web analytics
August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Justice for the Kurds?

Pro-Kurd protest

Photo Credit: Gili Yaari/Flash 90

The Treaty of Lausanne made no mention of Kurdish independence; instead, the Kurdish population was divided into different areas of Northern Iraq, Southeastern Turkey, and parts of Iran and Syria. Exact figures are difficult to calculate and in dispute, but it is clear that Kurds now constitute large minorities in these different countries. In Iraq they constitute 17% of the population, in Turkey 18%, in Syria 10%, and in Iran 7%. In all these countries they have suffered from oppression. In 1962 about 120,000 Kurds were denied citizenship in Syria on the specious grounds that they were not born in that country. Kurdish land in northern Syria in 1973 was confiscated and given to Arabs. Their language and books were banned from schools and their traditional celebrations prohibited.

Kurds challenged the state of Turkey by an armed insurgency in the 1980s but were suppressed. Turkey had outlawed the Kurdish language and forbidden Kurds to wear their traditional dress in the cities. It encouraged the Kurds to move from their mountain base to the cities to dilute their identity. The Turkish Constitution includes an apartheid clause that all citizens of the country must be ethnic Turks.

Aggression against the Kurds has not only been political and constitutional; it has also been physical. In the armed fighting between Turkey and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Part (PKK) — formed in 1984 and the leader of which leader has long been imprisoned– about 40,000 people were killed, many of whom were PKK fighters. In the 1990s, more than 3,000 Kurdish villages on the borders of Iraq were destroyed by Turkey. Turkish planes have, on many occasions in the last few years, attacked PKK bases and killed civilians in northern Iraq. And in March 2012, Kurds in a number of Turkish towns, including Istanbul, who were celebrating the Kurdish New Year (Nowruz) were arrested or wounded by riot police.

In Iraq chemical weapons were used against them in 1988: their villages were burned, thousands were killed. The attempted rebellion by the Kurds after the Gulf War of 1991 was crushed by Iraqi troops. Saddam Hussein destroyed more than 4,000 Kurdish villages and killed perhaps as many as 180,000 civilians. Only after the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein had ended did Iraqi Kurdistan become an autonomous but not fully independent regime, an area that was extended after the U.S. invasion of 2003. The alternative Kurds face is either greater autonomy in the individual countries in which they live, or an independent state of their own.

The international community and the world media have argued feverishly for a Palestinian state. No such attention or concern has been accorded the Kurds — or the brutality towards them or the oppression they have suffered — both of which are very much greater than anything experienced by the Palestinians.

The Turkish government donated the funds for the 70 foot high monument recently dedicated to “international activists” and erected in Gaza City’s Port. The monument bears the names of the nine “martyrs” killed by Israel commandos in May 2010 when they were on the Mavi Marmara, one of the vessels that tried to break the legal Israeli naval blockade of Gaza to prevent armaments being shipped that could be turned on Israelis. The Turkish Foreign Minister, who referred to the “oppressed” Arabs in Gaza, ignores with a mote in his own eye, the oppression of the Kurds in his own country. Those purportedly concerned with human rights and self-determination have rarely, if ever, expressed support or even paraded for an independent Kurdish state. If a Kurdish state is “unthinkable,” as Arabs argue, so, logically, is a Palestinian one. Surely the conclusion should be clear that if a Palestinian state is justified and endorsed by the international community, shouldn’t similar approval and endorsement be given simultaneously to the creation of a Kurdish state?

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org 

About the Author: Michael Curtis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, and author of the forthcoming book, Should Israel Exist? A sovereign nation under assault by the international community.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Justice for the Kurds?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.
ObameDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing
Latest Indepth Stories
Silhouette of "hilltop settler."

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

Schwartz-073115

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Tobin-073115

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

More Articles from Michael Curtis
Rania Okby, Bedouin Israeli on faculty of Ben Gurion University Health Sciences School

Boko Haram enforces a patriarchal oriented society in which women are treated as “sexual slaves.”

A typical veiled Arab woman (illustrative only).

These feminists are so anti-Israel that they ignore Arab women’s lack of political and social freedom

With the Syrian government refusing to allow UN inspectors into the country it is difficult to see how indisputable proof of use of chemical weapons can be found

Sweden is now a country where orthodox Jews are afraid to wear a skullcap.

Since June 2005, the EU has given more than $48 million to over 90 NGOs based in Israel, who are regarded as critical of Israel.

The EU has yet to appreciate the reality that the conflict continues because of the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the right of the State of Israel to exist.

Today, fewer than 4,500 Jews remain in Arab countries. Israel absorbed and integrated 600,000 of the more than 850,000 who left.

The Palestinians have asked the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO to recognize Battir, a village about 5 miles west of Bethlehem, as a World Heritage Site and add it to the 936 sites already maintained by UNESCO. The city’s original name was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba and the name of Jabotinsky’s Zionist youth movement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/justice-for-the-kurds/2012/08/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: