It was not possible to create a coalition with a broad participation for the resolution of Kurdish issue in 2012. Considering the political conjuncture, it could be stated that the possibility of a coalition is less likely in the next year.
Different spheres attribute various meanings to the statement of “Kurdish issue”. Fundamentally, there are two different approaches to the Kurdish politics. The first approach is based on the thesis that the demands of Kurds should be reflected through “nonviolent politics”, while the second one asserts that the demands could be met solely through violence.
Despite of all these perceptional differences, it could be accepted that there is an agreement on the first approach that refers a nonviolent resolution, because the debates within the context of Kurds’ social, political and economic demands, the legitimacy of these demands and the methods to meet these demands creates a common platform for people from different groups to state their ideas.
2012 was an “exam” year due to this reason. While the Rights and Freedoms Party (HAK-PAR) under Kemal Burkay’s presidency has been increasing the number of its activities, having parallel ideas, politicians, intellectuals and artists such as İbrahim Güçlü, Muhsin Kızılkaya, Ümit Fırat, Şivan Perver are seen as meeting on a common ground. The fundamental argument of all is to encourage Turkey’s democratization, to get benefit from expanding freedom sphere, to support the economic developments of the country and have their own share from these developments fairly. In short, the ones in Kurdish politics who are closer to interpret the new process within the context of the conditions of developing world are of opinion that an enriching and democratizing Turkey will provide more benefit for them. Furthermore, they insistently state that nothing will be obtained through an armed struggle. The supporters of this idea ground their opinion on their own ideal power, not on the trauma brought by the violence or the shadow of the mountain.
In order to make Kurdish street pay attention to this voice, some of the conditions should be fulfilled. Undoubtedly, the very first coming condition is to minimize PKK/KCK that overshadows the democratic competition in the politics by considering its armed forces as the most powerful ammunition in the field. Interpreting the current situation correctly, PKK/KCK and the state have experienced a knock-down in 2012. The organization that brought militants from abroad in addition to its own militants, returned to the field again and emphasized the “revolutionist civil war” bent over backwards in order to take the Kurdish street.
The organization that aims an armed struggle and rebellion in the streets and even send its militants from rural sides to the cities with the aim of creating “rebel zones”, has tried to plant its flag on a village in order to write a success story. It planned for broad and bloody terrorist actions against big cities that could create an indignation in the country. It is clear that all these bloody plans created some costs for Turkey, but it should be known that the events are accepted as thrashings in the history of PKK.
Undoubtedly, these kinds of defeats do not mean the end of the organization. Conversely, it gives crucial ammunitions to the supporters of the invalidity of the violence method. From this aspect 2013 will be a year that the same methods will be tried again. Everybody, particularly the organization should know that it is not as easy as the previous times to survive throughout the violence. Even only one example from conflicts in 2012 will be enough to prove how PKK will damaged because of the same tactics. In December 11, PKK lost 42 of 90 militants during the clash against Aktütün Police Station. While 2 of the militants resigned themselves, the situation of the 46 terrorists is vague. It is not that ordinary for PKK, because in the previous years, the clashes that lasted for long hours were also resulted in military losses.
What about BDP?
The eagerness for shaping Kurdish politics under the shadow of violence will look for a new way in 2013 through various tests. However, the organization will be in difficulty in 2013 more than 2012. The attitude of BDP that continuously criticizes the state instead of condemning the terrorist actions of the PKK decreases the influence of the part as a political actor.
There is no doubt that criticizing the tragedy of Uludere is one of the fundamental duties of the BDP. Not only the BDP but also the ones with self-conscious should present their disturbance and sadness for this tragedy. The problem of the BDP is that it has never criticized the PKK that has been bombing the cities, kidnapping the economic investors in the region, destroying the institutions, burning the schools with Molotov cocktails and threatening the teachers. Thus, BDP has preferred to hide itself under the shadow of the mountain instead of strengthening its socio-politic and economic position in a more democratic, developed and educated Turkey via ideas and dialogue. From this aspect, it can be stated that BDP’s political tactics and maneuvers will be up to Kandil and İmralı, that is to say PKK/KCK, more than its own initiative in 2013.
Will Kurdish politics quit itself from PKK custody?
One of the question marks of 2013 will be the performance of Mustazaf’s new party namely Hür Dava that stated it keeps its distance from the violence. It is thought as addressing the Kurds whose religious side are outweighing. About the party that claims it is rejecting its history full of the bloody actions of Hezbollah in 1990s, it is wondered how Kurdish issue will be seen in its political mirror.
It should be known that the determiners of the Kurdish issue are the state and the party in power authorizing the state. Therefore, some problems within the political discourse of the ruling party about the armed struggle in 2012 exist. The biggest problem is that a large political and social coalition that is the only rational solution method for this kind of chronic and deep problems could not be realized in any way. 2012 was a deadlock year from this perspective. Considering that 2013 will be a preparation period for the elections, a broader plan for the solution and provision of a political coalition that has a large social support is less likely when it is compared to 2012.
*The Turkish version of this article was first published in the December 2012 issue of USAK's monthly journal, 'Analist'.