The key to a solution should not be sought in this discourse. Of course, if we are talking about a possibility for a solution, we have to admit that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the leader that could make this a reality. From this angle, the history of conflicts in the Kurdish issue could be divided into two major parts: before and after Erdoğan.
The visible transformation of the Islamic circles with respect to the issue and great contributions and efforts of the Hizmet movement, which revealed this transformation, should also be noted. To this end, the recent meeting between Kurdish deputy Leyla Zana and Erdoğan has raised hopes among those who are aware that there is no option other than attainment of peace.
Leyla Zana, who made statements six months ago that the armed struggle is the assurance of the Kurds and that democratic autonomy is not enough for the Kurdish people and is known for her loyalty to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan as evidenced by her service in the history of the pro-Kurdish movement, gave an interview to the Hürriyet daily. In this interview, she said that the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) was politically unsuccessful and that it was time for the PKK to review its strategy.
She further said that she decided to stay in this country despite all the difficulties because of her faith in the prime minister, indicating that she would not have stayed otherwise. And she stressed that the prime minister could resolve this problem if he wanted to.
PKK and BDP circles did not like this statement. True, if he wants to, the prime minister could resolve the Kurdish problem, they agreed, adding that the prime minister does not want a solution. By this move, they undermined the future meeting between Zana and the prime minister before even it took place. In fact, this has been a cold war between the Kurdish political centers. Almost all political actors including Kurdish political heavyweights such as Duran Kalkan, Murat Karayılan, Ahmet Türk and Selahattin Demirtaş defined a meeting with the prime minister, who did not have the power or intention to resolve the problem, as useless.
In a statement right after her meeting with the prime minister, Zana actually showed that she bowed to the influential propaganda raised by the political movement she is also affiliated with. While her recommendations and proposals were actually well-grounded and reasonable, Zana declared that she did not hold different views than she had previously in respect to the armed struggle and violence.
In her press statement, she said that the discourse raised by the prime minister, suggesting that everything could be discussed after arms are laid down will not work out.
It is now essential to ask the question of who is actually seeking peace in the aftermath of the Silvan attack that undermined the whole peace process involving the Oslo talks, the prime minister and the government that supported this initiative and Öcalan for a better understanding of who in fact wants a solution.
The PKK and BDP circles do not raise this question. Sometimes, they call Silvan a provocation, whereas sometimes they define it as a justifiable response. They strongly argue that the government will rely on strong military measures as observed in the Sri Lankan case; it appears that some Turkish intellectuals who are close to Kurdish politics seem to believe this dark propaganda. However, there is no sign indicating that the government is considering using the Sri Lankan method to deal with violence; besides, Turkey does not hold that war with the PKK is in its best interest. If the war with the PKK had lasted three decades, the primary reason was that this has been turned into a war that facilitated the reign of the military’s guardianship system and regime. Turkey is marching towards fulfillment of peace with the Kurds in its territories as well as attainment of a lasting peace in the Middle East because Turkey does not need to fight a war with the Kurds and the PKK. The Kurdish nation building in northern Iraq is taking place via strong contributions from Turkey.
In post-Assad Syria, will Turkey prefer war with the Kurdish population in this country over peace? Of course not. The Turkish foreign policy of the new century will have to pursue peace with the Kurds; and I think that the government appreciates this necessity.
Therefore, what does the discourse that says the prime minister is strong and for this reason he could solve this problem if he wants to mean? I think that even though it is a product of good faith, this discourse appears to be pretty suitable for being transformed into strong propaganda against the prime minister and the government because he does not hold a Moses staff. And the prime minister can solve the Kurdish issue only if the PKK and the BDP align with a solution. This is not possible through relying on the strength of armed struggle. It is not possible for a movement that will not consider laying down its arms to make peace -- no matter how strong the prime minister is.