Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Kurdish problem is no joke

Turkey’s Kurdish “problem” is no joke. First of all, let’s face it. The newborn political crisis, which was triggered by the decision of the Supreme Election Board, or YSK, to strip some new elected MPs of eligibility to join the Parliament, cannot simply be explained away by “carelessness” of the judiciary. Sorry, but all attempts, which desperately seek to portray the problem as a judicial one, hopelessly seem over defensive of the governing party.
"Certainly not a joke. About time you faced it, the same way you forced us to face the reality of our tCypriot ethnic minority. I am willing to bet my life that the precedent you set in Cyprus in dealing with large ethnic minorities will haunt you 'till the problem's final resolution" - Antifon
"The real problem is BDP [the Kurdish party in Turkey] wants autonomous S.East but also SHARE rest of the country, since not all Kurds would move to S.E if given Autonomy" - Guest - Tamer 2011-07-11 12:29:10 

The problem concerning the Kurdish MP’s who are barred from Parliament because of their ongoing court cases and current detention, is of a different nature than the case of the other three MP’s who are elected as the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, and the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, MP’s. That is not to say the decisions concerning the latter case are just and fine. Yet, the decision concerning the CHP and MHP MP’s is only a matter of justice and of fair game. In the case of the Kurdish MP’s, on the other hand, it is hard to avoid the interpretation of the decision as an expression of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government’s general attitude concerning the Kurdish problem. The AKP government has not been shy recently to show its strength in every aspect of Turkish political life and it has been rather proud to shed its shadow on every major institution. So much so, some supporters of the government find themselves in very difficult positions on occasions trying to give the appearance of democracy. After a very bitter and confrontational election campaign against the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, and its politicians, it does not sound convincing to claim that the AKP is unpleasantly surprised by the decision of the YSK. Finally, nobody can plausibly explain the eagerness of the AKP’s “MP in waiting,” Oya Eronat who hastily applied for her MP certificate very early in the morning following the announcement by the YSK, as simply based on her personal ambition.
"Turkey in general wastes enormous energy in giving the appearance of democracy" - Antifon 

Most importantly, the recent political crisis does not seem to be confined to the limits of the Parliamentary politics. The supporters of the BDP are highly “politicized Kurds” who have high expectations of the new Parliamentary term. The BDP has the same social base with the Kurdish armed struggle who fought for independence for long a time. As the armed struggle elevated the expectations of the increasingly politicized Kurds also started to be shaped by the social mood that has been exhausted by confrontation. This is how the “Kurdish political movement” (as one may call it, in general) ended up changing its orientation from independence to democratic coexistence and formulated a peaceful solution under the name of “democratic autonomy.” Yet, it is a demand for “political status,” no less.
"Finally, moving closer to a proper definition of the problem" - Antifon

In short, the solution of Kurdish problem can only be started with an honest debate and negotiation of this request. The recent crisis, which started with the decision concerning Hatip Dicle, is only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the governing party is not trying to diminish the Parliamentary power of the BDP by indirectly using the judiciary as some claim (as against those who try to put the blame on the judiciary). The government is trying to avoid starting an honest debate and negotiation by lowering the stakes.
"It shows the government's insincerity in recognizing the problem for what it really is" - Antifon

Hatip Dicle is a symbolic name for the Kurdish political movement. From the beginning, it is obvious that even if he is the only one who is being barred, there will be a crisis since Kurds would feel humiliated. Nobody can claim this is an “accidental crisis.” It is rather the beginning of a very risky power game.
"A similar power game was started in 1963 by Turkey in Cyprus, by encouraging the tCypriots to remove themselves from government. Little did they know that in doing so they would be setting the example for the Kurdish struggle for political rights in Turkey itself" - Antifon

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Turkey's Kurds & Cyprus' tCypriots

As either unitary state or federation solutions are discussed as replacements to Cyprus' 1960 and Turkey's 1923 unworkable constitutions, should we abide by "if a right is a right too many for Turkey's Kurdish community (circa 23% of population) then that right is a right too many for Cyprus' tCypriot community too (circa 15%), and vice versa." Is the adoption of this fair logic the catalyst to securing just solutions for both UN countries.