Cemil Bayık: Waiting for the “democratisation package”

ANF – News Desk 24.09.2013 – Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council co-president Cemil Bayık wrote in his column on Kurdish daily Azadiya Welat about the ‘democratisation package’ Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to announce on 30 September.

Bayık said that “Should the democratisation package fail to put forward steps that serve a solution to the Kurdish question, it would go down in history as an ineffective political maneuver, like other previous packages, and the AKP government would witness the beginning of the end, losing both the trust of the public opinion and the chance to be a government that can neither suppress the Kurdish liberation movement nor produce a solution to the Kurdish issue”, adding that the AKP government would not last long in such case.

Bayık remarked that the democratisation package in question has been prepared without consulting relevant interlocutors, and suggested that it can therefore answer the demands of neither Kurds nor other circles. According to the KCK Executive, Kurdish politics erred on the side of caution concerning the package while the Kurdish people expected nothing from the package which -he added- apparently excited no feeling in Kurds or the democracy forces in Turkey.

“Why would Kurds ever expect something good from a package concerning which neither their political will and their leader nor their democratic political powers have been conferred on! The preparation of the package without consulting the political will of the Kurdish people points the fact that it will answer the demands of not Kurds but those of the state and the government at the very most, which makes the package a means of saving the day and delaying the solution of the problem”, Bayık underlined.

Describing the Kurdish question as a consequence of the denial to recognize Kurds and their political will, Bayık said this was the reason why Kurds are not being asked about their opinions and proposals during the formation process of packages addressing the Kurdish question, and the reason why those who do not consider Kurds to be a people will continue refusing to grant them with their social rights which primarily include mother tongue education. Those who do not recognize a society’s right to life cannot take a step for a solution to their problem either, he added.

According to Bayık, the AKP government has prepared the package with an aim to avoid the public pressure for democratization. “It seems that when Kurds refuse the package which promises them no social rights, the government will continue following elimination policies and say that “I have taken steps which Kurds are however not accepting”. Bayık added that he still hoped the government would announce steps for a permanent solution to the Kurdish question, recognize the social rights of Kurds and improve the conditions of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan.

“Reaching a solution to the Kurdish question depends on recognizing Kurds as a people, and their political will. The government could display its determination for a solution, if it really has it, by enabling the Kurdish leader to hold talks with the Kurdish society, Kurdish movement and the democracy forces in Turkey. Any determination to achieve a solution to the Kurdish issue would not allow the treatment of Imralı talks as unofficial and unlawful procedures, nor the initiation of no legal arrangements in relation to the withdrawal of Kurdish guerrillas from Turkey. This is not the way to lead the matter to a solution”, Bayık said.

“Why would guerrillas continue the withdrawal if it has no official, judicial and legal reciprocation and no political response? PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and the guerrilla will never accept being treated like a criminal community. This is why the PKK agreed on halting the withdrawal and submitted this proposal to the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) which indeed accepted the proposal for seeing that the withdrawal had no reciprocation”, Bayık underlined.

Bayık put emphasis on the need for the unity of democracy forces to enhance the democracy struggle without having an expectation from the ruling AKP government which -he said- would take no steps unless it faced a common struggle and movement for democracy. “The AKP laid it bare yet early June that it would take no steps in this process. This was why the Kurdish leader warned that “the first phase ended and the second phase began”. For this reason, Kurds and democracy forces should have enhanced the struggle and forced the AKP government to take steps for democratization by now”, Bayık said and added that what needs to be done now is to develop the struggle rather than expecting the government to announce its package.