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Posts Tagged ‘Kurdistan Workers’ Party

Öcalan’s letter

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Likes dogs, long walks on the beach....

Likes dogs, long walks on the beach….

From Abdullah Öcalan‘s much-awaited ceasefire letter, read symbolically in Diyarbakır, by BDP ministers, and on Nevruz (here):

“We have reached the point where the guns must be silenced and where ideas must speak. A new era has started, where it is politics, not guns, which is at the forefront.”

Which is all well and good, but calls into question whose politics, exactly, will be at the forefront. A sensible prediction is that with Öcalan’s letter begins a hurried process of horse-trading between the Kurds and the AKP government, which has reined in the military in preparation for such talks. Though significant concessions regarding Kurdish rights — such as language — may be made, of real significance will be the means by which such concessions are made.

Likely, this will be the start of the AKP’s efforts to reform the constitution in its favor — a bid for the much-spoken-of presidential system. With cooperation from the Kurdish ministers (nobody else wants to help), constitutional referendi become a real possibility. Either way, the Kurds will remain a minority in parliament, so this is their chance to bargain for whatever they conceive of as “ethnic rights.” Meanwhile, the AKP will try to seize a guarantor of its own power stability through a more suitable constitution.

Written by M. James

March 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Fighting Iran with Kurds

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What follows is a must-read analysis of Turkey’s new Kurdish problem by M. K. Bhadrakumar. With a few crucial twists and turns, it all boils down to the U.S.-Iran conflict—with Turkey as a beneficiary. Read the whole article (here):

U.S., Turkey, and Iraqi Kurds join hands
M. K. Bhadrakumar; Asia Times Online; Apr. 23, 2012

The tensions between Turkey and Iraq have been steadily building up, and of late they have sharply escalated. The “crisis in Iraq” referred to in the Turkish statement is Maliki’s ongoing political battle with Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, which has taken a sectarian Shi’ite-Sunni dimension. In sum, Turkey has waded into Iraq’s sectarian politics and is positioning itself on the side of the Sunnis and the Kurds.

Conceivably, Washington and Ankara are acting in tandem and there is close coordination of the US and Turkish policies toward Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. For both, the ultimate objective is to weaken Iran’s regional influence. The Obama administration hopes that Turkey’s efforts against the PKK are successful and is providing intelligence support for the military operations.

Written by M. James

April 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm

PKK a tool of “certain powers”

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Turkish ground troops have entered northern Iraq (with significant air support) in response to recent attacks by PKK militants. Erdoğan has, of course, taken the opportunity to lay blame on nebulous “powers.” (AJE)

“The PKK are subcontractors used by other forces and other powers, trying to provoke Turkish society.” [CSM]

Speaking about Israel in September, Davutoglu said that the PKK has turned into a tool for anyone who wants to harm Turkey. “Every time someone wants to bother Turkey he uses the PKK,” he said. “It is important that our Kurdish brothers pay attention to this.” (Haaretz)

But Davutoğlu probably wasn’t just referring to Israel here. More likely is that he thinks that several groups aside from Israel really have been trying to “bother Turkey” with help from the PKK.

Which would help to explain the PKK’s seemingly endless supply chain.

Written by M. James

October 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Posted in News, Politics, Turkey

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