Road map to the resolution
Under the shadow of martyr funerals, we are trying to talk, with some shyness and hope, about the resolution process. However, for the resolution process to begin, a normalization process is needed. Resolution is not the state’s priority at this stage.
The priority of the state is to carry out operations until the cities are cleansed of terror. Because of this, military operations will not be left unfinished. While cities are cleaned, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) will also feel the breath of the state on its neck in rural areas.
There is an immense harmony and determination in the state. The PKK is in trouble; it is trying to gain time by calling for a resolution.
There is no negotiation table present. If one is to be set up, it will not be the same table. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, “We have defeated the PKK.”
The state has defeated the PKK in urban wars and has morale superiority. If they want the resolution process to restart, Kandil (Mountain, where the PKK is headquartered) has to take concrete steps.
For a platform to be formed for a resolution, Kandil has to construct a road map.
It could be that Kandil stops terror attacks, declares a unilateral cease-fire, withdraws its armed units across the border, then issues a declaration for the start of the resolution process, leaving the initiative to the government, maybe issue a second declaration if needed and it will announce that it would convene a congress to end the armed struggle against Turkey and will set the congress date; more clearly, I would say going back to the 2013 circumstances.
But not exactly that, because whenever we neared a resolution, the PKK sabotaged the process. Through massacres, attacks, urban wars and suicide bomb attacks it has always been sabotaged. But every time, violence came back heavier.
Since July 20, 2015, Turkey has been facing a sustainability issue. It is not realistic to say “none of these incidents have been experienced and let’s start the resolution.”
The PKK had the strategy of taking advantage of the conjuncture. During the Gezi Park incidents, thinking the government was starting to lose power, they stopped their withdrawal. During the Dec. 17-25, 2013, corruption investigations they thought intelligence power was gone. With the Syrian conjuncture and counting on their relations with the U.S., Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia, they calculated they would take some cities, making Kobanes inside Turkey.
But they could not accurately calculate Turkey’s power. They were defeated; they failed. For some time, Kandil has been discussing the wrong calculation. They have lost the local people after urban wars and they have lost U.S. support with suicide bomb attacks.
The state is determined not to leave the operations unfinished. The PKK will either withdraw its armed units across the border or it will be “swept up.”
It is not defeat in urban wars or Kurdish people raising their voices that makes the PKK embrace the resolution process, as there is an international dimension to the situation. The PKK does not really care what the Kurdish people say but it does care what the U.S. says.
When suicide bomb attacks occurred, the U.S. said, “This is unacceptable.”
As a matter of fact, with the Democratic Union Party (PYD) factor in Syria, a group in the U.S. was lobbying to exclude the PKK from the terror organizations list. The American pressure on the PKK increased following the suicide bombings.
This is what lies behind Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş going directly to Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah to go to Kandil on his return from the U.S.