What was it really?
Turkey and its government slide toward more skepticism as it still fails to comprehend domestic, regional and international politics. That is why conspiracy theories replace sober analyses, so much so that a columnist who is an eager supporter of the government recently suggested his theory of a deep world (derin dünya) against Turkey as an explanation of recent political developments.
Months ago, Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek stated that Turkey is fighting against the whole world (“yedi düvele karşı savaşıyoruz”). Pro-government columnists often accuse everybody from Kurdish political actors to regional countries and even the U.S. (and the Western world in general) for the failure to solve the Kurdish problem. After the assassination of three female Kurdish politicians, the first reaction of government politicians was to hold the PKK responsible for the killings as a kind of internal conflict and execution. Then, conspiracy theories started to dominate the debate on this mysterious assassination. For many, there are a lot of regional and international actors who could want to hinder Turkish-Kurdish rapprochement after the government organized a meeting of PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan and two Kurdish politicians as a step for a new peace process.
In the minds of many, it could be Western countries as well as Syria, Iran or Israel. An arch-government-supporting columnist noted that it was only after the U.S. was angered by the refusal of the famous Iraq proposal in the Turkish Parliament and promised revenge that the PKK summoned its activities (Abdülkadir Selvi, Yeni Şafak, Jan. 10, 2013). Another columnist pointed out that it could be interpreted as a “Turkey-France fight” over the Middle East and also noted that Germany also does not want to see the rise of Turkey in the region (İbrahim Karagül, Yeni Şafak, Jan. 11, 2013). Many others suggested that it could be that Western powers do not want a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem. (Deniz Ü. Arıboğan is one among many, Akşam, Jan. 11, 2013) The new mood is that Turkey is a rising global star that is why all international and regional actors are trying to hinder it by all means.
The Kurdish politicians so prematurely accused the Turkish government, or the Turkish “deep state,” of the assassinations that it does not make much sense. Nevertheless at the end of the day, all agree on the fact that it was an attempt to spoil the new peace initiative. First of all, it is still too early to talk about “a peace process” to be targeted by any actors. Then, it is too early to suggest that such an event will spoil the process or was aimed to spoil the process. You never know, it may facilitate the process rather than hinder it, as such an event can trigger efforts to facilitate the process. Turkey failed to take a positive turn to solve its grave problem in 2009, now from the beginning of the İmralı meeting, the government once again started to seem hesitant and unprepared. Who knows, perhaps such a great event can push Turkey to face up to reality and be more serious about solving the conflict?