Sep 13, 2011

Arab spring - Kurdish Autumn; why southeastern Turkey might be next?

After Turkish military jets bombed the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on the night of August 17 and the days followed intermittently continued, the long-standing Kurdish question in Turkey once more raises. Turkish military bombard has started after PKK’s attacks that killed about 40 Turkish soldiers. However, the horizon of Kurdish question is murky for many Kurds.
 When Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2002, he promised to solve the Kurdish question; while previous governments were unable to even mention there is such a problem. This valor gave millions of Kurds impulse of hope; thereby Kurds mostly voted for Erdogan’s AKP. However, Erdogan’s promise apparently has become faint.
The AKP started a so-called “democratization process,” which mainly was an opening process toward Kurds through raising democratic standards. During the AKP era, some steps have been taken; Nevertheless, many more steps should follow for a radical solution of the decades-long Kurdish issue. However, when some bigoted nationalists tried to provoke the process, Erdogan pushed to halt the process.
Ironically, during the last election campaign Erdogan denied Kurdish question; he said, “there is no such a problem." This hesitation gradually crumbled the ties in between AKP and many Kurds.
The new round of violence between Turkish state and PKK won’t change anything except more casualties.

Kurdish autumn
Aside from PKK’s unclear approaches, conservative AKP should be aware that long-ignored Kurds in the southeastern Turkey won’t choose silence anymore if Turkish state doesn’t approach steps to give them their universal rights. Arab spring should be a great lesson to AKP as well along with autocratic rulers in the region. Democratic Turkey should also cover Kurds’ needs. I have been in Dyarbikir, the biggest predominately Kurdish city; the city has been ignored compared to other Turkish cities, because of the ethnical population of the city. One can easily see frailty in the infrastructure, and unemployment is ubiquitous in the region. They can’t speak their language, and Kurdish is forbidden in the official places, including schools. Pro Kurdish BDP, gained 36 seats in the new parliament, more than 2500 of their members are in prison because of there political activities.If AKP doesn’t solve Kurdish question inside the new promised constitution; they should expect huge protests in the southeastern region, which is mostly inhabited by Kurds. Kurds won’t accept to live in autumn anymore while they are watching Arab spring.

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