Painful peace

Painful peace

If there is an assumption that one day there will be a miraculous “win-win” resolution to the Kurdish, Alevi and such perennial issues of this land and there will not be any pain or trauma whatsoever because of that resolution, that would be a hypothesis that can best be described as a product of naivety, if not total ignorance, of the reality of the land.

Irrespective of whether it was described as a “win-win,” settlement of any problem requires some sort of a give-and-take, compromise or at least preference of something over some other things. As painful as that might be, a “justifiable” resolution would have been far better than allowing the problems – thanks to consecutive governments preferring palliative management of problems rather than solving them – become somewhat intractable and acquire quagmire dimensions.

A resolution to the separatist terrorism issue and the plight of Turkey’s ethnic Kurdish people, for example, will be possible only if this country compromises in some areas such as accepting the fact that the Turkish language is not the mother tongue of all the people of this land and very much like it is the inalienable right of Turks to demand their language be the official language, people with different mother tongues could at least expect for their “different” mother tongue to have a place in local governance. While accepting such a “compromise” might cause some trauma on the ethnic Turk citizen of the Turkish Republic, the ethnic Kurd citizen of the same republic will have to voluntarily surrender and accept to be the “equal” citizen of the “Turkish” Republic.

As painful as it might be, Turks and Kurds of this country should concede the fact that if an end is wanted to the bloodshed, to separatist terrorism and of course the military hunt for terrorists, without any discrimination this country should walk down the excruciating road of compromise, reconciliation and peace building. Naturally, the responsibility of leading such a process cannot be contracted to a government agency, to the military or to a separatist terrorist gang or its political extensions but must be courageously undertaken by the government.

That will not be at all an easy task but governance requires the capability of delivering difficult decisions besides the routine voter buying schemes. For some time the present government of Turkey has been hesitant walking down any such excruciating road, fearing that it might be compelled to pay a heavy political price at the ballot box. It is totally right of course. Yet, it was this government that let the genie out of the bottle in the first place by launching the so-called “Kurdish opening” contracted to it by some “external friends.” The country has come to a point of no return and a probable return might be more costly than swallowing some bitter reality pills now.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani made some very interesting remarks during an interview aired on the Al-Iraqiya TV network. His remarks came soon after claims that the separatist terrorist gang will soon declare a unilateral ceasefire (that appeared to be a response to the prime minister apologizing over the 1936 to 1939 Dersim massacre). He said that one, the Turkish state should declare a general amnesty for those terrorists coming down the mountains and surrender, and two, in the new constitution there ought to be an acknowledgement that Turkey is a homeland of many ethnicities.

Well, it starts at that point. Are we prepared to walk down that painful road?