Becoming what you hate
Three years of negotiations and three decades of fighting has turned the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) into something other than its initial cause. The outlawed Kurdish terrorist organization has become what their initial founders detested. By placing IEDs underneath roads and bridges, the PKK is more like the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levent (ISIL) now. By hunting down soldiers driving with their families in their cars, the PKK is more like the deep dark state of Turkey in the 1990s. The question is if both of these prototypes have or will fail. The PKK cannot sell its idea of “greater humanity” anymore.
The PKK’s latest two attacks in less than a week have killed more than thirty security personnel, 16 soldiers and 14 police officers. It has created uproar in society, pushed thousands into the streets and created havoc around the Kurdish political atmosphere. Faruk Acar, the founder of ANDY-AR research company, acknowledged the fact that the latest attacks are pushing the urban voters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to think again before the November elections. Acar said, “When the casualties were less than five, there was very little shift in the votes, but after this week I can see a change of heart in the white-collar-well-off voters of the HDP in Istanbul, namely from wealthy districts like Nişantaşi, Cihangir, Etiler, etc.”
So despite all the empty words from the Kandil Mountains about turning the HDP into a “party of Turkey,” the PKK has managed to do just the opposite. And bingo! It has become what the Turkish President Erdoğan has always wanted. By this token, the PKK has already turned into something it hated.
According to intelligence sources that followed the talks between Öcalan and the state, the PKK openly bought time and abused the trust of the Turkish state and ordinary citizens. How else could you explain the explosives placed under highways built with taxpayer money?
So Turkish citizens from all walks of political life have a reason to ask the PKK and the HDP now why and how they were cheated. How sinisterly had this all been done? There will be no real peace without coming clean of this. Because we all trusted them. Maybe more than the Turkish state and intelligence institutions, we mistakenly trusted our Kurdish friends that they would be guardians of peace, protectors of our sons who serve our flag in the distant hamlets, treacherous mountains and little villages.
And yes, Turkey’s authorities have become what they hated as well. They are rubbing hands to cancel the elections, pushing crowds for revenge, never missing a day without raising the stakes and upping the ante of polemics. But its cost may be higher than expected.
Teneo Intelligence, an investment research company, wrote this to its customers recently:
“The bottom line is that Turkey’s political trajectory will remain volatile, undermining the country’s growth prospects and financial stability while deeply-seated vulnerabilities remain unaddressed. This will continue for as long as Erdoğan remains the dominant political actor in the country. In this regard, the outcome of the elections is unlikely to make a meaningful difference, especially in the short and medium-term.”
Come Nov. 2nd, we may be back to square one again.