The government and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) conducted a joint declaration and announced 10 articles. Abdullah Öcalan called the PKK to hold a congress to lay down their arms. All this took place on Feb. 28, the anniversary of a military coup, which affected a large segment of society in Turkey.
All these developments are important since the conservatives and Kurds, two communities of Turkey that had unfairly suffered, are coming together to form the new Turkey. After all, the AK Party's 13-year-old democracy story emerged as a result of these unjust treatments and unless there is a surprise, the period of arms struggle will be over and the PKK will continue to defend their cause in the political arena.
But how will this happen? What do the 10 articles that have been announced mean? How will Qandil react, because they sometimes go against Öcalan's decisions?
We need to answer all these questions by looking at the big picture without getting lost in the chaos of everyday politics. We should not forget that both the AK Party and HDP do politics by taking into consideration the sensibility of their bases while managing a historical process. These two sometimes require conflicting political attitudes; hence we need to examine political statements according to the conjecture.
It is possible to discuss these 10 articles within a broader context. I have asked certain members of the AK Party and HDP about how we should interpret these articles. Here are some of my inferences: First, the local authorities will be strengthened. The definition of citizenship in the current constitution will be reconsidered. There will be initiatives to provide public service in the mother language as well as paving the way for education in the mother language. The PKK will be encouraged to do politics. The system of village guards will be entirely changed or abolished. Changes will also be made in national security law.All these can be implemented if reciprocal trust is sustained between the sides. Among the abovementioned issues, changing the draft security law is the most hotly-debated topic, which is seen as the victory of the HDP. However, I think the current scene is a result of trust between the sides. Many "maximalist" articles in the draft law have been added to strengthen police forces against an attempt, notably following an insecure environment after the Oct. 6-7 incidents. From the very beginning, I have said these articles should be changed. Amid the reconciliation process, the government wants to take measures as it is concerned about a possible civil war scenario by the PKK. The government's concerns have increased following the statements by the HDP, saying that if the party does not surpass the election threshold, they will form an alternative assembly and organize demonstrations. However, it appears that the HDP has shown an alleviative attitude and the government has also become more moderate on this issue, which means both sides are on the right path. In such processes, each side should take a step, where necessary. This is the nature of negotiation.
If no external provocation takes place, Öcalan's strong will would be enough to control the organization and take the process to permanent peace. In the event no road accident occurs, following the general election in June, Turkey will embark upon a road that leads to a new, pluralist democracy, and Feb. 28, 2015 will be marked brightly in history.