KCK arrests enter a dangerous stage

KCK arrests enter a dangerous stage

About four or five months ago, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told journalists that he would adopt a dual approach to the Kurdish issue. “I will fiercely fight the PKK; at the same time I will have negotiations carried out,” he said. He pointed to a policy with two legs.

When I look at the where we are today, I see that the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) continues at its toughest. Is this due to a different approach by the security forces? I don’t know. But the widespread impression is that the state is becoming dominant. Alongside the armed fight against the PKK in rural areas, there are also operations against the alleged urban wing (KCK) of the PKK in the cities. In addition, huge pressure is being applied to the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

However, we have not seen the second leg of “negotiation and debate.” Is it thought that the time has not yet come to open negotiations, or is it thought: “The situation is developing in favor of us. Let’s sit at the negotiating table after we have thoroughly beaten them up”? Nothing leaks from Ankara on this matter.

Arrests of journalists, politicians and thinkers will backfire.

It is difficult to accurately assess where the fight against the PKK stands from outside. But the destruction of BDP and KCK operations is visible.

We can easily say this much: the arresting of journalists, politicians and thinkers within the framework of the campaign against the KCK brings more harm than benefit. The militants are regarded as the same as everybody else.

Even though they are only PKK sympathizers (not members), journalists, political staff and thinkers are pushed into the same category and are being punished. We cannot make the PKK come down from the mountain with this approach.

It all points to a very dangerous course, like playing with fire.

Catch the person who murders, who uses arms, who are militants of the organization; nobody can oppose that. But arresting journalists, thinkers and political staff because they are sympathizers of PKK is nothing more than forcefully silencing millions of people. This policy is strengthening the PKK.
The government now should develop a more consistent, peaceful, mid-long term strategy for itself. Continuing on the current path does not bring peace closer.

Let’s look at the other side of the coin too. The BDP and the PKK should also reassess. Maybe it feels that it is proving itself, or boosting the moral of its supporters, but as long as the PKK uses arms and kills people, it won’t go anywhere.

As long as it insists on terror it will lose its international supporters. In the European Parliament, in various nongovernmental organizations, from the United States to international media, the PKK is not mentioned anymore.

If the PKK had abandoned terror and announced it would not use arms and focused on local and national politics, what would be the outcome? If it were to organize rallies and be content with voicing its views in the parliament - instead of committing murders - wouldn’t it find a much wider support from both the democrats and liberals in this country and the international public? The PKK either does not see this reality or does not want to see it.

The BDP should also change its general stance. I wonder if they are happy with themselves. We can be seen how much pressure and difficulty they need to overcome. But getting even tougher is not the way out of this quagmire. The party, despite everything, should adopt stances and gestures that will keep the door open to peace negotiations. At the moment, instead of compelling the state to peace, they are almost fanning the flames.

I believe that the Kurdish issue can be solved only by talking with the BDP inside parliament. But the BDP should adopt a different stance and abandon those discourses that make it look as if it is the PKK’s spokesman.