Nothing but good for the Kurds
Negotiations between the PKK leader and the Turkish state
statement that they repent their actions.
- There will be amendments in the AntiTerror laws, particularly in the prosecution article 4. After this amendment the individuals imprisoned related to the so called KCK trials will be set free.
- The Makhmour Refugee Camp that is harboring refugees from North (Turkey) will be closed and the refugees will be able to move back to their homes. The camp has frequently been used by PKK.
Looking at these points one notices that nothing is mentioned about the Kurdish question itself. Nothing is mentioned about the notion of citizenship in the Turkish constitution that has clearly expressed the principle of Turkish ethnic identity. The Kurds and the Kurdish question are not mentioned. This is in total concord with the official discourse of the Turkish state, namely, as Prime Minister Erdogan labels it, “there is no Kurdish question, but a question of terrorism in Turkey”. The Turkish approach towards the Kurd- ish question entails mainly a security aspect.
It is true that the Turkish nationalism has been modified since the emergence of AKP in power. Turkish nationalism has reduced the Kemalist notion of secularism and has instead replaced this notion with an Ottoman Muslim identity. Before the AKP seized power in Ankara, Turkey was closely allied with Western countries and even rejected its historical and cultural connection with the Middle East.
As a matter of fact the political and cultural elite of Turkey looked deprecatorily upon peoples and nations in Middle East. The political authorities in Turkey gave their doubtless support to Israel and never questioned its doings in the Middle East. The AK-party changed this discourse radically, encouraged by economic boom, power vacuum in Middle East and a redefinition of its Muslim identity, Turkey set about a new crusade to invade the Middle East by its political and cultural power.
The essence of this new political and historical redefinition is still the Turkish ethnicity. Thus, its approach towards the Kurdish problem is essentially the same as before. Sovereignty in Turkey is centralized and characterized by one ethnicity - the Turkish one. The reliefs for Kurdish linguistic expressions lack constitutional basis. The Turkish parliament has assigned a Constitutional Commission with the aim of adapting amendments to the constitution. The commission was supposed to come with its drafts ready last summer. Nothing has happened.
I do not think Turkey is willing to adapt amendments to its constitution before the final solution for the “terror question”. When this question is solved it will be easier for Turkish political authorities to make the necessary amendments without touching the notion of sovereignty and ethnicity as it is mentioned in the constitution. Clearly expressed, their aim is to preserve the Turkish identity of the Republic and maintain the status quo for the Kurds in Turkey.
But getting rid of the terror will benefit the business, the political reputation and facilitate easier relations with the Southern (Iraqi) Kurds. The Turks will practically share the profit of the oil with the Kurdistan Region, overwhelming majority of the foreign corporations in Kurdistan Region are Turkish, the oil has to be exported via Turkish territory and the Region has to make major concessions to Turkey if it aims at independence from Iraq.
It is not surprising that Turkish state always use its Intelligence Organization to deal with PKK. It arises from their point of view that the question has an entirely security character and the solution should be shaped not by political steps but by security measurements. What Turkey offers is in the best case is rehabilitation for a subversive criminal, not a solution for its Kurdish population. The above mentioned measurements are in alignment with this approach.
There is however a difference between these efforts and the earlier so called “opening” from the Turkish state. This time the Turkish authorities are using the PKK card in their own possession, namely Ocalan, the very leader of PKK. The Turks are aware that Ocalan enjoys tremendous authority over PKK and the Kurdish masses supporting the PKK.
The hunger strike among Kurdish prisoners in Turkey last autumn was clear evidence of his political power. Directly after Ocalan’s request, the hunger strikes came to an end. One would speculate that the whole story was staged by the Turks to prove for Mountain PKK and the pro-PKK BDP that Ocalan is the sole authority to deal with, and of course he is captive in the hands of the Turkish authorities.
The Turks can then freely talk about giving amnesty to those they want and sent the unwished to remote countries, “not neighboring Turkey and not any European country”. Australia and New Zealand have been mentioned, but I rather tip for Madagascar or another desolate island in some ocean. With the solution backed by the Supreme leader Ocalan, no one in PKK would dare to talk about “honorable peace”. The last Kurdish Revolt in Turkey thus will come to an end in the same manner as the previous ones; humiliation and embracing the “mercy of the (Turkish) state”.
But ironically, a solution for “PKK question” is good for the Kurds. At least less Kurds will be killed and injured in PKK’s revolutionary adventurism staged by Turkish intelligence to undermine and restrain Kurdish national sentiments. And, maybe a new Kurdish movement based on democracy and human rights will emerge to advocate Kurdish national rights in Turkey. But for now the Turks have to take care of their “Frankenstein”.
PKK leader Murat Karayilan speaks to reporters in a press conference in this file photo.