Saturday, March 19, 2016

Understanding the Conflict Between the PPK and Turkey

Today, a suicide bomber killed four and wounded 36 people on a popular Istanbul street. While no one has claimed responsibility, the bombing is similar to other attacks by the the PKK.

What is the PKK and why is it committing terrorist acts in Turkey?

The PPK (the Kurdistan Workers' Party) represents the Kurdish minority in Turkey. It was formed in the 1970's and originally called for  a separate Kurdish state and clashed with the government. Over 40,000 people died in the armed struggle.

In the 1990's the PPK abandoned it's call for a separate state and began agitating for more autonomy. Kurds represent 20% of the population but Turkey refuses to grant them any representation.

The Kurds are key players in the struggle against ISIS and the international community would like Turkey to support them.

In the excellent NPR clip below, Gonul Tol of the Middle East Institute explains the situation to NPR.

Here, TestTube explains who the Kurds are in this four minute clip.

And here is a 30 minute documentary from France24 with "a look inside the Kurdish rebel movement: PKK, war on all fronts."
Here are some good resources for understanding the conflict between the Kurds and turkey

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