how the world sees america

Two Kurdish Turks: Waiting for U.S.

Women-On-Road.jpg
The view from Van.

VAN, Eastern Turkey – Zeki M., a language teacher in this predominantly Kurdish city near the Iraq border, was both relieved and disappointed when he heard the news today that Turkish and Iraqi officials will collaborate to take down the PKK. "Strikes against the PKK will not bring peace" unless America promotes the rights of Kurdish Turks, he said.

Kurds here have had a tense history with the Turkish government. "I teach English, but I cannot teach Kurdish to my students," Zeki lamented. "I cannot teach them poetry or show our flag or listen to Kurdish radio."

Zeki sat alongside a local doctor, Nuri A., outside a group of concrete homes built for refugees who say they fled Hakkari in the 1990s at the hands of Turkish Security Forces. We drank Turkish tea with lemon and gazed at jagged hills in the distance. One of the hills, called Taprak Kale, is emblazoned with the huge crescent and star of the Turkish flag. Nuri smirked at it. "It's to remind us we're occupied," he said.

Both Nuri and Zeki believe America will free them. "America will help us - they must. President Bush talks about freedom, human rights, and democracy. Kurds want these things."

"We are a people without a country," Zeki continued, turning first to history and then to his Iraqi neighbors to make his case. America "stands by people like us – oppressed people....Just as the U.S. helped Israel," so they should assist the Kurds.

He added, "Our Iraqi brothers have been very successful under [American protection]; their success inspires us."

Jagged-Still-3.jpg
Another view.

Whether or not Zeki and Nuri one day realize their dream of a "Greater Kurdistan," both men want the U.S. to use its leverage over Turkey now –- to pressure the government into dialogue with Kurdish groups, including the PKK, and to expand Kurdish civil liberties and economic possibilities.

Otherwise, they fear, things will get worse after this conflict dies down. "America protects the Kurds in Iraq, but here we are vulnerable,” Zeki said, “Nationalists and the military want to attack.” He fears that innocent Turkish Kurds could become the object of revenge. More ominously, Zeki said he worries: "If the U.S. withdraws quickly [from Iraq], and forgets about us, we will be destroyed again."

Zeki, Nuri and I hopped in a car and drove through the city, avoiding police checkpoints. "We don't want violence to escalate," Zeki said. "But we don't want Kurds to kill our Kurdish brothers either," referring to the PKK. He's not happy that Iraqi Kurds are constraining the party. His friend Nuri takes a softer line saying: "I am a Turk too, and I want this violence to stop. I want Turkey to join the European Union, and [I want] a job in the West."

Zeki shook his head, switched off his cell phone, locked the doors and said quietly, "The PKK defends our right to be Kurdish. The PKK and the Kurds are one."

Despite what Turks or Americans might think, he said, "the real problem is not over there in the mountains [with the rebels]; it is here" in Kurdish cities like Van. In the cities, "we have no rights, no jobs, no hope." Until this is fixed, Zeki warned, "there will always be a PKK or some other group. There is no hope here…without help."

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Comments (264)

mustafa cinaroglu:

About PKK, Americans and western people have to know one realty that today the biggest drug and heroin traffic all over Europe is coordinated by PKK. Only because of this fact, lots of European countries incl. Germany, France, UK had to ban PKK activities even though they had a tolerance till they became sure. But even today, drug and heroin is one of the biggest income of PKK.

Eray Ozkural:

Commentator: You must be an awful idiot. Turks have inhabited Anatolia for a THOUSAND years.

Commentator:

There seems to be a lot of misinformation going on about the PKK. The PKK was formed from 1978 - 1979 in the backdrop of the Leftist Movement in Turkey that was nationalistic and did little to support Kurdish rights. Abdullah Ocalan, the founder of the PKK and other leftists, including Turks, organized the PKK. During the 1980 coup by rightists, the military banned the Kurdish language in public and it was illegal to speak Kurdish until the 1990's, and it is still risky to do so. Literally, you went to jail if you spoke Kurdish or published anything. Layla Zana in 1995 spent ten years in jail for calling herself a Kurd in parliament. Naturally, a people who cannot learn their language in public when they number fifteen million will turn to resistance, any people would. The Turks, for eighty years, called Kurds, "Mountain Turks" and they didn't recognize the Kurds even existed. The debate has changed since the 1970's and the 1980's.

It is worth noting now that the Kurds, 25 - 30 million people, are the largest ethnic group in the world without their own country. They've lived in that land since the time of the Medes, the Turks got the land after WW I and now they act as though they've inhabited it since the beginning of time, which is incorrect. The Turks are the last ethnic group to enter the Middle East. They were promised a country in 1919 by the Treaty of Sevres and were denied it by the 1923 Lausanne settlement. They have been subjected to horrible discrimination and cultural persecution. Turkey has successfully assimilated millions of Kurds.

It's interesting how many of these posters fail to notice how the Turkish government has pursued an assimilationist policy, erasing the identity of millions of people. The Turkish government destroyed 3,000 villages in the fight against the PKK and has deployed nationalist vigiliante groups and terror in the fight against the PKK as well. The Turkish government has also displaced over a milion people. It's very common knowledge if you talk to a Kurd from Turkey - one's that live in the South - East - that the often say that the PKK is a force against the assimilation.

The fact that the PKK has a huge deal of support ought to tell you something about it. There's a reason for it. And it's not that all the Kurds are villains as some posters have made this out to be.

kurdish girl:

i think that the u.s army is doing a good job and they are helping my people.
turks are the most stupid people in the world so they should leave our country and get lost...kurds will take over soon.

SPIDON:


To anyone interested in formulating an objective and personal opinion on the matter at hand, a good place to start is by reading where the Turkish problems come from. Please copy/paste the line below into your browser and simply read the thousands of Human Rights violations by Turkey as listed by the organization HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH:

hrw.org/doc?t=europe&c=turkey

****

Spiridon
Montreal Canada

James Seaborn:

I honestly am having such a difficult time understanding how people act these days here in America. When I was young I was considered a Hippie/Flower Child. But we cared about each other. We were fighting against racism, prejudice and intolerances of all types.

When I was 19 I was invited to go to live as long as I wished by illigal Mexican Migrant workers. I took them up on their offer. These men were picking fruit in the hot sun so they could support their families for the rest of the year. And yet they wanted to pay my way to go to their small village in the desert.

Three days on a bus and a long taxi ride and I was in a small village with no cars, no safe drinking water for three miles, and no toilets or electricity except some of the people had a lightbulb as they had just gotten electricity the year before.

These people treated me like family. They all took turns sharing their homes with me. I wanted to stay forever but I knew they could not afford to feed me.. even though they would have. I stayed two months and they all chipped in and sent me back when I was ready.

My point is this: Hate begats hate. Somewhere after all the progress we were making back then against racism... it reared it's ugly head again.

I can tell you the problem with America in two words: GREED and SELFISHNESS. I think it applies to all things in all countries. I would also add the word INTOLERANCE.

I actually lost my faith after a lifetime of living it with vigor and conviction. I do not like what religion causes in respect to wars and hatred. If there was a god... a supreme being of any kind... you cannot convince me he or she would be happy with the way we treat each other.

Everyone I meet from a poor country has a heart as big as a mountain. I watched many of my Mexican friends move to the U.S. and over time I watched them lose sight of who they were. It is easy for people to get caught up in the greed and forget what is really important. Most families here are not close at all compared to those from poor countries. I am 55 and dying. I wish I could convince you all to just stop arguing about who and what is right.

When I found out I was going to die I wrote 6o typed pages to my children so they would have all the knowledge and wisdom I wanted to leave with them. It was too long. They would not remember. I reduced it to 10 pages, 3 pages, 1 page. It was still too long. I knew they would not remember. So I went out and bought bright orange neon cards and I took a black marker and wrote the following: "This is the sum total of all my knowledge and wisdom:
1. Love everyone.
2. Forgive everyone.
3. Judge no one.

I knew they could remember that. In closing, I met a young Kurdish man after emailing him back and forth for a few weeks. He came and stayed in my home for the weekend. I have never met a finer man in my life. I hope all of you who read this lose all of your intolerance, greed. selfishness and use your minds and hearts to treat each other the way you would want to be treated... no matter who the person is, no matter what they look like, believe, their religious preference, sexual preference, etc. Just treat everyone the way you want to be treated.

"Evil flourishes when good people do nothing."
"If you want to get to the other side of the lake, tow someone else's boat and lo... yours will be there also."

I read those when I was 12 years old and never forgot them. Go see the movie 'Ghandi' starring Ben Kingsly. It is long and not action packed. No special effects. But it's message is powerful
and moving. Surround yourselves with happy tolerant people and learn to enjoy all the differences in each other. The only prejudice a person should have is the prejudice of prejudice.

May you all come to know the happiness I have known in my life.

My love and best wishes to all of you and for your loved ones and even for your enemies.

So let it be written...So let it be done.

James Seaborn gaspdesign@earthlink.net

Roger Godby:

Todd-

English is not the official language of the US; some states have accepted is as their official language (to avoid the likely multilingual headaches that exist in Belgium and Canada, for example).

The US-Turkey relationship has been useful in the past, for both parties. The Turks got aid to prevent Soviet imperialist expansion; the US got a brave ally in a troubled part of the world. However, the time for pacts, contracts, and agreements linking the two is over; in fact, I suspect is has been since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Many years in the early '90s, I met a US citizen who had lived and worked at Incirlik (a US air base in Turkey); he said the Turks were such "friends" that they were fond of stabbing Yanks in the bum. What drives Turkish hatred of the US? Perhaps the same insanity that drives the strong saleß of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in Turkey (http://www.guardian.co.uk/turkey/story/0,,1447209,00.html) and other parts of the Muslim world. Is it the perpetually wounded pride, inflated ego, and need for scapegoats that sells anti-US books and movies like "Valley of the Wolves"?

The claim that Turkey is "a poodle" of the US is rubbish. If it were a "poodle," it would have submitted to US requests for allowing troops to enter Iraq from the north. But the Turkish poodle didn't: It is not a "poodle" but a pooper.

The US should end political and military ties with Turkey, withdraw all US forces, end any and all aid. Treat Turkey like a normal nation. There is no need to be belligerent, but it's time to say, "Thanks for the memories, Turkey."

AMERICA:

How does someone tell some person that they cant speak their language? I think that government needs to be thrown out.

Mr. Everything:

How immature is the Turkish government to not speak and hold gatherings with the kurdish government to solve this problem, no they only want to deal with the Iraqi governement in baghdad, oh well turks, the presedent of iraq is kurdish too, and soon East Turkey will be ours too, Saddam never saw it comming... neither will you......Biji Kurdw Kurdistan

Minhaj Akreyi:

Kurds are not a minority in Turkey, Kurds are in their homeland Kurdistan that is occupied by Turkey, please get your facts right. Kurdish land was divided in 1921 by France and England between 5 countries, Turkey (which has the biggest part) Iran, Iraq, Syria and back then Soviet Union by now by Armenia. Kurds are not minorities in any of theses countries, but are in their country called Kurdistan. So what if Kurdistan is not independent YET, it is still a country, occupied country.

Minhaj Akreyi:

I am a Kurd. I have never been to Kurdistan, to any of the 5 parts but I know hundereds of people who are from all 5 parts, and each person have hundered of stories relating how the governments of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Armenia brutalized them, and stilll actively does. I will only talk about the Kurds under the occupation of Turkey since this article is about Kurds over there (and are the most oppressed Kurds)

Kurds there cannot talk, learn, teach, listen, watch in their own language. In schools, there is absolutly no Kurdish classes and leasons to be taught. No Kurdish flag can be seen anywhere,no Kurdistan map can be seen anywhere, you cannot mention the work "KURDISTAN", you cannot have any items that egraved or says "KURDISTAN". Kurds there cannot dress in traditional Kurdish clothes. Kurds are not even called Kurds, they are called "Mountain Turks".

I am a Kurd, i know Kurds there who tells me this things, i know Kurds here in USA who came from there and tell me all about it. Mr. Amar is there RIGHT NOW and SEEING EVERYTHING, yall dont need to claim this article as false or bias, because Mr. Amar is not even KURDISH.

Mr. Amar, as a Kurd, and on behalf of Kurds, I really appreciate and thank you for your concerns for the oppressed Kurds. I pray for you. God Bless. Shukriya.

spidon:

I see that the conversation here is in good hands.
The Turks are doing a splendid job of compromising themselves, and since they are about to swallow a lot of their misplaced anger, it would be wise for them to play nice with the rest of the kids in their neighbourhood.

I have one question though:
What claims does Turkey have for the territorial part of Northern Iraq, where the Kurds now live, based on historical proof?
Is there any proof to substantiate Turkey's territorial claim to the Kurdish regions?


Spiridon
Montreal Canada

James Seaborn:

I met a young Kurdish man who has the highest values, great morals and a big heart. He is attending a small Univerity in Fairfield, Iowa. It is a University that most Americans think of as a joke.

I want to know if you are aware of any scholarships or funding for education for Kurds. My own grown children do not have the high standards this young man has. I think it is a disgrace that he comes to America and is cheated by a University that misrepresents itself.

He already has a B.A. in computer software and is trying to get his Masters Degree. Can you lead me in a direction where I can get him out of the University which I feel strongly misrepresented itself and took advantage of this man?

I want to help this man because the world needs more people like this. He is such a shining example.

Any help will be much appreciated.

Thank you,

James Seaborn gaspdesign@earthlink.net

James Seaborn:

I met a young Kurdish man who has the highest values, great morals and a big heart. He is attending a small Univerity in Fairfield, Iowa. It is a University that most Americans think of as a joke.

I want to know if you are aware of any scholarships or funding for education for Kurds. My own grown children do not have the high standards this young man has. I think it is a disgrace that he comes to America and is cheated by a University that misrepresents itself.

He already has a B.A. in computer software and is trying to get his Masters Degree. Can you lead me in a direction where I can get him out of the University which I feel strongly misrepresented itself and took advantage of this man?

I want to help this man because the world needs more people like this. He is such a shining example.

Any help will be much appreciated.

Thank you,

James Seaborn gaspdesign@earthlink.net

St. George:

I gotta tell ya all. America ll take you nowhere...

VICTORIA:

point well taken vic-

im learning

Vic van Meter:

Todd, Amar hasn't left Turkey yet that I know of. Just letting you know. He's moving to other opinions as he goes.

And why should he put up disclaimers? It's not his responsibility to make sure everyone knows his point of view. You have to go back a few posts and read what he's doing. He's examining the issues in Turkey affecting the US in different places. It's not like he's intentionally favoring the Kurds. It's just that someone had to come first. Trust me, we'll get all these backlash comments going the other way in no time. Before you start bashing Amar, you have to understand why he's there and what his method is. Comment all you'd like on it, but you can't tell him to not bring these opinions down unless he's gone out to purposefully find an antithesis. It's not how he's operating down there.

And Victoria, it's certainly based on Marxism, but as I was saying, the way they operate is very contrary to the Communist methodology. It's wierd how it happened,considering that up until maybe 2003 or 2004, it was pretty watered down. It's only just now started fighting again with a lot of fervor. Nowadays, they pay lip service to Marx. Most of them extol the name of Ocalan before they're chanting for Communism's big idea. I think a lot of the members may pay Communism some lip service, particularly the older members, but the PKK's focus has most definitely been on the political-social situation of the Kurds, not the country.

The PKK and its equally nasty sister organizations, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons and Pejak, are really simply hardening their stance back to their 70's days when they were pining for a Kurdish nation. I'm not fool enough to notice that a lot of Socialism may ring well for the disaffected in those areas, and I'm not saying you're wrong. The original goals (and thus members) probably still tend to the old Marxist theories. But the young people actually doing the soldiering in these organizations (and especially judging by the rhetoric used by our two Kurdish subjects above) probably are leaning towards the kind of stilted democracy that most Middle Eastern countries lean on when they talk about democracy.

I mean, the two above were probably seriously propogandists, but they definitely didn't mention anything Marxist. And this is about as close as we can get to the PKK mindset without listening to Ocalan anymore.

Still, I've always appreciated your research. And again, I'm not doubting they certainly began as Marxist and I'm sure it's not 100% changed. But I doubt it's the party's main focus anymore.

Todd:

JAMES, your cancer analogy is stupid because you are calling Kurds living in Turkey a tumor. Kurds and Turks live in peace and harmony in Turkey. PKK is a terrorist organization and Zeki and others Amar talks about are terrorists. As I said earlier, you are an anonymous coward and have no backbone.

JOAN, check the support Turkey is providing to the U.S. and you'll understand why the U.S. is so sensitive not to lose that support. Do some research before posting your simple arguments and coming across as uninformed. Ever heard of a U.S. Air Force base called Incirlik? Do you know where it is located? Do you know how logistical support for U.S. troops gets to them in Iraq? Hint: It's a country that borders Iraq and it certainly is not Iran or Syria!!! It's also the country that fought along w/ the U.S. in Korea and Afghanistan. Look it up before you post your simple-minded house-wife comments.

DON, Ottomans are history, but you can't hold Turkey responsible for their actions. Try looking at European history (what Germans did to the Jews), or to what happened more recently in Kosova, when the U.S. had to intervene because the lame ass Europeans would not lift a finger to stop the war crimes. How about France's atrocities in Algiers? And what about the U.S. history, with all that happened to the Native Americans in the name of progress, or to all those killed in Viet Nam in the name of fighting communism, or those who are today being killed in Iraq? The destabilized Iraq is in worse shape today than it was in under Saddam, and that's saying a lot because Saddam was a murderer. Did we find any WMD's in Iraq? Do you think the war is for anything other than oil? Read Tom Friedman (NYT) who explains how the current administration has no energy policy to rid the U.S. of dependence on Saudi oil. Instead of the war, the funds could have been used to develop new technologies for energy, and prevented all the loss of human life, American, Iraqi and Kurds. But unfortunately, Bush is an incompetent leader.

Joan Lee:

It is a shame to see so much kissing on the feet of Turks by our politicians like Bush when you see their people lifting signs calling America a terrorist. What a shame! I can't believe it.

Don Emil:

I think it is time to put Ottomans in the history's garbage bin. That is where they belong to. They are history. They have done enough to Europeans, Armenians, Arabs, and of course Kurds. I think anyone who does not know it, should ask Europeans about their crimes and genocides throughout history until now. Enough is enough.

James Zigler:

TODD, just because you think it is stupid,it does not mean that it is not true. It sounds like you personally have cancer in your heart too. Keep ignoring the existence of Kurdistan even though it is killing you. Smart boy! You should see a professional to give you some sucide pills because of your hate for Kurds. Whether you like it or not Kurdistan and Kurds exist and will exits. Try to eliminate Kurds and Kurdistan if you can. Those you support are doomed to fail.

Todd:

K, there is NO place called Kurdistan. There are no jungles in Turkey either, you may be confusing the country w/ Africa! You are a terrorist, and you need to be locked up. You're lucky if you are in Turkey, as Turkey abolished the death penalty several years ago. That's why Ocalan is still alive. Ocalan is a murderer and a baby-killer, but he's being taken care of by the state in his climate-controlled and comfortable cell.

Todd:

James, your cancer analogy is plain stupid. I was going to analyze it here but it's so full of s**t, doesn't deserve to be dignified. You are full of it as well.

Todd:

Vic, as a journalist, Amar should have augmented the interview w/ the necessary clarifications. Not everyone reading this article is as enlightened as you, or as aware of the facts. We don't need Amar to tell us the feelings of the people on the street. Amar's efforts are at best subversive, far from any definition of what a journalist should be doing. This is a highly sensitive situation, people are getting killed, it's not child's play, it's not a competition to write the award-winning essay. Amar does not have a dog in this fight, and if he's not going to be objective about it, he needs to stay out of it.

I am really upset that he came into to Turkey, wrote this crap and left. I read the piece one more time following your latest post, and I still don't see it in the manner you portray.

Amar and others on this forum writing from the U.S. are detached from the situation. What if a foreign reporter went to Afghanistan right after a dozen U.S. marines were brutally killed in an ambush, interviewed some people and wrote that the U.S. and NATO forces are killing civilians, that Afghans are not allowed to speak their own language or fly their own flag? As an American, wouldn't you be upset, knowing well that it's all nonsense, and yet, here is this reporter telling the world how these people feel, without providing background for their motives? Wouldn't the reporter look like as if he was trying to justify the ambush to the world?

This is how Amar is viewed by people who know what's going on. I am against censorship, but there has to be some guideline for ethical reporting, at least when the publisher is W.P. or Newsweek.

Your views?

Todd:

James, easy to be throwing around insults when you are an anonymous coward. You lack backbone.

VICTORIA:

i cant agree with that one vic-

the iranian students group PJAK has actually joined the PKK in N iraq, but to do so they had to adopt their marxist agenda.
i have seen nowhere any indication that they have changed the core philosophy, just promoted the social issues more loudly.

it started out segregated along ethnic and cultural lines, it hasnt evolved into them.
if it pushed its socialist views forward into the light, i doubt they'd get the support they are asking for from the US.

but they've consistently stuck to their marxist values, so i cannot agree.

however, they have changed their flag- maybe in deference to their US backing.
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/krd%7Dpkk.html

Vic van Meter:

Todd, you missed my point. The point is that Bakshi didn't get his facts wrong, Nuri and Zeki did. Amar didn't come out and say, "And these men were absolutely right!" He put their opinions forward AS WE OUGHT TO HEAR THEM. He didn't water them down or misdirect anyone. He wrote them, and a bevy of comments later, we get a picture of what people are thinking about the comments. But Amar didn't say that these opinions were THE opinion. He just gave them an avenue to speak through.

