The long-awaited letter of the Imprisoned PKK leader, Abdullah Öcalan, was read out in Diyarbakır province during Nevruz celebrations on March 21 - the traditional celebration of the equinox marking the first day of spring. It was predicted that the letter would announce the decision to remove PKK armed forces from Turkey and to name a date for the peace congress, signaling that a meaningful process has begun. But this did not happen. Still, the letter has historic significance, since Öcalan clearly said:
"As required by the declaration, after a consensus is achieved on principles, I regard it as necessary and historic to organize a congress in order to determine political and social strategies and tactics in accordance with the soul of the new period, and to stop the armed conflict of the PKK with the Republic of Turkey that has been ongoing for about 40 years." This statement explicitly declares that there is no longer any reason for the PKK to continue its armed fight in Turkey. Consequently, after this statement by the influential leader, the PKK has no excuse to maintain the conflict. On the other hand, it is evident that this excuse cannot be highlighted in the presence of the incidents that took place on Oct. 6-8, in which the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the PKK leadership in Iraq's Qandil Mountains called on people to pour onto the streets in support of Kobani, resulting in events which ended up claiming the lives of 52 citizens. The gun is still on the stage and it can be fired at any moment. According to a rumor, the date was actually included in the letter, but omitted at the last moment.
When the reasons for this omission are considered, it can be assumed that the PKK leadership is still confused. The reconciliation process would have collapsed under normal conditions since they provoked the incidents that caused the death of 52 citizens. Thanks to the determination of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, the process did not come to a halt. But a precondition ordering public security and the removal of armed forces were added to the negotiations. To make the process appeal to the public, the government was required to eradicate the risk of exploiting the peaceful atmosphere, since the PKK leadership has still not displayed any determined action as part of the reconciliation process.Instead of ending the conflict on the bases of equal citizenship and democratization, when considered along with the Syrian case, a canton could be formed within Turkey. As for the Kurdish issue, it can be said that the denial and assimilation policies targeting Kurds are officially over. And the remaining problems can be resolved within the remit of politics. In other words, no reason remains to continue fighting. Erdoğan recently said that they should not show the problems of Kurdish citizens as a ground, adding that there is no Kurdish issue now in Turkey in its former sense, and the real problem now is the PKK not laying down its arms. He issued such a statement because of the above-mentioned reasons.
The PKK creates great interest all around the world due to the new conditions in Rojava and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). They are probably making some good offers to those in the Qandil Mountains. However, if the offers include unethical provisions such as continuing the fight in Turkey, it is not possible for Kurds to have a permanent and positive gain from such offers. On the contrary, the reconciliation process and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) do not manipulate the PKK, but present the group an equal role as one of the founders of the process.
Öcalan seems to have understood this, since he has expressed it in the last three letters he wrote, but the HDP and PKK leadership must also be convinced. Without their determination, the government cannot be expected to be led out into open seas by them. The group in charge of the Oct. 6-8 incidents can do anything. And the only condition is the retreat of armed forces from the country.All in all, there is no reason to go on fighting now, and the public is aware of this. Even a fatal provocation such as the Oct. 6-8 demonstrations could not hamper the process. Some obstacles can still be encountered in the process, but every crisis that the country overcomes forces the PKK leadership to take another step toward peace.