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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

PKK Declares Unilateral Truce with Turkey

I've been remiss in keeping up to date with the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) and their fight against Turkey.

I missed a potentially important development this weekend.

The PKK has declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Turkish government. This ceasefire was apparently pushed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Good move by both on this one. If the PKK stops attacking Turkey (especially from Iraqi Kurdistan), then Turkey will probably stop attacking Kurdistan and will almost certainly stop any talk of invading.

(This equals more stability for Iraqi Kurdistan. More stability in Kurdistan may or may not be good for a unified Iraq, however. The more stable Kurdistan is, the easier for them to secede.)

Unfortunately, the Turkish government and military are rejecting the ceasefire. They want an unconditional surrender. It seems to me that their choice can be to have the PKK be the IRA (ceasefire and disarmament), Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood (radical elected members of the government), or insurgency (nobody wins). The vast majority of Kurds do not want to carve a Kurdistan out of Turkey. They like being Turkish.

This is good news. The Turkish government should aggressively move forward to make peace with the PKK. It would only help ease Turkey's troubled entry into the EU.

In other news, the PKK hasn't offered a truce to Iran.

Also, here is the third part of the series of articles on life in the PKK.

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