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High Stakes for Erdogan In Turkish Talks With PKK

Semih Idiz considers whether Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and imprisoned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan are speaking past each other in the current Imrali process.
Turkish-Kurdish demonstrators hold a poster, which shows jailed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan (R) with late Kurdish activist Sakine Cansiz, during a protest in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, February 15, 2013. Supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) held a protest to mark the 14th anniversary of the capture of Ocalan. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3DU72

The leaking of the “Imrali minutes” has not dampened Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s desire to press on with the peace talks with Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed head of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who is serving a life sentence on the Island of Imrali. Erdogan has vowed to “drink poison hemlock” for the sake of peace.

Meanwhile, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which some see as the political wing of the PKK, and which is acting as an intermediary between Ocalan and PKK elements in Europe and the Kandil Mountains in Northern Iraq, has said it is willing to go the full distance for the success of the talks.

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