The conflict around the Kurdish issue in Turkey has assumed alarming dimensions. Over the past three years several hundred people have been killed in numerous clashes and incidents. The number of, mostly Kurdish, political prisoners in Turkey has risen by several thousand. More than a hundred journalists are currently imprisoned. These developments seriously jeopardise democratic progress in Turkey. The conflict could even escalate into a civil war.However, a peaceful resolution is not impossible. Important steps have already been taken. The negotiations between the Turkish authorities, the PKK and Abdullah Öcalan (the so-called "Oslo and Imrali process") between 2009-2011 generated hopes of an end to this decades-old conflict. The parties to these negotiations apparently came very close to an agreement. Abdullah Öcalan's positive role in these talks is widely recognised. As a key figure for a peaceful, negotiated solution of the Kurdish issue in Turkey, he must be released and negotiations with him and the PKK must be restarted.