On Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, together with eight ministers and other officials, met with the Wisemen Committee, which assumed a significant function within the reconciliation process during the spring and summer of 2013. The meeting lasted for 11 hours. Each of the 53 wise men offered proposals and offered criticism of the process without time limitations and asked the prime minister questions. The meeting was held after the convening of 24 wise men on Oct. 16 by their own initiative and the issuing of a declaration. Recently, there were the tragic events of Oct. 6 and Oct. 7. During the violent protests that occurred in 30 provinces which began with calls by the PKK and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), 38 civilians were killed, 3,000 buildings were set on fire and destroyed and the southeastern and eastern parts of the country, which had not seen such violence for the last two years, experienced the nightmare once again.
The 24 wise men convened after these events and called for the continuation of peace. And last Sunday, the above mentioned meeting with the 53 wise men was held.
It's difficult to understand how the PKK leadership and the HDP could do such ill thought out things. The crisis in Kobani has been unfairly used for months as a tool for blackmail in the reconciliation process in Turkey. Let's assume for a moment that all the claims of the PKK leadership and the HDP are true. Even if that is the case, there is no excuse for instigating civil unrest in the country and causing 38 deaths.
Currently, citizens, particularly those living in the east and southeast, react strongly to these acts of vandalism. So much so that Kurds say, "If the reconciliation process means placing us under the yoke of the PKK, we do not want it." People have not only become fearful, but also were greatly angered this time. The effort to undermine the process through Kobani, notwithstanding the fact that no one had been killed over the last two years, discredited both the PKK and the HDP. In fact, the most important reason why a revolt on such a scale failed is the lack of support from the people. Despite all these provocations, only 120,000 people took to the streets. The majority of them were angry and poor youths, provocateurs and members of terrorist organizations. If the people had actually supported this revolt, millions of Kurds would have taken to the streets. However, Kurds showed that they do not want to fight anymore and that they want the reconciliation process to continue.
It is this awareness of the people that is the real bulwark of the process. Neither on the Turkish nor the Kurdish side is nationalism the dominant idea. Turks also kept their temper under control during these tragic events and acted prudently. No one wanted to further stoke the chaos. In this regard, the reconciliation process has withstood the largest provocation and left it far behind.
The PKK and HDP suffered a huge loss of credibility. Ankara will continue with the process after these events, but its primary condition for the progress is the cessation of illegal activities in the region. From now on, the peace process will continue at a faster pace. Actually, the process has not even stopped. It's only that the government will not allow the PKK take public security hostage. It's seen that the PKK abuses Ankara's softening position in the region and is bent on exploiting it. This will not be allowed anymore.
The PKK and HDP have to understand that Turkey has changed and the old tactics have lost their relevance. There is not any right or request in Turkey that cannot be obtained through political channels. So whoever resorts to violence will be eliminated by history.