View Full Version : The Kurds are a changing

11-10-2007, 12:10 AM
Turkish-Kurd tensions spill into Europe's streets

Here. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20071108/wl_csm/osoot2)

Berlin - The simmering tensions in Turkey's Kurdish southeast are not only playing out along the country's border with Iraq, where the military has amassed tens of thousands of troops following renewed clashes with Kurdish rebels holed up in Iraq's mountainous north. They're also spilling onto the streets of European cities from Berlin to Brussels to Innsbruck, Austria.

This weekend, authorities are braced for another round of protests in the German capital, where two weeks ago Turkish ultranationalists attacked a Kurdish cultural center, wielding machetes and injuring dozens of people. Last weekend, some 600 mainly Kurdish protesters returned to Hermannplatz – a square in Berlin's heavily immigrant Neukölln district – to inform the public of their view: that Turkey is still repressing the Kurdish people.

I don't quite know what to make of this. As I read it I was reminded of this report from earlier this year:

Iraq's Shadow Widens Sunni-Shiite Spit in US

Here. (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/us/04muslim.html?_r=1&oref=slogin)

Twice recently, vandals have shattered windows at three mosques and a dozen businesses popular among Shiite Muslims along Warren Avenue, the spine of the Arab community here.

Although the police have arrested no one, most in Dearborn’s Iraqi Shiite community blame the Sunni Muslims.

06-27-2008, 06:03 PM
The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor, 26 Jun 08:

Kurdish Activism in Europe: Terrorism versus Europeanization (http://www.jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2374265)

Two very different forms of Kurdish activism oppose each other in Europe. The largely unnoticed development of opposing forces could be exploited by European diplomats to terminate terrorist activities carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and soften Europe’s relationship with Turkey. The “old” form of Kurdish activism consists of terrorist attacks, training and fundraising in Europe by PKK members. The “new” form of activism relies on legal and democratic means. While the former takes advantage of the lack of European counter-terrorism cooperation, the latter finds its force in the new powers implemented by the EU. The reinforcement of the “new” Kurdish activism, and the weakening of the “old” terrorism, could facilitate the process of Turkish adhesion to the EU.....

08-03-2009, 05:22 AM
From The Economist: Turkish foreign policy: Dreams from their fathers (http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14098427)

Some credit is due to Mr Davutoglu, who was a foreign-policy adviser to the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for seven years before becoming foreign minister in May. This spry former academic is seen as the architect of Turkey’s soft power, which blends realpolitik with a fierce pride. A pious Muslim with a moralistic bent, Mr Davutoglu has been among the most influential foreign ministers in the history of the Turkish republic.

His approach rests on two pillars. One is to have “zero problems” with the neighbours, many of them troubled or troublesome. The other is “strategic depth”. This calls for a Turkish zone of political, economic and cultural influence, primarily among neighbours (many of them former Ottoman dominions) in the Balkans, the south Caucasus and the Middle East.

Turkey’s strategic location had once again proven decisive. As American forces withdraw from Iraq, Turkey is seeking to avert a looming conflict between the Arabs and the Kurds, especially over the disputed city of Kirkuk. Turkey urged Iraq’s Sunnis not to boycott elections in 2005. Mr Davutoglu is again lobbying to ensure that all Iraqi groups take part in the parliamentary election in January 2010. “We have excellent relations with the United States at every level,” he says.

01-10-2011, 04:33 PM
FIIA, 10 Jan 11: One Question, Any Answers? The EU's Role in Solving the Kurdish Question in Turkey

• The Kurdish question in Turkey is one of the most pressing issues facing the EU in its near neighbourhood. It has the potential to destabilise the region, with ramifications for the EU.
• The EU has failed to facilitate a solution to the Kurdish question in the framework of Turkey’s EU accession process. This is due in part to its non-conclusive policies towards Turkey in general and the Kurdish question in particular.
• The Turkish government is currently leading the mediation process on the Kurdish question, but lacks adequate legitimacy across the whole political spectrum to find a holistic and lasting solution.
• By taking a more active role in finding a solution to the Kurdish question, the EU could breathe new life into EU-Turkey relations and enhance its global role.
• The EU can either take a passive approach and apply stricter conditionality with clear goals, or an active role and offer to take part in the mediation process.
• Applying more conditionality is a politically viable but ineffective option. To give it the maximum boost, it would have to be coupled with strong EU support for enhancing political legitimacy in Turkey.
• Mediation is an effective yet politically ambitious option. It would allow the EU to use its post-Lisbon competences, and offer the EU a more prominent role in peace mediation activities. But finding a mandate that would satisfy all sides within the EU and in Turkey would be a challenge.

