Kurds Stuck in Middle of Iran-Turkey Cold War

Kurds Stuck in Middle of Iran-Turkey Cold War

Last week's killing in Paris of three female Kurdish activists with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has spurred much speculation about the party responsible for the assassinations and the purpose behind it. The murders came immediately after the Turkish government had reportedly agreed on a roadmap with the PKK's imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan. Given that one of the victims, Sakine Cansiz, was a founding member of the PKK and a close confidante of Öcalan, it's clear the murders were political in nature. The assassination of Cansiz and her two comrades needs to be placed in the wider context of Kurdish politics as a contested space between Turkey and Iran-namely Iran's attempt to influence the direction not just of the PKK, but of the Kurds more broadly, at a critical moment in Kurdish politics.

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