Erdoğan won’t lose if he plays his cards right
Negotiations with İmralı, the island where leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan is serving his life sentence, have started.
There is a brand new process ahead us. Will they manage to take concrete steps this time?
Asking this question does not make any sense since such negotiations will likely continue for years. They are generally interrupted due to some disagreements, but then start again. So, it is too early for fortunetelling. We are entering into a long-term struggle. Kurds have rightful demands and expectations, while Turks have some doubts and fears. It is very hard to come up with a formula that would please both sides. But still, negotiating and keeping the dialogue alive is better than holding several funerals every day.
This time, a different approach is endorsed. It is evident that the process was organized in a better way.
If Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan plays his cards right he will come out from this process with the least harm.
Above all he rid himself of pressures imposed on him by both the international and domestic communities. If he expresses his determination to solve the problem and builds an efficient dialogue with Öcalan he will surely be regarded as “the man in search of peace.” Since this process cannot end before the 2014 presidential elections, the process will also increase Erdoğan’s votes from liberals and some Kurds.
As you can see, since the beginning of the negotiations, the public has not given a clear reaction, which means everyone is sick and tired of terrorism.
All these aspects will favor Erdoğan. No matter if they favor him or not, everyone will win in the end.
So, what will happen if this attempt fails?
Blood-shed will continue, but no one could blame Erdoğan for searching for the gates of peace.
Let’s see who will spoil the game
Now, all of us will begin to wait for the one who will block this new process. It is a common belief that the Oslo negotiations were disrupted by the PKK. It is also believed that the PKK tried to sabotage the process since the organization doubted Ankara and Öcalan made had agreed behind the scenes to sell out Kandil Mountain.
It is also known that Turkey formerly sabotaged some attempts and blocked the peace process.
And this time, various interventions from both inside and outside are sure to come.
The subsidiaries of the PKK, or those operating on behalf of the organization, will do their best. Cacophonic tunes will rise from everywhere, the parties will blame each other for treason and an unbelievable chaos will break out. If Ankara and the Öcalan-Karayılan alliance can remain stable in such an atmosphere and if they really search for a political consensus rather than demand unrealistic things they might even see some results.
If the steps taken could end terror and prevent the disruption of negotiations, the way ahead of us would be clear. Otherwise, the same old story will repeat itself. Funerals and clashes will be seen again.
Societies rarely grabs at such a chance. Knowing how to benefit from these chances is crucial and good will is everything.
The Republic of Turkey unfortunately did not keep its promises fully in previous peace attempts and the PKK has spoiled the process many times before. The organization illustrated its reluctance for peace with various examples. But, enough is enough. Let’s stop deceiving each other and turn the most crucial problem of our country to a point where we can live with it.