Reconciliation draws Turkish, Kurdish nationalists closer

Published 25.07.2014 00:21

The Kurdish issue, which had been abandoned to a deadlock until very recently, has begun to be better grasped and embraced by Turkish citizens. Indeed, the Kurdish Issue, which was merely treated as a security problem in previous periods when civilians were excluded from decision-making mechanisms, had been a process reproducing endless problems, rather than a solid resolution, in the hands of the army. The government's decisive attempt to resolve the Kurdish issue, which is a 90-year-old social gangrene inherited from the founding period of the Republic, has been taken to enthusiastically by Turks and Kurds together.

During the prolonged deadlock of the Kurdish issue, both the state and the Kurdish side were reproducing opposing nationalist rhetoric in order to deepen the enmities between the Turkish and Kurdish masses. Neither of them ever adopted or internalized such an anti-social and poisonous language simply because their history of coexistence and imperial heritage naturally defy a language that is based on extreme racism and chauvinism.

In a study conducted by GENAR for the upcoming presidential election, if the election goes to the second stage, where there would be no Kurdish candidate, 80 percent of the Kurdish electorate will vote for the prime minister. Indeed, almost the whole Kurdish electorate supports the prime minister, except of the 20 percent that will not participate in the election. I believe that such a generous support from Kurds for the prime minister is organically related with the ongoing peace and negotiation process.

If the election goes to the second stage, a much more interesting support for the prime minister will materialize from the Turkish nationalist electorate. In fact, the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) voters will provide considerable support the prime minister both in the first and second stages with 14 percent and 20Percent respectively. In the previous political paradigm inherited from the early Republic, the political interests and attitudes of the Turkish and Kurdish nationalist electorates were positioned antagonistically. However, a stable kind of rapprochement between the seemingly opposing voter bases was created for the sake of the country by the ongoing peace process that has already soften the political demands from both sides.

The peace process is primarily related with the Kurdish electorate, since Kurds have been living in a region that was condemned to terror for 30 years. During that period, while the country was developing as a whole, the southeastern regional economy collapsed, the qualified labor force immigrated to the west, hundreds of villages were evacuated and the massive influx of people from villages to cities spoiled the demographic structure of southeastern cities, especially Diyarbakır, Urfa and Mersin.

While parents in the west of the country were concerned for the future of their families or the education of their children, southeastern families were struggling to survive amid shuttering shops, innumerous demonstrations and strikes and frightening terror incidents.

The southeastern youth, which had largely been unemployed due to the village evacuations and the fall of regional agriculture and husbandry, sought their economic salvation either in seasonal agricultural fields or in western cities.

The ongoing peace process has already begun to free southeastern cities from these political shackles. It is true that many kinds of social problems proliferate in such a neglected region; however the present process of peace and order presents a golden opportunity to resolve them one by one.
According to a true Turkish nationalist, the Kurdish issue is a social problem that sets the country back in political terms, puts the state in a vulnerable position in the international arena by making it open to external interventions, prevents the country's economic development, and thus literally preys on the country. Therefore, Turks and Kurds both see the prime minister, who is determined to resolve this fundamental problem in Turkey, as a patriot par excellence. Thus, such political appreciation gathers the two electorates from the seemingly opposing edges of the political spectrum over the name of the prime minister.

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