CAFER – Peace or settlement: Is that it?

Peace or settlement: Is that it?Undoubtedly, the cessation of violence, deaths, clashes and military operations after the start of the settlement process has pleased almost everybody, with the exception of some marginal circles. However, it was necessary to view the settlement process as a foundation for the construction of peace.

And some additional steps had to be taken to this end. But at this point, the ruling party has insisted since the beginning to stay away from any discussions focusing on the substance of the matter of the settlement.

It should be noted that the government named this process. There are those who would sincerely like to see this process as a peace process, wanting a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.

For a long time, however, government officials have avoided making clear statements in which they offer detailed frameworks of how they would achieve a solution. They only said that the process was important, and that they were decisive and sensitive, but they never declared the final goals of this process.

But still, a de facto cease-fire and the end to violence were positive developments because they created an environment in which to express views on how to discuss the issue, and how to construct lasting peace. And in this environment, it was also possible to address the concerns over partition, and potential nationalist reactions.

However, government circles have insisted since the beginning that the settlement process should be supported unconditionally. They remained indifferent to the views on how to proceed with the process, and even strongly reacted to the open discussions about it, arguing that this was a sensitive process.

Introducing discussion on what is really happening, and what steps could be taken to attain peace, was discouraged, and those who introduced such discussions were accused of being opposed to the achievement of a lasting solution.In the period since the beginning of the settlement process, the government has won local and presidential elections, and now it wants to keep the process intact until the 2015 general elections as well.

But any concrete and radical move by the government up to the 2015 elections cannot be expected, and the government has said nothing on this matter No one knows what the government would do if it won the elections.The Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK) terrorist organization has used this process well it recruited growing numbers of militants and consolidated its organizational abilities in urban areas.

It solidified its position against the state and established new ties with global powers because of its regional developments and its contribution to the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq in the Levant (ISIL).It also became evident that the governmentand#39s plan was actually to ensure that the PKK would lay down its arms.

However, it seems that this plan has been revised, because it has also become clear that it is not realistic to expect the PKK to disarm soon. The government seeks to ensure that the PKK will withdraw its armed militants from Turkish lands, leave its armed struggle and disband its urban units.

And now there is an expectation that PKK leader Abdullah calan will announce an order to this end during the Nevruz celebrations of 2015.The problem is that there is no suggestion that the PKK will withdraw its militants from Turkish territories, declare that it will put an end to its armed fight against Turkey or disband its urban units.

On the contrary, it still blames the Justice and Development Party (AKP) for stalling the process.For this reason, the actual questions are: Will the Kurdish issue be resolved if the PKK declares it will disarm? And is this peace and settlement?I do not know if there is still anybody who does not understand the Kurdsand#39 anger and rage which exploded in the Oct.

6-8 protests. What I do know is that this is not what the Kurds meant by settlement and peace.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman