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February 19, 2012, Sunday

Troubles of the system, or a troubled system

The current outlook in the ongoing turmoil is as follows: The police department and the prosecutors are opposed to the conciliatory approach the government took vis-à-vis the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), which began with talks with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an approach that was also adopted to address the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK).

This is certainly parallel to the policy of violence and intimidation pursued by the military thus far. In other words, there is a state of return to the former approach where security policies are employed as regards the Kurdish question. This means a lack of resolution and uncertainty. Politics does not tolerate the absence of a resolution and uncertainty, because they create despair and a sense of defeat. If the official policy generates uncertainty, lack of resolution and despair, it is suicidal.

For this reason, the government along with MİT, in which the government has faith, adopted an alternative method of solution and initiated a new era in regards to the Kurdish issue. This was because it became evident that the obvious mistakes and ignorance characterizing previous raids by the military on the PKK and the deliberate misleading that occurred with regard to the Uludere bombings had only generated a lack of resolution through more violence, conflict and disagreement in the Kurdish issue. In addition, this approach used to ensure that the security bureaucracy was able to sustain its dominant position within the state and over society. There is widespread conviction that there is a strong domestic and international coalition working towards this end.

The solution with MİT: In response, the new approach involving MİT involves two methods. 1. They started talks with Imralı and Kandil, concluding, “If there is disagreement and conflict, the party to it should participate in the process of finding a solution to see how they approach the problem and what solution they have to offer. 2. If the PKK should become a non-violent organization, proper political channels should be made available to it so that it can appeal to the public. In other words, instead of taking the problem to the political stage by conducting violent attacks, it should be allowed to convey it to Parliament through political means. For this, a civilian-political alternative rather than a semi-military organization was needed. The KCK was born out of this conviction.

Is the KCK, as argued, a product of MİT? Or is it the natural offspring of the PKK camp that the MİT infiltrated to ensure it acts in line with its goals? I would not know. But the logic is consistent with the successful methods exercised in the world towards the resolution of long-standing political conflicts.

However, the constructive efforts have been halted. The domestic lobby of security and violence on the one hand and the external circles that promoted and supported Kandil and the PKK for their own regional goals sabotaged the peace and reconciliation process. This sabotage was repeated in every agreement with Imralı, and the government returned to its former security policy out of anger. However, this time the government preferred the police, which took over from the military, which had served as the implementer of that policy. There were two problems with this preference: the inadequacy of the method adopted and the indifference of the figures who preserved their place in the system toward society and the law.

Hammer politics: There is a saying that if the only tool you hold in your hand is a hammer, you will see all problems as nails. As the state used the hammer, the problem (the nail) became more complicated and intricate, and eventually, it turned it into an irresolvable one. Secondly, as observed in the Uludere incident, the government hit its other hand with the hammer.

What should be done? As asked by a friend of mine, “MİT, the police, the government and authorities are all well and fine, but where are the people in all this? For God’s sake, which serious policies were the people involved in? Their votes were sought only in the elections.”

Lesson to be drawn:

    1. It is not enough to change the guardian; as long as the guardianship institutions and rules remain in effect, there will be actors that will exercise these rules. Delaying the creation of a democratic order and a state to be governed by the rule of law was, and is, the biggest mistake of the government and Turkish politicians.

    2. The practice of specially authorized courts and prosecutors, successors of the state security courts and the martial law courts that were products of the combination of powers and remained above the law at all times, should be abolished. These are guardianship institutions. When they will exercise their powers and where they will wield these powers is not certain.

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