The assurances of the new resolution process
Turkey is now in a historic moment to tackle the long-standing Kurdish issue and the disarmament of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). After the first failed attempt to solve the Kurdish issue in 2009, in the second resolution process, the state and government, political parties and Kurdish actors are passing through a tough exam.
All actors who are directly or indirectly involved in the second round of talks, or the 2013 resolution process, will remain active actors in the process to the extent that they make an effort to learn from the experiences of the previous four years. The new process has roughly three assurances: i) Erdoğan supports the resolution process unequivocally; ii) the resolution process is maintained by domestic resources and local capacities; iii) and finally the public has already heard and dismissed all cliché provocation strategies.
It is doubtful whether the conditions of the 2013 process can be provided once again in the coming years, should the PKK refuses to disarm peacefully this time around. We are talking about an actor here who has lost its ability to recognize the transformation Turkey and the region are undergoing and its ability to make healthy assessments from having focused on itself and the Kurdish issue exclusively.
We are obliged to notice that the Kurdish issue has been comprised of an implicit game played by the state, the public, as well as the economy. In other words, Turkey has learned to live with the Kurdish issue instead of resolving it, despite its meaninglessness and cost.
This means that there is no longer an audience that is shocked and awed by the PKK’s terrorizing actions. Today – unless those who question Erdoğan’s will to find a resolution sincerely question why the Kurdish youth, namely the main capital of the PKK’s terrorism, are dying – there is no ground for the people to take notice of the heavy cost they are paying for the continued existence of the PKK.
In this context, talk of the PKK’s disarmament is much more than a debate topic. It is, in fact, the PKK’s decision of how it will shape its future in the next few years. If the PKK traps itself in the calculations of debating and negotiating an offer Öcalan might make when it cannot even answer the simple question of how it will shape its future if it does not disarm; it will certainly face difficulties in finding a way out.
The opportunity offered to the PKK to disarm today soon will be forced on it due to the newly shaping Mesopotamian geopolitics and ecosystem. Remembering that the world does not revolve around the Kurdish issue, Turkey does not revolve around the PKK and the Middle East does not revolve around Kurds could be enough to seriously think about the analysis offered above.