Is Turkey at a threshold? Of what?
The 20-page letter of the imprisoned chieftain has probably reached its addresses by now. Within days, a reverse process will be lived; the addressees will reply to the letters and the selected, elected members of Turkish parliament will carry the replies back to İmralı island prison with the assistance of the Turkish state.
What will happen then? The chieftain sentenced to a life term for his role in the murder of tens of thousands of people through separatist terrorism-related violence will examine those replies, add his own comments and “guide” the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government toward a resolution of the menace of terrorism and hopefully the Kurdish problem.
Is it not like entrusting the safety of lambs to a hyena, who up until being promoted to an ambiguous “İmralı” attribution was most frequently referred to as “the baby killer”? If “Asad the brother and most trusted confidant” turned into “Esed the enemy and butcher” overnight, why not? After all, this is a public relations business and the AKP is the master of creating perceptions.
What was written in those letters? It was revealed long ago. The chieftain apparently made some assessments regarding the overall political and security issues of the country, provided a roadmap to be followed and issued a set of instructions to members of his herd on Kandil Mountain, in Europe or in the Ankara Parliament. A hyena is a hyena and cannot be domesticated into a pet dog. That’s what the chieftain reported to have said in his letter warning that if the initiative failed, “tell the people I am dead and not responsible for anything at all.”
That aside, Turkey is indeed at a threshold. Would it succeed in leaving behind this decades-old trauma and move forward happily and in integrity with its people and territory, or would it plunge into an even more terrible period of bloodshed and chaos? By moving on to presidential rule would it consolidate its governance and move toward becoming one of the top 10 economies of the world by the 2023 centennial of the republic, or would we plunge into the tyranny of the absolute rule of an autocrat? The chieftain is obviously not a fortune teller yet and did not answer such questions in his letters but it appeared he was rather optimistic of the future. But, are presidential rule and the İmralı process related issues? How could they be? Oh la la, was the chieftain implying the Kurdish issue could best be resolved in a presidential, unitary Turkey with an effective federation? Was that why he said, “insisting on democratic autonomy would amount to sabotaging the process?”
The Turkish public by and large, excluding some confused nationalists, is supportive of the latest initiative, though even this most exposed venture is under a thick veil of secrecy and the Parliamentary opposition was not adequately briefed by the government. Is it not awkward that the government knows, terrorists in Europe, Kandil or Parliament know, but opposition parties and the nation are denied information? Yet, this is the first time there is so high a “let’s see what they will do” mood in the Turkish public, which – though not an outright approval— is not a definite rejection. Presidential aspirations are poisoning the atmosphere, however.
On the other hand, what about “external factors”? Was it a fiction? If correct, can Turkey solve this issue on its own?
We are at the threshold of what?