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Turkey’s Kurdish Initiative May Affect Syria's Kurds

Cengiz Candar writes on the relationship between Turkey's peace initiative and its policies in Syria.
Pro-Kurdish BDP party supporters attend a rally in support of Syrian Kurds in Viransehir February 3, 2013. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3DAO0
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The timing of the process Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has begun with the goal of solving the nearly 100-year-old Kurdish issue that everybody defines as the country’s No. 1 problem is obviously linked to 2014-15 elections calendar. Nobody objects to the view, and there seems to be a consensus on this, that the process is also tied to developments in Syria and their effects on Iraq.

As we have previously noted, linking Syrian developments to the Kurdish issue means that the PYD [Syria’s Democratic Union Party], identified as an extension of the PKK [Kurdish Workers Party], has taken over control of most Kurdish settlements along the 911-kilometer (566-mile) Turkey-Syria border, or at least has the power to do so. Turkey’s rulers have long seen the Kurdish majority in Turkish border towns and villages separated from Syria only by a railroad track as a “security issue.’’

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