IHSAN – ErdoIan, Kurds, the PKK

ErdoIan, Kurds, the PKKAs I have written here before, I have never believed that President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan has ever been sincere in solving the Kurdish problem Almost all Turks are Turkish nationalists, and many of them are Justice and Development Party (AKP) voters. ErdoIan has never tried to explain to his Turkish voters how the Kurds have suffered at the hands of the authoritarian state, and his voters are not ready for the serious and satisfactory cultural, lingual and political rights that must be given to the Kurds.

Thus, if the Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK) resumes its terrorist activities in Turkey, ErdoIan will swiftly switch to a Turkish nationalist rhetoric. At the moment, he wants internal peace so that he can win the elections, but that is it.

He is not ready for a proper settlement of the Kurdish issue since his voters are not ready for it. He is now too late to convince his voters, since Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) votes are on the rise.

On the other hand, the PKK is happy with the stalemate, since it is busy establishing its first autonomous political structure in northern Syria, and its political wing, the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand#39 Democratic Party (HDP), has a good chance of passing the 10 percent electoral threshold.If ErdoIan cannot get the 330 MPs that would give him the power to take a constitutional amendment package to a referendum in return for the HDPand#39s support for establishing an autocratic presidential regime by altering the Constitution, ErdoIan will be ready to give some political concessions to the PKK, such as administration of the Kurdish-dominated regions of Turkey.

As I have written here before, andldquoI think the 2014 presidential elections have changed his mind. He has seen that without the PKKand#39s support, he received 52 percent of the vote.

This meant that he did not have to give any pre-election concessions to the PKK. He is probably trying to see if his party gets more than 330 seats in Parliament, which will give him the power to take a constitutional amendment package to a referendum Given the miserable performance of the opposition parties and ErdoIanand#39s votersand#39 fear of an economic crisis, the people may give him 330 plus seats.

We have seen that they are unaffected by the AKPand#39s corruption, believing that it does not directly harm their pockets, and they do not care much about its catastrophic foreign policy. The main argument of ErdoIanand#39s voters is this: the AKP is not performing well, but the opposition will make things worse.

andrdquoNevertheless, ErdoIanand#39s game plan may not work this time. ErdoIan has been performing very badly, inflation of food prices is at about 30 percent, and most of the AKPand#39s voters spend much of their budget on food.

The Gezi and Metropoll polling companies are predicting that the AKP can only get 39-43 percent of the vote, showing that AKP voters are feeling the economic factor The AKP has limited options. First, it will propagate fabricated predictions such as 50 percent, so that the people will be ready for rigged election results.

The judiciary is under AKP control, so if the opposition cannot stop the rigging, the judiciary will confirm the rigged results. Second, the AKP will empty the treasuryand#39s money to andldquoboostandrdquo the economy, only destroying economy fully after the elections.

Thus the AKP will gain time until it changes the Constitution. Third, it will use money gained from corruption to directly pay voters to guarantee their votes.

These things took place in the past and the party may try them again, this time only more fiercely. If all these strategies do not work and the AKP gets something around 40 percent, it may consider bargaining seriously with the PKK.

But most probably it will resort to nationalist rhetoric. This means returning back to terror, and I think both the AKP and the PKK are getting ready for this option, too, just in case.

ErdoIan represented a chance for Turkey to solve the Kurdish problem, but I think he has wasted this chance.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman