War cabinet

Published 15.07.2015 22:30
Updated 16.07.2015 00:21

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lost its parliamentary majority after the general elections held on June 7. The evident parliamentary arithmetic accommodates an AK Party-Republican People's Party (CHP), an AK Party-Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) coalition or necessitates the option of early elections. There are now coalition negotiations in Turkey for the first time in 16 years. The parties have started the traffic of official talks as part of the work to form a new government. For media outlets and business corporations that oppose the AK Party, an AK Party-CHP coalition is the best alternative while the possibility of an AK Party-MHP coalition alarms some people. The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) thinks that this coalition might constitute a "war cabinet" since the MHP stands aloof from the reconciliation process and MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli asserted that ending the reconciliation process conducted by the government is a condition for a coalition partnership. The term "war cabinet" must be emphasized. According to those using this expression, the reconciliation process will be interrupted if an AK Party-MHP coalition is formed since the MHP will impose pressure on the AK Party to give up on the process. Following the interruption of the process, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will launch operations in rural areas where the PKK terrorist organization is influential, a conflict will break out between the army and the outlawed PKK and casualties and bereavement will be reported again. In other words, we will return to the prevalent atmosphere of the 1990s in Turkey.

On Tuesday, AK Party chairman and interim prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, discussed the possibility of forming a coalition with Bahçeli after meeting CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. Bahçeli explicitly told Davutoğlu that the MHP does not want to be a coalition partner and prefers remaining as an opposition party. A government has not been built yet. And according to the current picture, a "government of conflict" will not be founded in Turkey, either. However, the PKK administration recently announced that it had ended the one-party cease-fire it had maintained since 2011. In an announcement, the executive council of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) said that the government exploits the conditions of the cease-fire by constructing outposts and roads with military purposes, cultural massacres and dams, adding that the dams built by the state in eastern and southeastern Anatolia would now be considered targets.

Those emphasizing the term "war cabinet" have fallen into a feeling of emptiness due to this development. A series of negative developments followed this statement as well. The PKK started to block roads in eastern and southeastern regions again. Trucks have been set on fire on roads again. When the mayor of a district in Ardahan province rejected paying "taxes" to the PKK, the terrorist organization cut electricity to the municipality and set fire to a vehicle driven by municipality officers who were on their way to fix the electricity problem. After that, militants clashed with soldiers heading to the region. Some PKK members confused a civil vehicle for a military vehicle and fired on it; a civilian was killed as a result of the incident. So, blood was shed for the first time after a long interval since the introduction of the reconciliation process. Let's get straight to the point. The reconciliation process is moving on a slippery slope at high speed and is about to hit a wall. The vehicle straying off the road or overturning is imminent. Contrary to the point that is wanted to be showcased, the reason for it is neither the June 7 elections nor a "war cabinet" that is to be founded in Turkey. The actual reason dates back to a time before the elections, namely the Kobani incidents that took place between Oct. 6 and Oct. 8, 2014. The Kobani incidents, during which around 50 civilians lost their lives and the terrorist organization turned the streets of eastern and southeastern regions into battle grounds, caused a dramatic change in the state and society's perspective of the reconciliation process. The public strongly came to believe that the non-conflicting, cautious and passive approach of the government and security forces in order to avoid harming the reconciliation process benefited the PKK, which actually undermined the process. Therefore, the government decided to take control of the process. Long before the June 7 elections, a national security law, which assigns broader authority to security forces in cases of street conflicts, got through Parliament. With this regulation, the government declared that it left behind the phase of overlooking unlawful activities to avoid harming the reconciliation process. It means that the healthy operation of the reconciliation process will not depend on the traits of governments founded in Turkey. Contrarily, it will depend on steps taken by the PKK. While the balances are evidently changing in favor of the PKK in northern Syria, it is hard to expect the PKK to stick to the principles of the reconciliation process. In order not to keep its promise to exit Turkey that it gave in May 2013 the PKK is now hiding behind some ambiguous excuses such as "military dams." The organization maintains its activities of opening space for itself in the region, which means that we are about to enter an undesirable period of conflict.

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