Kurdish Expansion II: Is Spanish Model Applicable for Turkey (?)


In the previous article, we focused on the fact that in Spanish model “zonal state“, the principle of impartibility of state is protected while country is separated into (ethnical structure, language, religion, etc) parts with regard to various diversities in the communal structure and same religions are given administrative and political authonomies. In this respect, zonal state is accepted as an “hybrid“ state model that is between unitary and federal state models. In these days when Kurdish expansion is being debated, a mandatory connection between “PKK terrorism“ and “democracy“ is established, the discussion is being performed in the terms of PKK and DTP and sadly, we see that political demands, which hide in an issue of human rights and democracy which actually does not exist at all, are again debated with the terms of PKK and DTP in the public opinion
However, suggestions offered both by the leader of terrorist organization and DTP are displaying the confusion that they have in mind. These suggestions (even calling these declarations as suggestions is a total mistake) does not comply with any of the state and confederation models such as unitary, zonal and federal.

DTP prepared a declaration after the meetings held with the name of “Democratic Society Congress“ between 26-28 October 2007 in Diyarbakır. In the declaration, it is stated that the Kurdish problem which is defined as democratization problem of Turkish Republic “can be resolved only if Kurdish community is given democratic autonomy“. In these meetings attended by 600 delegates mostly of DTP, the demands that “Öcalan should be contacted in this process as the leader of Kurdish people“, “Imralı practices towards him should be terminated“, “an environment in which he can communicate with community should be created“ and “his transfer to a different prison should be made“ were also mentioned.
The most outstanding demand of DTP is “zonal assembly“. What they want is not a federal or ethnics-based autonomous administration, they want a cascade administrative structure between provinces and central administration. The establishment of a “regional“ structure in which cultural diversities are expressed instead of an ethnics or territory based autonomy understanding is the main content of this declaration. According to the declaration, regions will be called with the names of the biggest city of the zonal assembly and governors of these cities will be implementing the decisions both accepted by central administration and zonal executive councils. DTP claims that this way, “What was not actualized under the concept of democratization at the times of the establishment of the Republic could now be achieved“. That the concept of “nation“ in the Constitute should be changed to “the Nation of Turkey“, recognition of Kurdish nation as a component of the nation of Turkey and “a different flag“ are among the demands of DTP.

As it can be seen , the themes debated under the Kurdish expansion in the public opinion do correspond to the declaration accepted by DTP in 2007. Now one more factor shall be added to the project: the recognition to the regions the right to create their own public security forces and armies.

We again have to underline the fact that these demands of DTP cannot be placed in any of unitary, zonal or federal state models and confederation models.
Partisans of DTP and the leader of terrorist organization sometimes declare that the Constitution of 1921, which the first Constitution of our Republic, shall be accepted fundamental for the resolution and they start discussions about the Constitution of 1924 and the foundation philosophy of our Republic. The Constitution of 1921 gave serious amount of autonomy to regional administrations and was close to the Spanish model. However, the autonomy here is not still political but “administrative“. Because provinces given the authority to regulate in some certain areas do perform these authorities under laws according to the 11 Article of the Constitution. Of course this is the subject of another discussion. Writing more about it would be a waste of time at the moment.
Again while there is no legal idea or offer, discussing the applicability of Spanish model to Turkey in legal terms would be meaningless. Besides state models are shaped on traditions, political cultures and socio-economic structures. For this reason, we will simply compare Spain and Turkey at the moment:




In Basque, Catalonia and Galicia regions where separatist movements are powerful,per capita income is way beyond the average of Spain. For example, Basque region is one of the richest regions of Spain with its per capita income being 32,680 dollars. This rate is also beyond the average of European Union. The demands for autonomy in Spain somehow base on “financial autonomy“ demands. Especially rich Basque and Catalan regions do fiercely object to transfer the taxes collected from them to other regions.

