The incidents that broke out in Turkey on the pretext of protesting the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) attack on Kobani has raised concerns over the reconciliation process of the Kurdish question. If negotiations are ongoing with the PKK - and its leader, Abdullah Öcalan, seems determined on introducing peace - how did such violent incidents take place? As the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government shouldered the responsibility of resolving the most crucial issue in Turkey for the first time in the country's history, then why did it not prevent the conflicts? Such questions were naturally raised after the incidents.
The government took initiative to answer these questions saying, "We are determined on the reconciliation process and will keep on our work regardless of provocation." The president, prime minister and various ministers are insistently underlining that they are determined on the continuation of the process in their statements. I regard it as a very brave and correct attitude. The inclusion of the "Wisemen Committee" in the process is also crucial at this point.
Last weekend, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had a meeting with the Wisemen Committee that lasted more than 10 hours. The committee had some demands at the meeting:
The continuation of the cease-fire in the region
Improving Öcalan's prison conditions
Establishing an outside observer to follow the process
The change of tone and language of the parties
Provision of various negotiation opportunities with Öcalan
Activating Parliament on the matter
Reinforcing social support
Activating civilian instruments
Restructuring the Wisemen Committee to become a part of the activity again
These are constructive and relevant offers. Davutoğlu also said the peace efforts should continue by making no concessions to public order.
I think the developments and the peace talks stated above for the last 10 days mark the point Turkey has reached as civil war rehearsals were made in the country in the previous weeks. A plan for chaos was attempted by checking if the conditions were available for a civil war and Kobani was used as an excuse. Of course the language and tone used by both the government and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) contributed to the emergence of it.
If such a scene had broken out in old Turkey, the results would have been dramatically different. The 1990s also experienced similar incidents. As former President Turgut Özal attempted to take steps on the Kurdish issue, some 33 soldiers were killed, and afterward Turkey drifted into a dark phase that it was not going to recover from for a long time. Politics was seriously harmed as a result of it.
However, Turkey is now in an effort to restore the damage from the Kobani demonstrations by reinforcing politics rather than suppressing them. Dominant military actors defying civil politics cannot threaten politicians and intervene in any political process anymore and international forces cannot achieve the realization of their plans for Turkey.
The AK Party government's determination toward a resolution even after the violent incidents, the HDP's shift to common sense from its former attitude, revival of the Wisemen Committee and all the other developments reveal the progress to strengthen civil politics made within the last 10 years.