Is the Kurdish movement the only winner?

Is the Kurdish movement the only winner?

We are at it hammer and tongs with horrific fury. There is one winner in this fight: The Kurdish movement.

President Abdullah Gül rightly said, “The things we have experienced recently have made it obvious our light, which was shining very bright at one time, does not shine with the same brightness.”

If a country draws a convincing picture on how bright its future is, then capital will flow into that country. That country is respected. Among the citizens of that country, the sentiment to live together strengthens, or at least the grassroots of separatist movements ease off.  

In our region, separating from an EU hopeful country with a bright light carries the risk of falling into the darkness of the Middle East. If Turkey is losing its light, then wouldn’t it also lose its charm?

Way back 90 years ago  

In the years when the War of Independence spirit was strong, while the Lausanne process was continuing, very important and enlightening debates took place in Parliament about the Kurdish issue. Kurdish deputies also harshly criticized Lord Curzon, reiterating their loyalty to Turkey.

The last secret session in Parliament on the topic of Lausanne was held March 6, 1923. Erzurum deputy Durak Bey’s patriotic and informed speech is extremely significant. Explaining the loyalty of Kurds in the region to Turkey, Durak Bey talked about his chat with a Kurdish citizen, a Selim from Bitlis, who said, “But you should be ashamed of your bad administration; if we administrate our own selves we would not be this bad!” Durak Bey also referred to the Mosul issue, warning, “If the Mosul issue is not solved properly, with the provocations of the British, if a Kurdish separatist movement develops, there would not be an easy way of handling this.”

Shining star

In the reports written by İsmet Paşa in 1935 and by Celal Bayar in 1936 after they visited the region, the “bad administration” issue covers a major portion; it was also seen as an important reason for the dislike of the people. In those times, the Republic did not have the financial power and the administrative organization to bring public services to the region. Moreover, it was an authoritarian regime.     

In time, public services and economy developed, but the population’s economic and political demands’ bar also went up. Now, there is a need for a good governance level and administration quality.

As Gül said, Turkey had leapt “like a rocket” at the beginning of the 2000s. The country formed a sound financial structure with Kemal Derviş’s reforms. With the Justice and Development Party (AKP) coming to power in 2002, economic stability and major accomplishments in the EU process were achieved. The Western media also applauded Turkey as the “shining star.”

From where to where?

However, Turkey’s star today is not shining “with the same brightness.” Today, the prime minister is saying “We have made a mistake” about the 2010 reforms advancing the independence of the judiciary, which was one of the incidents that made our star shine. Yesterday, the EU, which signed the accession partnership documents with Turkey, is today warning Turkey over and over again on vital matters such as the freedom of the press, the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.

In the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) movement, on the other hand, morale is high; they say, “We have come to the stage of construction.” They have a project, an aim for the future.

Except for the BDP, we have become a society smothered in rage, at the throats of each other, with our hopes for the future all darkened. The government or the opposition, do either of them open their eyes with hope, with joy to a new day in the morning?   

The sweet slogans that rarely come out are also crushed under the anger, fights and concerns.
It is not actually today’s issue; since 2011, we have been fueling political clashes with anger that have been growing like a snowball. May God have a good end for all of us!

Taha Akyol is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Feb 20. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.