The period of fierce clashes has started
CEVDET AŞKINThe passage of around a week since Justice and Development Party (AKP) Kulp District Head Veysel Çelik was kidnapped by a group of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) shows that the organization has started the process it has defined as “paralyzing the system.” On Feb. 5, one of the PKK’s leaders, Cemil Bayık, said: “Now, there will not be any differentiations such as the mountain, the city or the metropolis; the war will be spread everywhere. We will paralyze the political, administrative and cultural system,” noting that the organization would attack whatever exists in the name of the state, something that was also mentioned in its North Iraq Journal on Feb. 6 under the title, “PKK enlarges target.”
In this process, which is developing in parallel with the warming natural and climatic conditions in East and Southeast Anatolia, the PKK has taken responsibility by issuing statements afterward in regards to several actions such as attacks on military targets, raids on road repair work and dam and police station construction sites, barricading roads, conducting identity checks and kidnapping village guards. Alongside these actions, we have also witnessed some bombings and – as happened in Yüksekova and Dogübeyazıt on Monday – fatal attacks for which no responsibility has yet been claimed or which remain unresolved but suit the framework that the PKK has announced for the new period.
The Turkish Armed Forces and security forces are organizing very intense operations in this period, just as they did so before. Operations are ongoing in Pülümür in Tunceli, the Diyarbakır-Bingöl-Muş triangle, Bitlis and along the border. These air-supported operations are aimed at both exerting military pressure on the PKK so that it is prevented from carrying out these acts and also to inflict casualties.
It can be noticed that the fierce clashes taking place in this period are almost non-existent in the media. Even though residents in Diyarbakır can reach some conclusions through the noise of warplanes frequently taking off and landing, people in other parts of Turkey who are unaware of all this continue their lives as normal. For this reason, an unprecedentedly low-density armed clash is perhaps occurring in Turkey. It is unprecedented because while there is the serious spectrum of war in one part of the country, in the larger portion, everything looks normal.
No doubt, this spectrum, which is a success for Ankara, is very disturbing for the PKK. Thus, in order to change this spectrum, it would not be surprising for the organization to further increase the tempo of its attacks in the coming days by including the cities.
While Turkey is drafting a new social charter – in one way, inevitably – it is bound for a “very hot” summer.
Cevdet Aşkın is the news editor of daily Radikal. This article originally appeared on May 22 on the paper’s Internet site.