ANKARA (Today’s Zaman)—One of the most prominent Kurdish figures, a poet who has been in exile since Turkey’s most violent coup d’état, stated that illegal and clandestine clusters structured within the state hierarchy—referred to collectively as the deep state—prevented the Kurdistan Workers’ Party from disarming.
Kemal Burkay, a Kurdish writer and poet who had to leave Turkey after the Sept. 12, 1980 coup, shared his views on recent developments with Today’s Zaman from his home in Sweden. He spoke about the possibility of the PKK laying down arms now that the government is working on a new initiative to extend the rights and freedoms of the country’s Kurds. Burkay claimed that the PKK had been formed consciously by elements of the deep state to terrorize and suppress Kurdish demands. According to Burkay, evidence included in the trial of Ergenekon, a clandestine gang charged with various crimes including overthrowing the government, confirms this assertion.
Burkay also claims that the PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan, who is serving a life term as the sole inmate of the ?mral? Island prison in the Sea of Marmara, is being held under the control of shady elements inside the state. “As long as Öcalan is not transferred to a prison under the control of the Justice Ministry, the ‘deep state’ will continue to manipulate the PKK,” Burkay said.
Burkay said that when Öcalan was captured in 1998, he had plans to make the PKK lay down arms, noting that the organization’s European branches, KADEK and Kongra-Gel, which were founded after Öcalan’s capture, were efforts by the PKK to change its name and continue its struggle in an unarmed fashion.
“Unfortunately, the ‘deep state’ did not want that to happen,” Burkay said, adding that after the year 2004, the PKK’s violent campaign was revived. He also notes that this is the same year, as stated in the prosecutors’ evidence files and the Ergenekon indictment, that some circles, including some generals in the military, were making plans to overthrow the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
He said the deep state was using the PKK the same way they have been using the Ergenekon organization. “I think this is their job. I mean, they benefit from armed clashes continuing. If not, they would be unemployed. They would lose all the privileges they have. They would fail to maintain the status quo,” he stated.
Burkay also expressed the opinion that the ongoing Ergenekon trial, in which 146 suspects including former generals, army officers and some military officers currently on active duty are facing trial for their alleged role in the organization’s efforts to trigger a coup d’état, is key to the solution of the Kurdish question.
Burkay, who is a former politician, said he supported a recently announced package by the government to extend the rights and freedoms of the Kurds. “Even this is important. Accepting the problem and realizing that it will not be solved relying on the old methods and looking for a solution through dialogue with all parties is very positive,” he said.