merlin

Member
For the first time, Turkey addresses Kurdish grievances....
The Turkish government acknowledged Friday that it has mishandled its relations with the nation's minority Kurds and said their long-running grievances need to be addressed through greater democracy, not repression.

The admission by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, believed to be the first by a Turkish leader, came during a speech in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the troubled southeast region and a hotbed of Kurdish nationalism.

The crowds applauded wildly as Erdogan termed the Kurdish issue "my problem, our collective problem."

"Mistakes have been made," he said. And to ignore past mistakes was not "fitting behavior for great nations such as Turkey."

The Kurdish community reacted positively to the speech.

"It constitutes the foundation for turning a new page in relations," said Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir. "The significance of his words cannot be underestimated," said Sezgin Tanrikulu, chairman of Diyarbakir's influential bar association. "It's the first time any Turkish leader is admitting to wrongdoing on the part of the state."

For decades, Turkey's estimated 14 million Kurds were dismissed by successive governments as "mountain Turks." Their ancient tongue, which is distinct from Turkish, was officially banned until the early 1990s. Thousands of Kurdish activists, who demanded official recognition of their ethnic identity, were tortured and jailed. Kurdish insurgents in turn carried out a running rebellion against the government.

As Turkey seeks to join the European Union, it has begun to ease pressure on the Kurds. Since Erdogan took office in 2002, his conservative Justice and Development Party has enacted a series of reforms, among them measures enabling the Kurds to broadcast and publish in their language and to teach it in privately run courses.

The changes contributed to the decision of European Union leaders last December to open membership negotiations with Turkey, which are scheduled to begin Oct. 3.

But analysts warn that renewed violence between security forces and the separatist rebel group known as the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, could spark a nationalist backlash that would in turn weaken public support for reforms.



Merv!
 

murdo

Warp Factor 8
For the first time, Turkey addresses Kurdish grievances....
Truly hope that they find a way of achieving peace. Read somewhere how many Turks/Kurds had died. Quite horrifying
Jackie
 

merlin

Member
For the first time, Turkey addresses Kurdish grievances....
Yes Jackie, the war in Turkish Kurdistan has claimed some 37,000 lives since the PKK first took up arms in 1984.

Merv!
 

Latest Posts

Top Bottom