Road to peace won’t be easy
It is not at all easy to change from a hard-line, “no talks with the terrorists” to a down-to-earth, “negotiated settlement” position. Naturally, it is a fundamental duty of any state to provide security to its citizens at any cost and within that framework to fight with determination to wipe out terrorism. Except for some extraordinary cases, such as the 2009 decisive Sri Lankan victory against the Tamil separatist terrorists, it is indeed difficult to claim that “no talks with terrorists” has always been helpful in achieving comprehensive resolutions to problems.
As former British Prime Minister John Major said, it was only after Britain established direct contact with the IRA that a process of resolution started in the Irish problem. It was only with constant talks – which were obviously intermitted with upheavals of terrorism fever – that positions could be reconciled and even the most intractable aspects of the problem were ironed out.
If there is determination to strike a peaceful resolution through dialogue, in full awareness that this road is laden with mines, provocations and numerous small and big pitfalls that might incur serious damage to the rotary of peace, the peace chart should be courageously pushed forward after each intermittence. Turkey has taken the most difficult step of directly engaging the No. 1 terrorist in a dialogue process that may eventually usher in peace. No one should expect a quick fix in this horrendous endeavor; if it was that easy it would have been done long ago and the problem would not be allowed to near the completion of its third decade at the expense of over 35,000 lives of beloved sons and daughters.
The Paris killing of three female terrorist figures at a high security Kurdish bureau was most probably the product of a group inside the gang that was unhappy with the prospect of peace. That’s rather natural in view of the fact that terrorism has turned into an industry and not only some chieftains but also the services of several “allies” of Turkey have been making the best use of this industry. It serves many individual interests, as well as “national” interests of many of our allies. Would it be possible to force Turkey to spend so heavily on the military if there was not terrorism?
Can anyone think what great strides Turkey would have achieved in its development drive if since 1984 there was not a separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) menace this country was compelled to fight with? Our “allies” would object to Turkish complaints of their role in abetting terrorism. They are indeed right. It is perhaps just gossip that through the CDK or the Kurdish Democratic Society Coordination network the gang extorts some 20 million euros in European cities. There is not a Brussels-based European Kurdish Associations Confederation (Kon-Kurd) that coordinates the PKK’s political activities in Europe. It might be gossip that under the Kon-Kurd roof there are 11 federations and over 700 associations active throughout Europe.
Separatist Kurdish terrorism cannot be erased by Turkey, alone even if it decides to walk the difficult road of talking directly with the beast. Turkey’s “allies” must realize that it is in their best interest as well to help Turkey leave this menace behind and engage with stepped up diligence with its development drive. An economically stronger Turkey might be the rotary of Europe in coming out of the current economic meltdown.