I again came to the conclusion that our media does not take a serious interest in the history of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). There is a lack of curiosity. Actually, it is not only on this issue that the media is limited. Political institutions, universities, intellectuals -- they are all in the same situation.
There is no research that we could describe as successful journalism or serious academic discussion explaining an organization that renders possible an environment of terror and civil war enduring for three decades. A work of İsmet İmset in the 1990s called “The PKK: A Report on Separatist Violence in Turkey, 1973-1992” and the book “Blood and Belief: The PKK and the Kurdish Fight for Independence” (Kan ve İnanç: PKK ve Kürt Bağımsızlık Mücadelesi) by Aliza Marcus published three years before it, remain two exceptions in this field. Marcus’s book, which she worked on for 10 years, says that it is not easy to find a journalist in our media who has worked on PKK history for 10 months, let alone 10 years.
As such, we are trying to understand the Kurdish problem and all the issues related to the PKK by looking at PKK attacks that have inflicted pain and taken place over the last 30 years. It is like this after every attack. Our journalist friends search, they wait for my comments. “Why Foça, why Gaziantep?” they ask. “What does the PKK want?” This is their job; let them do what they do.
Let me confess that I’ve come to a place where I don’t answer this type of question. There are no obvious answers to these questions. The response as to why Foça and why Gaziantep is a reply related to safety and safety experts. They are questions requiring the research of experts familiar with the PKK. The major question requiring an answer is: In a country that has agreed to reforms to achieve EU membership, that has undergone a process of guilt on the Kurdish problem, that has established a friendly relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) -- a formation that is the biggest victory for Kurds in their struggle of the past 2,000 years -- in northern Iraq and that does construction work in this area, that hosts 10 million Kurds in its large cities, why hasn’t the PKK used democratic and civil means to direct its struggle? Why does it prefer terrorism, which brings it into conflict with the civilian population?
Without seeking a response to this question it is not possible to carry out a successful struggle against the PKK. Turkey confronting the truth about the PKK and developing an accurate perception of it is necessary to resolve the conflict.
The problem is no longer a security problem or a simple fight against terrorism; it is the matter of a nation’s fate, in addition to an ethnic fight, darkening the future of everyone who lives in the country. Just who is this PKK?
Despite the incredible transformations witnessed in the Middle East and Turkey over the past 30 years, why is it that there is not even a minor sign of change in the PKK? Why is it that, on the contrary, it has continued the methods of violence and terror stemming from the 1990s with renewed vigor? Who is it that is holding the PKK, both in history and today, in this status? Let’s lend an ear to Öcalan’s brother on this matter:
“We were looking at the issue from three main points, the first being that the lifestyle of the organization must change; it must be an organization that responds more to the needs of the individual. Secondly, the system of foreign relations must change entirely. Thirdly, the pro-hegemony style of approach towards the Kurdish movement must be changed. We had said, ‘Relations should be developed through political solutions.’ However, our efforts were not supported by MİT [the National Intelligence Organization]. They tried to eliminate me.
“In 2002, during the days of the establishment of KADEK [a PKK alias], they covered Kandil with defamatory information about me through warplanes. In those messages, there were statements to the effect that ‘Osman Öcalan is unreliable and pitiful.’ The state distributed this information through planes. We were going to end the PKK and search for a flexible, political solution through KADEK. However, the state intervened through Ergenekon. The Turkish state, in alliance with Syrian and Iranian intelligence, worked to eliminate me. Our efforts to transform the organization into a political power were rendered ineffective through joint efforts. It was 2002-2003. We had believed in the elimination of weapons and embracing the transformation of the people as a political power. I have a liberal understanding; we believed that as society became democratized, a solution would be presented through politics.”