The Closing of Turkey’s Kurdish Opening

Professor Michael M. Gunter has published a new article in the Columbia Journal of International Affairs, entitled The Closing of Turkey’s Kurdish Opening:

“During the summer and fall of 2009, the continuing and often violent Kurdish problem in Turkey seemed on the verge of a solution when the ruling Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi [Justice and Development Party] or AK Party (AKP) government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul announced a Kurdish Opening or Initiative (aka as the Democratic Opening/Initiative). Gul declared, “the biggest problem of Turkey is the Kurdish question” and that “there is an opportunity [to solve it] and it should not be missed.” Erdogan asked, “If Turkey had not spent its energy, budget, peace and young people on [combating] terrorism, if Turkey had not spent the last 25 years in conflict, where would we be today?” Even the insurgent Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan (PKK) or Kurdistan Workers Party, still led ultimately by its imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, itself briefly took Turkey’s Kurdish Opening seriously. For a fleeting moment, optimism ran rampant. What happened?”

Read on at the Columbia Journal of International Affairs website.