“Beware, lest you lose the substance,
By grasping at the shadow.” –Aesop

If a car is white when it enters a tunnel—and comes out black on the other end, you can be pretty sure something happened inside the tunnel.

It’s probably the same thing in a prison.

Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)—who has bitterly fought Turkey for years—was suddenly and inexplicably allowed to address a Kurdish New Year’s Day (Newroz) crowd of one million. That traditional Kurdish celebration is usually marked by clashes between Kurdish fighters and Turkish soldiers
This year, it wasn’t.

From his prison cell, represented by two members of the Turkish parliament, a woman and a man, a Kurd and a Turk, Mr. Ocalan was voiced in Kurdish and Turkish: “Today, a new era is dawning. A new door is opening: we are moving from armed struggle to the democratic politics.”


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