Öcalan’s message, guerilla and 7 June –
PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s 2015 Newroz message is clear: in spite of the perception that the Turkish side has endevoured to create in the last few months, the PKK’s laying down its weapons is not on the agenda.Öcalan shared once again the call he made which was announced in the Dolmabahçe Palace. He reiterated that once there was agreement on principles the PKK’s ending its close to 40-year-long armed struggle against Turkey would be on the agenda, not the ‘giving up of weapons’.
Turkish government has run out of excuses
How this will happen and when the PKK will hold a congress and take this decision is entirely dependent on the Turkish government. With this message the Turkish side no longer has any excuses left.
In his message, Öcalan says: ‘I hope that we will soon reach agreement and that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission consisting of Parliamentarians and the Monitoring Delegation will be set up, and that with a congress we can successfully realise this situation,’ reminding the Turkish side of the steps it needs to take.
In theory everything is straightforward. The sides will meet around a table to negotiate the 10 points declared at the Dolmabahçe Palace. They will reach agreement on principles for a resolution. Convincing steps will be taken in order for this to happen. At the same time the PKK will hold its congress and take the decision to end the armed struggle it is waging against the Republic of Turkey!
PKK would hold a congress if the Turkish side takes steps
However, for this to happen the Turkish state must undergo a transformation in its mentality. It needs to take radical and lasting steps to remove the conditions that led to the PKK’s armed struggle in the first place.
It has become clear during the last two years that the process of resolution will not advance unilaterally. It is therefore more important how Öcalan’s message is perceived in Ankara than in Kandil. The KCK executives have stated many times, like Öcalan, what needs to be done to formally end the armed struggle. This include freedom for Öcalan himself.
To put it more bluntly, it appears unlikely that the PKK will hold the congress in question while Abdullah Öcalan is incarcerated, without permanent and convincing steps being taken to resolve the Kurdish question and without guarantees being given regarding the freedom of Öcalan in the near future.
There is also another distortion. The PKK has officially not been at war with the Turkish state for 2 years. The ceasefire is in place, so the Turkish side has a golden opportunity to complete this process.
The AKP may prefer power to peace
But in Turkey, which is now in pre-election mood, what government would be prepared to negotiatate Öcalan’s 10 points or take legal or democratic steps?
Only a few days ago President Erdoğan said: ‘There is no Kurdish question’. How will they negotiate over a non-existent issue?
Yes, Öcalan, the HDP, KCK and the millions of Kurds and Turkish democrats who attended 21 March celebrations want a peaceful resolution without bloodshed. They want equality and a restitution of collective rights that have been taken away.
However, what about the forces on the other side of the table? The Erdoğan-Davutoğlu administration is doing its utmost and using psychological warfare in order to retain power. They are far from wanting a real solution and lasting peace.
Will the PKK hold a congress soon?
The PKK will place great value on Öcalan’s message, but will only hold a congress ‘when there is agreement on principles,’ as Öcalan said.
Given the prevailing political atmosphere ‘agreement on principles’ appears unlikely before 7 June, as the AKP government may prefer the fruits of power to peace and a resolution. It may want to use the process of resolution for the elections, which is exactly what it has been doing.
For these very reasons the PKK will closely monitor the stance of the Turkish government and want to see the results of the 7 June elections.
Turkish government officials, the AKP press, police and intelligence have started election provocations already. It is clear that Erdoğan and his cronies who want 400 seats will try every method to ensure the HDP fails to exceed the threshold. Both the deputy PM and the PM’s closest advisor will continue to claim: ‘if weapons are not abandoned the HDP cannot exceed the threshold’. However, Öcalan’s message has demolished the perception created by the AKP and its media that the ‘PKK is laying down its arms.’
If the Turkish side negotiates on the 10 points and takes convincing steps then the PKK may hold a congress without waiting for the 7 June elections. But it is more likely that the PKK ‘will not count its chickens before they are hatched’, and not hold a congress before the elections.
A Kurdistan without the guerrilla is unthinkable
It is also impossible for the PKK to contemplate disarming while the threat of occupation and genocide remains in Kurdistan. There is also a need for guerrillas in Kurdistan to protect the lasting peace that will emerge as the result of the process of resolution. Expecting the PKK to disarm without a solution is ‘to put the coach before the horse’. If you demand this it means you do not really want a resolution and peace.
In order to understand the reality of the PKK, why it is an armed force and why it is now more important than ever, it is sufficient to take a look at the last year in Kurdistan and the Middle East. The prevailing conditions indicate the opposite of disarming the PKK.
Only 24 hours before PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s Newroz message was read out in Amed, hundreds of guerrillas took part in an official march past with peshmerga in Sulaymaniyah, in South Kurdistan.
The HPG-YJA Star guerillas were welcomed by tens of thousands of people, demonstrating once again that the guerrillas are an essential part of the defence forces of Kurdistan and a guarantee of the future of the different ethnic groups and faith communities that live in Kurdistan.
The essence of Öcalan’s project of resolution is: yes to peace and a resolution, but an unrelenting self-defence against all attacks and threats of genocide.
Source: Firat News Agency