Hundreds of thousands of Kurds, gathered in the city of Diyarbakir to celebrate Newroz, cheered and waved banners bearing the image of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the PKK on March 21.

Last week, Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), declared a cease-fire in his party’s nearly three-decade-long struggle with the Turkish state. Before then, the insurgency -- which had claimed some 40,000 lives -- had seemed intractable. Ankara’s attempts to put it down had only inflamed Kurdish nationalism and made the PKK stronger. But with Ocalan now apparently ready to try to resolve differences peacefully, the prospects that the uprising will come to an end have improved.

Ocalan’s announcement came at an opportune time. Several factors had already made the moment ripe for peace. First,

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.