BURAK BEKDİL > What 32,000 plus Kurds did NOT die for (II)

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The government has an explanation as to why eight soldiers were killed during the latest outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attack in Hakkari: According to Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, the soldiers died because the PKK had fired without notice. To minimize the loss of human life, perhaps someone should urgently launch an appeal to the PKK that it send an email message to the General Staff headquarters before firing at Turkish soldiers. 

Over the past decade, the government has employed numerous measures to “finish off the PKK.” We laughed when the defense minister pledged to finish off the PKK once Turkish-made drones became operational (2010). When the interior minister hoped to convince the PKK men to surrender arms, we asked, “What about the millions of young Kurds who are not PKK members but wholeheartedly support the PKK?” In 2009 when I asked a friend from the anti-terror squad if he was optimistic about the PKK men giving up arms, he looked at me dismissively and answered my question with another question: “Would you like your newspaper to close down?”

When the foreign minister pinned his hopes on then-friendly Damascus “to control and extradite PKK men with Syrian passports,” we asked, “Why do you not start by controlling the PKK men with Turkish passports?” When the government ideologues discreetly broached the idea of building a historic Turkish-Kurdish bridge by reminding the PKK that “we are all Muslims,” we reminded them that “Muslim Kurds did not kill Muslim Turks during Ramadan to win a few cultural goodies.” 

Religion as a cement for the Turkish-Kurdish conflict would be like ice cream as a cement for a skyscraper in Sudan. Naturally this fanciful idea too had to go in the garbage when the interior minister recently declared the PKK men to be “Zoroastrians and pork-eating infidels.” 

We waited with cautious patience when the government pinned hopes on cross-border operations, on the famous trilateral mechanism with the United States and Iraq, and on Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani’s good offices – which it still does. We shook our heads in astonishment when a Justice and Development Party mayor publicly proposed that the PKK could be finished off if all Turkish men each took one Kurdish bride as a second wife. 

We were less patient when the government announced a Kurdish opening, scandalously closed it only to reopen it before finally resorting to arms as the principal instrument to deal with the Kurdish issue. We praised the government when it launched courageous political and cultural reforms; when it heavily invested in the southeast and built schools, hospitals, roads, houses and airports in the region. But we cautioned that all that has nothing to with the “heart of the matter.”

In 2009, I wrote in this column: “Sorry, but the PKK men have not killed and been killed because they are a bunch of sadomasochists. Nor have they killed to win some silly state or private broadcasting in their own language, a couple of Kurdish language institutes at universities [and now elective courses for high school students].” All that is good, but not the remedy. Evidence? Think about why Turkey was a much safer place before all those reforms.

This is how “What 32,000 plus Kurds did NOT die for (Hürriyet Daily News, Jan. 7, 2010)” closed:
“Sorry to remind you [gentlemen], but [32,000 plus] Kurds have not willingly died in what they saw as a holy war only to make sure their relatives can comfortably sit at home and enjoy state broadcasting in Kurdish, go watch a Kurdish play at a nearby theater, send their children to Kurdish-language courses, ensure that Kurdish inmates can communicate with their beloved ones in Kurdish or that Kurdish towns can sport their long-forgotten Kurdish names on signposts.”

Sadly, two-and-a-half years later, the same closing paragraph is an appropriate finale for this sequel too.


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Suat Kilic

7/25/2012 2:20:19 AM

some people on here are saying that turks came from central asia and therefore don't have any more right to the land than kurds. Yes, turks came from central asia. however, population genetics studies indicate that the genetic makeup of the modern turkish population is much closer to the original anatolian population than central asian ones. also, if you've noticed, turks lack a lot of the facial characteristics of their central asian brothers. we are turks not always by blood, but by language.

gundars vetra

7/19/2012 1:20:21 AM

Firstly, the current Turkish nation is a modern nation (not an ethnicity based nation as supported by some Kurdish nationalist) consisting of multiple ethnicities (bosnian, albanian, circassian,laz, georgian, kurds and the almost majority of the nation is balkan immigrants from the remnants of Ottoman Empire). But the Kurdish ethnic nationalist have a brilliant idea. Either to divide it or give them 50% share where the all remaining takes 50%.

Turk down under

6/27/2012 5:58:52 PM

Lion; Not denying that aboriginals were massacred and yes no amount of welfare can compensate for the terrible actions. Aboriginal land is deemed sacred land today and can not be touched or developed by anyone. Also they are today, proud Aussies along with the colonisers and the immigrants from far and wide. what I am trying to say is it wouldn't be so bad if the Kurds would accept Turkiye as their nation home. Nobody here salutes any flag unless they're in the armed forces

The Lion

6/26/2012 9:25:38 PM

Turk down under (continued), you are wrong about the Australians and Aboriginals. In 1758, there were 750,000 Aboriginals. In 1911, their number was 31,000. How did that happen? Even you admit that their are only 100,000 Aboriginals in Australia right now. How did that number drop from 750,000 to 100,000? Everybody everywhere is allowed to talk in their own language. "welfare rights" are small consolation for losing land to English and saluting a British flag every day.

The Lion

6/26/2012 9:23:23 PM

Turk down under (continued), Why should Turkiye be punished for NOT doing to the kurds what the Ameicans and Australians did to the Native Americans and Aboriginals (competely wipe them out). So can Turkiye completely wipe out the kurds just to be even with the US and Australia? The kurds aren't even native to Anatolia and nearly all of them arrived here after the Turks. The kurds are originally from India (there's no record of them in the Middle East before 9th century). (continued)

The Lion

6/26/2012 9:23:11 PM

Turk down under, the Anglo-Americans only recently took land from the Native Americans. The Australians only recently took land from the Aboriginals. There have been Turkic peoples living in the heart of Europe as far back as the 4th century. The Turks of Turkiye have owned Turkiye for more than a millenium. How can you compare the situations? Most importanlty, Turkiye was infinitely more tolerant of their minorities than the Americans and Australians who erased natives.(continued

Blue Dotterel

6/26/2012 4:26:40 PM

TDN, Abbas is an Israeli stooge, so I wouldn't be surprised if Israel put him up to saying such a thing for propaganda purposes. Still, I doubt that he actually said it. I know HDN does not allow links, but maybe you could give me a credible reference for your contention.

Turk down under

6/26/2012 3:27:24 PM

Sword.Yes you are right, just as the Anglo-Americans took land from the native Indian Americans,just as our ancestors from Central Asia moved westward and occupied different regions through to Eastern Anadolu (Anatolia) and finally the creation of the Republic of Turkey. Who was here before? In regards to indigenous Australians, they are exactly that,Australian and proud! The100,000 aborigines are allowed to talk in their 150 different languages.They have special welfare rights &so they should!

Turk down under

6/26/2012 2:55:11 PM

Blue: There is currently a single Israeli state comprising of Jews and Israeli Arabs. The Palestinian Arabs however want their own state and they have said that it will be a Jew free state, now that wasn't Hamas speaking, that was the moderate Mahmoud Abbas. So who are you calling greedy? look at all the facts and then make a balanced opinion. Re Kurds & Republic if you see my first post, it is pretty much in line with what your opinion

SwordOf TheProphet

6/25/2012 8:32:42 PM

Ayazid, read a former piece of Bekdil's "Jesus Christ was a Kurd!" to understand what he's saying. Google it. I suspect Mr. Bekdil will have less greek, american, and israeli fans after reading that. (These groups are notorious supporters of kurdish terrorists.)
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