The Kurdish question showing promise in its first year
Mar 26, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Mar 26, 2014 12:00 am
Islamists and Kurds were excluded from the system during the establishment of the Republic of Turkey and were not accepted as legitimate partners of the founding will. Communities that struggled together against the Western powers after World War I could not establish the same cooperation in the process of state-building after the war.
In the post-war period, while the destiny of nations was being shaped according to the Wilsonian principle of selfdetermination, Anatolia was determined to be the land of Turks, as the Kurds and tens of different ethnicities, including Arabs, Georgians and Circassian, settled there after their migration from various Ottoman lands. Attempts of the founders of the young Republic of Turkey to establish a state based on Turkish nationalism drove the Kurdish people into despair, after which Kurdish rebellions broke out against the central government, most notably the Sheikh Said, Ararat and Dersim rebellions.
With a military coup on Sept. 12, 1980, the Kurds that could not be controlled since the establishment of the Republic, initiated an armed struggle as a result of the heavy oppression of the coup perpetrators. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), rooted in both Beqaa Valley and the southeastern cities, cost Turkey 50,000 lives, both military and civilians, due to terrorism.
Turgut Özal did not live long enough to conclude the negotiations with the PKK carried out during his presidency. Although there were partial changes related to the southeastern policy of each new government, a security-oriented policy continued.
Efforts to prevent terror by military methods during the term of Prime Minister Tansu Çiller resulted in blood. The assertion that the Kurdish question cannot be solved by military methods without a political and social solution has, however, become the dominant discourse for both the government and the PKK.
The Kurdish question denied since the establishment of the Republic was recognized officially in 2005 in a Diyarbakır meeting of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the world recognized his efforts. The Erdoğan government simultaneously enacted democratization laws complying with EU standards. It has taken courageous steps in the Demonstration Marches Law, Associations Law, the expansion of freedom of expression and the initiation of the negotiation process in the Kurdish question.
The framework agreement offering a political solution to the Kurdish question between the PKK, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Republic of Turkey was announced to the public exactly one year ago. Turkish citizens, who suffered greatly due to the 80-year Kurdish issue and the terrorism of the last 30 years, are sincere supporters of the process.
According to a research conducted by GENAR, 95 percent of the Turkish population want a solution with 68 percent in support of the reconciliation process carried out by the government and the PKK together. This support reaches 80 percent in the southeastern cities. During the last year, both the Kurdish community and Turkey as a whole were loyal to this hope for resolution. The letter from Abdullah Öcalan read today stressed that there will be no return from this process now, but it should have a legal and constitutional basis.
The AK Party government, which resolved many of the Republic's chronic problems accumulated over the last 80 years, seemed to resolve Kurdish question as well. The citizens of the Republic of Turkey expressed their will for resolution. The Kurdish side stays loyal to the expectation of the public opinion. This course of events has invaluable promises for the resolution of the Kurdish question, but only if Turkey continues its democratization process and does not return back to the era
of military coups.