Does ErdoIan want a solution?

Two of the most celebrated and betrayed concepts in Turkish politics are democracy and ethics. Democracy is often manipulated and ethical conduct is seldom observed.

Instead, opportunism and moral maneuvering have been the general pattern, corroding public life and common values of trust and righteousness. Take the so-called “Kurdish problem” The great loss it has caused had to be ended one day otherwise Turkey would have remained stuck in the lower in

Two of the most celebrated and betrayed concepts in Turkish politics are democracy and ethics.

Democracy is often manipulated and ethical conduct is seldom observed. Instead, opportunism and moral maneuvering have been the general pattern, corroding public life and common values of trust and righteousness.

Take the so-called andldquoKurdish problemandrdquo The great loss it has caused had to be ended one day otherwise Turkey would have remained stuck in the lower income category of nations and faced political instability and disintegration. The incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) government showed the courage to change the approach to deal with the andlsquoproblemand#39

Rather than continue violent methods to contain the Kurdish insurgency, non-violent methods were adopted.

The cure was right. But the classic statist diagnosis did not change: It was a matter of terrorism The cart remained in front of the horse.

Misdiagnoses led to wrong conclusions and insufficient practices. The priority of the government was to get the guns silenced.

It was enough. On the Kurdish side the problem emanated from unequal citizenship, cultural discrimination, authoritarianism (state-centered administration) and insufficient democratization.

The official diagnosis led the government to bargain with an armed organization that it never stopped calling andldquoterrorist.andrdquo The minimalist approach of the government and the maximalist approach of the Kurdish side did not look even.

The government fell into a catch-22 position of bargaining for the greatest democratization project of the republic with an armed organization that is not itself democratic. The people of Turkey felt the same way and did not want a negotiated peace with a terrorist outfit that is still illegal in Turkey.

It was perceived as a defeat of the Turkish state and the army and a compromise to terrorism

Two years have passed since the cease-fire declared by the Kurds to allow the peace or andldquosettlement processandrdquo to evolve. Their expectation was to start formal negotiations with the government.

But the latter party finally realized the odd situation created by bargaining with a andldquoterrorist organization.andrdquo It put the brakes on and began to play for time, until the elections due in June.

The stalemate and the two-way discontent were expressed through statements of disappointment by the Kurds and by President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan. Feeling increasingly isolated in the grandiose presidential palace he built for himself, he expressed his disaffection to the framework agreement declared mutually by the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand#39 Democratic Party (HDP) and members of the government, and opposed the commissioning of a neutral andldquoroup of observersandrdquo that would oversee the process.

Kurds, of course, interpreted this position as insincerity and an unchanging disbelief of the government in the solution other than ending terrorism and the officially declared terrorist group, the Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK).

President ErdoIanand#39s stance made it even harder for the government to handle the issue.

Differences of opinion between the president and the government a few months before the parliamentary elections further complicate the political scene.

No less than 60 percent of the voters oppose a presidential system Yet ErdoIan insists that this is the best way to rule Turkey as a commercial corporation (his words).

Additionally, the contradictory andldquosettlement processandrdquo carried on by bargaining with a declared enemy of the country is firming up Turkish nationalist votes. Nationalists are rallying under the banner of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), with the party said to be close to 20 percent in the polls.

On the other hand, the pro-Kurdish HDP is appealing to democrats and anti-AKP Turkish and Kurdish voters in order to beat the undemocratic 10 percent election barrier Secular, Western-oriented urbanites, Kurds and liberals tend to vote for the HDP in order to teach a lesson to the incumbent AKP and especially to ErdoIan, who is accused of building a one-man rule by dismantling the 150-year-old parliamentary traditions. With polls showing the AKP at 40-42 percent and the HDP just over 10 percent, the AKP may not even form the next government alone.

This is where we stand in Turkey today.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman