The tremors of 2015...

We are leaving behind a tough year.

The fire enveloping the southeast, the urban wars alone are enough to describe 2015 as a problem year.
This is a field of fire in which the organization turned its back to politics and the state is unable to find the political device to put out the blaze.

This is not the only war where the fire licks our faces.

2015 witnessed another war in the Middle East, right beside us, grow and turn into a huge battle of sovereignty amid various powers in the region, both local and foreign. The Kurdish issue also started, step by step, to become part of this fight within the year. This fight also carried the other conflicts and problems to Turkey.

Daesh attacks, which cost the lives of over 100 people in southeastern Suruç district and capital Ankara, are the greatest price we paid in terms of humanity.

The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey has currently reached 2.5 million. With 650,000 of these refugees being children, the amount of money spend on refugees has exceeded $8 billion.

Our problems with Iran in the east and Russia in the north have become critical enough to exceed the limits of diplomatic tension. Ibrahim al-Jafari, the foreign minister of the Baghdad administration, which is the "voice" of Iran, only yesterday said, "If Turkey does not withdraw its troops from Camp Bashiqa, Baghdad will have to consider a military operation." As for Russia, with a chronic hostile attitude, it is adding new maneuvers and sanctions to the existing ones every day.

The course of the Kurdish issue is not independent of this picture. The problem has two equal centers since spring of 2015: Turkey's southeast and the Middle East, especially north Syria. Yesterday we shared PKK military leader Cemil Bayık's statements published in Le Monde. Bayık mentioned "a war [that will continue] until new borders are formed in the Middle East and Kurds and the organization find their place here."

In his Democratic Society Congress (DTK) speech, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş points to a population of 40 million Kurds in the Middle East. It was the first time he so openly carried Turkey's Kurdish issue beyond Turkey's borders.

This restricts the government's field of movement, while expanding the PKK's, and indicates powerful changes of stategy.

The PKK's off-shoot in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), continue to spread and settle into the southern border, in the north of Syria. It is crossing to the west of the Euphrates, the Jarabulus line, which is required to complete the corridor, attacking Daesh backed by US air support. The support provided by Russia and Iran to the Kurdish movement in this advance is no secret. In this sense, 2015 is handing over the flag to 2016 with a big question mark.

Local politics was the stage for other major tensions in 2015 besides the Kurdish issue. The June and November elections resulted in the HDP losing status as Turkey's party and the AK Party winning 50 percent support from the voters.

However, Turkey continues to remain under the influence of the language, anger and debates of the election rallies. We are struggling to turn to the page of normalization, which you would expect to open with a political party getting 50 percent of the vote.

This is because we continue to dwell on three big matters.

The way Turkey's administrative mechanism will shape, whether the new politics will become institutionalized with the center shifting to Beştepe, and what is expected, is hanging in the air, creating concern. And it seems that the presidency discussions will constitute one of the hot topics of the agenda in 2016.

The second issue is adjudications losing ground in terms of freedoms, with actual regression particularly in freedom of the press and expression. The country's democracy is, in a sense, in a rut, with matters such as the Gülen Movement problem, the Kurdish question, the ruling party's concerns of being besieged, the crossing of legal lines at times in terms of crime follow-ups or decisions to recall books, prosecution of numerous opposing journalists for insulting the president and cases like the Dündar example.

All these continue to remain as obstacles in the path of the reform atmosphere the government promised to provide the country.

The third big issue is the Kurdish question and establishing ties with politics. 2016 will be a year of study in this aspect as well.
Happy new year...
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