2013 started out with many prospects for peace for the Kurds. Finally it seemed that proper negotiations would take place and that the brave resistance of the approximately thousands of Kurdish hunger strikers in the Turkish prisons had paid off. Kurdish BDP politicians Ahmet Turk and Ayla Akat Ata went to see the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali. Talks resumed between the PKK and the AKP government of Turkey in what was expected by many to be the resolution we all had been waiting for.
Then last night at around 1 am, the bodies of Sakine Cansiz, one of the co-founders of the PKK, and Kurdish activists Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez, were found in the Kurdish Information Centre in Paris.
There are many question marks as to why this has happened and why these three female politicians have been targeted. It is yet to soon for concrete answers but many questions have been raised as to why, and how this happened and who ordered the murders.
While old wounds from the assassinations of Kurdish politicians Qasemlou and Sharafkandi from the PDKI in 1989 and 1992 respectively, are still unhealed, suspicions rise as to the role Iran might have played in this tragedy.
The current situation in the Middle East leaves no country unaffected and a peace process underway in Turkey with the Kurds would mean a more likely transition to re-negotiations between the Kurds and Iran, or an outbreak of war.
Another aspect is the role NATO could have played in this tragedy to discreetly stir up the tensions and thus allow for movement in the region, and as a result benefitting NATO’s own aims and aspirations in the Middle East.
Last but not least, Turkey is seen as the perpetrator even though random murders such as these are more something expected from Iran. What would Turkey gain in murdering these Kurdish politicians? Many claim that it is not about gaining as much as about having an opportunity to continue as before but now being able to hide behind the safe walls of a “peace dialogue”.
The hope of 2013 becoming the year of peace is still there.
It now all depends on how much support Turkey and the International community can show the Kurdish people and how long it will take to heal these wounds of 2013.