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YUSUF KANLI > Must avoid a Turkish problem

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Ever since it started its malicious separatist terrorist campaign with the intent of carving a Kurdish state out of Turkish territory, the gang (the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)) has been trying to bring Kurds and Turks into confrontation. It came to the brink of achieving it many times but in each case common sense prevailed and such an infernal road refused to be walked.

When the previous opening collapsed in 2009, the tops of jubilant busses were decorated with even more jubilant terrorists in their lousy trousers celebrating victory. The same political clowns were on television convincing the nation that apart from joy there was nothing; harming the pride of Turks was not intended. The Habur and ensuing sham of October 2009 was never forgotten and indeed made peacemaking far more difficult in this land.

The Islamist government in Ankara, like a broken watch showing the exact time twice a day, undertook a correct and courageous initiative this time. Unlike the failed 2009 initiative, which was empty and ambiguous, the present one is a rather bold and courageous. So much so that the prime minister, who declared a while ago that those implying the government might be talking with the separatist chieftain were dastards, announced himself that he has sent his top spy for talks with the chieftain. For the sake of preserving the integrity of the nation and the land and for a solution to one of the most intractable social ills of society, if a government demonstrates the capability of walking such a difficult road, it definitely deserves to be supported. Of course, this does not mean compromising in opposition to the government’s Islamist and tyrannical agenda.

The murder in Paris of three Kurdish activist women by some unidentified murderers was probably aimed at derailing the current initiative, traumatizing the process. The government realized the ill intention behind the act, demanding that France act on the murders and reveal its findings to Turkey. Kurdish groups, including the gang and its political wing, were shown full understanding and were allowed to organize a massive funeral in Diyarbakır for the three slain women, though only one was from Diyarbakır. It was great as well to see that in demonstration of their grief most people attending the funeral were clad in black clothes; while they wore white mufflers also in demonstration of their hope for peace. So far so good.

Yet there were some rather unpleasant developments both in Diyarbakır and elsewhere. For example, is it meaningful to yell at France because its president was on talking term with a terrorist while Turkey is talking with a chieftain? Is it reasonable to grill a social democrat deputy through his party and others for visiting the house of the family of one of the slain women and expressing his condolences if we indeed think we have to show empathy and – for the sake of national integrity – must be able to share our joy and grief? Is it reasonable at all if, without being sentenced, a top commander is placed behind bars on grounds he was a terrorist chieftain, while a convicted chieftain is considered a counterpart to peace talks? Can anyone understand a bit of reason why, despite the 30-year background of this heinous separatist menace of terrorism, no effort is made to prepare Turkish society for a resolution of compromise?

Minority problems might be very cumbersome; difficult to resolve, but eventually can be contained through force or politics or both. However, a majority problem could only bring catastrophe. Turkey must avoid a Turkish problem.

January/18/2013

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