Kurdish rebels address thousands of jubilant supporters in Diyarbakir, Turkey, late Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. Supporters gathered to celebrate the arrival of rebels and refugees who crossed into Turkey from northern Iraq in response to a Turkish government initiative to try to end decades-long fighting between autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels and Turkish troops. The rebels saluted and addressed crowds throughout their journey from Turkey’s border crossing of Habur with Iraq to Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated southeast. (AP Photo )
We have been discussing the event, arrival of a group of PKK and thinking how great and novel this is. In the history of Turkish Republic, I do not remember an explicit moment of peace like this. A rebel group might actually end using arms. Still early to imagine this may be but it is now an substantive possibility.
In the mean time, some major sides are not ready to digest this development. Two major opposition parties and some of the mainstream media channels are inciting provocations on the Turkish side and DTP on the Kurdish side seems to be using it as a show of victory. In fact, DTP president Ahmet Türk yesterday stated that this is a joy of peace and not of victory- which was a clever discursive tactic- but more should be done for a smoother transition. But of course, Turkish military seems to have given in and AKP had already decided to move on and in everyday talk I do not see more than usual nationalist ranting here and there…
While the arrival of 34 Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members through the Habur border crossing on Monday was mostly evaluated as the first concrete result of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) efforts to end PKK terrorism and settle the Kurdish issue, there was one point which drew the ire of many: the festival-like scene at the border.