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 10 Years since Ocalan's arrest, Turkey failed to solve Kurdish issue

 Source : BIA NET  
  Kurd Net does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news information on this page


10 Years since Ocalan's arrest, Turkey failed to solve Kurdish issue  14.2.2009  

PKK leader Ocalan was confiscated in Nairobi on February 15th, 1999. The state hoped that the PKK would dismantle without Ocalan but the Kurdish movement managed to reform itself, analyst Kalyon said.

February 14, 2009

Turkey has wasted an opportunity to resolve the Kurdish issue peacefully following PKK's Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan's apprehension 10 years ago, political analyst Kenan Kalyon told bianet.

With the help of US intelligence, Ocalan was confiscated in Nairobi, Kenya on February 15, 1999 and brought to Turkey. He was then tried and condemned to life on terror charges. He remains in Imrali prison. Every year,
www.ekurd.net Kurds all around Turkey and in Europe gather in protests on February 15th to condemn what they call an "international complot".

Following Ocalan's arrest, we witnessed a period of ceasefire where the Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK*) gave priority to political struggle but the state failed to assess this chance, Kalyon said.

"The state hoped to solve the problem by prolonging it in time and hoping for a self dismantlement of the PKK, now it lost Ocalan. Those predictions didn't realize. PKK managed to reform itself and continue with a collective direction."

Despite lost chances, he lists several positive developments in the last 10 years, regarding the Kurdish issue.                                 

Turkish Kurds hold a poster of the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Abdullah Ocalan, during Nowruz celebrations in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

Jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan Now, The only prisoner on the Imrali Island in the Turkish Sea of Marmara. photo from ROJ TV station 2007
"First of all, Kurds are represented in the parliament following July 2007 elections. Disregarding the short experience of Party of Democracy in 1990s, the Kurdish movement is involved in parliamentary politics.

Secondly, even if not a fully open relations, Turkey has initiated dialogue with Kurds in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north.

Thirdly, the Kurdish movement managed to withhold its power, clarifying its demands and programme for a peaceful solution. Those included a new definition of constitutional citizenship, which would avoid any discrimination ethnic grounds. This move also avoided any accusation of separatism."

Despite these positive developments, Kalyon thinks Turkey was pushed on the brink of a social dismantlement based on ethnicity,
www.ekurd.net as a result of years of nationalist enticement. He recounts lynch attempts against Kurds on several occasions. "This proved that the barrier before a solution didn't just stem from the bureaucracy, the state and politicians but also on a social level."

Kalyon criticizes Turkey for avoiding "his own Kurds", while communicating with Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan region.

And lastly, The Justice and Development Party's (AKP) efforts to introduce political Islam in Eastern Turkey, to weaken the Kurdish opposition is rendering the any solution distant, said Kalyon.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, bianet org

* The PKK is considered a 'terrorist' organization by Ankara and U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list.

Over 40,000 Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas have been killed since 1984 when the Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) (Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan) took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey (Turkey-Kurdistan). A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels. Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority.

The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas,
the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

** Kurds are not recognized as an official minority in Turkey and are denied rights granted to other minority groups. Under EU pressure, Turkey recently granted Kurds limited rights for broadcasts and education in the Kurdish language, but critics say the measures do not go far enough.

The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously rejected due to its alleged political implications by the Republic of Turkey, which does not recognize the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan" Southeast Turkey.

Others estimate over 40 million Kurds live in Big Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia), which covers an area as big as France, about half of all Kurds which estimate to 20 million live in Turkey.

Turkey is home to 25 million ethnic Kurds, a large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK for a Kurdish homeland in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media. The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet has led to judicial persecution in 2000 and 2003

The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan but unofficially flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey where flying it is a criminal offence" 

Southeastern Turkey: North Kurdistan ( Kurdistan-Turkey) wikipedia    


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