How can we take the BDP seriously while spitting on them?
The government should take the BDP seriously...
I am once burned, twice shy. Apparently, Ankara has devised a new strategy. The “negotiations” leg of the Kurdish issue had been crippled for some time. Now, they want to make a fresh start.
This time, there will be no contact with İmralı or Kandil. This approach was deemed too politically risky. What’s more, each meeting strengthened the hand of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). They failed to respect the principle of confidentiality, and leaked the content of the talks when it served their purposes. They have lost Ankara’s confidence. If they truly desired a solution, then they are the ones who ended up losing. This method was almost intravenous in its directness, and would have led to a solution. It then follows that their real intention was to continue the war after all.
Now, a negotiation process through the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) will begin. This, however, relies on one extremely important condition: As columnist Cengiz Çandar has pointed out in the daily Radikal, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should give up battering this party. It will take us nowhere to drag them through the mud while positioning them as interlocutors at the same time.
A second point is that we should not attempt to get the BDP to deny the PKK by force. On the contrary, let them maintain their contacts through their own channels. The BDP does not exist without the PKK’s backing. And a third point is that we must abandon the kind of approach employed by Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin in his ever- tougher speeches. Inconsistencies must be gotten rid of.
The new strategy will work out only to the degree that Ankara takes the new process seriously and takes the BDP under its wings. Otherwise, we are just wasting time.
(HH) The BDP should find itself a “Chief Negotiator”
Until this day, we have been confronted with a BDP that always passed the buck to İmralı or Kandil and pointed to Öcalan as its representative.
Selahattin Demirtaş and Gülten Kışanak have announced they are ready to talk turkey and negotiate the political dimensions of the issue. For military matters, they still point to İmralı and Kandil. This is easier said than done, as it is an entirely different matter to enter negotiations. That is precisely what we expect out of the BDP. If the BDP picks a “chief negotiator,” that will send a signal.
The difficulties in setting the stage for negotiations will ease up considerably if the BDP comes up with a figure that both invokes trust in İmralı and Kandil and irritates neither the Turkish nor the Kurdish public. We all need to support this new process, but the bulk of the responsibility still falls on the BDP’s shoulders.
(HH) The PKK ought to decide as well
The PKK also needs to revise its own strategy. Armed struggle has lost its former punch, as everyone has pointed out. The attitude of the Turkish public continues to harden when the PKK escalates its armed attacks and a solution seems more distant than before. Most importantly, the international public sees such acts as the equivalent of terrorism.
The PKK, I have noticed, is seeking to forge new alliances, such as with Syria or Iran. I regard this as natural under today’s circumstances. It remains uncertain, however, whether their true intentions are geared toward a solution or if they just mean to pass the ball around. It is exceedingly difficult to discern what they are trying to do, as different voices keep speaking up, further augmenting the sense of uncertainty in Ankara.
Whether the PKK regards Ankara’s “new approach” as a diversion or as a serious venture has yet to become clear. The predominant view is that we must wait and see, despite a lingering sense of disbelief. To cut to the chase, one key lies in Ankara and another lies on the mountains of Kandil, while the BDP is in the position of a helpless facilitator.