Monday, January 18, 2016

The List of Kurdish Demands If They Followed Akinci's Example | Gatestone Institute

Many would agree that it is one thing to stand for the respect of the human, political and cultural rights of people and communities, but it is totally another to allow a minority to dictate the fate of an entire nation. Since 1960, the majority Greek Cypriots have felt hostage to what they regard a sort of tyranny by an 18% minority.

What if the 20% Kurds of Turkey were to follow the Turkish Cypriot example and demand for themselves "rights" commensurate to those demanded by the Turks in Cyprus? What if Turkey's Kurds, as preconditions to lay down their arms and drop all talk of an independent Kurdistan, applied the same Turkish logic to Turkey's majority-minority dispute?

Kurds, after all, fought alongside the Turkish majority for independence, and they have a historic claim as the native people of the entire east of the country. 

Turkish Cypriots can make no such claims.

This might be a hypothetical list of the Kurds' demands:
  • The end of the Republic of Turkey as a legal entity and its replacement with a brand new federal state based on a 50-50% partnership between the Turkish majority and Kurdish minority
  • An autonomous state in the east on what historically constitutes Kurdish land as well as autonomous zones in every major district in Turkey that has a sizable Kurdish population, with forced relocations of ethnic Turks where necessary
  • Safeguards that their autonomous state/zones shall have guaranteed Kurdish majority
  • Recognition of the "Kurdish state" under international law, much like in a confederation arrangement, enabling it to secede if/when warranted
  • Universal veto rights for all federal decisions, implying that Kurds would have to approve every decision the federation makes
  • 50-50% representation in the upper house of the federation
  • Over-representation in state apparatus up to two and a half times Kurds' actual numerical numbers; in other words, that Kurds would have guaranteed representation in state positions well above their population proportion
  • Full exclusive education in Kurdish, which would become an official language of the new federation, along with Turkish; in other words, Kurds would be educated exclusively in Kurdish and Turks exclusively in Turkish, without either learning the other's language
  • The right to half of all hydrocarbons and natural resources of the country
  • The naturalization of millions of Kurds from other parts of Kurdistan
  • Eternal say and presence by outsiders, NATO perhaps, in Turkish affairs to ensure that the state would not recede to methods of the past of cultural assimilation and physical extermination
Would Turks regard such demands as logical and acceptable? How would the average Turk feel if the HDP, the Kurdish party that in the recent general elections in Turkey entered parliament by surpassing for the first time the 10% threshold[15], explicitly stated these demands from the Turkish state?


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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.