Turkey needs to change course over own insurgency
November 9th, 2012
03:30 PM ET

Turkey needs to change course over own insurgency

By Hugh Pope, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Hugh Pope is International Crisis Group’s Turkey/Cyprus project director and the co-author of Turkey Unveiled: a history of modern Turkey.

Amid the many challenges thrown up for Turkey by the worsening civil war in Syria is the way it adds fuel to the flames of Ankara’s domestic conflict with insurgents of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Clashes have worsened dramatically in Turkey’s southeast over the past year. A PKK-affiliated group is now dominant in Kurdish areas along northern Syria’s Turkish borders. And Turkey is accusing Syria of resuming its previous support for the banned group, listed as a terrorist organization.

But it is important for Turkey to face the fact that the Syrian connection is merely a symptom of its most important internal problem. A U.S. Patriot missile shield along the Turkey-Syria border, as suggested by the Turkish government this week, is not going to be much help against the PKK. The real test for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to find a way to use the current turmoil to perform a U-turn to escape from the failed PKK/Kurdish policies of his government in the past 18 months.

A change of course is increasingly urgent. Casualty rates in the insurgency have deteriorated to the worst seen since the bad old days of the 1990s, with International Crisis Group’s informal minimum tally counting more than 830 soldiers, police, PKK and civilians killed in violence since June 2011. In September this year, pro-PKK detainees and prisoners began a hunger strike that has now spread to more than 600 people in more than 60 jails, some of whose condition is turning critical. Police have detained several thousand Kurdish movement activists on terrorism charges, mostly with no link to violence. A shutdown last week of shops, schools and municipal services in sympathy with the detainees and hunger strikers in the main Kurdish-speaking city of Diyarbakir was one of the most widely observed in the past decade.

More from CNN: Mass hunger strike in Turkish prisons

Erdogan’s response so far has been a new round of inflexible rhetoric, a military-only strategy on the ground, and a public denial that anyone was on hunger strike at all. This is no longer realistic. He must find a way back to the fruitful policy he adopted up until 2009, a “Democratic Opening” that did more for the long-oppressed Kurds than anything else in nearly a century, and a real attempt to talk with and engage the PKK in a settlement. The casualty rate plunged during those times, and in June last year the legacy of that policy still helped his ruling Justice and Development Party to win more than one third of the vote in 12 southeastern majority Kurdish-speaking provinces.

To solve the conflict, the Turkish prime minister will need a clear new package of measures. He should start by splitting his military struggle against the recent PKK armed offensive from the underlying Kurdish problem. The Kurdish issue, in turn, should be tackled by policies that include: the right to education in mother languages, decentralization, an election system that allows the Kurdish movement party to win a proper place in parliament, and a stripping out of any discrimination in the constitution and laws. The much-used excuse for not doing this – the supposed Turkish nationalist rejection of equal rights and justice for Kurds – is a mirage. Mainstream Turkish opinion never voiced great opposition to the Democratic Opening, the talks with the PKK or 24-hour Kurdish television – all unthinkable five years ago.

Indeed, Erdogan’s government already appears to be backing towards such sensible policies. Optional Kurdish lessons started in schools in September. Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has promised that Kurds will be allowed to use their own language in court, and that jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan could have access restored to his lawyers (and thus the outside world) after more than a year of isolation. AKP tabled new proposals this week for a new constitution now apparently include a lowering or doing away with the problematic 10 percent threshold of the national vote to get into parliament (which usually excludes only the main Kurdish movement party, which typically polls 5 percent to 7 percent). Finally, the constitutional reform committee in parliament is still in session, and could do much to remove any lingering ethnic discrimination.

But for all this to work, Prime Minister Erdogan needs to summon up real political will, and present this patchwork of positive ideas as a unified, comprehensive strategy to resolve a conflict that has cost more than 30,000 lives and 300 billion dollars since 1984. Just doing what is right on the question of Ocalan’s access to lawyers and the use of Kurdish in court and education would also end the hunger strikes. Happily, a long window of elections-free political opportunity to put such a strategy to work reappeared this week, as AKP abandoned plans to bring forward local polls from March 2014.

