The Economic Rationale For Peace in the East

Forbes represents the AKP-PKK rapprochement as a sound business model. I’m not sure about the article’s link to demographic trends, given PM Erdogan’s pronouncements that women should have three or more children. Maybe he means women in western Turkey, not Kurdish women. When prosperity does come to the East, we can expect Kurdish birth rates there to fall as well, just as they have in the west. Women want to share in the new opportunities.

What Next For The PKK?

rapprochement between the Turkish government and the PKK (here) and the position taken by various groups, parties, and actors vis-a-vis this process. This is an important process for Turkey and for the region, but is fraught with the possibilities for wrong steps and failure. To help the process along, Tuncel suggests that international powers that, she writes, have meddled in these affairs before, should now step up to the plate and help solve them…

What Would The Turkish-Kurdish Peace Deal Mean For The Region?

In YaleGlobal,  Mohammed Ayoob writes that the new deal for peace between Turkey’s government and PKK rebels to end more than thirty years of hostilities also has implications for the wider region, especially Iraq, Syria, and Iran. If Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can convince the various political factions in Turkey to go along with the […]

Turkish-PKK Peace Plan Trajectory

In information leaked by Ankara sources to the press, the peace plan announced March 21 between the Turkish AKP government and Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned leader of the Kurdish PKK, is to proceed in three stages with implementation expected to be complete by local elections in March 2014. Stage 1: disarming of PKK militants (about 1500) and […]

Singing in Kurdish And Other Good Tidings

There’s so much good news in a row that it’s giving me vertigo. First, the Turkish government and the PKK call for an end to their long, vicious war. Then Israel makes up with Turkey by apologizing for the Mavi Marmara incident. And now, oh the irony, the Turkish government has kindly offered the financially ruined […]

The Turkish Spring

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in eastern Turkey today not only to celebrate Newroz, the Kurdish New Year, but to hear a historic message from the jailed leader of the Kurdish PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, which was read to the crowd in Turkish and Kurdish by a Kurdish […]

Turkey’s AKP-Kurdish Constitution

The irony doesn’t escape me that the new constitution (a preliminary draft of which was leaked last week) appears to be being written primarily by a coalition of AKP and the Kurdish BDP (Peace and Democracy Party), with the internally divided CHP and the nationalist MHP on the margins. All four parties have a place […]

Time For A Turkish Peace

Didem Aykel Collinsworth of the International Crisis Group reported on a recent Kurdish movement conference in Switzerland. What were the portends within the Kurdish activist community that recent talks between the Turkish government and jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan would actually lead to peace after decades of violence? What was necessary for this to happen? Would […]

Is Peace a Bigger Threat Than Insurgency?

In an unprecedented move after three decades of PKK insurgency and violent retaliation by the Turkish military that has killed more than 40,000 people, the Turkish government is talking to the PKK about peace. Official talks between the Turkish government and the PKK through its jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan are proceeding despite what appear to be […]

Ode to Joy

Sorry for the longish absence. The new semester started and I was just swamped with work, meetings, deadlines… But I wish to announce my return (and to celebrate my promotion yesterday to full professor) in style with the following video, an orchestra of Kurdish truck drivers on the Iran-Iraq border. The conductor is the guy […]