Kurdish Leader Declares Truce With Turkey – NYTimes.com

Kurdish Leader Declares Truce With Turkey – NYTimes.com.

This is actually sort of a big deal – or at least as the opportunity be a big deal. As the article comments, the conflict between the Turkish government and its Kurdish minorities has been ongoing since 1984.  The core of the issue is the Kurdish desire for their own country – the Kurds occupy significant chunks of land in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, but don’t have a homeland of their own.  They have caused any number of problems in Iraq, both under Saddam Hussein (when he retaliated by using chemical weapons against them) and under the regime established after the US invasion, when they repeatedly threatened to secede with a large portion of Iraq’s oil wealth.  Since then, Iraq’s Kurds have managed to have a love-hate relationship with Turkey – the Kurdish rebels fighting against the Turkish government use Iraq as a safe refuge, but Kurdish politicians in Iraq have been building significant economic and political relationships with Turkey to counterbalance the Iraqi central government.  Perhaps the latter is what has contributed to this thawing in Turkish-Kurdish relations.

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