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Turkey-Kurdish Peace Process on Hold?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government says the talks are on track, but the Kurdish side is warning of a break in the process.
A member of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) works on her laptop in northern Iraq May 14, 2013. The first group of Kurdish militants to withdraw from Turkey under a peace process entered northern Iraq on Tuesday, and were greeted by comrades from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), in a symbolic step towards ending a three-decades-old insurgency. The 13 men and women, carrying guns and with rucksacks on their backs, arrived in the area of Heror, near Metina mountain on the Turkish-Iraqi border, a Reuters witnes

We’re back to square one again, questioning whether Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has thought all the steps forward till the last one before launching the negotiations with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan. The public is still not fully aware of the depth of these talks, or the possible promises given on their behalf, but there are growing concerns that this process may soon be disrupted.

Murat Karayilan, the military leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) based in Northern Iraq, for example, questions whether Erdogan comprehends what it means to engage in direct talks with Ocalan: “Look, the prime minister is even criticizing the nationalists while talking about the Gezi [Park] events. He says, 'How could you accept seeing Ataturk’s and a terrorist leader’s photographs next to each other?'” he told Firat News Agency yesterday [June 19].  “If you’re going to resolve the Kurdish issue, aren’t you supposed to help the nationalists accept him? If those nationalist circles have really internalized Leader Apo [popular name for imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan], isn’t this a good thing?

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