President Gül's historical visit to Iraq; another taboo broken

Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul (L) and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul (C) pose with Iraq’s President’s Jalal Talabani and his wife Hero Ibrahim Ahmed (2nd L) during a welcoming ceremony at Salam Palace in Baghdad March 23, 2009. Talabani said on Monday the Turkish separatist guerrilla group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) must lay down its arms or leave Iraqi soil. The comments by Talabani, a Kurd, were some of the toughest made recently by an Iraqi leader against PKK rebels, who have used northern Iraq as a base to launch attacks in Turkey, straining ties between Baghdad and Ankara.REUTERS/Mohammed Jalil/Pool (IRAQ POLITICS)

 Apart from the expected protesting cries from die-hard nationalists or opposition, I observe that there is even a relief. Finally we did. Turkey had to recognize the regional Kurdish government in Northern Iraq and had to start relations with it. Even in pragmatic terms, this could be the next stage. Finally, Turkish State initiates a new era, in the mean time, the President uses the word "Kurdistan". I don’t personally believe this recognition helps separatists. It is an initiative for a friendly era. Separatists might even be upset. Because all parties, all hawks from all sides, seemed to have relied on some nonnegotiable positions. What to do with a not hostile but friendly Turkey? 

Yet another taboo dies in ’Kurdistan’

ANKARA – President Abdullah Gül’s first official uttering of the word ’Kurdistan’ in relation to the regional administration in northern Iraq sends shockwaves through the opposition, which fears this could encourage calls for more concessions and reveals foreign meddling.

Beyond Gül’s historic visit

In Columnists

The good news that goes unnoticed — some would want to knock on wood — is that acts of terror and violent provocations have stopped. Turkey is not what it was two years ago. As the Ergenekon investigation expanded, urban terror has ceased.

From ‘mountain Turks’ to Kurdistan and a remarkable case of arrest

In Columnists

"There was a different team in Şırnak and Cizre. Consisting of people who ‘redeemed,’ such as Abdulhakim Güven, Hıdır Altuk, Adem Yarkın, Hüseyin Bülbül and others, this team was under the command of Gendarmerie Capt. Cemal Temizöz. Two ‘civilian’ corporals were also added to them. They reigned there with terror.

Step by step towards days without the PKK

In Columnists

Developments in the region, when viewed closely, imply a future with no role tailored for the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in international politics during the reshaping of the Middle East. Domestic political developments that we witness in Turkey, the country’s relations with its neighbors and the region, which have been recast, and the positions assumed by major international actors in the region all hint that we are moving toward a world without the PKK.

Turkish pres defines ‘Kurdistan’ as main actor in efforts against terror

The “Kurdistan regional administration" in Iraq is the main actor in efforts to end the terror activities against Turkish territory, said President Abdullah Gul, becoming the first Turkish official to define the northern Iraqi administration as "Kurdistan".

Stratfor Turkey: Keeping Iraq’s Kurds in Check No matter which way Iraq’s Kurds look, they will be dealing with the Turks.

Toward a post-PKK era in Kurdish politics

In Columnists

"Good things will happen," was what President Abdullah Gül said just recently about the Kurdish question, with an air of optimism. There are indeed strong reasons to be optimistic about the solution of this decades-old problem.

Kurdish conference in Arbil by Mümtaz’er Türköne


It seems that the Kurdish conference to be held in April in Arbil will be an important turning point. With the phrase, "an important turning point," I particularly refer first to Kurds, and then to all parties in the region, including Turkey.

The characterization of TRT Şeş as a ‘harmless cultural initiative’ by LEVENT KÖKER

In Op-Ed

“A Harmless Cultural Initiative” — this was the headline for a newspaper article referring to how a press spokesman for the Turkish General Staff headquarters had characterized the new TRT Şeş TV station.

The PKK would not cooperate with the ‘Grand Kurdish Plan’ by Emre Uslu & Önder Aytaç

In Op-Ed

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is in Turkey, and he always manages to capture the media’s attention whenever he comes to the country.

What is included in this Kurdish initiative?

By STAR MEHMET METINER on Turkish Press Review

Even though everyone in Turkey began to believe the Kurdish problem had worsened, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan headed to the southeastern city of Diyarbakır in 2005 and delivered a speech announcing the miraculous news that we had entered into a “process of finding a solution.”

Good developments in Kurdish initiative

By STAR MEHMET METİNER on Turkish Press Review

No doubt it is really a great revolution to abandon the mentality of denial and assimilation that has been nurturing the Kurdish issue and feeding PKK terrorism.

Can Öcalan play a constructive role in addressing the Kurdish question? by Emre Uslu & Önder Aytaç

In Op-Ed

The founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, in response to President Abdullah Gül’s statement "You will see important developments regarding the Kurdish question in coming days," said, "I could positively contribute to solving the problem."

The Kurdish conference and PKK’s elimination

By BUGÜN ERHAN BAŞYURT on Turkish Press Review

Kurdish groups are treating Turkey’s cross-border operations as a factor that weakens the authority of the regional government.

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