Easier Said Than Done: Turkey Tries To Cope With Its Kurdish Problem (On Turkey)

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With Turkish soft power at its height, Mr. Ocalan, a ruthless egomaniac, giddily imagined a new regional order where Turks and Kurds might prevail. In hindsight it is clear that Mr.

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The Kurds refused. The peace talks collapsed along with a two-and-a-half-year cease-fire. Turkey proceeded to jail its democratically elected Kurdish lawmakers, who might have helped sideline P. Ocalan has been held incommunicado ever since. But such brinkmanship is fraught with danger. Violence between Turks and Kurds inside Turkey, miraculously averted thus far, could erupt. A new generation of Kurds who see no common future with Turkey will continue to swell the P.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently stated that American troops would stay on in Syria after the battle against the Islamic State, to counter Iranian influence and to squeeze the Syrian regime until Bashar al-Assad is forced to step down. It is uncertain whether the United States is prepared to commit the thousands of troops and billions of dollars that such an endeavor would require.

Afrin could be Turkey’s Vietnam, veteran Kurdish politician says

Or whether the United States is ready to offer the Syrian Kurds the diplomatic recognition they crave. Without a firm answer, Mr. They view the relationship with the United States as leverage for a better deal from the Assad regime. The fertile and oil-rich territories the Kurds hold thanks to American air power can be bartered for some form of autonomy. Wary of a ripple effect among its own rebellious Kurds, Iran would certainly oppose moves that would grant their Syrian cousins greater rights.

But it is worth a try. However, the notion that the P. American pressure will only harden Mr. Erdogan and the Turkish public against the Kurds.

Turkey and the P. Despite his authoritarianism, Mr. In the Turkish case, the peace process was implemented successfully at a time when democracy was in regression. This also applies the other way around: ethnic conflict is not necessarily the ultimate obstacle to democratic consolidation in conflict-ridden societies. Again, in the Turkish case, the temporary end to the conflict had no positive impact on furthering Turkish democracy.

Second, conflict actors may prefer to strike agreements with strong leaders or majoritarian political parties at the expense of democratic consolidation. Some Kurdish groups now advocate this strategy, cutting across any positive one-to-one relationship between democracy and intra-ethnic conflict resolution.

Third, the Turkish case points to the need to distinguish between the initiation of intra-ethnic conflict resolution and itssustainabilityover time. The significance of democracy for conflict resolution is likely to increase when the sustainability of peace is at stake. In other words, once peace is made, it may be difficult to sustain for a long time in the absence of democracy. The strong leadership that pushes through a peace deal today can easily reignite conflict for political gain tomorrow. Similarly, initial plans for a resolution may fail in the medium to long run when the curbing of fundamental freedoms and the erosion of the rule of law may keep ethnic tensions alive and polarization in society high.

The overwhelming fear of Kurdish separatism prevents Turkey from having a foreign policy vision in its southern neighborhood. The opinions expressed in this article are the responsibility of the authors.

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In fact, he was already president then; they were trying to act as a check on his power. Follow the conversation— Sign up to receive email updates when comments are posted to this article. There can not be democracy when PKK attacks Turkish people day after day, year after year. There are about 16 million Kurds living in Turkey, evidently they were not killed.

Kurds do not want equality, they want land for their own state. I rather give land to Syrians than Kurds! Erdogan was already President. The opposition was to his drive to become the untrammelled "Executive President" with the powers of complete dictatorship.

Powers which he was already abusing at the time.

Turkey’s Kurdish Conflict and Retreat From Democracy

Shame on Carnegie for publishing this unbalanced pro-AKP propaganda. Spanner48 is the one making gross statements here, as the article said nothing as you quoted, and so your accusation of 'gross distortion' is itself a gross distortion. The article talks of HDP's pledge to restrict Erdogan's powers, which is true - and right - because isn't that exactly the concern - the President's increase of power?

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I didn't read this article as a particularly pro-AKP piece, even if I don't agree with all of what it says. There are hundreds of Kurdish deputies in Turkish assembly and there are also ministers but PKK looks them as traitor and tries to kill them.

PKK killed hundreds of Kurdish politicians against them. There are so much relationships between Kurds and Turks that it is impossible to separate them. There are two millions of Kurds only in İstanbul and there are millions of families who have Kurdish and Turkish relatives. West and US are giving arms to groups in M. East but they dont try to make peace between them. There are Turks,Arabs,Kurds,Sunnis,Shias and they are brothers and sisters and make peace and live together. Sowers of hatred,conflict and separation are real enemy of M.

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Print Page 4. Sign up for weekly updates from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace If you enjoyed reading this, subscribe for more! Rising Democracies Network. Fuat Keyman E.