Something's wrong with Turkey’s Kurdish peace bid

At first sight, everything seems to be on track.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) recently made official the two-year-old dialogue with Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has so far been carried out by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). It also decided to set up 11 committees to work on problem areas.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says there could be a final settlement within a few months.
A similar statement was made by Sırrı Süreyya Önder, an MP for the Kurdish problem-oriented Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who has recently visited Öcalan in the İmralı Island Prison in the Sea of Marmara. Önder went as far as to give a date for a possible settlement as next March.

Both say the dialogue process was not interrupted, despite a number of ups and downs over the last few weeks.

But both also have a number of reservations, despite the optimism that they are trying to reflect to the public. There are too many “ifs” in  their respective statements.

When Davutoğlu says, “if the parties act responsibly,” he implies a lack of trust in the PKK leadership and the HDP, which share similar grassroots.

When Önder claims that there is “a structure within the government” that is trying to hamper the talks, he is mainly implying the security forces, the military and intelligence agencies.

In the same interview with CNN Türk, Önder mentioned the establishment of a “secretariat” to serve Öcalan - both inside and outside prison - for the next level of the talks, about which there has been an agreement in principle with the government. Those words were denied within a few hours by Deputy Prime...

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