The Kurds as well as the referendum

As all of US understand, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) not only quieted the main Kurdish party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), but in addition all opposition supporting Kurdish rights and liberties. It isn’t only that lots of lawmakers, mayors and local politicians are under arrest and charged with terrorism, but it’s extremely difficult to propose any option to the authorities’s Kurdish policy without being accused of supporting terrorists and terrorism. Also, all those people who are saying “no” to the presidential system ahead of the April 16 referendum are being defined as the collaborators of terrorists, for instance, principal opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). However, it’s very interested the Kurdish politicians of the ruling party are quiet rather than vocal, both about the presidential system as well as the Kurdish problem. It has to be because they’re choosing to concentrate on Kurdish voters and want to convince them that Kurdish rights will be benefited by the presidential system. They can’t be blunt about it, since such propaganda endangers the AKP’s coalition together with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Under the circumstances, they may be attempting to convince the Kurds the coalition with the MHP is a short-term political strategy to make sure a “yes” vote in the referendum and that after the presidential system is created, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğa will feel free to pursue pro-Kurdish politics. The myth that “one can make peace with enemies better than pals” is being controlled for the interest of ensuring Kurdish votes in favor of the presidential system. Besides, this propaganda is aided by the belief in “making a deal together with the strong rather than walking along with poor pals”. That’s the reason some Kurdish groups have proposed using the “chance” of the referendum for a brand new start and have targeted the HDP’s political alliance together with the Turkish left as the reason supporting the failure of the party. That’s to say that in case the Kurds don’t hinder the course of Erdoğa to establish a presidential system as they did before the June 7, 2015, elections, he’ll soften his position to effect some kind of Kurdish option. Actually, it’s a fact that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) determination to return to armed struggle right after the June 7, 2015, election undermined the democratic success and legality of the HDP. Nonetheless, the AKP began to assault the HDP as a “terrorist” even before the June 7 elections and long before the PKK’s strikes began. Immediately later, the HDP declared that it would oppose the presidential system ahead of time. From the start of the so called “Kurdish peace process” in 2013, it was frequently proposed that the PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan, was willing to make a deal together with the AKP over the presidential system. At the time, the HDP needed to clarify its position regarding the presidential system below the pressure of not only its leftist, liberal and democratic supporters, but also Alevis and all those who opposed the notion of making a deal with Erdoğan. As the peace process failed before the PKK resumed strikes, eventually, even if it were true that there was some kind of deal, it’s since been busted. It looks the thought of a deal on a presidential system is in circulation more concerning the upcoming referendum. It seeks to not only convince the AKP’s Kurdish supporters but also people who don’t vote for the ruling party to steer clear of Erdoğan’s march to a fresh system. The strategy will work as they don’t even have to vote “yes.” if as many Kurds as potential don’t go to vote I don’t know whether that strategy will actually work nicely, but this is what not only the AKP’s Kurdish politicians are working to ensure, but in addition their allies that back the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Massoud Barzani. Curiously enough, when I wrote about this in my column in Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, it didn’t receive any especially reply from Kurdish groups, other than some lunatic ideas that I was making a “yes” call to Kurds. Fascinating state, actually! February/27/2017

PHOTO GALLERY