Extinguish a fire

You could have seen it coming: Turkey’s highest prosecutor will start a procedure to close down the pro-Kurdish DTP (Democratic Society Party). They are accused of taking orders from the PKK and promoting its aims and therefore being a threat to national unity. The DTP denies having ties with the PKK and says its aim in politics is to make a contribution to democratization in Turkey, but on the other hand they refuse to call the PKK a terrorist organisation, they call PKK fighters ‘brothers’ and the PKK ‘a valid interlocutor’. The party has come under stronger attack since ties with the PKK were revealed by its successful negotiation of the release of Turkish soldiers from PKK captivity.
More than ten years ago, in 1994, the predecessor of the DTP, the DEP, was banned for having ties with the PKK. As a result the DTP was formed, and when that is closed down, some other party will be established to take its place. In the meantime, Kurds will once again be unrepresented in parliament. The writer Vedat Türkali said when the DEP was banned, (and it reflects perfectly the current situation with the DTP), that closing down the DEP was the worst thing that could have happened. He explained: “We were trying to extinguish a fire, but they cut the hose.”

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