Is there any peace talk in Turkey?


By Ahmet Abidin Ozbek:

Today people need peace more than anything else. It is as essential as bread, water or milk. It is important because, if there is no peace, there will be continuous conflict in all areas of life. For stable peace, the government has the most responsibility. Peace and progress are mutually connected. I definitely agree that the whole region needs peace. However, this is not as easy as just talking about it. There are corporations, empires, institutions, governments, religions, parties, traditions and ideologies that are all against peace. Unfortunately, violence is still the primary tool used to control the masses. Ironically, we as human beings don’t like to give a chance for non-violence or peace to make radical changes.

There are many questions in my mind about the peace process in Turkey. The Turkish side needs to revise their very state of reality. There is a very dark side of being. There are huge collective crimes against humanity since the Ottoman period. I am not looking for vengeance but for some kind of conscience. There is a big lack of understanding by the Turkish mind because of its very obssession with state affairs and/or faith. If the Turkish side is seriously honest about peace, they should be willing to transform the entire state. In other words, they have to re-organize or re-build the state for good.

I cannot say who killed the three people in Paris. There are many different scenarios or possibilities. There is not only one violent side in this matter. We grow up in a very violent and intolerant society. In the past, we started to give guns to our kids as gifts.  Now, they watch violent TV shows and play violent games. It is almost like a drug-addicted person who cannot quit from bad habits. The entire society became sick. If they don’t see guns or blood, dead people on TV or some murder stories in the newspapers, they almost miss something. That is the reality. In other words, we are all responsible for the circumstances today.

One thing is hard for me to understand: How are the people who are still promoting violence and ignorance able to lead the peace process? This is almost impossible.

The peace which the Turkish state is talking about has no roots. The state says the PKK should leave the armed struggle. This is theoretically true. But there are two problems here. First, the state doesn’t like to stop its own militarization. And, second, there is no official or constitutional recognition for ethnic and religious minorities. In other words, assimilation and discrimination is the very language of the country.

Kurdistan is such a killing field. It is a matter of mourning each soldier who loses his life, but with no conscience for the death of a PKK guerrilla. In other words, the Turkish state absurdly believes that the best Kurds are dead ones. The political climate will never change and peace will not come soon, unless the state is planning to make serious changes. That’s why the peace talks will not go anywhere in Turkey today. I also certainly believe that the killing of the three people in Paris is directly connected to these circumstances.

Erdogan talks a lot about peace in Turkey and the region. He appears as one of the most attractive leaders in the history of the Turkish republic. It is certain that he gains millions of people’s attention and support by his charisma. He absolutely understood how to get the attention of the masses. He knew that religon and nationalism are both sensitive issues to get their interest. He is maybe the first leader since Ottoman times to bind together Turkish nationalism and Sunni sectarian politics.

American scholar John Lukacs said something about Hitler: “Hitler’s extraordinary power, his extraordinary rise, his extraordinary success, his extraordinary appeal to his people were largely due to his conviction of the primacy of mind over matter. There is, at first sight, a paradox here. His character, and his self-discipline, were strong. Yet the fundamental source of his strength was hatred…”

Erdogan has used almost the same path as Stalin, Hitler and Ayatollah Khomeni to secure mass support. He is also a pathetic liar to the people. He is acting like a mafia leader and not like a democratic president. In one picture these leaders are very friendly – the ‘people’s helper’ – but, on their dark side, they are brutal killers. Erdogan’s own strategy is reminiscent of the development of ‘national socialism’ in Germany. Because, if we look at the picture quietly, it shows all the details of what’s happening. Erdogan has already taken control of the entire military, police force, judicial system, business and even media and art. It is total control, like Hitler’s regime. Once he became sure he was able to get control, he immediately started to destroy any element against him. That’s why he openly targeted the Kurds, Alevis and oppositionists as part of his agenda.

Sadly, he has a dual personality or unstable mentality. He is talking about peace with Kurdish people, but his war machine is continuously prepared for full-scale war. He says he believes in Kurds, but he doesn’t believe in a Kurdish problem. He says he recognizes the Alevis, but he doesn’t believe in their religious practices. He says if Alevis are Muslim, they should go the mosques. The budget for the minorities – such as Kurds, Alevis and Christians – is almost zero. He says he believes in international peace and progress, but he doesn’t believe in any diplomacy.

So, how is a solution possible, if all the responsible parties are not honest about peace? Now the Turkish government and the PKK have another table for talks. But Ankara sits on the ruins of corruption, ignorance, terror and militarization. There is no vision of non-violence or peace. Even if they are talking about peace, practically they are in the midst of a war mentality. How can we trust them? When Erdogan came to power, he often said he would “promote democracy and progress”. But now he is going in the opposite direction.

He is not only against different voices, he has also tried to provoke other countries, such as Syria. As we all know, Syria is a dictatorship but the people calling themselves the Free Syria Army are brutal as well. For many reasons, Erdogan has supported the Sunni fundamentalists against the Assad regime. But his agenda is first against the Kurds and second the Alevi people and their democratic choices in Syria after the Assad regime.

Because the fundamentalist groups have an Islamic agenda, they are also against other minorities in Syria. Erdogan is trying to advance his options in case Assad falls. His scenario is the Ottoman dream. So his international, as well as national, politics will fail.

We should also strongly criticize the PKK about their past activities. They too were not very sincere about the peace process because of their past violent activities. The PKK also needs to be self-critical, which has never happened so far. The mystical character of Ocalan has only made Kurds another kind of victims, like slaves or sacrified sheep for tyrants. The Kurdish people have been wounded, not only by the state, but also by the PKK. In the past, a lot of Kurds became victims just because they were critical of PKK policies.

I would like to end my article with some words of Gandhi: “It is not non-violence if we love those that love us. It is non-violence only when we love those that hate us”.

Copyright © 2012

4 Responses to Is there any peace talk in Turkey?
  1. vahakn
    January 27, 2013 | 05:24

    I understand your pain, I’m an armenian, you should have understood by now, what you did to your brothers and sisters. Nevertheless, you’re not even muslims

  2. kuvan
    January 28, 2013 | 15:20

    Enemey of kurds were behind the job. they spent, money out of hate to do the killing. These are the main reasons behind the killing of the three people in Paris

  3. Suleiman
    January 29, 2013 | 04:01

    Kuvan: I wish that was correct. I really hope that turns out to be right, but you don’t have proof of that. History lessons tell us that if we blindly defend each other as Lurds without and system of accountability we will eventually get burned by a group and look like idiots. Just saying

  4. Suleiman
    January 29, 2013 | 11:50

    My apologies as I don’t know why my computer keeps changing the K to L when I type Kurds. Hopefully this time it won’t happen.

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