News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
Ahmet Türk, co-president of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and a BDP MP from Mardin, spoke with the Dicle News Agency (DİHA) about the recent decision by the KCK to halt the withdrawal of guerillas from Turkish territory and the state of the peace process more generally. A few excerpts from the interview have been translated into English below.
On the Failure of the AKP to Engage in the Peace Process
The peace process initiated by Mr. Öcalan was carried out on the part of the Kurds. The took every kind of step. The release of captured soldiers, the pulling back the guerillas and the end of armed operations completely fulfilled the criteria of the first phase. These were the expectations in the first phase. However for a long time the government has prevented any concrete protect from emerging, nor have they looked favorably at the process, nor have they taken positive steps to give a response on the subject of democratic reforms. This hasn’t only bothered the KCK but all Kurds and it has given birth to a new unease. It can be seen that the state’s failure to deliver on the process and lack of any intention to take action has given birth to an insecurity even among those people who voted for the AKP.
On the Failure of the Political Process More Generally/The Kurdish Desire for Peace
A peace process is driven by dialog, meetings, steps being taken and the thoughts of different sides finding common ground. Even those inside politics are dissatisfied with the policies the state is pursuing at this moment. While we promised peace and a democratic solution to the Kurdish problem on the one hand, excluded as a political party and to unable to share our thoughts on any subject we ourselves produced great despair and disappointment. When democratization does not turn into a two-sided process it can not go on one-sided. Actually the reality underlying the claim by the KCK today to stop the withdrawal of the guerillas is this: we did our job but there was no reciprocity from you and we will also take our position with care. This does not mean that the peace process is over, it must not be understood that way. Here there is actually a staid reflex to create an environment of trust. If there is a real intention to take steps then this process can return to normal. But no one has much to say in response to an approach that creates such disappointment among Kurds. The PKK is no position to say “everything is going well.” We were guessing that such would be the result. In the event that no reciprocal steps are taken it it obvious that the place we’ve come to would be the result.
On the Steps to be Taken by the Turkish Government
First the President needs to make a genuine statement on the subject of a solution for the peace process. The important duty falls to him to prepare an environment that gives confidence. On this subject the reform package now being prepared would open the way for the peace process if brought to the agenda. At the same time if steps were taken concerning the political prisoners now being held as hostages, this would create an environment of trust. If out of the meetings with Mr. Öcalan came specific dates and actions this could also create an environment of trust. Today the President had a statement, “We are unable to build a dialog among the three parties.” When in fact the passing of a reform package has nothing to do with the agreement of the three parties. To this day many laws, reforms and packages have been brought to the floor. But no consensus was sought with the fourth party. But today consensus is being sought. On the subject of the constitution we understand that a certain majority is required, but for a reform package the government has enough seats in parliament.