Turkey's peace process 'going through breakdown'

Members of 'wise men committee' read out a statement in Istanbul.

Turkey's efforts to end the decades old Kurdish conflict are "going through a fatal breakdown," the group overseeing the peace process said on Aug. 1.

In a statement, the "wise people" committee - established to promote and explain talks between the government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - said "various developments, mutual shortcomings and mistakes, mistrust and new dynamics included in the process have spoiled the climate."

Eleven members of the committee were meeting in Istanbul for the first time since the PKK renewed its armed campaign and the Turkish military launched airstrikes against the group, considered a terror organization in Turkey, the EU and U.S.

Read by Ali Bayramo?lu, a columnist for the Yeni ?afak daily, the statement added: "Unfortunately, at this stage, the solution process is going through a fatal breakdown. The curtain of weapons and violence has been re-opened and a war is at our door again."

The committee called for weapons to be "silenced immediately" and asked the media, opinion leaders, the government and political parties to avoid "scornful discourse that is challenging, discriminatory and accusatory."

It also urged an end to "all suggestions that would constrict the democratic and political arena and suffocate political room to move".
      
Asked by reporters if he thought the solution process was over, Bayramo?lu declined to give an answer because "the group members vary in opinion."

He added: "This I can tell you as a group opinion: We hope that it is not over and we want to make an effort so that it can continue."

The wise people committee is a 63-strong group of writers, columnists and academics from across Turkey charged with promoting the...

Continue reading on: