Sunday, July 10, 2011

Should we allow Turkey to preach us about peace?

Markar Esayan, Today's Zaman "Just think, the read on all the human losses and indescribable pain is completely opposite depending on whether you look at it from the east or the west of the nation. We talk about 50,000 people having died over 30 years of fighting. What this really means is hundreds of thousands. During the era of the dirty war, there were 5 million people in the region serving as soldiers. Countless people were seriously traumatized and have learned by heart that the other side is the enemy. Just as the Kurds are seen as the reason for the deaths in the official version of events in the west of Turkey, Kurds in the east see the state -- and by extension its owners, the Turks -- as responsible."
"The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was formed in the wake of the destructive effects of the Sept. 12 coup because it rejected the Kurdish reality. Some of the torture inflicted by coup supporters on people, especially at Diyarbakır Prison, caused great resentment. The paradigm spouted by the leader of the coup supporters, Kenan Evren, was that “the Kurds are not a separate people, and thus there is no Kurdish problem.” This paradigm was linked with the banning of Kurdish as a language, all sorts of violations of human rights, the burning-down of villages and the scapegoating of legal Kurdish politics; what all of this did was make violence the only accepted and used language. The PKK, during this period, began to distinguish itself as the most organized of the Kurdish groups around, and began to represent the Kurdish problem. So much so that alternative Kurdish political movements were left voiceless and illegitimate, seemingly in the middle of all of the violence. And as for the Kurdish people, they gave their support to this organization, which appeared to promise that it would protect people from the state. After all, the blood was already running in the streets."

"These days, a significant number of Kurds attribute the greatest share in the general recognition of the Kurdish problem and the fact that the Turkish government has started a Kurdish initiative to the PKK itself. Whether or not you agree, this is the reality. Many Kurdish citizens still do not trust the state."

"And thus, like the Japanese units that kept right on fighting after WWII was over, the Turks and the Kurds do not seem able to shrug off the spirit of war themselves. The problems may continue, and the steps taken on the Kurdish initiative may be insufficient, but they are not able to digest the idea that warring is not the way towards a solution, and thus, the situation is really tragic.

We are in a state of having been caught unprepared for peace. We have fought so hard, been so exhausted and started to believe so deeply that the situation will never change that we never even consider that the struggle for rights can be carried on through vehicles other than violence. But the worst aspect of this all is that people are truly still dying, and we all live with the fear of hearing news about more deaths at any moment."

Today's Zaman | MARKAR ESAYAN | Caught unprepared for peace (1) | 11 May 2011

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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.