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PKK Peace Deal Gives Rise To Turkish Separatism

Semih Idiz writes that some nationalist Turks are so uneasy with the prospect of peace with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that they're promoting a new separatism to avoid living with Kurds in a democracy.
Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) answers a question during a Reuters interview in Berlin April 15, 2013. A top Kurdish politician said on Monday it would be difficult for Kurdish fighters to disarm before leaving Turkey under a peace process, stressing that the key issue was that they depart peacefully without contact with the Turkish military. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government is seeking a weapons-free pullout by militants of the Kurdistan Workers

The announcement by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that it will pull thousands of its militants out of Turkey and into northern Iraq beginning May 8, under a deal worked out with the Turkish government, will boost Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's popularity at home, regardless of nationalist accusations that he is negotiating in Turkey's name with a terrorist organization.

This doesn't change the fact that many Turks remain wary about what the PKK will get in return for ending its separatist terrorism, which has cost up to 40,000 Turkish and Kurdish lives over the past three decades. This shows that Erdogan's real task is still ahead of him, as the process with the PKK enters the political stage.

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