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Old 18.03.2011, 08:54
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Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

This week Ibo (Ibrahim Tatlises) was shot in the head for unknow reasons. Many think it is related to some Mafia connections, some think it could be from Kurds rebels, other think it could be because of his work and promotion of Kurdish culture who brang him lots of problems over the years and some think it could be related to his business interests in the Iraqi Kurdistan.

More about the attack here.

The Kurds are more than ever divided on their political views. With the PKK being too radical for many, people begin to speak up and stand up to them with possibly strong repercussions.

Being a Kurd today and claiming it is still not an easy thing to do. If you claim being Kurd, you risk rejections and/or violence from some Turkish group and if you are Kurd and do not support the PKK, you still a target from the first and the second group as well.

Slowly things change, but it takes a lot of time and still too many people are paying the price for being Kurd.

This week is an interesting week for Kurds on many level. Wasn't really great news actually, but at least something is changing, even if it is very slowly.

Here is one article in the Todays Zaman about the political shift going on in the Kurdish community and an other interresting article in The National.

Nil

Last edited by Nil; 18.03.2011 at 09:19.
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Old 22.03.2011, 23:39
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

Hi Nil,
Thanks for your post, well you are quite right, Kurds were rejected in many society in Turkey and I certainly do not approve that.

But there is a reason behind this, in the past Kurdish origin people were indirectly supporting PKK by keeping their silent, when people were dying in blasting bombs, mines set up in country roads, babys were being busted and killed in the villages by PKK.

Innocent kurdish people were so threatened by PKK, they could not even expose any opposition. Even PKK first started his military actions against kurdish villages in 1982 killed actually kurdish origin people. And during those years there were no condemnations from Kurdish origin citizens. "unfortunetely this made them as PKK supporters automatically."

I know families who lost their children or relatives in shopping mall bombings while some of the Kurdish politicians named those were their democratic rights !! Some sick people from 90s. You cant even imagine how were the 80s - 90s, I am an Istanbul born 32, and I remember that I was in fear to go out of home. It takes some time for people to forget what happened in the past.

For the last 10 years I can easily see that situation is changed quite well, most of the kurdish people are against PKK, because they see the facts that killing is not a solution, also PKK is more a drug organisation (billions of USD making every year acc to USA) than a representative of Kurdish people in Turkey. Also the current government (even I never voted for them) is making some positive efforts.

I believe that things gonna change soon, because at the moment this is what everybody seeking for..

regards
D
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Old 23.03.2011, 17:34
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

My family in-laws had to run away from their village because people were killed, were disappearing, villages were burned. Who was doing it? PKK, probably did some of it but believe me, the Turkish army was there to make sure men were not able nor have any intentions ever to resist... And newborns weren't too young either....

It is not the PKK who forbided the Kurds to speak their language and live their culture. Nor it is the PKK who refused educations to them.

Yes PKK is a terrorist group and many Kurds refuse to support them. Better to pretend to be 100% turks to avoid any problems coming from both side. But Turkish government did a lot of ugly things...

Now it is changing but sadly still too many turks who prefer to blame the PKK only without putting blame to who it belongs...
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Old 23.03.2011, 18:21
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

Well both did quite ugly things, I accept that. I am not sure if your husband told you before, there are 33 different ethnicities in Turkey. It is pretty much united like USA. Demographics are crazy; Only 9% of Turkish people are real Turkish (mid-Asian) origin. And when you say Turkish, it means that you are from country Turkey, it does not indicate your origin. Your origins can be from anywhere.

Trust me responsibles of ugly things you mentioned are now being arrested one by one, and sentenced for many years... It seems like

I hope that we go thru this phase peacifully, and ugly things never happens again.
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Old 23.03.2011, 21:06
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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I hope that we go thru this phase peacifully, and ugly things never happens again.
No worries - Turkey's PM is a peaceful guy. He even got the Gaddafi Human rights prize.
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Old 23.03.2011, 21:16
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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No worries - Turkey's PM is a peaceful guy. He even got the Gaddafi Human rights prize.
This is a prize that should be awarded on April 1.
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Old 23.03.2011, 21:17
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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Well both did quite ugly things, I accept that. I am not sure if your husband told you before, there are 33 different ethnicities in Turkey. It is pretty much united like USA. Demographics are crazy; Only 9% of Turkish people are real Turkish (mid-Asian) origin. And when you say Turkish, it means that you are from country Turkey, it does not indicate your origin. Your origins can be from anywhere.

