Is the Kurdish initiative over?

The ruling block in Turkey — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the media they run — has suddenly become ardently anti-Kurdish.
The jargon is very harsh. The Kurdish actors once welcomed as peacekeepers are today labeled collaborators in terrorism. These days, pro-Erdogan media outlets are running one of the harshest narratives on Kurds to date.
Why this change? What has happened to President Erdogan?
Since the very beginning, a group of scholars has argued that the Kurdish initiative was Erdoganand’s electoral tactic. It was mainly its good contact with the Kurds that made the AK Party the only political party that could be popular both in western and astern Turkey. According to those critical scholars, Erdoganand’s main strategy was to win Kurdish support during the various election campaigns.
I, too, supported the Kurdish opening. However, like the critical scholars, I was also uncomfortable with the process because of its lack of a formal structure. President Erdogan pursued a peace process with the Kurds only verbally, without any structural mechanism to guarantee its long-term success. It was all show and talk. But, thanks to the Kurdish initiative, Erdogan drew crowded rallies in Diyarbakir. Throughout those years, Erdogan did nothing in terms of implementing any practical initiatives during the peace process.
I am now increasingly convinced that the Kurdish peace process was both an electoral strategy and a tactic of postponement for Erdogan. His main strategy was to pacify the Kurds during the various election campaigns. Frankly speaking, the Kurds gave Erdogan whatever he wanted. And it was mainly the Kurdish vote that swelled support for the AK Party in all the elections. More critically, thanks to Kurdish support, the AK Party was able to take possession of the label and”the Turkey party.and”
Now let me answer the question I posed above: The Kurds did not support Erdogan in the June 7 election and that changed Erdogan. The Kurdish message is simple, and”We supported you for years, and now we want you to make good on your promises.and”
What will Erdoganand’s reaction be? Today, the AK Party no longer has a parliamentary majority that enables it to rule Turkey. Most probably, he will target the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) to regain the AK Partyand’s majority in the potential early elections. After Kobani, it seems very improbable that the Kurds can have their own way. Erdogan knows this. Therefore, he will try to push the HDP back below the 10 percent electoral threshold. That is why the Kurdish initiative is now at serious risk.
However, today we are in a new political setting. The HDP along with its adjacent Kurdish organizations like the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) has effectively become the de facto ruler of eastern Turkey. Therefore, any tactic against the Kurds (or the HDP) is likely to be counter-productive.
There is a critical legal debate as well. So far, both parties — the Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish officials — have engaged in many meetings. Naturally, they have agreed on many things over the past three years. But, the Turkish public does not know two major facts about these agreements. First of all, what are all these agreements about? Secondly, and more importantly, do these agreements represent the official state position?
The second question might sound a little bizarre, but it is important. There are strong signs that many decisions about the Kurdish initiative did not involve the relevant legal procedures. A small group of politicians and intelligence officers were the key agents in the Kurdish negotiations. So we cannot be sure that the decisions to which they were a party were approved by the relevant legal organs of the Turkish constitutional system.
This point is important for Kurds. I am sure they have many promises in their hands. But are they the promises of the Turkish state?

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman