CAFER – The AK Party’s take on the ‘solution’

The AK Party’s take on the ‘solution’Without Turkey ever really having had the chance to understand its true content or debate its true meaning, the andldquosolution processandrdquo has ground to a halt. And in fact, the point at which we have now arrived was perhaps best summed up recently by Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Bulent ArIn, who said, andquotWe are not obligated to keep this process going.

andquot And so it is that this same andldquosolution process,andrdquo about which the government has asserted variously, andldquoIt is progressing,andrdquo and andldquoWe are resolved to continue on with this,andrdquo for the past two years, appears about to collapse. This is a thought-provoking situation on a number of levels.

In a recent column I noted that the ruling partyand#39s hesitancy to move toward greater transparency has been the greatest handicap for the solution process. Another factor that has made the andldquosincerityandrdquo of the entire effort questionable has been the ruling partyand#39s failure to address andldquoTurkeyand#39s most important problemandrdquo (as described by then-President Abdullah Gul in 2009) in a befitting fashion.

This is not, in other words, only the governmentand#39s problem It is not a problem relegated to the personal realms of either Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK) leader Abdullah calan or President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan. It is Turkeyand#39s problem, which is why, if there is true resolve to see the problem solved peacefully, all must be allowed to speak their thoughts and to reveal the details of their own ideas on how to achieve a solution.

Instead, however, this government has preferred to carry out this process behind closed doors. But is it really possible to solve the Kurdish problem secretly, behind closed doors? It is precisely because of this insincere, non-serious approach that the proper mechanisms that would have allowed other political parties, civil society organizations, society leaders and universities to become more involved in finding a solution simply have not been created.

The sole expectation from the delegation of so-called andldquowise people,andrdquo a group composed of people known to be close to the government, was to relay to the public details of the solution process as it was unfolding. It was meant to be a sort of public relations role they were playing, even if the delegation of wise people wasnand#39t entirely clear on what the governmentand#39s intentions really were.

In the end, the reports prepared by the wise people did have some important proposals, but the ruling party apparently saw no need to include these proposals on their general agendas.The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has brandished the policies connected to the solution process for its own benefit, using the hope ignited in the public by the prospect of peace to generate more political power for themselves.

This is, of course, a rotten approach to policy in general. In fact, the AK Party used rhetoric in connection with the solution process to help their victories in both the March 30 regional elections as well as the recent presidential election.

And no doubt they will employ this same strategy to help ensure their victory in next yearand#39s 2015 general elections.Get ready to hear more rhetoric at that time about how the andldquosolution process is progressing.

andrdquo But the truth is, in light of recent developments in the region this foot-dragging technique cannot continue for much longer Yes, the process has officially collapsed.We still do not know what sort of andldquosolutionsandrdquo the AK Party government really has.

Though there have been no official statements on this front, we hear from leaked sources that the AK Party has overseen the preparation of a andldquoroad map,andrdquo and that this andldquoroad mapandrdquo aims ultimately to get the PKK to disarm permanently.The disarmament of the PKK may well be the goal at hand.

But it brings about two important questions. One: In the foreseeable future, even if Abdullah calan were to make a general call for this to happen, would it really be possible for the PKK to drop its weapons? Would the PKK really take such a step, which would ultimately translate as a move to disband itself? The second question is this: When you talk about a andldquosolutionandrdquo and andldquopeace,andrdquo is this what you are referring to? Has the Kurdish problem really been reduced to the question of how to get the PKK to disarm?The PKK is both a part of the Kurdish problem and a result of the Kurdish problem But it does not in and of itself represent the entirety of the Kurdish problem If there were no PKK, would there be no Kurdish problem? If there were no PKK, would the Kurds simply drop their demands for native-language education?The only thing that will force the PKK to disarm, and which will marginalize it even if it does not disarm, is the existence of a serious and sincere resolve to achieve a lasting peace.

And peace is a sensitive topic, one which ought not be bargained over or exploited for political purposes.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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