Insight Turkey
Insight Turkey
Challenging ideas
On Turkish politics and International affairs

Insight Turkey > Articles |

Kurdish Political Movement and the “Democratic Opening”

There has long existed a Kurdish political movement with its illegal, legal, and semi-legal aspects of it. All of Turkey wants peace but most people in the Southeast want this peace not “despite the PKK” but with “the PKK’s consent and participation.” While the Kurdish political movement wanted the government to shoulder all the weight of the opening, they also had serious responsibilities. It became clear very quickly that the important personalities of the movement were not very enthusiastic in facing these responsibilities. The Kurdish political movement has distanced itself from the opening process and, at times, appeared against it. Parallel to this, there have been changes in the state’s perspective and even, to some degree, “return to the old state line. The discussion of “who is the counterpart?” impeded the process as much as, if not more, the opposition parties’ obstructions.

Kurdish Political Movement and the Democratic Opening
The debate started by the opening was one-sided and the Kurds were being transformed from “actors” to “spectators”.
 

On August 1, 2009, around 15 colleagues, some of whom were from a journalist background like me and some from an academic background, gathered at the Ankara Police Academy upon the invitation by the Interior Minister, Beşir Atalay. The workshop, titled “Solution to the Kurdish Problem: Towards a Model for Turkey,” was the first step of the “Kurdish Opening” that had been announced a few days earlier by Prime Minister Erdoğan and the Minister Atalay. There were many shortcomings right from the beginning. For instance, the Minister Atalay and the Academy’s directors barely participated in the discussions. There was nobody of Kurdish origin among the journalists. Most of the participants were well-known figures who have been writing on the Kurdish opening, trying to arrive at a lasting solution, and looking to the government’s Kurdish opening with hope. Our colleagues, who have been critical of the opening or who have remained somewhat distant to it, were either uninvited or they excused themselves from attending. Yet, this was a very productive workshop. Most importantly, participants looked to find the “reasonable” approach in describing the problem as well as in their suggestions for a solution. They took special care not to make things more difficult.

Already have an account? Sign In.
Print Subscription
4 Print Issues
Subscribe
Digital Subscription
4 Digital Issues
Subscribe
Premium Subscription
4 Print Issues
4 Digital Issues
Subscribe

Labels »  

We use cookies in a limited and restricted manner for specific purposes. For more details, you can see "our data policy". More...