The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP, pro-Kurdish party) is trying to put out a political firestorm created because of a recent statement by its leadership. The BDP (and other elements in the Democratic Society Congress, DTK, the Kurd umbrella organization) said that it supported bilingualism and what it called democratic autonomy. Other Turkish political parties quickly accused the BDP of favoring separatism and the division of Turkey. The BDP now says it only wants greater decentralization of authority in Turkey and that bilingualism and increased autonomy were only proposals. A BDP spokesman then accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of failing to make realistic proposals.
December 23, 2010: Does the Kurdish War link to the alleged Ergenekon conspiracy? Ergenekon is the name the AKP-led government uses to describe what it calls a conspiracy to overthrow it by supporters of the Kemalist deep state. The Kemalist deep state is what the AKP says amounts to an inside Turkish government run by the military. A Turkish newspaper recently produced a former PKK rebel who claims that in 2004 the Turkish military made this pitch to the PKK through an attorney working for imprisoned PKK senior commander Abdullah Apo Ocalan. The deal was that the PKK would keep fighting in order to undermine the AKP. As conspiracy theories go, this is a clever one. Is it possible? Anything is possible. However, the Turkish military has fought separatism on all fronts. The AKP is also against the formation of a separate Kurdish state.
December 21, 2010: Syria and Turkey reached an agreement that may provide hard-core PKK fighters in northern Iraq an amnesty option. The Turkish government opposes amnesty for what it calls PKK terrorists. Syria has said that it is considering a general amnesty for all PKK members in Syria. If the way this deal is being described is accurate, then Syria would provide a backdoor amnesty for Turkish PKK commanders in Iraq. This is a diplomatic move to watch.
December 11, 2010: Turkish security forces shot and killed PKK guerrilla in a firefight bear the town of Caliskan (Batman province). It's winter and fighting has tapered off, but scattered incidents continue to occur.
December 10, 2010: The Turkish government complained that European Union member nations are not handing over to Turkey PKK members and supporters they arrest. Germany has been an exception, according to Turkish diplomats. Over the last two years, the number of arrests by EU members of PKK members and supporters has increased. One source estimates that around 150 PKK members are in jail in EU countries and have not been repatriated to Turkey.
December 1, 2010: Iranian border guards claimed they captured four members of the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) in an operation in northeastern Iran near the Iraq border.
November 26, 2010: Syria has arrested or detained approximately a thousand people associated with the PKK. Many of those detained are suspected of being involved in PKK-related smuggling operations or PKK financial operations.
November 15, 2010: The Turkish government confirmed that it will form a 50,000 man counter-terrorism security force whose primary mission will be to fight the PKK. This statement reinforced earlier statements by the government and military regarding establishing a professional organization dedicated to counter-insurgency (COIN). Individuals who serve in the force must first complete their compulsory (conscript) tour of military duty. Members of the new force would sign contracts committing them to three years service. The government ultimately wants the best troops to remain in the force. COIN requires political savvy as well as a combination of military skills and police skills.