Daily Headline – 21/03/13

Kurdish independence bid from Turkey over?

Kurdistan flagIt seems that the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) has given up on its 30 year guerilla campaign for an independent Kurdish state.

Abdullah Ocalan the imprisoned PKK leader will announce today, the day of Newroz (Kurdish and Persian new year), that there will be a ceasefire between them and the Turkish authorities.

Ocalan has stated that in his ‘peace roadmap’ that the Kurdish people did not demand a separate independent state, but that substantial constitutional and judicial changes that would guarantee Turkey’s Kurdish population all cultural rights and give more power to local authorities.

There is still uncertainty about what will happen next as negotiations between Ocalan and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan continue. One hope is that Abdullah Ocalan will be released from prison and take up party politics for the 2015 Turkish general elections. This could lead to a democratic independence bid.

Turkey has 3 major parties:

1st AKP – similar to UKIP (right-wing)
2nd CHP – similar to Labour (centralist)
3rd MHP – similar to the BNP (far-right)

Turkey has 3 left-wing parties, the BDP, TKP and EMEP. At the 2011 elections the BDP didn’t take part and their candidates all stood as independents as their former incarnation, the DTP had to disband due to being pro Kurdish.
If the BDP stood as a party they would be the 4th largest with TKP and EMEP both being very small parties.

Whatever happens with Ocalan and the Kurdish situation one thing is for sure, Turkey will continue to be incredibly right-wing and extremely religious and reactionary for a long time to come.

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