Today, Turkey will be experiencing a historic Newroz. Abdullah Öcalan’s message will be announced in Diyarbakır. If the news reflected on to the press are not wrong, then, this message will be announcing that the armed struggle had come to an end for the Kurdish movement and the period of democratic politics has begun. We hope and wish that this message and the March 21, 2015, will represent a brand new milestone in Turkey’s history. I will also be participating in the Newroz celebrations at Diyarbakır in order to witness historic moments.
We all know that Turkey is not the first country, which is encountering ethnic disturbance and discrimination problems, and won’t be the last. Almost all of the similar examples are showing that no results had been achieved through weapons. This is a bilateral table. First of all, separatist movements are failing to reach their objectives with arms. Blood and death is even rendering just demands into illegitimacy, and, causing sharp polarization within the community. Historical examples clearly present that the separatist movements rarely reach their objectives through violence. Even in such cases, after an attentive investigation, it’s revealed that the result is the work of other factors, not weapons. Secondly, the separatist movements, which possess a certain legitimacy and communal base, cannot be removed through weapon usage by countries. Because the unity of countries relies on will, or desire. In places, where this is deficient, the usage of weapons weakens the desire, as well as, the unity and integrity of countries.
After paying a heavy price, the sides in Turkey finally realized this reality. The peace/resolution process is the result of this understanding, and it’s far from being a case that has suddenly appeared. The ones who fail to understand tend to make out the cost on individuals. War-supporting Kurds are holding Öcalan responsible for the developments, while the war-supporting Turks are doing the same with Erdoğan. We cannot deny the reality that both leaders are pioneers in this process. However, there is an aspect in the process that exceeds both of them. Both communities had grown tired and started to hate the idea of their kids dying in this meaningless war. From now on, aside from the confused enemies of civilization, nobody wants war.
What will happen now, which direction will we steer towards? The institution of peace is crucial. Where the weapons speak, the ideas will become quiet. Where the weapons speak, the radicals will become prominent, not the intelligent and reasonable ones. As the violence comes to an end, it will normalize the environment and from that point on, the ones, who use the power of speaking their minds and their argumentation developing skills, will become prominent rather than the ones using violence. This is good news.
Without a doubt, taking an important step towards disarmament today does not necessarily mean that the problem has been resolved. The ones who think like this and say, “There is no Kurdish issue”, are wrong. There is a problem. The disarmament is showing us that the resolution can be actualized through peace and democratic politics, rather than violence. The change of method does not mean that the problem had been resolved, in other words, it’s not sufficient to provide a resolution for the problem. The resolution will happen in the future; disarmament is a step towards this.
The resolution and thus the permanent peace has a couple of aspects. In my previous articles, I talked about these on the occasion of Liberal Thought Organization’s Diyarbakır workshop. Let me remind you briefly. At the very beginning, there comes the cultural demands of Kurds. I believe that all the cultural demands are just and these cannot be sacrificed for the executive status quo and political structuring. At the top of those demands is the right of education in native language. Unless Turkey takes an important step in this field, Turkey shouldn’t except any resolution. The other demand is in the political field. The way should be cleared for democratic politics. The threshold should be lowered. There should be an unlimited freedom of expression in politics. Even the ones, who demands a Kurdish state or a federal system, should be able to form a political party and practice politics. Every kind of demand should be voiced within the limits of democracy and these should be replied with ideas rather than criminal suits. Lastly, the political system and sovereignty matter should be handled. Turkey is an extreme centralist country. The arguments should be intensified on how we can make this system more democratic and decentralized, rather than intensifying on the presidential system or parliamentarian system dichotomy. Within this frame, all the alternatives, including the reinforcement of local management units and the federal system, should be put on the table and evaluated. Thinking that the Kurdish problem can be completely resolved without making any changes in Turkey’s executive political status quo will be equal to having a dream.
I believe that we will be seeing better days.