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Kurdish problem in Turkey

Monday, September 26, 2011 - 16:23

At present, ethnic conflicts became a very traditional thing in the political life of many countries. Among these conflicts, a special place has the problem of finding the Kurdish people's national independence, which became the biggest unresolved ethnic conflict in Turkey and received wide international response.
The development of national identity is related to the problems of interethnic relations. This is a complicated, lengthy and controversial process. And at this stage it is of particular importance and urgency. National consciousness focused on isolation and self-esteem, and on "racial purity" is one of the main causes of conflict. Being poorly managed, they became one of the most common sources of social conflicts and political instability in the world and they also pose a serious threat not only to those who turned out to be directly involved in the conflict.
The Kurdish issue substantially affected Turkey's national interests by creating a zone of instability in the region, threatening national security. In this regard, the study of this issue is needed for regional security, economic and geopolitical stability in the country.
One of the many causes of the conflict is the economic backwardness of the region, political powerlessness of the Kurdish population, the slow development of its social and cultural life, ignoring national rights. Kurdish aspiration to national self-determination and the desire to play the proper role in the country also contributes to the development of the conflict.
The Kurds inhabit the south-west of the Asian continent, occupying a contiguous territory of south-eastern Turkey with an area of 200 000 square kilometers, north-western Iran - over 160 000 square kilometers, Northern Iraq - up to 75 000 square kilometers and northern Syria - up to 15 000 square kilometers. Currently, the Kurds is one of the largest nations in terms of population (about 40 million), and it’s deprived of the right to self-determination and the do not have their own statehood.
Since ancient times, the Kurdish people have been in a constant struggle for freedom and independence. This fight was not accompanied by establishing statehood as it was in most other nations. This process was prevented in the first place by foreign conditions, as Kurdistan, occupying a central geo-strategic situation in the Middle East, was a constant arena of endless wars. During these wars, the Kurds suffered huge human and material losses.
The Kurdish national movement, the struggle for independence went through several stages. In the XIX century, the Kurds supported the establishment of independent Kurdish principalities. The spread of Kurdish nationalism formed the main political goal of the movement - the struggle for a unified state, independent Kurdistan.
In the second half of the 20th century due to the escalating confrontation between the Arab world and Israel, and the desire of the two opposing world's military and political blocs to use it to their advantage, there were prerequisites for the revival of the Kurdish national movement.
Today the Kurds’ fight for their rights depends on external factors. It should be noted that the United States are loyal to the Kurdish national movement for independence in Iran and Iraq. This is connected with the American foreign policy toward Baghdad and Tehran. Washington supports the desire of Kurds to get independence, the USA, however, cease to hold a consistent position as for the Kurds in the Turkish Republic, where they have dark alliance. The ambiguous position of Americans in dealing with Kurdish problem actually complicates the situation in the region.
A wave of bloody revolutions that began in North Africa today got to the Turkish coast. This is evidenced by recent events in the previously calm Syria, which borders on Turkey. This fact could trigger a new surge of Kurdish opposition statements and it is most likely to complicate a difficult situation in Turkish Kurdistan.
Taking into account the fact that the Turkish authorities strictly and consistently take very negative stance on the issue of Kurdish autonomy, the ruling elite of the Kurdish opposition itself often takes a short-sighted position. While calling for armed actions, which are accompanied by numerous victims, it forgets about the interests of the people. In the Kurdish movement there is no common position about the solution of the major issues of this problem. This state of affairs is largely due to the territorial fragmentation, lack of coordination between the political organizations in some parts of Kurdistan. Among the Kurdish political parties there is an ambiguous position about the West. Some of them advocated a close alliance with it, but there are those who see the West as a mortal enemy. Creating extreme political and terrorist organization, the Kurdish extremists strengthen tensions in the region.
The international community showed that it will no longer tolerate the total human rights violations and the persecution of ethnic minorities. An example of this is the recent events in Libya. But the leadership of the Kurdish opposition should not forget about the fact that Turkey is a NATO member. And it doesn’t matter how strong the West defends the principles of morality and justice, the interests in the Middle East region will always be put above the interests of the Kurdish people. Based on the realities of today, the Kurds have to give up armed struggle and seek the solution of their issues at the negotiating table. Because if there are no negotiations about the end of the conflict after the election, then the recent actions of the Kurdish opposition, such as two attempts on Prime Minister Erdogan over the past two months and the recent statement made by the leader of the KLP Abdullah Ocalan to "wage war", would not lead long-suffering Kurdish people to the achievement of goals in a multi-year struggle for a free and independent "Kurdistan".
Decisive importance in solving the Kurdish problem has a position of Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party, which won parliamentary elections, held on June 12, 2011. The optimum is the refusal of authorities from nationalist politics and a gradual transition to granting the Kurds the national collective rights. It is quite permissible for Turkey to recognize the Kurds as a people. They can be equalized in Political Rights with the Turkish population and Kurdish can be legalized. If the Turkish government pursues a policy of positioning the Kurds as equal to Turkish people, the Kurdish opposition will not have a reason to wage an armed struggle for creation a separate state.



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