- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
- Expert: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ fears exaggerated
- Alabama firefighters dig for survivors of apartment blast
- Big Sur wildfire destroys home of firefighting chief
- ‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ set for mock trial to argue authorship
- Angela Merkel’s third term as Germany’s chancellor to be marked by move to left
- Mega Millions entices with record-setting jackpot: Half a billion so far
- Dennis Rodman heads to North Korea — despite execution, political purge
Kurdish conflict takes toll on Turkey’s image
Turkish warplanes on Sunday bombed suspected Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq in the second cross-border airstrike in less than a week.
“Unless Turkey can really tackle the Kurdish issue in a more constructive way and guarantee minority rights, it will always be compromised internationally,” she said. “Its regional role cannot be as a model, while there are those very burning issues.”
Turkey’s political, economic and cultural progress over the past decade has inspired emerging governments in the Middle East.
A poll conducted in 16 Arab countries by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, Turkey’s leading think tank, found that 78 percent of respondents regarded Turkey as a role model for the coexistence of religion and democracy.
Turkey’s popularity abroad belies a brutal interethnic struggle that some say is pushing the country toward renewed conflict in its predominantly Kurdish southeastern provinces and home of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Turkish acronym PKK.
An underground organization designated as a terrorist group by the United States and Europe, the PKK has fought a guerrilla war against the Turkish military for the past 28 years. Its aim is autonomy and political and cultural rights for the Kurdish people.
After years of relative quiet, last year was one of the bloodiest in the recent history of the Kurdish-Turkish conflict, analysts say.
Over recent months, hundreds have been killed in clashes between Kurdish rebels and government troops in Turkey’s southeast and during cross-border raids into northern Iraq. The upsurge in violence has shattered hopes for a peaceful solution that has been in the works for the past seven years.
The broad support for the PKK among Turkey’s Kurds, who represent about 20 percent of the population, stems from the government’s pursuit of a strict assimilation policy for decades. It has cracked down on Kurds for using their own language, listening to Kurdish music or wearing traditional Kurdish garb.
Since 2005, the ruling Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish acronym AKP, had been making concessions to the Kurds, slowly acknowledging their ethnic identity. In late 2009, the government launched a “Kurdish opening” aimed at resolving the conflict through political means.
It opened a 24-hour state-run Kurdish-language television channel and promised other reforms to end discrimination. A second initiative, started in 2010, included secret talks with PKK leaders in a groundbreaking and bold step, analysts say.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- Wasted: Tom Coburn's 'Wastebook targets 70 days in bed, Facebook
- Robert E. Lee and 'Stonewall' Jackson tributes face Army War College removal
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Zadzooks: The Joker sixth scale figure review (Sideshow Collectibles)
- House seeks Fast and Furious gun-walking documents
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Domino's launches its first vegan pizza
- OBAMASCARE: Huge premium hikes rock employer-insured workers
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow