Turkey's Kurdish Opening: Shifting Into Reverse Gear?
Nearly a year after Turkish President Abdullah Gül declared that "good things are going to happen concerning the Kurdish issue," the government's attempts to solve what remains the country's knottiest problem appear to have fizzled out. Both sides are blaming the other for this worsening state of affairs. The government, fearful of a nationalist backlash, seems unable to press ahead with substantive reforms until the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) halts its attacks. The PKK says it reserves the right to pursue armed attacks until its own conditions are met.
But the clock is ticking. If the Kurdish opening is to succeed, the government will need to bring Kurdish leaders into the equation. The sooner the government rouses the courage to sit down with the Kurds, the more likely it is that peace can be achieved.