Trust me responsibles of ugly things you mentioned are now being arrested one by one, and sentenced for many years... It seems like

I hope that we go thru this phase peacifully, and ugly things never happens again.
I am quite well aware of the history and culture of Turkey. I am pretty pro-active in what is going on. For the futur of my kids, I want them to be connected to their background from my side and my husband side.

Hopefully things will keep changing on a positive note. Because it still a very sensitive subject and when my nieces walk around claiming out and loud their kusdish roots, believe me, we are still not feeling safe about it.

Inshallah, yani!
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Old 23.03.2011, 21:28
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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It is not the PKK who forbided the Kurds to speak their language and live their culture. Nor it is the PKK who refused educations to them.

Yes PKK is a terrorist group and many Kurds refuse to support them. Better to pretend to be 100% turks to avoid any problems coming from both side. But Turkish government did a lot of ugly things...
I wonder why you automatically draw the line between the Turkish government and the PKK. AFAIK is the PKK a pseudo-communistic organisation with roots in Maoism, so not exactly the representative of the average Kurds' interest or views (Hopefully?)? I do not see the crimes of the Turkish government and the PKK connected. The government tries to keep control over a part of the own country against the minority living there with force - the other is the typical mafia of "freedom fighters" doing the whole book from racketeering to drug dealing in order to fund their extremist propaganda and actions.
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Old 23.03.2011, 22:26
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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I wonder why you automatically draw the line between the Turkish government and the PKK. AFAIK is the PKK a pseudo-communistic organisation with roots in Maoism, so not exactly the representative of the average Kurds' interest or views (Hopefully?)? I do not see the crimes of the Turkish government and the PKK connected. The government tries to keep control over a part of the own country against the minority living there with force - the other is the typical mafia of "freedom fighters" doing the whole book from racketeering to drug dealing in order to fund their extremist propaganda and actions.
I didn't automatically draw the line between the both. I am not sure you understood what I was saying nor what dblacklion was saying.

Both parties are strongly related in what they did. One as a terrorist Mafia organisation, the other as a terrorist government on a specific population.

Kurds were in the middle of the madness going on in the East part of the country. Yes the government wanted to protect the country but instead to focus on the PKK only, the governement took all rights and freedom of the population in the middle. By refusing them the right to speak kurdish, to pratice their culture. By destroying their village, schools and field, by keeping them uneducated, by scaring them, etc.

Both side are responsible of thousands and thousands of death.

I may didn't understood you well, but are you saying that the Turkish Government did nothing wrong beside just defending the country against what? A group a villagers living in their field speaking their language and trying to survive? Or against a terrorist group like the PKK?

Because if the governement wanted to defend the country against the PKK only, we wouldn't have so much collateral damage on the population nor the governement wouldn't have took the population's right to their basic need and freedom. And if the government didn't do something bad, he wouldn't have hide the reality, refused to admit the horror and try now to fix it and make it better.

Why you have more Kurdish people around the world than in their country? Not just because of the PKK....

It is people like Ibo who made things to change. It is the artists not the politicians who made the difference and help people to open their mind and eyes to the reality. If those artists didn't do anything, if they did keep quiet, the governement wouldn't have change his line and allowed more rights to kurds.
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Old 23.03.2011, 22:33
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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I do not see the crimes of the Turkish government and the PKK connected.
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I may didn't understood you well, but are you saying that the Turkish Government did nothing wrong beside just defending the country against what?
That's a pretty far fetched interpretation of what I wrote. I said and fully acknowledge that the Turkish government is forcefully and wrongly discriminating Kurds in many ways. My point is simply that I do not accept the PKK as representative of the other side of the Kurdish question whatsoever: It is one thing to fight for freedom. But fighting for the power and having the agenda to keep it and suppress the own people in an at least as bad way is not fighting for freedom - that's being a warlord.
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Old 24.03.2011, 00:25
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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Hi Nil,
Thanks for your post, well you are quite right, Kurds were rejected in many society in Turkey and I certainly do not approve that.

But there is a reason behind this, in the past Kurdish origin people were indirectly supporting PKK by keeping their silent, when people were dying in blasting bombs, mines set up in country roads, babys were being busted and killed in the villages by PKK.

Innocent kurdish people were so threatened by PKK, they could not even expose any opposition. Even PKK first started his military actions against kurdish villages in 1982 killed actually kurdish origin people. And during those years there were no condemnations from Kurdish origin citizens. "unfortunetely this made them as PKK supporters automatically."

