ORHAN KEMAL – Will Kurds help ErdoIan reach his ambitions?

Will Kurds help ErdoIan reach his ambitions?Prominent intellectual Mehmet Altan ran quite a thought-provoking article with the title andldquoFascism in the west, autonomy in the east?andrdquo on April 30 on the T24 web portal.The central theme of his piece was the following: The Kurds will no longer be a part of the struggle for democracy in Turkey because they have a different agenda now.

They will give Recep Tayyip ErdoIan the presidency he has long desired, in exchange for the regional autonomy of Kurdish regions.ErdoIanand#39s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has not and most probably will not have enough seats in Parliament to make constitutional changes on its own.

However, if Kurdish deputies support his ambitions, ErdoIan may be able to change the Constitution, not only to the presidential system but also to create quite an authoritarian regime in this country.After publishing his article, Altan received quite a strong reaction from some circles close to the AKP.

They, like they do all the time, accused Altan of intending to destroy the Kurdish peace process, and they said Altanand#39s hatred of the AKP made him so blind that he has even started to wish for the Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK) to take up arms once again.Actually, there was nothing in Altanand#39s article inciting the PKK to violence or anything like that.

Personal attacks targeting Altan are textbook examples of a new trend of how you can be branded if you voice any suspicions about the peace process and its possible gains.I remembered all of this because the deputy chair of the main opposition Republican Peopleand#39s Party (CHP), Enis BerberoIlu, put quite interesting questions to a pro-Kurdish political party, the Peoplesand#39 Democratic Party (HDP).

Because of the 10 percent national election threshold, HDP members used to run as independent candidates in national elections. However, for the upcoming elections, the HDP has declared its intention to run as a political party rather than as individual candidates in the elections.

There is a small problem here: Almost all surveys show that the HDP has quite a high risk of failure of passing this threshold, with their votes presently around 8-9 percent.BerberoIlu, referring to all these facts, asks why they would assume this risk and if there is hidden bargaining between them and the AKP.

These are important questions. Because if the HDP cannot pass the national threshold, almost all of the votes given to them will go to the political party that receives the majority of the votes, and undoubtedly that will be the AKP.

If this happens, the AKP will have the majority, allowing it to change the Constitution on its own.So, can there be such a hidden bargain between Abdullah calan — the leader of the PKK who is serving a prison sentence on ImralI Island — and the AKP as part of the peace deal?Well, if that is the case, not only will we witness a trick against the national will of Kurds and Turks but we will also hear the sound of the footsteps of fascism, as was pointed out by Altan.

This kind of hidden agreement would definitely be an immoral deal because it would obviously be tricking people into something they might not be happy about. In that case, the Kurds will be voting for the AKP while they think they are giving their votes to the HDP.

AKP voters will also be deceived because they will be voting for their party without knowing major undertakings of their political party.And the result would definitely spell a disaster for democracy in Turkey because, in this case, ErdoIan will be able to overrun an already weakened Turkish democracy.

Well, I defiantly never wish to see the PKK take up arms again, but I do not believe such a peace process will ever bring peace to any corner of this country. I hope there is no such hidden agreement, or it will be ceased.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman