Turkish-PKK negotiations may remain unfinished

Commentary Materials 16 January 2013 18:10 (UTC +04:00)
Measures aimed at putting an end to the Kurdistan Workers Party’s (PKK’s) terrorist activities are being widely discussed in Turkey.
Turkish-PKK negotiations may remain unfinished

Trend Arabic News Service head Rufiz Hafizoglu

Measures aimed at putting an end to the Kurdistan Workers Party's (PKK's) terrorist activities are being widely discussed in Turkey.

One can not call the Turkish government's actions to put an end to the PKK terrorist activity a new phenomenon. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a speech in Diyarbakir in 2005 said that the government wants to solve the Kurdish problem. However, a PKK attack in November of 2008 on Aktutun military base in the Semdinli region of Hakkari province overshadowed the settlement of the conflict. Despite this, settlement efforts have not lost their relevance.

The government launched a new project called "Democratic solution to the Kurdish problem" in 2009 to resolve the problem. Later it was named "The National Unity Project". Under this project, PKK militants in northern Iraq would have had to stop resisting and return to Turkey.

The project was partially implemented, but efforts were strained after PKK supporters gave a warm hero's welcome to militants returning to Turkey, as well as strong reaction of the Turkish opposition.

The most recent action intended to put an end to the PKK terrorist activity was the start of negotiations with leader of the terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan who is being held on the island of Imrali.

Although the details of the negotiations remain unknown, official representatives of Turkey stated that such a step is for national harmony and should not be construed a surrender to terrorism.

However, the murder of Sakina Cansiz, Fidan Dogan who went under the name Rozhbin and Leyla Soylemez (recognized founders of the PKK) during negotiations in France may mean that the government's third attempt will fail as well.

Although initially it was thought that Turkish special services caused the death of the PKK founders, it is unlikely because French and Turkish special services conduct mutual exchanges of information. Also, such a move is not in Turkey's interests at the moment.

According to the Turkish press, the intelligence agencies of some countries and the Turkish Secular Bozgurd party masterminded the murder.

It would certainly be wrong to accuse anyone of killing the PKK members at the moment. However, one should take into consideration that Sakina Cansiz was an opponent of armed struggle. Thus, the PKK militants located in the north of Iraq who support the continuation of armed resistance could be behind her death.

Sakina Cansiz's talks with Turkish intelligence service's Hakan Fidan in Germany surely could not remain unnoticed by PKK members in Iraq.

Although Turkish officials said that murder of three PKK activists will not affect negotiations, there is every reason to believe that talks will not succeed again.