In regions where Kurdish citizens mostly in which are East and Southeastern Anatolia regions, per capita income is below 3.500 dollars.
Different from the Spanish model, the taxes collected from these regions correspond to nearly %20 of the expenses invested by the state in these regions. Eastern regions of Turkey are financed by the Western regions of the country.

The population of Catalans is 7 millions, Basque population is 2 millions and Galicia population is 2.5 millions in Spain where total population is 42 millions. As intense immigration movements are not seen due to historical and economic reasons, there are no social immigration related problems experienced between other regions and these three regions.

Our Kurdish citizens whose population is predicted to be between-15 millions, settle in the Western regions of our country too. Intense immigrations from rural to urban harm the process of “urbanization“ of our Eastern cities by destroying their city culture and pattern.

In terms of Language
In a population census made in 1984, it was found out that %23 of the population could understand, %21 of population could speak, %13 could read and %10 could write the Basque language. Catalan language is some kind of an European language spoken in the Mediterrenean shores of Spain, especially in Barcelona. This language is very similar to Spanish language. The language of Galicia is similar to Portuguese. Similar to the Catalan language, the use of this language is also very limited.

Apart from the divisions of Kurmançi (North Kurdish language) and Sorani (Central Kurdish language), the Kurdish language is widely spoken. While there is no one not knowing Spanish (Castilian) language in Spain, there are still people in our country who does not speak Turkish at all.

In terms of Violence and Reaction for Violence
ETA has been responsible for 800 deaths ever since it was established. ETA, becoming popular with its bomb attacks carried out in cities rather than rural, has a very limited number of members. The convicts of ETA have been allocated to different prisons in the country and they do not have any opportunity to practice common actions. The actions of ETA are not disapproved in the Basque region. After every action the public of Basque carry banners saying “Do not shame the public of Basque“ in the streets. In other regions people use banners on which the writing of “bastardos“ is written. Even after the death of a police soldier, people stand in silent homage for 5 minutes in every region of Spain.

Different from ETA the number of militants of PKK, which is a rural guerilla and responsible for the death of 30 thousand people, changes between 3-5 thousand from time to time. The prisons in Turkey are like training institutions for PKK militants. Amnesties for the prisoners do not bring about desired results as in the Spain implementation. The actions of PKK are indirectly supported by DTP. While Spanish Constitutional Court and ECHR has accepted Herri Batasuna’s being objective towards terrorism as a reason for its closure, DTP can openly express that it stays equal to both sides “state and PKK“ in Turkey. The Eruh attacks of PKK were celebrated by DTP in 15 August 2009 under the name of “Eruh Festivals“ in its 25th anniversary! In this festival(!) celebrated by thousands, DTP statesmen and old terrorists taking part in armed attacks and evacuated from prisons after amnesties were greeted with applauses and flowers.

In Terms of Political Parties
The political party range of these three regions is considerably wide and colorful. Political parties can adopt socialist, communist, nationalist or Catholic identities in every region. The dominant demand of parties is not independence but autonomy. Violence prone parties are seen as marginal. The amount of votes for Herri Batasuna which is the political cabinet of ETA in Basque region is around % 10. People who are “terrorist“ and who has “separatist opinions“ are differentiated in Spain. Every kind of political organizations in Spain can be set up only if there are not applying to violence.

The only party doing politics with Kurdish identity is DTP. The unrivaled attitude of DTP prevents the diversification and refining of the demands of Kurdish society. A new movement with the name of “Change List“ apart from KDP and KYB in the selections carried out in North Iraq in July has constituted a different option. However the dominant position of DTP in Turkey is a serious obstacle in giving voice to different demands of Kurdish community. Moreover this party has more than %50 votes in some regions of the country, being different from Herri Batasuna in the Basque example. Of course another subject that supports this process and makes DTP unrivaled is the party closure decisions of Constitutional Court. Many political parties which did not support violence but demanded autonomy were closed by Constitutional Court in 1990’s. The interpretation of freedom for expression and establishing organizations without exception between “terrorist“ and “separatist movements“ by our Constitutional Court has led the situation for our Kurdish citizens to have no other option apart from DTP.

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