Aliza Marcus writes frequently in major English-language and Turkish-language publications on Kurdish and Turkish issues. She is also on twitter @alizamarcus
The United States has spent the past two years struggling to craft a policy to weaken Syrian president Bashar Assad and Al Qaeda-linked militants at the same time. Now, as President Barack Obama seeks to strip Syria of its chemical weapons, it’s time for Washington to build ties to those inside Syria who are committed to the same anti-Assad and anti-jihadist goals: the Kurds.
Unofficial Turkish translation: Dostlar yok ama Kürdler var, BAS NEWS, October 2, 2013
THE assassination of three Kurdish activists in Paris last week has raised fears that the true target was peace talks between Turkey and the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the P.K.K. But 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.
The new face of the Kurdish rebel fight in Turkey could easily be Zeynep, a thirty-year-old university graduate with a full-time management job in Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of the Kurdish southeast. Born in Bingol Province, in the mountains where rebels of the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party) regularly battle Turkish soldiers, she moved to western Turkey for university. There, she joined a Kurdish student youth group. Someone from the PKK came and told the students that they weren’t needed in the mountains to fight. “We were told, ‘Stay where you are, because you are more useful in the legal and civil areas. The mountains are full.’”
The breakdown of authority in Syria and creation of a Kurdish enclave there has unexpectedly pushed Kurds to the forefront of regional politics—and almost nobody’s happy.
Pity Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It seems he just can’t get the Kurdish issue right.
The Turkish prime minister is losing control of his country’s Kurdish problem, even as rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan sits in prison.
Forget Gaza or Iran, Prime Minister Erdogan needs to focus on the reignited war with Kurdish separatists -- before a full-fledged war breaks out in Turkey's restive southeast.