The solution process, or the lack of, played an important role in the shaping of politics within the Turkish state and Northern Kurdistan, the understanding of the PKK and the importance of Rojava. A brief timeline of the solution process is as follows:
In late December 2012, the Erdogan regime would make preparations for a solution to the long-standing Kurdish question.
The isolation imposed on the peoples’ leader, Abdullah Ocalan, would be briefly lifted after over 10 years.
On Wednesday 28 December 2012, Erdogan revealed that the Turkish National Intelligence Organization had been visiting Abdullah Öcalan to find a solution to end the conflict.
On 9 January 2013, the founding member of the PKK Sakine Cansız and Kurdish activists Fidan Doğan and Leyla Saylemez were assassinated by Turkish Intelligence in Paris.
In February 2013, a delegation formed of pro-Kurdish BDP visited the Peoples’ Leader Abdullah Ocalan on İmralı island. The delegation, which was granted special authorization by the Ministry of Justice to hold deliberations with Abdullah Öcalan, heard out the leader’s proposed roadmap for the government to put an end to the issue of terrorism in the country. The Peoples’ Leader also passed on letters to PKK headquarters, the European administration and to the public via the BDP delegation.
On 13 March 2013, the PKK freed eight Turkish prisoners held for two years in the PKK headquarters per the request of the Peoples’ Leader.
On 21 March 2013, the HDP delegation would read a historic letter written by the Leader Abdullah Ocalan during Kurdish new year celebrations. For the first time, the peoples’ leader would command the PKK to withdraw from occupied Northern Kurdistan as a gesture of genuineness to the solution process. The leader would share, “let the guns be hushed, now is the time for ideas to speak.”
On 25 March 2013, Murat Karayilan, the commander of the PKK’s army division would declare unconditional retreat by the PKK from Northern Kurdistan by 8 May.
By 8 May, the PKK had retreated a majority of its armed forces from the region per the demand of the Peoples’ Leader.
The second phase of the solution process oversaw constitutional and legal changes towards the recognition of human rights of the Kurds which was set to start simultaneously with withdrawal. But progress in the solution process soon came to a halt.
In September 2014, evidence surfaced of Turkish aid to ISIS in neighbouring Kobane. On October 2014, PKK co-ordination member Cemil Bayik commented on a Rojava occupation bill which passed through Turkish parliament, stating, “the law officialising the occupation in Rojava is a law that legitimises occupation.”
On 2 October 2014, the Peoples’ Leader Abdullah Ocalan stated that if the Kurdish city Kobane, which had been under the siege of ISIS for 18 days, falls, the solution process will end. The leader stated, “the Kobane siege not only targets Kurdish democratic achievements but is also a coup to the people of Turkey.”
Mass demonstrations were held throughout Turkey and Northern Kurdistan. Hundreds of thousands poured to the streets while masses of youth mobilised on the Turkish occupation borders between northern and western Kurdistan, the conflict in Rojava poured to the streets of Istanbul. The Turkish state had made a fatal mistake: the window-dressing solution process which was launched to steer attention away from Rojava to Bakur to allow a successful occupation operation and an economic lifeline through ISIS-controlled pipelines, was flawed. The attacks in Kobane, and Rojava altogether, became the strongest link to national unity across all parts of Kurdistan, (hence why it is under fire today).
After a period of no progress, isolation was re-imposed on the peoples’ leader, Abdullah Ocalan in April 2015.
On 7 June 2015 following no signs of a solution to the Kurdish question, a Turkish general election would provide major gain to the Pro-Kurdish HDP and notable decrease for AKP.
On 31 July, the PKK stated that if action is not taken in regards to the solution process, the retreats would be reversed. The Media Defence Areas, under the control of the PKK, were bombarded by 150 warplanes, non-stop for a week.
With all democratic roads to human rights exhausted, a truce breached by the Turkish state and an illegalised population of 45 million, the solution process, if there was any, had ended.
In August 2015, the Kurdish peoples declared autonomy from the massacring Turkish state in Cizîr (Cizre), Sûr (Sur), Sılopıya (Silopi), Farqîn (Silvan), Gever (Yüksekova), Nisêbîn (Nusaybin), Dêrika Çiyayê Mazî (Derik), Kerboran (Dargeçit), Şirnex (Şırnak), and Gimgim (Varto).
Letters titled ‘to the press’ were read:
“We are protecting our free will in the face of the genocidal policies of the Turkish state. For many years the occupying Turkish state has been implementing policies of assimilation and physical and cultural genocide against our peoples. It has been aiming to annihilate the Kurdish people for many years. Today, the looting, massacring enemy has launched another attack to wipe our peoples out of existence. Against these attacks, as a basic human right, our people have taken the decision to impose autonomy under the leadership of the youth.
Over the years the Turkish state has burnt down over 4,000 Kurdish villages, has killed hundreds of and with torture has tried to force our identity into surrender. It has tried to liquidate us, it has burned us alive. On our roads, they have killed innocent people. Thousands have been arrested for speaking their mother tongue. It has used warplanes against civilians. Was this not terrorism? Today on Kurdish streets, the Turkish state continues to kill children, women, the elderly. Is this not terrorism?
The self-defence of our peoples has been labelled as terrorism. As much as our struggle is for the existence of the Kurdish people, it is for the Turkish people and the whole of humanity. We call through the free press, that the actual terrorism is not remained silent against.”
To be continued..