It's important to understand what Amar is doing, why he's doing it, and why I think you need to redirect your comments. Amar isn't here presenting facts, he's presenting opinions from around the globe about issues pressing America from around the world. The PKK fiasco is just one of those things, and Amar started with the PKKs base of support. Trust me when I tell you I'm at least intelligent enough to read the story and know that it's a little blown out of proportion. And I didn't even need everyone's comments to tell me that!

I think it sealed the deal when he praised the PKK. Saying a terrorist organization reflects your interests isn't a good way to come across as a peaceful victim of society.

And to Victoria, yeah, they started out being Communist. I've never said they still don't bear that banner. But terrorist organizations will change colors often if they find themselves irrelevent. The PKK is taking up the cause of Tukey's disaffected because (surprise surprise) that's how Communist revolutions tend to work. They travel from the bottom up.

Now I can't say for certain that the Communist agenda is still a big part of the PKK. Years later, it's more likely continuing as a liberation arm for the Kurds than as a Communist supporter (that's out of fashion). But even if they are, the PKK isn't stressing a traditional Communist point. Communist nations tend not to carve out countries from larger masses. Not always true, but largely true. They simply take over governments with promises of social equality. If the PKK was fighting with the intention of overthrowing Turkey's government and taking over the country, I'd call them more specifically a Communist terrorist group. But their demand is for a Kurdish state, which is a segregational and social isolationist tack.

Who knows? Maybe they're just confused terrorists. But Marxists talked about social equality and justice by erasing social status. This just doesn't have the hallmarks of a Communist revolution as it pertains to Turkey. Just putting that out there and maybe I'm completely wrong. But this certainly isn't a kind of revolution you treat like a South American Communist overthrow. It's starting to segregate along the lines of culture, so it's a bit more sensical to treat the PKK's aim as a segregationalist society than a socialist one.

FrustratedMuslim:

Everybody talks about equal freedom for kurds/turks in Turkey

Thats correct. My cousin from my mother's side (a turk) can wear her headscarve in an american college but not in a turkish college

In other words, both turk muslims and kurd muslims are equally repressed in that manner. Thats not freedom

The chinese say that the tibetans have the same rights as the chinese too. And we all believe them, dont we?

Kemalists are old news. Long Live the Justice Party. Lets pray that the turkish generals lose all power in controlling civilian affairs

IB:

anonymous aka borat...you are a caricature...everything funnytime for you...funnytime this, funnytime that...you are a child

you attack the messenger but do not disprove the message in any way. nope, no ability to counter-argue what so ever

you say that article is "filled with lies and hatred, biased sick thoughts of an individual." are you sure you didnt miss any other buzzwords? maybe "propoganda, zionism, jealousy". please continue talking like a marxist....big, attack-ful words

i'm simply bringing up that terrotories in that area are hotly disputed. thats a fact

simple yes/no question to you...does the approval by the us govt to give the kurds an autonomous zone in northern iraq threaten you or not?

its a simple yes/no question borat

Koray:

Do you see the similarities between PKK and Al-Qeada from K's comments? If you skipped it, please read!

Koray:

Do you see the similarities between PKK and Al-Qeada from K's comments? If you skipped it, please read!

This article is one sided and supporting PKK's dreams.

James Zigler:

I think turky has a cancer in its heart and it is the Kurdish problem. Good luck turkey! Everyone knows the end of that cancer. Think people. No wonder it is called turkey.

James Zigler:

I think turky has a cancer in its heart and it is the Kurdish problem. Good luck turkey! Everyone knows the end of that cancer. Think people. No wonder it is called turkey.

James Zigler:

I think turky has a cancer in its heart and it is the Kurdish problem. Good luck turkey! Everyone knows the end of that cancer. Think people. No wonder it is called Turkey.

Anonymous:

IB, that article is more than funny, filled with lies and hatred, biased sick thoughts of an individual.

Kurds and Turks in Turkey live in peace and harmony as brothers. Unemployment is a problem for both sides on the East part of Turkey and Kurds are free to use their language, listen to their own radio, tv and inherit their own culture. They can represent themselves in the parliement, there is no limitation for Kurds in Turkey's democracy. If there are 6 million Kurds in Turkey and they are not happy with the urrent situation, they can get 10% of the seats in parliement and make it right (if there were any wrongs)

K,
You threaten the great country of Turkey with terrorism. You try to divide the Turkish and Kurdish brothers in Turkey. You are making the whole world your enemy. If you believe you are wronged, come to your senses and pursue your rights like civilized people instead of murdering innocent people. If the Turks did all these things you said, provide evidence to the human rights division of Europe and Turkey would be punished. But you are lying so there is no proof.

Turkey doesn't want to invade Northern Iraq, they want to stop the terrorists who have bases there

Turkey is not attacking rebels, it is attacking terrorists who have killed more than 30.000 in last 20 years and 40 people last month.

This is not about which nation writes history. This is about good and evil. And terrorism is evil no matter how you try to justify it.

VICTORIA:

thank you todd, no- just an opinionated novice

K- are you suggesting overthrowing the trukish government and establishing a communist regime?

or just revenge with no real plan?

K:

Turkey over the past 30 years has burnt jungles of Kurdistan and demolished Kurdish vilages. In other words damaging the economic infrastructure of the region. It is time for PKK to retaliate and damage the economy of Turkey.

Move the war out of Kurdish territories in Iraq and Turkey and move it inside the heartland of Turkish territories in Turkey.

Burn 1 Turkish bridge for every 10 trees burnt
in Kurdistan. Burn 1 factory or power supply for each Kurdish vilage burnt or evacuated by
Turks.

Turkey wants to play with fire. Let it really burn its fingers this time. It is pay back time.

http://kurdistanobserver.servehttp.com/Oct-2007/24-10-07-opinion-goran-tky-playing-with-fire.html

Bosphorus Bridge should be one of the first targets.

IB:

i should have included the link again to the article i'm refering to. its not as "funny" as you think

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IJ16Ak02.html

ib:

to anonymous......yeah yeah. ha ha i'm so funny. the article writer is funny too. but you are serious!

the mid-east map will change time and time again. mark my words

read the article

those borders are - clearly - not as settled as you think. as the obvious example of iraq shows. a minority sunni ruling native kurds and native shiites? that didnt go too well, did it? you're talking about the external borders of the ottoman empire. i'm talking about the internal ones that were carved up

of course, borders/lands go back and forth...sometimes with treaties, sometimes not

the usa bought alaska from the russians. bought = bartering with money

Anonymous:

IB you are a funny guy
Before 85 years ago those lands belonged to Ottomans(Turks) for 700 years and before that it belonged to Turkmen, Roman, Persian, Greek many and many other nations.
You can not barter/take lands from sovereign nations. Period.

ib:

a take on the delicate and fake mid-east map...

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IJ16Ak02.html

turkey as a remnant of the ottoman empire is only 85 or so years old. we're not talking about an area where borders were settled 2-3 hundred years ago. the kurds got cheated when the ottoman empire was broken up.

like the link above suggests: the turks can give up some land for a kurdistan and it turn can get some land from northern iran where turkic-people live. iran and the rest of the countries could do a little border bartering too. unrealistic? not more so than dividing up the ottoman empire into pseudo-countries and expecting them to stay that way.

Todd:

Victoria, you are very knowledgeable. The insight I gathered from your posts has been one positive outcome from all this. Are you a researcher?

VICTORIA:

as i said alan, there are over 40 distinct ethnic groups that make up the fabric of turkey.
nowhere did i insinuate that kurds are immigrants , or point out any alien staus whatsoever.

actually vic- the PKK means literally the peoples communist party

so it is a political party of communists, a fact which seems to be entirely ignored or simply not known

its birth wasnt realy a kurdish liberation organization, but a communist organization

i think people arent aware of this, and confuse it with a freedom for the people group
and certainly many kurds in turkey disagree with the communist identity

Orhan TOPCU:

When I first read, I was really shocked, t be honest the objectiveness of writer as a journalist has to be questioned. For any to understand the region and what has been going there please go and ask BUT not only to the one party and their opinions, there is a precise distinction between freedom fighters and terrorists, or democracy bringing or invading....please read the history and be objective to he subject. I was hoping to read an objective report not words in the shape of bullets to a divide a nation.

REALISM:

Hey Berry...

Turkey v Kurds ?!!
Turkey hasn't any problem with Kurds. Turkey has a problem with PKK(terrorist group).

But you can add this to the list:

USA v The Countries That Have Oil Resource

alan:

victoria

people in turkey are kurds or turks mostly. it means there are 2 main nations in turkey plus some minorities.but kurds are not immigrants, turkey is thier land and home. they have every right to have their freedom and thier langauge to be an official one.

Todd:

@Alan: Fine, I concede. You are the authority!

alan:

you are still denying the fact that, the world has many countries with 2 or more official langaues.i am sure readers will laugh at you simply for your ignorance and smplicity.
i think your brain doesn't accept any new information than the old thing you have in it and i feel sorry for you that you are that simple who sees the world black and white still.simple dude you have no idea how some siple dudes like you make people around the world that amused.

Todd:

@Vic Van Meter: Vic, the uproar here is about Bakshi getting his facts wrong. Kurdish is not outlawed in Turkey, there is NO Kurdish flag because there is no Kurdistan. There are TV stations, radios and books in Turkey that are in Kurdish. An outside observer who is not in Turkey and who reads this article, will likely think that these are all outlawed in Turkey.

On the other hand, Turkey has completely neglected the Eastern part of the country, due to poor administration, but current government is trying to change that with tax incentives, etc. Of course, it's not going to be solved overnight. Turks and Kurds alike suffer from the effects of past poor governments.

If you ask a well-integrated Kurd in any part of Turkey, they will have nothing to do with having a Kurdistan of their own. They are proud to be a citizen of Turkey, who are of Kurdish origin.

Vic van Meter:

Reason,

Actually, the problem is that we don't get ANY articles like these. All we see here in the states are the opinions of government officials and then mobs in the streets hawking America. We don't get the in-between like this very often and we need to know who would be supporting the PKK.

You have to read the article to know Bakshi isn't trying to justify the PKK. He's taking the opinions from the mouth of a man who supports them. The PKK isn't some kind of self-contained group. People like this story's subject are people we need to know if we're going to be changing minds. Otherwise, when the PKK's wiped out, another organization or two will take its place. Terrorism is a hydra, and you need to know how to kill the base.

Nowhere does Amar say he THINKS this man is right. He just put the subjects ideas on the forum. Don't complain that it advocates terrorism. As literate adults (I hope) you're supposed to be able to read something and form your own opinion on it. We get the Turkish view of the Kurdish minority all the time (it's public policy) so to get this information is refreshing. I'm not stupid enough to read this and take this man at his word that the PKK is just a liberty front for the Kurdish people. But if you can't read opposing opinions without shoving it away, you're only advancing the cause of ignorance.

On another note, I think I've said a few times that people are generally murderous by nature. And then people don't believe me. But time goes on, tempers flare, and we start bringing up all the people killed by both sides in any conflict. The Kurds and Turks have a difference of opinion on who should control their land. Unfortunately, this isn't one of those things that goes half and half. Territorial disputes are always the worst. And they always bring out the best examples of our human behavior.

The PKK should be demolished and I don't think the Kurds should get their own cut of country wherever they'd like it. Maybe the Turks need to treat the Kurdish minority with a bit more respect (to be honest, I don't trust any of the Turkish or Kurdish accusations so far just because of the vitriol). They should be allowed to display their heritage if it's that important, but to say that every ethnic identity should be able to have its own nation just because they want one is foolhardy.

But, instead of making this just a political problem, human nature gets in the way and we get, ta daaa, the PKK. Why lobby peacefully for political gains when you can kill, terrorize, and steal? The PKK is the easy way out for the Kurdish political motion because it strikes at the basest human nature. If we kill enough Turks, they'll give us our country.

This kind of low-rent thinking is at the root of every cultural war and persecution. Not all Turks want to suppress the Kurdish right to expression and not all Kurds want to murder other Turkish citizens to get at what they want. Nuri and Zeki are both like this, believing the PKK will accomplish their goals in the most natural of ways until America takes notice and....helps?

I don't know about OTHER parts of the country, but I haven't spoken to an American YET who would back the Kurdish people in getting their own country. Not ONE. So outside the few instances where someone says they're American and would back the Kurds on these forums (hint, I don't take them really seriously), most Americans would rather back up our political ally rather than give their minority a chunk of their country. Nobody is going to rehash the Israeli mistake, especially with a NATO member's land. These two can wait all they want, America won't lift a finger to help them. It's definitely not politically expedient and the Kurds have nothing to offer us.

Let's take the story for what it is and quit complaining that we have to read it. If you don't want to read editorials like this which will bring you minority opinions, then quit reading the news and at least have an excuse for ignorance. Amar's not in Van looking for a government opinion to pat egos. He's there looking for the roots of the PKK crisis and the anti-American backlash. Excuse him if he didn't belittle Nuri and Zeki in his editorial because even the misguided deserve a modicum of journalistic respect.

I think we can all grow up for the time being and read Zeki's thoughts without scowling at the Post for making us read them. If we don't figure out how to change Zeki's mind, the PKK isn't going to be the last terrorist legion that takes up this banner.

Todd:

@ST PAUL ST:

Exactly my point. Bakshi is touring the world on WP funds and in return, we get cr@p like this.

Victoria: Thanks for the support. That language is a cohesive factor is well-put. French Quebec came close to secede from Canada. I'm not clear on the current status of U.S./Syria relations. The sad thing is, under the Bush administration, the U.S. is losing its credibility in the world. I attribute this failure to the administration, and hope things will change when the administration changes. What do you think?

@Alan: Secede means to break off, to withdraw. I know it's too big a word for you, so I did your homework for you.

st paul st:

This is a terrible piece of journalism I'd say. I'm wondering why WP is still paying for this cr@p.

VICTORIA:

FIONA- that is something ive been commenting upon- up until last week, when it was mentioned(which is never) in american media- the PKK have been treated by the media as terrosrists.
magically, 1 or 2 days ago, they suddenly became 'rebels' in the press.

the word rebel to americans is very romantic- after all, our 'founding fathers' were rebels and 'freedom fighters' against the british (no offense fiona)

since most americans have no idea who they even are- they readily accept this definition (with its positive association) and file it into our short memories until the tv tells us next week thay are terrorists again, whereupon, well dutifully hate them.

DILAN, id say yours is the most personal account of relevance ive seen here-

ALAN- really you cannot expect other people to do your homework to prove your point for you-

why should anyone else(especially someone with an opposite opinion) work harder to prove your point than you do?

go google it and post the link

for instance, im america- we are considering drafting a bill into law to make english the official language-

turkey is a pluralistic society with more than 40 different ethnic groups.

like america, many differing peoples have to find some common gorund.

language transcends all other isms in tis abilty to help people form a cohesive unity.

an example is banglesdesh-

formerly east pakistan, one would assume its unity would be with its muslim neighbors in pakistan-
being united by a religious identity.
not all bengalis are muslim either.
but no- its cohesion is due to its common language.

from reading these boards, ive seen many people claim that in turkey there's a kurdish language radio station, and kurdish language tv station, and kurds who care to speak kurdish if they want.

but that doesnt detract from the fact that if kurds want to keep their identity intact- they have to do it themsleves.

but, like in america- if they want to reep the benefits of turkish society- and be inclusive in it- then they will have to fdind their own ways to keep thier culture alive, like so many others have in so many places.

besides, canada by your reasoning should be using the language of the indigenous people, the inuits- instead of the european colonists,
and only quebec, not canada is french.

dilan also raised an interesting point- due to his actually living in turkey- instead of an outside poser like me commenting on what i know from reading- a poor substitute for life experience.

the PKK is a COMMUNIST organization-
and is indeed virulently opposed to a democratic turkey.
this is where the US hypocrisy really shines in all its dull glory-

we had to decide in iraq, and still havent decided yet.
who do we hate more, the sunni, or the shia?

we hated the shia in iran in 1979 when they took 80 hostages. that was clear and easy.

but we loved the shia when we went to iraq- being oppressed by the evildoer sadaam hussein-
we were there friends and liberty loving liberators-
we didnt think once about the kurds

alan:

ALAN:
turkey,like canada has 2 main languages.both kurdish and turkish must be official, if peace is the goal in turkey.
a country like Switzerland has 3 or more nations.and everybody lives in peace and harmony, because no nation is superior.in each region they have one oficial language which most people speak in.this can be done in turkey too.turks are not kurds, are they?
when some say "the solution is within the turkey" means , if kurkish nation see that they have been given all the rights and treated fair and the same as the turks, how a group like pkk can exist anymore???

@Alan:
A country cannot have more than one official language. Take a look at Belgium, where French and Dutch are the official languages. The last I heard, they were considering splitting Belgium into two countries!!!
Kurdish is freely spoken in Turkey. There are representatives in the Turkish Parliament who speak both languages fluently.
I am amazed that such low-grade and biased reporting has a place within the Washington Post system. The very same Washington Post that could not stomach the lies of Nixon, is sponsoring Bakshi. I sincerely hope that Bakshi is promptly declared persona-non-grata and ejected out of Turkey. Real journalists (NYT's S. Kinzer, for example) doing balanced reporting are most welcome.
Todd


to TOD
i advise you to go out from your little town or village or atleast go and study if you can read in turkish. but i am not sure if turks have any new books or translated one ,since 1000 years ago, that has new information and facts about this world including one that tells you:"YES, THERE ARE COUNTRIES WITH 2 OR MORE OFIFICIAL LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD"
denying the fact in the 21 centery and hoping the people to be ignorant like you?is that how turks think?and i bet you are one of the BIG turkish politicians, aren't you?
TODD:
Alan, don't embarrass yourself w/ your poor control of English. I am not a Turkish politician, and have lived in Belgium, so I know what I speak of. Care to give some examples of countries w/ multiple official languages? Read what I have written about support for Kurdish in Turkey, before attacking me.
Who are you anyhow, and how are you a party to all this? Do you know the region, its politics and problems? Do not rely on everything you read/see in the medai. I don't. Do research and form your own opinion.
ALAN:

to tod
my poor english is way better than your poor knowldge of the basic facts in this world.either you are an old simple forgetful dude who can't remember anything or don't know some simple things and is trying to mislead people by ignoring the facts.in either ways,you need to open up to the new world of reality.
as i mentioned in my first post, Canada and Switzerland are the successful examples of a country with 2 or more OFFICIAL languages.if you still don't know it, i recommend you to do a google search and learn something new just now as i don't think any turkish book, would translate that fact. happy searching and learning dude!

to the othe guy
who claims there are private school but they couldn't aford, then they had to close the school!!!good explanation by you turks, why kurdish people need the kurdish to be an official language and to be taught in PUBLIC scools alongside the turkish ,english ,german, .. if someone wants to choose one.that's how you can consider it fair and equal.isn't it?
kurdish people are not immigrants from other part of the world, that's their land.therfore their langauge must be official if peace and harmoney is the goal.

did you google it, TOD?did you get it? do you accept that you were wrong. answer if you have anything to say, if not stop talking no sence

Anonymous:

The negative comments from some of the posters implying that any other person deserves to die or deaths are unimportant shows what kind of monsters these posters are.

You are outright racist, hateful, inhuman if you think death of innocent people or for that people ANY people is well deserved or justified. We are all humans regardless of our color, religion, thoughts or origin.

If you believe in any way any other race is inferior to you, that makes you a fascist. Every single person in this world deserves to live and you don't have any right to judge.

So take your irresponsible, immature, poisonous thoughts and keep them to yourself.

You can not label a nation with your lack of knowledge or what you hear from biased stories that you have no background knowledge about. This just shows how easily media manipulates futile minds. Go to a library, get educated.

fiona.UK:

I cant belive it.PKK is a terrorist group and we still call them as a rebel??Turkish people right to get angry with us.Turkey already right to have our support because it has been gave as lots of support in the pass.I dont think USA will support PKK,because they are fighting against to terrorist!!!Do you belive that?????

Warrior:

Don’t expect the Bush administration to come to your RESCUE. The Bush administration lists the PKK as a terrorist organization, but does not list the KKK as a terrorist organization. If you are not aware, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is an American organization that terrorizes minority groups within America.

Warrior:

Don’t expect the Bush administration to come to your RESCUE. The Bush administration lists the PKK as a terrorist organization, but does not list the KKK as a terrorist organization. If you are not aware, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is an American organization that terrorizes minority groups within America.

alan:


to tod
my poor english is way better than your poor knowldge of the basic facts in this world.either you are an old simple forgetful dude who can't remember anything or don't know some simple things and is trying to mislead people by ignoring the facts.in either ways,you need to open up to the new world of reality.
as i mentioned in my first post, Canada and Switzerland are the successful examples of a country with 2 or more OFFICIAL languages.if you still don't know it, i recommend you to do a google search and learn something new just now as i don't think any turkish book, would translate that fact. happy searching and learning dude!

Dilan Zeytinci:

just a clairifcation to aviod any sort of misleading:

'....some thought that armed conflict would prove thier power to the 'oppressor' state of Turkey and get them somewhere. '

oppressor in quotes, only to refer to the previous comments.

Lastly:

Cant emphasize enough how important it is to separate PKK from the Kurdish people and the PKK in order to analyze the Kurdish issue in Turkey and to create a dialogue.
The PKK is an armed terrorist organization. It does not represent the Kurds' struggle for cultural rights and cannot represent Kurds anyway because it is neither democratically elected nor officially affiliated one way or another with DTP, the Kurdish party.

It is an illegitimate terrorist organization trying to gain sympathy by mimicking a freedom fighter group, and doing nothing but putting democratic Kurds in a difficult position, causing the branding of all Kurds as terrorists (like all Middle Easterners are rerrorists to some people in this world).

Condemning PKK doesnt mean condeming Kurds.
It doesnt mean that if you condemn The PKK, you are denying the Kurdish issue.

Thought these clarifications could familiarize the readers more with the reality of Turkey and the Turkisch citizens of Kurdish origin.

I hope it make us think better and harder.

Garak:

The Kurds are totally ignorant of US politics if they even dream of the US helping them the way we help Israel. Our foreign policy in the Middle East is controlled by the Israel Lobby. Go read "The Israel Lobby" by Walt and Mearsheimer. Until the Kurds develop their own lobby as powerful as the Israel Lobby--and that ain't gonna happen--they will be nothing but expendable to the US.

If the Turks hadn't oppressed and suppressed the Kurds for so long, they wouldn't be having these problems. Turkey is getting what it deserves from the PKK.

Amar Yakhsi:

If you want to read a real opinion piece see Brett Stephens' article today:

"The Ankara government has been pressing the Bush administration to hit PKK bases for at least four years. The administration has responded with a combination of empty promises of future action and excuses that U.S. forces are already overstretched in Iraq. For the Turks, who contribute more than 1,000 troops to NATO's mission in Afghanistan, U.S. nonfeasance is a mystery, if not an outright conspiracy. "How is it that Turkey fights America's terrorists, but America does not fight Turkey's terrorists?" is how Mr. Cagaptay sums up the prevailing mood."

Todd:

Alan, don't embarrass yourself w/ your poor control of English. I am not a Turkish politician, and have lived in Belgium, so I know what I speak of. Care to give some examples of countries w/ multiple official languages? Read what I have written about support for Kurdish in Turkey, before attacking me.

Who are you anyhow, and how are you a party to all this? Do you know the region, its politics and problems? Do not rely on everything you read/see in the medai. I don't. Do research and form your own opinion.

Alan:

to the othe guy
who claims there are private school but they couldn't aford, then they had to close the school!!!good explanation by you turks, why kurdish people need the kurdish to be an official language and to be taught in PUBLIC scools alongside the turkish ,english ,german, .. if someone wants to choose one.that's how you can consider it fair and equal.isn't it?
kurdish people are not immigrants from other part of the world, that's their land.therfore their langauge must be official if peace and harmoney is the goal.

Dilan Zeytinci:

I am a half Kurdish (my dad's side) citizen of Turkey.

I grew up in a bilingual household where my dad spoke Kurdish and my Mum Turkish.

My father moved to Istanbul from Van whn he was 18. He studied in a Turkish university, he worked in companies and government institutions in Turkey, he married a Turkish woman.

So far, you might think that I am telling you about this to imply that 'a Kurd can do whatever he/she wants in Turkey.'

I have something else to add to that. My father moved to Istanbul, only to be able to do what he could otherwise not be able to do in his hometown.

In my dad's case, this was not because he was an 'oppressed Kurd' but because the Turkish government has long failed to pay attention to the East, be that bringing infrastructure, clean water, electricity, education, health care etc to the region.

My dad chose to move because he could, but many Kurds who lived in the area couldnt afford to move to improve their life standards. They saw the big cities of the country, Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, much more developed in terms of all of the above, and couldnt help but think this was a major injustice. nobody paid attention to the region, no MP listened to thier complaints except during the election campaigns. They couldnt benefit from the rights and services that the citizens could in relatively more developed western cities, and while trying to survive under these conditions, they couldnt get their act together to mobilize and elect an MP democratically and send to the Parliament.

When you are devoid of basic social security and services, you get angry because it is unfair, when you get angry, you want to do something to change it, and to change it, some thought that armed conflict would prove thier power to the 'oppressor' state of Turkey and get them somewhere.

This is year 2007, and violence didnt get anybody anywhere.

PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY PARTY (DTP), REPRESENTING THE KURDS OF TURKEY IN THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT, URGE PKK TO STOP VIOLENCE SO THAT:

-TURKEY CAN GIVE A CHANCE TO DEMOCRACY AFTER ALMOST 25 YEARS OF FIGHTING.

-THE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED KURDISH MPs CAN ADVOCATE KURDISH RIGHTS, NOT AN ARMED ORGANIZATION.

DO YOU THINK IT IS STILL CREDIBLE THAT PKK IS STANDING UP FOR KURDISH RIGHTS, WHEN, A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED KURDISH PARTY SAYS IT IS NOT THE CASE?

Kurds have all the rights in the world to raise their concerns, complaints, advocate for more rights and liberties in Turkey -- as long as it is by means of mutual respect, and DIALOGUE. Not armed conflict.

CAN PKK EXPLAIN WHY THE RECENT ATTACKS HAVE HAPPENED DURING A VERY CRITICAL TIME IN TURKEY, WHERE THE GOVERNMENT WAS INTRODUCING A CIVIL CONSTITUTION THAT GRANTED MORE RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES TO THE CITIZENS, INCLUDING CITIZENS OF KURDISH ORIGIN?

CAN PKK EXPLAIN WHY THESE ATTACKS ARE OCCURING IN THE VERY AFTERMATH OF A 100 % TRANSPARENT ELECTION IN JULY, WHICH CONFIRMED THAT DEMOCRACY WAS AT WORK IN TURKEY?

Because PKK is scared of democracy.

Because PKK knows that the political atmosphere in Turkey is changing, democracy is stronger, and Turks and Kurds are ready to talk, and drop the guns for good.

And if the guns are dropped for good, nobody will need PKK anymore.

THE ATTACKS DEMONSTRATE A PROFOUND LOSS OF SELF ESTEEM WITHIN THE PKK, AND A FEEBLE ATTEMPT TO SABOTTAGE THE FLEDGLING DIALOGUE BETWEEN TURKS AND KURDS.

But citizens of Turkey, regardless of their ethnicity, are smart enough not to buy this cheap trick.

Todd:

Victoria, incidentally, Turkey is developing some excellent relationship in the region w/ Syria, who is supporting Turkey against the PKK. FYI -

David Queen:

Amar, This is a very conformist account of the situation, pleasing to the American audience who are already bought into the "US bringing freedom to Mideast" rhetoric. All these local issues are blown up to an immense proportions by US just because Turkey refused to cooperate with Bush administration in the invasion of Iraq. (so the rest of the world except Blair and a few "Young Europeans") Would that legitimize the US policy of supporting PKK terrorists against Turkey? Will all the anti-war supporters be punished by terror?

Alan:

to TOD

i advise you to go out from your little town or village or atleast go and study if you can read in turkish. but i am not sure if turks have any new books or translated one ,since 1000 years ago, that has new information and facts about this world including one that tells you:"YES, THERE ARE COUNTRIES WITH 2 OR MORE OFIFICIAL LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD"
denying the fact in the 21 centery and hoping the people to be ignorant like you?is that how turks think?and i bet you are one of the BIG turkish politicians, aren't you?

Todd:

Victoria, thanks for the link. I admire Iran's stance against the Kurdish terrorists, although I really cannot stand Ahmedinejad. There's talk in Turkey of an alliance with Iran against U.S. inaction in northern Iraq. I can't stomach this, but when a country is at the end of its rope, such unpalatable options become suddenly viable.

I don't think there is a clear line b/w PJAK and PKK. Already, Turkey is coming across U.S. weapons at the hands of captured PKK terrorists. The U.S. says these are weapons that have been somehow "lost" in Iraq, but these are not convincing arguments for Turkey.

VICTORIA:

http://www.jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?issue_id=3766

sorry about that- heres a link of course

without references and substantiations, its just opinions against opinions isn't it?

VICTORIA:

also iran was instrumental and indispensable after 911 when it helped america go into afghanistan, without whose help- america would not have been able to -

the reward for their friendship, as tenuous as it was politically at the time- was for america to label them part of the axis of evil.

Asim :

There is absoluteky no comparison whatsoever between the Kurds of Turkey and israel:the kurds live on their own land and did not steal it from any one and live under genuine liberal Turkish democatcy,have over 20 seats in the parlaiment and voted overwhelmingly for AK.

israel is a colonial stettler racist jewish apartheid theocracy and lives on stolen Palestinian land for the past sixty years,a land of historic Arab PAlestine that was taken by terrorism and ethnich cleansing of PAlestinians-these jewis terrorist gangs are:Hagana, Stern, PAlmach Irgun.

Visit WWW.PLANDS.ORG about israel's attrocities.

VICTORIA:

i find neither comments by ant snacks or anonymous apporpriate

they are both equally repugnant

amvienna- as the PJAK have adopted the ideology of Ocalan, and are bunkered down with the PKK now, it seems the distinctions between them are becoming smaller and smaller-

could you provide some link to validate your statements?

and why do you thnk the US has legitnized the PJAK?
and how deos that reasoning lead to any possibilty that the PKK could lead to "regime change" in turkey?

that is a most alarming contention

but basically- what is the validity if the US "legitimizes" one or another terrorist group?

you seem quite comfortable judging entire nations and suggesting the validity of "regime changes" in sovreign nations.

are you saying the US has some moral imperative over other countries and their people?

Todd:

It's not clear in this unmoderated forum whether Any Snacks is Turkish or not. I am ignoring him and so should everyone else.

AMviennaVA:

'any snucks': I was going to answer you, but I see that someone beat me to it. An appropriate answer, by the way.

I hope that you realize that your post justifies anything the Kurds do. It is your attitude that justifies it.

I only hope that there are sufficient rational Turks on the blog to answer you directly and correctly. You see, you represent the worse possible stereotype for any group, not just Turks; but this time it is for Turks to represent themselves.

Anonymous:

any snacks wrote "us turks we have armenians for breakfast,greeks for lunch and kurds for dinner

pkk-you're a joke and us turks have loose pelvics....."

The Armenians have been independent for a short time, and the Kurds are trying to get rid of you, but the last time I checked it took 5 turks to produce as much as a single Greek. Obviously you should have developed BRAINS; the Greeks are buying up your banks, and before you know it they will be serving your pelvics to the Kurds for appetizer.

Todd:

Berry, at least we agree on Bush's lies. As an American, I truly believe that he, and his administration, should be tried for treason. The U.S. is a great country, but thanks to the Bush administration, currently *most everyone* hates the U.S., including 90% of the population in Turkey, as well as all Europeans I have met to date.

Turkey is precision bombing the PKK camps, with satellite intelligence said to be provided by the U.S. Unfortunately, the latest New York Times headline, a few minutes old, says and I quote, "Turkish Warplanes Attack Kurds Near Iraqi Border" -- this is the type of insensitive reporting that pisses off Turkish people. When the U.S. does the bombing, the people being bombed are the insurgents, not the Iraqis. This is the type of double-standard that truly pisses me off as well.

Todd

berry:

Todd, you may be right about the weak Kurd leadership.

Kurds had immense hopes the Iraq war would result in an independent Kurdish state. But those hopes went down the drain when their leaders got trapped into a bigger mess: governing Iraq.

Let's add up one important fact: an independent Kurdistan is not in Turkey's plans.

So, Kurds are posed to be the biggest losers -again-, instead of winners, from the Iraq war.

Anyway, who cares about a few million oppressed people? After all, the entire world -except Kurds- knew George W Bush was lying when he spoke of "spreading freedom".

* * * By the way... I'm not in northern Iraq, so don't worry about me. Let the bombs fall on those Kurds so they don't dare bothering mighty Turkey anymore.

AMviennaVA:

Actually, the US is NOT training and equiping the PKK. The US (together with Israel) is training and equiping the PJAK for action against Iran. The issue that the US must resolve is why is it legitimate for the PJAK to have activities, leading to 'regime change' in Iran, and the PKK cannot in Turkey. The issue that Turkey has is that the PKK and PJAK are two sides of the samr coin (you train/arm one, and you train/arm the other).

Mehmet Dogu:


Do American public know that some American colonels ate at present training this PKK group and giving them every logistics? America in the mean time playing double standards towards Turkey with delaying tactics of Turkish military action as well as Armenian genocide blackmail? Turkish people are sick of this American treatments in the past 50 years.America's biggest misfortune is its government who came power by corruption. During cold war,you were desperate for cooperation against Russia. Without Turkiye,nothing in the middle-east,east Mediterranen and Caucauses nothing will be right.
This Iraq kurds ,in general,very unreliable and changeable character people. THose today's Iraq leaders were helped by Turks in the past 20 years. They were living in mountains during Saddam's time. But today they become enemies of Turkey because Americans nothing else.
With your United States
Army do not make this world any more horrible. In Iraq more than one million people dead 2 million people homeless all country's structure demoralized. Is this American standard of bringing democracy to Iraq and finding mass destruction of arms? Poor people they are never better off.
If America can do better without Turkiye. good luck to them..

Todd:

Berry, I wouldn't hold my breath for Kurdish independence. Throughout the history, Kurds have never been able to achieve any sort of independence remotely resembling a state. Their current leadership, the pitiful Barzani and Talabani, are a joke. These sorry excuses for men lack any back bone. Their flip-flops on issues in the last couple of days provide no encouregement for the future of northern Iraq. These two are ungrateful bastards, as they use to travel on Turkish issued passports during Saddams regime, and now look at them - biting the hand that fed them.

Todd:

Berry, I see no evidence in this blog but inaccurate reporting by Amar Bakshi and a lot of hate-mongering by Armenians and Greeks. Who died and made you the authority on oppression? Do you live in or have you visited Turkey?

KNC, I do not see any evidence in your statement condemning terrorist activities by PKK. You are guilty, by association, of terrorism.

Turkey hosted Operation Provide Comfort from the end of Operation Desert Storm to the 2003 invasion, during which flights that policed the no-fly zone were flown out of the Incirlik NATO base. Is this your way of saying thanks to Turkey?

Kurds and Turks live in peace in Turkey, and your attempts to break that peace will be futile.

If you are currently in northern Iraq, I advise you to leave PKK bases, where I assume you are based, as Turkish forces are busy bombing them as we speak. You may lose your Internet connection any time! ;-)

berry:

For thousands of years there have been opressors and oppressed:

- England v Ireland
- England v Scotland
- England v India
- Spain v what is now known as Latin America
- Portugal v current Brazil
- England v what is now the U.S.A.
- U.S.A. v Native Americans
- U.S.A. v African slaves
- Nazi Germany v Poland
- Nazi Germany v France
- Nazi Germany v Jews
- U.S.S.R. v many of its republics
- Saddam's Iraq v Shias
- Saddam's Iraq v Kurds
- Israel v Palestinians

...and the list can go on forever. Let's just add:

- Turkey v Kurds

Oppressors have always said their behavior is right, appropriate, correct.

The oppressed have tried everything, from peaceful resistance (Gandhi, Martin Luther King) to peaceful seccession, to war.

This blog has provided plenty of evidence that Turkey is the oppressor and Kurds are the oppressed.

This long-lasting conflict can only be solved through Kurdish independence. Whether this goal can be achieved peacefully or through violence... only time will say.


KNC:

Since Turkey’s establishment, its pseudo-democratic policy has been discriminatory and inhumane towards all non-Turkish populations in Anatolia, including the Kurds. Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, the Turkish military has used every violent mean to suppress Kurdish rights. At times Kurds have been led down a path of violence that only has hurt the Kurdish cause. The violence had given Turkey the ammunition it needs to do its dirty deeds against the Kurds, who have tried to resolve their situation by political means.

For over a year Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has resisted pressure from the Turkish Generals and the ultra-nationalist MHP to enter Iraqi Kurdistan to attack Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) forces. What has changed that now makes Mr. Erdogan request such authorization from the Parliament?

On October 11 the US House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a resolution labeling the Turkish attacks on Armenians in the period 1915-1923 as genocide. The bill now moves on to the US Congress for a vote. This provoked immediate, angry reaction from the Turkish Government. Now the Turkish Government attempts to pressure the US to stop the vote on the resolution by approving authorization to invade Iraqi Kurdistan.

By threatening to destabilize the only safe area in Iraq, endangering the American army, and to cut the US supply routes to Iraq and Afghanistan by closing down the American airbase in Turkey, the Turkish Government hopes to stop the US Congress vote on the Armenian resolution. This is a test for the US Government. Will they protect the Kurds, their only allies in Iraq, or will they give in to Turkish demands? The US must bear in mind the Turkish Parliament’s 2003 vote denying American troops access through Turkey for the invasion Iraqi.

What are the motivations behind the Turkish Parliament authorization to enter Kurdistan of Iraq? Their ultimate goals are to destroy the achievements of the Kurdistan Regional Government and to stop the referendum on Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution – the vote to determine the fate of Kirkuk.

The Kurdish National Congress condemns the vote by the Turkish Parliament authorizing Prime Minister Erdogan to send Turkish troops into Kurdistan of Iraq to pursue PKK fighters. We call on the Turkish government to solve the Kurdish problem in Turkey peacefully and democratically, not through military action.

We call on the United States Government, the United Nations and the European Union to pressure the Turkish Government to solve the Kurdish problem in Turkey through political dialogue in order to avoid further bloodshed in the region.

We call on the Iraqi Government to stand firmly with the Kurdistan Regional Government to defend their land from any attack carried out by a neighboring country.

In case of an incursion to Southern Kurdistan we at KNC-NA invite all Kurds, friends of Kurds, and all human rights activists around the world to join us in counteracting the Turkish state terror with peaceful means including gathering in front of every consulate and embassy of the Turkish state around the world until they end their violence and negotiate a mutually agreeable solution.

Baqi Barzani:

Blame the US double-standard policies for what is happening in Turkey. I do not know why the US is so mute about innocent civilians being killed there, bombs being dropped on them, human rights being violated, and houses are being destroyed. Under whatever justifications, these crimes should not be allowed. The US advocates human rights and spreading democracy around the word. She talks about the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. The US has not only done nothing positive about this but also been an accomplice. This war could have been prevented.

Todd:

Lucas, I am aware of that fact, but English is a de facto official language in the U.S. There are efforts in Turkey to explain certain state services in Kurdish, along with Turkish. In a recent visit to the area, the Turkish secretary of agriculture spoke in Kurdish to the public.

I am trying to point out the inaccurate reporting by Bakshi that says Kurdish is outlawed in Turkey. Even in the western provinces, as far west as Istanbul and Izmir, laborers speak nothing but Kurdish on job sites, and do so freely.

Thanks.

Lucas Westmaas:

Todd, the U.S. does not have an official language, actually. It has a default primary language, but nothing in U.S. law makes English the official language.

jv:

mr. yavuz, you call everybody ignorant and then say:

"The only country where all people from all religions live peacefully is Turkey."

i guess thats true if you dont include the usa, canada, britain, australia, france, and most of the western world. plus in ottoman times, peace came with a lower social status for the infidels. so thanks but no thanks

to some of my fellow greeks, easy with the instigating. dont get stupidly nationalistic. you end up sounding too biased to be taken seriously. turkish babies are being killed, kurdish babies are being killed...none of this is reason for joy

nik:

I also think that Washington Post should have been a more serious and reailistic newspaper about the middle east facts.Blogs like these decrease the seriousness of the paper.

Realism:

When Saddam tried to slay Kurdish people in Iraq, Turkey have saved the life of them. Those Kurdish people is taken in national border of Turkish Republic and they've contunied living in there. If Turkish Republic haven't help them, they would be slayed.

But today, some of Kurdish people want to break down Turkey. They've forgotten past fastly.

What a pity!

Kurdish leadership:

PKK started their terrorist attacks in 80s. Around the same time the prime minister of Turkey was a Kurd.

The first thing PKK did was to suppress all other Kurdish movements in Turkey. They have killed all other Kurdish leaders.

It has been two decades now...

Kurds do not have influential leaders in Turkey anymore because of PKK.

A Kurd as a prime minister of Turkey is not possible in the near future because of PKK terror!

Wake up Kurds!

cultural right ok; but flag?????:

The guy says "I teach English, but I cannot teach Kurdish to my students, I cannot show our flag"

He can teach Kurdish in a private institution. And his representatives in the parliament can ask for more cultural rights.

But flag is about sovereignty. Keep your hands off the flag for a peacufel future.

Todd:

@Alan:

A country cannot have more than one official language. Take a look at Belgium, where French and Dutch are the official languages. The last I heard, they were considering splitting Belgium into two countries!!!

Kurdish is freely spoken in Turkey. There are representatives in the Turkish Parliament who speak both languages fluently.

I am amazed that such low-grade and biased reporting has a place within the Washington Post system. The very same Washington Post that could not stomach the lies of Nixon, is sponsoring Bakshi. I sincerely hope that Bakshi is promptly declared persona-non-grata and ejected out of Turkey. Real journalists (NYT's S. Kinzer, for example) doing balanced reporting are most welcome.

