Turkey: Are we about to see more progress, less war?

Under Erdogan many promises have been made- allowing Kurdish in the schools, a Kurdish TV station and the economic development of this very poor region. But many if not most of the promises have not been satisfactorily implemented. Although the PKK guerrillas and their methods don’t speak for the mass of the Kurds they do represent their anger. That is why the insurgency has re-started.

Erdogan blames the PKK for its provocations. Yet it is the army that often has done the provoking, even on occasion using agents provocateurs, and dragged the government into the fray. Erdogan has often had to bow before the army to keep the generals’ urge to run Turkey in check.

Now, with Sunday’s referendum, the Kurds can see, if they put their resentment of the government on one side, that the army and the judicial system are going to be re-jigged in their favour if Erdogan wins it. If that happens there could be a renewed opening for serious negotiations with the PKK about ending violence and a placating of Kurdish grievances. A lot hangs on this referendum for the country at large and, not least, the Kurds.

The Citizen


September 10, 2010



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