Turkey Confronts Issues In Kurdish Areas

The Justice and Development Party(AKP) of Turkey is examining issues related to how best the nation can work with Kurdish citizens in the southeast section of the country and is it necessary to utilize military operations against Kurdish rebels in those areas as well as in Iraq. Some argue the issues are best confronted through economic development, improve social rights of Kurds and work to place Kurds in positions of political leadership. Members of the armed forces are more inclined to resort to military action against rebels. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan recently chaired an important meeting with those involved in the anti-terror campaign. Parliament has granted the government authority to send Turkish armed forces across the border into Iraq to confront members of the Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK).

A fly in the ointment for the AKP is the upcoming elections and their fear using violence against Kurds would seriously damage the ability of the party to obtain votes in the southeast region. There might even be greater benefit to legalizing the PKK and get them involved in a political process rather than a military one.