Local elections in Turkey the past weekend revealed that Kurdish nationalism is alive and growing even stronger. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) encountered strong evidence that Kurds did not trust the stance of current Prime Minister Erdogan who they believe lied to them about his commitment to work through peaceful means in dealing with issues related to Kurds. The opposition Democratic Society Party (DTP) which has been championing Kurdish rights strongly increased their lead in Kurdish areas of the nation. In 2007, the AKP had a higher percent of the vote because Kurds accepted his pledge to work peacefully in dealing with their rights. However, he switched and backed military plans for attacking Kurdish rebels in northwestern Iraq.
The issue of Kurdish rights hangs like an albatross around the neck of Turks who seek entry into the European Union. The EU will insist on local rights for Kurds and if that is not forthcoming, they will reject Turkey’s application for membership.