MEHMET ALİ BİRAND > Erdoğan: I will not accept the solution you want

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To be able to write this piece, I was waiting for the Prime Minister’s Diyarbakır speech on Saturday and Şanlıurfa speech on Sunday. They were important because they were to reveal where policies on the Kurdish issue and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were heading.

You should have noticed there has been a significant change in the Prime Minister for some time.
From his historic Diyarbakır speech in 2005 until recent years, it looked as if he would be the leader to solve the issue and make history. His statements pointed in this direction. He did what others were unable to do.

He cleared the obstacles leading to a dialogue between the state, the PKK and Öcalan. He allowed representatives from the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) to meet with PKK representatives in Oslo. He sent delegations to İmralı (the prison island where PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan is being held).

He lifted restrictions in several fields - from opening state radio and television stations in Kurdish, to Kurdish names. He made major economic investments in the southeast and increased investment incentives. He started the famous “Kurdish Initiative” project.

Then something happened and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started changing this stance, before the 2010 elections. He adopted an extremely harsh approach.

His words got tougher. His approach got tougher. He officially closed İmralı. He stopped Öcalan’s dialogue with the external world. Öcalan has not been allowed to meet either his kinsmen or his lawyers for 10 months.

No contact with the PKK is now allowed. KCK arrests are continuing at full speed, KCK being the Kurdistan Communities Union, the alleged urban wing of the PKK. The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) is also constantly being battered.

I have researched this change of stance. I tried to learn what kind of a logic the prime minister was following in this picture, what he had in mind. A very different picture has emerged.

‘They want to found Kurdistan’

According to the prime minister and policymakers in Ankara, the main goal of the PKK and the BDP is not to solve the Kurdish issue, but to form a Kurdistan on Turkish soil. More precisely, to establish sovereignty on a piece of land they can control themselves.

Factors that have changed the prime minister’s opinion are listed as the following:

- They have torpedoed the Oslo talks and posted them on the Internet to put the government in a difficult situation.

- İmralı, instead of facilitating, has further obstructed developments.

- They have intentionally blocked our “Kurdish Initiative” policy.

- They have declared the “Autonomous region” project and by spreading the KCK they openly demonstrated their intentions.

- They have prioritized arms.

- The PKK, as Erdoðan sees it, is a group that wants to terrify Turkish society by using arms (i.e. terror), and which wants to form its own political staff, its own police-gendarme, and collect its own taxes.

- The BDP, as the prime minister sees it, is a party that cannot go beyond directives from the PKK.

Be it with his body language or his directives, the messages the prime minister is giving are clearer now:

“I will not give an inch to the solution you want. Lay down arms, stop terror, come and let’s talk. But I will not allow a Kurdistan to be formed.”

Will he be able to achieve it?

Not very easily. For this reason, he needs the assistance of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).


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Notice on comments

dario Kurd

6/25/2012 1:21:27 PM

We Kurds rather all die in fighting occuping Turkish army than accepting the assimilation! we are proud people and see our language, tradition not less than anyone lese so we are not ready to give it up and this is a universal human right! turks have to grow up and accept us!

Doctor Osmanov

6/14/2012 6:23:25 PM

US observer best to assimilate? Well if that is so then why do Erdogan travel to Germany and says "Assimilation is a crime against humanity" Why is Turkey afraid of a Kurdistan inside Turkey? Why is Turkey afraid of a federation? USA is composed of 50 states... Finland has 2 official languages... Sweden has a Sami parliament called "sametinget" People that want Kurds to give up, to assimilate, to be turks are the ones that are against peace. Peace will only come through Dialog! not War!

Adam Polk

6/7/2012 1:30:33 PM

@Cyprus is Greek, JUST imagine Cyprus is one country, Turkish people are minority, Greeks run the country. somehow a Turkish guy become president or prime minister. would you be OK with that? Turkey had a president who is Kurdish... Kurdish issue and Cyprus problem are not same. you cant bring the Kurdish issue and say this is Hippocratic. This all Greeks fault, even old CIA documents say that Greeks ethnic cleansing actions caused this mess.

ismail demir

6/6/2012 8:14:53 PM

@cyprus, greeks broke 1960 agreement and no intention to apply so Turkey had to form order since cyprus legally belong to ottoman just 1923 although last greek hegemony in the island end 1190, so Turkey has more right on cyprus than greeks.Greeks first started seperatism against britian 1950s so cypriot Turks did same later.I answer kurdish issue with my first post in page with examples of iran and bulgaria turks .No greek rule since 1190 in cyprus in contrast to Turkey belongs turks 1000 years

ismail demir

6/5/2012 10:51:31 PM

@cyprus, almost every agreement in the world are signed by coercion, Turkey signed agreement about free pass of bosphorous by coercion, could Turkey destroy montreux agreement?No, if she do Russia declare war on Turkey.And britian gave these 4 rights to cypriot turks not greeks, because britian was legal owner of cyprus.Your serbian friends have 49% of bosnia althugh their population was %33 convince them to gave back extra land since bosniaks signed dayton with coercion.Then we speak cyprus

ismail demir

6/5/2012 8:47:46 PM

@rebwar rashed, kurds (mervani state) only live %5 of Anatolia (diyarbakir-mardin-hakkari triangle) before Turks came to anatolia.And kurds invited ottoman army to southeast anatolia with their free will, in exchange ottomans allowed iranian kurds to settle northeast and inner anatolia, if kurds want old land back, they only get back if Turkey will deport 16. century kurdish refugees to southeast anatolia bilaterally.

ismail demir

6/5/2012 7:39:15 PM

@cyprus, rights are irrelevant with population, Turkey never wanted autonomy for %25 azeris in iran or bulgaria turkish party got more vote in bulgaria than kurdish party in turkey.rights are related to agreements, egypt could take transition fees but Turkey couldnt due to restriction of montreux agreement, cyprus couldnt change constitution or unite greece due to restriction of london-zurich agreement.Referandum were given to kurds if greece gave referandum rights to pakistani,afghan refugees.


6/5/2012 7:31:51 PM

Can anyone tell me what rights I have and Kurdish citizens of Turkey do not have? I agree with the analysis. Kurdish issue has been reconized and addressed by Turkish leaders, military or civilian, but Kurds have not addressed their Turkish problem. Since the rightful demands of freedoms and economic development have been on their way, what exactly is their fight? The fact that BDP can not even denounce terrorism tells the whole story. Erdogan should solve country's problems, not just Kurds'.

Adam Polk

6/5/2012 7:26:24 PM

@john the turk, totally agree with you. Greeks have 2 addictions, free money and free land, thanks to west...

Adam Polk

6/5/2012 7:21:12 PM

@Cyprus is not Greek, I guess kurds have 2 options, 1. Bdp can get that referendum from TBMM 2. pkk's way... I guess they will wait forever...
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