The “behind-closed-doors conversation” between Davutoğlu and the committee of wise men in Dolmabahçe has been widely written about and explained through various means.
The importance of this conversation was down to the revelations about how the ruling political party perceived the reconciliation process, the Kobane/Rojava matter, and the state’s perceptions of the recent events that occurred.
For today, let’s look at what Davutoğlu had to say, and we can comment on his remarks tomorrow.
If we have to choose and make a compilation, then the prime minister had this to say:
On recent events:
“We expected them but not on such a scale. Our intuition pointed at the approach of a storm. I had been saying this for the last 4-5 months. That is why we acted quickly. We created a special place for the reconciliation process in the government’s program. We established a board under my leadership. In early October we gave a steps-based road map to MİT (National Intelligence Organization). They took it to İmralı (the island prison where Abdullah Öcalan is serving his life sentence) and had a meeting. İmralı backed it 100 percent. The HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) went there and received confirmation. Qandil (the PKK’s mountain base in northern Iraq) approved of it.”
“Our message to Qandil was this: ‘we will take steps but you will give us assurances with regard to public order…’ We were told that by Oct. 15 all illegal activity like extortion, setting up of road blocks and ID checks, would cease. Then we met with Demirtaş. On Oct. 3 we issued a statement saying ‘positive talks had been held.’ A few days later, 10 days later, you create a bloodbath as if it was never stated that all such actions would cease…”
“It is said that the problem can be solved with freedoms. We rolled out freedoms to the widest possible extent. But even then, the events of Oct. 6-7 occurred. That means freedoms are not a magic wand by themselves. It is said that the problem can be solved with investment and development. Out of the 730 billion TL investments made in the country during the period of AK Parti (Justice and Development Party) rule, 166 billion TL was in that region. But even then, the incidents took place.”
“That means intentions and will are important. When the incidents erupted, I spoke to Demirtaş on the phone. I told him to pull back the youth. He mentioned demands like a corridor to Kobane. I told him not to be exploitative…”
“Concerning the Oct. 6-7 incidents, saying things like, ‘the authorities said this or that, these developments occurred in Kobane and resulted in an eruption of rage that we were unable to control,’ means taking us for fools. Let’s say Patnos for example. Don’t you think we know how many men were sent and from where they were sent, which investments were targeted and which people moved to where? Their work places are next to each other. One is torched, the second one is left alone and the fourth one is again torched. It was predetermined who would do what and where they would do it.”
“Buildings belonging to the state were attacked because they wanted to say they are the state. Building belonging to the AK Parti and HÜDA-Par were attacked just to say there is no political option other than them. I spoke to the governors during the incidents. The governor calls the municipal mayor to inform him that there is a fire and he should send fire engines. The mayor refuses to do so. In response, they turned the city of Kurtalan into hell just because the municipality is in AK Parti hands. If it was wrong when JİTEM (the gendarmerie’s intelligence and counter-terrorism unit) did this, does it become right when the organization [PKK] does this?...”
“They consider it as a symbolic status and such, but the structure being put in place there is definitely supported by the Assad regime. Last year I told Salih Müslim, ‘The reconciliation process is underway in Turkey. Reconsider your relationship with the regime and establish contact with the Syrian opposition. Create a line of defense together in the north against the regime.’ When they realized that the United States would not launch an operation after the chemical weapons attack, they renewed discussions with the regime and were left out of Geneva 2 because of that.”
“They didn’t care when ISIL was conducting massacres against Arab tribes that surrounded them. Later they were left facing ISIL. They didn’t want the Free Syrian Army, or even the Peshmerga to help. Would the situation in Kobane be what it is today if all this had not been done?”
“Let aside that we didn’t provide any aid to ISIL, we provided a lot of aid to Kobane. Even during Bayram (the Feast of the Sacrifice holiday) it was us that warned the United States to conduct aerial operations or Kobane would fall.”
“What we cannot do is: ‘U.S. soldiers won’t go there but Turkish soldiers will…’ Our duty is to maintain stability in Turkey, not to become a part of the war there.”
“The link between our domestic peace and Rojava is this: Our domestic peace will have a positive impact there, while the bad situation there will have negative impacts here. We will not permit that. But we will also not accept the conditional demand of Kobane as part of the reconciliation process. Additionally, there was no such talk during our conversations here that ran along the lines of, if Rojava or Kobane falls, the reconciliation process will end.”
Davutoğlu had this to say toward the end:
“I am not of the opinion that the reconciliation process will head in a negative direction. I harbor serious hope. Lessons will be learned from some mistakes made; that is how processes proceed…”
I will leave the rest, and assessments for tomorrow…