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The Turkish-Kurdish Peace Process Stalled in Neutral

The Turkish-Kurdish peace process began in early 2013 and stalled soon after. During that period, the Kurds expected the government to release KCK activists, improve Ocalan's prison conditions, allow Kurdish-language education, and lower the 10-percent electoral threshold. In response, the government announced a reform package, which, among others, allowed education in Kurdish in private schools. The government also sought to shut down Ocalan and remove the PKK from the peace process, by reaching out to Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Regional Government. Still, there is no doubt that a strong and democratic Turkey would improve the Turkish-Kurdish relationship and benefit the lives of Kurdish citizens.

The current Turkish-Kurdish peace process that began with cautious hope early in 2013 stalled soon after it was launched.1 What caused this situation and what might be done to restart the process?

Peace can be a relative concept. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is first and foremost an adept politician. Thus, his main purpose appears to maintain and even expand his electoral mandate as Turkey enters its next electoral cycle in 2014. In so doing, he has many opposing constituencies to appease and satisfy. If he goes too far in satisfying the Kurds,

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