The results of the survey are such that one cannot help but think that the respondents who were surveyed are all supporters of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). However, it is not so; the respondents of the survey are the voters of all the four parties that are represented in Parliament. This renders the results of this survey even more important.
Turks and Kurds are loyal to their common future but this sense of loyalty is seemingly less among Turks. There is one reason for this, which is the continuing terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) violence and terrorism.
The attacks carried out by the PKK after the Silvan attack in 2011 in which 13 soldiers were killed negatively influenced Turks' social and political tendencies. I think this is nothing to be surprised about. When the coffins of recently slain soldiers are carried to mosques and villages every day, there could be nothing else.
But the majority of the Turks do not hold Kurds accountable for all this pain and no angry statements have been made and no angry slogans have been chanted against Kurds in any of the funerals of slain soldiers. Moreover, this is not something new. Blood has been spilt for the last 30 years but only the PKK is the target of the pain and anger felt by the Turkish people.
Similarly, the deaths of many Kurdish youths in PKK attacks and military operations has so far not led to a reaction or anger against Turks among Kurds. Yet, there is still a key difference between the Kurdish and Turkish people; as the PKK steps up its violence, Turks' belief in living together with Kurds becomes weaker, though slightly, but violence and terrorism brings Kurds closer to Turkey and Turks.
This undoubtedly means that Kurds do not trust the new strategy adopted by the PKK after the Silvan attack and that this strategy makes them even more frightened. I think the high level of belief among Kurds in a common future with Turks is also related to the conflicts which the Middle East is seeing now.
In Iraq, Kurds have political status. This is an important political and moral value for all Kurds. But Iraq's Kurds are surrounded by risks. They have many pressing problems with the central Iraqi government which seem difficult to resolve, namely the Kirkuk issue. If the current American administration changes, the freedom enjoyed by Kurds in Iraq today may be lost. The same goes for the Kurds in Syria.
The question of what Kurds' future in Syria will be after Bashar al-Assad's regime is hard to answer. If the view suggesting that the regime in Iran will be challenged next after the one in Syria is also taken seriously, it means that the common future of Syrian Kurds is also filled with ambiguities.
Turkey stands in a completely different position in this picture. Although it has been dealt severe blows by coups and regimes of military tutelage, it has a strong democratic tradition. The Kurdish and Turkish people are intermingled. Social and economic integration has reached impressive levels. As revealed by the survey, although the number of those among Turks who want to establish neighborly and kinship bonds with Kurds has receded to 24 percent, if normalization is achieved, it is not difficult to estimate that such concerns will be removed.
The picture revealed by the survey shows that there are still serious risks concerning the belief in a common future. And these risks are seen among youths in their 20s. This generation of youths was raised by listening to the stories of their brothers, relatives or neighbors who lost their lives in clashes with the security forces. Kurdish youths in particular were subjected to violence both from the state and the PKK. Political actors have never spoken about the correct things to these youths; they preferred to shape politics using their lives and courage.
The abuse of youths in a meeting between several Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies with a number of PKK members last month was very obvious. Kurdish politicians recently deemed it an asset, telling Turks that “we are the last generation that you can reconcile with,” and frightening them with a future “young generation that will be hard to reconcile with.” But they have forgotten the fact that the “young generation that is hard to reconcile with” is also growing among Turkish youths.
A BDP politician who wrote an article for a newspaper yesterday said, “Feelings of brotherhood are finished; we are getting divided.” I think she is mistaken. Feelings of brotherhood are not over and we will not be divided, either. When those who think this way finally understand that this country will not be divided and that feelings of brotherhood will continue despite the PKK's “strategy of division and ethnic conflict,” these pains will be over. Holding guns in hand, there is no meaning in inviting the Kurdish people to have one leader, one system and one ideology.
Thankfully, the Kurdish people do not respond to this invitation and they want a common life with Turks; they do not think of separation. No political understanding which ignores this will to live together, and even the one which is not based on this will, has any chance of success.