ORHAN – Kicking off the new year with a Kurdish problem

Kicking off the new year with a Kurdish problemIt looks like the Kurdish problem will remain Turkeyand#39s principal problem in the new yearIt also appears likely that the most basic and essential topics for debate in 2015 will include disarmament, the Peoplesand#39 Democratic Partyand#39s (HDP) announcement that it is entering the elections under its party identity and, most notably, the clash that broke out in Cizre.It is quite clear that Turkey will head into the 2015 elections with the Kurdish problem front and center on the political stage.

As a result of an attack by a group of young militants organized in a group known as the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDGH) in a district of Cizre known to be inhabited by members of HuDA-PAR, three people lost their lives.Whatand#39s more, statements made by both the HDP and HuDA-PAR in the wake of this loss of life has shown everyone that rather than there being any resolution to try and find common dialogue or solutions that might prevent violence like this from spreading to other cities, people are simply following their own paths and responding as they see fit on an individual basis.

In the meantime, the media has shown its usual proclivity for throwing around the word andldquoprovocation,andrdquo and has wasted no time in defining the events in Cizre as such. Unfortunately, however, the word andldquoprovocationandrdquo really isnand#39t sufficient to describe what we saw unfold in Cizre.

Strong statements coming from the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) made it plain that it sees the situation as an opportunity to take up a strategic position, or to make a political choice. Because after all, the KCK defines HuDA-PAR as being the regionand#39s new counter-organization, as it is thus busy calling on the public to fight against this organization en masse.

This entire situation is terrible. It is reminiscent of the clashes that occurred in the 1990s in the region between the Hezbollah group and the Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK).

In those clashes, around 2,000 people lost their lives, from both sides.If the PKK approaches HuDA-PAR — which some say stands upon the political legacy of Hezbollah — in the same way it approached the Hezbollah, it will be extremely difficult to stop these clashes.

And we may well soon see local clashes like what we witnessed in Cizre in other cities, like Batman, Yuksekova, DiyarbakIr and Bingl — in other words, in places where the HuDA-PAR organization has a certain level of support.All of which is why it is simply not sufficient to view the Cizre incident as a clash between two groups.

In fact, these recent events might well open the way to even deeper rifts within Kurdish society, as well as to more losses of life and serious turbulence when it comes to peace among Kurds.The recent Cizre events also underscore the possibility that the entire Kurdish problem carries with it a serious potential for more violence.

What the solution process has managed up until now has been to quell — at least for a bit — the violence potential, while also making all visions involving violence illegitimate and undesirable in the eyes of many.It has been imagined and hoped for, up until now, that when we talk of the Kurdish problem, we talk of a situation in which non-violent ideas and rhetoric were on a path towards gaining more and more importance.

The HuA-PARKK clash will undoubtedly influence the direction of the solution process. And it falls heavily to the government and all relevant political actors to see that this sort of clash does not continue, and that the situation stabilizes.

In the meantime, best wishes to all for a peaceful 2015.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman