How and Why the Peace Process in Turkey Impaired?


March 21, 2013 formed a strong glimmer of hope to solve the Kurdish issue. Where a message from the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party, Abdullah Ocalan, was read in the square of Nowruz in Diyarbakir. Ocalan announced in his historic message that a new phase will begin in Turkey and in the Middle East, and that time has now become a time of peace, brotherhood and solution, and that armed struggle with the start of this new stage will give way to the practice of democratic politics, and the voices of gunfire will be interrupted to highlight its place of thought and politics.

Ocalan also pointed out that this is not the end, but rather a new beginning, and that the struggle from now will proceed with a new style, and thought, ideology and politics will be the foundations of the new struggle, and for the purpose of giving way to the democratic struggle, Ocalan called the armed forces of the PKK to leave the country to start the new phase .

Ocalan’s message was broadcast on that day directly from the main Turkish radio and television, and the message that day echoed in the international media, and was reported by news agencies as an important event throughout the world[1].

Prior to this, and especially when Abdullah Ocalan was free at all, he had letters on some occasions and blessings on the occasion of Nowruz, but those messages were published in secret in Turkey, and the state’s security forces prevented them from reading anywhere. While everyone knows that the Turkish state was aware of reading the 2013 Nowruz message, and authorized it, as I read in Diyarbakir in front of hundreds of thousands in Nowruz Square, and the place and timing of reading the message was important.

The attendees at the celebration of Nowruz, and the security forces assigned to protect Nowruz Square, were listening to the message together. That historic day I witnessed for myself, in Diyarbakir, was the first celebration of Nowruz going in peace without chaos and in a peaceful atmosphere. On that day, the security forces present in the square celebrated the holiday with the masses. The joy drew its lines on everyone’s faces. Hopes for peace for all revived, and with the end of a bloody thirty-year war that left thousands of dead and hundreds of thousands of displaced and displaced people, a new era began. Hope was great and expectations were high despite fears and suspicions.

The main point of Ocalan’s message was the withdrawal of the armed forces of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from the country according to a plan and a decree schedule, and that the state prepare at the same time a program for a solution.

Meeting and statement of the Dolmabahçe Palace

The peace phase for public opinion was announced on March 21, 2013, and after two years of efforts, representatives of the government and the HDPD committee met on February 28, 2015 in the Turkish Prime Minister’s office in Dolmabah Bachija, and issued a joint communiqu. On the government side, the Deputy Prime Minister, Yalgin Akdogan, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Afkan Ala, the Chairman of the Justice and Development Party Association, Maher Unal, and the Advisor to the System and National Security, Mehmet Darwishoglu, participated in the meeting. Meanwhile, the Emrali Committee participated on the other side, which was composed of Sri Thuraya Onder, Idris Baloken, and Bruin Boldan.

The Emrali Commission was in contact with Abdullah Ocalan, and informed the public opinion of most of his sayings and opinions related to the solution, and Onder announced in Dolma, Bakhija, that the talks and the solution had reached the official work stage, then he announced that Abdullah Ocalan said:

“We seek to advance the thirty-year war towards a stable peace, and our main goal is to reach a democratic solution on the basis of the common rules that we reached and on the basis of abandoning the armed struggle, and in order to reach a historic and strategic decision, I invite the Kurdistan Workers Party to hold an extraordinary conference in the spring [2]“.

Yalcin Akdogan emphasized in his speeches the importance of giving up arms and supporting democratic olitics, and he said,

“Our democracy has reached the point of talking about its problems and negotiating and moving towards a solution. On arms, speeds up democratic progress. There are titles that have been the subject of controversy for many years. From now on, we must speak confidently, negotiate and debate, and not leave negotiations … The visions, ideas and policies that the people support are the most valuable in democracy, and we are determined to reach this stage n The final prayer of Ajtha and support of our people. Turkey, which solved its problems and the main leave behind will be a regional and global power. [3]

Yalcin Akdogan

Those gathered in Dolma, Bachija, announced ten points for public opinion, namely:

1) Definition and content of democratic politics.

2) Introducing the national and local aspects of a democratic solution.

3) Guaranteeing democratic rights and rights of a free citizen.

4) The relationship of democratic politics with the state and society, and the addresses for consolidating this relationship.

5) The social and economic dimensions of the peace phase.

6) Moving to a solution stage that preserves democratic relations, the integrity of public order, and freedoms.

7) Ensuring and resolving women, culture and the environment.

8) Development of democratic pluralism in a manner that respects the definition of the concept of identity.

9) Define the nation, the democratic republic, and the common country in line with democratic standards and ensure it constitutionally.

10) A new constitution, to ensure these democratic changes and steps[4].

In order for the peace phase to proceed, according to the program and the plan that was defined in Dolmah Bachja as appropriate, the two parties had to work to fulfill their responsibilities through coordination and concurrently. There were two things, two basic steps that could pave the way for a precious peace:

1) The withdrawal of the military forces from within the Turkish border.

2) Preparing the legal foundations for the stage.

The implementation of the implementation of the first point was the task of Abdullah Ocalan and the PKK, and the second point was the task of the Turkish government. The PKK wanted the government to first prepare the legal foundations and ratify the laws necessary to achieve this, while the government wanted the PKK without waiting for anything to withdraw its forces out of the country quickly. But preventing the matter from spoiling, and working to stick to the two points needed two things:

1) That the two parties have mutual confidence in all matters.

2) Or that the peace process and understanding be conducted by a third party.

In his famous book, Leviathan, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes talks about the causes of wars and confrontations by saying: “All human beings are the same, and it is the similarity that creates mistrust, and distrust leads to war.[5]

The unfortunate thing is that the two sides did not trust each other properly, as the PKK did not want to withdraw its forces before the government took concrete steps, and the government did not want to rush to prepare the legal rules for the stage. Both parties were observing the other, but they were less confident of each other, and neither of them wanted to take a good step encouraging the other to do the same.

Undoubtedly, the concerns of failure in an important issue such as these were always present, and in order to remove obstacles and obstacles it was necessary to formulate a good mechanism from the beginning. That mechanism could have been formulated by a third party, but the government did not accept this and did not want to be subject to oversight by a state or civil organization from abroad in this area, or to make peace work under the supervision of any of these. The Turkish government was of the opinion that the Kurdish issue is a Turkish internal matter, and there is no need to stick a civil organization or an external country as an intermediary or observer in it. Her opinion was that, as long as the Kurdish issue is a domestic internal matter, it should be solved from the inside.

The disclosure of the Oslo meeting was another reason that prevented the Turkish government from accepting the inclusion of an outside party in the solution process. As is well known, a secret meeting took place in 2010 between the two parties in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, and the Kurdish politician, Muhammad Amin Pengueni, told the BBC that the 2010 meeting came at the request of the Turkish government. At the time, the head of the Turkish Intelligence Service, the Tanner Command, conveyed a message from the Turkish government to the President of the Republic of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, asking him to establish a link between the two parties and mediate between them, so the latter commissioned Penguin with the mission, After Pengueni’s message to each other was conveyed to the other party, the meeting took place in Oslo. According to Pengueni, the PKK required that all meetings take place in my command with Abdullah Ocalan[6], and Qandil said that it would accept everything Ocalan said and would work with[7].

The secret meetings of Oslo continued during the period 2010-2012, and after the Fatah Allah Gülen organization revealed the notes and proceedings of these meetings to the public opinion, the Turkish government retreated and stopped that stage. After the Oslo meeting came to light, during the meeting of his party, Haluk Koj, the Vice-President of the Republican People’s Party announced, “We will bring the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his party to trial because they violated the constitution.[8]” For this reason, the government did not want, in the 2013 meetings, to introduce a third party in this matter, and the Prime Minister announced,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the year 2012 for the first time through a special program broadcast on TRT that they will hold meetings with Ocalan in my emirate, and Erdogan continued his speech: “Meetings with Al-Jazeera (my emery) are still ongoing, because we have to reach a result, and if we feel a ray of light, we will continue our steps[9].

The Recession Stage

The stage of the solution generally consisted of four elements: communication, dialogue, negotiation and solution[10]. These elements were important for good understanding and understanding. The two sides should know each other, trust each other, and know what / what basis they agree and build lasting peace.

On February 28, 2015, I announced the statement of Dolma Bachija. There were general elections in Turkey on June 7 of the same year. After a while, all the parties began preparing for the elections. The Peoples Democratic Party and its predecessors from the parties had participated in the elections that preceded by independent candidates, but this time the Peoples Administration made the decision to participate as a party in the elections and throughout Turkey. In the last general elections, the parties that the HDP followed in its approach were unable to cross the 10% barrier, and there was a fear that the People’s Party could also not cross the barrier.

In the 2012 elections, the Peace and Democracy Party participated in the elections, and 61 of its representatives were elected. The party achieved 6.58% of the nationwide vote[11]. But the HDP, despite the risk of being unable to cross the barrier, made its decision and participated as a party in the elections[12].

On March 17, 2015, the joint head of the HDP, Salahuddin Demirtaş, spoke briefly at the party’s parliamentary team meeting, and said: “Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, you will not become president as long as the HDP is standing and still there is a member of the party with a breath. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we will not take a president from you, we will not take a president from you[13]! .

No one knows whether Demirtaş’s words had a good effect on the HDP’s vote, or was it something that could not be neglected, and that was the case for the peace phase! After Demirtas said this, the AKP’s position toward the peace stage and the HDP increased. The Peoples Democratic Party was seeking to overcome the obstacle and enter the Turkish parliament, and become a political opposition, but this political opposition should not have reached the point of harming the peace phase, because the peace phase was dependent on the Justice and Development Party and the HDP. The two parties were partners in managing that stage, and unlike the Justice and Development Party, there was no party that considered the peace stage a state project, and unlike the HDP, the other two parties in Parliament were hostile to the peace stage, and they wanted to accuse the Justice and Development Party for this reason. The HDP thus had to select a codified and more rational language.

Unfortunately, the HDP did not provide a good example in this context. The phrase “We will not take you as president” was a very personal phrase, directly targeting Prime Minister Erdogan[14].

Such rhetoric did not serve the solution process, and it could go through the stage towards ruin easily, and so it was. In the June 7, 2015 elections, the confrontation between the HDP and the Justice and Development Party was more severe than that of any of the other parties. The speech in which one of them was targeting the other did not harm them on their own, but he also scratched the peace stage. The phrase “we will not take you as president” led to a significant change in the AKP’s vision and position, and with the approaching election date, Erdogan began using the phrases “the Kurdish problem is over” and “there is no longer a thing called the Dolj Bajjah Agreement.[15]

In the June 7 elections, the Justice and Development Party won 40.66% of the vote, the People’s Republican Party 25.13%, the National Movement Party 16.45% and the HDP with 12.96% of the vote, and thanks to passing the minimum required, it managed to enter the Turkish Parliament But the AKP was unable to form the government alone. The Supreme Committee for Elections in Turkey announced that the rate of participation in elections throughout Turkey was 83.92%, and that the Justice and Development won 258 parliamentary seats,

The CHP 132, the National Movement Party 80 and the HDP 80 seats, but the formation of the government needed 276 seats, and thus the Justice and Development Party needed another 18 seats to be able to form the government[16]. While the other three parties could have formed a government if they allied together.

Political analysts considered the HDP to be the biggest winner in the June 7, 2015 elections[17], because the HDP significantly exceeded the electoral barrier, which gave the Kurdish voters strong self-confidence. If the Peoples Democratic Party was able to evaluate this electoral victory in a smart political way, this victory would lead to a major change in the political struggle of the Kurdish people, and the doors of parliamentary and political democratic work would have been started in the face of the Kurds as well. That is why the Kurds had to move away from all images of the politics of war and Saddam and tended toward democratic politics, and the greatest responsibility would have fallen in this area on the HDP and its leaders.

During the election campaign, the HDP and the AKP used rough language towards each other. But from now on they had to give up that speech and return to soft and peaceful language. The AK Party got the percentage of votes it was seeking. But 40.66% of the votes were not enough to form the government. The Justice and Development Party also believed that the HDP was responsible for this result, because a percentage of the votes it gained in the previous elections went to the HDP. In the 2011 elections, the Justice and Development Party won 49.8% of the votes, but in 2015 it decreased by 20%.

Under such circumstances, it was not easy for the Justice and Development Party to soften the tone of its speech and its position on the HDP, but the latter was able to assess the election results within the framework of political intelligence and looked forward. The most important thing for the HDP since then has been the continuation of peace. The future of the peace phase was in the hands of the Justice and Development Party and the HDP. In the event that the Justice and Development Party withdrew, matters of peace and understanding would be suspended in the middle of the road, but unfortunately, the HDP was unaware of this fact. Three days before the June 7 elections, Sri Thuraya Onder said in a show on CNN Turk: “It is the people who took over the peace phase, and we can manage it with the National Movement Party, and if it is serious, it is enough.” But that did not happen. .

On the night of June 7, the head of the HDP, Demirtaş, spoke in a way that suggested his party and the Justice and Development Party would not meet again easily. Damertan said that they, like the Peoples Democratic Party, would not support the Justice and Development Party at home or abroad, and in this way, its door was closed to the Justice and Development Party. Under such circumstances, the AKP had one of two ways: either to ally with another party, or to move toward new elections. Likewise, the National Movement Party and the Republican People’s Party could not form the government alone, except in the case of their alliance with the HDP, and the three parties formed the government together, and the CHP wanted to form this coalition[18], but the National Movement Party did not accept the coalition with the People’s Party Democrat in any way, and I was embarrassed from the start, support the idea of ​​early elections.

As for the Peoples Democratic Party, it preferred the coalition of the Justice and Development Party and the Republican People’s Party over the Alliance of the Republican People’s Party and the National Movement Party, but this was not desirable by both parties[19].

If Salahuddin Demirtaş had not completely closed the door, on the night of June 7, in the face of the Justice and Development Party, the future of the peace phase would be better[20]. Unfortunately, the HDP leadership did not take advantage of this historic opportunity, as it was the first opportunity throughout the Kurdish political history in Turkey, in which the Kurds have the opportunity to enter the government, but the HDP did not intelligently evaluate this opportunity[21]. If Demirtas had used a more soft speech than saying “We will not support the AKP in any form at home or abroad” and open the door for cooperation in the face of the Justice and Development Party, he would have brought about a total change in the situation and in the political balance. That night, Demirtaş could have spoken in his speech about three points. He could have stipulated that the Justice and Development Party should implement it in exchange for assistance and support for the HDP:

1) The peace phase continues.

2) Turkey’s entry into the European Union continues.

3) Preparing a new constitution and developing democracy.

On the basis of these three points, the HDP had to support the government that will be formed by the Justice and Development Party, and if the Justice and Development Party did not want to declare the HDP in the government, the HDP had to support the party’s government. Justice and development from abroad, because the two parties have already participated in the management of the peace phase.

There is no doubt that the failure of the Justice and Development Party to adhere to these conditions and not accept the partnership with the HDP was possible, but nevertheless resorting to soft speech would not cause harm or loss.

The Syria Crisis and ISIS attacks poisoned the peace process

In 2014, ISIS attacks in Syria and Iraq reached their highest levels. On June 10, 2014, the organization occupied the city of Mosul and, shortly after, arrived at the outskirts of Baghdad, 40 kilometers from the Iraqi capital[22]. ISIS also began attacking Kobani in October 2014, and Kobani had a strategic location, because it mediates the road between the cantons of the island and Afrin, and ISIS’s occupation of Kobani would frustrate the Kurdish cantons and reach in the future to the shores of the Mediterranean[23].

ISIS attacks on Kobani drew the attention of the international community to Turkey, as Kobani was a neighborhood in Suruj, and ISIS brutality was seen from the Turkish border with the naked eye, and the international community expected Turkey to not condone those attacks, and not to allow the city to fall into the grip of ISIS . Whereas, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had said: “We will do whatever is necessary for Kobani.” During this complex period, Christian Amanpour, from CNN International, interviewed Davutoglu and asked him: “You said that you will do everything necessary for Kobani, what does that mean?” Davutoglu replied: “The sons of Kobani are brothers to us, we do not say that they are Kurds, Turks or Arabs, but if there is an intervention in Kobani, we will say so that the intervention is comprehensive for all of Syria.[24]” Turkey has not taken a significant stance to stop ISIS attacks on Kobani. HDP politicians have communicated with Turkish state officials since the beginning of the crisis. But ISIS had occupied all the villages around Kobani and entered the city at the time, and the Peoples Democratic Party and the Peace and Democracy party realized that Turkey was not taking any position that would protect Kobani. On October 7, 2014, the HDP sparked demonstrations in several Kurdish cities, including Diyarbakir, to turn into violence soon. Street confrontations resulted in the burning of machinery and shops, and the death of 53 people. The government accused the PDP of causing the accident and killings. Kurdish politicians have also criticized the position of the government and said that the security forces deliberately condoned these violent incidents. On October 9, Salahuddin Demirtaş announced that Abdullah Ocalan sent him a letter and asked him to expedite entering into dialogue and negotiations, and Ocalan had previously sent a message to his brother, Muhammad Ocalan, blaming him for the absence of the stage of dialogue. Ocalan had said in his message: “We will wait for the solution until October 15.[25]

The Syrian crisis in general, and the ISIS attacks in particular, pushed the peace phase to its end. Where the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Murad Karah Yilan, accused Turkey directly of being involved in the ISIS attack on Kobani, and he said on September 23: “The stage is over for us.[26]

Television channels broadcast ISIS attacks on Kobani directly to the whole world, and they had a great impact on people of conscience. Many Turkish Kurds, through democratic demonstrations, rejected and condemned these attacks. On July 21, members of the Union of Socialist Youth Associations met in Suruj, to publicize the communiqu. Members of the association came from all over Turkey, and while they were reciting the statement, their ISIS suicide bomber stormed and blew himself up, killing 23 people and wounding 104 people[27]. The next day, July 22, 2015, the two policemen (Fayyad Yumishk and Okan Agar) were killed at their home in the (Sirikani) area. On the same day the media office of the forces to protect the people responsible for the killing of the two policemen declared “their relationship Bdaash.” On July 24, two days after Serickana accident, the Turkish air force bombed PKK camps in the Kurdistan Region, said the Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu: “The planes that flew over the Qandil responded to what happened in Serickana.[28]” Days later, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Society Society, Damhat Akeed, told the BBC that the PKK had not killed the two policemen[29].

In October 2015, the organization called itself “revolutionary national youth movement” digging trenches on the island and Vargin Red and Diyarbakir, and closed some neighborhoods in those areas in the face of the security forces, and then declared municipalities were administered by the Democratic Party peoples “self-authority The number of these municipalities reached 16 by August. On August 12, 2015, the Kurdistan Community Gathering announced that self-authority had been declared in Sharnakh, Sloubi, Al-Jazira and Nusaybin, And that it is no longer an option other than self-authority, and after this announcement, a “local authority” was announced in the rounds of America, Batman, Kafr in Varto, Cuban in Much, Erdemit and Epiciolo in One, and the red and two different parties in Diyarbakir, Agri, Bayezid, And Batlice, the Khizan region, and even in the Gazi and Kulesur neighborhoods of Istanbul[30].

After the announcement of the local authority, the police and security forces began operations in the area, and imposed a curfew in the areas of Vartu, Fergen and Liege. Clashes also occurred on the island between the security forces and the demonstrators, in which a policeman and three people were killed, and four soldiers were killed in Liege. On August 11, the President of the Republic, Erdogan, declared: “We will not accept any country in this country other than the Turkish Republic, and those who announce these matters must pay dearly, in legal terms and in other respects[31]. It is unfortunate that the arrow had escaped from the arc. The experience of digging trenches was not successful for HDP politicians, and the initiative came out of the hands of civilian politicians. On December 26, the Democratic Society Conference held a meeting in Diyarbakir, on an exceptional basis, followed by a 14-point declaration. The most interesting point was the call for the establishment of democratic self-management regions, and the declaration also called for the delivery of education, health and judicial services to the local authorities. The declaration of the Democratic Society Conference was similar to the declaration of self-administration, but the representative of the HDP, Medhat Sinjar, said that this issue has nothing to do with self-management but rather an invitation to dialogue[32].

While the Democratic Society Conference was holding its extraordinary meeting in Diyarbakir, confrontations of trenches and barricades were taking place at the most intense. Trench confrontations began on July 7, 2015 and continued until March 27, 2016, and thus they lasted 265 days, and from official data announced by the state, it appears that 285 civilians, including the head of the Diyarbakir Lawyers Syndicate, Taher Alji, have been killed. At the same time, the operations of the security forces resulted in the arrest of 10,326 people, 3387 of whom were imprisoned. Hundreds of thousands during trench battles and barricades also lost their homes to migrate to other Turkish cities[33]. All areas of confrontation were completely destroyed, especially Al-Hamra, in Diyarbakir[34].

There is no doubt that the war and tensions in Syria were among the main reasons for the collapse of the peace stage. The Syrian crisis began on March 15, 2011, and the Assad regime was forced shortly after to withdraw its forces from Syrian Kurdistan. In 2012, at the initiative of the Democratic Union Party, three Kurdish cantons were announced on the island, Kobani, and Afrin. At the time, Turkey did not take a position on the cantons because it was still continuing in the peace phase, as the head of the Democratic Union Party, Saleh Muslim, visited Turkey several times in response to calls from the political authority and had meetings in it[35]. In the fall of 2014, after the ISIS attack on Kobani, the features of Turkey’s relationship with the PYD changed. When Turkey remained silent about ISIS attacks on Kobani, PKK supporters lashed out at the AKP authorities to the point that they showed Turkey as supportive of ISIS. At the same time, critical articles on the relationship between Turkey and ISIS have been published in international media, and most have explicitly indicated that ISIS militants from abroad are entering Syria across the Turkish border. In his article published by Newsweek, Michael Rubin wrote:

“All ISIS militants who came from more than a hundred countries came to Syria across the Turkish border, and it is not possible for ISIS to get ill as long as President Erdogan is in power.[36]

Although the positions of Turkey and America were close at the start of the Syrian crisis, the two wanted Bashar al-Assad to give up power, but the following events kept the two countries apart. Turkey wants Assad to step down, to be replaced by the authority based on the Sunni Arabs, and the developments in Egypt that have increased the hopes and expectations of Turkey in this regard. After the fall of the Mubarak regime in Egypt, Mohamed Morsi was elected president of the country on June 24 Election 2012. Mohamed Morsi was a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood, and he entered the Egyptian parliament in the 2002 elections with the support of this organization[37]. The Brotherhood was active in Syria as well, and Turkey wanted to establish in Syria a power of Sunni Muslim influence, similar to that of the Egyptian. In Syria, there were also several Islamic organizations fighting against Assad, and when America found that the strongest Islamic organization in Syria was ISIS and al-Qaeda branches, and that other organizations in general were jihadist, cut off their aid to the Syrian opposition[38]. America knew that if they came to power, they would be much worse than Bashar al-Assad. ISIS attacks on Mosul appear to have confirmed this clearly. This is why America, especially after the fall of 2014, stopped its support for the Syrian Arab opposition, and began publicly assisting the Democratic Union Party, and in the case of handing over the capital of ISIS, Raqqa, the American military leaders in Iraq and Syria considered the Democratic Union Party the most effective and useful force and wanted to attack Raqqa With him[39].

