The last 30 years of Turkey's history was stamped by a vicious cycle of struggle against the PKK's terror. While the reconciliation process that was launched one year ago continues, the Turkish state has encountered numerous attempted coups and secret plots aiming to inhibit the growth of the process. In one of my previous columns from the beginning of the reconciliation process I drew the attention to such troubles and predicaments: "The reconciliation between Kurds and the state is for the benefit of the country as a whole. No essential opposition will emerge from Turkey's present internal dynamics against the initiated process even though not all of the external powers can easily digest the given process as it promises to free the Turkish state from its prominent hunchback, and thus from the historical chains preventing the country from being independent and strong."
We should, therefore, reconsider the Gezi Park protests, the attempted coup of Dec. 17 and most importantly, the violent turmoil under the guise of pro-Kobani resistance protests that concluded with the killing of Kurds by Kurds in southeastern Turkey within the context of the ongoing reconciliation process. Behind all of them there lies a common resentment against the ultimate resolution of Turkey's Kurdish question.
While leftist youths in the Gezi Park protests were considering their protests as one among the successful ecological demonstrations of the world and the elements from the Gülen Movement could not understand for whom they were rendering service by the attempted coup of Dec.17, they were, in fact, both inhibiting the growth of their own country. In a similar vein, the People's Democratic Party (HDP) called for the street protests that devolved into violence instead of acting prudently in such a fragile context of regional crisis and appreciating the state, which in three days achieved the accommodation of 150,000 Kurdish refugees escaping from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham's (ISIS) ferocious attacks.
The Western colonial mentality toward the Middle East that acts covertly, but aggressively over the Kurdish issue, would not consider Turkey's present rapprochement with the Arab world as benevolent. This week, we were in Amman, the capital of Jordan for the Arab-Turkish Congress of Social Sciences (ATCOSS). The fourth year of ATCOSS, which was first organized on the eve of the Arab Spring, was realized by the participation of almost 100 scholars from Turkey and the Arab world. While the Institute of Strategic Thought (SDE) represented the Turkish side of the conference, the Arab countries were represented by the Arabic Thought Forum (ATF), an esteemed platform of political thought organized across the Arab world.
The main theme of ATCOSS was composed of the educational, economic and developmental issues of the countries in the region. The special theme was the past, present and future of Arab-Turkish relations. Prince Hassan bin Talal, the son of Talal I bin Abdullah of Jordan; Beşir Atalay; Yasin Aktay and Emrullah İşler, the principal adviser of the president, on behalf of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Kudret Bülbül, the president of the Directorate of Turks and Expat Communities Abroad (YTB) attended the congress in which more than 100 scientific reports were submitted.
It is significant that such prudent debates occurred 80 kilometers away from the war in Syria. At the congress, one particular proposition came to the fore from among many beneficial outcomes. The owner of the proposition remarked, "While we discuss the future of the region and our countries by emphasizing a common history, enmities are still being reproduced in school history books. Hence, there is the need for a new historiography truly corresponding to our common history."
About the author
İhsan Aktaş is Chairman of the Board of GENAR Research Company. He is an academic at the Department of Communication at Istanbul Medipol University.