Monitor: Comment on the capture of Abdullah Ocalan, of the Kurdistan Workers Party

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The Independent Culture
IF TURKEY decides to hold something more credible than simply a show trial for Mr Ocalan, he himself will have his own obligations. He will have a global forum and an occasion to take part in a broad public negotiation. Its purpose would be to show Turks that his Kurdish followers are not just killers and that they can contribute to a better life for all the people of their region. In short, less defiance, more vision.

The Washington Post, US

WHILE TURKEY has achieved a major coup, the consequences of its success in bringing the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) leader home are likely to be portentous. First, there is the question of his trial and the death sentence the prosecutor will probably demand, creating a new estrangement in Ankara's relations with the EU. Second, what impact will Mr Ocalan's incarceration have on the future of the struggle of the PKK fighting for autonomy and linguistic rights? Third, will Turkey be able to reconcile its natural desire to be part of Europe with a continuing refusal to give cultural and linguistic rights to its Kurds on the ground that it does not recognise this ethnic minority?

Khaleej Times, UAE

THE TURKISH government faces several challenges. It seems that Ankara wants to present the Ocalan issue as the cause of its problems and, by putting him on trial, seems to want to announce the end of the PKK, Ocalan and all Turkey's problems. However, observers are of the opinion that any uncalculated measures taken by the Turkish government regarding the Ocalan issue will exacerbate the already out-of -control situation.

Iran News

TURKEY'S TREATMENT of its Kurdish minority remains a stain on its reputation and a major obstacle to its admission to the European Union. With Ocalan behind bars, Ankara may feel that his PKK has been effectively decapitated and so be more inclined to compromise with Kurdish moderates. That is a course of action that the West certainly should be urging.

Sydney Morning Herald,

Australia

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