Todd

mozgure:

Another ill minded Kurdish friend wants to unite all Kurds together to fight back Turkish army. For what? To serve Barzani to have more money, or to serve PKK to kill more Kurds? Pkk kills too many Kurds in South east of Turkey to fear the people living there and act with them. PKK targets Kurdish villagers, and Turkish army. Where does PKK take the support? North IRAQ. So, Turkish army wants to attack this region to kill the terrorists. We are happy to live here. We have no problems with Turks for more than 1000 years. How can I support a terroist group who are killing Kurds to bring a free Kurdistan? That is ridiculous.

mozgure:

I read the report thorougly. I want to take every readers's attention on an issue. Turkey gave permission for all ethnic groups to open a language school, radio, news paper. Too many schools were opened in Turkey to teach Kurdish. However latest school was closed last year by the owners of the school because no one wanted to learn Kurdish. Instead people are willing to learn English, German and other useful languages. Also radios and newspapers in Kurdish language are not followed by most of the Kurd people. I as a Kurdish person, a Turkish citizen, condemn Zeki for supporting a terrorist party. We have ministers, businessman everywhere in Turkey. Nobody have ever critisized or disturbed us. However If Zeki and similars want to seperate this country and tells immoral lies about the issue, they will face with rightful security preventions.

AMviennaVA:

This is a reposting of October 23, 2007 8:21 PM, because I have not had a response:

This is NOT a polemic, but a request for an explanation:

There is a repetition by many of our Turkish friends, along the lines 'a majority of the Kurds voted for the AKP, therefore they are happy Turks' or some such. Please remember that the majority of Arabs who live in Israel vote for the Labor party. But they are NOT happy Israelis.

Has it occured to anyone that perhaps the vote is for the lesser of the evils? Afterall, if they cannot teach their language to their children, why must they be happy ... how can they possibly be happy?

For that matter, the US aside, who is the terrorist: the state that prevents a people from teaching their language, or the people for fighting to teach their language?

musial:

Let's thank our lucky stars that the dominant Turkish and Kurdish viewpoints expressed above are not the dominant viewpoints of Turkish and Kurdish society. The current situation would be much worse if it were.

Things were actually improving until my country, the US, made its disastrous decision to invade Iraq. Thus the pot was stirred...

My wife is Turkish, my best friend Kurdish. I have experienced terror firsthand when my house was blown up. Turkey is a beautiful and complicated place. Anyone who wants to paint these issues as all black and white needs a brain. There are many important facets to all these issues which have yet to be mentioned by anyone posting, and are rarely if ever mentioned in the western press.

War and violence will solve nothing, but the first thing that needs to happen is the US out of Iraq.

Please chill out, people--we are all humans, with the same dna, the same propensity for failure, the same potential for good. Peace.

Dilek:

I wish I would ask both Zeki and Nuri if they really want what Iraque people got!! Bush was talking about freedom, human rights, and democracy before he invaded Iraq. They have peace, freedom, human rights, democracy and everything now. Haven'nt they!!

BARIS:

The only thing needed is common sense, patience and rationality. Yes the turkish government and military made some huge mistakes in the past but now they are trying to make conditions better for everyone. And we rational kurds help them in this issue. US government should focus in problems in their own country. But ofcourse the rich peoples with foreign interest problems comes first. And only the US people can stop this policy which have been followed in years now.

c.k.:

If you have the stomach please read below books for what happened in middle east.

"A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East" by David Fromkin


If you want to know who Turks realy are I recommend the following book.

"Histoire des Turcs" by Jean-Paul Roux
.
.
Both books available at amazon, however the latter is in French.

Just to settle the score,

"Extraordinarily ambitious, provocative and vividly written...Fromkin unfolds a gripping tale of diplomatic double-dealing, military incompetence and political upheaval."-Reid Beddow, Washington Post Book World

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Fromkin

and

Jean-Paul Roux is accepted as one of the leading turkology proffessor in the world.
.
.

If we are going to discuss history I am sure we need objective historians and their studies. Cos what i read on most common posts are Turks killing, Kurds killing, US killing...Truth is a subjective thing. And by the very nature of it it has a relativity. So I urge the people shed your razor sharp lies and truths, and lets find common sense, on common grounds.
I will say no more.

BARIS HALF TURKISH HALF KURDISH:

WP and US government We are one part . If you want to separate us you have to try use a sharp object. Those murderers uses. You should be pretty familiar with that shouldnt you

BARIS WITH FAMILY IN EAST TURKEY:

WP this time we will be here and there for telling the US people the truth. This time you wont have succes with your lies

WP always writes lie info conscious:

These articles are published regularly by washingtonpost..Why????
Why does WP publish lie info recently?
All kurdish material are free and you can buy and get what you want kurdish material. furthermore if you want to learn you can goto kurdish course in turkey..
what the hell are you talking and writing ?

BARIS WITH FAMILY IN EAST TURKEY:

WHO IS THIS ZEKI one of a kind

Baris:

NO ONE IS WAITING FOR US HERE IN EAST TURKEY THIS IS NOT IRAK

Mike:

LIES, LIES, LIES.....

Since EU accesion and meeting Copenhagen Criterias, Turkey allows Kurdish language in education and broadcasting officially.

Flag issue: What flag? Just like US has one flag, Turkey has one flag. Kurds in Turkey do not have flag other than Turkish flag which is the flag of Turkish Kurds as well.

Kurds have been reciving free utilities without paying any taxes. Their problem is the social structure that they have been keeping for milleniums, willingly enslaving themselves to local Kurdish landlords. Instead of asking help from US, they need to help themselves by liberating their destiny from feudal culture they have practice.

Where does WP find these lying seperatist Terrorist mouth pieces. Is this news piece a purposly structured story by PKK supporters in WP ?
Is there any fact check in this story ?

enough:

Zeki is a big liar...
There is no man called zeki...
because..
if zeki lives in Turkey. He knows well that Kurdish TV and radıo and newspapers etc are free in turkey..
so, zeki has never been in Turkey or Zeki never was born....ask writer...
Turkish people know why this composition wrote

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

WHEN A MAN LIES HE MURDERS HALF OF THE WORLD

katman:

I may be wrong. Maybe W is responsible for all this in light of some of the comments.

Baris:

But WP and US this time we will be there for the US people and will not let you abuse them. This time we will walk to the end even if it means WW3.

katman:

With W's current foreign policy we should "liberate" Turdy...er I mean Turkey.
The Kurds deserve a nation free from fear of Turkey. The middle east is beginning to remind me of old Europe. Everyone trying to kill each other over old news. I guess the people of the middle east will not learn to stop fighting with one another until their lands are in ruin and their child are all killed or mained just like Europe after ww ii. Maybe after that happens the Chinese can bail you out. They will teach you all a few lessons. Also, the US is not responsible for this situtation. It has a long history that extends back before even the creation of our country. I support the Kurds.

baris:

Anyone can find a stupid that will be to far from the truth. There is also people in Us that believe that tomorrow or another near day is the end of the world. But no one starts preparing to this end and say godbye to their family

Baris:

Yet another story showing WP and the US government intentions. Yet again are they trieng to fill the US people with lies.

KARACAN:

I am also Kurd in Turkey. I live here peacefully and I have not seen yet any separation between kinds of people origins. I love Turkey and my best friends are really Turkish. The terrorists PKK never represent Kurdish people . We hate them and they are slaves of Deep state of Turkey and other external forces.

Tunca:

The point is establishing a Kurdish Country working for US and Israel, destabilizing region, in favor of US.

Mehmet Dogu:

Do American public know that some American colonels ate at present training this PKK group and giving them every logistics? America in the mean time playing double standards towards Turkey with delaying tactics of Turkish military action as well as Armenian genocide blackmail? Turkish people are sick of this American treatments in the past 50 years.America's biggest misfortune is its government who came power by corruption. During cold war,you were desperate for cooperation against Russia. Without Turkiye,nothing in the middle-east,east Mediterranen and Caucauses nothing will be right.
This Iraq kurds ,in general,very unreliable and changeable character people. With your United States
Army do not make this world any more horrible. In Iraq more than one million people dead 2 million people homeless all country's structure demoralized. Is this suitable to American standard?
If America can do better without Turkiye. good luck to them.

mili:

why that slow dude???can't you get it??? now is the world of reality in 21 centery, not the dream of an old imperator!!! wake up!!!

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

SHAME ON YOU AMAR
AND SHAME ON YOU WASHINGTON POST!

I WONDER WHY ZEKI'S WORDS CAN NOT BE PROVEN.
I WONDER HOW COME TURKEY IS A CAND. MEMBER OF EU WHILE EU IS ON TURKEY TO FIND A SINGLE CASE OF MISSTREATMENT TO MINORITIES?
I WONDER HOW COME EU/UN/USA LABELED PKK AS TERRORIST AND WASHINGTON POST DOES NOT?

DOES WASHINGTON POST DISSAGRESS WITH 1000'S OF REPORTS OF CIA/UN/EU ON PKK THAT PROVES THAT THEY ARE TERRORISTS AND DRUG SMUGGLERS?

I BELEIVE THAT W.POST NEEDS TO CLARIFY THAT WHETER IT IS A TERRORIST SUPPORTING NEWSPAPER OR NOT?

READERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW THE WORLD VIEW OF THE NEWSPAPER THEY ARE READING?

Mariano Patalinjug:

Yonkers, New York
24 October 2007

I can sympathize with Mr. Zeki, M. appealing to the U.S. the way he is doing here.

But, realistically and objectively, making such appeals is to engage in utopian dreams.

There is no way the U.S. will help the PKK achieve what they want, given the geopolitical reality that the U.S. badly needs the cooperation and help of Turkey presently in its misadventure in Iraq, and cannot do without such help if it is not to suffer immeasurabe consequences.

To put it frankly and brutally, the U.S. needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the U.S.

Iraqi PM al-Maliki has just made noises about getting Kurdish rebels to stop their depredations into Turkey.

That's a big laugh! Mr. Maliki has not been able to keep his own government functioning as it should. It is dysfunctional, in fact obviously comatose, and on the verge of collapse. It is nothing less than quixotic for him to give the impression that there is something, anything, he can do about those Kurdish rebels.

MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Alan:

turkey,like canada has 2 main languages.both kurdish and turkish must be official, if peace is the goal in turkey.

a country like Switzerland has 3 or more nations.and everybody lives in peace and harmony, because no nation is superior.in each region they have one oficial language which most people speak in.this can be done in turkey too.turks are not kurds, are they?

when some say "the solution is within the turkey" means , if kurkish nation see that they have been given all the rights and treated fair and the same as the turks, how a group like pkk can exist anymore???

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

Zeki is a guy that is getting his salary from Turkish goverment to work in school to teach Turkish. And this son of a b...h is making up stories and making up a terrorist group propaganda it gets it published in Washington Post. Thats unbeleivable!

WEIRD THINGS ARE GOING ON IN WASHINGTON POST I GUESS? ARE YOU A NEWSPAPER OR TERRORIST PROPAGANDA WEAPON? WHY DONT YOU PUBLISH THE LIES OF HITLER THEN AS YOU LOVE PUBLISHING ENEMY OF HUMANITIES PROPAGANDA?

Tasbogaz:

Zeki in the story, is a teacher paid by Turkish goverment, and has right to be teacher for Turkish. What kind of rights is he deserving? They can speak their language, they can watch and listen their kurdish TV and radio. There may be a misunderstanding in the story, Kurdish radios and TV are free. Everbody in Turkiye has equal rights, no minority. This story is one of the, just one little drop in the propoganda sea in the middle east game. This story just perverts truth, basically lying. For those who are interested, watch "news war" from PBS.

HASAN CAN FROM TURKEY:

Amar, i have invited to my house inside my family and wanted to help you to TURKEY from a TURKS eye. But instead you have let terrorist propaganda on your journal?
A reporter has the freedom to publish anything but lies??? It is free to speak Kurdish and teach Kurdish in turkey even a 3 year old Kurd knows this??? I mean before publisinhg a lie why did not you check it? BESIDES CITY OF "VAN" IS KURDISH? YES AFTER KURDS KILLED ALL THE ARMENIANS IN VAN OF COURSE IT MIGHT BE A KURDISH CITY? BUT NOT.. CAN WE SAY THAT WASHINGTON DC IS NOT AMERICAN BUT A PAKISTANI CITY BECAUSE LETS SAY 50.000 PAKISTANIS LIVE THERE? COME ON MAN!

hushgrade:

"we have no rights, no jobs, no hope."

Poor people,really. USA must react immediately .
For instances giving them working permits within
her soul can be one solution.Crashing Turkish state into pieces is another.But I should confess
that the latter is more formidable task. Maybe
composing some lullaby for their children will be very adequate.

"we have no rights, no jobs, no hope."

My other comics is below pls download - including Starwars full version.

http://www.rapidshare.com/wehavenorightsnojobsnohope_and_other_stories.pdf.rar

ALAN:

turkey,like canada has 2 main languages.both kurdish and turkish must be official, if peace is the goal in turkey.
a country like Switzerland has 3 more nations.and everybody lives in peace and harmony, because no nation is superior.in each region they one oficial language which most people speak in.this can be done in turkey too.turks are not kurds, are they?

John Joyce:

In my opinion this will play out, as usual , in the metrics of national interests. The Kurds have oil and a success story in Iraq in which the US triumphs and , did I mention , oil. But Turkey's location is vital to the interests of the US and the only secular Islam state on speaking terms with us . The PKK is the disrupter , so it will have to go to bring about stablity , Who will do it ? The one with the strongest purpose which seems to me as the Turks . But it won't be decisive , the Kurds will never completly surrender , their redoubts in the mountains are close to impregnable .
And so it goes .

Muhtar:

To A.M,
I do not think you are anything you claim to be. You started with blunt support for PKK which is terorist organization and ended with son of a wise man who knows everything... and fighting in the army of an invader of your country(Iraq). Congratulations. However you know what is the punishment of the treator in any army or country and you will end up that way as soon as America leeaves Iraq. Anybody can guess what iraqis will do to Kurds of iraq after US leaves. they should be the most hated ethnic group in Iraq right now.

For the part for Turkey:
First of all You are not a turkish citizen so security of my country is not your business. I can discuss it with any Turkish Kurdish brother of mine but you are not part of the solution. You are part of the problem and you and the ones like you will be dealt accordingly. No one in Turkey is against the Kurdish people of the north. Of course they should prosper and live happily but not the expense of any one Turkish citizen.

Harboring terorism is the same thing as being a terorist. neither Barzani nor Talabani tell any single word against PKK, they say the solution is within Turkey and They arm and protect PKK in Iraq. They are obviously dishonest and have an hidden agenda. Whatever it is we will see very soon. However if US has right to bomb whole population in Afghanistan for harboring Taliban, Turkey has every kind of right to anybody harboring PKK.

This is a game to pull Turkey in this dirty war. PKK, Talabani and Barzani is just 3 more pawns on the board. Government of Turkey is resisting to not to intervene but the game is played so well, they do not have much option. However the outcome will be much different than anyone's plan, because in any danger to Turkey, anybody in Turkey including most of our ethnic Kurdish brothers will fight and die for our country.

For European Union Membership:
Who gives a damn to EU membership in Turkey anymore? Everybody in Turkey saw that, it is full of haters of Turkey, and we just stay on the course to show world who is the liar.

For Turkish ethnicity posting:
yes ethnicaly we are different from Turks living in West china or other turkish speaking nations. And they are different from each other too. Moreover many of the ottoman kings have mothers from different nations. None of these makes us less or more Turkish. We are not racist society and we are not divided in ethnic lines. Whatever is your origin is not important in Turkey as long as you live and respect to one flag one nation. If you salute another flag you should go and live under that flag. If the writer of this post who question the turkishness of turks in Turkey wrote it for insult like many haters. Let me remind you ethnic Turks were the ruling elite of Ottoman Empire and migrated to asia minor in huge numbers, If a greek looks like Turk and other ethnicities look like each other it is becaue of indiscriminate marriages of people living like one nation for 600 years, If you claim it is wrong and if you claim it happened in ways like war and rape and these kind of things, most probably you have a turkish father not the opposite. And we welcome you as long as you feel Turkish.

And last of all for Washington Post and the writer of this propaganda. Why it is propaganda? because in no news source of west you can see word "terorist" in news about PKK. And you cannot see word "guerrilla" for al-qaida. PKK terorists are Always "guerillas". And lots of information for these poor people oppressed by demonic Turkish regime. This shows how biased these ??? independent news are. Let them talk about al-qaida and call them guerillas and I will respect their news ethics

Does ZEKI live in TURKEY?:

Does ZEKI live in TURKEY? i dont think so.. Zeki is a fantastic character. thats it..
I am Kurdish and i live in TURKEY .. i am happy to live here and PKK is not representing to me and us. PKK is terrible organization and terrorist group of emperialist country. Pkk cant help The KURDs ..Only can help the emperialist country.
KURDS who live in TURKEY hate USA and know that US is blood sucker MONDOR (black land) and cancer of this earth.

$4.99:

Interesting that Turkish Kurd (some one that does not officially exist in Turkey!) wants a job in the West.

Can working for Blackwater in Baghdad be classified as a job in "the West"? They pay Dollars, afterall and you get to kill all different kinds of people!

However, the article above shows naked reality, regardless of how much Turkish delight and sugar coat is piled on the matter. It is high time for Turkey to grow up and face facts about its true ethnic fabric, its genocidal past (both recent and distant) and accepting world norms.

Amen.

Anatolian KURDS:

Turkish KURDs never say help us.. because we know that US the worst country in the world. God save us ... Please US! dont help us .. we chose to live like this condition. we prefer antidemokratic situation and bad than under us control and demokratic situation :) we are happy .. please dont come.. thank you..thank you..we are happy...dont OK...dont.. be cool and relax US

Osman Karajan:

I dont get it.

In Turkey, there is now an ethnic kurdish party DTP in the parliament. They call PKK "our brothers" and Abdullah Ocalan for "Our leader". In Turkey, they can speak kurdish, teach in kurdish and there are now kurdish TV channels, Radio Channels etc. There is also a flag : The turkish flag. turks are a NATION, not a RACE.

Assume in the US, that certain islamist groups were allowed into Congress. Assume they called Al-Qaeda "Our brothers", and Osama bin Laden "our leader". Assume they wanted their teaching in arabic, and wanted a green flag with Koranic verses on it, instead of stars and stripes.
Assume they insist on being ARABS as a racem instead of being AMERICANS as a nation.

Osman Karajan

Mesut:

I'm a Turkish-Kurd from Turkey. This is a good prepared "fake article", includes too many lies...

I expect from WP to search for the truth...

