HEDEP's Bestas: Mutual distrust key factor in the setback of Kurdish peace process

HEDEP's Bestas: Mutual distrust key factor in the setback of Kurdish peace process
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In a DISA-organized event on the impact of political actors on conflict resolution, HEDEP deputy Meral Danis Bestas reflected on the failed 2012-2015 peace process, highlighting trust issues between the PKK and the government.

The resolution process for the Kurdish question in Turkey failed because of mutual distrust between the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) and the government, pro Kurdish HEDEP (People’s Equality and Democracy Party) deputy Meral Danis Bestas said on Saturday.

Speaking about the stalled process during the second edition of “Peace School,” held by the Diyarbakır Institute for Social and Political Research, Bestas said that despite coming close to a breakthrough, the distrust hindered progress.

Addressing frequent criticism for engaging with the ruling AKP, Bestas emphasized the necessity of involving those in power in conflict resolution processes. She highlighted the significance of bringing the AKP to the negotiation table and noted positive responses from EU countries during the process, citing the "Oslo Talks" as an example.

Bestas contended that the Turkish identity encompassed a broad approach while acknowledging the AKP's selective approach to the Kurdish issue. Bestas stated that the main actor in the resolution of the conflict is PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan and said, "Ocalan must be convinced before this issue is brought to the Parliament."

Bestas criticized the current ineffectiveness of the law preventing the prosecution of politicians involved in the resolution process, highlighting the legal challenges faced by figures such as Selahattin Demirtaş, İdris Baluken, and Sırrı Süreyya Önder.

She concluded by stressing the importance of comprehensive participation by political actors in the resolution process, noting that without opposition involvement, the process experienced fluctuations in progress.

Bestas's final remark suggested that if President Erdogan wished, conflicts could cease within a week, emphasizing the direct role of politics in shaping the atmosphere.