Friday, March 31, 2006

Rejected by Europe?

Suddenly there is an outburst of violence in Southeastern Turkey.

It looks like the Kurdish terrorist organisation PKK has resumed some kind of offensive. They have already officially ended their cease-fire and organized a series of more isolated attacks, but this seems to be a new attempt to stir up more major trouble in these Kurdish-dominated parts of Turkey.

This comes only days after there has been further progress on issues that should be of concern to them. Kurdish-language TV and radio broadcast have now started in Turkey.

It might not be significant as such in view of the fact that satellite TV is available anyhow, including the Kurdish TV station broadcasting from Denmark. But if you see it against the background Kemalist principles and the history of the Turkish state it is a very large step indeed.

During the past years, the process of European integration has contributed to taking much of the wind out of the sails of the Marxist terrorists of PKK. Many Kurds have seen a Turkey in Europe as the means towards fulfilling their different demands.

There are probably multiple reasons for what the PKK is now trying to provoke, but the weakening of the European perspective of Turkey caused by the rather negative debate in a number of European countries is most probably playing its role.

A Turkey that feels betrayed by the United States over Iraq and rejected by parts of European public opinion might well see a rise of nationalism.

The efforts of PKK might well be part of that rise of the forces of nationalism. It's a profoundly dangereous development.

Does Europe see its responsibility?