Shall we ‘hunt’ the BDP?
Were the prime minister and his then-deputy undersecretary and current intelligence chief unaware when they were negotiating with the separatist gang directly in the presence of a Nordic intermediary that they were dealing with a terrorist gang?
When they were on speaking terms until recently, was it a secret for the prime minister and his gang of merry men in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) gang were just two reflections of the same beast?
Was it not the very same political mindset which was trying to convince Turkish society that Turkey needed a credible Kurdish interlocutor; that the closure of pro-Kurdish parties was wrong and, on the contrary, if there was no Kurdish party, Turkey had to nourish one if it wanted a political settlement to the Kurdish issue? Was it not with that consideration that the Constitutional Court turned a blind eye to the more-than-enough evidence of all kinds of links between the BDP and the PKK and did not close the party?
What has changed since then that we now have a new BDP-bashing season in the Turkish capital reminiscent of what happened to the Democracy Party (DEP) in 1994? Was it just the nasty photographs of some BDP deputies joyfully embracing a group of PKK terrorists? Was it because of the brief kidnapping of a main opposition deputy by the gang, or the abduction by the gang of a local chairman of the ruling AKP, a local governor and scores of soldiers and village guards that the government concluded the PKK was a terrorist group, that the BDP is its accomplice and that it would not talk with either?
Obviously, the PKK is a terrorist gang involved in heinous acts. The BDP is definitely a political extension of the PKK. One is using bombs, bullets and mines to kill people and promote separatist designs by creating an atmosphere of terror; the other is using means of democracy, sugarcoating evil strategies with political rhetoric and serving separatist designs. The BDP is not an innocent party. Their hands are as bloodied as the hands of the PKK chieftain’s terrorists who are pulling the trigger in bloodthirsty acts of terrorism. Photographs showing them grinning as they embrace terrorists vividly demonstrate who they are and what their true intentions are.
However, Turkey has no other option but to stop this atmosphere that suggests the BDP hunting season has started. Indeed, if there was no Kurdish party, Turkey ought to nourish one if it wants to achieve a political resolution to the separatist terrorism menace, as well as the Kurdish issue, which has been providing a fertile breeding ground for that menace.
For some time, Turkey has been experiencing the consequences of the ambiguous and ambitious Kurdish opening which, while they achieved some breakthroughs like Kurdish TV and language advances, created the wrong perception that the terrorists could dictate their terms to the Turkish state. There should, of course, be no letup in the fight against terrorism as long as terrorists don’t give up arms and engage in serious political dialogue.
On the other hand, the struggle against separatist terrorism cannot be restricted solely to the use of force as the problem at hand is a multifaceted one with social, political, economic, cultural and other dimensions that require a tender political approach. If it indeed wants a political resolution, rather than hunting the BDP and in full awareness of what that party is, Turkey must nourish the BDP into a respectable negotiating partner.