Mayors of HDP municipalities allow PKK militants to use the municipalities' state-funded machines to dig ditches, facilitating their new strategy
In a modern world, ditches are dug usually by municipalities to construct the infrastructure of a neighborhood and thus provide better services to the local people. Turkey is a unique case where ditches are also dug by municipalities that serve a terrorist organization bent on carving up a chunk of the country and setting up a Kurdish entity. Our international readers who read this column and who are not privy to the realities of Turkey may be baffled by the strange fact that an elected and state-funded mayor would allow his machines to be used by a terrorist organization, but this is the sad fact and the reason why Ankara has had to launch an operation to restore law and order in such cities and towns in eastern and southeastern Turkey.
The government then prime minister, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched a campaign to end the Kurdish strife in Turkey and initiated a peace and reconciliation process with the secessionist Kurdish militants of Turkey about three years ago. It was a well-intended initiative on the part of Erdoğan to end a thorny issue that has been a sore spot for Turkey for decades. Yet now we realize that the militant Kurds led by the PKK terrorist organization had no intention to reconcile or make peace. They used the lull created by the process to amass arms and ammunition as well as create the infrastructure for a violent struggle in the districts of cities and towns in eastern and southeastern provinces to start a new uprising that would eventually lead to a separate state. Unfortunately the Turkish authorities gave them the benefit of the doubt and did not interfere in these locations to keep the peace and reconciliation process alive. That now seems to have been a serious mistake as we try to weed out the terrorists and in the process we are suffering civilian, police and military casualties every day.
So what the militant Kurds in Turkey did was to pick the most opportune moment and launch their uprising aided by the local municipalities controlled by the PKK-affiliated Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) that is represented in Parliament by 59 deputies. The Turkish people gave the HDP the opportunity to come down from the mountains and serve in Parliament thus voicing their views and exercising the democratic rights granted by modern Turkey to all its citizens. But the PKK only exploited this for their ulterior motives. They used the funds provided by the state to the HDP-controlled municipalities to create pockets of "resistance" digging ditches and filling them with bombs, terrorizing the local people to "cooperate" with them thus building tunnels and safe places where arms and ammunition were stashed. They were impressed with the examples set in northern Syria where PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) terrorists created cantons in the civil war-torn areas and started to create a Kurdish entity in the region. So they used the weakness of the government before and after the June 7 elections and launched their uprising with the target of eventual secession.Thus the state stepped in even during the volatile period when elections were repeated on Nov. 1 and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) won a landslide victory. Then with the victory behind it, the strong AK Party government put all its energy into restoring law and order in the troubled eastern and southeastern provinces.
The HDP municipalities in these regions do not have the funds to survive. They cannot collect money for municipal services, for water and electricity and natural gas. So the state has to fund them in a way that is unprecedented in the rest of the country. The HDP uses these funds to employ PKK sympathizers so much so that most municipalities spend more than 60 percent of their budgets on salaries. They only have about 2 to 10 percent funds left for investments...
So HDP municipalities use their funds to bankroll the PKK secessionist movement. Can any state in the West tolerate such a situation?