Resolution process: Stop the blame game

Resolution process: Stop the blame game

It is apparent that what we have named the “resolution process,” which has been going on for maybe a year behind closed doors but for 10 months publicly, has entered a very serious blockage phase.

It was first announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the end of December 2012 on a TV show that talks were ongoing with Abdullah Öcalan at İmralı Island.

Since that day, the eyes of Turkey have been turned toward the “Resolution Process.” High expectations were voiced; moreover, there were people who said this matter could be finalized by November.

As a matter of fact, Turkey is in a hurry; because the “low intensity war” that lasted 30 years has exhausted all of us. But, we are talking about a giant issue, only 30 years of which was the “low intensity war,” whereas from the Kurdish point of view, it has been going on for 80 to 100 years with oppression, the fire of which has never died down. For this reason, it is not possible for this issue to be solved in one year.

At the beginning, sentiments exceeded logic. Frankly, there were times when I shied away from writing the above sentence. I thought I would be accused of being a pessimist.

It was indeed out of the question to solve such a deep social problem without discussing and without submitting any counter views. But, it was as if we allocated more energy to those who criticized the process than to the process itself.

Now, it looks as if a blame game has started on why and how we have reached this stage. Everybody says to each other, “It was because of you that the process stalled.”

There have been mistakes – some serious – made in the process. In my opinion, the most fundamental mistake was that the scenarios, the possibilities regarding what kind of a Turkey would emerge at the very end in the case where the process was successful have not been adequately presented.

Because, we are saying, on one hand, “This is not a negotiation.”

If not, we should at least tell the PKK that still holds its arms and that has not left Turkey, “When the process finalizes you will be this and that.”

Because we have not said this, this time both the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), and the PKK (the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and also Abdullah Öcalan are overtrumping. They are saying, “Then, let’s start negotiating.” The congestion we have reached today is right at this point.

The intensity of the reactions to the recent democratization package is an indication of how difficult the platform the government is operating on is. The government is being accused of “doing very little” by BDP/PKK, and “doing too much” by CHP and MHP.

As I said, the PKK that is overtrumping has voiced many threats, including a restart of terror before the elections.

It should not be forgotten that the resolution horizon has been on the agenda once; even though there may be tough stances like this in the meanwhile, the resolution perspective will always stay where it is; it may be left to sleep but it will never be shelved.

However, the issue is that the delay in the resolution also changes the expectation regarding what kind of Turkey would be reached at the end of the process. This is what really matters.

İsmet Berkan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Oct. 25. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.