IHSAN – ErdoIan, Kurds, Democracy

ErdoIan, Kurds, DemocracyIt seems very likely that almost all Kurds, Kurdists and non-Kurdists alike, will vote for Recep Tayyip ErdoIan in the second round of the presidential elections, if there is a second round. And yet, this might not guarantee a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem and may even inhibit the positive process.

It was already clear in the “ImralI leaks” (the leaked minutes of Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] leader Abdullah calan’s conversations with Peace and Democracy Party [BDP] politicians). calan was recorded as saying that he had reached an agreement with ErdoIan that in return for ErdoIan’s concessions to calan, BDP supporters would vote for ErdoIan’s for the presidency.

Selahattin DemirtaI is, of course, a serious candidate, but this candidate is there to stop ErdoIan winning in the first round, to show calan’s strength and force ErdoIan to negotiate. In the second round, the BDP will publicly state that it endorses neither ErdoIan nor Ekmeleddin IhsanoIlu, but their informal network will tell the voters what to do, and most of them will not need this anyway, as they are already aware of the game plan.

With calan’s support, ErdoIan might become the next president. But does that mean peace for the Kurds? ErdoIan is a man of U-turns, zigzags and betrayals.

He will not risk his Turkish nationalist voters’ support by giving serious political rights to the Kurdists. Just look at the rise of the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) vote.

Kurds are very excited about the “Kurdish moment” and calculate that this is the right time for Kurdish autonomy. But they will have difficulty convincing nationalist AKP voters, Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters and MHP voters, who are getting increasingly frustrated.

Moreover, the democrats of the country will never accept what will be perceived as a “dirty, ugly plot” that will probably make ErdoIan a dictatorNow many Turks are increasingly aware that the Kurds have been discriminated against and oppressed in this country. Just look at the CHP.

Forget its marginal neo-nationalists. The CHP knows that the Kurdish problem must be solved.

Look at the Hizmet movement, which supports education in Kurdish and decentralization. Turks are becoming normalized.

If the Kurds are a little more patient and do not rush into ErdoIan’s dirty game, they may get a more sincere, stable, long-term settlement. Otherwise, they will have to pray that the AKP wins the 2015 elections, as that will guarantee ErdoIan’s one-man rule until 2019.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman