Gov’t sets up new committee to coordinate Kurdish process

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The Turkish government has moved to set up a body to better coordinate the Kurdish peace process, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said, amid uncertainty over how the ongoing unrest in northern Iraq and Syria will affect the stalled process.

Speaking to reporters late on Sept. 30 following the weekly Cabinet meeting, Arınç said the committee will have a “two-leg structure,” composed of a “Resolution Process Committee” and Steering and Coordinating Commissions. The Resolution Process Committee will coordinate the process and take decisions in light of action plans drafted by the steering and coordinating commissions, Arınç said. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will serve as the Committee’s head, while its members will include one deputy prime minister, the interior minister, the foreign minister, the justice minister, the defense minister, the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), and the Public Order and Security undersecretary.

Arınç said this new move was a follow-up on recent legislation that provided the ongoing Kurdish resolution process with a legal framework. The law stipulating the establishment of this new unit was published in the Official Gazette on Oct. 1, following the approval of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The deputy prime minister also touched on the pace of the peace process, following claims that the process has come to a halt. “These claims, threats and talks are invalid for us. All these have a deliberate purpose. Our government is serious about this issue,” Arınç said.

He also stressed that security forces will continue to be “merciless” against acts aimed at undermining the process by destabilizing public order, especially in southeastern Anatolia.

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