Interesting times and the Kurdish problem - ATILLA YAYLA

Interesting times and the Kurdish problem

The wish “may you live in interesting times” in China is said to be a curse. Even if living in interesting times may seem as a reflection of a curse, we should reach the conclusion that the whole Turkish nation is cursed in a very bad way.

In this country not the interesting times, but the uninteresting times are exceptional.

The events are uniquely intense, mobile and changeable to see in other places.

This scene may be interesting for some journalists working in Turkey and for the academicians making academic researches on Turkey, but for us, for the people of Turkey, it is quite exhausting and abrasive.

I wrote it before; I welcomed HDP's exceeding the threshold after the June 7 elections.

In some of the notes I wrote down in the social media while the iron was hot, I emphasized that I believed the result would make things easier during the resolution process of Turkey's chronicle Kurdish problem. Even, taking it much further, I claimed that the elections obliged HDP (and thus the Kurdish movement) to democracy.

I believed that the aggressive and exaggerated statements given during the election campaigns would soon be forgotten and the resolution process would gain momentum.

Unfortunately, at least as of the moment these lines are being written, I and those thinking like me are mistaken. It seems that nowadays we are experiencing the most critical days of the resolution process.

I have no doubt that the words “There is no Kurdish problem” and “there is no negotiation table” emanated by the AK Party front damaged the process.

However, most of the responsibility for the deadlock today is on the shoulders of the Kurdish movement.

The reason why I say Kurdish movement rather than HDP is obvious, since the environments we name are not the only representative of the Kurdish society; there are more than a few wings of the movement itself: Öcalan, Qandil, KCK and HDP.

As a person who always prefers politics to the guns, I want to say that as it carries a certain responsibility the entire responsibility is not on the shoulders of the HDP.

Yes, the HDP could not take an explicit stand against the recent murders committed by the outlawed PKK; as a principle, the party could not have an attitude of refusing the violence.

But, it gave the cues to perform a political initiative. From time to time, it gave reasonable statements. The nature of the democratic politics already has the feature to drag the people from radicalism into moderation. However, Qandil did not allow HDP to follow this line. Starting from the day after the election, it had an attitude scolding, humiliating and aligning the HDP. So in a sense, it sabotaged the democratic politics. At last, reflecting its “violence-worshipping”, it called the mass to go to war. It started the murders and attacks.

Why did the outlawed PKK come to this line? Why did it commit murders and organize attacks which would obviously damage the process? A few factors may have played a role there. I think the most important one is the relationship that the outlawed PKK developed over PYD with the only super power, the USA. The desire to use PYD as a land force against ISIL dragged the USA into an attitude of giving hope to the outlawed PKK. That's why the outlawed PKK misinterpreted the existing situation and developed fanciful scenarios.

It behaved as if the international support was enough for it to do everything it wanted to do, and Turkey was not an important factor in the region any more.

Besides the irrational, preposterous and immoral murders, its attacks on the constructions of roads and dams showed that rather than living as a part of Turkey, the outlawed PKK had the desire to constitute an independent country and believed that it would do this by the force of the arms.

After waiting in silence for a long time, Turkey made a strategic move. Rather than remaining passive as a result of the negotiations, it continued with the USA; it chose to be an active actor. By accepting some of the US requests and by making the US accept some of its requests, it showed up. Apparently they agreed on a very large scale packet. This will not only change many things in the region, but will also significantly break the siege against Turkey in the partnership of the internal and external actors.

As time passes, we will see what will happen, where the events will end up, and what position the regional and international actors will take.

There is no doubt that the PKK is illegitimate and must be stopped unconditionally. But, it shouldn't be assumed that the issue is all about this. For me, nowadays the most important thing for Turkey is not to identify the Kurds with the outlawed PKK, and not to block the road to the democratic politics by criminalizing HDP just because of the words it spoke.

The things experienced in the past show that; closing the roads to the democratic politics by losing temper was not right and useful. Turkey should take lessons from the past and not repeat mistakes again.


Cookies are used limited to the purposes in th e Personal Data Protection Law No.6698 and in accordance with the legislation. For detailed information, you can review our cookie policy.