Turkey’s future: Presidential dreaming

ZEHRA CACAN sits on the edge of a fresh grave strewn with flowers and prays quietly. In it lies her 30-year-old son, whose nom de guerre, Serxwebun, means insurrection in Kurdish. He died in January in a clash with the Turkish army on the Iraqi border. Hundreds of his fellow fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are also buried in the Yenisehir cemetery in Diyarbakir. Their graves are distinguished by the red, yellow and green ribbons adorning their headstones.A few years ago it would have been unimaginable that rebels’ graves could be marked or that a grieving mother could speak in Kurdish. “We cannot believe how free Kurds are here. Back in Syria we were afraid to speak Kurdish even with our relatives,” says Yarin Abi, a newly arrived Syrian Kurdish refugee.In the most dramatic turn yet, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, said in late December that his government was in talks with the PKK’s leader, Abdullah Ocalan, who has been in prison since his capture in 1999. A tentative deal said to have been struck between Mr Ocalan and Hakan Fidan, the national spy chief, could pave the way for an historic compact between Turks…

The Economist: Europe

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