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March 21, 2012, Wednesday

Policy of negotiations with the PKK is over

It is no secret that there is an influential group within the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government which promotes the idea of negotiations no matter what the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) does.

These people are convinced that the PKK want peace. The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) played a significant role in Ankara in convincing policymakers that the PKK wants peace. Yet, they failed to realize that the PKK wants peace on the condition of returning to the region as an armed police force. That is why Abdullah Öcalan has created “self-defense forces” to facilitate the return of PKK militants to the region.

As MİT and the group within the AKP prepare to resume negotiations, a media campaign has already been launched to push for the release of suspects in the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) case. However, the PKK destroyed this plan by advocating violent street clashes. PKK leaders have announced that the PKK will try to bring about a Kurdish spring and have encouraged the Kurdish masses to constantly go into the streets.

During street protests, PKK sympathizers committed acts of vandalism and militants killed police officers and placed a bomb in an area where protests were taking place in order to kill more civilians and trigger street protests that would bring about a Kurdish spring. Just yesterday, the PKK killed four police officers and wounded five, which once again shows that the PKK does not want peace unless the AKP government recognizes the PKK as a legitimate force that can return to the Kurdish region.

In response to the PKK’s killings and street violence, it seems that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again moved closer to the group that is arguing that peace with the PKK is just a wishful thinking by the MİT. When speaking Erdoğan harshly criticizes liberal columnists who are quick to comment that the PKK wants peace, but that the government has provoked the Kurdish people by not allowing Newroz celebrations.

Given the fact that many of those liberal journalists are informed by and asked to prepare the public for the possibility of negotiation by the pro-negotiating group within the AKP, Erdoğan’s reaction can be considered a sign that the chance of the AKP government reviving the idea of negotiations is slim.

It means that PKK appeasers within the AKP and the MİT have lost this battle once again. In using harsh language against journalist who would function as a bridge between the PKK and AKP, Erdoğan is refusing to allow their worldview to influence the government’s policies.

I think that once again Erdoğan has realized the PKK does not want to lay down its arms. The PKK has once again buried the arguments of some MİT and AKP leaders that peace is possible.

From now on, it would not be a surprise for the military to conduct more and more operations both inside and outside of Turkey to try to eliminate PKK militants. Thus, I expect an increase in counterterrorism operations in the upcoming months.

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