Kadri Gürsel Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan read the following words in his “Address to the Nation” speech, looking right in our faces: “After all the pain we have suffered and the prices paid, we should at least say ‘stop’ to this course. We have been preparing for this for seven years...”
***! So we have learned that Prime Minister Erdoğan’s recent blister of “Those who are not pleased can leave” to the complaining Kurdish community and his refusal to shake hands with Democratic Society Party, or DTP, authorities were actually efforts towards concealing his “search for an opening” that he has been conducting in secret for seven years!
This is the opening deception!
So, those words in the meaning of “either love it or leave it” were just a deception! Erdoğan’s aim was to keep his “opening” preparations away from the attention of “status quo supporter power groups!”
Then, how did Prime Minister Erdoğan decide that it was time for the opening?
“Have the seven-year-long preparations come to an end?!
Don’t you find it credible?
Well, what has changed then? What happened?
It is not a secret...
The United States is withdrawing from Iraq... Both Turkey’s soft power and balancing, active role of a guarantor is important for maintaining the stability in Iraq...
By the way, don’t think that this role imposed by the U.S. on Turkey; and Ankara, contrary to its will, accepts this reluctantly... Turkey itself is eager to undertake this role; it wants to be interfering and influential in Iraq... It is known that Turkey suffered a lot from being expelled from the Iraqi equation due to the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government that led to the refusal of the “motion”... Economic interests, the struggle against Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, terror, the right of Turkmens, and the future of Iraq... Turkey has lost ground in all these fields.
As the circumstances require Turkey’s inclusion into the Iraq equation, PKK’s existence in the Kurdish region, as an element of instability that has the potential to spoil Turkey’s good relations with the Iraqi Kurds, will not be tolerated any more.
That’s right, but how?
Neither the Iraqi Kurds nor the U.S. will shed their blood for the eradication of the PKK from Mount Kandil. Also, Turkey cannot perform the role it wants while carrying our large-scale operations in the region.
Thus, the rational solution is that Turkey makes peace with its own Kurds. This is called “political solution.”
Turkey faces the obligation of solving the PKK problem before the Kurdish problem.
It is not possible for Turkey, which is in conflict with its own Kurdish citizens, to build enduring and stable relations with Iraqi Kurds; therefore, it cannot undertake the role it desires in Iraq.
The American complex
If the PKK problem, which has failed to be been solved through military methods to date, is not being solved through politics – for now, the indications are in this direction – this does not mean that the PKK will have a free hand in northern Iraq as it used to. It is clear that due to the agreement between parties, the PKK’s activities in the region will be hindered to the utmost level.
Turkey, on the other hand, has to carry out its minimum responsibilities...
It will take several steps of confidence, like giving some cultural rights to the Kurds and compensation for some severe violations of rights in the past, as much as is possible... Even if they don’t bring about peace and a solution to the Kurdish issue... Thanks to these steps, the Kurdish issue will at least become softer and the barriers blocking Turkey’s access to Iraq will be eliminated.
After all, the AKP government wants to take advantage of this window of opportunity, opened externally by the United States, and it is no shame.
The interests of Turkey, the United States, Iraqi Kurds and even Iraqi Arabs are common in this context. International relations are reliant on the foundation of common interests.
The fact that AKP leadership, which has clearly yielded to the complex of morbid American opposition in Turkey, has made declarations like “We have been preparing for seven years” in order to “save the honor of the opening,” deserves a bitter smile.
They also say “We have taken risks; we will pay the price; there is no way back from the process.”
Your opening is not clear, just like the process you adhere to or the road you will keep traveling... Don’t undertake cheap heroism.
The AKP will not pay any price for the Kurdish issue.
It will swing the lead and blame the military or reflect on the benefits and loses and decide on early elections.
Kadri Gürsel is a columnist for the daily Milliyet in which this piece appeared Monday. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.