Easier Said Than Done: Turkey Tries To Cope With Its Kurdish Problem
Turkey’s unresolved problem with the state’s Kurds undermines its credibility as a model for other regional societies. Moreover it unsettles Turkey’s relations with its neighbors, notably Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Turkish leaders have failed to address the Kurds’ aspirations for a recognized ethnic identity; moreover they have tended to reduce the “Kurkdish problem” to one purely of security. This dynamic has evolved into a complex, multidimensional problem that necessitates a sophisticated solution capable of reintegrating disaffected Kurds into the Turkish mainstream while penalizing active supporters of Kurdish terrorist elements like the PKK, acknowledging crimes and compensating for them. But there is no consensus among Turkey’s political parties on either the nature of the problem or, consequently, of possible solutions.