Turkey to continue bitter war with Kurds despite peace calls: experts

Kurdish supporters of the PKK in Diyarbakir. File photo

ARA News 

ERBIL – Experts suggest that the Turkish government will not listen to the new calls for peace by the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Mehmet Ocalan, the brother of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocala, visited the imprisoned leader on Sunday. Family members were not allowed to visit the Kurdish leader for over two years.

In a surprise statement released by his brother in a press conference on Monday, the jailed leader called on Turkey to resume the peace talks with the PKK, suggesting that the Kurdish question could be solved within six months.

“The Turkish state plays an important role on continuing the peace talks. If the government wanted, there would already be peace in Turkey and Kurdistan,” Mehmet Ocalan said.

However, it’s unlikely that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will listen to the new call.

Speaking to ARA News, Dr. Janroj Yilmaz Keles, a Research Fellow at Middlesex University, said it is likely that the war will intensify in the coming months.

“I do not think that the Turkish government will respond to Ocalan’s call. All the indications show that Erdogan will have a bitter war with the Kurds,” he said.

“If the Turkish government would have any intention for peace, they would not have appointed new administrators in 24 Kurdish-run municipalities,” he said. “With the end of peace talk between the Turkish government and the PKK, the bombing the Kurdish towns and cities, arrests of the Kurdish politicians and finally removal of the elected Kurdish representatives by the Turkish state, the Turkish government has closed all the political and democratic channels for the Kurds.” 

The pro-Kurdish organization DemNed (Council of Communities from Kurdistan) said that it is unlikely the Turkish government will resume the peace talks.

“Erdogan started with large scale purges and eliminates every one who is against him. Last week, Erdogan announced he would launch a large scale operation, the largest operation in the history of Turkey, against the Kurds,” the organization said. “But the first steps for peace were made by the Kurds.”

According to Turkey expert Keles the aim of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is to gain support and votes from Turkish nationalists.

“Moreover, the Turkish government has used a nationalistic discourse against the Kurds to get the votes of the Turkish nationalists. It would be very difficult to convince the anti-Kurdish mood in Turkey for a peace process,” he said.

“If the US and the EU can mediate between the Turkish and Kurdish actors and set a long term plan for a peaceful solution of the long lasted conflict in the region, peace could be reached,” he concluded.

Robert Olson, a Professor of Middle East history and politics at the University of Kentucky, wrote in an article that most likely Turkey will try to contain the PKK in Turkey with a large coalition of the ultra-nationalist National Action Party (MHP), a flaccid Republican People’s Party (CHP), Village Guards, anti-PKK and religiously conservative Kurds, and the AKP-voting Kurdish bourgeoisie after the failed military coup last July.

“The strategy depends as well on an acquiescent judiciary, an enfeebled news media, an increasingly authoritative state, a timid EU, and a dysfunctional U.S,” he wrote.

“The plan also suggests that Turkey is in a stronger position to take advantage of the war in Syria to advance its geopolitical interests in the region at the expense of Kurdish nationalists,” he stated.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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  1. shaun
    September 14, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Turkey will not stop their aggression until either the Kurdish people are extinct or the Turkish government is replaced. Erdogan is power mad and he is destabilising the middle East with his plans.

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