The Turkish original of this article was published as 4’lü deklarasyon önerisi on 17th July 2015.
During the visit to the HDP that he paid as part of the negotiations for a coalition government, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu proposed a joint declaration by all political parties against violence. At a point when the KCK has proclaimed the cease-fire to be over, it would be very beneficial for all parties with parliamentary groups to adopt a common position.
While our intellectuals and ngo’s have been broadcasting this or that “statement” virtually every day, unfortunately they have yet to be able to make a single serious call against PKK violence. While intellectuals have come to be unequivocally against violence and terrorism most everywhere else on earth, the very opposite is nearly the case here at home, with Turkey’s intellectuals sadly trying to get society to swallow the idea that advocating terror and violence means being a “democrat.” Thus while 200 intellectuals are willing to sign a statement defending the Gülen Congregation which after all is nothing but a deep state network, it is not possible to find 20 intellectuals to come out against the PKK’s violence.
By adopting a common stance against terror and violence, our political parties might also be able to light the way for our intellectuals. Ahmet Davutoğlu’s proposal is not at all complicated, but very sharp and clear. Davutoğlu suggests only two sentences for the declaration that he has in mind: “Turkey can no longer do with terror and violence. All arms should henceforth be surrendered.”
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What will the other parties have to say to this call? Are the CHP, MHP and HDP going to agree to sign some such declaration? Here it is up to civil society and the media to keep pressing for it. If all political parties were to succeed in making a joint statement against arms, terror, and the PKK’s violence, it would also contribute to resuming the “Solution Process.” While all around us countries countries are being ravaged by ethnic or confessional wars, by adopting a common stand against terrorism Turkey would be further able to consolidate its internal peace. No party can or should shirk this responsibility. Neither the CHP nor the MHP nor the HDP can have any excuse for opposing it. For their part, Ahmet Davutoğlu and the AKP must also stand behind their proposal for a “declaration of four.” They should keep pursuing it and not let go of it. The entire nation needs to see, to know and to understand just what position each and every party is taking in the face of the PKK’s violence. We have to graps clearly just who is a partner to terrorism, an advocate of violence.
The call for a joint declaration is also important because it highlights the responsibility that falls to all political parties for the Solution Process. As terror is a problem that the entire country shares, so, too, should taking a stand against it be shouldered in common by all parties. Whether the Solution Process can be taken to a final conclusion depends at least to some extent on this joint stance.
Here is wishing a happy Feast of Ramadan for everyone.
Postscript. While writing this column I began to entertain some doubts as to whether a “declaration of four” might be adequate. A small addition to make it “4+1” might be more useful. On top of the four political parties, the Doğan media could perhaps be also included as a signatory. There is, alas, a real need for this.