The PKK, which has being waging an armed struggle against the Turkish state for 30 years, is recognized as a terror organization in the U.S. and many EU countries for a number of concrete reasons. Thus far, the organization has killed armed security forces and thousands of civilians including children. It turned the acts of kidnapping, racketeering and robbery into a routine in the regions where it operates. Furthermore, instead of hiding such acts, the PKK overtly embraced them in order to spread terror. The PKK is also a problematic structure in terms of its financial resources. It operates in areas such as drug and arms trafficking, which international law considers a crime and stipulates a global struggle against.
Apart from all this, the PKK theoretically removed its separatist objectives, which brought it a partial legitimacy in the international arena, from its program. As such, it rejected the struggle as a "national liberation movement." This strategic retreat, which the organization started to reiterate more frequently after the arrest of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in 1999, certainly emanated from a quest for legitimacy in a new area. The objective was to gain a footing in Turkey's local politics and the organization took this step to strengthen the hands of its legal wings.
The PKK's move, which can be described with the oft-told Anatolian idiom of oriental slyness, produced a consequence that neutralized its quest for legitimacy in domestic politics. Well, what was the significance of an armed wing that the PKK did not liquidate, now that it has turned toward a path where it is looking to integrate itself into the country's democratic framework? Armed struggle, which is tolerated through the argument that nations have the right to self-determination, became a justification of self-defense for the addressee state after this demand was abandoned. Even some Western countries, which manipulated the PKK to design Turkey in line with their interests, had to accept this contradiction.
ISIS FUNCTIONED AS LIFEBLOODThe PKK used the atmosphere of peace brought about by the reconciliation process, which started in 2013 and lasted two and a half years, to strengthen its armed force, instead of moving into legal politics. Within this period, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) lent a helping hand to the PKK that was looking for an opportunity to regain its prestige in the international arena. The PKK foregrounded its Syrian branch, Democratic Union Party (PYD), and its armed faction the People's Protection Units (YPG). ISIS and the PYD, which fought against opposition groups on the side of the Damascus regime in the early stages of the civil war, turned against each other because of the struggle for territorial dominance in Kobani.
With a scenario that was reminiscent of Hollywood movies, ISIS was presented as a greater threat than it really was. This played into the hands of the PKK and it found the title that it had been waiting for. It would be the "chevalier of secularism in the Middle East where radical Islam was spreading." The west embraced this tale. The PKK used the struggle card against ISIS to impress the international community and to steer its radical secularist and legal wing the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey.
THE PKK RECRUITS CHILD FIGHTERS
Thinking that its strength has peaked both at home and abroad after the June 7 general elections, the PKK broke its negotiations with the state and reinitiated terror attacks. Since then, it has killed more than 100 people, including children. Like all organizations in the Middle East, the U.S. has detailed intelligence about the PKK, including aforementioned information, and it has recently narrowed its distance from the PKK. Various diplomatic sources confirm that the U.S. plans to cooperate with the PYD in its fight against ISIS. Obviously, this move by the U.S. will disturb Turkey as its oldest and greatest ally that tussles with the PKK terror in the Middle East. Apart from this, how will the U.S. side with the PKK and PYD, which have overtly violated international law for many years, including the recruitment of child fighters in their acts? Will this absurd picture not have an adverse impact on the U.S.'s domestic and international prestige as it claims to be the flag-bearer of counter-terrorism on a global scale? Or, is it no longer a problem for the U.S. to be with the child fighters of terror organizations on the front?