01-08-2013, 05:18 PM
With the recent reports on talks in Turkey with the PKK's imprisoned leader and the gains made by the small Kurdish minority in Syria the situation surrounding this minority group appears to be changing. Yes the fighting in south east Turkey continues between the PKK's military arm and the Turkish state.

There are several threads whose focus is the Kurds, which offer background reading. The main thread being 'Turkey mainly, Iraq and the Kurds (2006-2012)'. In particular I commend the posts by a UK academic William Park in 2012, Posts 136 & 141, plus Jedburgh's input. I have now closed this thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=3104

A smaller thread 'Counter-Terrorism: Turkey's Record' wrongly I admit contained a couple of my posts on the PKK talks with Turkey, these I have now moved to the closed, main thread. The two PKK talks posts are 145 & 146. This small thread remains open:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=9070

Not to overlook the dynamic situation in Iraqi Kurdistan, which JWing frequently covers in 'Iraq catch-all: after Operation Iraqi Freedom ended'.

01-10-2013, 01:36 PM
Two commentaries on the situation. First a short piece on the possibilities that could emerge in Iraq, if Turkey and the PKK reach an agreement:http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/09/birth-kurdish-state-ottoman-syria-arab-spring

A longer comment on the PKK-Turkey talks, although with violence continuing and a reminder elections in Turkey set a time limit:http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2013/1/10/turkey-analysis-a-big-opportunity-ankaras-talks-with-impriso.html


Unclear whether the murder in Paris of three PKK lady activists will have an impact; no-one knows why they were killed. The fact that the French Interior minister visited the scene indicates the murder's importance:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20968375

01-11-2013, 12:36 PM
It’s not difficult to imagine that Iran, which has a considerable Kurdish problem itself, might not be enthusiastic about the PKK reaching a peace deal with the Turks – not least because Iran has intermittently supported the PKK in its war against Turkey.

Moreover, the Paris hit bears a striking resemblance to an operation carried out by the Pasdaran, the feared Revolutionary Guards Corps, in Vienna in 1989.


It is worth reading the author's bio first, it does add credibility.

01-16-2013, 11:50 AM
Thanks to a "lurker" a NYT Op-Ed 'How Turkey Can Make Peace With the Kurds', which starts with:
The so-called peace process was already in shambles before the killings, which have not been solved.

Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claims that he wants a deal to end nearly 30 years of war between the state and the P.K.K. rebels. But he has yet to take the decisive action needed for a credible peace process. Until he understands that the Kurdish problem in Turkey is about politics and identity, and not just about getting the guerrillas to withdraw from Turkey and give up their weapons, there will be no hope for peace.


01-24-2013, 11:06 PM
An Israeli commentary, which given the history of Israeli-Turkish relations is worth a read:http://www.inss.org.il/publications.php?cat=21&incat=&read=10790

It ends with:
More fundamentally, solving the deep problem of Turkey’s relations with its Kurdish minority would help it come closer to the West and also contribute to Turkey’s becoming a more relevant model for its neighbors with regard to majority-minority relations.

02-27-2013, 08:37 PM
The jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan has called on PKK militants to leave Turkish soil from the end of the March, saying that this process should be completed by August, according to media reports.

The three letters sent by Öcalan to the PKK, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the PKK’s wing in the Europe focus on a road map to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.


03-18-2013, 10:06 AM
Hat tip to Enduring America, an update on the PKK-Turkish state talks:http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2013/3/18/turkey-special-kurdish-leader-ocalan-nearing-deal-with-erdog.html

...it is with the leak of Ocalan's conversation with pro-Kurdish MPs that speculation has turned into expectation.

Whilst 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland are very different, there are similarities and as we found making peace took time, decades. So Enduring America rightly ends with:
Put bluntly: could this be a turning point for Turkey?

Only time will tell. It is curious that it is the Justice and Development Party (AKP) which has the strength to talk, as Turkey appears to be going in a quite different direction from its post-1945 history.

02-16-2014, 05:39 PM
The headline almost says it all:
Kurds who became 'village guards' and fought PKK rebels in Turkey to be disbanded – but they fear a betrayal