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Is Turkey crushing Kurdish self-rule in Syria?

Turkey seems intent on using the Feb. 17 bombing in Ankara as a pretext to crush the fledgling Kurdish self-rule in northern Syria that serves as an inspiration to its own Kurds.
A Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet ( C foreground) is seen between U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter jets at Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana, Turkey, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTX1Y843
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Looking back at Turkey’s failed peace process with the Kurds now that it has devolved into a bloody conflict also affecting Syria, the position of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan is perhaps best summarized through something he conveyed to lawmakers from the Kurdish-dominated Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) during a March 2014 meeting on the prison island of Imrali, where he is serving a life sentence. According to minutes of his meetings with the HDP team that began in 2013 and ended April 5, 2015, Ocalan said, “I have a family. My family — 5 or 10 million people — we rebelled. Now we want to make peace. How is this to be achieved? I want to give up the war. Do you agree?”

The minutes, since published as a book, indicate that the settlement talks were deadlocked, primarily because of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its accomplishments in neighboring northern Syria, or Rojava, as the Kurds call the area. The canton system established by the PYD appears to have prompted Turkey to reject Ocalan’s offer to “give up the war.”

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