Last weekend, the Turkish public finally witnessed the announcement of "good news" that had been expected for a while. It became evident in early February that the negotiations between the government and Kurdish political movement passed a certain threshold and that the PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan would call for a permanent end to the armed conflict. However, it was not certain to which extent PKK seniors in Iraq's Qandil Mountains would look positively on it. Indeed, obvious pessimism rose among the public as nothing was heard from them by Feb. 15, the date that was designated for this announcement. However, the government has maintained its self-confident manner and achieved a major success by assuring the public that the negotiations are on the right path.
There is a simple reason why this success belongs to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rather than to Kurdish politics. The Kurdish political movement has not found a middle ground within itself. Despite this fragmented structure, it seems that the negotiations have come to a conclusion as desired by the government, but there is no "official" answer from the PKK leadership yet. Öcalan called on the PKK to hold a congress in the upcoming spring months, or by the end of April at the latest, and to declare the end of the period of armed struggle. Even though Öcalan's call is not a surprise, it is almost inevitable that his proposal will not stir turmoil in the PKK leadership. Many people think that possible future acquisitions of the organization, which has reached this point due to arms, can only be possible with arms. Moreover, if Turkey enters a period of disarmament, it might be inevitable for the PKK leadership to divide into two parts in practice. Some want to come to Turkey and engage in politics while others think that the armed forces will be effective in the period of sharing and restructuring in Syria.
What confuses the Kurdish political movement is that the problems in Syria and Turkey cannot be considered separate from each other. In other words, it is impossible to think that the PKK's domination in Syria is not independent from the organization's relation with Turkey and what was experienced in the face of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham's (ISIS) attacks had signaled this. Before ISIS, Rojava was dominated by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, and other Kurdish political groups became ineffective in the region. While the victory over ISIS became possible with Turkey allowing Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) peshmerga forces to pass into Kobani, a politically pluralist Rojava emerged. At this point, we can draw the following conclusions: It surfaced that the PKK's armed forces are not as powerful as was thought. The state of war, which the PKK maintained with "hit-and-run" tactics in Turkey, could last merely one week in Syria. Thus, ISIS could easily march toward the Turkish border and, in just a few days, it routed Iraq's Makhmur refugee camp, which was a source of pride for the PKK.
Obviously, Turkey's support is becoming indispensable in the potential atmosphere of conflict of the Middle East in the near future. This means that the hand of Kurdish politics might weaken in its "bargain" with Turkey. Previously, the organization's "bargaining power" stemmed from the arms it had, but now it has to pledge that it will lay down arms, a situation that raises the possibility that the PKK's dependency on Turkish foreign policy might increase.
Certainly, such considerations will lead to intense debates among the PKK leadership, since it is not easy to object to Öcalan, and Turkey's Kurds display a collective will for the end of war. In other words, a failure to disarm by the PKK will cause the organization to lose its base rapidly, which would eliminate the ground of political struggle in the future. So, it seems that the PKK leadership will comply with Öcalan's proposal, make its dreams realistic and thus it will "become normal."