01 October 2014
Amid criticism of Turkey’s “laissez-faire” attitude toward militant group Islamic State (IS), President Erdogan 22 Sept said IS “terrorist organisation”, but also sympt ...
Turkey’s government needs to recover lost momentum, press forward with democratic reforms and constitutional revision, and recognise that steps that benefit the country’s Kurds must be decoupled from disarmament talks with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Though battered economically, socially and politically for decades, the city and province of Diyarbakır could offer hope for Turks and Kurds who want to live together, if Ankara can refocus its policies on creating a more equal, democratic Turkey.
Turkey needs to recover the initiative after the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) insurgency’s aggressive escalation of violence and implement a long-term conflict resolution strategy that addresses Kurdish grievances.
Though newly discovered gas reserves off Cyprus are currently driving the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities further apart, they could offer both newfound wealth if, together with Turkey, they would start a new dialogue.
To head off a serious escalation of the armed conflict, Turkey and the Turkish Kurd nationalist movement must immediately step back from the trap of a new cycle of tit-for-tat military and terrorist attacks that have killed 110 people since June.
To capitalise on twelve years of normalisation, and at a time when both could benefit from a foreign policy success, Greece and Turkey should settle their expensive, outdated and stressful stand-off over Aegean Sea maritime zones and related issues.
With stalemate looming in the UN-sponsored Cyprus reunification negotiations, parties to the dispute need to take dramatic, unilateral steps to break the decades-long distrust that is suffocating them.
International Crisis Group © 2014 |