U.S. Ambassador Wilson: Incentives for peace grow as assets of PKK, Öcalan wane

15.4.2013 – Zaman – As the Turkish government and the terrorist organization the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) negotiate to end one of the most long-lasting conflicts of the Middle East and bring about peace, this week’s guest for Monday Talk says that there are incentives for peace but patience is required.

“[The PKK] is a business that’s involved in drug smuggling, extortion, weapons trafficking and other things. That’s a way of life and people have no interest in giving that up,” said Ross Wilson, US ambassador to Turkey from 2005-2008 and current director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center of the Atlantic Council, based in Washington, D.C. But he also says that the PKK is an “anachronism” that has little to do with today’s world and Turkey. “Their assets are waning. The assets of Abdullah Öcalan are waning. He has been in jail for about 14 years. His ability to play a meaningful role for his people — presumably he wants to play a historic role for his people — has a time clock at the end of it; so, I think he sees some incentives in peace,” Wilson said.