Jun 12 2018

If I can’t solve Turkey’s Kurdish problem in four years, I’ll quit politics, says main opposition leader

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu vowed to solve Turkey’s decades-old Kurdish problem in four years or leave politics entirely, independent news site Diken reported.

The statement from the CHP leader follows a rally on Monday by CHP presidential candidate Muharrem İnce in the Kurdish majority southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

CHP, known for its antipathy to Kurdish demands for more rights, is looking to gain credibility with Kurdish voters, who make up approximately 15 percent of Turkey’s population, ahead of the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24. 

‘’They haven’t been able to finish terror in 16 years,’’ the CHP leader said referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), which came to power in 2002. ‘’If I don’t solve this problem in four years, then I’ll quit politics.’’

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been fighting for autonomy in Turkey for more than 30 years. The conflict between the armed forces and the PKK has killed 40,000 people, mostly Kurds.

‘’The way to finish a terror organisation is cut their financial resources. Were you able to determine this in 16 years and cut their resources?’’ Kılıçdaroğlu asked.

The CHP leader also said the current operation against the PKK in northern Iraq was launched by the AKP to win votes in the June 24 elections.