Recent statements made by Leyla Zana, an independent pro-Kurdish deputy from Diyarbakır, in fact correspond to a deep meaning in the eyes of the Kurdish people.
These statements have been superficially discussed in the press because they have focused on the short-term and pragmatic results of these moves. What are these results? Zana talks to Prime Minister Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan and a solution is devised in the meeting, the solution is to be implemented immediately and, if possible, the final move is made and the problem is resolved by forcing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to lay down its arms.
This approach actually says that we have not properly understood the PKK and the state, or analyzed this grave problem that claimed the lives of 40,000 people over three decades.
Peace will not be attained by symptomatic operations and remedies. But this does not mean that the Erdoğan-Zana meeting was insignificant and that statements made by Erdoğan and Zana would not offer new openings.
We might be moving to a more rational and wise phase. What am I talking about? I am talking about understanding the PKK and the Kurdish issue and acquiring skills to avoid traps.
Above all, I do not think there is a division of doves and hawks within the PKK; in other words, I do not see a clash between leaders like dove Murat Karayılan and hawks Duran Kalkan and Cemil Bayık. I am sure that there are disagreements between Karayılan and Kalkan over how to carry out the talks with Turkey. But this does not mean that the PKK is split into two major camps. The present analyses and comments on the matter are not well-grounded and convincing.
The PKK is an organization prone to rely on violence. Bloody attacks by the PKK, including in Silvan, Çukurca and Dağlıca, at a time when peace seemed attainable meant further strength for it at the negotiation table. There is no dilemma for it in this. It argues that it commits these murders because there is still no peace. I do not see why the PKK is treated as if it is a civil society or charity organization. In response to different comments on Silvan and Dağlıca, Karayılan made a statement where he said that the attacks were part of the ongoing war and that this did not mean that they would not attack outposts.
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the pro-Kurdish party in Parliament, should not be expected to adopt an independent stance. In stark contrast to Zana’s belief that Erdoğan will resolve this problem, former Democratic Society Party (DTP) leader Aysel Tuğluk, in a statement published in the Aydınlık daily, argued that Erdoğan cannot address the problem. Of course, it is also meaningful that she spoke to Aydınlık.
The BDP politicians who align with the PKK like Tuğluk do not trust the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and they do not believe that Erdoğan is determined to resolve this problem. Some BDP-associated figures like Zana are close to moderate politics and open to taking steps in cooperation with the AK Party. Of course, Zana’s approach is more valuable to us. But both harbor serious handicaps in terms of Kurdish politics: the lack of a political approach.
The Kurds place Erdoğan in a trans-political position where they see him as either evil or as a rescuer; by this, they make him an object rather than a subject. Is that possible or acceptable? You should agree on your principles and offer a solution based on your political approach. Both approaches focus on Erdoğan’s role or intention. If something good comes out, then Erdoğan is trustworthy; if not, he is not reliable. But how about Kurdish politics?
Zana is doing an extraordinary thing by ruling out violence. She stresses that she pays attention to the government’s initiatives towards resolution; but she also makes strong criticisms. On the contrary, the Tuğluk approach demonizes the government, but it fails to offer an alternative solution. This, of course, means the continuation of war and the status quo.
There is no reasonable political option offered. Those using the Tuğluk approach only complain and expect the government to take action and think like the BDP. Of course, the government will never act like the BDP. What does this mean? Does this mean that the BDP will see the AK Party as an enemy unless it thinks like the BDP?
As a person, you may or may not like another person. But if you are a political party, you cannot rely on emotions. If you seek peace, you should make a strong proposal that the government would not be able to reject and accuse the AK Party of not acting decisively to go after a solution.
But of course, to do this, extensive labor and sincerity is required first.