Experts, who interpret a senior KCK leader's remarks that a planned disarmament congress is no longer on the agenda, said it is a move to increase the pro-Kurdish HDP vote by harming Ankara's determined stance to finalize the process
Following a new debate that flared up in the past days over the reconciliation process between Ankara and figures from the PKK's umbrella organization, the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), Kurdish intellectuals speaking to Daily Sabah have interpreted the remarks as a move to increase the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) vote in the upcoming general elections.
KCK Co-Chair Bese Hozat on Tuesday accused the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government of not taking the steps agreed upon for the reconciliation process between Ankara and the PKK and claimed that the government has "[failed] to take the process forward," on pro-PKK Med Nuçe TV program, which broadcasts from Europe. "Convening the congress is not our agenda now since the [reconciliation] process has not worked and no steps have been taken," Hozat asserted.
She said the PKK will not convene the congress if Kurdish identity is not acknowledged and if the current constitution is not changed.
In comments to Daily Sabah, Kurdish intellectuals evaluated the current situation in the reconciliation process after steps taken to establish the peace.
Vahdettin İnce, a Kurdish intellectual, said that at best it is a move to gather Kurdish voters around the HDP by undermining the government before the June 7 general elections.
"Otherwise, there is no reason behind these remarks, but harming the peace that is trying to be built and betraying the Kurdish people waiting to see peace in the region. These remarks serve no purpose but to flare up the fight," İnce said. Referring to the allegations that there is a dispute between the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan, the KCK and HDP, İnce said that with these remarks from the KCK, it is now clear that there is a discrepancy between these three actors in the reconciliation process.
Kurtuluş Tayiz, a Kurdish politics expert, said the KCK and HDP have never approved of Öcalan's disarmament call to the PKK in March without preconditioned agreements.
"These are little, tricky political moves only to undermine the AK Party over the reconciliation process and increase the HDP vote before the upcoming election," Tayiz claimed.
He further said that even though the guns are silenced in the mountains of eastern Turkey, the PKK has continued violence in the streets and cities and never intended to abide by Öcalan's call for disarmament.
Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan, in a speech in the eastern province of Malatya on May 5, criticized Hozat's remarks over removing the congress out of the agenda.
Calling Hozat's remarks "tricky," Akdoğan said: "If you were going to hold the congress, what restrained you?"
Accusing the PKK of lying in reference to its plans to hold the congress in April or May, Akdoğan said: "Parliament is closed ahead of [the June 7] general elections. How will it be able to change the constitution when it is closed? Is this trickery?"
"This is not a process that you can force to change with guns in your hand. The reconciliation process does not work with blackmail. This government will only do what the nation says," Akdoğan said, directing his statement to the PKK. He added that those who hold arms have no right to talk about democracy. Akdoğan also accused the HDP as well as the PKK and KCK of conducting policies by making threats and creating tension between Turkey's people.
"First, lay down the guns, and say, 'We do not accept a method based on killing. Then go anywhere in Turkey and try to receive the nation's support for the parliamentary elections," he said.
Noting that thousands of people lost their lives in Turkey's decades-long war with the PKK, Akdoğan said that each citizen in Turkey would die for the sake of homeland and flag, but not for the wrong policies
Akdoğan said that the government has fought against apathy in eastern Turkey with government services and investments. "We end discrimination with democratic reforms. We have fought terrorism in many aspects," he added. He said what victimizes the people in the east is the terrorist organization that throws Molotov cocktails at schools, attacks citizens and dormitories, and not the state serving the people.
The reconciliation process was on the brink of reaching a conclusion when Öcalan announced in his Nevruz message in March that it was time to lay down weapons and continue the cause through democratic means. However, the reconciliation process, which seemed to have been finally cemented after numerous provocations, was crippled again after the recent Ağrı attack. During a visit to the southeastern province of Mardin on Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the government took the necessary steps in the reconciliation process, but the PKK and HDP failed to keep their promises.
The PKK took up arm against the Turkish state in 1980s to carve out an independent Kurdish state in the east. It is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and U.S. The government launched the reconciliation process in 2013 to end the long-continued Kurdish conflict, which has led to the death of nearly 40,000 people.
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