June 12, 2007

PKK Signs Ceasefire with Turkey

By Michael J. Totten

The Marxist-Leninist Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in Eastern Turkey just declared a unilateral ceasefire after the Turkish military shelled them in their mountain redoubt in Northern Iraq.

I was working on an article about this conflict, which I hoped to finish by midnight last night, but every word I wrote is now irrelevant.

It's good news, though, obviously, even if I did spin my wheels for a couple of hours. I have my doubts that the PKK will abide by the ceasefire, but at least Iraqi Kurdistan seems to be spared a new war for now, and the bombs in Turkey might actually stop. We'll see how long this lasts.

Hopefully I won't have to finish that article. I will if I have to, if what I wrote becomes relevant again.

Post-script: Thank you all so much for donating money for travel expenses to Iraq. I intend to send individual thank-you emails, but I want to say thanks in public as well.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 12, 2007 10:10 PM

Definitely good news. At least one region in the ME has some hope.

Posted by: Yohay at June 13, 2007 12:15 AM

Maybe if you begin writing an article about the Hamas-Fatah carnage in the Gaza Strip, it, too, will peacefully resolve...naah!

Posted by: Salamantis at June 13, 2007 05:47 AM

Oh thanks for this post - the current news about Erdogan vs turkish military seem strange in this context.

Posted by: Locked at June 13, 2007 06:12 AM

I was working on an article about this conflict, which I hoped to finish by midnight last night, but every word I wrote is now irrelevant.

I wouldn't throw the article away just yet.
Kurdish guerrillas have killed a Turkish army officer and injured two other soldiers in a roadside bomb attack in Turkey, the local governor's office says.

The attack near the town of Yuksekova in Hakkari province, bordering Iraq and Iran, came a day after the Kurdish separatist group PKK declared a "unilateral ceasefire" in attacks against Turkey. The rebel group, however, on insisted on the right to defend itself.

Turkey ignored the rebel statement.

The rebels detonated a remote-controlled plastic bomb as the troops patrolled the area near the town of Yuksekova, the governor's office said.

The Turkish military has intensified anti-rebel operations against the guerrillas in the country's southeast, on the border with Iraq.

Soldiers were seen manning several checkpoints as part of security measures on the road between the towns of Cizre and Sirnak, close to the Iraqi border.

Even if the ceasefire holds, Turkey (and Iran) still have a major incentive to destabilize Kurdistan. Posted by: double-plus-ungood at June 13, 2007 02:11 PM

I don't really understand what it is about a cease-fire that could completely invalidate your article. Even if it said "those bloodthirsty PKK jerks will never agree to a ceasefire", you could just insert a "probably" in there..

Posted by: glasnost at June 13, 2007 03:37 PM

Sounds like good news to me. Not much mention of the truce elsewhere, but have been busy, so missed seeing it I guess.

Double Plus Ungood, You said,

Even if the ceasefire holds, Turkey (and Iran) still have a major incentive to destabilize Kurdistan.

Iran seems not to invest much effort * destabilizing * Kurdish Iraq.

Turkey with EU aspirations would not really want much to do with Iran*s Mad Mullahs, would they? = TG

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