Monday, March 21, 2011

Kemal Burkay on Kurds' Turkish problem

Kemal Burkay
Today's Zaman: "If the Turkish state were to fulfill Kurdish democratic demands, would the PKK have any more reason to exist?"

Kemal BurkayHad Turkey only recognized Kurdish rights earlier, there would neither be a Kurdish problem nor so many Kurdish uprisings from the start of the republic up until now. Neither would the Kurds have felt any need for illegal organizations, nor would a group like the PKK have ever emerged. The only way to completely rid Turkey of this problem now is to recognize all the basic rights of the Kurdish people. A solution based on the principle of equality is possible, there are many examples of this throughout the world, and as we see it, this would take the shape of a federation.
In addition, there are now even legal political parties that have adopted into their programs the suggestions I have made to solve the Kurdish problem. For example, the Rights and Freedoms Party [HAK-PAR] is proposing a federation as a solution.

Kemal Burkay, a poet who has beenin exile from his homeland
Born in Tunceli in 1937, he went to school in his own village, where his father was a teacher. He graduated from the Ankara University school of law in 1960. After completing his military service in Erzurum, he briefly worked as a kaymakam (district governor) in Osmaniye. In 1964, he began practicing as an independent attorney. His first collection of poems, “Prangalar” (Shackles), was published in 1967. Burkay joined the TİP in 1965. In 1968, he was elected to the general council and then to its executive steering committee. He went abroad after the March 12, 1971 military intervention. In 1974, he came back under an amnesty law and started working as an independent lawyer in Ankara. In the same year, along with some of his friends, he established the outlawed PSK, where he was elected secretary-general. But he had to leave after the Sept. 12, 1980 coup and was granted political asylum in Sweden, continuing his activism there. Burkay, one of the most important figures in Kurdish politics, has always stood apart from the PKK with his stance against armed struggle. He has authored a large number of books on literature and politics. His most well-known poem in Turkey is “Gülümse” (Smile), which was popularized in a song by Turkish diva Sezen Aksu.

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Turkey's Kurds & Cyprus' tCypriots

As either unitary state or federation solutions are discussed as replacements to Cyprus' 1960 and Turkey's 1923 unworkable constitutions, should we abide by "if a right is a right too many for Turkey's Kurdish community (circa 23% of population) then that right is a right too many for Cyprus' tCypriot community too (circa 15%), and vice versa." Is the adoption of this fair logic the catalyst to securing just solutions for both UN countries.