Meanwhile, the Turkish and international media have been publishing news about Turkey providing aid to the Syrian Arab opposition. On May 29, 2015, Cumhuriyet newspaper published a story titled “These are the weapons Erdogan was denying” with the image of a truck. Also included in the news are pictures of weapons hidden under the medicine boxes in that truck.

Two days after this news was published, Erdogan said on a program that was broadcast live on TRT: “This news is a spy attempt by those who published it and they must pay the price dearly.[40]

America must have followed Turkey’s relations with the Syrian opposition since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. However, we do not know how these relations became a topic of discussion in the diplomatic meetings, but the two countries’ policies toward the Syrian crisis kept the two countries from each other little by little. Turkey has been very upset with the PYD’s help from America, and President Erdogan has repeatedly expressed this. The main question at present is: Do you see in what way did America intervene in the peace phase by harassing Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party?

There is no doubt that the answer to this question is not easy, but there are rumors and trends like this, that the Washington Post published on January 22, 2019 an article written by Lee Smith, in which he said: “The peace phase that started in the year 2012 by Erdogan, It stopped with interference from America. ”The article added,“ America assured the PKK about its withdrawal from the peace phase, and that by abandoning that stage it would guarantee significant gains through America’s assistance to it in Syria. The reason is that both Democrats and Republicans do not trust Erdogan. [41]

As I mentioned earlier, we do not know the validity of this claim. But we know that: Erdogan, the politician who presented two consecutive initiatives to solve the Kurdish issue and took a risk through it, in the history of the Turkish Republic.

The Syrian crisis and the Kurdish issue did not put America and Turkey alone in facing each other, but rather had important implications for Turkey’s relations with Saudi Arabia. The relations of the two countries in the first decade of this century were good, and in 2010 the Saudi king awarded the King Faisal Prize for Islamic Service to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In April 2015, an organization called the “Army of Conquest” was established with Turkish-Saudi help. This organization consisted of Sunni Islamic forces, and sought to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and achieved important victories in the north and south of the country within a short period. The victories of the Al-Fateh army and other forces have plunged the Assad regime into a deadlock. But in September 2015, when Russia came to the aid of Assad, the balance of power tilted in favor of the regime. After that, Saudi Arabia abandoned the policy of toppling the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and Turkey became busy with the Democratic Union Party. In June 2017, when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain took a stand on and boycotted Qatar, Turkey supported Doha and sent its soldiers to Qatar, setting up a military base there. Soon thereafter, as a condition for cooling ties, the Gulf states asked Qatar to close the Turkish military base, but Qatar refused.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE were alarmed by the Turkish position on the Qatar problem, and in response to Turkey’s actions, it strengthened its relations with the YPG. In October 2017, the Saudi Minister of State for Gulf Affairs, Thamer Al-Sabhan, accompanied by Brett McGurk, met in Raqqa with the YPG forces, and in August 2018 he pledged $ 100 million to establish the infrastructure for the region controlled by the YPG, and implemented his pledge in November . These actions undoubtedly worsened relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia[42].

When the peace phase collapsed, along with internal factors, an external factor had a major role, which is the Syrian internal crisis. Turkey was very concerned about the disintegration of Syria and the establishment of an independent Kurdish state. Turkey and Syria share a 911 km border, and the Kurds live along this border. And when the Kurds on these borders can reach the coasts of the Mediterranean, and then they agree with the Kurdistan Region, Kirkuk oil will reach the world markets directly without passing through Turkey or any other intermediary country. Turkey considers this development a threat to its geostrategic and border security.

Instead of turning a blind eye to these events and establishing a lasting peace with the Kurds within its borders, it becomes an umbrella that remains until the Kurds who are outside its borders, Turkey has chosen to follow another policy in Syria, and the ideological rapprochement between the Democratic Union Party and the Kurdistan Workers Party has played a role in pursuing that policy.


The autumn of 2015 ended the period of peace, which sent a period of nearly thirty months strong hope to solve the Kurdish issue in Turkey. On August 21, 2015, Turkish President Erdogan said: “We put that stage in the refrigerator.” On the same day, Erdogan announced early elections on December 7, in which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) regained the votes it lost in the June 7 elections.

. The peace stage was not removed from the refrigerator after that, and the cooperation between the Justice and Development Party and the National Movement Party escalated and strengthened. The factors that led to the deterioration of the peace phase can be summarized, in short, in a set of points:

1) The lack of required trust between the two parties led to a delay in taking the first steps.

2) Failure to define a clear road map and plan for the withdrawal of the PKK forces from Turkey.

3) The legal framework for peace and the agreement has not been well prepared.

4) The problem of mutual mistrust could have been solved by means of a mediation mechanism between them, but the Turkish state, which considered the Kurdish issue an internal affair, rejected the idea of ​​a mediator.

