A possible operation against Qandil
Let’s say military elements under the TAF did carry out an operation against Qandil. What would happen? What would such an operation bring? What would this operation need to achieve to be considered successful?
An operation against Qandil, and just before the elections too, is not out of the realm of possibility. The situation the AKP-Erdoğan regime has found itself in in Turkey with the elections is too important to be explained away with classical references to election logic and balances. It is clear that two plus two isn’t four in this instance, but it is a time when the result can’t be foreseen. That is why, when Erdoğan loses it won’t be just an election he lost. Political Islam ideology is ‘AKP incarnate’, and is currently paralyzed due to wrongful policies caused by anti-Kurdish sentiment, and Erdoğan losing the election will be the spiritual and ideological death of it, its profiteering, power-seeking regime and the anti-democratic fascistic structures it built. Add that to the fears about Erdoğan’s physical presence. So, it truly is a matter of life or death for Erdoğan.
Muharrem İnce and Meral Akşener are aware of how seriously Erdoğan takes the situation. They are concerned how much more of a monster this matter of life and death will bring out in Erdoğan, and how far it will drive him mad. Both presidential candidates are at a position where they can’t fathom the extent of this, and are trying to calm Erdoğan down with comments like, “Go to your corner and retire”, “take care of your grandchildren,” or at least not agitate him further. They assure him: “We won’t put you on trial, we won’t pose an existential threat.”
At such a time, it should be expected that Erdoğan will resort to anything. At the top of that list is an operation against Qandil.
The issue of an operation against Qandil is both an election operation, and the binding force in the AKP-MHP alliance. The operation against Qandil, which Bahçeli speaks of more than Erdoğan or the AKP, is the precursor for the Cumhur (“Public”) Alliance for Bahçeli. Nobody should doubt for a second that the “success” of dragging Turkey into an operation against Qandil will be used by Bahçeli more than Erdoğan. They will attempt to give a second life to the alliance with such an operation.
The motivations of the chauvinist nationalist wave, which started with the demolition of cities during the Self Government resistances and civilian massacres, and climbed high with the invasion of Afrin, will be upheld again. They will say, “Terrorism is the bane of this country, and nobody else but us can fight this.” With these arguments that leave the CHP defenseless in the political arena, yet another nail will be hammered to further build the social consciousness, already prepared to believe that Erdoğan will pave a 4-lane highway to the Moon.
Actually, an operation against Qandil is not the first choice for Erdoğan. The first choice would be to target one of the high-ranking PKK officials. Erdoğan has ordered his staff very clearly on this matter that he wants “one or several of top officials to be assassinated before the election, no matter what.” But it seems that there is a several-layer plan set in motion as precaution for various possibilities and the disappointment created by such plans. If there is an attack against top ranks, they will be satisfied with that. If not, the operation against Qandil will be put in motion and the main goal in the operation will be to target the top officials. If none of it works, a lightning operation will be carried out against symbolic targets for show.
Süleyman Soylu has taken his place behind the curtain as per the arrangement made within the AKP for this. It looks like Erdoğan saw the confidence problems and the faltering the MİT had about the issue and gave the task to Soylu. Soylu is working together with the MİT in this process, and is implementing the plan to push the HDP below the 10% election threshold on one hand as he meticulously stresses over the military operation against Qandil. A while ago, the allegations of an assassination against Erdoğan were tested to see how the society would respond to them. These alegations are the product of the same special war mentality. We can expect new allegations to be put forth on the matter.
Yes Turkey has the conditions to carry out a military operation against Qandil now. But don’t fool anyone. Because these conditions have alway been there. For the AKP, speaking of a victory and a position gained is a complete hoax in this matter, the important part is to focus on the outcome. What would happen if there is an operation against Qandil?
Here are the possibilities:
This operation will correspond to something in the regional balance. And this act is not compatible with the foreign policy of any of the regional actors. This way, the operation will be one more point in the long list of defeats in foreign policy for Erdoğan, who has been gathering protest in the region for a long time. In the Middle East, the loser is Erdoğan and the winner is the PKK. Developments in the region will continue to add to the PKK in the region particularly in the diplomatic arena.
For the administration of KDP, who have been losing prestige under the title of national policy, this will not create a release but intensify the crisis in the party further (whether the KDP is a part of this plan or just turning a blind eye). The sentiment among the people of the South that emerged after the ZAP operation will reemerge, and KDP policies will be identified as collaborating and treacherous, while PKK will be seen as the true protector of Southern Kurdistan and the people. The growing spirit of national unity can even surpass the KDP.
Because Qandil has a special position in the political landscape, the “win-win” equation will benefit the PKK at this particular time and place. On top of suffering heavy blows in the military sense, the tired old line that they “would enter Qandil and eradicate terror” would disappear. The idea that the PKK can be ended will receive another blow and the idea of an invincible PKK will achieve another victory.
Oh, and Suleyman Soylu would be unemployed.