When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

AL-JAZEERA,HURRIYET, TODAYS ZAMAN (Turkey)

Worldcrunch

ISTANBUL - Jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan has called upon the armed PKK forces to recognize a ceasefire and withdraw from Turkey, reports Hürriyet.

In what may turn out to be a historic announcement in the nearly three-decade-long conflict between Kurdish separatists and the Turkish government, Ocalan's written statement was read out loud to a massive crowd celebrating the Kurdish New Year in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir.

One day Baskan Öcalan WILL celebrate Newroz with the millions who love and support him. #twitterkurds#newrozpirozbetwitter.com/xatarkurdi/sta…

— Kamber (@xatarkurdi) March 21, 2013

Öcalan, who is serving a life sentence in an island prison off of Istanbul, had the statement read by two members of the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in both Turkish and Kurdish:

"Today we are waking up to a new Middle East, a new Turkey. A new era starts today. A door has been opened from armed struggle to democratic struggle," he said. "Our fight has been against all kinds of pressure, violence, and oppression. A door is opening on democratic process after a period of armed struggle. Guns should fall silent and politics should come to the foreground.”

This is real Kurdish Spring, I mean spring spring, Newruz the beginning of Spring. #TwitterKurdstwitter.com/abdullahawez/s…

— Abdulla Hawez (@abdullahawez) March 21, 2013

Al Jazeera reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Öcalan both appear to have staked their political futures on the renewed push to end the Kurdish 29-year armed campaign for self-rule that has left some 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, dead.

The expected cease-fire is likely to be in return for wider constitutional recognition and language rights for Turkey's 15 million Kurds. The war has drained state coffers, stunted development of the mainly Kurdish Southeast and scarred Ankara's human rights record.

Istanbul daily Todays Zaman writes that this move would be a major boost to Turkey's candidacy for European Union membership. A settlement would also bolster the NATO member's credibility as it seeks to further extend its influence across the Middle East.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