It was a time when Turkey was talking about a possible period of peace. Pro-government media reported false -- i.e., that the PKK is ready to negotiate, or negotiation is the only solution, etc. -- information to prepare the ground for a possible period of negotiation. For the sake of a second round of negotiations, even the AKP government passed the third reform package to free some of the imprisoned Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) members and planned to set more of them free gradually.
The question is, what has really happened that has caused this spiral into terrorism and chaos? As the AKP government prepared the ground for negotiations and a possible cease-fire, and as the PKK leader sent messages of peace, the PKK intensified the fight. What is the real reason for this contradiction?
One analysis of this is related to the changing dynamics in the Middle East. As the chaos deepens in Syria and the regime is rocked, regime supporters, Iran and Russia are using extra measures to uphold the power of the regime by spreading chaos in the whole region. The PKK's obvious relations with Iran and Syria make it easier for the countries to spread chaos in Turkey as they do using Hezbollah in Lebanon. Thus, relating the recent terrorism with regional dynamics is a correct analysis.
However, PKK terrorism deserves a deeper analysis in order to be truly understood. Without considering the domestic dynamics, any analysis of the PKK would be misleading. Thus, to understand why the PKK has increased its level of terror in recent years, one, in addition to the regional dynamics, also needs to analyze what has been going on in Turkey in the last two months that has led to chaos in the country.
A critical moment that resulted in a change in domestic dynamics took place in June. The AKP government and some members of the security bureaucracy were preparing the ground for the second round of negotiations, but some PKK leaders took this as a threat to their strategy for two reasons.
First, when the PKK ended the period of negotiation on July 14, 2011, by killing 13 soldiers in Silvan, Diyarbakir, the PKK leaders calculated that the time was not appropriate for negotiations because there were many unknowns due to the Arab Spring. Thus, members of the PKK wanted to postpone the negotiations, but there was no way to postpone them without collapsing the whole negotiation process. They went ahead and attacked soldiers and forced the collapse of negotiations against the will of Abdullah Öcalan, the founder of the PKK. It was a big risk for the PKK's leaders to resume terrorism against the will of Öcalan. If they decided to negotiate a year after the collapse of the negotiation, the first thing that Öcalan would do is to eliminate those PKK leaders who resumed the terror campaign in 2011. Hence they found an attempt at a second round of negotiations could mean a risk to their own existence.
Second, the PKK leaders who resumed the terrorism back in 2011 assessed that the AKP government is at its weakest point. If the PKK is able to remove the AKP from the region, the state will lose its last arms to reach out to the Kurdish population. Then, the state will have nothing left to negotiate with the PKK on the PKK's territory. In other words, members of the PKK believe that that if the AKP is removed from the Kurdish region, the PKK will win big in all negotiations. Therefore, the PKK has decided it is the right moment for intensified terrorist attacks -- in order to remove the AKP government from the region.
The PKK reads the AKP's attempt to resume negotiations as a sign of weakness. It thinks the AKP wants to resume negotiations not because it wants peace but because it is weak. The PKK believes it can remove the AKP from the region, if not from power. Therefore, the PKK considered the last attempt at a second round of negotiations in June as a weakness, and intensified terrorism in order to harden the AKP government's stance.
Those who want to understand why the PKK increased their level of terrorism needs to understand what happened in June. As far as I have learned, Atalay met with Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) leader Selahattin Demirtaş to discuss the resumption of negotiations, while the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) contacted a mediator state to resume the Oslo process. Unlike the AKP government's expectations, the PKK read these attempts as signs of weakness and intensified its campaign of terrorism in the country for is own reasons.