What will Öcalan's call for peace achieve?
Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdish PKK, has called on the Turkish government and his supporters to resume peace talks. This was the first time he had been allowed to receive visitors since the Turkish peace process with the Kurds was broken off last year. Turkish commentators doubt that his call for peace will be heeded by the conflicting parties.
Government not interested in peace
The message of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan will go unheeded by the Turkish government, the oppositional news site T24 suspects:
“Since the peace process ended [in the summer of 2015] and amidst the escalating war, Erdoğan, above all, has grown stronger. He is the one who shapes public opinion. With every point the organisation [the PKK] loses through its actions, he grows stronger. … The state feels strong and thinks that it will soon be able to chalk up the current phase as a victory. The government decided to allow a meeting with Öcalan only because it didn't want the tensions regarding his state of health to escalate unnecessarily because that could play right into the PKK's hands. But the government believes this could hurt the PKK's image and also weaken the [pro-Kurdish] HDP. It thinks it can reach a solution by persuading the Kurdish citizens. But for 30 years attempts have been made to persuade the Kurds - in vain.”
PKK won't listen to its leader
The KCK, the armed branch of the PKK, won't heed Öcalan's call for peace because the victories of the Syrian Kurds have led it to believe it is in the ascendant right now, Hürriyet comments:
“Turkey made an attempt at a peace process but the PKK sabotaged it because of its obsession with turning it into a country like Syria. Today Turkey's position in Syria is stronger. ... In Turkey, on the other hand, armed and totalitarian methods are not a solution; it's clear that they only bring blood and tears. Now the government must start thinking about how to convince the KCK leadership in [Iraq's] Qandil Mountains to listen to Öcalan's call, silence its weapons and instead let ideas and politicians do the talking. It's clear that Turkey needs to improve the quality of its democracy and make more friends in the fight against terror. By the same token the Syrian crisis must be ended immediately with the help of a temporary arrangement.”