After the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) emerged victorious in the Nov. 1 parliamentary elections after receiving nearly 50 percent of the vote, the future of the reconciliation process has become one of the key concerns engrossinwg political discourse. After major thresholds were passed, the process suffered a slowdown and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which avoided running it with the AK Party, raised negative opposition to the AK Party, as if the process was not initiated. What is more, a major part of the Kurdish electorate moved toward the HDP in the June 7 elections, the PKK reinitiated terror following the elections and the possibility of forming a coalition government with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) diminished hopes about the future of the reconciliation process to a great extent.
Now, we have four years of strong and uninterrupted AK Party rule again. How will the AK Party evaluate this period? Will it leave the reconciliation process incomplete thinking that the HDP and the PKK betrayed it? Or, will it return to its reformist spirit remembering the bold steps of Kurdish voters who returned to the AK Party on Nov. 1? The answers of these questions could be found in the statements that both Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made prior to the elections. They consistently pointed to the continuation of the process. However, those statements did not include answers to questions such as how the process would continue, whether it would continue with the HDP and the PKK and what its contents would be.
Now, objectives for the new period are becoming clearer, step by step. According to government sources, the reconciliation process will progress within a new basic framework that includes the following steps:
New players: The HDP is out of the equation now. Necessary legal regulations will be made for comebacks; however, the PKK or HDP will not be taken as in
terlocutors. A direct contact will be established with Kurdish tribes. Meetings will be held with religious opinion leaders and guard families and nongovernmental organizations will be introduced. In this way, it will be underlined that the HDP and the PKK are not the sole representatives of the Kurds.
Positive discrimination for the region: Economic packages will be prepared for the region and projects will be developed for the youth of the region.
New parties: The government will open the floodgates for political parties that are alternatives to the HDP. There will be endeavors to disrupt the PKK's hegemony and tutelage.
The PKK's parallel state will be eliminated: The PKK and the Kurdish Communities Union's (KCK) brutal acts, such as establishing courts, assigning policemen and imposing taxes on people in southeastern Turkey will be prevented.
Additionally, the struggle with the PKK will continue. Operations against the PKK will continue both during summer and winter.
These steps aim to liberate Kurds from the PKK's assertion that it is their sole representative. Also, the continuation of military operations with the objective of eliminating the PKK underlines the fact that terror and the reconciliation process are perceived as two separate topics. Well, can such a road map succeed?
Before the AK Party came to power in Turkey, Kurdish identity was completely ignored, basic human rights were violated, speaking in the Kurdish
language was forbidden and military tutelage dominated the country. In such an environment, the PKK took up arms against the military tutelage in the name of fighting for the Kurds' rights in a rather uniformist and Stalinist understanding and all other Kurdish political movements were suppressed by the state. This course of affairs turned into the PKK's tutelage over time as it came to disallow any other ideas and maintain its claim to be the sole representative of the Kurds by using the force of arms. The most important element in the disruption of the reconciliation process was that the PKK attempted to use the process as a weapon and, figuratively speaking, it tried to take the Kurds hostage. If this cycle is broken and a sphere can be opened for Kurdish diversity, and the PKK, which is the last tutelary stronghold in Turkey, will be destroyed and the reconciliation process might grow into ultimate peace.