5) In April 2013, a committee of wise men of 63 personalities was formed, to be a substitute for the arbitration system, but the work of that committee was confined to the general public to focus on the interior and prepare the peoples of Turkey for the stage.

6) Despite the launching of the peace phase spark, on March 21, 2013, with the light of the Nowruz flame lit, the Dolmah Bajjah Palace Palace agreement on February 28, 2015 was delayed by about two years.

7) The most difficult paths of the peace phase should have been passed before the Turkish general elections in June 2015, in order for the elections not to negatively affect the progress of the process, but the two parties were very late in this field.

8) The Peoples’ Democratic Party, Justice and Development were partners in the peace phase, and that partnership was more important than the elections. So the two sides had to take this fact into account in the electoral race and not face it and neither would bother them.

9) The speech of the two parties during the election campaign towards each other was very strong, which harmed the peace phase in the end.

10) The phrase “we will not take a president from you” was never appropriate. After the Dolom Bajjah agreement came to pass on February 28, 2015, Salahuddin Demirtaş came two weeks later and told Erdogan on March 17, “We will not take a president from you.”

11) At least after the elections, the HDP could have taken a more soft speech, but Demirtaş declared on election night: “We will not support the AKP in any way at home or abroad.”

12) The HDP had to commit to maintaining peace, because then there was no one who wanted or wanted to solve the Kurdish issue other than Erdogan and his party, but the HDP’s steps in this direction were not conscious.

10) The phrase “we will not take a president from you” was never appropriate. After the Dolom Bajjah agreement came to pass on February 28, 2015, Salahuddin Demirtaş came two weeks later and told Erdogan on March 17, “We will not take a president from you.”

11) At least after the elections, the HDP could have taken a more soft speech, but Demirtaş announced on election night: “We will not support the AKP in any way at home or abroad.”

12) The HDP had to commit to maintaining peace, because then there was no one who wanted or wanted to solve the Kurdish issue other than Erdogan and his party, but the HDP’s steps in this direction were not conscious.

[1] “رسالة أوجلان في نوروز”، حورییت، ٢٠١٣.٠٣.٢١.

[2] “Dolmabahçe’de tarihi açıklama,” Milliyet, 01.03.2015,, gihîştin:20.01.2019

[3] “Ortak açiklamanin tam metni,” Aljazeere Turk, 28 Şubat 2015,, gihîştin:21.01.2019

[4] “Dolmabahçe’de tarihi açıklama,” Milliyet, 01.03.2015

[5] Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Edited with an introduction and notes by J.C.A.Gaskin, Oxford World Classics, Oxford University Press, 1996, r.82-83

[6] Abdullah Ocalan, has been detained since February 15, 1999 in a prison on Imrali Island in Turkey. The political history of the world does not include the status of successful political negotiations with a prisoner.

[7] Mahmut Hamsici, “Barış görüşmelerini başlatan Pencewini: Karayılan, Gül ve Erdoğan’a selam söyledi” BBC Türkçe,18 Nisan 2016,, gihîştin:12.10.2019

[8] CHP 9 maddelik ‘Oslo mutabakatını’ açıkladı,,213334, gihîştin:12.10.2019

[9] “İmralı’yla görüşüyoruz,” Haberturk, 28.12.2012,, gihîştin:14.01.2019.

[10] Cuma Çiçek & Vahap Coşkun, Dolmabahçeden Günümüze Barış Süreci, Başarısızlığı Anlamak ve Bir Yol Bulmak, Barış Vakfı, Politika Raporu 1,Nisan 2016, Istanbul

[11] Hatice Kemer, “HEP’ten HDP’ye 28 yılda yaşananlar,” BBC Türkçe, 11 Şubat 2018,, gihîştin:17.01.2019

[12] The People’s Democratic Party was founded on the ruins of the CKD Party (HBP), which was established on June 7, 1990, to agree on October 20, 1991 with the Social Democratic Party, and together they sent seven representatives to the Turkish Parliament. After the CKD party was closed, the Democratic Party (DDP) was established in 1993, and after that on May 11, 1994, the People’s and Democracy Party was established, which won 1.5 million votes in the 1995 elections, but was unable to pass the electoral barrier. However, the People’s and Democracy Party won the local elections in 1999 with 37 municipalities, including Diyarbakir Municipality. After the People’s and Democracy Party, the People’s Democratic Party was established on October 24, 1997, and dissolved itself in 2005. In the same year, the Democratic Society Party was established, and it participated with independent candidates in the 2007 elections. On December 11, 2009, the Constitutional Court closed this party, but Before its closure, the Peace and Democracy Party was established on May 3, 2008.

