By bringing the legislative regulation that has been long demanded by Imrali and Qandil to parliament, the Erdogan government has taken an important step in regards to the solution process.
This bill foresees a legal framework for the ongoing 'dialogue' between the sides and may in time pave the way to negotiation. Ocalan has deemed the development historical. However, at the same time indicating that there is still much to be done to improve the bill. Yes, it is a positive development.It should heeded because it will further the 'solution process'.
At the same time, a cautious positivity should be adopted. Because legislative regulations do not mean everything. The important thing is 'application'. This is such a country that when the state wants, even the best laws can evaporate, can be taken off the stage. There are plenty of examples for this in the area of adaptation to the European Union. This is why, unlike the adherent media's euphoric headlines, it will be beneficial to think in a balanced manner.
In this regard, it may be well-advised to have a listen to what Qandil is saying. Cemil Bayik says:
"The sole passing of the bill is not enough for negotiation and also does not mean that there will be negotiation."
As the co-chair of the KCK, Cemil Bayik highlighted the following points in an interview by Veysi Sarisozen and Sedat Yilmaz for the newspaper Ozgur Gundem:
This law does not mean negotiation, nor may it mean that we will move to negotiations. As a grounding, will the state and the government take steps towards negotiations or not? This will become clear after the legislation is passed. If, as soon as the legislation is passed, they do not begin negotiations and use this to stall us, we will definitely not continue the stance we have until today. We will not hesitate in taking steps on our own path. Certain conditions must be met in order for the negotiations to commence. One of these conditions is a third party observer. Another requirement is for our leader Apo to be moved to conditions in which he is able to negotiate. Without these happening, the passing of the legislation does not mean the commencement of negotiations. They have only one path ahead of them: To negotiate. If they think there is another path, they are in negligence.
The niggling questions of the past
This is Qandil's voice. Very cautious as always... This is how Qandil has always sounded. This voice is sometimes rigid and rough-edged. Without a doubt, the final word belongs to Ocalan. But Qandil's views, to some extent, shape this 'final word'. It is worth recapping. Although the proposed new legislation is a significant and positive development for the solution process, it is deceptive to insinuate that it is done and dusted.
When we come to the sceptic approach...
Is Erdogan's move an election bribe for Kurdish voters?
Is this another stalling tactic we have been accustomed to seeing in the run-ups to previous elections?
These were witnessed in the run-ups to both the 2009 and 2011 elections.
In the run-up to not just one but two elections, these are the sceptical question marks that are once again running around in peoples minds.
Let's move on. To my second point...
Hey Hasan Cemal! Can the Kurdish question be solved by a democracy deprived Erdogan?
For some time now in this column for T24, you keep writing about how the words of Erdogan and democracy, Erdogan and law can no longer be uttered together. Erdogan's fear of democracy has almost become a recurring theme for this column.
Now answer these three questions:
1. How can a democratically and legally deprived Erdogan bring about a solution to the Kurdish question, synonymous with peace and democracy in Turkey?
2. How can a Tayyip Erdogan that is still incapable of using the word Kurd in a draft legislation he presents to parliament, or prefers to name the problem as a terror question rather than a Kurdish question be expected to put the problem on a path to solution?
3. How can a Tayyip Erdogan that you deem democratically and legally deprived come side by side with a KCK that published a statement after the local elections of 30 March rightfully claiming that "Without a solution to the Kurdish question Turkey cannot democratise, without the democratisation of Turkey the Kurdish question cannot be solved"?
Hey Hasan Cemal!
Give an answer.
The answer: My suspicions underlined in the three questions above are still valid of course!
Translated with the permission of Hasan Cemal from T24.com.
- Hasan Cemal