Friday, November 02, 2007

Turkey's rising flag-waving ethno-nationalism

Al Jazeera has featured a report on the disturbing trend of rising Turkish ethno-nationalism directed against the Kurds both inside and outside Turkey. Turkey's population consists of about 20% Kurdish minority the absolute majority of whom shares the same religion with the Turks but owns its distinct ethnic language, culture and tradition.

According to Beverley Milton-Edwards and Peter Hinchcliffe of Queen's University Belfast, although there has been "a softening of the attitude of inflexible non-recognition of a specifically ' Kurdish ' issue by the Turkish government ... persecution and harassment (against its own Kurdish ethnic minority by the Turkish authorities) continues". (in Conflicts in the Middle East Since 1945, London, Routledge, 2004; p.82)

Milton-Edwards and Hinchcliffe also observes that the original denial and suppression of the ethnic identity of Kurds in Turkey has its root in "Kamal Ataturk's aggressive policy of Turkish nationalism" which resulted in an earlier situation in Turkey where "all public vestiges of Kurdish identity were banned, including schools, associations and publications" (ibid; p.81). (Mustafa) Kamal Ataturk (1881-1938) was a modernist army officer of the Ottoman Empire, the founder of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 and its first President from 1923 to 1938.

Armenia responds to Turkey on ' genocide' bill

Kurds as a nation with no state in Middle East


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