No doubt, events in Syria have made Turkey nervous about the empowerment of Kurds in the Middle East, and the Damascus government may well have returned to its past policies of trying to undermine Turkey by making its parallel PKK insurgency and Kurdish problem more difficult to solve. But the lesson of the last 18 months is that Turkey has almost no tools – threats, soft power or military might – that can make a critical difference to the deterioration of the Syria civil war.

If Turkey feels vulnerable on the Kurdish question, Prime Minister Erdogan’s best defense is to set his own country’s house in better order.

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Topics: Syria • Turkey

soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. deniz boro

    Can it be that Mr. Pope also has a consultancy position in some Oil Co.? There are some international groups who would be happy to give their stakeholders in arms a kind of free rein by taking a bite of the Turkish lands. And guess who would be the actual closet-leader than. How come most Kurdish so-called freedom fighters fight mostly in potentially oil rich regions. The "Democratic Opening" of Erdogan was a still born child. No one in his/her right mind would have expected any PKK peace or democratic negotiations out of it. It only sered to clearly show that the "democratic approach" to PKK that the yappers championed (because they are too ignorant to suggest anything else) is just what it is, in other words A WASTE OF TIME. AKP would loose even its most rational voters if compromise even an inch of Turkey's unity to the terorists. I do not see any sense in Mr. Pope's article. However, it is still a brain exercise to see what dimensions a person can take.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • gazal48

      there is no excuse for tuks ethnic discrimination and ethnic cleansing against the Kurds. It does not help to hack peoples computer either! enlekt look, it's so easy and it is best for the turkey to stop so much violence!

      November 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        Tensions between the Kurds and the Turkish majority are higher now than for more than a decade, Kurds make up more than 20% of the population of Turkey and the PKK has waged a guerrilla campaign in south-east Turkey for more than 25 years, attempting to establish an ethnic homeland for the Kurdish people. Much is at stake, would Erdogan make compromise with the Kurds.

        November 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  2. deniz boro

    In Turkey we daily hear how many soldiers, how many policemen and how many civilians are shut dead by PKK terrorists. It is like living a bit of Sept 11 daily. These dececed young men have families, spouse and small kids back home. This has been going on for decades. Do you think the common Turkish person has the smallest sense of pity for a handfull of terrorist who were caught for killing somebody's son and is serving a sentence in jail? I f they chose to diet themself to death I call it ANOREXIA and not a touching human insurrection. Human senses exist in humans not in creatures who kill for money.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • Ekram

      if you think kurdish freedom fighters are terrorists then what would you call people who are killing civilians and syrian soldiers in syria? I call them terrorists and your government helping these terrorists to kill humanity and destroying neighbouring country. i have no sympathy for your country because its killing those who demand justice. By the way, I am not a kurdish or turkish or syrian or iranian or an armenian in case if that is what you may be wondering in light of my response to your post......i am just human! tell Erdogan to stop aiding terrorists in syria and be nice to kurdish people.....you know deniz, always remember this....what goes around, comes around!

      November 13, 2012 at 3:09 am | Reply
      • Ferhat Balkan

        And leave the Syrian people to the slaughter of Assad's troops? You must be out of your mind. For your information, Turkey is the one country housing more refugees from Syria than any other. If it wasn't for Turkey, all of them would've been butchered by the dictator Assad.

        November 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
      • Ekram

        Ferhat, blame your country's for supporting terrorists buthchering Syrian people! Assad is not the perfect man but he did not start this trouble. He is just defending his country from outside interference! You should blame Turkey's partners in crime such as KSA and Qatar who have sowed the seed of hate and destruction in Syria. I bet you sooner or later these and your country will pay the price for what they have done in Syria? You guys better keep your lights on before go to sleep in night because you never know......!!!

