However, this time, they refer to meaningful support for a solution rather than an intervention that is contrary to our interests. First, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani paid a visit to Washington, followed by delegations from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Republican People’s Party (CHP). The CHP subsequently proposed the setting up of a parliamentary commission. The AK Party announced its eagerness to work with the CHP on this matter, and the acting leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Murat Karayılan gave an interview to a conservative journalist, in which he for the first time supported the peace process. In addition, Leyla Zana, an independent pro-Kurdish deputy from Diyarbakır, met with the prime minister and finally Barzani invited 16 Kurdish political groups in Syria to convince them to fight against the Assad regime. This implies that the Kurdish issue is a regional problem and that it could be resolved through the perspective of global peace and stability. While the PKK’s extension in Syria has lent support to the Assad regime so far, it cannot remain indifferent to the Kurdish alliance there. Therefore, the potential contribution of the West is perceived as a natural and constructive factor.
It appears that the PKK is the only actor that is resisting a resolution. It is not easy to make an assessment at this point, but it is not certain whether Karayılan, who controls the Kandil region, also has control over the whole of the PKK, whether he deliberately supports terror attacks, or if he has to acknowledge them in order to protect his authority and image after they take place. Most probably, some of these possibilities hold some water, and the PKK leadership senses it is at the end of the road after founding member Abdullah Öcalan distanced himself from the group. The destruction of numerous trucks and the kidnapping incidents at the hands of the PKK do not mean anything more than the group is attempting to prove it still exists. These attacks do not lead to any political advantages, even among radical Kurds. However, the PKK feels the need to indicate that it will not endorse a peace plan that leaves it out.
The most crucial element of this equation is the government, and it seems that the AK Party has strong intentions of making a move towards a resolution to the problem. The most important one of these steps was the legal amendment that abolished specially authorized courts and restricted the powers that these courts used to exercise. The initial outcome of this move was the release of some Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) suspects, and if it had not been for the Ergenekon cases the number of KCK releases would have been much higher, with many people making a comparison between Ergenekon and the KCK. The release of the KCK suspects while Ergenekon suspects are still in prison could provoke manipulation in the media against the AK Party.
Another government move will be the creation of a new constitution. The AK Party, which is decisive about amending the Anti-terror Law, but only if a new constitution is created, offered a provision that removed the barriers on using Kurdish as an optional working language in education. Under this regulation, the clause in the constitution suggesting that Turkish is the only language that can be used for teaching purposes is taken out of the text.
And it should also be noted that the prime minister is pretty clear in his discourse on the Kurdish issue. The government is determined not to talk to the PKK, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is willing to talk to the “PKK’s extensions in Parliament.” This is a controversial and contradictory position because it implies negotiation with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), knowing that it is the extension of the PKK. However, in this case, talking to the BDP actually means talking to the PKK. By this tactical move, the government seeks to avoid harmful relations and seeks to talk to the actors of pro-Kurdish politics through legitimate means.
This all suggests that the sphere of political solutions will be further expanded. The AK Party sends a message indicating that it is willing to talk to the opposition and to the Kurds on “the other side” like Zana. And now the CHP cannot withdraw its support from the process. The international community is conjecturing that a solution to the Kurdish issue may include the involvement of the US and Syria. Even the PKK has become a multilayered actor, and it will not be easy to prevent further divisions within it. For the first time, a realistic solution is apparent. Now it is most likely that those who are avoiding a solution will lose.