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Beschreibung des Verlags

A mood of hyper-nationalism is running through Turkey following the capture of PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) leader Abdullah Ocalan. The dismay of PKK supporters around the world has been surpassed at home by the jubilation of Turks. The conflict between these Kurdish 'separatists' and the state must be one of the world's dirtiest wars, involving not just the aboveground fighting between PKK guerillas and the state but the activities of a 'deep' or 'parallel' state, including assassinations by gangs connecting the state to the Turkish underworld, drug running (a German federal court named former Prime Minister Tarisu Ciller as being involved in the drug trade, while the PKK has been smuggling tons of heroin into Europe every month to finance its operations), and deals with Kurdish feudal chieftains. During the course of the war large areas of the south-east have been depopulated and tens of thousands of people killed: Turkish soilders, PKK guerillas, Turkish civilians (including engineers and teachers assigned to the south-east) and Kurdish civilians (including villagers massacred by the PKK and journalists murded by secret gangs). Europeans rightly condemned Turkey for its human rights abuses and its failure to develop a social answer to the Kurdish question but skated over PKK atrocities until the PKK began launching operations inside their countries. Only then did they decide that the PKK was a terrorist organisation, but even now most European governments allow the PKK to operate through front organisations. Greece has gone much further, giving the PKK office space and training facilities and when others would not take him in, sanctuary to Abdullah Ocalan. This is not because Greece believes in the Kurdish cause but because it will do anything that makes life more difficult for its larger neighbour on the other side of the Aegean. The Kurds have been brought to where they are at this late point in the twentieth century by a complex combination of historical and contemporary circumstances. A starting point is the tribal-feudal structure of Kurdish society itself; Yashar Kemal's novels set in the cotton-growing region around Cukurova in south-eastern Turkey are strongly centred on the theme of exploitation of the Kurdish village population by Kurdish tribal overlords. The tribulations of the Kurds also arise from the neglect of a region that in many respects is typical of a developed centre-neglected periphery situation. In the past two decades Turkish governments have poured billions of dollars into the largely Kurdish south-eastern provinces (particularly into the massive GAP irrigation scheme) in an attempt to bring them up to the material standards of the western part of the country and take the economic sting out of Kurdish grievances. However, what Turkish governments have steadfastly refused to do since the republic was established in 1923, is acknowledge the cultural dimensions of the problem. This they would do by allowing the Kurds to publish and read newspapers in their own language and by allowing them to study their history, culture and language in schools and at universities: in other words, instead of repressing Kurdish culture they would take pride in it, but as people whose history from the nineteenth into the twentieth centuries was scarred by partition and demands for autonomy made by religous ethnic groups with the backing, of self-interested European governments, Turks know where demands for recognition of cultural identity can lead. They fully understand the connections between language, culture and nation because even before the collapse of the Ottoman empire in 1918 they had taken this road themselves. In the face of Kurdish demands for what the Bulgarians, the Greeks, the Armenians all demanded in the nineteenth century, and still concious of how close Turkey came to being further partitioned after 1918, they cannot move; yet they must, if Turkey is to develop into a contemporary state. Ocalan's eli

GENRE
Religion und Spiritualität
ERSCHIENEN
1999
22. März
SPRACHE
EN
Englisch
UMFANG
14
Seiten
VERLAG
Arena Printing and Publications Pty. Ltd.
GRÖSSE
177.2
 kB

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