By Kafri Gürsel – Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse
12.1.2013 – That is why the Paris murders serve the interests of actors who would like to destroy the peace process even before it starts. And there are powerful actors who don’t want Turkey to reconcile with its own Kurds for the time being and whose interests could be harmed by such a peace.
The technique of the murders speaks volumes as well. Only professionals can commit perfect murders. The office door had coded entry system, but it was opened without force. This tells us that the victims probably knew the killers, or the killers want us to think that. The near consensus in Turkey is that the killers wanted to destroy a peace process.
If it is a conspiracy against peace, and it is, then we have to look for answers to two questions: Who would want to block peace?
And who among them would have adequate intelligence and operational capability to carry out such a perfect murder in Paris?
Let’s start with the “Turkish-agents” hypothesis, the immediate “usual suspect” of Kurdish public opinion in Turkey and in the Diaspora. For the culprites to be agents working for the Turkish government is a most absurd allegation. Why would a government that wants the PKK to give up arms want to block the process with its invisible hands? And why would it endanger its very valuable Turkish-French relations by committing murders on French soil? Unless they are totally moronic, this is unthinkable.
There is also suspicion of a “deep Turkish state,” which also out of place. In the Turkish political lexicon, the “deep state” is an illegal, unaccountable phenomenon that uses state facilities and commits crimes for the so-called “high interests” of the state.
We knew that Turkey’s former military/bureaucratic tutelage regime was opposed to a political settlement of the Kurdish issue. The “deep state’” was an adjunct of this regime. The AKP rule eliminated this tutelage regime and all the institutions that the “deep state” relied on either came under government control or were eradicated.
Therefore, the probability of the provocation in Paris to be organized by the remnants of the Turkish “deep state” is close to nil. If they had any potency, they would have used it for provocations on Turkish soil.
As to the assumption that “Turkish nationalists” could have committed the murder, this is also without foundation. They have neither the background nor the operational capability for such actions abroad. If they really meant to do it, it would have been much easier for them to stage such provocations in Turkey.
The final analysis was by Turkish government officials, who said the Paris murders could be an “internal PKK account settling.” Even if the ones who pulled the triggers may have been people known to the victims, we can’t ignore the element of timing, which could not be distinguished from the Ocalan-Turkish government contacts.
It would be naïve not to understand that those who planned the murders sought to raise questions about the Ocalan-government contacts, to install atmosphere of distrust and finally erase the hopes for peace.
It is impossible to ignore such a spectacular crime in one of the important centers of the world just as peace was coming onto the agenda.
If they had done something similar in the mountains of Turkey, it would have been ignored, but not in Paris. That Paris was the scene of the crime also tells us things. The possibility that the killers were PKK militants just like the victims could not be treated separately from the regionalization of Turkey’s Kurdish issue. The Syrian crisis led to regionalization of Turkey’s Kurdish issues, and Ankara’s Syria policy made potential results much more menacing for Turkey. You can no longer ignore the involvements of Iran, Baghdad, Erbil, Damascus and Syrian Kurds as parties to the Kurdish issue.
It is not a secret that among these actors there may be those who want a solution to Turkey’s Kurdish issue even less than the Kurdish hawks, and who want to maintain this issue as an instrument that could be used against Turkey when needed. It must never be forgotten that among the powers who may want to block progress on a negotiation process may have their own extensions inside the PKK.
Kadri Gürsel is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse and has written a column for the Turkish daily Milliyet since 2007. He focuses primarily on Turkish foreign policy, international affairs and Turkey’s Kurdish question, as well as Turkey’s evolving political Islam.