I would like to present a brief summary of the Turkish political scene for our foreign readers who may not be familiar with the political balances and alliances of power in Turkey.
To generalize, there are two political blocs. The first one covers religious groups, which roughly corresponds to 70 percent of voters. The second comprises nationalists in the broadest sense.
Currently, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is supported by 50 percent of the first group, while its potential vote rate is about 60 percent, which makes it the ruling party of the country.
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) receives the votes of nationalist groups with a 25 percent vote potential.
The remaining votes are shared between the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to the right, and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which is a pro-Kurdish nationalist party on the left.
However, the largest pro-Kurdish party in the country is the AK Party, since it receives the greatest number of votes from Kurds across Turkey, while the HDP receives an average of 6 percent. According to the latest surveys, this rate has increased to 8 percent.
Contrary to Western assumptions, the CHP and MHP together represent the status quo, elitist and marginalizing political bloc in the country. For this reason, they lack sensible policies and programs to present to the public and therefore, as political alternatives, they are not convincing. Since nationalism was transformed into a pluralist notion thanks to the efforts of the AK Party, the future of the MHP is uncertain if the PKK lays down its arms.
Despite the common belief to the contrary, the CHP is not a social democrat party, but is rather an outstandingly nationalist party with racist tendencies. When the AK Party attempted to regulate the implementation of state seizure of minority foundation properties, the CHP opposed to it by charging the AK Party with treason because it was defending the rights of Armenians. Also, the current CHP chairman, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was among those who applied to the Constitutional Court for the repeal of this law after it passed through Parliament with the votes of AK Party deputies.
However, when the practices of the last 12 years are examined, it becomes evident that it is actually the AK Party, regarded as right-wing and conservative, that has undertaken social democrat reforms including health reforms. In 2014, then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued the first official state condolence for the Great Tragedy. And current Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu assigned an Armenian as his adviser a century after the tragic events.
The AK Party is taking the reconciliation process forward on its own to achieve the disarmament of the PKK, despite the fact that the process has been subject to unexpected hindrances over the last two years. According to the historic statement issued on Feb. 28, the PKK is expected to begin disarming after convening a congress probably in early April. The PKK's imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, has given the order to the PKK leadership in Iraq's Qandil Mountains.
But unfortunately, the CHP and MHP are attempting to discredit the process together with the HDP, as if the steps I mentioned above were somehow deleterious.
The most surprising aspect is the provocative attitude of HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş. It is important to note that Demirtaş also made the call for the protests that led to the deaths of 52 civilians between Oct. 6 and Oct. 8, 2014.
The CHP and MHP do not want the Kurdish issue to be resolved because they support the status quo and owe their very existence to the continuation of those problems.
Maybe Demirtaş and other members of the HDP who think like him actually do owe their existence as politicians to war, we do not know.