Thursday, July 27, 2006

July 27, 2006

PKK is not Hezbollah
Ardalan Hardi

Turkey says that Israel's recent action in Lebanon to stop Hezbollah attacks means that Turkey should be allowed to take similar steps against Kurdish guerrillas operating from northern Iraq against Turkish forces", reported The Daily Telegraph.
First of all the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Hezbollah’s ideologies are a world apart. Hezbollah is a neo-Islamic fascism movement that promotes a close-minded fanatic ideology that is not only a threat to Israel but also to the Muslim religion and the world. PKK is working for a democratic change within Turkey in order to free an oppressed voice of the Kurdish people in northern Kurdistan.
Second, while Hezbollah has its own government and army free from Israel and chooses to continually attack civilian targets in and outside Israel, PKK does not go outside Turkey and targets only military installations within Turkey. Third, unlike Hezbollah that refuses to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist – which closes the door on dialog – the PKK, and all political parties in northern Kurdistan, have never once denied Turkish states of existence. Kurds have always welcomed dialog for a peaceful resolution to Kurdish issues. This comparison of PKK to Hezbollah is idiotic. Ankara has continually refused pleas from friends and foes to allow dialog to take place with Kurdish people. Instead, it uses military force as a tool of choice to silence any hint of Kurdish nationalism.
When do people learn that all the guerrilla tactics from PKK and all the military force used by Turkish state will not stop the bloodshed? In fact, it prolongs the malaise of death and destruction? How could we solve our differences if we refuse to talk about them? How could we talk if we refuse to have dialog with those we disagree with? With this form of diabolical, close-minded thinking, how can we expect peaceful resolution to our differences?
When we look at Hezbollah’s refusal of Israel’s state of existence, the Muslim fanatic’s refusal of western ideologies, and the Turkish refusal of the Kurdish problem, we see what creates never-ending wars. No peace will ever come between two different ideologies that pursue humanism unless they are willing to understand, accept – and respect – each others views, opinions and existence. We do not have to agree on everything, but like the old saying we should “agree to disagree”. Until we reach that conclusion as human beings, atrocities and bloodshed will continue.
The Turkish state needs to have the courage to make a move toward peaceful resolution by allowing dialog with Kurdish nation. True democratic systems do not have their own people take up arms against them. If Turkey was a truly democratic state, it would not have that problem. The reason we don’t see that in Sweden, USA, UK and most European nations is because, for most part, everyone has the same opportunities in the pursuit of happiness and equal representation.
The problem with Turkish state is that its approach on handling the Kurdish problem has been to persistently deny the Kurdish identity and to label all Kurdish attempts for peaceful resolution as terrorists. Turkey views the whole Kurdish population as terrorists. Ignorance will not make the problem go way, it only prolongs it. If Turkey destroys PKK tomorrow, the Kurdish problem will still exist. The sooner reality is accepted, the greater the chance for peace.


Anonymous said...

Off topic,
I just had a question (or an idea) which may sound very very stupid, but wouldn't it be in the interest of the Kurdish region of Iraq to join Turkey? Wouldn't it be possible for the Kurds to ask for the Kurdish region of Turkey to join them in an autonomous kurdish region within Turkey. I'm asking this because I don't think the Turks would ever allow Kurds to take hold of Kirkuk, or in the case of the brake up of Iraq to hold a state of their own. If they join Turkey, they could ask them for autonomy within the state of Turkey which would mean uniting two regions of Kurdistan and maybe getting the Thumbs up from the Turks to take hold of Kirkuk. I think with EU watching Turkey, Turky could change it treatment of the Kurds especially if they don't ask for independance. The lesser the players involved the higher chance of Kurdistan ever to beome a state of its own. The state of the Kurds in iraq is not necessarily going to stay that way.

I just wanted to provoke some discussion with Kurds, so I would love to hear from you. Please think about it first then see it you would disagree.

Anonymous said...

I have only one quastion, how come that everybody bealives Turkey has power enough to do what ever they like with kurds? Turkey can't do anything if USA dosen't alow them to....

Anonymous said...

