Monday, May 10, 2010

The BDP in Washington

The BDP has opened an office in Washington, a decision no doubt sparked by the United States' continued cooperation and backing of the AKP in relation to Turkey's Kurdish problem. Since 2007, the United States has loaned its support to Turkish efforts to eliminate the PKK inside northern Iraq through various air raids, offering up intelligence to support the Turkish military in such missions and helping to ease tensions between Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) that arise during such operations. Pressured to some extent by increased diplomatic and trade ties between the Turkish government and the KRG, the BDP is likely hoping the office will at least give it a presence in Washington. On Tuesday, BDP leader Selahattin Demirtas and Ahmet Turk participated in a panel sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (moderated by Henri Barkey). Click here for Carnegie's briefing of the event, during which politicians explained the BDP's opposition to the constitutional package and Turk outlined three demands (an inclusive constitutional re-structuring of Turkish citizenship, cultural rights for all, and more administrative control for predominantly Kurdish municipalities). For more coverage of the office and the BDP delegation in Washington, see Hurriyet Daily News columnist Ilhan Tanir's comments.

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