What creates the “moment" in conflict resolutions and is essential in this perspective is time and conditions. Many countries including South Africa and England have sat at the table with the AFN and IRA not because democratic conditions were fully ripen, nor because of intentions or mentalities, but due to necessity.
The unbearableness of the conflict in terms of its political, humanitarian, economic and international implications, as well as the realization of the impossibility of a resolution through security precautions, have become the main factors behind negotiations.
The same things appeared true for us.
Both the Oslo talks and the democratic opening policies and finally the resolution process have stepped in when the conflict reemerged or escalated.
Without a doubt, the distance covered since 2005 has also indicated that a door, which opens to the democratic realm, and transformation have taken place; –some partial- in terms of the political rulership's perception of the Kurdish issue. The framework of societal legitimacy has been renewed, while the idea of democratic integration has been strengthened in the Kurdish side.
I frequently say this, what is actually expected from negotiations and politics is this. The transformation of sides through dialogue and interaction, finding common paths in accordance with the change and reconciling are all processes that make up negotiations. Democracy and the development of a democratic mentality are intertwined with the existence and, specifically, the result of this process.
The second element which makes up the “moment" in the conflict resolution is the issue of “political will" and “leadership." Sitting at the table with the “enemy" and “making concessions" in conflicts, which have lasted for a long time and have heavy tolls, is in itself a risky political step.
Figures such as De Clerk and Blair are remembered for these features.
In terms of Turkey, this leader is without a doubt Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was also the one who prepared the ground for Abdullah Öcalan to become an actor in the resolution as his leadership function plays a significant role for the Kurdish movement. The conduct of the resolution process is like this in terms of removing the obstacles it had experienced.
In that case, this is the question: What do Erdoğan's latest remarks, his concern about the legitimization of Öcalan, his objection to the monitoring committee and the Dolmabahçe report all express within this framework?
Currently, if Erdoğan stays at a distance –compared to yesterday- from the resolution process, and blocks the steps taken by the government, can we say that we are facing a serious problem regarding the process in the future?
These are legitimate and frequently asked questions.
There is no doubt that Erdoğan has the power to slow down and suspend the reconciliation process in line with potential crises and political motives.
In addition to this, there is also no doubt that the direction will not be in this way.
Based on two reasons…
The first is about the instrumentalization of the resolution process around various political disputes, revenge and competition. From the prevention of AK Party's desire for a presidential regime, to the vote calculations made by the political rulership over the Kurdish issue, or the concerns about votes, and even the inclusion of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the game, this process is being exploited as a trump, a weapon and a threat, which surpasses itself and realities. The resettlement of the resolution process on its own dynamics is highly possible with the change in the conjuncture, especially with the disappearance of this situation after the election period. In other words, the hardships which started the reconciliation process will make up the main agenda as the actual truths. In the case that the pro-Kurdish HDP passes the election threshold, this truth will gain a quite different dimension. Otherwise, there is a strong possibility about the parallels between Erdoğan's pioneering of the resolution process and his search for a new constitution, more than we suppose.
The second issue is about the fact that the genie has been let out of the bottle in every sense. The resolution process flows fast like a river, and has become the most important goal of politics, and the most important engagement of Erdoğan. As I said a few days ago for example, Erdoğan's objection to the Monitoring Committee is datum for an interior crisis, but is not an absolute or determining situation in terms of the resolution process.
Ups and downs are inevitable. However, the resolution process is Turkey's main connection with democracy and will stay that way.