Turkey’s domestic politics are sometimes directly related to foreign policy, no matter the issue. Turkish political history encompasses a richness that cannot be compared with any other state in the world, especially starting in the last century with the decline of the Ottoman state.
For about 400 years, the Ottoman Empire existed as a powerful and influential state in the region. The century-old story of the state's retreat is very much a part of the history of Western states.
The Ottoman era greatly influenced Western states and the papacy, helping them establish their identities.
Starting with the Tanzimat era, the processes of "confrontation, assimilation and transcendence from today's point of view" have been experienced parallel with the West in a sense.
Turkey inherited a political mess from the empire in both the political and cultural realm. Essentially, having established the world's largest civilization and the Republic of Turkey as a historical accumulation of its heirs, numerous modern, nationalist, Islamist, leftist, rightist and Kurdish political opinions exist in harmony. In Turkey, even the most dominant party politics have diametrically opposed views.
In particular, deep debates over foreign policy and the fight against terrorism rage between the current political blocs, namely the People’s Alliance, composed of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the National Movement Party (MHP) and the Nation Alliance of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Good Party (IP).
Established as a republican nation-state, the country's Kurds, as well as conservatives, have both faced issues. The Kurdish electorate, in particular, had problems in terms of being articulated into the state politically, with the PKK terrorizing the region, while the nation's conservatives eventually succeeded in joining the system politically. The same problems have followed.
The PKK has been active in the region for about 40 years. Despite the acts of terrorism it has conducted, the terrorist group has never made official demands to Ankara as to what it seeks.
The peace process initiated by the AK Party government was subject to critique in many areas.
Despite the state’s demand for a resolution to the conflict, the pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), setting aside the issue of the future of the Kurdish people in Turkey, chose to become a part of the states’ game in Syria under the influence of Iran and the U.S.
In addition, they invaded the centers of cities with a high number of Kurdish citizens and started to "launch actions," which essentially threw the poor children of the city under the bus, having infiltrated their homes with their ideas.
Setting aside the issue of the PKK and HDP being pawns in the hands of global powers, irreparable wounds have been suffered by the HDP’s voters and the Kurdish people. In the time since locals have refused to mass around PKK calls, have not wholeheartedly attended any HDP rallies nor have they continued to give over 10% of their votes for the HDP in elections.
The HDP became a secret partner in the Nation Alliance in the last elections. Is this a step that has ushered the HDP further into the system? As is known in Turkey, Kurdish votes are split between the AK Party and the HDP with a substantially continuous transition between the two parties.
However, the rate of votes that the CHP and the IP can get in the region extends to no more than the fingers on one hand. On the one hand, the HDP has chosen the most difficult alliance in terms of paradigm and demographics.
The People's Alliance has criticized the Nation Alliance’s HDP partnership. On the other hand, the Nation Alliance set the HDP and the PKK aside and attempted to legitimize it through Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned former co-chair of the HDP. It is not known how long this will take, but the weakening of the PKK's Qandil headquarters provides a chance for liberation and for the HDP to act in the balance of power.
Here the HDP's baggage goes beyond affecting the expectations of the innocent Kurdish public by further burdening the Nation Alliance, of which it is a party.