Noth­ing but good for the Kurds

Ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the PKK leader and the Turk­ish state

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - Behrooz Sho­jai

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.

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