BY YOUSSEF IBRAHIM:

Acknowledging The Armenian Genocide

October 15, 2007
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/64553


America has moral and strategic purposes in denouncing the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 as a horrendous genocide perpetrated by Turks.
The facts are not in dispute. Ample documentation shows that for two years, hundreds of thousands of Armenian Christians were forcibly marched out of their towns and villages, killed, starved, and crucified until death as part of a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign by the Young Turks government of the dying Ottoman Empire. Twenty-two countries, including those of the European Union — which Turkey aspires to join — have marked those events as genocide.
For Americans, the moral imperative is intuitive. Which Greek, Jewish, Italian, Irish, Hispanic, or black American in this kaleidoscopically diverse nation of immigrants — all touched in one way or another by discrimination — can look in the mirror and say, "It's okay with me to kill people because of their religion, ethnicity, or origin"?
In that sense, the American Congress, which occasionally rises above its partisan instincts, was right to draft the resolution condemning the Turkish massacre nine decades after the fact. The Congress should now vote it in.
The American government's strategic imperative to do so is even more compelling, regardless of the protests by Turkey and the Arab world.
Turkey lives in a region where many governments and terrorist groups are actively engaged in a variety of ethnic cleansings. These are directed especially but not exclusively at the 20 million Arab Christian minorities. Another 50 million people, including some 20 million Kurds living in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey are sitting ducks; not to mention the Druze, Yazidis, Bahais, Maronites, Christian Palestinian Arabs, and Sudanese Africans, all of whom are in the process of being killed or evicted from their places of origin right now.
These ethnic cleansings guarantee the obsolescence of American interests and Western interests in the greater Middle East.
Arab Christians of the Middle East, to cite one minority, have acted ever since the late 18th century as the cultural bridge upon which civilizing Western influences have crossed into the Arab Muslim world. Works of literature, politics, and the grand civic values of Western civilization were translated, adapted, and implemented largely by those minorities, which thrived until the early 1950s in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq.
Protecting what is left of those Christians and the even larger groups of other ethnicities is not charity work but is essential for preserving Western interests. Indeed, Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, in protesting Western pressure to own up to the massacres of Armenian Christians in 1915 threatened on Saturday to go after the Kurds in northern Iraq. Four years after the war in Iraq began, the fanatical Shiite majority government there has waged an ethnic cleansing war of its own, targeting both Sunni Muslims and Iraqi Christians. It has been savagely successful. Half of Iraq's entire Christian minorities of 2 million — who represent 5% of the 25 million Iraqis, are now out of the country altogether, refugees looking for a new home.
In Lebanon, the combination of Hezbollah and Syria have set their sight on cleansing that country of Maronite Christians and their other Western allies as a new civil war looms.
In the grand scheme of modern Middle East history, the entire concept behind the Arab and Muslim world's rejection of Israel is premised on Israel's identity as a "Jewish state." It is a rejection grounded within the notion of ethnic and religious cleansing. Now that Turkey has become an ascending democracy run by an Islamist party, it is imperative that Turkey signals its accord with the broader Western project of civil society and respect for minorities. That is why Turkey's friendship and its NATO affiliation should come second to its assumption of responsibility for past crimes against humanity. The future is a reflection and a continuation of the past.
Indeed, not only should Turkey issue its mea culpa to Armenian Christians, but move energetically to eliminate from its laws all discrimination against the Kurdish minority, their language, and full participation as Turks.
The American president, the State Department, and the Pentagon were short-sighted to oppose Congress on this Armenian issue just because we need Turkey as a transit point to Iraq. The whole idea of going to Iraq was to create long-term interests in stable, civil, multicultural societies across the greater Middle East.

ymibrahim@gmail.com

Ekin:

Jo,
The fact is that there is no country of Kurdistan in the past.So you say this is a freed of Kurds by US.I hope you also know only Turkey helped Iraq Kurds during Saddam period and Gulf War.Even Barzani and Talabani had Turkish passports.
You also say it is just about power.It is funny that you claim the rights of Kurds and you thinks it is about the power and Kurds are powerful enough.You should have seen dreams.One of the countries of Iran or Turkey will be more than enough for Kurdish power.And US may not think about helpin Kurds against Turkey or Iran.In the end,it is a country not in the region.It is not like invading Iraq and having a war agasint Turkey or Iran.
And to your joy,you cant want the seperation of a country.This has been our land for 1000 years,and it will be.
These are the facts,my friend.

ekin:

Pkk is not representative of Kurds living in Turkey. Even the Kurdish political organization is the second party ruling in the region after the AKP,the ruling party. People in Turkey are also aware that the west of Turkey has more improved in economical terms. But it is also the fault of the people who support Pkk and help the terrorism. Terrorism brings unstablity which prevents the investments to the region.
There is a political party in the parliament Kurds can express their feelings. But they should know that violence can not end their poverty.Turkey is proud and powerful enough to eliminate any changes of separation. And do you know what will be the result if there is an independent Kurdistan? Turkey is only stable country in the region.And I hope everyone including Iraq Kurds are aware that US will not be in the region forever. Even Iraq Kurds are dependent to Turkey in all means.Even their electricity are provided by Turkey.And do not tell me about the democracy,human rights that are available to Kurds after US came to region.There was the dictator Saddam and now it is Barzani.Do you know the amounts of corruption in the region and family of Barzani getting richer by the US money?Do you think there is democracy and human rights there now? You must be really kidding if you think there is any.
And by the way Turkish Kurds can learn Kurdish, it is not prohibited.If we mention flag,what flag?There was no country of Kurdistan so there is also no flag.Nobody can wait for Turkey to accept an autonomus Kurdistan region and any flag within their borders.And US tries to promote the idea of Kurdistan because it thinks it will create a stable environment for oil.But they will recognize that it wont work but in this period many lives will have gone.I hope all recognize the reality asap.

Pakaji:

PKK, in an organized way, attack not only the soldiers but also civil public. Many of the soldiers and civil people, who are murdered by PKK, were Kurdish people. PKK is exploding bombs in the capital of the country and attacking the soldiers who defend their territories. Obviously, most nations know the fact that PKK kills the sons and the daughters of Turkey, however many of them still are not able to admit that PKK is a terrorist organization. The world, unfortunately, has learned that if a country feeds terror, that country in the end itself suffers form terror tragically. It is apparent that much of PKK's financial inflow is from the narcotics and drugs it sells in Europe. Even only for this fact, European public should question their countries’ policies. Today, for example some European countries welcomes dozens of PKK supporters. 20 years from now, PKK might fight for its own flag in the outskirts of the Berlin, or may explode bombs at the hearth of the beautiful Paris, what is more, they might finance these felonious incidents from the narcotics which are in the young bodies of European youth.
Then Europe ,too, would reveal that they admit PKK is not either only a "geurilla" or a " liberty fighter", but a "completely terrorist organization", however it would be much harder to stop these kind of terrorist oranizations, then.

Jo:

Every one of you says what he knows, or the view he likes others to know. But let me please put some facts I know for discussion. Spain for centuries was in Latin America, France and UK were for centuries in many countries also. But NOBODY can say those countries are the land of Spain, France,or UK. Now most of you agree Kurds in Iraq were under wrongness, so it was good and wright to be freed by the help of US.These are the same Kurds who suffered all kinds of atrocities and even chemial weapons for decades or even centuries bot no body bothered or cared. Turkey is occupuying Kurdistan for centuries and it has to pay for its atricoties. If Kurds through centuries could play the international itterests game well and their land (Kurdistan) was divided between Turkey, Iraq, Iran, And Syria that does not mean by anyways they have NO RIGHTS now. IT IS ABOUT POWER IF YOU HAVE POWER YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!

VICTORIA:

YAVUZ- this link may help you-
i asked the same question on the main boards- about the armenian pm whose account from 1923 seems at complete odds with the armenian assertions that stared popping up around 1960.
http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/1923Manifesto-FULLrecord.htm

also this book has been banned in the USA- (i thought we were out of the book banning industry)

i was feeling sympathetic to Zeki-
maybe because my very good friend is a kurd from syria named zucki- really a gentle gentle guy- so sweet i did some clumsy matchmaking that resulted in his marriage to my best friend.

but i know zeki lives in turkey- and is a turk too.
so - it was this statement that kind of chilled me a little-
"We don't want violence to escalate," Zeki said. "But we don't want Kurds to kill our Kurdish brothers either,"

zeki doesnt seem to concerned about his turkish brothers.
when people get that tribal and ethnocentric- its not really a great thing.
southeastern turkey is home to other ethnic groups too- (dont the laesians come from there? forgive the spelling)

i have felt for the kurds for a long time- but there have been overtures and reforms and education efforts directed at the kurds form the turkish gov't, and at some point people have to care about their childrens present and future-

im american so the idea of such separatism along ethnic lines is kind of anathema to my indoctrination as a part of a pluralist society.

i have to admit im not exactly sold on the healing powers of churchill mr levent



Eddie:

turkey has in the past commited genocide against armenians, now and for the past 70 years it has been doing the same to the kurds, it still can't even accpet the term Kurdistan, there is a massive ethinc clensing being done by the turks against the kurds, PKK may not represent the enitre kurdish nation but the turkish goverment has done nothing to show the kurds it wants peace.

alkan.levent @ mynet.com:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.asp?id=tcm:9-172984

if kazaks are in Urfa, then i shall ask for identification. who are Wolves who are Bears in Anatolia?

these birds shall visit Central Europe highly probably. then what is the Missile Shield by Mr Bush? many say that these birds accepted religion of Abraham. no it is not religion. it is family matter.

Kurd is "wolf". who is Army of Temur the Lame in Uzbekistan? are they Turks? Turks are known with a Female Wolf that Fed Turks. are they Kurds?

who are Liturgs? who are Turkeys? who are Tur-Keys? who are Mon-Keys? who are Moon-Keys? who are Sun-Keys? who are Son-Keys?

an accent of Kurdish "Kurmanci" is similar to an accent of Turkish. then when shall UK and Churchill-healers heal the history?

yavuz:

Erik, you do not have capacity to understand. During the civil war in Ottoman Empire in 1915, many Turks, Kurds and Armenians were killed. Majority of Armenian deaths occurred on the hands of Kurds who lived in SouthEastern Turkey. Don't call "bloody mouth" type of crap, you do not know what you are trying to defend here. Are you defending a terrorist organization -PKK- that costed 37000 lives or are you trying to defend Kurds that killed a lot of Armenians during 1915 tehcir? What are you trying to say God damn it? Explain it so everyone should hear it.

A humble Turk:

Erik you are an american Kurd right?
Have you ever been to Turkey? Have you seen how the Kurds there are doing? Because it seems you have no idea what you are talking about and what the problem actually is.

Just talking trash about Turks doesn't prove a thing, it just proves you are full of hate. If the Turks wanted to oppress Kurds, there would be an uprising of 6 million kurds so large that there would be a civil war and the army would have to take control.

If the Turks supposedly committed genocide on Armenians, there wouldn't be over 2 million Armenians living in Turkey right now, they wouldn't have their churches, patriarchs.

If you really believe you can take the lands that have belonged to the Turks for over a millenia and convert it into a new country, you will first have to kill every single Turk in this world.

So stop lying, talking trash with no idea about history or how the Kurds are doing in Turkey and grow up please

Thank you

yavuz:

ERIK, I saw the a location where more than 400 Turks were locked up and whole building was put on fire by Armenians. You are brainwashed. Approximately 300000 Turks were killed by Armenians. Answer this: Why do Armenians reject setting up independent historians to look at the event of 1915?
How about this one: Did you read the book written by Armenian prime minister around 1920s explaining why the events have occurred and how everything was provoked by Armenians?
Get your head out of your rear and learn. None of you went and looked into British ad Ottoman archives. All you do is to generate forged documents. A couple of them were proven to be forged. How do you feel that you are believing in some stories not in the facts?

HUSEYIN:

Talabani and Barzani are both politicians,and we know how politicians operate, say and do things according to the direction of the winds,they are super flip-floppers it is okey,but they must calculate every move they make, for instance they should not forget that one day soon or later US will leave IRAQ and TURKEY will be there forever then who is going to rescue you? start writing and practicing your song YANDIM ALLAH.

yavuz:

A.M., you should learn some English first and then you should explain how you could defend a terrorist organization that killed 37000 people (women, children, old, young, teacher, doctor, laborer, villager, etc.)? Who gives a crap if you were a marine? When you are defending baby killers, then don't try to put on an American marine mask. Your kind of people, just like Nazis, must be expelled from the USA.

EB:

AGREE WITH KURDS' PLIGHT, BUT PKK OR TURKISH MILITARY ACTION IS NOT THE SOLUTION!

This is an interesting article, but the lack of counterpoints and no mentioning of many Kurds in politics (e.g., Mr. Cetin, previous Foreign Minster and NATO envoy to Afghanistan is of Kurdish origin) , business, academia in Turkey is disappointing. There is even a political party in Turkish Parliament which is believed to sympathize with PKK.

As a Turk, I fully support the cultural rights and freedom of expression of Turkey's population with Kurdish ancestry. It is clear that successive Turkish governments have not implemented effective policies to alleviate poverty and suffering in South Eastern Turkey, although some progress has been made lately. The fact that Mr. Bakshi can freely go to Van, interview PKK supporters , and write this article is an indication of that.

PKK's approach (a Marxist guerilla organization with undemocratic internal structure)is unlikely to solve the Kurds problem either and may just put the region under a different tyranny if it were successful.

I believe that peace will come to South Eastern Turkey with more prosperity upon further integration of Turkey to EU, especially if internal nationalistic provocations and external meddlings for power grab in the Middle East cease. In fact, Turks and Kurds share most characteristcs with each other than with any other peoples.

As most postings are from Turkish and Kurdish nationalists, I would like to pose this hypothetical, mirror problem to take the raw emotions out of this issue: Assume a group of disenfranchised Hispanic US citizens take up arms in Southwestern states against (real or perceived) oppression by Whites, kill many US army soldiers, want to secede,and unite with Mexico. There is covert support from Mexico for the guerillas. Would you consider them freedom fighters or terrorists? How should/would the US government respond? What should be the long term solution of this problem?
Cool headed approach to this mirror problem can perhaps help calmer solutions to the PKK issue.

patrick:

i support fatih's statement 100 percent,well written. fatih you are not alone thousands are behind your statement i just want you to know. LONG LIVE TURKEY, LONG LIVE TURKISH YOUTH IN TURKEY AND AROUND THE WORLD.

Reason:

David Kirkuki above is very honest when he is saying he is happy that oil prices went up. This is one of the reasons why his tribal leaders Barzani and Talabani are increasing the attacks on Turkey. They are making a ton of money with increased oil prices and they will make more money if they succeed in forcing Turks to start cross border operations - at the expense of innocent peoples' lives and turmoil in the world economy.

David Kirkuki:


"Love is patient" says bible and we Kurdish people do not believe in less that loving freedom and happiness.
What ever the Turks will do, the will lose because of the simple fact that they are using guns to oppress Kurdish culture.
We Kurds have many reasons to see with optimism in future after all suffer and oppression we have been getting from fanatic and primitive nations who are reduced in ideologies.
Kurdish issue rose oil price to the highest in the history of humankind. That is positive.
Every single day are few of those 150.000 Americans who have been risking their life will come home and with every one Kurdistan is more realty.
We Kurds are not fighting for cheap values as the history witnesses. We are living at foot of "Agerda" where Noah landed with his ship.

Our Peshmerga are protecting
Love, Faith, Hope and Dignity.

That is Kurdistan...

David

A humble Turk:

Well A.M just proved my point. Enemy of the state, pro-terrorist and Turk hater.

And this is why this interview is viewed as propaganda. You can't understand the Turks if you are not int heir shoes.

Take a loot at this scenario:
Assume all American Indians going to Canada and then launching attacks against Americans, killing 30.000 people over a course of 20 yeards and demanding all their lands to become a large independent Indian controlled State because they had been living there longer than the colonist Americans. Imagine Canada not interfering with the terrorist camps where they launch and coordinate their attacks and the U.S. holding back from going into Canada while their soldiers keep dying. How would the Americans feel? How would they react?

Look for a diplomatic solution and wait while they lose more and more soldiers? Yeah right.

A. M:

As a Kurdish American and a Former U.S Marine, Shame on all the Kurdish leaders not to unite with the Kurds in Turkey, and the surrounding countries.
When the Iraqi Kurds got hit and betrayed by President George Bush father in the early 1990’s, they all went to Iran, Turkey, and Syria for shelter.
One thing is certain for the Turkish people and the government to know, that the Kurdish people around the world will go back and fight!
I am an Iraqi Kurd and one thing that runs in our Veins is Freedom, and we do not fear Death nor do we fear the size of the Turkish Army in which most are just young kids that are forced into the army and do not want to fight.
Those that fight for freedom will always win!
The PKK are our brothers and sisters. Named a terrorist group out of force because the Kurdish people do not know how to unit like in the 70’s as Mullah Mustafa had brought all of us together for one reason, and that is to fight for our freedom!
Let this be a warning for Turkey that deep inside our veins runs our band of brotherhood as it was tough to me in the Marines!
All the Kurdish People must come together to win our freedom forever!
In Iraq all of the Kurdish people will come out and fight!
In America all of the Kurdish people will come back to fight!
In Europe all of the Kurdish people will come back and fight!
In Russia all of the Kurdish people will come back and fight!
Turkey will not know what had hit them from the South, North, and from the East to the West!
You cannot destroy our rights to our mothers and fathers land!
This was long before any of your Ottoman Empire controlled the area!
That is why Turkey cannot claim a country because they took it by force!
Turkey has none!

The Kurdish people are like the Israel nation left alone to defend itself!
If America betrays us, we can fight from inside out, it can and will destroy Turkey in Financial and economy wise, no one will want to do business with Turkey!
The Kurdish leaders know very well that the U.S is only using the Kurdish people for its own good. And once they are done, they will leave them behind just as his father did in the 90’s.
All of the Kurdish people must take a stand against the Turkish Aggression.
By force they have called the Pkk as terrorist when in fact they are freedom fighters!
Young men and woman that take up arms to fight for their people.
In the Mid 90’s I saw how your T.V News would show the young fighters all shaved and lined up as they where some trophies that have been won in a local contest.
You have a sick Army. And a sick leadership!
Also showing pictures of cut off heads and legs by your so called Special Forces.
What happened to the so called Islam in all of you?
I though we all read the same Holy Quran!
Maybe not The Turkish Quran is different and it does not mention any Kurdish names!
Though through History the Kurdish Warriors have been known as some of the best defending Islam!
Armenia should also attack Turkey for all the Millions the Turks had killed and cannot even accept the responsibility for it.
All of your Turkmen know that, You are an occupying force that has been around, The Kurdish people should take on your government because it is the right time, America cannot handle another fight, nor they have the man power, and the American people have not forgotten who are the cowards in this War (Turkey) the refused to allow the Americans in through their.
I among millions of Kurdish people want to see Turkey either give the Kurdish people their land back or face a long war much worse then what you see in Iraq!
Because we are all “PESHMARGAS” (Those Who Face Death) and can face death in its eyes. We are the sons and daughters of our forefathers.

And those that fight against the poor and helpless people Allah will destroy them.
The Kurdish people are very noble people. Every nation has its good and it carries its bad, someday soon All of Kurdistan will be free.
We all look forward to a War because it is time to send Turkey back to reality,
Let Turkey think it can win! You will not get any Oil from Iraq nor will you win the fight against the PKK!
History will always repeat itself! Soon Kurdistan can be free once all the nations come together to fight the Enemy.

Reason:

Barry, Turks were attacked 5 kilometers from Iraqi border. And Terrorists went back to the other side after the attack - and you think Turkish soldiers should stay the hell out of Iraq. This is the reason why people go mental in Turkey.

Barry:

Exactly where were the Turk's attacked, in Iraq, or in Turkey? If the attack occurred in Iraq, then the Turks should stay the hell out of Iraq! On the other hand, if the attack occurred in Turkey, then they have the right to defend themselves, and recover their personnel.

Steve:

1- PKK is a terorist organization per USA and all the western countries and so many others.
2- If PKK is figting for Kurds how come they kill Kirds too. )Because they do not belive them.) Recently abauth 2-3 weeks ago they killed more than 10 people including kids.
3- PKK is a terorist organization used by other interest groups to hurt Turkey.
I can tell lot more but just read the second part that will tell you who they are

Reason:

Vic van Meter:

Don't understand why you got so angry with my comments. What I said is the truth. Your great country is supporting terrorism. BTW I lived in the US for over 4 years, and it is a great country with great people - but the facts are stubborn things.

I still think Washington Post is not the place for this kind of views to be published. Would like to see a similar article (full scale terrorist propaganda) about Al-Qaeda, then I can perhaps agree with you about informing people on something that is not discussed in the Media.

Martin Zehr:

Clearly, Turkey is presenting itself as a nation that is NOT prepared to join the EU as a full partner through its continued denial of human rights and its efforts to undermine the KRG. Turkey’s actions now will demonstrate whether it can ever adopt policies required to meet the standards established by the European Parliament for full membership in the European Union. There is no “clear-and-present danger” that can truly be documented in regards to the PKK that can justify a Turkish invasion.

But, what can the international community do now in the face of Turkish determination to intervene in the affairs of another nation? Security Council Resolution 688 stands as a precedent for recognition of Kurdish grievances. But the issue in this case is not the one addressed previously about refugees fleeing from Saddam Hussein. Now the issue is clearly one of whether a member state of the United Nations is entitled to violate the territorial boundaries of another nation. The issue needs to be posed in the context of the impact of this invasion on the right to vote on the inclusion of Kirkuk and not simply accept undocumented accusations regarding the role of the PKK’s forces within the Kurdish Autonomous Region in attacks within Turkey. It needs to be presented in the context of the fundamental denial of Kurdish rights within Turkey.

In its resolutions on the Armenian genocide and the support of a federal system within Iraq the US Congress has shown that it is willing to confront the “uncomfortable” issues within the region without the current administration’s prevarications acting as its guide. It would be advised that Turkey take note of this as well. It is all very well to be indignant when it comes to a non-binding resolution concerning a crime not committed under its government’s auspices. It is quite different to disregard international opinion regarding actions that would further de-stabilize the region and incite not only domestic opposition but profound international repercussions as well.

It needs to be said that such an incursion is by no means a first for Turkey into Iraq, including a 1992 bombing raid of President Barzani’s campaign office. The air attack within Turkey following the 1992 Newroz New Year Kurdish demonstrations shows the resolve by the Turkish General Staff to attack any and all signs of resistance, whether peaceful or violent, whether in their own country or outside of their national boundaries. The Turkish General Staff’s impulse to attack its political opposition is not simply reserved for the PKK.

The Iraqi government needs to come to grips with its responsibility towards the defense of its Kurdish residents if it is to continue to present itself as the legitimate government of the Kurdish peoples living in northern Iraq. There is too long a record of others within Iraq standing by in the face of mass murders of Kurds for anyone to accept the good intentions of a Baghdad government on faith. We should all pay attention to how President Talibani and other Iraqi Kurd governmental officials are personally delegated in addressing these matters, as well as how the refusal of Turkey to recognize the KRG and President Barzani is addressed in negotiations. How can a central government obscure or deny the right of elected representatives of an autonomous region to represent their people in any and all negotiations that involve the welfare and future of Kurdish people? And how can that central government ever earn the trust and loyalty of the Kurdish people by acting in a way as to sacrifice them in the face of threatened aggression from without?

Melody Poor:

To: Turkish Kurds
From: Wife of an American Soldier

If Turkish Kurds want to be able to speak Kurdish language and fly Kurdish flag, this is how you can do it: via the Political system.

