Turkish press on historic Kurdish rebel pull-out
- 8 May 2013
- From the section Europe
Newspaper commentators in Turkey have expressed both wariness and guarded optimism towards Kurdish rebels beginning their withdrawal from the south-east of the country.
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised retreating fighters would not be touched, but urged them to lay down their weapons.
Some press commentators hail the fact that the withdrawal is actually beginning and see it as a page being turned in Turkey's history.
Others, however, wonder whether the pull-out will go ahead smoothly and what impact it will have internally and externally.
Headline in centre-right daily Star
Thirty-year-old bloody chapter being closed
Headline in tabloid Sozcu
They have martyred, vandalised and caused bloodshed in Turkey… and they are leaving with their weapons
Mustafa Unal in moderate, pro-Islamic Zaman
This is a critical day for the solution process
Abdulkadir Selvi in liberal, pro-Islamic Yeni Safak
This is the first step in bidding farewell to arms... PM Erdogan said that giving a date [for withdrawal] was wrong. This is a declaration of unease but it is not a stance against the process. In the end, the armed elements are withdrawing. Therefore, the solution process is becoming concrete.
Rauf Tamer in tabloid Posta
This is said to be a solution process. But it is Ankara first which refuses a peace discourse. What harsh statements are being made in parliament? When this is reflected to those in [the Turkish heartland of] Anatolia, the so-called wise men trying to persuade the public about the peace process are being mocked… this atmosphere is contagious.
Fuat Keyman in centrist Milliyet
The solution process is primarily and basically a "humanitarian process". But it is also a process that strengthens Turkey both internally and externally… Will the world accept a Turkey that is getting stronger? This is actually one of the issues we have to discuss.
Rusen Cakir in centrist Vatan
Will elements amongst the PKK and the security forces sabotage the withdrawal either consciously or unconsciously? … They [both sides] are taking whatever steps they can to avoid this… but nobody wants to talk about what could happen if it does.