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September 26, 2011, Monday

Is a solution still likely?

Nowadays, the most important agenda item in Turkey is the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has recently stepped up its violence, killing dozens of civilians and security officials across the country, and how the problem of terrorism can be resolved.

Although the picture seems gloomy, there is still hope to achieve peace for the Kurdish problem and end PKK violence, as the government seems determined not to be overwhelmed by the PKK’s escalated violence.

Star’s Mehmet Altan asks when the Kurdish problem will be resolved if not now, when Turkey is so determined to carry on talks with the PKK. He says despite the disappointment created by the PKK’s escalation of violence, there are positive signs for achieving permanent peace. He cites the government’s determination to carry on talks with the PKK as one of these positive signs. Yet another positive sign, according to Altan, is that society did not react negatively to the leaked voice recording of ongoing talks between the PKK and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). To the contrary, it found a significant amount of support. In addition, Altan thinks the Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) condemnation of a terrorist attack carried out by an organization affiliated with the PKK that killed three civilians in Ankara last week is also a positive development showing that peace is still within reach because the BDP had previously kept its silence over PKK violence.

Bugün’s Adem Yavuz Arslan, who discusses the goal of the PKK’s escalated violence, thinks the terrorist organization is trying to bring the state to its knees by putting pressure on the government through the killing of soldiers. However, Arslan thinks the government has no intention of falling to its knees, despite views suggesting that something could be done to stop the killing of soldiers. “The government will do what is necessary in the coming period to end terrorism. Looking at the environment in Ankara, it is possible to say that the more aggressive the PKK becomes, the more determined the government is to fight it,” says Arslan.

Yeni Şafak’s Abdülkadir Selvi, who also commented on the escalated PKK violence, thinks the PKK is pulling the state into a trap by increasing violence and even killing civilian women. “If we see what has been going on as just terrorist attacks, the big picture will be incomplete. We are faced with a great trap, and there are efforts to drag Turkey toward it in a game of big countries whose interests are involved,” says Selvi.

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