This incident has clarified the role the terrorist organization wants to assume of “troops acting in self-defense,” on behalf of the Turkish people and representing their wishes, as encapsulated in the statement that the deputy “was detained as a result of many complaints from the public.”
It was Kurtuluş Tayiz in Taraf who made the most striking and comprehensive assessment of this kidnapping. In his article, he questioned the very nature of the highly controversial Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), writing: “It is because of the KCK system [groups such as the PKK] are trying to put in place that more than half of the Southeast is branded ‘traitors’ and ‘collaborators’ and, therefore, enemies. Consequently, masses of people are automatically targeted by the organization’s repressive policies. As a matter of fact, given this practice, [the KCK] resembles a small Kemalist state. With its practices, ideological foundation and perspective on Kurdish geography, the KCK [perspective] is no different from the way the single-party era’s CHP saw Turkey.” (Taraf, Aug. 14, 2012)
The government has developed a formula of conducting political negotiations to resolve these issues, but precisely what was negotiated in the Oslo talks was unworkable. It is one thing to discuss how the PKK will lay down arms within the framework of the settlement of the Kurdish question, but it is another to practically hand over a region to an armed organization. The KCK wants to establish a Stalinist or totalitarian North Korea-like model under the guise of “democratic autonomy” in the East and Southeast. It has been a mistake not to conduct police and military operations genuinely directed toward weakening the KCK, instead making false moves designed to help the government gain an upper hand in negotiations to be held with the PKK in the future.
The responsibility of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in all this is to see the bigger picture. The settlement of the Kurdish question cannot be reduced to the development of initiatives to combat the PKK and KCK alone. It is not a matter of isolating the demands of the Kurds, such as the right to be educated in their mother tongue, and slowly sending these demands, one by one, into oblivion. The “win-win” relationship the government has established with the military tutelage can be considered the biggest obstacle to sincere, effective efforts on the part of the government to resolve the Kurdish question. The new constitution, currently being drafted, was demanded by an overwhelming majority in Turkey, and only unwillingly added to the AK Party agenda.
Neither the prime minister nor AK Party spokespeople tend to comment on the new constitution unless specifically asked about it. But it is the “new civilian constitution” that has the potential to pave the way to resolution of the Kurdish question, and of all other problems faced by this nation. It is, of course, not a magic formula, but only a pluralistic and democratic constitution can lay the necessary foundations for progress.
Unfortunately, the AK Party has been swayed by the thought that this new constitution offers potential opportunities for advancement of the ruling power, such as a move to a presidential system. If half the energy expended by senior AK Party officials arguing about who is eligible to run for President, and for how long a term, had been channeled into the promotion of the civilian constitution, great progress would already have been made.
Now the AK Party has in its sights the goal of causing other parties to leave the parliamentary commission responsible for drafting the new Constitution, rather than abandoning the process itself. İsmet İnönü said, “In war, there is no winner or loser; there is the first quitter and the last quitter.” The AK Party is hoping to win such a victory by attrition, unless it manages to have a presidential or semi-presidential system enshrined in the new constitution.
Reading news stories with titles such as “Chief of General Staff destroys records about Feb. 28,” and, “MİT [National Intelligence Organization] destroys records about Susurluk scandal,” one is tempted to be content with the assumption that the military tutelage has ended. Or should we remember how the status quo was saluted by the prime minister with the statement, “My colleague, the chief of General Staff, is being targeted by smear campaigns”?
It was written by the Ancient Greek poet Archilochus, and has since been pondered by many philosophers, that “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
The hedgehog is always on the alert, and defeats the cunning fox as it knows how to protect itself in every situation.
Those who think that they have come to a compromise with the military tutelage and discovered a lasting way to share power are in the wrong. If you pay heed to protecting your own position instead of the broader democratization of the country, this tutelage -- the hedgehog -- will eventually defeat the AK Party and Turkey itself. Only a civilian constitution can stand against this scheme.