I know families who lost their children or relatives in shopping mall bombings while some of the Kurdish politicians named those were their democratic rights !! Some sick people from 90s. You cant even imagine how were the 80s - 90s, I am an Istanbul born 32, and I remember that I was in fear to go out of home. It takes some time for people to forget what happened in the past.

For the last 10 years I can easily see that situation is changed quite well, most of the kurdish people are against PKK, because they see the facts that killing is not a solution, also PKK is more a drug organisation (billions of USD making every year acc to USA) than a representative of Kurdish people in Turkey. Also the current government (even I never voted for them) is making some positive efforts.

I believe that things gonna change soon, because at the moment this is what everybody seeking for..

regards
D
Any reasons to approve the oppresssion of a whole people ? Hardly ! No, in fact, not at all. And to demand of the Kurds, to be united with ONE opinion of whomever would be UNdemocratic. Particularilarly if the party catching international headlines is an extreme leftist and extreme nationalist party. So far so that.

But let's look at the matter the other way round. The Kurdish areas of Turkey are not in space but are in the southeastern part of Turkey facing Syria. And the border of Turkey to Syria is not just a normal "border". But it is the Generalfeldmarschall-Von-Der-Goltz/General-Liman-von-Sanders/General-Mustafa-Kemal Line, the defence line defined by the two German commanders and the Turkish general around at a time when the structures of the Turkish Empire south broke down. When Mustafa Kemal established his Turkish Republic, at first in competition to the still existing Empire, his idea was clear, To the west and south the Med, to the south and east the line as above, to the north the Black Sea and to the West the line from the Med up to Edirne (Adrianopel) and from there to the Black Sea. As one of the Lords of the British Admirality (Mr Churchill) wanted to reduce "Turkey" to a kind or TribalLand inside Anatolia, this was a totally revolutionary concept.

I don't know and cannot tell you whether Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha ever realized that HIS concept would lead to the surpression of another people.

A Turkish school-friend in the 60ies spoke about "mountain-bandits" up there in the mountains of Eastern Turkey, and was rather a bit irritated when his friends failed to agree

He in the meantime apparently adopted OUR views as he has become a CH citizen not long after !
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Old 24.03.2011, 00:28
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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No worries - Turkey's PM is a peaceful guy. He even got the Gaddafi Human rights prize.
He at least abstained from sending letter bombs to the families of British soldiers !
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Old 24.03.2011, 06:45
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

I understand Kurds are also discriminated against in Syria. I've got to know a couple of young Syrian Kurds, living in the refugee centre in our Gemeinde. It's crazy. They're decent, able men, who could make a good contribution to their society - yet they've had to flee.
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Old 24.03.2011, 07:48
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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That's a pretty far fetched interpretation of what I wrote. I said and fully acknowledge that the Turkish government is forcefully and wrongly discriminating Kurds in many ways. My point is simply that I do not accept the PKK as representative of the other side of the Kurdish question whatsoever: It is one thing to fight for freedom. But fighting for the power and having the agenda to keep it and suppress the own people in an at least as bad way is not fighting for freedom - that's being a warlord.
So we are saying the exact same thing.
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Old 24.03.2011, 11:03
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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Why you have more Kurdish people around the world than in their country? Not just because of the PKK....
This does not show anything. Same goes for Turks; they are among the top minorities throughout Europe. The fact that Turks and Kurds are desperate for living abroad shows the reality of a poor and nonhomogeneously developed country. Eastern Turkey -not just the Kurdish south- is underdeveloped with generation after generating migrating to western Turkey.

Various governments tried to change the condition of the poor East by offering investment incentives but they were either abused by corruption or scared away by PKK (either forced to pay protection-money or close shop)

As for villages forced to be deserted.. I do not think that government forces did manage the situation very well and serious human right abuses have taken place; however, I am not sure how the Turkish army could have protected a mountaineous and treacherous border against a highly mobile terrorist group which had also voluntary or unvoluntary support from nearby villages. I am not defending the forced migration of people without offering them better conditions elsewhere but the whole issue is not as easy as it seems to the external critic .

