Wednesday, December 27, 2006

hürriyet scooped other papers wednesday and reported that ahmet türk, the leader of the overwhelmingly kurdish democratic society party (dtp) said they could call on the pkk to cleanse the south eastern border of land mines or tell the turkish government where the mines are buried to be picked by the army, "provided the turkish republic opts for democratic civilian methods in the solution of the kurdish problem".
"if the (turkish) state foresees a solution by non-violent methods, dtp will then call for the abolition of such tools as mines. because, thanks to the step taken by the state, our influential power will also increase. otherwise, it will be difficult for our calls, to bring about a result either," türk said.

ahmet türk's party is a principal "official" fault line in the society between turks and kurds, if one is to pinpoint the truth without mincing words. to many turks, actually to almost every turk except anti-state marginals, a portion of the islamists who have their loyalties elsewhere and few open minded individuals who would rather die than commit, the dtp is a political extension of the pkk.

although not fully exact, that label carries a viable percentage of truth. even the little quote above which implicitly identifies the "kurdish problem" with the pkk, goes to show that the dtp leadership is sympathetic toward the pkk. türk himself spent a considerable part of his life in prison because of that association.

however, there seems to have risen a strong faction within the dtp that opposes the pkk's tactics of violence, which for turks -often rhyming the state's discourse- translates as plain secessionist terrorism. the advocates of non-violence are not anti-pkk by the way, and hardly deserve to be called "pacifists" or even "doves" after the cliché. yet they are readier to realize that even victorious wars have to end with negotiation, that negotiation is the victory if you are losing. their objective is to bring the pkk to the table and thus have it recognized somehow. that probably is why ahmet türk and his clique are reluctant to dissociate themselves from the pkk despite their political responsibilities. the organization is their ace up the sleeve but it is also the controller of whatever power the dtp may have. türk and his legalist associates hope to subdue the pkk, take it under their command instead of vice versa, by offering it a peek at legitimacy.

both sides are dancing on the edge of a sword - the dtp, as recently offered by its own chairman, is losing the trust of its kurdish electorate that has already grown out of the belligerent phase and hence of the pkk, too.

the kurdish movement has to reorganize, possibly re-group but if in the process, pkk bows to the mandate of the political pundits, it will only be a secondary power and little more than a card to be played by and against each and every actor in the scene, including the u.s. tayyib bey's akp and possibly the turkish (and mainly sunni) hizbullah are in waiting, to grab the jetsam and flotsam from both the dtp and the pkk.

a very serious choice, between iraqi kurdistan or turkey as its power base is also pressuring the pkk. the organization derives most of its funds in istanbul, chiefly through illegitimate means and as time flows, money starts to become sweeter than war for the providers - another factor that undermines the pkk's hold on the kurdish community but ties it to the political geography of turkey. on the other hand as turkey gets hotter for them, they risk being squeezed by american policies, rival kurdish factions, iraqi government and dependency on other groups because of dwindling funds if they cross south of the border.

thus, "coming out to the legal", as the expression goes, is becoming a necessity for the armed section of the kurdish movement in order to gain some breathing space. violence is rapidly fading out as a policy alternative but conversely, the pkk may have to stage bloody attacks against the army, preferably through mine traps rather than open armed clash, just so that it can prove it still has teeth to bite. but then, every act of violence by the pkk undermines the credibility and eligibility of the dtp and the thorough legalization of the kurdish movement, already threatened by "islamization"is jeopardized.

türk and the dtp however, hardly seem capable of representing a kurdish idea as part of the republic that will be viewed as legitimate by the majority of turks. their (still) terror oriented rhetoric and their transparent allegiance to pkk labels them only as the tip of the iceberg of violence.

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