CAFER – Where is peace in this process?

Where is peace in this process?At the top of the list of Turkeyand#39s most basic democratization problems comes the need for a peaceful and democratic solution to the Kurdish problem This is a view shared by everyone of prudent and sound mind. The importance and weight of this problem is equaled by the need for deep-rooted change in the government leadershipand#39s mentality regarding the problem In this sense, the solution to the Kurdish problem does not just mean solving the Kurdish problem itself.

It actually indicates much more than this. But does the ruling party really approach the problem in full awareness of this? I am not quite sure.

The process began two years ago with the visit of a National Intelligence Organization (MIT) delegation headed by MIT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan to visit former Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK) leader Abdullah calan in his prison cell on ImralI Island. It gained even more weight and gravity when calan made his 2013 Nevruz proclamation to the PKK that andldquothe era for armed struggle has come to a close, it is time to pull outside the borders of Turkey.

andrdquo The government put together a council of andldquowise men,andrdquo made up largely of its own supporters, and this council went on to talk about the entire solution process and its facets to different groups all over the country.Two important events occurred over the course of the above-mentioned two years.

The first was that the PKK, giving the excuse that the andldquoovernment is taking no steps,andrdquo maintained its cease-fire positioning but announced that it had given up on pulling its militants out of Turkey. The second event was that the ruling party last June produced a andldquolegal frameworkandrdquo that basically acts as a legal guarantor for all the talks going on with calan and other members of the PKK.

Also, for two years in a row, Turkey heard many an announcement from the government about how andldquothe process is continuing, and we are resolute in carrying on.andrdquo In the meantime, the explosive Gezi protests also took place.

With the emergence of the Dec. 17-25 corruption and bribery investigations, the government found itself stained by allegations so serious it has still not been able to clear itself.

In March 2014, regional and local elections took place. And in August, the presidential elections occurred, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan standing as a candidate, and winning.

ISIL began waging an all-out campaign to take the Syrian border town of Kobani, and despite back-to-back statements from President ErdoIan about how Kobani was andldquoon the verge of falling any minute,andrdquo ISIL still hasnand#39t taken control of Kobani..

After the solution process entered the national agenda, pro-government media placed a distinct amount of pressure on anyone talking too much or asking too many questions about this process. Anyone not vociferously applauding the government was immediately labeled as being andldquoanti-peaceandrdquo or andldquoanti-solution.

andrdquoIn the chaos that ensued on Oct. 6-9 in response to the governmentand#39s rhetoric and policies concerning Kobani, some 50 Turkish citizens lost their lives the entire incident turned into a social explosion in which schools and workplaces were damaged.

Words from government spokespeople chose to describe the events as andldquorunning off the tracksandrdquo (YalIn AkdoIan). Sharp comments were issued by ErdoIan, who said of the HDP, which was guiding message traffic between ImralI and Kandil, andldquoThese are not even political parties, they ought not to be present in Parliament.

andrdquo Then there was the particularly striking comment by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent ArIn who said, andldquoWe are not absolutely obliged to even run this process.andrdquo Suddenly it was decided that talks between the sides needed to be re-enlivened.

Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoIlu, one of the deputy prime ministers, YalIn AkdoIan, and ArIn all made statements indicating that continuing the talks is andldquoconnected to the preservation of public orderandrdquo It was also added by Ankara that the cessation of armed activities by the PKK was not enough for the peace process and that it needed to pull away from Turkish borders, give up on any activities in Turkish cities and disband their city organizations altogether But on Nov. 30, 2014, calan did not make the call for andldquoabsolute cessation of armed activitiesandrdquo that had been expected in his meeting with the HDP delegation.

He said that the continuation of the peace process depended on whether or not the legal steps taken in the talks about the framework that had been prepared were actually taken. He said his earlier call for PKK forces to andldquopull out from the Turkish bordersandrdquo was a mistake in that it was not made with a legal guarantee.

At which point I need to step back from all this and ask: Where in all this is any sense of peace.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman