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Turkey, Syria and Saving the PKK Peace Process


The Turkey-PKK peace process is still a rare spot of hope in the Middle East and the dangers of a Syrian spillover have underlined how many shared interests Turkey and Turkey's Kurds have in overcoming inertia in the talks. This article argues that there are three separate tracks to a settlement, which influence each other but should be kept well apart. The first track is the actual negotiations with the PKK; the second track should consist of the long-discussed reforms to give equal rights to all citizens and remove the root causes of the Kurdish problem; and the third track is the overall regional context and process. Peace will release a long-standing brake on Turkey's economy as well as on its democratisation efforts. The government should recognise that the end goal is not just disarmament in Turkey, but to get to a point where Turkey's Kurds no longer feel any need for the PKK.

Paper produced within the framework of the project Turkey, Europe and the World.

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