"The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was formed in the wake of the destructive effects of the Sept. 12 coup because it rejected the Kurdish reality. Some of the torture inflicted by coup supporters on people, especially at Diyarbakır Prison, caused great resentment. The paradigm spouted by the leader of the coup supporters, Kenan Evren, was that “the Kurds are not a separate people, and thus there is no Kurdish problem.” This paradigm was linked with the banning of Kurdish as a language, all sorts of violations of human rights, the burning-down of villages and the scapegoating of legal Kurdish politics; what all of this did was make violence the only accepted and used language. The PKK, during this period, began to distinguish itself as the most organized of the Kurdish groups around, and began to represent the Kurdish problem. So much so that alternative Kurdish political movements were left voiceless and illegitimate, seemingly in the middle of all of the violence. And as for the Kurdish people, they gave their support to this organization, which appeared to promise that it would protect people from the state. After all, the blood was already running in the streets."
"These days, a significant number of Kurds attribute the greatest share in the general recognition of the Kurdish problem and the fact that the Turkish government has started a Kurdish initiative to the PKK itself. Whether or not you agree, this is the reality. Many Kurdish citizens still do not trust the state."
"And thus, like the Japanese units that kept right on fighting after WWII was over, the Turks and the Kurds do not seem able to shrug off the spirit of war themselves. The problems may continue, and the steps taken on the Kurdish initiative may be insufficient, but they are not able to digest the idea that warring is not the way towards a solution, and thus, the situation is really tragic.
We are in a state of having been caught unprepared for peace. We have fought so hard, been so exhausted and started to believe so deeply that the situation will never change that we never even consider that the struggle for rights can be carried on through vehicles other than violence. But the worst aspect of this all is that people are truly still dying, and we all live with the fear of hearing news about more deaths at any moment."
Today's Zaman | MARKAR ESAYAN | Caught unprepared for peace (1) | 11 May 2011