Erdogan at Odds With Government Over Kurdish Peace Process

IMG_9654Photo: Hülya Karahan

An unprecedented rift emerged Sunday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the government over the handling of the peace process to end the decades-long armed struggle by Kurdish militants.

A senior minister told Erdoğan to stop interfering and making “emotional” statements but the president snapped back that he had no intention of staying out of politics.

In remarks published in pro-Erdoğan newspapers Sunday, the president said a meeting between the government and pro-Kurdish lawmakers three weeks ago to announce a call for disarmament was “not appropriate”.

“His (Erdoğan’s) statements like ‘I did not like that’ or ‘I’m not happy about that’ are emotional and are his own views,” said Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinç.

“The peace process is being carried out by the government and the government is responsible for this question,” said Arinc, the official cabinet spokesman.
Erdoğan hit back by saying late Saturday: “I consult with my people on every issue. I am the president.”

“We love our president, we know his strengths, we appreciate the service he has done. But don’t forget that in this country there is a government”  Arınç said.