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MEHMET ALİ BİRAND

mab@hurriyet.com.tr

MEHMET ALİ BİRAND > PKK unable to get what it wants

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The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has demonstrated an unexpected rebelliousness during these summer months. Not a day passes without an attack, without a soldier being martyred. Not a day passes without them martyring our police or troops by exploding a mine by remote control.

According to latest figures, the bloodbath this summer has been huge: 116 members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in the last four months. The PKK lost 500 guerillas.

I don’t know the organization’s secret plans or what strategies they have in mind. But looking at the statements they issue, interviews, intelligence reports and expert assessments, these are some of the intentions behind the PKK’s attacks:

- To enable the lifting of [imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah] Öcalan’s external contact ban.

- To force Ankara to restart negotiations.

- To send the message that those arrested in connection with the KCK case should be released, the KCK being the alleged urban wing of the PKK.

- To demonstrate both to Ankara and to the international community that the PKK is strong, and that it can strike anywhere whenever it wants to.

- To accomplish a “revolutionary popular uprising” as Öcalan has said.

Certainly, there are several more reasons for the PKK’s attacks besides the ones I listed above. But even with this, we can compare the results they have achieved. What has the PKK gained for so much lost?

- Öcalan’s external contact ban still continues. Part of this isolation stems from the Turkish side, the other from Öcalan’s choice not to see anyone. He doesn’t even accept his family.

- It is considered impossible for Oslo-type negotiations to restart.

- The release of those under arrest in the KCK case is out of the question.

- A “revolutionary popular uprising” in the region has not been accomplished. Despite the fact that the PKK is very strong in Hakkari and the surrounding area, and despite its dominance in rural areas, it has not been able to cause city, town or village residents to take to the streets, although it has expected after every attack that people would “rebel.” It didn’t happen. Only in Beytşşebap was there an attempt. During a funeral for PKK members, a PKK flag and pennon were hung on a security forces vehicle. The security forces acted cool and did not fire, preventing further incidents.

In other words, except for the slogan that they “can strike wherever and whenever they want to,” and aside from boosting the morale of its supporters, the PKK has not been able to obtain any of its expectations. At least, that is what it looks like that from the outside.

Actually, the PKK is trying to recover a structure it has itself destroyed. By publicizing the Oslo talks, it both stopped them and became subject to harsh criticism from Öcalan. Now, it has adopted a stance as if it is trying to pardon itself. However, it seems as though it will be very hard for it to achieve what it wants.

In the end, Ankara and Kandil are conducting a struggle that neither of them can possibly win.

‘We are about to separate’

A letter from Van independent deputy Aysel Tuğluk was published in daily Taraf last Friday. I think it was extremely important. Tuğluk was showing us the other side of the coin, interpreting recent events from the angle of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

In short, she was sending the message: “You are forcing us; you are pushing us to partition. We are separating.”

In the last part of her letter, Tuğluk pointed out that even though the present conjuncture does not allow any solution, she had some suggestions to at least stop the war and evolve the situation towards a peaceful climate.

She said that Öcalan’s isolation of 14 months should end, 8,000 arrested friends (people arrested in connection with the KCKL case) should be released, the state should respect the gains Kurds have made in West Kurdistan and accept the status of autonomous administration for it, including those areas in Turkey, and that upon this, the Kurdish movement should and will declare a ceasefire and the Kurds will partner their national and regional interests with Turkey, working together toward the democratic and free future of the region.

If these things are not done, what will happen? Tuğluk said: “A new world is being formed in the region, and Kurds will definitely take their place in this new world, despite Turkey and without Turkey.”
This is the mood of the BDP and leaders of the Kurdish movement. Isn’t there a portion of truth in her words?

September/19/2012

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