A critical step in the reconciliation process

Published 01.07.2014 00:53

If one is asked about Turkey's primary issue, the answer will likely be "the Kurdish and PKK question." For a long time, the agenda of Turkey was preoccupied with this problem, a hot topic that was discussed relentlessly. As far as I am concerned, the most important reason why it was superfluously debated and the main question was left unsettled was the mentality of those who have been ruling this country for the last 80 years. Throughout the 80-year period between 1923 and 2003, the privileged oligarchy, which monopolized the power, felt itself so beyond question and unrivalled that it was never obliged to change itself while enjoying the comfort zone, which was arbitrarily given to it. While the Kemalist elites were keeping hold of power through violence and oppression, they lost administrative ethics. Their high but futile self-confidence and moral loss made them believe that the world would never change and everything would remain a bed of roses.

If, from your perspective of the world, time has stood still for 80 years, it may be beyond possibility for you to alter your mindset, which is essential to understanding the true cause of the Kurdish problem and generating solutions for it. Even more, you may have justifiably made an association between this unresolved deadlock and the continuity of the government. In short, the privileged Kemalist oligarchy created the Kurdish question and exacerbated it further, as its existence relied on the continuity of this problem.

Essentially, the concept of equality is a phenomenon which the oligarchic elitism loathes. The idea of equality with Kurds meant to be equal to religionists, Alevis, non-Muslims and all the other marginalized sections of society. They were concerned about the fact that, once you begin to be equal, this equality will spread to all fields of life, including administration of the country, economy and bureaucracy. For the elites, this indicated the end of privileges, which were granted to them, and as they did not want to be deprived of this luxury without rhyme or reason, they strongly opposed it. The deep troubles that produced violence and division, as in the case of the Kurdish and the PKK question, whitewashed the available unjust system and provided the state, which monopolized the legitimate violence, with so many excuses.

When the Kurdish population in Dersim was bombarded by the state between 1935 and 1938 and when the state collaborated with the mafia and killed Kurdish civilians in south eastern Turkey by establishing such organizations as Gendarmerie Intelligence and Counterterrorism (JİTEM) between 1993 and 1996, a series of futile excuses predominated over the main trouble. The nationalist ideology and prejudices reached its peak between the Turkish and Kurdish communities, and the media served to fuel this hatred.

Therefore, the powerful elites of this country and their cronies never wanted problems like the Kurdish and PKK questions to be solved. Due to their preconceived mindset, they looked down on the poor and religious sections of society. However, as the insolubility of the problem provided them with the power, they never assumed responsibility to unveil it.

That is why an incurable hatred has been nursed against the reconciliation initiatives launched at different times by Turgut Özal and Necmettin Erbakan in the past. The same mentality is now against the reconciliation attempts which have been launched by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since 2008. I must say that these three figures are actually the leaders of religious, poor and disadvantageous factions as they were the victims and losers of this strife. These leaders all displayed an unmitigated impulse to handle and solve the issue.

As opposed to Özal and Erbakan, Erdoğan has not yet been immobilized. A number of provocations and two different coup attempts were faced during the official negotiation process with the PKK, the second phase of which was introduced on Jan. 3, 2013. Three Kurdish women activists were killed in Paris, the elitist alliance tried their best to turn the Gezi incidents into a civil war and the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 operations were conducted under the guise of a corruption probe. If we analyze these three episodes together and think that they were suddenly intensified after Jan. 3, it is possible to say that they are not coincidental at all. The averseness against the reconciliation process, which will democratically and dramatically change the structures of power, state and politics in Turkey, comes to the forefront as the most important reason among many others.

The legal regulation implies the new phase of the reconciliation process has been proposed to Parliament. This law draft, which will provide legal framework and assurance for the talks, will be passed in a matter of days. All the crackdowns posed by the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), both of which call this praiseworthy process treachery, will be overcome and it will be given parliamentary assurance. For Turkey, this is a revolution which has been undertaken by Erdoğan and the AK Party. A country does not change so easily and now things remain on track despite the uphill battles encountered.

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