November 2, 2007

DON'T NEED VIOLENCE WHEN YOU'RE WINNING:

Militants losing sway among Kurds in Turkey (Sabrina Tavernise, November 2, 2007, IHT)

Ten years ago, Turkey ran the Kurdish region here in its southeast like a police state. All signs of Kurdish identity - the language, music, national dress - were strictly banned and subject to punishment. Checkpoints were everywhere. Going out after dark was forbidden.

Today, Kurdish is heard on the streets and in shops, Kurdish satellite TV is legally beamed into homes and Kurdish holidays are celebrated publicly. The improvements occurred after a 25-year war for Kurdish rights subsided, and are largely a result of legal changes Turkey made to qualify for the European Union.

But militant proponents of that Kurdish identity - a rebel group based in part in northern Iraq - threaten to complicate further progress on the very rights for which they claim to fight, many here say.

"They harm the Kurdish people more than anybody else with this violence," said Mehmet Kaya, head of the chamber of commerce in the region's capital, Diyarbakir, referring to the rebels. "People of this region are starting to say out loud that they no longer want violence."


As in Palestine and South Lebanon, de facto statehood suffices for most.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 2, 2007 6:34 AM
Comments

Why bother either fighting or leaving when you already have what you want?

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 2, 2007 9:43 AM
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