Rubbing hands with glee for the ‘restart of clashes’

Rubbing hands with glee for the ‘restart of clashes’

All eyes are on the PKK, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party. The number of those is not at all small; those who anticipate that Kandil (Mountain) will take up arms and that Turkey will roll back into a spiral of violence. 

Among those who generate threats over this disaster anticipation there are both those who have fought for the rights of Kurds up until yesterday and also those racists who say, “Don’t eat what the Kurds eat.” It is impossible not to be surprised by this coalition. 

Any threatening expression coming from Kandil, any voice saying, “I’ll fire,” triggers the hopes of this “extraordinary coalition.” Interpretations emerge with a lot of enthusiasm, saying, “You will see; Kandil will not listen to İmralı.” Anyone who is angry with the government searches for remedy in the calls for violence that may come from Kandil. The strategy developed by Öcalan of “transition from armed struggle to political struggle” does not at all correspond to the mood of the general reaction and it is adopted by the Kurds more with each passing day. The minds of those who expect that, “Now, they will fire guns,” are confused even more. They cannot talk as challengingly as they used to do. For example, on the subject of the “Öcalan-PKK relationship,” involuntarily, they opt for a more cautious language. 

Van deputy and DTK co-chair Aysel Tuğluk, in the highly-debated letter she sent to Taha Akyol, defined the resolution process as such: “I should first state that the topic of withdrawal, the one that has been debated a lot, despite the decision to halt, is now a technical-arithmetical issue at this stage. The essence of the situation is this: The Kurdish movement, theoretically and politically, is acting and will act in accordance with the spirit of the letter read out at Nevruz. The PKK will not end the process in any way. […] The option of war is off-line for the next couple of years. Even if arms are fired with the aim of tit-for-tat, nobody would dare war; because that would be our disaster!”

Tuğluk is also aware that the peace process does not make certain circles happy. She draws attention to Öcalan’s stance against the criticisms coming from these circles: “The ‘epic’ Kurdish nationalists and the ‘political class’ of Kurds who sense the liberal, left and strategic alliance with Turkey’s democracy powers approach of Öcalan, have started a ‘war of position’ in advance. [...] It should be known that it is a mistake to talk about a ‘resolution process-AKP equation.’ Its consequences would be heavy. What is needed to be done is to talk about, discuss and act upon a ‘Resolution process and Turkey’s future equation.’” 

Tuğluk is expressing that it is not adequate and correct to read the change and solution over an equation limited to the government and is suggesting that the issue be viewed from a wider framework. Instead of doing politics over hopelessness by saying, “This government cannot solve it,” she is emphasizing that a general viewpoint of a democratic Turkey should come forward. 

New energy of peace 

Of course, what interests us essentially is this: The announcement that the Kurdish movement has decided to lay down arms has created an opportunity for a new social energy… This energy is affecting positively both Kurds and the whole of Turkey. Now, the most important thing to do is to increase democratic pressure so that the democracy package is prepared as positively as possible; to evaluate the package-to-come with the language of democratic politics, not with the language of rage and clashes. Selahattin Demirtaş and Pervin Buldan had not come back from Kandil as this column was being written. On any account, we can continue to say this clearly: The strategy of “transition from arms to politics” that Öcalan declared will continue… 

Kurds are taking their places on the stage as the new and the most dynamic actors of the region by overcoming the hurdles…

Oral Çalışlar is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece appeared on Sept. 16. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.