TODAY’S MESOP COMMENTARY : Step by Step towards Kurdish Autonomy (RADIKAL)

7 Mart Cuma, 2014 – RADIKAL – As Turkey approached the 30th of March local election, the Peace and Democracy Party’s rhetoric (BDP) began to increase in regards to the declaration of autonomy.  In this context, BDP co-chair Gülten Kışanak said that “President Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed PKK leader, will come to Kurdistan and Amed, Kurdish name of Diyarbakır, to be with his people. However, if you detain us and postpone our freedom demand, we will not wait for you and we will establish our autonomy by our core sources” on the 15th of February, 2014.

On the other hand BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş also said in a parallel explanation with Kışanak: “autonomy is the formal policy of the BDP” (1). Also, The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has acted according to autonomy which they think was declared after March 30th in Eastern Turkey. In this framework, the PKK has increased its influence in security, educational and cultural areas.  In the Resolution Process, the PKK did not fulfill the most important condition of Turkish government which was the giving up of weapons and withdrawing from Turkish boundaries. In contrast, while the PKK has brought young Kurds to the mountains on the other hand the PKK has sent back young Kurds taking military and political training with them to the cities. Even, according to intelligence reports, 500 people with a clean record were nominated for the emergence of various events moved from the mountains to the city center. In Eastern Turkey, the control of identity cards and roads by the PKK’s armed wing People’s Defense Forces (HPG) began to be a routine event. At the same time, weapons have been distributed by the PKK to its supporters as was reported in the press. The PKK also focused on education and in this context it has tried to establish an alternative education system to the Turkish education system. The first example of this is the Zaroken Roje kindergarten within the scope of the Kızıltepe Martyr Ali Temel Culture Centre located in Mardin. The educational language is in Kurdish and it is thought that this kindergarten was opened because the 4+4+4 education system assimilates Kurdish children in the Turkish society. After the declaration of autonomy in Syria, subjects are discussed about the autonomy of Mardin and efforts are being made in this direction.  Co-Chair of Kızıltepe Leyla Salman and İsmail Asi stated that they will be based on a democratic autonomy model. The PKK wants to see Mardin as rebel zone like Yüksekova, Hakkari’s district. Therefore it has increased its activity in this area.

Finally, we can conclude as to what kind of autonomy is demanded by the BDP and the perspectives of the BDP towards the March 30th local election from Gültan Kışanak ve Fırat Anlı’s, candidate for co-chair of the BDP, in an interview to Özgür Gündem newspaper on   February 18th, 2014:

First of all, the BDP has seen an increase of votes and is gaining success in many Eastern cities as a guarantee of autonomy. At the same time, the BDP has believed that conditions for a declaration of autonomy are ready now. Besides, the BDP has stressed that Kurds, supporters of the BDP and the PKK, have evolved for constructing self-management by recent domestic and foreign events.   The BDP has emphasized that if the Turkish state does not recognize Kurdish autonomy and give them legal status, they will establish their autonomy by their own force ignoring the Resolution Process. Autonomy is inevitable in the present situation for the BDP and the PKK. The BDP has seen the March 30th local election as a starting point of the self-management process. They believe that they take a power from autonomy in Syria. The BDP has explained that the system, which they want to establish, will be argued on a legal basis in a short time. The system has contained the regional councils and these councils have included one regional parliament, one execution of the regional parliament and a presidential council of the regional councils.