"The Kurdish issue," the greatest challenge for the Republic of Turkey, had been a political field that no government, except that of Turgut Özal, ever dared tackle. Regarded as an issue of terrorism, the Kurdish question had been "dealt with" via military operations and racist discourse. Throughout Republican history, not only the Kurdish question per se, but also the "kurdishness" of Kurds was denied. When the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power, its political promises included the resolution of the long-standing, gangrenous problems of the country one by one. The resolutions of these problems, which were studied and analyzed meticulously, have been processed according to a prudent order of priority.
During the initial phase of the AK Party's power, tutelage by the military of civilian politics was firm and solid, while the ongoing Kurdish question and the related terror problem had been taken by militarism as an asset with which to threaten civilian politics with an ever-present possibility of a coup. Both the deep-state organization known as "Ergenekon" and the PKK had been profiting from the ongoing violence for the repression of their own people. When the PKK killed soldiers, Ergenekon was instigating countrywide racism against Kurds, and while the army was engaged in military operations damaging the southeastern regions, the PKK was exploiting them to propagate its own dominance of the region. Therefore, against the AK Party's attempt to reform the country in the realms of democracy and freedom, there stood a heavy resistance by the traditional civil and military bureaucratic elite. By taking EU membership as the center of its political stratagem, many obstacles standing in the way of the country's democratization and demilitarization process were thereby abolished. The main parameters of the Kurdish question's reconciliation process, which has, from the beginning, followed a fluctuating course, can be formulated as follows:
l From the beginning of the process, both Turkish and Kurdish people have predominantly supported the resolution. According to a survey conducted by GENAR in 2013, 67 percent of Turks surveyed supported it and 90 percent of Kurds.
l Only an inconsiderable 5 percent of the Kurdish electorate, which constitutes 16 percent of the population as a whole, demands the separation of country. As opposed to such negligible percentage in Turkey, I believe that 95 percent of Catalans in Spain want the separation of their country.
The state has renounced separatist and exclusionary identity policies in the region and there remains no difference in disposition in the state's policies in İzmir or Diyarbakır.
Thanks to various democratic reformations, the resolution of many unsolved murders and granting billion-dollar compensations for the victims who were evicted from their villages, the state attitude toward the people of the region has eased considerably.
The fate of the Kurds of the Middle East living outside Turkey still remains in the hands of Iran, which does not bind itself to any international law, and might abandon them to their own fate, as was the case in Halepçe.
Except for education in their mother tongue and constitutional citizenship, the Kurdish national movement holds no reasonable demand.
The policies that launched and improved the reconciliation process concluded with an increase of public support, instead of a loss of votes, for the AK Party.
As its traditional competitor and near neighbor, Iran now faces to lose its PKK asset to use against Turkey and desires to sabotage the reconciliation process from time to time by instigating internal disorder.
Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK, is well aware of the fact that without President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, there would be no trustworthy addressee to take forward the reconciliation process, as not every political leader could take up the challenges of such a daunting task.
Both Turks and Kurds well know that war is the only alternative to peace, and they surely do not want to go back to such a dreadful scenario again.
A chance for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to become a political party of the country as a whole represented in Parliament has emerged.
Therefore, the reconciliation process will progress through such foundational parameters while the establishment of a new and truly democratic constitution will certainly pave the way for eliminating various obstacles for good.