Ankara, September 11, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Manolis Kostidis
“Is Turkey returning to the black 90s?”, wonders the reporter of the television network CNN Türk Ahmet Hakan. A decade which the Turks want to forget as at the time every day there were victims from the fighting with the PKK, there were killings of Kurd intellectuals by paramilitary organisations etc.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, and the AKP government, in recent years had managed to change the atmosphere surrounding the Kurd problem, since they had achieved a truce and were close to the final solution.
The question is what happened and everything changed within a few months, especially after the elections of June 7, with Turkey counting 110 dead soldiers and police officers from the attacks of the PKK, about 100 sites have been declared military zones and hundreds are the attacks of nationalists against Kurd citizens and the pro-Kurdish party HDP.
The Kurds do not forget that on June 5 there was a bombing attack during a campaign rally of HDP in Diyarbakir with 3 dead and dozens wounded, followed by the suicide bombing attack by the Islamic State on July 20, in the rural district of Suruc, in which 34 Kurds were killed a few kilometers from Kobani.
The HDP accuses the Turkish president of having supported the jihadists inside Syria, threatening the existence of the Kurds in Syria and Turkey.
How Erdogan changed his view on the Kurdish issue
The experienced journalist Nazlı Ilıcak, who is in opposition to the Turkish president, and whose articles according to information are being read carefully by Erdogan, says everything changed between February and March 2015.
At the time, the ministers of the AKP government and the MPs of the pro-Kurdish HDP had signed a joint statement setting forth a way of continuing the process of solving the Kurdish issue. The leader of the PKK Abdullah Ocalan had sent a message for the possibility of the final cessation of the military action of the organisation.
“Erdogan had hoped on the support of the HDP and Öcalan to change the Constitution. When on March 17, the president of the HDP Selahattin Demirtas said that “I will not allow Erdogan to become a (all mighty) president”, Erdogan realised that could not achieve his objective and turned his back to the peace effort”, she says in her article in the newspaper Bugün.
“The elections of June 7 was a disappointment for Erdogan. Came out in squares and by violating the Constitution promoted the propaganda of the AKP. He asked for 400 MPs, but he didn’t succeeded in this, and what’s more, the AKP government lost its self-reliance as the HDP passed the election threshold of 10%
It was then that the plans changed and they turned to a different tactic. To hold the HDP accountable for the bloodshed, so as to not pass the electoral threshold, while at the same time the AKP with nationalistic rhetoric would steal votes from the MHP”, she stresses.
In Turkey, everyone knew that if the negotiations table “turn over” the PKK would initiate action.
The Turkish President denies these charges and underlines that he objected to the final settlement of the Kurdish issue, blaming the Kurds for suspicious tactics, as “while they were discussing with us they were bringing weapons into the country… were we the ones who placed mines in streets?”, he wondered.
Now the rhetoric of executives of the AKP and the Turkish President, unlike the past, is targets the HDP and presents it as an offshoot of the PKK.
At the same time, there has been considerable efforts to penetrate the nationalist movement with the appointment as vice president in the interim government of Alparslan Türkeş, son of the founder of the Turkish Nationalist Movement (MIP) Alparslan Türkeş, despite the opposition of the President of MHP Devlet Bahçeli.
These two facts indicate the two ways in which the AKP is trying to raise its rates.
Preparations for the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of the president of HDP
There are fears for the banishment of the political movement of Kurds within Turkey. It is no coincidence that the public prosecutor of the city of Diyarbakir has ordered a preliminary investigation against the president of HDP Selahattin Demirtaş, calling for the lifting of his parliamentary immunity.
The prosecutor argues that Demirtas with his statements “made terrorist propaganda and insulted the president of the Republic”. In the criminal investigation the prosecutor asks for the lifting of the immunity of the President of HDP, which if it happens will lead the situation in Turkey at the extremes. The preliminary criminal investigation of the prosecutor is reminiscent of another era in Turkey, when similar investigations had led to the prohibition of political action to Islamist parties and politicians, among them Erdogan himself in 1999.
Selahattin Demirtas in his statements had accused Recep Tayyip Erdogan of raising the tension in the country to achieve his goal of changing the Constitution and had argued that “the AKP and MIT gangs attacked the offices of HDP throughout Turkey”. The president of the HDP had stressed that “someday some will be tried for what they are doing today (meaning Erdogan and his executives).
Pogroms against the Kurds and fears for clashes among Turks-Kurds-Islamists
The nationalist wave has also brought about pogroms against the Kurds, mainly in cities dominated by nationalists. According to the HDP, 400 party offices throughout Turkey were burned and attacked, while dozens of Kurds were beaten because of their origin. At the same time, dozens of cars and buses with signs of towns of southeastern Turkey were attacked.
Attacks were also carried out against the newspaper Hürriyet, which holds a relatively neutral stance against Erdogan. The pro-government Press, however, depicts the owner of the newspaper Aydin Dogan, as a collaborator of the PKK!
“If all sides do not take a step back, the course is a civil war. If third parties or others intervene, this course can be averted. In any other case Turkey will become the foot of Syria”, says political analyst Cengiz Candar, in the website Radikal, who considered the leading analyst in the Kurdish issue.