HÜSEYİN GÜLERCE

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HÜSEYİN GÜLERCE
June 19, 2012, Tuesday

Hopes for peace and Dağlıca attack

Again our feelings were wounded. Again we ended up with martyrs in Dağlıca. While peace was being mentioned, wicked provocation interfered in the process.

Just at the point when Leyla Zana announced, “Prime Minister Erdoğan is the only one to solve the Kurdish problem”; just at the point when the Republican People’s Party (CHP) was trying to shoulder responsibility with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party); just at the point when Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani were once more making an effort to find a solution, the Dağlıca attack occurred. That is how it happened before. The martyrdom of 33 Turkish soldiers in Bingöl in 1993 is one example. And the martyrdom of 13 Turkish soldiers who were trapped at rural part of Silvan on July 14 last year is another.

In this country, terrorist attacks on border outposts happen for the purpose of affecting presidential elections; in this country deliberate provocations occur on mountains for the purpose of controlling politics. Whenever an attempt to stop the bloodshed and mothers’ tears emerges, our hopes are destroyed.

In the morning I was reading the evaluations of Avni Özgürel regarding his interview with Murat Karayılan at Mt Kandil. The columnists that have been striving to solve the Kurdish issue and whose ideas I cared about were all talking about a new period of peace. Speaking to Taraf’s Neşe Düzel, Özgürel mentions, “We’re definitely close to peace,” adding, “unless we fall into a big trap, I think we won’t miss the chance for peace this time.” Mr. Avni’s fears have come true. We have fallen into a trap, a real trap.

Especially the Silvan trap, which bears many implications regarding yesterday’s attack. At Kandil, Karayılan tells Özgürel, “The Silvan attack caused a lot of damage both for us and the peace process.” However, he adds that this attack didn’t occur as a result of a decision issued by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (the PKK) or by him. “Local units did the attack and I couldn’t control it,” he says. Abdullah Öcalan, too, told the same things with regards to the incident in Bingöl in 1993, in which 33 Turkish soldiers were made to get off the buses and murdered.

Who are those local units? Who are they connected with? Who controls these units that carry out attacks without informing Öcalan and Karayılan. The Ergenekon, which is to the east of the Euphrates, hasn’t been/couldn’t be investigated yet. Thousands of unsolved murders committed by the PKK couldn’t be unraveled. The ties between the PKK and gendarmerie intelligence and the anti-terror unit (JİTEM) couldn’t be confronted. Which of the PKK units are in touch with gangs and junta supporters within the state? Which ones are members of foreign intelligence agencies? What are the positions of Syria, Iran, Israel, the US, Europe, weapon traders and drug smugglers in this issue? What is the extent of their activities?

Some inside and outside the country have made terrorism a thorn in our side. Any endeavor for democratization is under threat of terrorism. You may call it either the Kurdish issue or the terrorism issue, or you may say both are the same, but it is Turkey’s biggest problem.

The attitude of Prime Minister Erdoğan is clear. Here is the point he reached on a TV program broadcast June 6: “I no longer think that there is a Kurdish issue. There is the PKK issue in Turkey. I am quite bothered with the fact that my Kurdish citizens are introduced as if they were members of the PKK.” The honorable prime minister says, “There isn’t such a thing as ‘the Kurdish problem,’ but our Kurdish citizens have problems.” This attitude will determine the upcoming process. The prime minister differentiates between the steps toward a solution and the country’s fight against terrorism. He does not intend to step in a way that will weaken the anti-terrorist struggle or affect the morale of the soldiers at the front, the police and special forces and their willingness to fight. While the anti-terrorist struggle goes on effectively, the steps for democratization will be taken, such as instigating elective Kurdish language courses at schools. The main basis for a solution will be looked at within the new constitution drafting.

The latest attack at Dağlıca strengthens the attitude of Erdoğan. There is no way out except for PKK’s unilateral disarmament. Afterwards the issue about forgiving those terrorist groups in the mountains that haven’t been involved in the murders and the attacks may be discussed. While all these are being carried out, the Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) insisting that, “It is a must that Öcalan be transferred from İmralı prison to house arrest” doesn’t contribute to solving the problem but it contributes to the problem’s remaining unsolved.

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