Kurdish Issue: Hopeful Once Again?

The statements of government circles, new initiatives taken by the CHP (Republican People’s Party) and the interview with Leyla Zana among others boosted hopes once again.

The Kurdish issue has not been resolved for years. Over time, people have become less optimistic for a solution but they have never given up hope. Now we are hopeful again about the Kurdish issue. However, uncertainties result in mutual distrust among actors and parties of the issue as well as distrust in society against these actors.

Interruption of the Oslo process, increasing violence and conflicts, language and tone of politicians, attitude and positions particularly during the Uludere discussions, and more precisely, the failure in perception and process management dashed hopes of a solution. On the other hand, the statements of government circles, new initiatives taken by the CHP (Republican People’s Party) and the interview with Leyla Zana among others boosted hopes once again. Becoming hopeful again so easily despite all previous disappointment indicates the need for a solution.

The latest leaders’ meeting gave people hope. Stating that their proposal aims to base politics on reconciliation and democratic resolution and prevent the issue from becoming a matter of polemic, the CHP underlined that the government should not be considered the only actor to resolve this issue. Prime Minister Erdoğan underlined that the MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) and the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) should also participate in the process. But he also proposed that the party in power and the main opposition party should cooperate with each other even if the MHP refuses to be involved in the process. Here one must note that the CHP is not the only responsible party to bring other parties to the table. Indeed a great responsibility falls on the shoulder of the party in power. In looking at other examples in the world, one can see that those in power are the ones who bring them to the table.

Interview with Leyla Zana

“I believe that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will solve the Kurdish issue. I have never lost my hope. I do not want to lose my hope. Now we all should show that we are with the Prime Minister on the resolution of this issue and we should encourage him,” stated Leyla Zana. Her statements had wide media coverage. What lies behind Zana’s hopes is that she believes the Prime Minister Erdogan has the belief and willpower to grant Kurdish people their rights. There are two factors contributing to this opinion: belief in the Prime Minister and religious population who have been deprived of their rights for years. Speaking for myself, I should confess that even these statements made me fear for my individual responsibilities as a Muslim. Therefore I feel the need to tell this: Dear Prime Minister! Don’t disappoint her! Yes, it is necessary to carefully think over the messages Zana gave personally to the government, the BDP and PKK but in fact to all of us through the media.

Kurdish as an elective course

Teaching Kurds their mother tongue in an elective course is unacceptable. However, we also should remember that many university students who petitioned their universities to allow them to take an elective Kurdish course were tried and punished within the scope of the Turkish Civil Code. Therefore, it must be acknowledged that Kurdish as an elective course is and will be a radical turning point as long as the aim to grant all citizens with the right to use their mother tongue in education is maintained and related efforts are pursued. Moreover, this process should be considered a transition process to education in mother tongue.

We prepared the resolution processes

Let’s accept that we have a highly developed culture of war. However, we are not strangers to peace and resolution language, culture, processes, strategies and mechanisms. We should appreciate what has been done, continue to take action even though it is not appreciated and we should not use a belligerent language and tone while putting forth messages of reconciliation and cooperation.

Translated by Gülgün Kozan </

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