In a recent article, the Economist stated that,“Turkey’s president must give up trying to crush the Kurds. Instead, he should reopen peace talks.” We would like to ask why the Economist, a publication with both history and prestige, offers its readers such superficial writing on Turkey.
In that one sentence, the Economist makes the following errors. First of all, Turkey’s President is not trying to “to crush the Kurds.” In reality, Turkish security forces — not the Turkish President — fight against the PKK. The PKK is an armed leftist militant group which does not represent all Kurdish people, so the Turkish security forces are not fighting “the Kurds.” Many voters in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority areas voted for the AKP in the past thirteen years, for example.
Furthermore, the PKK unilaterally ended the recent ceasefire, resumed armed struggle in summer 2015, and threatened Turkey with further attacks. Since then, PKK attacks have killed over one hundred security officials and civilians. As a result, the responsibility for ending the ceasefire does not lie with the Turkish state, but with the PKK.
Finally, urging the reopening of peace talks is good, but most likely futile when the side that ended the peace negotiations is also the side that has to be convinced to go back to the negotiating table. For that reason, it would be much more appropriate for the Economist to urge the PKK to return to the negotiating table.
The article ended by explaining that, “It will be impossible to end the civil war in Syria if Mr Erdogan insists on waging a war of his own in Turkey.” We want to remind the Economist that the cause of the Syrian civil war is the Assad regime, not Mr. Erdogan. Since 2011, the Assad regime has killed hundreds of thousands of its own citizens, and forced millions to flee from Syria to surrounding countries. Therefore, it is far more reasonable to establish a connection between the end of the Syrian war and the Assad regime, rather than with Mr. Erdogan.