President Abdullah Gul told an American press conference he had not discussed with Presidcent Bush any possible resolution of his nation’s conflict with Kurds insurgents through means of political actions. He insisted Bush had never urged him to engage in political activities with the Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK) and supported Turkey’s military operations. US State Department spokesperson, Tom Casey, told reporters “we favor putting thee PKK out of business. It’s a terrorist organization.” Gul indicated his government is focusing on economic and social emasures that reach out to Kurds in Turkey, but he will not engage in poltical negotiations with those he deems to be terrorists. “You can’t seek a political solution here, just like you can’t seek a political solution to al-Qaeda attacks.” He will engage in political dialogue with the government of Iraq to secure their cooperation in dealing with PKK forces in northern Iraq.
There is a fundamental difference betwen the PKK and al-Qeada. The PKK wants to ensure that Turkish Kurds have rights. Many of its leaders have even expressed a desire to end the fighting in exchange for a blanket pardon, but Turkey has rejected those offers. There is no record of al-Qaeda offering to end terrorism if given a pardon. A political solution is possible with the PKK if Turkey will reach out and enter into negotiations.