This week, the BDP representative office in Washington held a conference to discuss the role of the Kurds in the Middle East. Professor Michael Gunter, the Secretary-General of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) and professor of political science at Tennessee Tech University, wrote this report.
THE CURRENT STATE REGARDING THE TURKISH-KURDISH PEACE PROCESS
Professor Michael Gunter
On 28 October 2013, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Representative Office in the United States, organized a one-day conference on “The Kurdish Role in the New Middle East” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The primary concern of this conference was to analyze the current state of the foundering Turkish-Kurdish peace process. This brief report will detail some of the most important points made at this conference.
Cengiz Candar, a prominent Turkish journalist, argued that a neutral third party facilitator was needed, not a one-man show as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan currently appeared to be. At the present time the Turkish and Kurdish sides are finding it difficult to dialogue. Indeed, Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chair of the BDP, said that so far the peace process has seemed more like a monologue than a dialogue. Cengiz Candar also added that the following are necessary for the peace process to move forward: 1. Patience; 2. A vision for an end game; 3. Political courage; and 4. A procedure to follow facilitated by a third party.