News / Middle East

    Turkey-PKK Peace Talks Hit New Snag

    Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party lawmakers Ahmet Turk, right, and Sirri Sakik at news conference, Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 13, 2012.
    Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party lawmakers Ahmet Turk, right, and Sirri Sakik at news conference, Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 13, 2012.
    Dorian Jones
    Four leading members of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish political movement on Wednesday were denied a visit with Abdullah Ocala, imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) movement.
     
    According to local news reports, the visit, part of government-led efforts to peacefully resolve the three-decades-long Kurdish insurgency, was cancelled by justice ministry officials after Kurdish leaders criticized recent Turkish air strikes against PKK bases in neighboring Iraq.
     
    The Turkish military confirmed that its warplanes attacked numerous PKK targets across northern Iraq, following the purportedly PKK-backed killing of a Turkish police officer.
     
    On Tuesday, Prime Minister Recap Erdogen defended the air strikes, drawing a distinction between the Kurdish people and PKK militants, whom he vowed to pursue.
     
    "We have opened our hearts to our Kurdish brothers," he said. "We are sending bombs to terrorists; our fight against terror will continue today and tomorrow."
     
    Political observers say Erdogan, who on Wednesday held talks with Kurdish legislators in his party, is facing growing criticism from Turkish nationalists for his peace initiative with the Kurds.
     
    On Tuesday, parliament member Ahmet Turk, head of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress, again attacked the prime minister's stance on the Kurds as inconsistent.
     
    "This creates mistrust among Kurdish people," he said. "The army held air strikes with 50 jet fighters while PKK showed no sign of offense."
     
    Turk, who held talks with Ocalan earlier this month – the first such contact the rebel leader has had for more than a year – was expected to be among the political figures who intended to visit Ocalan Wednesday on the Turkish prison island of Imrali.
     
    Analysts said ending Ocalan's isolation with visits by leaders of legal Kurdish parties was important to peace efforts and helped to build trust. It remains unclear if and when such visits will resume.
     
    Government peace efforts were also dealt a blow this month by the assassination in Paris of three women Kurdish activists, including a founding member of the PKK.
     
    Kurdish groups have accused rogue elements of Turkish state of being involved, a charge strongly denied by the government. Earlier this week, French investigators arrested a Kurd from Turkey, saying the motive for the murders was most likely a feud within the PKK, a claim the rebel group denies.
     
    Still, analysts in Turkey say deep distrust between Turkish and Kurdish leaders continues to pose one of the biggest threats to fledgling peace efforts.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora