Turkey has exerted the utmost effort to convince the outlawed PKK to lay down its arms and to continue its battle on the political stage. The basis of the disarmament was actually grounded in the negotiations conducted with the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan, that have been ongoing since Jan. 3, 2013. The PKK announced on May 8, 2013 that they had started to recess from Turkey's borders. But it backed down from its promise on June 10, 2013. Since then, the PKK has not taken any positive steps. Instead, it has abused the non-conflict period to gain dominance in some cities, particularly in southeastern Turkey, where they have even founded local courts. Brigandage and illegal tax collecting activities have continued. This picture also made the citizens in the region assume that the state had left them alone with the PKK. The state put up with this situation for a while in order to not cause any harm to the reconciliation process.
The public closely witnessed the PKK's headquarters in Qandil and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which is the political wing of the organization, accept the reconciliation process under the influence of Öcalan, who was not really sincere. But since peace is advocated by the public, a valid reason to restart the conflicts could not be found. But the PKK and the HDP found a reason soon after. A propaganda war was kicked off on the grounds of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham's (ISIS) attack on Kobani. In the southeast of Turkey, where the organization is quite influential, the public was misinformed in that Turkey was aiding ISIS. Through this misinformation, the conservative population residing in the region was considered equal with ISIS. The PKK's news outlets and the HDP constantly increased the tension and released reports based on fabricated news.
They attempted to create hatred and spark a reaction against the government among the Kurds favoring the reconciliation process. But the truth is Kobani was saved from ISIS thanks to the aid provided by Turkey with the injured Democratic Union Party (PYD) members who were cured in Turkey thanks to the government's toleration. The risk Turkey undertook was critical since both the PKK and the PYD were officially listed among terrorist groups clashing with Turkey. While Kobani was about to fall, Turkey allowed heavily armed Peshmerga groups to head to Kobani through the channel of its territories with a memorandum issued by Parliament, thanks to votes from members of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Also, the Free Syrian Army, which has had harsh conflicts with the PYD, was persuaded by Turkey to fight in Kobani. So Kobani was saved from the siege.
The HDP gave a negative vote to the parliamentary motion required for the Peshmerga group to pass through Turkish territories. This indicated that their approach to the Kobani incident was not sincere.
The PKK and the HDP called people to pour down into the streets on October 2014, which would have probably ended the reconciliation process under many circumstances. Violent incidents took place. Some 52 citizens lost their lives as a result. It all seemed so irrational because everything was operating so smoothly in the reconciliation process. Moreover, the government has solved the innumerable problems of Kurdish citizens aside from the process. The ban on Kurdish language was abolished, and education in Kurdish was allowed in private schools, the state opened a TV channel broadcasting in Kurdish, the ban on Kurdish political propaganda was also abolished, and the original location names were returned. With innumerable reforms, Turkey actually resolved the Kurdish issue.
Since early 2013, the PKK has not taken any of the steps it was supposed to take. It must recess from the borders. But with its constant maximalist demands, it has already shaped the opinion that it is not actually sincere.
General elections are to be held on June 7. The HDP is now allied with the actors causing the Kurdish problem in the country. The PKK fights its rival AK Party with the force of arms in the eastern and southeastern regions. Dubious attacks and fatalities have increased. The AK Party's provincial chairmen are being threatened with death. The same HDP, however, follows a hypocritical strategy by attempting to teach a democracy lesson to the government in the west.
All these developments indicate that the reconciliation process is to progress on another modality after the elections. The government will probably ask Öcalan, the HDP and the PKK to make up their minds and choose between peace and war since it is thought that the PKK and the HDP do not attach importance to the process and have exploited it. The process will probably continue with the Kurdish public. The PKK and the HDP will not be allowed to abuse the process as a trap.
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