COMMENTARY MEHMET ALI BIRAND: It’s exaggerated but the PKK’s market value in the region is rising
Hurriyet 6.9.2012 – Terror organizations have an invisible, intangible exchange market. It is more correct to call this a black market. Since these organizations are used in international developments and bilateral disputes, their market value is determined by their location, striking force, assassination skills and other activities. Every country uses such organizations to annoy the countries they consider an enemy. When the task is over, they turn their backs or contribute to its destruction. Their value sometimes increases, sometimes decreases.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) also has a black market value. Because of the developments being experienced in the region nowadays, its position is becoming increasingly valuable. It is seen as a terror organization that could play an effective role in our vicinity, where borders are being re-demarked. In the eyes of intelligence staff, it is gaining value as a “well-organized terror organization with guerillas who easily risk their lives and that has sympathizers among the people.”
Even though it was not able to gain any concrete results, in these summer months it was able to draw attention to itself by putting terror on Turkey’s agenda almost every day. It knew how to raise its value in the black market.
Moreover, it looks as if it has a new status, through which it can be used in other fields.
– For example, it is in an attractive position for Israel and the United States to punish Iran…
– It can be used by Barzani as a striking force for a mid-sized Kurdistan state to be formed in the future in northern Iraq, Syria and Iran, as well as in cooperation against a possible attack from Baghdad. – Syria and Iran are already using the PKK to pressure Turkey and to create discomfort.
As you can understand, the number of those who need the services of the PKK is increasing nowadays. Some of them are providing arms, some provide camping space. Regional powers are encouraging the PKK.
The PKK would not accept any solution now
Actually, the PKK is being overinflated way beyond its true value. This kind of “sought-for organization” position increases its mobility. Rather than look for reconciliation with Ankara, on the contrary, the PKK bases all its calculations on the maintenance of its military existence, to increase its influence and to play a greater role in the region.
For now, it is adequate for it to maintain its existence in an effective way in the southeast.
It gives the impression that it does not want to be engaged in any reconciliation before the situation in the region calms down and the borders become definite. The insecurity experienced in the region today openly provokes the PKK. Small administrative concessions gained from Turkey – education in mother tongue and even a general amnesty – do not satisfy them anymore. It all gives the impression that their target is not only Turkey, but in fact to contribute to the formation of a Kurdistan that might emerge from the international chaos.
Even Ankara has lost hope for reconciliation
Policymakers in Ankara also no longer believe that reconciliation with the PKK can be reached. The same strategic assessments lie behind the cutting of Abdullah Öcalan’s contacts with the outside world for seven months, as well as the constant bombardment of criticism toward the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
On the one hand, the presidential elections in 2014 and on the other hand, the possibility of clashes in the region, are causing Ankara to take steps back. The search for reconciliation is left to another season. The environment of “wait and see” prevails.
This is how it looks. The widespread belief is that it would mean defeat to sit at the negotiation table before the spine of the PKK is broken, as it was in the 1990s. When the situation is like this, it is only weapons that do the talking.