After reading this you will be convinced that Turkey's Kurdish issue is the missing parameter in the Cyprus equation that can be the catalyst everyone is searching towards a solution of both. A direct comparative analysis will reveal that Turkey has thus far pursued diametrically opposed policies in addressing the two, to a large extend similar, issues fueled by her ill-rooted Turkish ethnic nationalism.
Turkey, with Ergenekon/TSK weakened, is ready to realize that ethnic equality in rights and privileges is the solution not just in Cyprus but in Turkey as well. Her whole strategy in Cyprus has been based on the equality that must be present between a majority and major minority community of a nation. If she believes that equality was defined properly in 1960, then she should have no problem adopting at home a 1960 type solution to put an end to an 87 year old conflict that has cost the lives of 50.000 people in the last 30 years alone. If 1960 equality needs tweaking, then let her tweak it in such a way so as to make it acceptable for her to adopt at home so as to put an end to her never-ending Turko-Kurdish ethno-communal conflict.
The opinion from KurdishMedia.com follows:
KurdishMedia.com - By Aso Ali
Since last April the conflict between Turkish state and the PKK has erupted more violently after years of relative calm. The resumption of violence comes after the end of two years-unilateral ceasefire which the PKK had made as a sign of its openness for any real peaceful solution. When the Turkish state failed to exploit this ceasefire, violence has come into the fore once again as a substitute of peace. At the core of failure by the Turkish state to respond to calls for peace and political solution is the fact that this state is ready to perpetuate its past deeply rooted ideological premise which has failed to the socio-political realities in this country.
Since its establishment the Turkish state has failed to become more than just the state of ethnic Turks. The state has tried to reshape the socio-political compositions of the country according to its own ideological vision not to respond to them. In a multi-ethnic country like Turkey, running the state policy along ethnic division line means a big problem. First of all, it means that the state can not build a national legitimacy for itself as long as it functions as the state of a single ethnic group not representing all ethnic groups inside the country. Of course when the state downgrades itself to this level of ethnicism, it creates its own enemy. Repression breeds resistance. When the state adopts the political language of a single ethnic group, it simply alienates itself from all other groups which now become outsiders thanks to the state policy. At this point, the state rule becomes illegitimate in the eyes of the excluded ethnic groups and this put the foundation for revolt and resistance.
Throughout past ninety years, the state pursued broad military method to eradicate the Kurdish resistance to this ethnically motivated state repression. But more violence only has bred more violence not peace. Fortunately, though late, both the politicians and military acknowledge this fact today. Although it can be read as a good gesture toward the end of conflict, the continuation of violence diminish the hopes of peace proponents. It seems that transforming the state’s political foundation from ethnic state into more civic and democratic one is not without big challenges due to domination of ethnic-based views of the state over minds of Turkish elites.
The recent attempt of the ruling AKP is just one indication about the difficulties which any political transition in this country facing. Although I think the AKP has not been bold enough to push through what it calls "democratic Initiative", it seems that the general political environment is still far from being ripe for a peaceful solution to the conflict. The hate-mongers in the circle of nationalist at both the level of opposition parties and military still have both the capacity and space to fuel vicious circle of violence by blocking any real process of political transition in this country toward ethnic equality in rights and privileges. This is what paves way for the perpetuation of the PKK determination to continue its violent struggle and also makes a lot of Kurds in the North Kurdistan to see this sort of struggle as the only way to resist the state’s repression.
Therefore, the end of violence between the Turkish state and the Kurds in this country depends on the rise of a new political mentality at the level of the state elites to embrace the fact that only through transforming the state from the state of Turks into one of real partnership between Turks, Kurds and others can real peace be achieved. When this occurs no group will see violence as a resort especially after long bloodshed and human loss. When there is democracy and civic space there is no ground for violence. Look at the case of Northern Ireland.
Aso Ali is a political researcher in Kurdistan: firstname.lastname@example.org
KurdishMedia.com - By Aso Ali