Over the last thirty years, violent clashes between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) have claimed over 40,000 lives of Turks and Kurds. Fed up with this “terror and death,” a group of Kurdish youth in Turkey has sent a letter to the Turkish government, calling for an end to the violence.
Addressed to the Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the letter voiced concern that the decades of violence has irreparably harmed Kurdish youth, claiming that Kurdish youth are the “biggest sufferers” of the most recent campaign of violence.
A Call for Peace Talks
After decades of violence, the Turkish government and the PKK began engaging in meaningful peace talks in the last few years. Earlier this year, jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan called for PKK members to lay down their arms and find a diplomatic solution to their problems.
But the most recent cease-fire fell apart in late July, when PKK members attacked Turkish police. In response, Turkish warplanes began bombing PKK outposts in the Qandil mountains at the border of Turkey and Iraq.
Fighting for Kurdish Representation
Unable to make political headway in response to Kurdish cultural suppression by the Turkish government, the Kurdistan Workers Party was founded in the late 70’s by Abdullah Öcalan, as a military solution that could help secure cultural freedom and political independence for Kurds in Turkey.
The PKK’s violent tactics forced Turkey, the United States, and the European Union to label the PKK as a “terrorist group”. But as the saying goes, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” and now-jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, is leading a new campaign for peace as the only way for Kurds to achieve meaningful representation in Turkey.[Read More at the Daily Sabah]