Since the Islamic State (IS) began attacking the Kurdish-dominated Syrian town of Kobani on the Turkish border about a month ago, Turkey’s Kurds have been blaming the Turkish government for disregarding their Syrian relatives’ suffering and strongly indicated that the peace process with Turkey is on a knife's edge. Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of People’s Democracy Party (HDP), on Oct. 6 blamed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his remarks equating the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) with the IS. “If we want this process to produce a lasting peace, we should not abandon Kobani,” Demirtas said. “We do not want the Kobani resistance to deepen the rupture between the Turks and the Kurds. We want to have a permanent resolution. This requires some necessities to be fulfilled.”
Erdogan shot back Oct. 12, saying, “We don’t have any business with those taking orders from a terror organization.” The link between the PKK and the HDP is unquestionable, and Erdogan held Demirtas responsible for the death of 40 Turkish citizens after Demirtas’ called people to the streets to protest against the government regarding Kobani. Yet Demirtas also read a letter written by imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan calling on all Kurdish protesters to be calm and urging the sides to intensify the peace talks. This letter would not have been delivered to the public had it not been approved by the government. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu followed Oct. 17, stressing that Ocalan is neither granted “official negotiator” status nor is he considered the sole representative of the Kurds. On Oct. 19, Davutoglu held a 11-hour marathon with the Wise People council designated by the government.