Karl Marx said, “All science would be superfluous if the outward appearance and the essence of things directly coincided.” This powerful maxim was a parallel to, “The less apparent the internal workings of economics, the more obvious they appear to vulgar economists.” It is probably the same as saying, the shallower the reflections in the media of social and political relations, the more obvious their true nature manifests to vulgar interpreters.
On 19 September, a news story appeared simultaneously on a broad spectrum of media channels: “Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu […] spoke in the first part of the documentary, ‘Mr Kemal and his allies,’ dealing with the Kurdish question.”
He said, “We need a legitimate organ to solve the Kurdish question. The institution you call the state cannot be addressed by an organ that has no legitimacy,” and he continued: “For example, İmralı [Prison – where the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan is held] is not a legitimate organ […] If this question is to be solved, we can solve it with a legitimate organ, with the HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party]. For this reason, I believe the HDP should be in the [General] Assembly.’”
Sezai Temelli, [a political scientist], responded to this in his Twitter account, saying, “The main actor generating and facilitating democratic politics in the name of solving this question is the HDP. But […] the address and the actual addressee are İmralı,” upon which all hell broke loose.
The rumours that arose from where the arguments stopped were varied: “What does Kılıçdaroğlu mean by making this statement today of all days?”, “How could Temelli give such an irresponsible reponse under these conditions?,” “What day was the HDP going to stop?”, “Was this a move by international forces?,” “Yes, it was,” “No, it can’t have been!,” “At last the HDP has shown its true face,” etc, etc …
Whereas, as it happens, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu did not make a statement to anyone the other day. These words were expressed in a conversation with Gönül Tol, the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Centre for Turkish Studies, published on the web page of that institution on 12 November 2020.
It is strange, but no-one other than The Voice of America and Aydınlık thought it was newsworthy at the time. Everyone had covered their ears. And during the whole of his time in the joint leadership of the HDP, Temelli had never concealed his opinions regarding “addressing Öcalan.” For example, on 12 May 2019 he made a call for an end to the isolation policy at İmralı, saying, “If you want peace in this country, […] you need to achieve a solution to the Kurdish question. And the person to be addressed in this matter is Mr Öcalan”, but no-one chastised him then.
The truth is, if it had not been served up and whipped up in that manner, all of a sudden the other day, it would have remained simply that a couple of years ago Kılıçdaroğlu mentioned that “the HDP are the people to address in the Kurdish question” and Temelli remarked that “Öcalan is the person to address it to.”
This shows that the actual news story is not that Kılıçdaroğlu “spoke to a documentary” the other day, but that something he said a couple of years ago was served up as, “Ohhhhh, look what Kılıçdaroğlu said.” If this is the case, then the real question should not be, “What did Kılıçdaroğlu say the other day?” but “Why was this thing he said served up again over a year later?”
At the same time, can it be right that when he was joint leader of the HDP, Temelli expressed the opinion every day that “Öcalan is the person to address” and nobody took any notice, but now that he expresses it, having no official title at all, he is suddenly regarded as speaking on behalf of the HDP, and both he and the HDP are being stoned and interrogated?
If we lift up the stereotyped prejudices and cliches and stir around underneath, as Marx said, it becomes clear that the essence of the truth of the superficial appearance and its facts are not immediately apparent to the eye, and instead of having an idea about the reality of what is visible and what one is confined to, they have become distanced from the facts and are stupefied. Of course, it is not for ‘no reason’ that Kılıçdaroğlu is now being served up as seeing the HDP as “legitimate” and seeing Öcalan as “not legitimate.”
Tayyip Erdoğan’s branding of the HDP, certainly a ‘legitimate’ political party acting within legal boundaries, as a ‘terror organisation’ as well as his countless attempts at breaking its political influence, and the stories on his systematically forcing Öcalan -whom he’s keeping under absolute isolation in İmralı for being the ‘leader of a terrorist organisation’ – to support him politically, are obviously related. The question of the day is, ‘Who will the Kurds favour/be made to favour: the administration or the opposition?’
In truth, the discussion of whether the HDP or Öcalan is “legitimate” is a completely superficial and contrived discussion in connection with the historical – that is, social – quality of the “Kurdish Question.”
And today, Öcalan, who lit the fires of rebellion that is ongoing in the territories of three different countries, and the HDP, the political representative in Turkey of the people who gave birth to that rebellion, are the direct manifestations of the same Question. If they had not originated from such historically deep roots, neither the chronic rebellion that no state power could extinguish, nor the political and civilian movements in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria would exist.
Ironically, just like the ongoing rebellion, the civilian political structures which emerged within the last 20-30 years initially took shape in Öcalan’s mind. Obviously, Kılıçdaroğlu’s recent emphasis on the ‘legitimacy’ of the HDP and the confirmation of this by the spokesperson of the ally İYİ Party are fundementally different from the AKP-MHP-Ergenekon approach that is based on ‘getting rid of’ both the HDP and the ‘rebellion’.
However, the emphasis on ‘the legitimacy’ of the HDP is actually an act of courting in order to cover up the misconduct of criminalising the ‘rebellion.’ By assigning a mission to the HDP, will Kılıçdaroğlu not partake in the elimination policy, thus continue to eternally provoke the origination of the rebellion just like his political rivals?
Since all ‘statist’ political approaches which deny that the historical question at hand -calling for a resolution – is a ‘people’s rebellion’ and instead tend to see it through a prism of ‘terrorism’ are destined to eventually evolve into a policy of elimination of the ‘rebellion’ and the ‘rebels,’ it is certainly a debt owed to humanity to make a call for the political entities to approach this historical process through the eyes of the rebels.
On the other hand, it is also the right of the Kurdish people to expect a politician -determined to pay this debt – to choose the right words in order not to hurt any of its children as he or she is summoning a great majority – who thinks otherwise – to accomplish this humane mission. These are the days when the words are greater than the facts.