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It is people like Ibo who made things to change. It is the artists not the politicians who made the difference and help people to open their mind and eyes to the reality. If those artists didn't do anything, if they did keep quiet, the governement wouldn't have change his line and allowed more rights to kurds.
I beg to differ; it is the common people who actually make the difference. I grew up in Istanbul with my best friends being a Turkish Jew, Rum (old Greek), and a Kurd. Similarly my family lived in a neighborhood with similar composition.It is all those common people you meet in your daily life who show you day after day that there are really no differences between you and "them". I spent part of my military service in Diyarbakir so did not spend all my time in modern Istanbul. The fact that Diyarbakir despite its considerably inferior condition to western Turkish cities is called the "Paris of the East" just shows how underdeveloped the region is and how a lot has to be done to level the distribution of wealth.

Ibo .. I do not like the guy, contrary to most of my friends, do not like his music either; in the past he made the headlines for all the wrong reasons; his vulgar statements, physical violence against his female girlfriends, his involvement in a multitude of businesses (not all of which seemed clean)
I do not think the attack against him was politically motivated but rather due to his involvement in a lot of businesses some of which with Mafia links
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Old 24.03.2011, 13:09
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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This does not show anything. Same goes for Turks; they are among the top minorities throughout Europe. The fact that Turks and Kurds are desperate for living abroad shows the reality of a poor and nonhomogeneously developed country. Eastern Turkey -not just the Kurdish south- is underdeveloped with generation after generating migrating to western Turkey.

Various governments tried to change the condition of the poor East by offering investment incentives but they were either abused by corruption or scared away by PKK (either forced to pay protection-money or close shop)

As for villages forced to be deserted.. I do not think that government forces did manage the situation very well and serious human right abuses have taken place; however, I am not sure how the Turkish army could have protected a mountaineous and treacherous border against a highly mobile terrorist group which had also voluntary or unvoluntary support from nearby villages. I am not defending the forced migration of people without offering them better conditions elsewhere but the whole issue is not as easy as it seems to the external critic .


I beg to differ; it is the common people who actually make the difference. I grew up in Istanbul with my best friends being a Turkish Jew, Rum (old Greek), and a Kurd. Similarly my family lived in a neighborhood with similar composition.It is all those common people you meet in your daily life who show you day after day that there are really no differences between you and "them". I spent part of my military service in Diyarbakir so did not spend all my time in modern Istanbul. The fact that Diyarbakir despite its considerably inferior condition to western Turkish cities is called the "Paris of the East" just shows how underdeveloped the region is and how a lot has to be done to level the distribution of wealth.

Ibo .. I do not like the guy, contrary to most of my friends, do not like his music either; in the past he made the headlines for all the wrong reasons; his vulgar statements, physical violence against his female girlfriends, his involvement in a multitude of businesses (not all of which seemed clean)
I do not think the attack against him was politically motivated but rather due to his involvement in a lot of businesses some of which with Mafia links
I agree with most of what you said. But from the Kurdish point of view, it still not something you can easily claim out and loud what are your background in Istanbul nor in Europe.
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Old 24.03.2011, 13:43
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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I agree with most of what you said. But from the Kurdish point of view, it still not something you can easily claim out and loud what are your background in Istanbul nor in Europe.
So according to you Turkey is an Apartheid country ?
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Old 24.03.2011, 13:48
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Re: Kurds in Turkey; still a lot to do

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I agree with most of what you said. But from the Kurdish point of view, it still not something you can easily claim out and loud what are your background in Istanbul nor in Europe.
I have personally not witnessed verbal or physical obstruction when somebody tried to express his identity but then thanks to my parents I grew up in quite civilized neighborhoods and usually you can tell one's identity based on his/her Turkish dialect. However, I do try to read various newspapers, not just those representing my political view, but also opposing ones like "Yeni Safak", "Zaman", "Taraf" and weekly political comic magazines (usually strong left wing) and there one does read alot about human rights abuses like the ones you mentioned before.
So unfortunately it seems to be a fact that there is/has been systematic oppression of Kurds, secularists, fundamentalists, Greeks, Armenians, Islamists,etc etc throughout the Republic's and/or Ottoman Empire's history (which group becoming a target at a particular period depends on who is ruling the country)

For the last two decades Kurds have been unfairly targeted by some extreme-right groups and had attracted negative publicity particularly during heightened PKK clashes. However, I do believe that majority of the Turks do differentiate between PKK and their Kurdish neighbors.

It is sad to hear that one feels uneasy when expressing his/her identity in Turkey. Maybe once one grows up there, one instinctively gets to learn where and when to act in a certain way e.g., even in Istanbul there are places I even would feel uneasy wearing shorts or young couples would get criticising looks just because they are walking hand-in-hand or one would feel uneasy eating out during Ramadan. Tourists, however, are exempt from such treatment.
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