Is there consensus on the peace process ‘road map’ or not?
Sırrı Süreyya Önder from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) phoned me to explain in his own terms the course of the process since Sept. 3. There were two critical points in Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s recent explanation of the process. The first of these was the document named the “road map.”
According to Önder, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan did indeed take the text that the government calls the “road map” to Abdullah Öcalan at İmralı Island Prison on Sept. 3, and Öcalan agreed with the text. However, Önder added that this text “cannot be called a road map … In the eyes of Öcalan, a road map is quite different, a more comprehensive thing.”
Four days after Fidan, a HDP delegation including Önder visited İmralı and met Öcalan, who told them that even though he agreed to the text, he had certain essential objections. Two of them are very important.
Öcalan does not accept the “ladder” method of the road map, which could be characterized as “Let me do this first and then you do this.” He believes that the things that need to be done should be done according to a calendar and with mutual trust, without prerequisites concerning the other side’s moves.
His second essential objection was to being made a “tool.”
Pledge to maintain public order
Prime Minister Erdoğan explained that he met the HDP delegation after it met with Öcalan and visited Kandil Mountain, and in this long meeting there was full agreement on the road map and a pledge to maintain public order in Turkey until Oct. 15.
Önder confirmed that Kandil had pledged public order until Oct. 15, but again the HDP returned to the same point about the road map: “The text in question cannot be called a road map. There are general principles and Kandil has also accepted these principles, but a road map has to be more detailed.”
Nevertheless, a more concrete road map exists that more closely resembles what Öcalan wants. This road map has not yet been converted into written form by the government.
The news of this road map was written by Hürriyet reporter Deniz Zeyrek the other day. According to this road map, the place where Öcalan is held in İmralı will be changed, and a five-person secretariat will be established for him. The names of Önder, Pervin Buldan, İdris Baluken and Hatip Dicle are suggested for this secretariat, along with one more.
Commissions will be established to work alongside this secretariat. It is being said that the government/state side of the process has also formed a negotiating team and is preparing to form similar commissions.
Meanwhile, one should not forget that the Önder-Buldan-Baluken trio met Öcalan only three days ago and issued an unprecedentedly long statement after the meeting. I think the most important two factors in that statement were these: Öcalan declared that, far from the resolution process “dying and ending,” it has actually entered a brand new and a more hopeful stage as of Oct. 15. Also, Öcalan said the bloody street incidents of Oct. 6-7, especially the assassination in Bingöl that he describes as a “provocation,” should be properly investigated.
Prime Minister Erdoğan recently said that the peace process “is going through tough times but we will re-compose it.” Apparently, despite all the misunderstandings and bad communication, it has been put back on track.