How? Get good education, work hard, make a lot of money (like Jews do), and then make “campaign contribution” to politicians who will represent you and make laws to allow Kurdish people to speak both Turkish and Kurdish languages, fly both Turkey and Kurdish flags (in America, all 50 states have individual STATE flags).

p.s. Whatever you do, please do me a favor: do NOT manipulate Americans to shed another drop of blood and treasure to fight for your independence – like Talabani (& Chalabi & Hakim) did. Thank you very much!

Vic van Meter:

WHAT THE H***!

I log on to read these enlightened comments and find out that both Turks and Kurds blame the Americans for supporting the other side? Let's get something off my American chest before I start hurting some people.

We're a whole nation of non-native people whose native people we've pretty much swallowed whole. Maybe we're not perfect, far from it, but as a whole, and American is an American before he's anything else. I have ancestors from Italy, England, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Russia, and so on. My grandparents spoke and taught me German. I don't remember much of it, because I am AMERICAN and I speak English 99.99% of the time.

The black people of America don't (for the most part) want to form their own country in Atlanta even though they were opressed for over 400 years. The Latino population in America isn't pushing to create a Hispanic state in Nevada even though that is, technically, conquered territory. We're American people! There are a ton of flags flown in America, including the flag of a failed revolutionary state in America in many households. There are many languages taught to the children of immigrant households. But in school, you salute the American flag and are taught English. Why? Because this just so happens to be America and that's the language we officially speak. Someday we may pick up Spanish as a secondary language if the Latino population increases (which I wouldn't mind), but it is more the case that our Hispanic immigrants learn English in order to access all our opportunities.

Turkey has ethnic problems. Who doesn't? But get your heads out of your rear-ends. America looks at all this talk of Kurdish autonomy and oppression with a shaking head. It's taken years to even approach a working consensus of our own ethnicities. When I hear this bickering between two cultures of Turkish people who have more in common than I do with any single person on my entire block, I chalk it up to ethnic misunderstanding. And that's not OUR problem. It's not OUR fault. That's all on you people who aren't solving your differences.

But as a piece of advice for all the Kurds out there reading this, forget cutting your own nation out of the lands of surrounding countries. Remember what happened when a group of people tried to do that in America? America isn't supporting your revolution any more than it generally supports the one that happened in its own lands.

Now on the subject of why I'm so angry, HOW DARE YOU ALL ATTACK BAKSHI FOR AIRING THIS MAN'S OPINIONS! I reread the article over and over again. Bakshi didn't ONCE state that these were his views. He's trying to get all the opinions in Turkey. This was a compelling story and I feel more knowledgeable about Turkey having read it. Yes, there are Turks who identify more as Kurds than as Turks. If you think he shouldn't have at least SPOKEN to this man, you're against him diving for opinions in Turkey that aren't exactly mainstream.

This piece is meant to introduce us to the kind of person who supports the PKK and wants a free Kurdistan. I think he's full of it. But that's what the man thinks, and we need to realize that these people exist. And Amar, I am VERY thankful you've gone to such lengths to retrieve these interviews.

I can't even begin to describe my anger reading Reason's and Eray's responses. How dare you question this man's integrity when he's bringing you information to be debated that is often overlooked in the rest of the media. Yes, I don't agree with this man. But until reading this piece, I didn't even know WHO would support the PKK willingly.

Amar, don't mind those comments. I'm just an American looking to be informed. I want to hear opinions from people who don't like me, hate my country, hate their own country, or even hate their own ethnicity. That's why I respect your journalism.

This is a man who obviously believes America will see his plight and give his people a new country. He's mistaken, but this is for all those people who always complained that there was never a pro-US piece in Bakshi's work.

I'm certainly willing to entertain discussion as to what Bakshi's presented, but to say you don't even think Bakshi should present information from a group of citizens who are obviously out there and supporting the very terrorist organization causing such an international uproar between Turkey, Iraq, and the United States is completely ludicrous!

You people may as well play in traffic with a paper bag on your head if you want to convince yourself that you can just go on making informed decisions without hearing the views of someone you don't necessarily agree with.

Melanie Brooks:

What this article blatantly overlooks, is the 2003, 2004 laws passed in Turkey allowing and opening of private Kurdish schools, Kurdish radio stations, Kurdish newspapers and legitimacy of Kurdish Political Parties (DTP) in Turkey.. The radio stations are still active, the newspapers are florishing especially with assistance from Europe and US agencies, the DTP has seats in Turkish Parliament. The Kurdish schools closed because few, very few Kurds wanted to send their children to private schools. Even the schools that were opened in Southeastern area. The Kurds in this article wish to teach Kurdish in Turkey's Secular State Schools- this is not allowed, in Turkey's State Schools students are encouraged to take English, French Spanish, Russian.. This State Education is not "against Kurds" but with the goal of having students learn languages-modern languages that will assist them in the future.. It is a complete fabrication to state that Kurdish language is illegal, particluarly with this Prime Minister who is quite possibly the most popular prime minister with the Kurdish population. Further, its is interesting to note that the area of Turkey the Kurds claim as Kurdistan is also an area claimed by Armenia as part of greater Armenia or Western Armenia, The Kurds and the Armenians need to recognize the territorial integrity of Turkey.. Perhaps the Armenians should call their genocide bill the massacre of the Armenians by the Kurds because factually that is correct. This is why there are so many Kurds in this region (not Turks)..

Anonymous:

In my personal opinion, it is rather sad what the Mr Amar and Zeki are hoping for in regards to the American assistances. At this point the American government, at least as far as I am able to discern, is not willing to risk pissing off the Turks any more than they already have especially seeing how the Turks dealt with the French in a similar situation. Now, to be perfectly frank and honest, I am a Turk and I feel great compassion and piety for these people and the lifestyle as they describe it to me, I for one am extremely proud of my heritage and I can more than understand how it might pain them to not be able to express themselves in the same way, but the recent actions of the PKK only contracts from the image that newer generations of Turks have of Kurds and then then reciprocations of the Turks have the same affect on the Kurds.
Oh, by the way, be careful Mr. Zeki.

TURKIYE:

I regret to say, Amar C. Bakshi talks about a small Kurdish population with Marxist view. I would like to see him honest and more explicit about the groups he interviewed when he was in Van, Turkey. They are not the Kurdish people who voted for the AKP Party (more than 65%) in southeastern Turkey. Please Amar C. Bakshi don’t forget to interview Turkey’s senators/ministers with Kurdish background. I am very disappointed with you Washington Post.

Anti-PKK:

DESTROY PKK AND THAT WILL SAVE THE KURDS!!!

Kurds have better chances at democracy and equal rights if PKK doesn't kill people in their name.

Anoniumus:

What is the difference between Kurds and Albanian in Kosovo, how Albanians can get independence from Serbia but Kurds cannot get their own country

SOMEONE:

Zeki shook his head, switched off his cell phone, locked the doors and said quietly, "The PKK defends our right to be Kurdish. The PKK and the Kurds are one."

He does not have to switch off his cell phone and lock the doors. The Kurdish MPs are saying this everyday in Turkey since they are elected.

Huh:

So it looks like Kurds are people who existed for at lease 2500 years and they never had their own country.

And they are such losers now they hope the US will give them a country...

There is no oil in Turkey, so the US can't be bothered. Maybe they should move south to Northern Iraq.

Kurds are a Reality :

The existance of the Kurdish nation is a reality and unless recongnized the Kurdish issue in Turkey will never be solved. The Kurdish movement has gained momentoum; the pandella's box has been opened. No matter what Turkey does it will not be able to stop the will of over 18 million Kurds in Northern Kurdistan (Southeast Turkey). The only solution to the Krudish issue is through reforms and diplomacy. The Turkish government may lable PKK as a terrorist organization but in the hearts of millions of Kurds they are freedom fighters...in fact the real terrorist is the Turkish Military; even the U.S congress is ready to recognize the Armenian Genocide by the Ottomans.

Verda Ozgunduz:

I can not believe a great publication like Washington Post can even publish such an article.
Don’t you do your journalism (=fact finding) before publishing such articles!!!!
I am very disappointed..

Mehmetcik:

I do not beleive this report is reflecting the true feelings of the general kurdish population in southestern Turkey. People in this region suffered the most from the pkk attcks in the past and they still do. More than half of the votes went to ruling akp from the region. In order to give a fair portrait in the region wapo should consider a more detailed survey in yhe region rather than giving few individuals opinions.

A humble Turk:

Wow Heza,
Just because you said you have been there and you saw it in your own eyes, it is true! We should write a history book on your personal experience! I have been living in Turkey for 23 years, I have been to many parts of Turkey. I have Kurdish friends who can speak Kurdish freely, I know Kurdish people who are friendly and welcoming but guess I was wrong all along, I should rather believe what you just said because you have been to Turkey for more than I have!

The only reason mentioning the word "Kurdistan" would be a bad idea is that the police might suspect you of being or collaborating with PKK terrorists, guess what WHO ARE KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE WHICH YOU DONT FIND DISTURBING!

It is almost the same as mentioning "bombing a building" in U.S. where the police is OBLIGED to take you in for quesion because of the new laws regarding national security. It is exactly the same thing. The law enforcers hear a word about a "potential" extremist view, they have to know the intentions of those people. You can not refer to Turkish lands as "Kurdistan" because that is not true, it doesn't exist.

PKK:

LONG LIVE THE FREE PEOPLE OF KURDISTAN!!!!

Eray Ozkural:

Oh, what a romantic story about freedom fighters, eh?

I think it just goes to show how to do a terrible piece of journalism. Wasn't this "washington post" one of neo-con hangouts?

It shows a bit.

A true bit of story that our Kurdish friend skips over is that Kurds do not suffer from some imaginery oppressive Turkish government. What they suffer from is the landlords, who themselves are Kurdish.

If these naive fools somehow managed to set up a country in northern Iraq, so that the big brother USA would have a country-wide military base in the middle east to wreak havoc on the rest of the region, then, what would happen is, they would continue to suffer. Simply because they are under the rule of ignorant, and ruthless landlords.

And they imagine to break up with Turkey, the only country that has flooded its resources, only to enhance the economic condition of the very Kurdish citizens that we are talking about.

But what have they done in return? Support PKK? What has PKK done?
-- shot off entire villages including babies
-- killed engineers
-- burnt schools
-- killed teachers
-- killed doctors

And GUESS WHAT, the soldiers that they kill, how many of them have Kurdish origin?

Now think, how many Kurds are there in the big cities, and leading a decent life?

Of course, if you hide so many facts you might try to show the baby killers as freedom fighters.

Keep trying neocons. You will end up in the gutter, this way or the other.


Anonymous:

Obviously they are not going to allow the flag to be hung up that are representing the people who terrorize the innocent people of the nation.

212s.com:

When a couple are determined to divorce, they will do it. If they choose to stay together instead, they will stay together. It is up to them. Why should we interfere?

Burak:

To Ron (above):
You said: "I'm sure it matters little to most Kurds whether they 'live under Turkish rule' or not: what they want are jobs, schools, hospitals, etc., etc. No one in history has ever complained about who their nominal rulers were so long as their own children were clothed, fed, medically cared for and educated."

For quite some time now the Turkish government has been attempting to take this approach in that region. The major concern here is that one of the main goals of the PKK is to prevent that kind of normal life style in that region to sustain this kind of instability. How? Well they attack schools and kill teachers that come from all over Turkey to teach *their* kids about fairly innocent things like math, science, etc. The same goes for doctors and potential employers. The funny thing about terrorists is that they aren't stupid...they know exactly what to do in order to divide two groups strategically. What you're talking about would be great...if the PKK weren't there to screw it up.

That part of the country is a fantastic natural landscape, in my opinion. It deserves to be utilized and developed...something that would benefit locals (mostly Kurds) and all of Turkey. However, as I said before, the goal of the PKK is not in the best interests of the average local, although those featured in this article would probably find it difficult to swallow that.

----:

This article is openly doing TERRORIST PROPAGANDA.
Al-Qaeda is bad - PKK is good.

Remember Teleban was the favorite of the US once communism was a threat. (see Rambo III - for friendly mujahiddin)

Now PKK is good terrorist... some people never learn....

Marc:

May I remind you that after a failed kurdish uprising in Irak 600.000 to 800.000 Kurd fled to Turkey and found shelter and protection there, getting tents, blankets, foods and medical care from the turkish army?

May I remind you that the Jews fled not only Hitler-Germany finding shelter and protection, even jobs in Univerities in Turkey like the later Lord Mayor of Berlin, Ernst Reuter?

May I remind you that the Jews fled the Spanish Inquisition (christian!) and found a new home country in Turkey?

May I remind you that their descendants still lives in Istanbul, running their synagoges and choosing to live in this country that cannot be so bad after all these refuges I mentioned?

May I also mention that 2 million Armenians live in nowadays Turkey despite the allegations of the hateful diaspora claiming Turkey to have murdered almost all of them? You do not believe? This is an armenian source:
http://www.armeniadiaspora.com/followup/population.html

So for gods sake stop all this hateful agitation against Turkey, it deserves better.
Turks are humble people, even to their enemies as Atatürk proved by writing this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Attaturkswords5.jpg

„Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You, the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well„

Anonymous:

Armenian
Greek
Kurd

have been promised lands in Anatolia by English, French and Russians who wanted to divide and share the Ottoman Empire. They wanted these people to die instead of their own troops. And these people sitll hate the Turks because they couldn't get what they were promised.

We hold the sovereignty of our own lands. These interviews are an extremely bad representation of what really is going on in Turkey.

Mr. Amar, you should be grateful that you are still alive and ok if this Zeki person is as extremist in his "actions" as his words are.

Tahsin:

I am from Turkey and I am Kurdish. Zeki's point of view doesn't reflect majority of kurds in Turkey. He is clearly a supporter of PKK, but they are a minority among kurds as well (last general elections proved this).
I am also concerned about hatemongering so called nationalist Turks that write ashamable comments here. We both turks and kurds know that you are no better than pkk and fortunately you are even a smaller minority among Turks.
One flag one nation, long live TURKEY!!

Gvergis:

I was born in Turkey and I am Suryani, We were also moved away from our land in Turkey by Turks and during 1915 the turks slotered suryanis.

I also belive they accupied the land belonged to our ancestors.

HA:

This article is a shame for Washington Post. This is irresponsible reporting, writing FALSE news. Only degrades Washington Post. Please read the recent news about victims of terrorist PKK!!!

Mike:

Jonny Rocket,

What are you burning? :)

Heja:

Do you know some of the reasons Turkey was denied into Europe? Their human rights record Mr. "A Humble Turk".

I was in Turkey in the year 1992 Mr. "A Humble Turk" and I saw with my own eyes how the Kurds were treated and that they weren't even allowed to use their language and letters. Three years ago I visited Turkey again and the Kurds are allowed to use their letters but Turkey still needs to give their full rights to say what they want. If they want to say "Kurdistan" so let them say it. And if they want to say "I love Kurdistan" let them say it. They are not allowed to say Kurdistan. We have tested this by the way with Turkish police and were treated differently and very meanly.

So they are facts what I said above... Don't mislead people by saying the opposite of the truth. History never gets forgotten like the Armenians never got forgotten.

I hope Turkey stops using force and tries to give Kurds their full rights and I'm sure they will have no problems.

Peace.

Turk:

It's funny to see how Greeks, Armenians and Kurds are all coming together as Turk-Haters

Get over it guys. You got the full support of all imperialist powers during WW1 and later - AND YOU LOST. STOP TRYING.

REMEMBER THE GREEKS AND ARMENIANS WHO DIED DURING THE WAR - THEY WERE ALL PROMISED SUPPORT FROM ENGLAND, FRANCE AND RUSSIA - THEY BETRAYED YOU. NOW THE US IS DOING THE SAME THING STOP TRYING - WE WON'T GIVE YOU WHAT WE OWNED FOR OVER 1000 YEARS.

STOP DREAMING!

Pirooz:

The Kurds should not look to Bush for salvation.
The plight of Kurds will not improve until Turkey, Iran & Iraq are all transformed from within to respect the rights of all minorities within their borders including the Kurds.
Of all the 3 countries where the majority of Kurds live, it is Iran that I feel has been more benevolent towards its Kurds as witnessed by the past history; however we have recently been witnessing that some Kurds (PKK, & PEJAK) are fanning the flames of separatism even in the Kurdish regions of IRAN!!!! by killing Iranian soldiers. This will only bring misery to the Kurds as Turkey will approach Iran to create a united front against the Kurdish problem. I hope & pray that this will not happen as this will be a very disastrous result to any progress that may have been achieved in the Kurdish regions.
The Kurds will have to accept that there will NEVER be an independent Kurdish state, and any talks or efforts towards that will only push back their economical & social progress.

Hasan:

This poor article is nothing more than a political provocation. There's nothing wrong in Turkey for Kurds (or for any nationality) as long as they have a life. Of course there's poverty but that doesn't have any discrimination, there are also Turks living in poverty. As Mete wrote above Kurds have the same rights as any other Turkish citizen and free to leave the country as free people if they choose to. How can some now demand a new country for Kurds, special rights? Do rest of the Turkey owe them jobs, money, new country because they speak Kurdish in addition to Turkish? Do we need to evacuate the non Kurdish population in where PKK wants? Do we need to evacute the Kurds who enjoy life at rest of the Turkey ?

This is beyond dark comedy and ridiculous... Can't you guys see this is all manipulation, then please read!

PKK:

LONG LIVE THE FREE PEOPLE OF KURDISTAN!!!!

ANONY MOUSE:

By publishng this article Washington post not only supports a false reality, (based on outdated facts that are more than decades old), only seen from the perspective of a few PKK supporters who has probably already crossed the line between being freedom fighters to being terrorists, but also justifies the right for Turkey to carry out operations to protect its borders.

Washington times, do you see whose hatred you are feeding? Turkey is already raged by the recent attacks made on its soil and you are not helping to calm down the situation. What are you trying to prove by raising controversy? In the case of an attack by Turks will hurt everybody whether they support PKK or not.

This is just irresponsible - nobody in the world should be subject to this kind of newsmaking.

Mark Shuttleworth:

I am shocked to read such an inflammatory pamphlet with so many lies. But what else do you expect if you give a terrorist the opportunity to find a platform for his propaganda?!

I lived in Turkey for a few weeks and I can assure you I heard a lot of kurdish music, almost every kurdish taxi driver has a cassette or cd with kurdish music playing.

And it is also NOT true that kurdish language is forbidden, I heard even in Istanbul Kurds speaking loud in their language.

And it is also NOT true, that kurdish broadcasting is forbidden, I heard kurdish radio and saw kurdish TV in Diyarbakir, a city in which I lived for over one week.

So why do you write such false accusations about Turkey? Why do you not check out before giving propagandists such an opportunity to lie to us?

A humble Turk:

Heja,
You are proving my point.
There are NO historical facts, you are just talking out of your.. well imagnation.
Stop hating

And don't ge tme started with the PEACEFULA ND NICE Europeans. Read some history books.

Kitt:

Let the Kurds have their full rights and treat them like humans. They are intelligent people with a huge population. As far as I know they are the largest group without an independent country. They have their own land but they are denied even that.

Why can't people get their act together in this time and age and let people live freely in a land they call it home.

Heja:

The Turks have just recently given very small rights to the Kurds...why even these small rights? EUROPA! That is right...the Kurds weren't even allowed to use Kurdish letters such as the letter w and x in any word until recently (few years). The Kurds were hanged if they used it such letters. So now that the Turks want to be part of Europe they let a small number of Kurds into the parliament for political reasons so that you can say 'we are good people we even let them into the parliament'... shame on you for being a country for so long and only recently giving the Kurds so little rights just to be part of Europe.

Turks are blood thirsty. If they don't kill for a while they go crazy. If you mention a truth about them they explode into anger from their president to their garbage man. Did you see what happened when the Armenian genocide bill was passed? Well they got ready to kill more that is what happened. They send a message to US saying: "You haven't seen us kill! You want to be like that, watch us kill then!" and deployed to the border to crush US and the Kurds. So they are not easy going people that one can deal with.

Turks even don't want to mention 'Kurdish' or 'Kurds' words. They are prohibited from using Kurdistan to mention even the Iraqi Kurdistan. They are very arrogant people. Did you see in the news lately the capture of their soldiers? Their top leaders are saying that yes their soldiers are missing but they are denying that they are captured. lolz.

Now do the PKK represent Kurds in Turkey? No. They are doing mistakes but it is the Turks that have cauzed such an orginization. Let the Kurds have their rights and the Kurds themselves will form political parties that will overrun the PKK in no time. I hope the PKK release the Turks captured and show their true Kurdish manners and not act like Turks. The Turks torture all those captured (if they let them live).

I wish the Turks would give the Kurds half of the rights of what Europeans give to other people.

Why can't the Turks just accept the truth that there are Kurds in Turkey and that they have a land and want to live peacefully? Why do they have to be Turks to live on their own land?

Peace to the world.

Anonymous:

I'm of sri lankan backgroung and can understand why an ethnic group feeling discriminated against would want an independent state to free themselves (Tamils in the north east of the country in my case).

One fact they (rebels) keep forgetting is that the majority people of any country will NEVER allow the sovereignity and integrity of their country destroyed and therefore no central government will allow it either. The quirks of history that formed a particular country cannot be ignored. The solution to this problem is the devolution of power from the central government and forming of self governing provinces or states where the ethnic culture can flourish yet still remain an integral part of the country. Good examples of this are democratically stable countries like Canada and India. I think Turkey should do the same.

