Kidnapping a member of Parliament is a sensational act, and the PKK has with this resounding act reinstated the image of strength that it lost in Şemdinli. Among the PKK’s opponents, interpretations of the kidnapping include a great deal of intrigue. But statements made by the two sides regarding the kidnapping differ.
Following his release, Aygün disclosed that he would not complain about the kidnapping, and nor did it make him feel uncomfortable or unsafe. He said that he had been captured by the PKK terrorists in order to “give a message of peace.” The PKK, however, stated that the kidnapping had been carried out without the permission of central command, and that when the incident was made public the captive was immediately released.
OK, but which version of events is true? Why was Aygün kidnapped?
There is only one thing that can be deduced from what Aygün has said and from the act of kidnapping: That the abduction was a protest directed at its own administrative body. Aygün’s statement that the kidnappers “said they wanted to send a message of peace and cease-fire with this action,” the action being Aygün’s capture, is in no way compatible with the attacks carried out by the PKK on Şemdinli. Could this statement possibly reflect the thinking of those who ordered the attacks on Şemdinli? On the one hand, there is a PKK that recognizes the opportunities presented by the civil war in Syria and is trying to become more assertive and escalate the violence. On the other hand, there are the terrorists who say, “We want to come down from the mountains.” There is only one conclusion that can be drawn: The PKK terrorists who kidnapped Aygün were sending a message to the administrative staff of their own organization through Aygün. How else can the relationship between the two events be interpreted?
So, PKK terrorists in Tunceli kidnap Aygün, sending messages of peace and ceasefire through him, in order to express their criticism of the Şemdinli attack, which led to many casualties for the PKK. PKK chief Bahoz Erdal (Fehman Hüseyin) hears about events the next day, and as soon as he does he gives the terrorists orders. The interpretation that Aygün was released because the people of Tunceli protested the kidnapping is not accurate, because a centrally controlled abduction would surely have been based on a consideration of such possible reactions. Why, then, would they attempt a kidnapping that would end in their being forced to concede defeat?
If it is true that the kidnapping of Aygün was a message conveyed from PKK terrorists to their own superiors through the public, then how should we interpret this message?
Aygün’s statements after being released have been interpreted as an attempt to make the PKK appear amicable. However, Aygün did not condone the politics and existence of the PKK, but rather their human side. It is true that Aygün has drawn a portrait of a PKK that we are certainly not accustomed to. The PKK we are accustomed to is a monster ready to shed blood to order. And the PKK has worked very hard to etch this image in our collective mind. But the PKK that Aygün has presented to us is one of men tired of roaming the mountains, searching for peace and for peace of mind, ready to lay down weapons and give up violence. They are probably too proud to surrender to authorities and confess their crimes, but they love life enough not to want to be sacrificed to this meaningless cycle of violence.
While Murat Karayılan laments that “guerillas that adopt peace end up overcome by lethargy,” an image of a PKK terrorist who wants peace doesn’t really work to the advantage of government officials. The truth demonstrated by this kidnapping is plain to see: The top tier of PKK leadership is speaking words of peace in order to continue fighting, while the terrorists are fighting in order to achieve peace as soon as possible.