The terrorist PKK has been around for four decades, perpetrating violence. It kept growing, despite being designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S., the EU and the rest of the world. At home and abroad, the PKK managed to benefit from changing circumstances. Today, the group feeds off the anti-Justice and Development Party (AK Party) sentiment of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and other opposition groups in an attempt to survive.
In truth, the movement declared its political bankruptcy by serving as Washington's henchman in Syria and delegitimized itself by waging terror, despite its political wing, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), receiving 13% of the national vote in Turkey.
The CHP, the founding party of the Turkish Republic, and its allies not only disregard the PKK's true face but effectively try to hide it. Ironically, countries experiencing this particular problem have no choice but to promote civilian politics and isolate political parties that use terrorism to further their respective agendas.
Depriving terrorist groups of domestic support alone offers a partial remedy. Outside support, too, must end. Spain's experience with the ETA, which stands for Euskadi ta Askatasuna or "Basque Homeland and Freedom" in Basque, offers some valuable insights.
The group never turned its back on terrorism despite enjoying their full democratic rights in Spain. In other words, the problem was ETA's push for independence rather than Spain's "democratic deficit." In the end, France's crackdown on ETA and its support network, together with the strong public reaction against terror attacks in Spain, compelled the group to issue an apology and disarm.
In Turkey, by contrast, at no time in the recent past have political parties and the various social groups successfully formed a united front against terrorism. This situation might finally be changing.
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