Foxxim:

About the comment from: Taloqan.

"Ask any citizen in Turkey, Who is dealing with drugs, prostitution, black money, etc. The answer is Kurds. They are doing all illegal activities in Turkey want government allow them to do so.."

Obviously Turks never deal with drugs or black money. According to the latest research they are even above the Swedes and the Norvegians in terms of honesty.

Great to hear all this brainwashing when you are far away. Obviously it is not the same for the Kurds who have been invaded by the Turks and need to bear - day in day ou - the propaganda of their oppressors.

Let's the Kurds in Turkey express whether they want to stay there or become an independent state

hak:

If Kurds see Americans as liberators, it means they haven't learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan.
PKK is a tool in the hand of powerful forces to destabilize that region.
Also, the Kurds should know that freedom has a different meaning for Bush and Americans. When they say freedom, they mean shopping for fun and/or driving SUVs.

Anony mouse:

The article is misleading. We are no longer living in the Turkish Republic of the 80's. Turkey has gone a long way in respecting the basic human rights of all the minorities including the Kurds. I am alf Kurdish and half Turkish by ethnicity. As long as I carry the identity card that is given to me I will proudly consider myself a Turk. Waving colored flags and killing innocent people will not take anybody anywhere.

Kurds are not underrepresented, everybody in Turkey is given the same rights to vote, and legislate. Kurdish landlords are already in the parliament for decades. If they are not supporting the rights of their citizens, you must blame the naiveness of the people who elected them in the first place. Kurds inthe area have been a feodal society, and they still are. OF COURSE THERE WILL BE NO HOPE IF THEY DO NOT EMBRACE THEIR DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL RIGHTS AND WAIT FOR ANOTHER COUNTRY TO COME SAVE THEM.

And news media: read more and educate yourselves before following false leads. You are openly collaborating with self-declared terrorists by taking a ride in their car "avoiding police checkpoints" !! COME ON.. COME TO YOUR SENSES PLEASE! INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE DYING.

Olli:

To all "real turks" on this blog. You are not really Turks, you are Anatolian people that after having been conquered by small numbers of Turkish warriors from the East (Central Asia), adopted their language, religion and some culture. There is genetic evidence that shows that Anatolians are *not* very close to Central Asian Turks but you can also compare the looks of Anatolian Turks with that of Central Asian Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Kyrgys or Uighurs. Anatolians look like Greeks, Central Asian Turks look like Mongols. Similarly, Turkish-speaking Azeris are closer to Iranians than that central Asian Turks.

The Kurds have lived in Kurdistan for a very long time (it is believed that they derive from the Hittites, the Kurdish language contains a number Hittite words but is otherwise very influenced by Iranian languages), for much longer time (thousand of years) than Anatolia has been ruled by Turkish-speaking people (i.e. Ottomans).

PKK:

Nothing is free. Especially freedom. Everything has a price. We will pay it and get.
How painfull it is, we do not care. We will have it. DEATH OR FREEDOM.......

Umit:

Poor Zeki... He has no clue what Bush is planning for them...
Thanks god we still have smart and faithful Turkish citizen Kurds. God bless them all...

Donald :

Let me get this straight. The Iraqi Kurds- good Kurds. The Turkish Kurds- bad Kurds. What a long suffering people! They should realize by now that no one, the US included, will permit a state of Kurdistan. The US/Israeli need for its alliance with Turkey is far more important than any Kurdish interest. The Kurds' suffering will not end soon.

212s.com:

"Those who win become kings. Those who loose become terrorists."

Chinese Communists used to be called terrorists by Chinese Nationalists. But no one is calling them terrorists any more.

My grandfather used to be considered a terrorist by the French as well, I think. He was jailed and tortured by the French, just like the Islamic terrorists are now being jailed and tortured by the US. But the country he fought for eventually kicked the French out and became a sovereign state which has even won a seat in the UN Security Council recently.

I am not encouraging terrorism. I am just stating the facts.

A humble Turk:

WOW just WOW!
Noone here sees the main idea of Zeki?

He says he wants US to invade Turkey and divide their lands between Turkish and Kurdish.

Zeki says he wants to have his own flag. Guess what, Kurds do NOT have a flag, PKK does. There has NEVER been a Kurdistan in history in Anatolia nor a flag.

What Zeki wants is to DIVIDE Turkey. What PKK wants is to ANNIHILATE the Turkish STATE. Freedom Fighters do NOT KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE, PKK are NOT Freedom Fighters, they are TERRORISTS AND ENEMIES OF THE STATE. And Zeki says that PKK defend their rights!

Can anyone see the horrible picture here. Kurds who think like Zeki are pro-terrorism, they kill innocent Turkish out of hate, spite without REASON.

They have killed 30,000 Turkish people, THIRTY THOUSAND FAMILIES ARE IN GRIEF. And if Turkish were hateful people, those 30,000 families would retaliate and kill the Kurds but they do not!

Turkish are THE MOST friendly, welcoming nation in world history. Yes there have been restrictions on Kurdish language before but it was because they Kurds were teaching their children to be terrorists, to HATE Turks, to BLAME the Turkish government for all of their mishaps. East fo Turkey was a breeding ground for uneducated, unemployed Kurds to be manipulated and brainwashed into becoming terrorists and killing innocent people without reason.

For centuries Turks have been a nationalist but extremely tolerant to all other nations that they have ruled or been ruled by. If the Turkish were oppressive, no nation under the Ottoman rule for 600 years in Europe, Anatolia, Middle East, Egypt, Arabia would be here with their own culture and beliefs today.

The Turkish are good, friendly, brave and proud people at heart. It is a nation that have traveled the world for millenia and which welcomes any religion, nation, culture BUT they do not tolerate murder, kidnap and terrorists and ENEMIES OF THE STATE like PKK. Turkey would have given the same international response if it was another nation suffering in their borders.

THE REASON WHY TURKS ARE ANGRY WITH THE U.S.

The U.S. government says that the Turkish and Iraq government should collaborate to stop PKK terrorism.

1: The Iraq government says that they don't have the manpower to do it
2: The Iraq government says that they trust Turkish government would stop the terrorist in Iraq borders like they have done in the past 20 years
3: While the Turkish goverment waits for diplomatic solutions, MORE brave turkish soldiers are dying trying to protect their borders.
4: The PKK terrorists have recently acquired modern warfare from Blackwater security company which was exporting weapons to Iraq. Thus the Turkish soldiers are dyinig because of a capitalist warfare company run amok.
5: The PKK are guerilla fighters who can infiltrate villages AND are supported by Kurdish Turks. It's a dilemma where you can't trust the people in your country because they have been corrupted by dreams of a false hope of Kurdistan or intimidated into collaboration and at the same time, you have to protect these people from PKK terrorism. This introduces a most dangerous psychology. Every man has fear of life in his heart and when paranoia sets in, people get angry and search for immediate action, such as going in to Iraq and killing all terrorists and their leaders.
6: The U.S. government is passing laws about a claim of a so-called Armenian Genocide which is just a manipulative political move from Armenian nationalists which is the most touchy subject in Turkey. The Ottamans have been betrayed by almost every nation they lived with and believed in after the 19. century nationalism movement struck. All European countries (English, French, Russian) who have hated Ottamans with centuries old hate and bile have manipulated nations like Armenians, Kurds, Greeks under Ottoman rule with promises of their own lands to break the Ottoman Empire, gain control over the straits to the Black Sea and control the Mediterranian and the Suveysh Canal. These nations have been bred with hate for the Turkish for over two hundred years after they have lived in harmony for four hundred years. The nations in Eurasia(Europe and Asia) are tricked into such hateful actions and divided according to their religion, ethnicity by old politics where the life of men was so cheap. The Turks can not tolerate to be forced to bear the weight of the sins or fallicies of their ancestors. It seems as much as the Turks try to be friendly, humble and "Self-less" against other nations, the more they are hated.

If you have read this message up until now and you know the history of Turks from 12. century to 21. century, you should understand that there are no lies, no deceit, no hate in my words. The Greek hate the Turkish because they were promised the lands in Egian Anatolia, they were coerced into fighting with Turkish by English and the French and they were defeated. The Armenians were promosed the lands in the Northeastern part of Anatolia and coerced into killing hundred of civilians, terrorizing and insurgency against the military by Russians until they were defeated in 1916. The Kurds have been played by English, French who promised them lands in South Eastern Anatolia and they still fight for a lie they were told one hundred years ago.

The Turkish fought against the English, French, Italians, Greeks, Armenians in their Independence War and threw all of them out of their lands. The Turks have lived in Anatolia for almost a millenia and these lands are our ancestral home.

At last some badly translated sayings from our Great Leader and Founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk that we have embraced for decades:

"God, so many lives are lost for these lands of Paradise"(referring to Anatolia)

"The mothers of all soldiers who came from distant lands and have fought here. Do not grieve. For when you sons died in these lands, they became our sons and now they rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johns and the Mehmeds(frequent Turkish name) they lie here. Be at peace for when they lost their lives, they became our sons as well." (In the memory of the war of Canakkale Strait)

"Peace at home, peace in the world" (Turkish international policy)

Jayrz:

please...its called looking for a handout.Lets get real. Its just on a bigger scale. Im 28yrs. old,support our troops to the fullest extent, an i see that.!cmoooon...

yavuz:

Suppose there was a terrorist organization in Mexico and its members were crossing into the USA and killing people, soldiers, and causing damages to local companies. They were then going back to Mexico and Mexico was a good harbor for them. Would the USA tell Mexico to stop these attacks, killings and action of this terrorist organization? You betcha! What would you think the USA would do if it did not get any positive response from the Mexican government for 5 years? Would the USA go into Mexico and try to destroy the terrorists and their supporters? You betcha! Then what is the problem here? Absolutely nothing! The USA can go an attack Iraq which is 12000 kilometers away from its homeland and Turkey would not do that for its national security? People who are writing here are disillusioned with the fact that some reporters are telling the one-sided story. The reality is this; Bush can all say that there is a war on terror, but there is only war on El-Qaida. While the adhoc allies of the USA -the Kurds- are supporting terrorism and if the USA is going to continue to support them blindly, then one day the USA will be one of the rogue states. You guys need to open your eyes and look at the world through the eyes of Turkey in this case. I can see here is a one-sided story and some cowards are trying to claim a land from Turkey. Of course, whenever there is a news against Turkey, you could see all those Armenian and Greek clappers that are doing nothing other than feeding the fire of hatred here. What a crock of you know what!

Anonymous:

this is a lame article! i hate SS!!!!!

Bahadir Han:

This is another example of the Western media where they take a story like this by people who think talking like this will give them a free pass into US.
The Kurdish people in Turkey are FREE to listen to Kurdish songs and they are free to teach Turkish. This article is not only misleading but it also downplays the importance of the soldiers who lost their lives recently..

An to the Kurdish citizen of Turkey i would like to ask 'Whom do you expect to be rescued from?"..

Efe:

This is ridiculous. Turks have been living there for 1000 years (you get that? THOUSAND). But they are still the occupiers.

For over 1000 years they were under Turkish rule and Kurds still have an identity and they speak Kurdish (not like Irish who were oppressed and forced to change their language under English rule). Even this alone shows that Turks not giving Kurds the basic rights is a big lie. West simply wants to have another Israel, right next to Iran to continue the colonization of Middle East.

And where should Turks go? Leave the land they lived in peace for 1000 years and go to outer space? If Turks were such monsters half of Europe, all of North Africa and Middle east would be all speaking Turkish today or wouldn't have any cultural identity.

The west should stop trying to find moral pretext for its expansionist and imperialist policies.

EMILIANO:

There is no other retarded nation on the earth like turks not all of them ofcourse because I am one of them. To make an another nation to say " ne mutlu turkum diyene". No other words. If turks want to stop TURKISH GI bleeding. They should start now by removing from constitution: all of the people who live in Turkey is turkish. '' it is stupid..... bye

Bungloo:

Let's see:

- Turkey's population is 99.5% muslim because other faiths are persecuted (Catholics killed...). Isn't it strange that there are just muslims there?
- Kurds are deprived of their rights, persecuted by the army and your Kurds cannot learn kurdish language. Their culture is systematically garroted.

I an a European and I can tell you something: no need to dream, Turkey will never be part of Europe. Not in 20 years and not in 100 years.

But I am strongly in favor or rescusitating the southern alliance of the ottoman empire: Turkey, Irak, Jordan... All these countries have a fond memory of Turkey.

If it is not possible I suggest that it becomes the 51st state of the Union and I encourage Condoleeza Rice to move on this project. All the arguments she developed to force Europe to integrate Turkey work for the US too. What a wonderful alliance for Peace: USA and Turkey.

B

Baran:

I agree with the article. It is 100 percent correct. I wish there were a way to have passive resisitance for Kurdish rigths. Turkish people will not have confortable sleep. As long as they deny Kurdish people rigths. That land is Kurdish land. Only thing they want live like Turkish, by using their own laguage. and alla other personal and cultural rigths.
thanks

AMviennaVA:

hakan @ October 23, 2007 6:40 PM: A clarification please: since the Kurds have been ther efor at least 1500 BEFORE teh Turks arrived, why should the Kurds leave? Then again, a measure of REASON and CIVILITY, as well as RESPECT for minorities, on the part of Turks will do much to solve many of the problems Turkey has.

Just a request for clarification, please.

Adem:

I think, Zeki is not a normal kurdish person who live in Turkey. because, many kurdish people who i know believe in God and love their country (Turkey). and also to listen kurish songs, to teach or learn kurdish is not forbidden in Turkey. maybe he is a person who feel sympathy to PKK (therorists). many people live in Turkey like him, (let's have a look vote for DTP and 20 members of the turkish parlement).
DTP can not say that "PKK is a terrorist group." even that, they are members of the turkish parlement.
so the problem is not about being poor... because people who love Turkey never be rebel or terrorist to their country, even they were poor.
so the problem is that PKK want to have a part of Turkey and that Turkey is not able to rise in the world.
But They can not, because we love eachother (all ethnic groups in Turkey). we have only one flag and our grandfathers build Turkey with their blood... that blood on the flag!!!
our grandfathers are turkish, kurdish, arabic, armenian and the others...

AMviennaVA:

This is nOT a polemic, but a request for an explanation:

There is a repetition by many of our Turkish friends, along the lines 'a majority of the Kurds voted for the AKP, therefore they are happy Turks' or some such. Please remember that the majority of Arabs who live in Israel vote for the Labor party. But they are NOT happy Israelis.

Has it occured to anyone that perhaps the vote is for the lesser of the evils? Afterall, if they cannot teach their language to their children, why must they be happy ... how can they possibly be happy?

For that matter, the US aside, who is the terrorist: the state that prevents a people from teaching their language, or the people for fighting to teach their language?

Dave:

Someone needs to break it to this poor fellow. America isn't coming for them. Unless they're sitting on some unfound oil reserves Bush does not care about them. It's sad that this man thinks Bush is about spreading 'freedom'

Metin Talks Turkey:

Amar: How about some more 'positive' news about Turkey, and things that are Turkish.

Maybe we should start to concentrate on things that unite us and not divide us.

And this shouldn't be a pissing contest of who can shout the loudest.

Thanks,

Metin
Newport Beach, CA
TalkTurkey.us

MA:

To Kakan

So did "American English" and United States of America. North America has its own natives. Should USA divide and give, unconditionally donate, part of the country to Native American's?

American population came from every part of the world, so based on your comment that's where Americans homeland/s are??? That gives Department of Homeland Security a new meaning!!

The idea is to live together, not apart.

An 4-nationalities American:

Cut to the bottom line. If you live within the borders of a country in the 21st Century, if you wish prosperitiy for yourselves and for your children, then learn and use that country's language, and conform to the norms of the country of your residence.

To do otherwise is to condemn your children to lives of limited oppportunity, at best. At worst, you condemn them to a lifetime of marginalization, similar to yours.

It will take more than one generation.

Start now.

apo:

Kurds want there freedom and if they dont get there freedom, Pkk will carry on to fight againts the turkish army. you say that there is only 1 language allowed in turkey? you think thats fair. kurds speak kurdish and turks speak turkish. most kurds support the PKK and no one can lie about this thankyou

david olson:

tsk...tsk...

ME:

US, used and funded kurd gorillas to help track and kill iraqis, need we state more?

Lawrence van rijn:

This almost seems like a repetition in history.
Wasn't land given and later named Israel? This mess is still a mess more then half a century later. I am certain that this is phrased all wrong, but i admit i am not a middle eastern expert. Now, should we again step in and create a kurdish nation? How long until that explode in all our faces? The Kurds are spread over several countries. How long until that goes really wrong?

I can never side with a part like PKK, which is clearly a militant terrorist group. There is however the question, why Kurds cannot exist an spread their culture an history within the Kurd community. That makes even less sense to me. The problem that is clear is that the Kurdish population is a lot larger then the Israelites and Palestines together.

Not doing anything seems even more wrong. But worldview is seemingly united. The PKK is not helping the Kurdish cause.

JRLR:

Ron: "No one in history has ever complained about who their nominal rulers were so long as their own children were clothed, fed, medically cared for and educated."

Did I dream that a majority of people from many Europeans countries "complained about who their nominal rulers were", during WWII?

Did not the US itself once upon a time complain too?...

O'Mally:

The U.S. has no official language, amigo.

Xwedazan:

I am Kurdish but PKK does't belong to me. I DO NOT want any rights that comes over killing people. There is no problem between Kurds and Turks. The only problem is some small groups from both sides who get benefit from the conflict.

KAKAN:

HAKAN, THAT LAND WAS NOT TURKISH BUT RATHER ARMENIAN, KURD, GREEK.

UNTIL MODERN TURKEY EXISTED THERE WAS NO TURKISH.

"TURKS" and their homeland of TURAN are on the other side of the caspian sea!

bernie:

to david king,i have never heard so much verbal diorehia in my life.turkey is a sovreign nation,its decisions do not revolve around u.s propaganda but the protection of its residents in its own land.the sooner countries start respecting other coutries rights,the better for everyone.the day will come when everyone will see the con that is happening in the middle east.

Mete:

Dear Amar,(immortal one)

How can you miss this huge elephant ?? Todays Turkey made up from over 40 distinct ethnic groups once populated Ottoman Empire (I am Azeri/Armenian) All those ethnic groups fought and achived todays borders and nation of Turkey. After the sacrifice of all how can one ethnic group with Turkish names and passport can claim oppression because they now feel like Turkish taxpayers and government need to designate funds for their own distinct culture ! (notice their names are Turkish, speak Turkish, they elected Kurdish/Turkish senators that one of last name is Turk !) They have the same rights as any other Turkish citizen and free to leave the country as free people if they choose to. How can they now demand a new country, special rights ? Do rest of the Turkey owe them jobs, money, new country because they speak Kurdish in addition to Turkish ? Do we need to evacuate the non Kurdish population in where PKK wants ? Do we need to evacute the Kurds who enjoy life at rest of the Turkey ?

This is beyond dark comedy. Please Immortal one see the Elephant.

alohawasabi is my yahoo id and mail --

Mete

Todd:

James, thanks. I condemn Bakshi for what is blatantly biased reporting.

Patricius Romanus:

The Turks were fighting al Qaeda years before folks in the U.S. had even heard the name. They fought pitched battles in some of their major cities against these Islamic Terrorists...and eventually defeated them within their own country. The PKK has committed many horrific acts of Terrorism targeting innocent civilians over the past decades, and is very clearly a Terrorist organization. The idea that "oppression" excuses Terrorism excuses ANY Terrorism, including 9-11! We cannot go there.

We may urge Turkey to address its ethnic issues, but MUST support their legitimate struggle against Terrorists.

Todd:

Kurdistan is a pipe-dream, and will continue to be so.

Todd:

Rich, your reasoning is so naive. The Turkish government does not suppress its minorities, but PKK is vicious terrorist organization. By your reasoning, Al-Qaeda was justified in burning 3,000 innocent people at the WTC because the U.S. was oppressing Muslims around the world? Give me a break!

There is no moral equivalency for terrorism - period.

feride:

I can understand the negative feelings of our citizens of kurdish origin. They have the right to smirk at turkish flag, to hate Turks and to ask for their cultural rights. But it's very misleading to claim that they are living under turkish occupation. If it's the fact than we have to assume that native indians in America are living under the occupation of Europeans.

NIK:

Zeki only has to know his own Kurdish history.
1st Iraq American War, nearly a million Kurds were let into Turkey because of the violence in Iraq, that Turkey fed, built tents for, clothed for many months.
When Talabani and Barzani the Kurdish warlords now president and ministers of IRAQ were killing each other for power, they were invited to Ankara to stop their internal strife.
Let's get back to those awful Turks, how many countries in the world have had their oppressed in government, finance, and yes even crime syndicates and their prime minister and president (Turgut Ozal)? That's right, president and prime minister of Turkey and many minister's, teacher's, bankers, etc who are all Kurds.
Here in the good old US people are still battling about electing a woman or a non WASP as presidetn.
We are one people ,1 country the ethnicity of the person does not take place in a geo political world. Otherwise, our end is near everywhere.

Rich:

Maybe if the Turkish Government didnt oppress it's minorities they would not try and blow them up.

Patricius Romanus:

Whatever the complaints of the ethnic Kurds of Turkey, however legitimate they may be, there is no excuse for blatant Terrorism, which is what the PKK has been involved in for years.

However much one may sympathize with the Kurds, Turkey has every right to defend itself and its people from Terrorism, and if that includes incursion into the Terrorist's sanctuaries if authorities there are unable or unwilling to address their presence (however otherwise undesirable that might be).

We cannot condemn Terrorism by some and excuse it by others, or the whole idea of the War on Terrorism is nothing but a hollow slogan.

michael:

does everyone remember operation ajax, and the post-shah operations using the pkk against the iranians with american funding? most theoretical "terrorist" organizations will turn to whomever is there with the money or arms for convienence. the kremlin, the white house, saudi arabia, it's all the same game. tools for the job at hand at any particular point in history. we are playing with fire here. the goal is the caspian sea oil reserves. nothing more and nothing less. the politics are a toll. and so is the pkk.

Mike:

Very interesting comments... I would like to say that the U.S. does allow more flags to fly than just the Stars and Stripes. Every State in the U.S. has it's own flag and many smaller subdivisions of governments, such as cities and counties fly their own. The U.S. is a republic of States and smaller divisions of government that have together created a larger country. Turkey and Iraq could both take that as a lesson and decentralize some of the governing powers downward and to lesser units of their society. Breaking up Iraq into Shia, Sunni and Kurdish States that come together as Iraqi's would preserve both nationalism and their ethnic heritage and pride. Turkey could do that same, but is not in the position of starting over like Iraq. There are U.S. citizens working in Iraq to try and teach these democratic principles to the people there in the hopes they would understand that local governance could work. Giving power to the people, democracy, is not just about a central government and national elections.

Preserving nationalism and ethnic pride and heritage can be done. The U.S. is not some beacon of shining truth in this regard as it has massacred Native Americans and did forbid teaching of their languages. This has changed and now we have Federations of Native American tribes taking back their lands and gaining sovereignity. The U.S. can improve that record and has to some degree, but there is much to do to improve on these issues around the world.

Kennon Keoseyan:

If the Kurds are waiting for the United States to help them then they are making the same mistake the Armenians made against the Turks.

MA:

Goto here and watch the youtube clip. Then tell me if this is any different from Al-Qaeda training videos that all of us have seen on CNN?

http://naxalrevolution.wordpress.com/2007/08/02/rotinda-lexin-gerilla-a-music-video-on-the-pkk-kurdistan-workers-party/

Also read the comments and learn more about the PKK.

turkish voice :

invite MEVLANA.If you become again again come.TURKEY comfortable leave sufficent ,anymore.TURKEY live end degree forbitten.72 nation altogether brothers and happy.pkk violently ,live on,monster.it never can't complate pale imiginations.what happy TURK'UM tell.

Kennon Keoseyan:

If the Kurds are waiting for the United States to help them then they are making the same mistake the Armenians made against the Turks.

JG:

If Turkey ever joined the EU, they would be obliged by EU law to protect the rights, languages and cultures of minorities amongst it's citizens, such as the Kurds. I guess that alone will be enough to keep them out of the EU forever.

Paul Fraser:

Visit my website http://www.corporatebully.ca Fighting the Royal Bank of Canada one customer at a time. Sydney, Nova Scotia - Canada.

gt:

The problem is that a majority of Kurds in the world live in Southern Turkey. However, the Turks do not believe they have a Kurdish minority. Many Turks view them as uneducated mountain Turks. Despicable.

Mehmet:

How is this entry 'pro-Bush' Jonny Rotten? Just because a Kurd in Van believes George Bush has a personal mission to free all the persecuted peoples in the world, doesn't make it true. Iraq is all about strategy, about changing the geopolitical landscape of the middle east. People disagree on the intentions: building regional stability, personal vendetta, oil, whatever. What Iraq is NOT however, is a representation of an administration concerned with human rights as this poor Kurd believes it is. If this administration's goal was defending the rights of humanity on this earth then there would have been substantive progress made in defending persecuted and disenfranchized peoples in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Turkmenistan, Myanmar, Tibet, Xinajiang, etc. This administration doesn't put a high priority on the rights of Kurds in Turkey. This man's real hope lies in Turkey treating the Kurds decently. I am wary of the Turkish govt. changing it's terrible stance on the rights of Kurds in Turkey (the ones not in the PKK), and therefore feel bad for this misinformed man. Also English is not our official language, we don't have one.

Ron:

I hear ya, Chad. But we here in the good old US of A do have a government. We just don't like it.

Mike:

I'm still waiting to see "Amar C Bakshi talk to America's lovers around the world." Seems like Bakshi is only interested in talking to America's haters around the world.

Why am I not surprised?

ozzy:

Amar you find this PKK sempatizer by chance or really look for him, what he says simple wrong. Now a terrorist organization using some of the injustice took place against Kurds, which by the way every country, including USA, some kind of injustice going on against minorities, to justify their inhumanly coward viloence.
Does this guy or you know that PKK established by KGB as a marxist communist terrorist group. they still carry communist red star flag. if you study the region you may see that Kurds are devout sunni muslims. so there is no relationship between PKK and ordinary Kurds. The support PKK received from foreing countries mostly in EU and long ago from Russia is the reason why this problem has not been solved to this day.

This teacher says he feel occupied,Kurds never had their own uniter territory and always lived under rule of other nations. what he doesn't know is Kurds sided and fighted side by side with Turks almost all major wars. That's why we see them as real brothers and will countinue to see them such as.

lonewolf:

the united states should state that in no uncertain terms that it is highly displeased with the turkish govts. refusal to reach any type of political accord with it's indigenous kurdish population. the europeans as well should apply maximum pressure upon the turks to realize that any hope that the turks once held that they could join the european union hinges upon the reality of affording the proper level of representation in government, religion, and culture across the board in what is supposedly a secular democratic republic. if it were not for the folly of the bush administrations foriegn policy blunders and fascist endeavors to control the caspian sea oil reserves, this pressure might be properly applied. while the white house threatens the pkk in northern iraq, it conversely negotiates and arms the political wing of the pkk in order to wreak maximum havoc in northwestern iran. therefore since the pkk is theoretically a terrorist organization, you of all people mr. bakshi, should realize that this double standard approch towards the problems that continue to simmer along all of the common borders in the lower reaches of the caspian sea region will only lead to all out warfare which will serve the intersts of no one except those currently residing at 1600 pennsylvania. i suggest to you mr. bakshi that you should refine your policies towards a lot more pressure on the turks and a lot less applied in the direction of teheran.

Mehmet:

Kurds live in TURKEY not "kurdistan". They are a part of Turkish People and not a group without country. Zeki M. says :

"The Turkish government outlaws teaching in Kurdish. "I cannot teach them poetry or show our flag or listen to Kurdish radio." "

Turkey, unlike US, has a national language which is the only language to be used in schools and that is TURKISH. And Zeki M. can show the Turkish flag as much as he wants, but he doesn't. And that is where the problem is. He doesn't realize that he lives in TURKEY. He wants to separate the country and form a "kurdistan". He says :

" "We are a people without a country," Zeki continued "

There are developments plans under way for many years trying to develop the underdeveloped regions of Turkey. Search for "GAP Project / Southeastern Anatolia Project" and you will see why Kurds want to separate. They will control the water with the dams that Turkey built and they have oil in Kirkuk / Northern Iraq so join the two and call it "kurdistan". Sounds like a plan, only in your dreams.

PKK has nothing to do with the Kurdish poverty or political problems. Do Kurds even know that PKK is a communist, Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization that relies on terror and destabilization of the government to achieve their goals? I don't think so. I guess my enemy’s enemy is my friend. However even PKK is aware that communism is not the way to power. Abdullah Ocalan (head terrorist, captured and living in jail right now) even suggests that PKK has left its Marxist-Leninist roots. So other than destabilizing the government of Turkey and killing people, PKK serves no one and no purpose and should be stopped.

Chad:

Some may question whether we "plain folk here in America" have a *government*.

Ron:

It seems to me the point of the story was that groups like the PKK exist *because* of economic and political oppression. I'm sure it matters little to most Kurds whether they "live under Turkish rule" or not: what they want are jobs, schools, hospitals, etc., etc. No one in history has ever complained about who their nominal rulers were so long as their own children were clothed, fed, medically cared for and educated.

As someone above noted, this is not something the US *government* is going to be terribly interested in addressing at this point in time. I would add that if it were, it would probably not fix the problems of poverty and powerlessness, it would more likely side with the Turkish *government* and make matters worse, the way it has with Isreal's *government* for the last 50 years against Palestinians.

I highlight *government* to emphasize 1) that this has nothing directly to do with the people of the US, Turkey, or Isreal; and 2) that neither the Kurds nor the Palestinians *have* a government, so it's not what we plain folk here in America would call a fair fight.

CK:

The article misrepresents a number of facts. It is true that personal freedoms ought to be expanded in Turkey, and this is a broader issue than just the "Kurdish" issue. Turkey has been taking remarkable steps to do just that in recent years and more is yet to come with the upcoming "civil" constitution. These developments have actually reduced the support of the so-called pro-Kurdish parties in the most recent two elections. In fact Kurds in droves have voted for AKP instead of the DTP, a party submissive to the PKK. The PKK knows this well, is very worried, and is using terror to prevent more Kurds from electing to live under one democratic nation and one flag. Only when Turks and Kurds accept that it is up to each other - and not the so-called protector of Kurds, Uncle Sam - that peace and prosperity will reign in Turkey.

David King:

The United States should radically rethink its relationship with Turkey. For the sad fact is that Ankara no longer seems to be an ally worthy of the name -- indeed its threatened invasion of Iraq would be the act of an outright enemy. Nor has Turkey behaved like a genuine ally for more than four years.
It's not merely that Turkey refused at the last minute to let Coalition forces invade from the north in March 2003 -- though that did affect the war and its aftermath in unfortunate ways. There have been other equally serious derelictions, ranging from the refusal to allow a damaged U.S. warplane to make an emergency landing in March 2003, to active subversion of the Coalition and the post-Saddam Iraqi authorities. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has consistently played these incidents down or ignored them, thereby encouraging Turkish bullishness and contempt for American neediness.
It was a sign of Turkish malevolence to come, when, in the spring of 2003, U.S. troops in northern Iraq twice captured units of Turkish special forces operating there out of uniform. The Turkish commandos had slipped across the border and were actively working to foment trouble, urging the tiny Turkmen minority to violence and hinting at support of Sunni Arab insurgent groups if they would take on the Kurdish Regional Government.
The first occasion was on April 23 in Kirkuk, the second, on July 4, was in Sulaymaniya. The latter was labeled "The Hood Incident" in Turkey and provoked public outrage because 173rd airborne troops supposedly hooded their Turkish captives -- just as they hooded all other terrorist suspects. The Turkish government and public apparently saw nothing wrong in the illegal presence of un-uninformed Turkish troops in Sulaymaniya -- even though they were apparently there to assassinate a Kurdish governor -- and the incident subsequently inspired the viciously anti-American, anti-Semitic, and pro-insurgency Turkish hit movie Valley of the Wolves.
Then, as now, Turkey justified its violations of Iraqi territory by the presence in Northern of Iraq of separatist PKK guerillas (small numbers of Turkish troops have been based across the border for two decades), but the arrested Turkish troops were nowhere near the remote mountain areas where the PKK are said to have their bases.
Since those 2003 incidents, the Turkish armed forces have continued to foment ethnic strife in Kirkuk and other cities in Northern Iraq that have no connection with the Turkish-PKK struggle (The Turkish military even has funded, trained, and armed a militant group called the "Iraqi Turcomen Front" which was formerly sponsored by Saddam Hussein), and in July of this year yet another Turkish special forces unit was captured, again out of uniform.
These ongoing hostile acts have tended to erode any Iraqi Kurdish willingness to act against the PKK bases in Iraqi territory, as have Ankara's demands for a suspiciously unlimited right to "hot pursuit" of the PKK terrorists.
Moreover, Turkish covert aggressions and attempts to intimidate the KRG are of such limited military utility in the struggle to suppress the PKK that they seem, both to the Iraqis and outside observers, to have more to do with the Turkish army's intense paranoia about any measure of autonomy for any Kurds anywhere in the Middle East.
Worse, they reflect a strategic reality to which Washington and the West have turned a blind eye: Elements within the Turkish military covet the Kirkuk oil fields and much of Northern Iraq as a lost "Turkish" element of the Ottoman Empire. (Never mind that it's conquest would bring even more Kurds and non-Turks under Ankara's intolerant rule.)
This combination of irredentism and racism inspires Turkey's brinkmanship on the Iraqi border at least as much as any legitimate security concerns. After all, if Turkey truly wanted to secure the cooperation of the Kurdish Regional Government -- whose peshmerga troops have in fact battled the PKK in the past -- by clearing PKK safe havens across the border, it would not be accompanying its threats of a massive invasion with a propaganda offensive, claiming that Iraqi Kurdish leaders have made territorial claims over parts of Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan himself pointed out in June, before caving into military pressure, that:
There are 5,000 terrorists in the mountains in Turkey. Is the struggle against them over? Is this issue resolved so that we can come to dealing with the 500 terrorists in northern Iraq?
(This is not to underplay the nastiness of the Syrian-backed Leninist PKK, nor to excuse its behavior because the Turkish military has so cruelly oppressed and abused the 10 million or more Kurds who live in the South East.)
The Turks know perfectly well that their publicized plan to send troops in as far as the capital Irbil would be resisted by the Kurdish Regional Government, would bring chaos to an area that has only just recovered from Saddam's genocidal attacks, and essentially would start a whole new war in Iraq. The effect on the Coalition's and Iraqi government's efforts to stabilize the rest of the country would be catastrophic, not least because key Kurdish Iraqi Army units -- the best and most reliable indigenous troops in the country - would race North from Baghdad and other places where they are needed to fight Sunni insurgents and Shia militias.
One irony of the situation is that the biggest foreign investors in the burgeoning economy of Iraqi Kurdistan are Turkish businesses. Yet the fate of this flourishing commerce seems of little concern to a Turkish military whose racist culture simply cannot bear the existence of a semi-autonomous Kurdish statelet, regardless of how benign it is or how profitable for the Turkish economy.
In any case it is inimical to the interests of the United States to tolerate a foreign military invasion of Iraq by any foreign power. Far too much blood and treasure has been expended in the Coalition effort to bring stability to post-Saddam Iraq to justify any but the toughest response to Turkey's saber rattling. This is why the Bush administration should stop being so mealy-mouthed and immediately shift U.S. troops North -- nominally to assist the KRG in efforts to expel the PKK, but mostly to make it clear to the Turkish military that invasion will come at a heavy cost -- namely the destruction of any trace of friendship with Washington.
The United States should then initiate a policy that will have a powerful and salutary effect on the region: It should start to construct a massive military airbase in Iraqi Kurdistan itself.
This would kill several birds with one stone. It would enhance America's ability to project force against enemies such as Syria and Iran. It would deter any future incursion into Iraq by Turks, Syrians, or Iranians. It would reassure and economically reward our Iraqi Kurdish allies -- arguably our best and most useful friends in the region -- who have long wanted such a physical sign of American commitment. Best of all the U.S. would no longer be subject to Turkish blackmail over the vital NATO airbase at Incirlik -- blackmail that would probably be stepped up if we ever needed to use the Incirlik base for strikes against Iran or Syria. An America that no longer has to cringe and beg Turkey for the use of military facilities will probably enjoy a better, more balanced relationship with Ankara. (As elsewhere the perception of American weakness has provoked aggression and hostility) And the likelihood is that the airfield would remain a key American base, even if the worst case predictions about Iraq were to come to fruition.
Unfortunately, Turkey has powerful defenders on the Right here in the U.S. Some cleave to the dusty fantasy of Turkey as the model of a good, moderate, Westernized Muslim state: These have paid little or no attention to how much Turkey has changed over the last few years. Others are blinded to reality by nostalgia for the good old days when Turkey -- or at least the Turkish military -- was a genuinely stalwart American ally and a covert friend of Israel against Syria. Even now they choose to believe that the vaguely Islamist ruling party is the main problem rather than the Turkish military.
You might have thought that Turkey's shifting of two armored divisions into invasion position on the border of a country where 150,000 U.S. troops are fighting to keep the peace, would disillusion these dogged Turcophiles. It hasn't. Nor has the shelling of villages unconnected with the PKK. And nor has Turkey's continued determination to attack America's Kurdish allies, despite the reported dispatch of U.S. special forces against PKK leaders. The Turcophile tendency simply cannot see that the Turkish Army's anti-Kurd animus matters to it more than the friendship of the United States, or admit that the Turkish military's Kemalist secularism makes it no less a possible agent of regional instability. They mistakenly believe that the Turkish military liked us - when in fact they merely needed us as a bulwark against the Soviet Union. Worst of all they don't see that the absence of a Soviet threat has liberated the most dangerous nationalistic -- and indeed fascistic -- tendencies of the Turkish military.
Of course it would require genuine courage on the part of the Bush administration in general and in particular from Secretary of State Rice, to even raise the idea. But once raised it would make it clear to Ankara that America has options in the region and that, like Turkey itself, America is not a slave to old friendships.
By Jonathan Foreman
National Review Online

Taloqan:

PKK is supported by all Turkey's enemies. They are all saying lies. It is not prohibited to teach or learn kurdish. Ask any citizen in Turkey, Who is dealing with drugs, prostitution, black money, etc. The answer is Kurds. They are doing all illegal activities in Turkey want government allow them to do so..

Chad:

Unfortunately, the writing of Mr. Kennedy Brooks above, is one hundred percent correct.

I am however, surprised to find that there are still people in this world that believe in us.

That fact should make every American ashamed.

Scott Salbo:

No group gets everything they want. It is quite possible that in our lifetimes an independent Kurdistan (or whatever they might choose to call it) will be carved out of what is now the failed state of Iraq. That does not mean that Kurds living inside the borders of Turkey will get to carve that state up. African Americans, Latinos, and a wide variety of other ethnic groups all live in my country (USA) and are expected to conform, more or less, to the overarching culture. Our schools teach in English, unless you are an immigrant and then you are co-taught in your native tongue and English until your language skills improve (in theory, anyway). So Kurds need to get realistic. If they choose to stay in Turkey they must disavow PKK and instead fight for civil rights, like Martin Luther King Jr did here. They need to accept their Turkish citizenship, as American Jews accept citizenship fully in the USA, or leave for their existing, de-facto homeland currently inside Northern Iraq. Build up that region and sign a treaty with Turkey guaranteeing Turkey's borders in exchange for mutual defense pacts and your future in Northern Iraq would become secure.

Anonymous:

I feel for those living under Kurd 'poverty'. One thing for sure though, violence begats violence. It is time to put down your weapons NOW. Your poverty and other claims to shame are not your problem alone, but those of the whole world. Your religious ethnicity holdes no relevance. You are still a living, breathing, and plentiful soul. When will this world learn that almost every country in the world has partaken in their own sacrilege, to include torture, benevolence, slavery, ostracism, and other injustices? The sooner you learn of the present and face these challenges, the sooner peace, harmony and brotherhood can be had by all! Don't we all bleed red? Those that forget the lessons of the past are condemned to multiply and manifest future turmoil and destruction. May the peace of God or Allah that you worship, bring peace and stability to you all!

Todd:

Turkish government does NOT outlaw teaching Kurdish. However, as is the case in the U.S., there is one official language, and in Turkey, that language is Turkish.

Zeki M. mentions that he cannot show his flag. What flag is this exactly? Zeki M. may be of Kurdish ethnic origin. But he is a Turkish citizen, and his flag is the Turkish flag.

If I were a Kurd, I would not hedge my bets on the U.S. We all saw what happened to the Kurds under Saddam when Bush the pere did not follow through on his promises and failed to support them in their uprising.

And finally, let's not forget that the U.S. recognizes PKK as a terrorist organization.

Todd

jonny rocket:

Serg, Kennedy Brooks, Hakan:

i can tell you all are liberals. when you see a news story that is "pro" bush, you don't like it
and cry about it. don't give yourself away so easily. we can see right thru you.

Amar C. Bakshi:

Serg, that is a crucial point. I am writing a second piece coming in several hours on the story of someone caught between PKK violence and state intimidation, that speaks to the dilemma you raise. Many thx, Amar

john brown:

"The PKK defends our right to be Kurdish. "
How? By killing people? Huh!

hakan:

Pkk is a terrorist organisation , the only flag belongs to that land is Turkish Flag. Would the United States of America give part of their land to Hispanics(latinos) and have them keep their flag . Kurds must live under Turkish rule , like they did in last 1000 years ,or their other two options are to leave Turkey or die

Kennedy Brooks - Calistoga CA:

This is so sad ... like the Sh'ite 'Marsh Arabs' in Iraq who believed in George I, these poor people believe the rhetoric of George II and do not understand that their interests are probably one of the US' last concerns in that part of the world.

Serg:

This story does not show the overall thought that is going on in eastern Turkey. If this was the case why would have the majority of Kurds voted for AKP this past July. The dilemma most Kurds are in is that they want to help the Turkish government get rid of the PKK but if they assist the soldiers their houses will be destroyed by the PKK. Until the disruption in that part of Turkey is gone, it wont prosper, companies wont make investments into an area which has a very good potential of flourishing. I am a Turk, I love Kurds, but they fact that them supporting the PKK is only hurting themselves in the end.

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