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Do you think that the compromise between Turkey and the Kurds will succeed?

March 26, 2013

The jailed Kurdish rebel leader today called for an immediate ceasefire and for thousands of his fighters to withdraw from Turkish territory in a major step toward ending one of the world's bloodiest insurgencies.

The text outlined the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader's plans for a possible end to the nearly three-decade-long conflict between the outlawed group and Turkish security forces that has cost 45,000 lives, mostly Kurdish.

Turkey's secret services resumed negotiations with Ocalan late last year with the ultimate aim of ending the fight for autonomy by the PKK, which is branded a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies.

Demirtas was in a Kurdish delegation that visited Ocalan on the prison island of Imrali on Monday, the third such visit since peace talks between the state and PKK leader resumed.

"I want to solve the issue of guns with haste and without a single life being lost," Ocalan said in the letter.

He also called on the Turkish parliament to do "its part" to make the peace process a permanent one, enabling thousands of Kurdish rebels to lay down arms and leave Turkey in the coming months.

"The existing process is moving on the right track. Our goal is for the democratisation of all of Turkey," he said.

Both sides in the conflict have set out conditions they say would signal good faith and commitment to long-lasting peace.

The Kurdish movement has asked for the release of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Kurdish activists and politicians detained on charges of links to the PKK.

Ankara in return insists "terrorists" need to withdraw from Turkish territory before the peace process can effectively begin, and has promised not to attack rebels wishing to leave the country.

Ocalan, 64, is currently serving a life sentence on an isolated island prison off Istanbul where visitors are rarely allowed and only under the surveillance of Turkish agents.

Observers caution that his influence over the movement might have waned during his years in prison, although he still enjoys strong support from Turkey's Kurds, who make up roughly 20 percent of the country's 75-million population.

The Turkish parliament is working on a legal package that will bring its often criticised anti-terrorism laws more in line with European standards and contribute to the peace process by paving the way for the release of many Kurds currently behind bars.

A previous round of peace talks held in Oslo between the PKK and Turkey's secret services collapsed in 2011 after the two sides failed to reach an agreement, escalating the violence.

It seems that the dimensions of the acceptance of the compromise by Recep Tayyib Erdogan comes to this:
1 - Disarming the PKK peacefully after the failure of military solutions.
2 - Erdogan wants to win beside him the Kurds and especially “The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)”, which has 34 members.
3 - Erdogan seeks to win the Kurd of Turkey after winning the Kurds of Iraq and the Kurds in Syria, who were allied with the Syrian regime.
4 - Erdogan wants to stop the "Kurdish Spring" which may occur in the future when Ankara might be the biggest loser.

Regarding Öcalan, he realized that his struggles over the last four decades have not realized his dream. Similarly, the rapid changes in neighboring countries (Syria, Iraq, and Iran) are neither in favor nor in favor of his cause; that’s why he uses a compromise with minimal losses.

The total number of Kurds varies, according to official or Kurds sources, 25 to 35 million people. The largest number live in Turkey (12 to 15 million), Iran (5 million), Iraq (4.5 million) and Syria (2 million).

There are also important Kurdish communities in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Lebanon ... and also a large diaspora mainly present in Europe (Germany).




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