Is the resolution process re-starting?

Is the resolution process re-starting?

It is difficult, I am aware, to talk about civilian resolution endeavors when urban wars are fought against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and when soldier funerals are happening in hometowns. There are signs from the PKK front concerning the start of the resolution process. The state has not started evaluating this yet. However, there have been four messages on this sent from Kandil Mountain and three from the European wing. The first message was dated Nov. 3 while the most recent one was on March 21. 

As a matter of fact, the new strategy of Kandil lies behind last week’s calls voiced by HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş and the KCK member in charge of Europe, Zübeyir Aydar. There are a couple of aspects that need to be enlightened: Is Kandil trying to gain time trapped in urban wars? Also, is the top management of the PKK such as Cemil Bayık and Murat Karayılan behind the messages of returning to the resolution process? 

More importantly, the PKK has sabotaged the resolution process and launched the urban wars; why does it want to return to resolution? 

The PKK is trapped.

1. Cemil Bayık who declared the end of the resolution process and the start of urban wars had also called for civil disobedience but Kurds did not follow it. 

2. He declared self-administration. People did not support it. 

3. The PKK, with urban wars and suicide bombings, have lost the Kurds. 

4. In urban wars, people sided with the state, not the PKK. 

The reasons that lie behind the call for the re-start of the resolution process are not limited to the above. 

1. Pressure from the U.S. and the recommendations from the EU to the PKK have started increasing. The U.S. Ambassador in Ankara John Bass called on the PKK to leave arms and violence and sit at the negotiation table. Aydar responded immediately, saying, “The U.S. should be the mediator, bringing us and Turkey again to the negotiation table.” 

2. The organization wants to close the Turkey front and concentrate on Syria and Iraq. The PKK is planning a tactical withdrawal. 

3. They have lost urban wars.

4. Kurdish people reacted negatively to the ditch concept.  

 There is a tendency in Kandil in favor of re-starting the resolution process. Cemil Bayık wants Abdullah Öcalan to start this. Does Öcalan want this? 

Öcalan has suggested political struggle, not armed struggle. He has asked Kandil to convene a congress and make a decision to abandon armed struggle against Turkey.  

On the other hand, Cemil Bayık responded, “It is only us who will decide on the withdrawal of armed forces; nobody else can make this decision; not the HDP, nor Apo [Öcalan],” and started urban wars.

In this case, Öcalan will ask, “Did you ask me when you started the clashes phase?” Nevertheless, Öcalan wants to be in the process, moreover, at the center of it. He is trying to obtain a position as he is the address of the re-resolution.  

However, the state has not made a decision on Öcalan yet. Besides, the state has not even included the new resolution process matter in its agenda. All motivations have been focused on military operations. The urban wars concept of the PKK has been made to collapse. It has been demonstrated that Turkey is no Syria; Sur and Cizre will not be Kobane.

However, the civilian resolution option has never been shelved. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the resolution process has been put in the fridge. When we look at the state’s point of view position, what we see is: 

1. The determination to end urban wars and to cleanse the cities of terrorist groups is at its highest level.  

2. The new process cannot be a no-clashes phase. Only a new process can be discussed. The new one should be directed to the solving of the Kurdish issue and the surrender of arms of the PKK.  

3. For this to come true, as a prerequisite, armed units will leave Turkey. 

4. The PKK will decide to abandon armed struggle against Turkey. 

5. The concerns of the military should be removed. A satisfactory answer needs to be found to the following question of the military and the police: “If we were to return to the resolution process, then why did we lose more than 400 men?”

6. Starting with families who lost sons, the public has to be convinced. It is easy to say, “Let’s open a new chapter,” but it is very difficult to open a new chapter. The fact that the PKK prepared for war while the state was conducting the resolution process has caused a major trauma. If a new process is to be launched, nothing will be the same after so much deceit. The new process will arrive with its new parameters.