June 3, 2011

THERE IS NO SYRIA:

Unrest in Syria inspires Kurdish activism (Chris Zambelis, 6/04/11, Asia Times).

Like others in the Arab world toiling under decades of authoritarianism, Syrians are protesting against the absence of democratic freedoms, the disregard for human rights and the corruption pervading their society. As legitimate grievances engendered over time define a discourse of dissent, underserved segments of Syrian society, including persecuted ethnic minorities such as the sizeable Kurdish community, are also finding their voices.

Encompassing all corners of the country, the unrest in Syria has reached the northern and northeastern provinces where most of the country's ethnic Kurdish minority population reside, particularly in Aleppo, al-Raqqa, and, especially, al-Hasakah province, which borders Kurdish-dominated regions of Turkey and Iraq. Kurdish neighborhoods and towns across other parts of Syria are also witnessing displays of dissent.

The specter of Kurdish nationalism continues to haunt governments in the region that rule over restive Kurdish populations, namely Turkey, Iraq and Iran, as well as Syria. Initially, there was little evidence to indicate that Syrian Kurds were expressing their grievances amid the current uprising through an ethno-nationalist lens analogous to the calls for autonomy or independence by Kurds in Turkey and Iran, which are experiencing Kurdish insurgencies, or Iraq, where Kurds enjoy a quasi-independent status guaranteed through Iraq's federalization.

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Posted by at June 3, 2011 5:30 AM
  

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