[13] “Seni başkan yaptırmayacağız,” Cumhuriyet, 17 Mart, 2015

[14] Four years later, Khatib Degla announced in an interview with (Basnews) that the phrase “We will not take you as president” was not correct. Unfortunately, none of the HDP politicians has said that such talk damages the Kurds cause in the peace phase. For more, see : Hatip Dicle: “Seni başkan yaptırmayacağız” sözünü doğru bulmamıştım, Basnews: 24.01.2019, gihîştin:26.01.2019

[15] Serkan Demîrtaş, “7 Hazirandan 1 Kasıma ne değişti?” Radikal, 03.11.2015

[16] “7 Haziran 2015 Genel Seçimlerinde neler olmuştu? Hangi parti ne kadar oy aldı?” Hurriyet, 23.11.2015

[17] Vahap Çoşkun, “7 Haziran Sonrası HDP ve Kandil,” Aljazeera Turk, 26 Haziran 2015,, gihîştin:17.01.2019

[18] “CHP: MHP ve HDP ile koalisyon kurabiliriz,” Sputnicnews, 09.06.2015, gihîştin:19.10.2019

[19] Serpil Çevikkan, “AK Partî- CHP’yi destekleriz,” Milliyet, 16.07.2015

[20] Abdullah Kıran, Yeni Bir Ortadoğu ve Kürtler, Nas Yayınları, 2016 İstanbul, r.343

[21] Abdullah Kıran, Ortadoğu’da Kürtler ve Türkler, Nas Yayınları, İstanbul, 2018, r.164

[22] “IŞİD’in haritası,” Aljazeere Turk, 23 Haziran, 2014,, gihîştin:21.01.2019

[23] Abdullah Kıran, Yeni Bir Ortadoğu ve Kürtler, Nas Yayınları, 2016 İstanbul, r.88

[24] Beril Köseoglu, “9 Soruda IŞİD kuşatması altındaki Kobani” Diken, 7.10.2014,, gihîştin:21.10.2019

[25] “Dokuz soruda: Türkiye sokaklarında Kobani gerilimi,” BBC Turkçe,, gihîştin:22.01.2019

[26] “Dokuz soruda: Türkiye sokaklarında Kobani gerilimi,” BBC Turkçe,

[27] “Suruç’ta katliam: 31 ölü, 104 yaralı,” BBC Turkçe, 21 Temmuz 2015

[28] Peki, Çözüm Süreci Neden Bitti?” Bianet, 2 Mart 2018,, gihîştin:20.01.2019

[29] PKK: İki polisi öldürdüğünü söyleyen ‘Apocu fedai timi’ bizden bağımsız, yerel güç,” T24, 29 Temmuz 2015,,304407 gihîştin:20.01.2019

[30] Öz yönetim ilan edilen merkez sayısı 16’ya yükseldi,” T24, 20 Agustos, 2015,,306949, gihîştin:23.01.2015

[31] Öz yönetim ilan edilen merkez sayısı 16’ya yükseldi,” T24, 20 Agustos, 2015

[32] DTK’dan Ozyonetim deklarasyonu,” Aljazeere Turk, 27 Aralik 2015,, gihîştin:23.01.2019

[33] It is not easy to determine the number of those killed in this war. The data announced by the Turkish armed forces in May 2016, reported that 6,623 terrorists, including 4,571 people, had been neutralized, and 450 police and soldiers had been killed in those incidents. The data of the Turkish Human Rights Center indicates that at least 338 civilians were killed in this war. Look at,

[34] The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates the number of those who have fled their homes to between 350 and half a million. See the February 2017 report, p. 35

[35] To travel to Europe, Saleh Muslim previously traveled to Erbil, and from there to Europe, but on June 20, 2015 he obtained a special permit to travel from Qamishli to Mardin, then he became a night in Ankara, and then he traveled from Istanbul to Europe. Look at :Abdulkadir Selvi, “Salih Muslim’in Turkiye Trafigi ve İncirlik Ussu,” Yeni Şafak, 7 Temmuz 2015

[36] Michael Rubin, “Why it’s impossible to defeat ISIS with Erdoğan in power,” March 31, 2016,  Newsweek,gihîştin:27.01.2019

[37] Portre: Muhammed Mursi,” Aljazeere Türk, 20 Şubat 2014,, gihîştin:12.01.2019

[38] Abdullah Kıran, Ortadoğu’da Kürtler ve Türkler, Nas Yayınları, İstanbul, 2018, r.37

[39] Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt, “Trump to Arm Syrian Kurds, Even as Turkey Strongly Objects,” The New York Times, May 9, 2017

[40] MİT tırları soruşturması: Neler olmuştu? BBC Türkçe, 27 Kasim, 2015,, gihîştin: 27.01.2019

[41] Lee Smith, “Deciphering confusion about the Kurds,” Washington Post, January 22, 2019,, gihîştin:27.01.2019

[42] Birol Baskan,  “A new Turkey- Saudi crisis is brewing, Middle East Institute, January 8,21018

Share this Post