Despite the possibility of a death sentence for Ocalan in Turkey, European opposition will make that option extremely difficult for a state that desperately seeks admission to the European Union. And while its primary concern is eliminating the security threat posed by Ocalan's guerrillas, Turkey may also now have to reckon with the "Mandela effect" -- a leader more dangerous in prison than on the loose.
Abdullah Ocalan's capture by Turkey may make him, paradoxically, more useful to his Kurdish rebellion than he was in an exile without asylum. Fierce demonstrations -- including hostage-taking and self-immolation -- erupted at Greek embassies in 16 European cities following Ocalan's capture by the Turks after being given refuge at Greece's embassy in Kenya. "While this was a major security coup for the Turks, it's also created a rallying point for the Kurds," says TIME Middle East bureau chief Scott MacLeod. "Ocalan was a very effective guerrilla leader and Turkey expects that his arrest will help eliminate the movement. But his imprisonment and possible execution by the Turks will also give the Kurds a focus around which to mobilize."