Skip to main content

Turkey Cannot Solve PKK Terror Without Solving Kurdish Issue

Kadri Gursel writes that the current talks between the Turkish government and Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned head of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), cannot disentangle the problem of PKK terrorism from a political solution to Turkey's Kurdish issue.
Kurds demonstrate against the conditions of detention of jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan during a protest in Strasbourg April 4, 2012. Hundreds 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)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has been negotiating with Abdullah Ocalan, the founding head of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who is serving a life sentence in prison. Turkey's mainstream media has labeled these negotiations “the Imrali process.” This so-called "process" has yet to pave the way for peace negotiations with the PKK.

Of course, it is impossible to solve the issue by speaking only with an isolated Ocalan. It is indisputable that there will be no progress unless the negotiation process includes — directly or indirectly — the political and military wings of the Kurdish movement.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.