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New Kurds on the Block

The Rise of Turkey's Militant Youth

Turkish soldiers take position as they clash with Turkish Kurdish protesters near the Turkish-Syrian border, October 4, 2014. Murad Sezer / Reuters

For years now, the Turks have anxiously watched the chaos engulfing Syria and Iraq. But now the country is facing its own potential civil war. In late July, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) made the ill-advised decision to discontinue two-and-half years of peace negotiations with the Kurdish militants and launch a military campaign against them. Since then, the Kurdish regions, one quarter of Turkey’s territory, have become active conflict zones, with the military and police facing regular attacks from Kurdish rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices.

Over 120 Turkish security personnel have died in clashes with militants affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) since the ceasefire agreement fell apart two months ago. Starting in August, after hundreds of Turkish aerial assaults on PKK guerrilla positions in neighboring Iraq, the military and police attempted to place Turkey’s southeast Kurdish region under lockdown. Over a dozen

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