The idea of the Kurdish region joining Turkey makes me howl with laughter (unfortunately). This would only be possible if the Kurds wanted to give up their language, culture and pretend to be Turkish. This is what the Turkish state demands. This is in the Turkish constitution ( I think it is article 66). A citizen of Turkey is Turkish. No room to be a citizen of Turkey and be Kurdish. Yes, in an ideal world, Turkey would be able to recognize the Kurds as a distinct ethnic and culural group. Because of Turkey's EU ambitions, there have been some steps forward on the Kurdish issue, but for every step forward, one or two back and it is stilll AGAINST THE LAW in Turkey to speak Kurdish in a political speech. Turkey is still emptying villages through various means (for instance the building of the dam that will flood Hasaneyf and displace thousands of Kurdish people from their villages) wiping out a way of life that has gone on for generations and resulting in a forced assimilation, the loss of one's language and identity not to mention complete economic disenfranchisement. Last year Erdogan said he did not want to see a Kurdistan even if it was in Latin America.

I am not Kurdish, -- I'm American but have spent a lot of time in Northern Kurdistan (Eastern Turkey).

It made me extremely sad to see how little Turkish people in the west (Istanbul) know about their own country-- and it is painful to say this because I have many Turkish friends. But for many reasons people buy into everything the government tells them. That "things are getting better, the Kurds are getting they're rights." I didn't see this when I was there. (in summer of 2004 and 2005). It felt very much like a place under military occupation.

As for trusting in America to do anything helpful for the Kurds... right now to me, this love affair looks like a temporary marraige. America has betrayed the Kurds before and I have a terrible fear about what could happen. Yes America could stop Turkey from taking Kirkuk, but the question is, would it? It's a complicated and volatile situation.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response.

I was not trying to say that this is a soluion but I just had an idea and wanted some discussion about solutions for the Kurdish people.

I would like to keep this discussion alive (if there are other sites dedicated to this, I would be gateful if someone would give me their web address), as I don't really know what the Kurds think would help them achieve independence.

Ardalan Hardi said...

You brought up a great point, in fact roomer has it this idea of - Kurdish region to Join Turkey - was brought up by former president of Turkey Turgut Özal and was debated by many Kurds only to realize that it is not very likely.

For that to take place Turkey has to become a model for democracy in a region that lacks dialog and "right of free expression ... to freedom of thought, conscience, and religious belief”. Acknowledging and recognizing Kurdish rights within Turkey would be the first step in that direction but the likelihood of that in today’s Turkish state is minuscule.

Turkey has battled Kurdish political activism violently. There was a door of opportunity for Ankara’s government to improve its human rite record once the Kurdish movements declared cease-fire in the early 90’s. Unfortunately, Turkish government failed to come up with a political solution to the social divisions and dismal living conditions of Turkey's Kurds in the southeast.

As far as your statement “I don't think the Turks would ever allow Kurds to take hold of Kirkuk”, I do not see it that way. According to Iraq’s current constitution, the "normalization" of Kirkuk and the referendum are supposed to be completed by December 31 2007. It is up to the people of Kirkuk to make that decision when they vote on the referendum whether or not to join the Kurdish Regional Government. Once that takes place no foreign power has the rite to intervene.

I have said before and I will say it again Turkey benefits politically and economically by civilizing its human rite record regarding the Kurds. The Turkish economy and financial system are joined to rest of Europe and cannot afford to be isolated from the rest of the world. At the same time, I do not believe that Turkey would like to see another Islamic fundamentalism regime become its neighbor.

Suha Aksoy said...

Most of your writers seem to build their aspirations on a newly found love for the US. Sentences like "no one in the region supports the US more than Kurds and Jews" are trangely used as a positive attribute...

I find it rather amusing and simplistic, as it seems to slip their attention to have a larger scale of vision. Arabs have been in that region a long time and
they will be there a while yet as will be the Iranians and Turks. Good relationships have been and will be important yesterday, today and for a long time to come.

Kurdish people should not forget who they are married to, related to and are culturally, historically are inseperably intertwined with. It is easy to make enemies but hard to build bridges of friendship.
Many strangers have come and gone through our lands. You decide who is here to stay.

Anonymous said...

"Kurdish people should not forget who they are married to, related to and are culturally, historically are inseperably intertwined with. It is easy to make enemies but hard to build bridges of friendship.
Many strangers have come and gone through our lands. You decide who is here to stay. "

In fact Turks are strangers to Kurds and foreigners on Kurdish land.