Saturday, April 16, 2011

Turkish Kurdish dialog a must

“I did not come to Turkey to tell the Turks or Kurds how they should sort out the problems; that would be rather arrogant of me,” Joe Reilly, an elected representative of Ireland’s Sinn Fein party, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

“Simply because somebody said Sinn Fein was banned, it did not mean Sinn Fein did not exist. Part of the mentality of war is that you demonize your opponent. The language used is one of the things that must change for conflict to come to an end. How can there be dialogue if you do not know what your opponent is thinking?”
“One of the things we try to do is to not politicize the language. The language is everybody’s language. It does not belong to Sinn Fein, it does not belong to any political party. It belongs to the people.  Any truly democratic country has the ability to embrace more than one official language within its borders."

Reilly disagreed with critics who say the Kurdish demand for “democratic autonomy” in Turkey is too high of a starting point for dialogue, saying any peace process has a life of its own that can “bring you to places you never imagined you would go.”

Some 3,500 people were killed during three decades of civil strife between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, a period known as “the Troubles.” In Turkey, the conflict between the military and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, has claimed 45,000 lives since 1984.

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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.