Situation in Southeastern Turkey is unstable
On August 15, 1984 at 09.40 pm the PKK made its first armed attack at military outposts in Eruh and Şemdinli of southeastern Turkey. It was the day that began the armed struggle of the organisation under the leadership of Abdullah Öcalan.
Thirty-one years after these attacks, the situation in the country has reached a critical point, with the government reacting strongly to the action of the PKK inside Turkey, and with Kurds threatening to declare the autonomy of southeastern Turkey. Attempts to resolve the Kurdish problem along with the temporary ceasefire have effectively ended.
Over the past 45 days, following the end of the ceasefire, 55 Turkish soldiers and according to the Turkish armed forces hundreds of PKK members have been killed in the fighting.
Gülten Kışanak, mayor of Diyarbakir, the city which the Kurds of Turkey consider their stronghold, reacted to the arrests of Kurdish mayors, as well as in the murder of Kevşer Eltürk, who was a member of the PKK and according with the Kurds was tortured, murdered and her dead body was dragged through the streets as an example. Evidence of this have been posted on the internet.
“What happened with the girl in the Warta region was unacceptable. Someone will answer for this. Not only does the State not do anything to bring those who did this atrocity to justice, it comes and arrests my mayors. As it is, I will declare the autonomy. They can’t play with the pride of a people. There are so many murders, so many illegalities. Which of these has the state investigated? If there is the request of a people for autonomy, then this is a political demand. If you have an answer to this you should give it through politics. And not by force. We arrive at the point beyond the limits of our patience”, Kisanak said.
These statements were preceded by arrests from police authorities of mayors of the many towns that declared their autonomy within Turkey! “Those who accuse the democratic autonomy as secession are those who have no policy to find a solution to the Kurdish issue… Self-governments are steps in the strengthening and unity of Turkey, as the Kurds do not intend to become independent, they just wanting to govern themselves and have local democracy”, says the announcement of the KCK, which is the offshoot of the PKK in the cities.
“Erdogan is behind all this”.
“The elections on June 7 had raised a barrier on presidential dreams of Erdogan. For the first time he lost in the election. Immediately after, however, he exercised a policy that did not allow the operation of the Parliament, demonised the HDP (pro-Kurdish party), created a sense of priority to safety in order to cancel the result of June 7 and lead the country again to election. This policy may have succeeded, but the fact that he won is equivalent to the country losing. Blood flows once again in Turkey”, says the political analyst Cengiz Çandar.
Snap elections with the hope that HDP will be defeated
It did not come as a surprise to a lot of people that president Erdogan did not give a mandate to form a government to the president of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
Ahmet Davutoglu returned the mandate he had received to form a government, since after over 40 days he did not manage to come to an agreement with the other political parties. Erdogan is expected to give a mandate to the President of Parliament Ismet Yilmaz to form a caretaker government with the participation of all parties that would lead the country to elections on November 1, as was announced by the president of Turkey.
Political uncertainty and conflicts have a negative impact on the Turkish economy. The Turkish lira has been depreciated by 10% against the dollar since the elections and almost by 30% in 2015.
This situation increases the public debt, but more importantly it creates problems to the large consortia that have undertaken the enormous public works that are under construction in the country, since they have taken loans in foreign currency. The consortium responsible for building the new airport in Istanbul has estimated the construction cost and rents to the public at USD 30 billion.
Political analysts believe that the goal of Erdogan is the clear electoral victory of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the formation of a self-reliant government and then the transition to a presidential system with increased executive superpowers to the president.
Indeed, he does not hide his goals, as last week he said that “in practice the form of polity has changed. It remains for this to be formalised with the relevant legal framework”.
Opposition parties speak of the “confession of a coup”.