PKK and Syria occupy the whole summer agenda
Let’s take a stock of the past months and, without fooling ourselves, let’s examine courageously how the outcomes are being perceived. From the angle of terror, we have experienced the worst summer in 14 years.
Since the capture of Abdullah Öcalan in 1999, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has never staged such a show of power, and has never occupied the agenda of the country in such a way. Despite the attempts of the media not to exaggerate the developments, such incidents have been experienced that have left significant marks on domestic and international public opinion.
What we lived through during the summer months demonstrates that we have entered a new era, and that this armed struggle will last many more years. That is it. The figures from the five months between April and August speak for themselves:
- Nearly 100 minor and major attacks have taken place.
- Some 78 soldiers, five policemen, seven village guards and 12 civilians, a total of 102 people have been martyred. 200 people have been injured.
It was once said: “The PKK has been backed into a corner. It now has no power left. Its end is near…”
There were comments like: “The support of the people is decreasing.”
A conclusion was reached: “The alleged urban wing of the PKK, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) is melting away. Therefore the PKK will also melt away.”
The escalated terror of the past months has reflected these messages:
- It has shown that there was never any question of the PKK melting away, and that it can strike whenever it wants. It has experienced important losses. It did not try to establish “liberated areas,” but it did demonstrate its existence in certain areas, even to the cameras. The effect and the surprise of the embrace in front of the cameras with deputies of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) was very clear.
- Despite all the American intelligence, despite the thousands of troops and security personnel, despite Barzani getting closer to Ankara and increasing his support, the PKK showed that it is determined to maintain the struggle against the Turkish security forces and to resist by guerilla tactics, however many casualties they suffer.
- It also gave the message that despite the ban on visits to Öcalan, despite military operations, and despite the KCK arrests, the armed resistance, if needs be, will include the civilian population, as happened in Gaziantep.
- Another aim of this strategy was also to provide the closing of the doors to all negotiations with Ankara, and we can easily say that they have been very successful in this matter. It was the result of this strategy that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in his TV interview on Kanaltürk Friday evening, reacted by saying that it was impossible to return to the peace table from now on.
- With this stance, the PKK removed the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) from being one of the sides of the talks. Moreover, it has even created an appropriate platform for it to be expelled from the Parliament and sent out of politics.
- It gave the example to other countries in the region that they should be considered the only address if they ever wanted to annoy Turkey.
No concrete gains
The PKK may boast about the blood it has shed…
It may claim that it has scored in the eyes of its supporters from the political and psychological perspectives.
It may argue that it has increased its existence in one area in the southeast and that it has reached a stage where it can openly show itself. However, apart from these, it has not gained any concrete results.
Turkey has got used to these attacks. The PKK also knows that it is out of the question that it will ever beat the security forces. Its aim is to bleed the wound and increase the exasperation of the society. They have not been able to do it up to now. If Ankara takes clever steps and launches new reforms to tone down the pains of the Kurdish issue, the disintegration will never occur. The biggest problem is that this country has local elections as of next year, and after that the presidential election on 2014, and the general elections in 2015. The electoral concerns of governments will block the wisest steps.
The latest poll conducted for the prime minister shows that support for the government continues, but you never know. One day, everything may turn upside down. Let’s not forget that PKK terror is not only fed by developments connected to us anymore, and that it also takes advantage of other showdowns in the region.