CAFER – The solution process: my findings and questions

The solution process: my findings and questionsReverberations continue to echo in the wake of the Feb. 28 joint press conference held by Deputy Prime Minister YalIn AkdoIan, Interior Minister Efkan Ala, two top-level National Intelligence Organization (MIT) directors, and Peoplesand#39 Democratic Party (HDP) members SIrrI Sureyya nder, Idris Baluken and Pervin Buldan.

The call made by Abdullah calan to the Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK) regarding the groupand#39s laying down of arms was read aloud at the press conference. But will the PKK acquiesce to this call? As it turns out, no one had to wait very long to get the answer to this question.

The PKK responded swiftly, asserting that first the government had to take some steps regarding some of the elements listed in the proposal, and then it also wanted to speak directly to calan himself.In terms of the stage at which we have arrived now in the solution process, there is a need for plenty of levelheaded analysis, without allowing confusion to take center stage.

What we are dealing with is in fact Turkeyand#39s most important question, and the peaceful, democratic solution to this problem1 Through the recent joint press conference involving both government and HDP members, Ankara has essentially declared that the process itself, unfolding within the framework of andldquodemocratic politics,andrdquo has arrived at a andldquotalksandrdquo stage.According to the draft proposal put forward by calan — a proposal it appears the government has accepted — the talks are to be overseen by an objective andldquoobservation board,andrdquo with the views of this board to be recognized and deferred to by all participating sides.

All right, but who is to compose this board and what sort of work model will they follow?In the same way, what is the mission of the andldquoTruth Commission,andrdquo which is set to be formed, going to be? What sort of goals is it going to work toward? In the creation of these sorts of boards, are the views and suggestions of those represented and not represented in Parliament going to be listened to? Will civil society organizations play a role on these boards? Or will the people staffing these boards be determined solely by the government, as we saw with the andldquowise men committee,andrdquo which came together in just two months at the start of the solution process.2 The essence and summation of the proposal shared with the Turkish public is to create the conditions necessary for democratic politics and long-lasting peace.

The general aim is to see the andldquosolutionandrdquo take place within the framework of democracy. Within this framework, there is talk of a new constitution.

In the meantime, how does the andldquodomestic security billandrdquo — which the ruling party has tried to push through Parliament despite strong objections and criticism from opposition parties and civil society — dovetail with the general aim of creating the conditions necessary for peace and democracy? And furthermore, how are these conditions of peace and democracy meant to come about at a time when freedom of thought and expression are being so severely limited, when critical media are being suppressed, when the police have been handed extraordinary authority and when, if the above-mentioned bill is passed, Turkey will suddenly find itself led by a state-of-emergency regime?At this point, what lies ahead in terms of a new constitution is still unclear The only clear factor here is that President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan wishes to see a andldquoTurkish-typeandrdquo presidential system implemented. But as for how basic rights, freedoms and citizenship are to be defined — or how ethnic, religious and cultural differences are to be protected (in other words, much that has to do with the basics of the countryand#39s Kurdish problems) — we do not know whether or not even if the most basic level of compromise has been reached on these fronts.

Another important factor when it comes to the question of a new constitution is the demands made by Kurds regarding andldquostatus.andrdquo For some reason, no one is focusing on this at all, despite the fact that the Kurdish political movementand#39s andldquodemocratic autonomyandrdquo project is no secret.

I wonder whether or not the ruling party actually likes this shape taken by the solution process? And if not, does it have some of its own suggestions?3. While the elimination of an armed PKK might be something strongly wished for at this point, when one takes a clear-eyed view of the Middle East in general, one sees this is not a realistic expectation at this point.

At the same time, though, it does look possible that these armed militants could at least be pulled outside of the borders of Turkey and that they could arrive at the point of declaring that they have given up on armed struggle against Turkey.It is precisely at this point, however, that the PKK is saying, andldquoWe do not trust the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

andrdquo The reason for this lack of trust lies in the factors I have quite generally listed above. In short, the teams in the Kandil Mountains believe that the AKP is treating the solution process at this point like a tactic for winning the upcoming elections.

For now, that is all though my personal findings and questions do not end here.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman