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Talks With Ocalan Offer Slim Hope for Turkey-PKK Deal

Tulin Daloglu writes that Ankara's decision to "talk" with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan offers limited prospects for an agreement on the Kurdish question in Turkey.
Demonstrators hold flags with portraits of jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan during a protest in Strasbourg February 18, 2012. Thousands of demonstrators protested in support of Ocalan, who was captured on February 15, 1999, and is currently serving a life sentence in Turkey. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE  - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

In attempts to find a solution to Turkey’s long-lasting Kurdish issue, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has officially approved “talks” with Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK. Hakan Fidan, head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization and a close confidante of Erdogan, is the point man in these “talks.”

The ruling party has gone out of its way to describe these meetings as “talks” rather than “negotiations.” Since news broke that Fidan spent two days on Imrali Island, where Ocalan is imprisoned, just before the New Year, people have been excited about the prospects for consigning this conflict to the history books. With that possibility in mind, many talking heads – from the president to politicians to journalists – have grown increasingly anxious about even commenting on the matter, lest they say something that might imperil this crucial opportunity for peace. Nevertheless, they keep talking.

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