The reconciliation process has entered its final stretch after long series of talks. These times will remarkably be remembered in the future. Even the photo that was released at Dolmabahçe Palace to Turkey and the world conveys a great message on its own, not to mention the 10-article declaration on which the government and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) agreed on over the weekend.
These are all achieved with a strong political will. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is the real architect of the reconciliation process, and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who has made the process part and parcel of Turkish government's program, have never hesitated in their determination to resolve the Kurdish question. Equally, despite the lack of common ground within the Kurdish political movement, the PKK's jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan, has also played a great role in this success by displaying the same resoluteness on the matter. This mutual determination clearly indicates that peace is on the horizon and Turkey is on brink of solving one of its age-old problems.
Unfortunately, those who claim that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government will not bring peace, and regard this historic step as a part of the AK Party's election campaign, merely verbalize their own expectations. Although few in number, there are also a number of intellectuals and politicians such as HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş who have radically changed their minds during the process and left aside such expectations. Nevertheless, it is no secret that the absence of armed conflict has generated great hope over the past two years.
Overwhelming majority of the population enjoys this peace, and they do not want to lose it - a reality that reveals the policy being pursued is a product of a radical change rather than a cyclical one. From the very beginning of the process Turkish society embraced the process and remained patient and positive during the moments of crisis. A HDP member who left the mountains after fighting there for many years said: "What peace means is best known by those who fight on the mountain. So, ignore what some politicians say. What is really important is what Öcalan says. Öcalan's decision to end the armed struggle in Turkey is a strategic decision. There will be no conflict in Turkey anymore. Furthermore, old socialist utopias in the region are now dead. We have switched to realpolitik. All Kurds in the region understand that it is in their own interests to act in unison with Turkey." Within this comment it can be seen clearly how Öcalan is still influential in Kurdish political movement and how Kurds also appreciates outcomes of the process.
The 10-article promise for democracy that was presented at Dolmabahçe Palace is a manifestation of this realistic transformation. The AK Party's election promises for the 2011 general elections and its 62-point demands for change during the 2012 congress are virtually one and the same as these 10 articles. All of the demands made are not only the wishes of the AK Party or the Kurdish bloc, but are the outcome of Turkey's 100-year-old quest for peace, democracy and stability. We have reached the point where we finally have a chance to realize peace and construct democracy.