Will Kurdish politics transform? - SÜLEYMAN SEYFI ÖĞÜN

Will Kurdish politics transform?

The failed process known as the “reconciliation process” was, in a sense, the product of an internal transformation in the Kurdist movement. The roots of this transformation can be traced all the way back to the day PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan was captured. The PKK Movement, since its foundation, had positioned itself in the Syria-Iran axis and a little further back, in the Russia axis. This movement made up the hard core of the movement. The PKK's soft core was the support provided by the EU. The movement's leader Öcalan was hastily taken out of Syria with a sudden operation involving the US, the circumstances of which still remain unclear. He first wanted to take refuge in Russia, then in Italy and Greece, but all doors were closed in his face. He was finally caught in Africa and handed over to Turkey.

Öcalan's arrest is one of the heaviest traumas experienced by the Kurdist movement. Immediately after his arrest, the PKK leader grasped the matter practically and realized that the Kurdish issue could only be solved with a real transformation together with Turkey. This is very clearly expressed in the books he wrote in prison. I am saying “very,” because Öcalan's tone regarding this matter is not clear. His tone is still under the influence of the Stalinist-esoteric jargon. There could be two reasons for this. The first is that he is personally disabled by this language and the other could be the desire to consciously relatively maintain this language which he shares with the organization.

Despite being carried out in hesitant steps, the intention of the reconciliation process was that the Kurdish issue could be solved on the basis of indigenousness. The basic matter here is related to how much this intention was internalized.

Looking at the developments, the perception of this intention at the “state” level, stopped at the point that Kurds had to suffice with as much as the state “granted” them. Internalizing this intention was a lot more problematic for Kurdish politics and politicians. We can mention part of it here. [İmralı] Island [where Öcalan is imprisoned] was reading the process from a “distance” and from “outside.” Qandil was evaluating the process from the “inside” and with “closed circuits.” As for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), it was “stuck in between” the two in this regard. When it was time for current preferences, the Island was excluded and the party chose Qandil. Qandil went back to its old ways and was immersed once again in the “Russia-Iran-Syria” line. Hence, the reconciliation process ended.

All these developments fit in with the Middle East's dynamics. It is seen that the PKK, is trying to take advantage of the fire in the Middle East, which it considers, in the cyclical principle, as a historic opportunity for autonomy. Based on the developments, it “seems” as though this choice is the right choice for them. The area taken in Rojava, Syria, can be considered the clearest indication of this. The PKK is receiving support from both Russia-Iran and Syrian President Bashar Assad, and is at the same time gaining the favor of the Atlantic world. What they are trying to achieve through the terror they have escalated is to include Turkey's southeast and east in this atmosphere. Now we can ask: How much longer can this cyclical course be maintained? What is the future of Qandil in the medium and long term?

The matter overlooked by the violence-based Qandil is how the Atlantic sees the alliance between Russia and Iran. The lifespan of Qandil is as long as the Middle East politics in which Russia and Iran, which are under harsh sanctions, are involved with all their might. The space, in my opinion, “knowingly,” allowed in the Middle East to Russia and Iran by the Atlantic World, comes to these two states at a hefty price. This cost is consuming the already limited resources of these two states. The course of events in the medium and long term, is not, as expected by the Russia-Iran alliance, to strengthen their hand, but on the contrary, it will produce results that will weaken their bargaining power. Russia's desire to include the Caucasus in the Middle East equation to enlarge the area starting from Ukraine and spreading to Armenia and Azerbaijan, does not seem like it will yield any results. It is obvious that this project will first get stuck at Iran. Meanwhile, from time to time, the alliance bumps into Israel's red lines.

It appears that the uncertainty and chaos in the region will continue until the resistance of the Russia and Iran alliance weakens. It is clear that the Atlantic world is not going to choose the Kurds. When it is time to bring order to the world, nobody is going to listen to any speculations made and practices carried out using “Stalinist terminology.” If the Kurdish political mind still has common sense, it will see this and Kurdish politics will transform. Let us wait for the HDP congress…


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