The ongoing reconciliation of the Kurdish issue, the quintessential question of Republican history, is as vital for Turkey as it is fatal for the evil axis striving to undermine it. For this very reason, since the first day of the reconciliation process, a unity of discourse appears to have been realized by Turkey's competitors, which are most notably Germany, Iran and Israel, Westerners, who are brought up in a colonial culture and not at all prone to any national formulation, and the followers of the Gülen community.The contribution of the AK Party's decade-long political power and the accompanying democratization process to the present stage of reconciliation of the Kurdish problem is by no means inconsiderable. As the country normalizes and the difference between the State's governance in İzmir and Diyarbakır diminishes, the reconciliation process has strongly revived. Formerly, political leaders such as Turgut Özal and Necmettin Erbakan attempted to resolve the Kurdish problem for good. Yet, the former State's structure, clouded by the "Ergenekon" mentality, probably caused the death of Özal and treated Erbakan most abhorrently.
While Kurdish leaders sit down at the table with the AK Party government, they do so mainly because they trust Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a leader who is not afraid of the internal threats of the "deep state," nor of losing votes in the elections, and who is capable of resisting the external threats of foreign states that could be made to break up the reconciliation process.
Indeed, the president has already proven his determination in the process by declaring at its very beginning, "I am ready to drink hemlock if that is what it takes for the reconciliation of this problem."
The present political power is well aware of the fact that Turkey, which could have resolved the Kurdish problem, will immediately acquire the quality of being a great State. As the Middle East's peninsula of peace, Turkey shall take the upper hand even in the reconciliation of regional problems. Meanwhile, the regional powers, including Iran, Israel and several Western powers, will lose their capability to cause regional chaos. Consequently, Turkey's national economy will be boosted both by the reduction of defense expenditure in the country and positive proceedings in the region as a whole.
Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK, stands for the reconciliation process. The country's population, too, overwhelmingly supports it, as 90 percent of Kurds and 70 percent of Turks are for the reconciliation of the long-standing Kurdish problem. The negotiations between the government and the Kurdish side have already been officially launched. The status of the negotiations and the negotiators are presently guaranteed by law. The process, it is true, has had a fluctuating course, but it is now approaching its final stage.
The old republican elites and intellectuals that formerly succeeded in blocking the operation of civilian politics tried during the last decade every kind of anti-democratic means to regain their authoritarian political power, from relying on military and judicial tutelage to cooperating with Fethullah Hoca in a "civilian" coup d'état. As all these attempts failed one by one, thanks to the prudent leadership of Erdoğan and the unyielding support of the people not only for their leaders, but also for democracy, a new attempt appears on the electoral horizon that aims at making the president an negative figure for the Kurdish electorate through the discourses of Selahattin Demirtaş, the leader of the HDP. Who is behind this final bid?
Germans, who show as close an interest in Turkey's southeastern regions as they do in Germany's Bavaria, are present in Turkey's nerves through various civil society organizations that they openly or latently support. After the end of the Gezi events, they endeavored to analyze the protests through pretended scientific research. Most importantly, they are against the reconciliation process.
Israel, Vlad the Impaler of the Middle East, is also against the reconciliation process, as it desires to remain the sole power in its region and thus is anxious about a possible rapprochement between Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq. Israel's worst nightmare is Turkey becoming a regional power capable of leading the Islamic world.Iran, which is possessed by the passion of abusing the Middle Eastern chaos in its favor, is also against the reconciliation process in many respects. Primarily, Iran strives to prevent Turkey's rapprochement with the Kurdish power in northern Iraq. Sunni Kurdish madrasahs constitute a cultural barrier against the Shi'ite expansionism of Iran. Although there exist Salafi positivist groups that have been supported by Iran for 20 years, their influence is not matched by the madrasahs' mullahs.
Now, Turkey has a native leader who can read all these complicated internal and external threats. After the moves of native or foreign colonialists have come to nothing, the poisonous discourse of Demirtaş against the president could be by no means coincidental.
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.