The Resolution Process requires a third party - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

The Resolution Process requires a third party

In 1995, I had traveled  to the East and Southeast Anatolia on behalf of Yeni Şafak newspaper. Mazlumder (Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People) was dispatching a committee to the region to research the reasons and results of village evacuations and compulsory migration. I was the only journalist in that committee.


The visits started at Van, continued till Adana and research had been conducted in approximately 10 cities. Afterwards, Mazlumder published the cluster of research as an extensive report entitled “The Reasons and Results of the Compulsory Migration” (Sadly this report is not published on the official site at the moment).

In this report, it was mentioned that the compulsory migration would be producing many social problems; ranging from the demographic distribution to the economic structure of the region and from livestock to urban planning; and in the future there will be severe results caused by this migration, including violent incidents in large cities. It was quite significant and resounding research; however, in that period the politicians decided to ignore it.

I also had written an article series entitled, “Humanity’s Migration from Bosnia to Şemdinli”, in Yeni Şafak newspaper, and in a way I had published a different version of that report. You must be wondering why I included Bosnia in the issue. Shortly before going on the eastern trip, I was a war correspondent in Bosnia and I had published an article series upon my observations over the war. The forcible evacuation of villages in my country, and the compulsory migration of people, made me feel similar sorrows.


On that day, I had stated and criticized that the Conservative community was ignoring the Kurdish issue: it wasn’t being discussed enough and it wasn’t producing solution suggestions for the issue. As a citizen of the East’s farthest city, Ağrı, I’ve included myself in that criticism and apologized from my Kurdish brothers/sisters. The article series had been turned into a book later on, and since that day, I’ve tried to pursue the Kurdish issue. As the will of God, it had been my privilege to start Kurdish publications in the Anatolian Agency.

In those periods, where we couldn’t even talk about the Kurdish issue, I had received threats from unknown places and PKK because of my articles. Nevertheless, the conservative community discussed this issue following Mazlumder’s efforts; however, they couldn’t make enough headway. In my opinion, conservatives, who comprehend the local community that has high religious sensitivity the best, and especially the people living in the West should have embraced the Kurdish issue. Because the conservative community have never been racists nor seen arms as a solution and always cared about the civil rights.

The 20 years which evolved since then has shown us that the security centered policies that depend on arms, a Marxist armed organization and ethnicity-based approaches don’t possess the competence to resolve the Kurdish issue and its complications. Until now it couldn’t.


Since the beginning, AK Party governments had been eager to solve this issue, and made an effort in that direction. We all have seen that there had been a great resistance, prevention and provocation from both inside and outside, every time the issue was trying to be resolved.

Now, there is a missing third party in the negotiations between the government and HDP. Even though Qandil had demanded a foreign country to be the third party, and expressed its desire to swing the lead, nobody credited this demand. The third party in the resolution of the Kurdish issues is the NGOs of Turkey. Because, the Kurdish issue is not an issue that only affects the state and organization. As Mazlumder stated in its report 20 years ago; the issue almost reached a dimension, whose effects can be seen in all large cities and entered our lives. Besides, it’s impossible for this issue to be solved only with squads, who are politically, physically and mentally ethnic and perform an ethnic stance.

The NGOs should come into play and contribute to the resolution as a third party. I’m not talking about a project of the government like “Wise-men Committee” that had been successful. I’m talking about civil formations, whose initiative and willpower completely comes from within.

On this matter, İHH had taken the first propitious steps by gathering the regional civil institutions and opinion leaders together in Diyarbakır. By new organizations with broader participation, these steps should be taken even further. Especially big organizations in Western cities, like TOBB, TÜSİAD, MÜSİDAD or TESEV, are required to be the stakeholders of the third party.

As it had been mentioned many times by many people, when the Resolution Process reaches success, it will add to Turkey’s power. A strong Turkey is everyone’s gain in these lands, not only AK Party’s.


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