        November 14, 2012 at 2:52 am |
  3. deniz boro

    Did you ever talk to a Turkish national of Kurdish origin in Diyarbakır or anywhere in Turkey? Not a person who believes him/herself to be a Kurdish patriot? They only want what the rest of other people want. A place to work and make a decent living. Security to raise up a family and be a part of the community. If PKK or some political party symphatising them promotes these prisoner issues and chose to forget the teachers kidnapped by PKK? My mom's father was the purest Kurd that one can find. Most probably every Turkish person is a bit Kurdish by marriage. This Kurdish, etc. issue is as synthatic as saccharine.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  4. Robert

    How come people are blaiming PKK? When Ozil a Kurd became the first president of Turkey he made a deal with PKK for autonomy and there was no blood shed then. However, he was assasinated and Erdogan came into power and ruined everything. You can not stop a party that has the backing of most kurds in Turkey.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Reply
    • Quigley

      Well put, Robert. Thank you.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
      • GeneralSherman

        No it wasn't "well put" at all. It was nonsensical and made up things that never happened.

        November 10, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • GeneralSherman

      No there was never any deal with the PKK and the PKK was not ever in a position to negiotiate anything. Who are you kidding? Yes, everything is the fault of the PKK which is an invention of Russians. Who are you kidding? Ozal actually had talks with chief of staff of Turkish military about taking over Northern Iraq and returning it to Turkiye.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
      • gazal48

        1) why Turks use Western World name? trying to impress better?
        2) tutkish polis have killed 600 childern by now, many children tortures in turkish prisoners daily? this war hav no winner!! j

        November 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  5. Quigley

    I get so sick and tired of having people post here decying the PKK as a "terrorist" organization. That's tantamount to calling our own Founding Fathers "terrorists". The Turks need to reassess the situation and grant the Kurds the independence they deserve!

    November 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • Quigley

      Sorry folks about the misprint above. I meant to print "decrying", not "decying". Again, I want to reiterate my resentment against all these anti-Kurdish rants here as the Kurds do deserve their right to a home state!

      November 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      Quigly that is almost the 3rd or 4th time I read the same sentence that you write to the same issue (But oh my...Under different names?) Can you perhaps change the verbing to add some dynamics and excitement to your conversation. I hate to talk with a sleepwalker. Kurds are partially Muslims you see. And we hate to harass an inferior.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
      • Quigley

        Thank you, deniz. You sound like another right-wing, Turkish loving Tea Partier. Could this be because the Turks have been subservient to Washington? Nothing you said so far takes away from the fact that the Kurds deserve a home state just like the Israelis or don't you think that they deserve one either? After all, the Israelis didn't gain their independence peacefully from Great Britain in 1948 either!

        November 10, 2012 at 8:04 am |
      • deniz boro

        George Patton
        Calling the Kurdish PKK terrorists deniz, is tantamount to calling this country's founders like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin terrorists. It can be said that the British were fighting their own "war on terrorism" between1776 and 1783 as one would say today!!! In fact, the British always entertained the idea of regaining control of this country up to the War of 1812! Like we did then, the Kurds only want the right to home rule like we achieved in 1783 at the Treaty of Paris!!!

        May 4, 2012 at 9:41 am |
        deniz boro
        If rules of patriotism were to stay as they were back in the 17th century there would be no end to civil and world wars. Real patriots of our day are mature and educated enough to solve there conflicts over the table. For your info George the rest who choose to take to sabotage and guns are still generally called TERRORIST

