Jan 5, 2012

AKP’s silent revolution has a blemish

While we hear about the achievements of Turkey’s AKP government especially in the Middle East after the Arab Spring, AKP’s government internally is facing a real challenge after the further detonation recently in ties with the minority Kurds that are making around 20% of Turkey’s population.  
            It’s widely believed that since AK Party came to power in 2003, a silent revolution has undertaken.  That revolution has swept all aspects in Turkey’s post-Kemalism era. Similarly, AKP has tried to solve Kurdish question through a process that called Democratization, by giving individuals more freedom. As the government has opened a 24 hours TV channel, TRT6, that airs programs in Kurdish. However, Kurds are accusing AKP for misleading the decades-standing Kurdish question. Kurds in the violence-ridden southeastern Turkey say AKP tries to erase Kurdish culture through TRT6, by airing twisted stories in Kurdish to convince the ordinary Kurds. Moreover, Layla Zana one of the prominent Kurdish leaders said the Kurdish question can’t be solved through giving more individual freedoms, but by giving Kurds their rights as a nation. Recently, the already detonated ties between government and Kurds worsen further after Turkish army jets killed 35 civilian, smuggler Kurds. Kurds say that shows how AKP government is still continuing the same policy of previous governments regarding Kurds in another style, while challenged all others blemishes. The worsening in ties between Kurds and Turkish government may lead to an uprising in the Kurdish cities in the wake of Arab Spring, as the anger of Kurds already turned to daily demonstrations in both Istanbul and southeastern region. PKK, which through his political wing, BDP, got 80% of the votes in latest election in southeastern region called on the Kurds to upraise against the Turkish government, as promised to ascendant attacks against Turkish army. Diyarbakır, the capital of southeastern Turkey, displays its politics. Graffiti throughout the city cheers PKK. Lately, more popular demonstrations has taken place in Diyarbakır, but aggressively quashed by the police. Meanwhile, Pro Kurdish Peace and Freedom Party or BDP lawmakers asked for the referendum in the predominately Kurdish southeast as a test for democracy in Turkey. Worthwhile, Kurds putted autonomy as a minimum demand regarding a solution for Kurdish question before. In respond, AKP strongly refused such demand, and claimed it threats Turkish unity. Turkish president Abdullah Gul many times described Turkey’s diversity as a source for richer Turkey, but never reflected in the real life. One of the local leaders of BDP in Diyarbakır told me Turkish prime minister delegitimizing the Al-Asad’s regime in Syria for Killing civilians and suppressing peaceful demonstrations, but same thing is happening here; last week at least 35 civilians Kurds killed and the peaceful demonstrations similarly suppressed. The local residences in the area believe that situation will continue until the Kurdish problem gets solved.
             The predominately Kurdish cities in southeastern Turkey are vividly ignored compared to the Turkish cities, as the Turkish state has tried to erase Kurds as a nation since the foundation of the republic in 1923. It would be rational to give all provinces in Turkey more power, even if the state doesn’t want to name it autonomy. It firstly takes off the more burdens that are facing the government with the government engaged further in the regional politics. Also it won’t differ Kurds from the rest of the country which government afraid to claim separation and get independence one day.  Moreover, Kurds still doesn’t have the right to study in their native language, as a first step, if government makes Kurdish an optional material in the predominately Kurdish cities, it can gradually solve the language problem as well. That brings peace to the southeastern area and then PKK, as promised, may lay down its weapon which Turkish army annually spending 10 billion dollars in fighting it; it also stops the imprisonment of thousands of Kurdish activists that have arrested in the name of terror recently, that’s in one hand. At the other hand, government needs to take those steps to make the economy’s flourishing continue. Last year, Turkish government unleashed a goal to make Turkey one of the 10 biggest economies in the world, engaging southeastern region is very important to reach this goal because this region makes one third of Turkish land and 20% of Turkish population.  The area is rich with agriculture, as there’s huge cheaper labor force, and with the historical places, it can be turned to a tourism hub. That will also accelerate government’s efforts to make Turkey one of the 10 first economies globally.    
            Turkey is witnessing a radical political standoff between government and Kurds anyways, as the whole region is chaging which that may weaken Turkey’s external ambitions. At the end either AKP government should give Kurds their rights as a nation firstly through the new promised civilian constitution that suppose to be ready by the second part of this year, or inspired by the Arab Spring Kurds will revolute loudly against AKP’s silent revolution, and take their rights by their own.

1 comment:

  1. This is not objectivity. There is much more kurds hate bdp. me too