not result in a big disappointment. But one should know that in case of a failure, it is clear who is responsible for such a failure. Those who see their existence conditioned on the continuation of war are blaming those who promote peace; this is either a desperate effort or the plan B of a dirty network that is trying to defame innocent people. Don't try to cover facts up. People see everything and follow everything closely. And they will never forgive those who set traps to hinder efforts for peace.

Source: TodaysZaman, 30 June, 2013

Tags: Fethullah Gulen, Kurdish Issue, Hizmet and peacebuilding