Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan's announcement of an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Kurdish peshmerga guerillas from Turkey provides the opportunity for a lasting peace that the Turkish government should grasp fully.
The Turkish state has devoted decades to its efforts to ignore, belittle and criminalise the country's 15 million-strong Kurdish minority.
Kurds were demeaned as "mountain Turks" and their language banned in a vain effort to evade the national question in Turkey.
Since Ocalan and his Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) took up arms three decades ago to demand Kurdish autonomy, the European Union and the US have echoed Ankara's description of the PKK as a terrorist organisation.
Such slander has not diminished Kurdish support for the PKK, as shown by the attendance of hundreds of thousands of people in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir to hear Ocalan's message.
It is clearly time for a negotiated solution to Turkey's Kurdish dilemma.
As with Britain and the IRA, it is self-evident that neither side can win a military victory. PKK unity and morale have not been diminished by Ocalan's incarceration for 14 years.
Turkey sought to capitalise on what it saw as weakness in 1999 and 2004 when it took advantage of unilateral ceasefires to launch an eradication campaign against PKK armed forces retreating into northern Iraq.
Whatever Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan decides in response to Ocalan's call, elements within the Turkish state reject reconciliation and would opt for continued war.
Erdogan should be decisive in acceptance of the Kurdish side's olive branch by agreeing to make progress on a new constitution that guarantees Kurdish national rights and by facilitating the release from jail of hundreds of Kurdish political prisoners.
He should also move beyond suggestions that he agree to improve the PKK leader's conditions in jail in favour of securing his liberation to personally lead peace negotiations.
Ocalan's observation that "a door is opening from the armed struggle toward the democratic struggle" should be welcomed by all friends of the Turkish and Kurdish peoples.
Ed Balls's call for a government U-turn on the economy on the grounds that George Osborne's plan has failed is incontrovertible.
The shadow chancellor's interrogation of Osborne over his plan to guarantee £130 billion worth of new mortgages showed the Chancellor's tenuous grip on the policies he is proposing.
Osborne was unable to confirm or deny that his announced government underwriting of loans for people able to put down a deposit of between 5 per cent and 20 per cent would apply to second homes or buy-to-let properties.
His limp reply that the mortgage market is "extremely complex" and that his department would work with banks and building societies "to get a scheme that works" illustrates that this plan was not thought through.
However, Balls's assertion that the Chancellor's refusal to change course "is to avoid his own political humiliation" is not true.
Osborne refuses, for instance, to invest in a council housebuilding programme as a more rational use of government finance to tackle homelessness and construction industry unemployment on a dogmatic basis.
He is ideologically opposed to state involvement in economic activity other than direct handouts to the private sector.
Any effective alternative to conservative coalition policies will require reaffirmation of the need for government intervention and extension of public ownership as an antidote to the inadequacy of exclusively private sector solutions.
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