Isn’t there a Kurdish issue? - ALI BAYRAMOĞLU

Isn’t there a Kurdish issue?

An interesting situation has developed. AK Party and HDP’s roads have crossed on the side over the reconciliation process; they are being pushed to be on the same battlefront. On the other hand, they are both being made out as enemies by rendering the most serious obstacle as being HDP damaging AK Party’s goals.

There is rivalry and conflict, as well as dialogue and compromise.

For both parties in this picture, it is inevitable to push for a binary language and a binary road; as a matter of fact, that is happening.

To start with, let us acknowledge this: The situation that emerged on February 28 was the furthest point the reconciliation process reached for Turkey’s Kurdish issue. This point signals the first time a preliminary understanding formed on the context of the steps that will be taken between the government and Kurdish movement.

The steps taken, with regard to who is taking them, is the work of clear courage and will. With the same proportions, the one taking the steps is also carrying serious risk.

For example, when discussing or regarding the Kurdish reconciliation process with anything other than the disarming of the PKK’s front and sharing the same ideas regarding the political topics about reconciliation, these topics especially coming out of a statement that Öcalan himself prepared, tell a short story on their own.

When taking into consideration all of AK Party’s political and ideological baggage, the indication of decisiveness, transformation and the risks that form the opposite pole are evident. Let me say it like this: The point that has been reached stating “what was natural and likely happened” does not change the reality that this has come to an utmost advanced stage from the point of a political power.

So, how did this happen?

The factor of a strong leader is evident.

Is it necessary to remember when Öcalan said, “Turkey has a leadership problem” during the years he was in Syria?

What about these words by Jonathan Powell: “To make peace, you need a strong leader. For Erdoğan to be ready to spend a part of his political capital for peace is a great chance for peace.  Because he is actually doing this by taking the risk of criticism, even while his party is headed to the elections…”

For example, can it be thought that Erdoğan’s consent was not there concerning the Dolmabahçe meeting? In actuality the situation is farther beyond this. For a step like this to be taken before the elections, it is purely a product from an Erdoğan type courage, risk.

In this situation, you cannot help but see the special place given to the reconciliation process and the decisiveness on this topic by either Erdoğan or AK Party.  

So what needs to be said about the harsh disputes between AK Party and HDP in the election environment? For example what does it mean when President Erdoğan said in Balıkesir, “There is no Kurdish issue, our Kurdish brothers have some issues.” 

It is possible to derive two meanings.

The first meaning: this situation is the result of a dual strategy. It signals an essential to mention this during the setting of the election in an environment where MHP and CHP can steal votes from AK Party over the Kurdish issue in Central Anatolia and in the Aegean. Additionally, for HDP to challenge AK Party for similar reasons is a way to fan the flame. Indeed, Erdoğan’s statements are beyond being proof of the situation; rather it can be understood as a reply to the dialect and campaign that HDP and Demirtaş are using. 

When it comes to the second meaning…

In regards to the reconciliation process, the sides have different expectations and definitions. The Dolmabahçe meeting opening up a new road in order to ease the congestion does not mean the issue was solved.

After the expected meetings, talks and negotiations, this is the opening of new airways and the removal of paradigm differences. Thus, when this point is reached, peace will have been attained. In other words, the reconciliation process is in one meaning, the period of the resolution of these differences, the sides changing and having to change their definitions. This is why hope is continuously staying alive.

However, this does not mean that President Tayyip Erdoğan has changed, despite the steps the reconciliation process has taken for its main declaration. He thinks with disarming the issue, it will be solved. He has been repeating for years the importance of having the pressure that the guns produce lifted.

The steps he has taken until today are proof that the Kurdish issue is being resolved, to give an example that denial has finished, the meaning of peace has expanded and the segregation of the recognition of cultural rights exists. It's thought that the steps that will be taken in the new constitution will strengthen this.

None of these are a secret…

This is situated line by line in every talk of the president and prime minister.

I remember quite clearly, just in 2010 before the reconciliation process began, Erdoğan answered me after my question saying, “We have solved the Kurdish issue.”

Thoughts and intentions don’t change in one stroke… But the path changes, politics change. The actors are forced to change.

And what was essential changes… 

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