After a series of deadly terrorist attacks in the heart of Ankara that has left the nation up in arms, the Kurds of Turkey are obliged to tell us whether they really want to be a part of the political process in this country or whether they have opted for secession through violent means and terrorism.
For years the intellectuals of this country have been promoting the idea that we should encourage the Kurdish militants holed up in the mountains of eastern and southeastern Turkey to put aside their terrorist campaign and be a part of the Turkish democratic political process. This columnist spent 20 years of his journalistic career promoting Kurdish rights in Turkey and championed the cause that Kurds should be a part of the democratic process.
So many Turks besides the Kurds of Turkey encouraged the Kurdish nationalist Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to enter the elections and pass the 10 percent threshold to be represented in Parliament. Before that quite a few Turks wholeheartedly supported HDP Co-Chairman Selahattin Demirtaş as a presidential candidate and gave him at least 9 percent of the national vote. The HDP comfortably passed the 10 percent threshold in the June 7 elections through a campaign where its candidates drew the image that they were a part of the Turkish democratic process and a "party of Turkey." Thus Turks also supported the HDP and gave it 13 percent of the vote.
But since then the HDP has been responding very strangely to the events in Turkey, which is convincing many people that the party is under the strict influence of the PKK terrorist leaders and does not have a mind of its own. The HDP is trying to justify the terrorist actions of the PKK, the HDP spokespeople are trying to create the image that by creating Kurdish enclaves in several southeastern cities and towns the PKK is using its right of resistance (by using arms and bombs) and last but not least HDP deputies do not only fail to properly condemn the PKK terrorists in the heart of Ankara. They continue to infuriate the Turkish public by extending their condolences for the death of a terrorist bomber.
All this added up together creates a very strong impression that the Kurdish political movement or at least the HDP has missed the chance of entering Parliament and making a proper impact for the benefit of those who voted for them and has surrendered to the PKK leadership in the mountains of Northern Iraq. These are the very leaders who have ordered the bombings in Ankara, the last of which was on Sunday when a suicide bomber (or two bombers) exploded a vehicle in the heart of Ankara killing at least 35 people and wounding more than 100.
This will not deter the people of this country but on the contrary sharpen their resolve to provide all out support to the government to finish off the PKK at all costs. It will also heighten demands that the HDP deputies should not be a part of the Turkish democratic process.
It is sad that the Kurdish political movement in Turkey has been hijacked by the HDP, which has proven to serve as an affiliate of the PKK. The HDP has won only 11 percent of the votes but that is trivial compared to the potential of the Kurdish votes in the elections. Many Kurds have opted for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and have brought it to power with 49.5 percent. So now the AK Party and the Turkish leadership have to find viable representatives of the Kurdish political democratic movement and march ahead to make the Kurds of this country feel they are first class citizens while terrorism is erased from our land.