        November 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • GeneralSherman

      The PKK is a terrorist organization, you s. ubhuman inbred. Your "Founding Fathers" WERE terrorists just like the Brits but they were not rebels in anyway. The Native Americans were the real rebels who were ruthlessly murdered and had genocide commited againt them by American imperialists. The Americans need to reassess the situation and grant the Native Americans the independence they deserve! The Americans should move back to the debtor prisons/ghettos of Europe they ran away from. Ataturk is an example of a rebel who succeeded. He defeated the British, French, kurdish terrorists being supported by the British/French/US/Russia, greek terrorists being supported by the British/French/US/Russia, and armenian terrorists being supported by the British/French/US/Russia, all at the same time in the 1920's. Kurds don't deserve indepdence at all. The "kurdish" ethnic group and kurdish nationalism are the inventions of 19th century european imperialists. Read christopher dickey's "Don't Redraw Middle East Map". The "kurds" in Turkiye, iraq, syria, and iran are all genetically dissimiliar and liguistically incoherent. The reality is that they are iranic offshouts from india who have always lived on other people's land. Even then the kurds in northen iraq have haplogroup J in frequencies of higher than 40 % making them more Arab than some Arabs. The kurds in Turkiye didn't even inhabit Eastern Anatolia until the Ottoman sultan defeated the Persian shah and gave a large amount of land to a kurdish servant of his. Historically, the "kurds" defined their allegiance by tribe, faith, or the nation to which they were stealing the culture from. Even kurdish nationalists admit that one-hundred years ago "kurdish" was mostly Turkish, Persian, and Arabic.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • Cheetahe

        Are you a Turkish nazi-fascist?
        Whether you like it or not if you do not allow the the Kurds to enjoy their language and their cultural heritage in their homelands eventually they will get their own country. It is inevitable.

        November 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
      • andy

        Were there any turks in Constantinople or smyrna before the 15century. In my travels the middle east, I meet armenians, greeks, kurds cypriots and maronites who cannot visit the homes of their ancestors because Turkish brutality. Your knowledge of asia minor is totally warped. Ataturk yes was a great leader and politician for the turks but he recieved a lot help from the british, french and Italian: their ships were moored in the waters of f smyrna watching tens of thousands of Greeks and Armenians being butchered by the Turks

        November 13, 2012 at 2:42 am |
      • Ferhat Balkan

        Andy, you obviously don't know that there are approx 50,000 Armenians living in Turkey. There's even a village village that has mostly a population of Armenians there. They have been living peacefully and enjoy all the rights as any Turkish citizen. So stop talking nonsense. As an outsider, you obviously know nothing.

        November 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  6. deniz boro

    Robert; dear taht is not Ozil but Ozal (Oezal rather). No deal was done with PKK. It has not been proed that Ozal was assasinated or by whom. Erdogan did not ruin our economy. His party pulled us through despite the Global Economic Crises which no other world government achieved (thanks to Mr. Babacan realy). And the kind of group that you call a Party does anything but politically responsible action. They mostly act as the billboard of PKK. I did not vote for AKP but I did not vote for a rented billboard either.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  7. orkhun

    No one can demand or claim anything from someone else's land Kurds are not from Anatolia they migrated there in Ottoman times learn some history before commenting utter rubbish, PKK is listes as Terrorist Organization around the World like Al Queada and other Terrorists, civilian Kurds have no problem with Turkey, Terrorists have and they shall be destroyed , you do not negotiate with terrorists if some Kurd want a state they should leave Turkey and find a land for themselves and Turgut Ozal did not offer anything to Kurds he was Kurdish but as a clever person he knew Turkey is a state of Turks and there is only one government and one state no one can change that anyone who supports Terrorists and PKK is a Terrorist and must be eliminated if people show mercy to Terrorists there will be more war Kurds who support PKK are lucky Turkey doesn't follow American way otherwise all would be dead by now including the leader of them

    November 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
    • Peres

      You ignorant Turk, what you mean by your land you Mongolian savege.

      November 11, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
  8. Hahahahahahaha

    As Sunni as I take a Shiite, I will flush the Kurd down the toilet. Hahahaahahahahhah

    November 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Reply
    • Peres

      You are just another ignorant Mangol look the mirror if you don't look like Mongolian then you are B- astard.your real father is Armenian or Greek.Hahahhhhh

      November 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Reply
    • gazal48

      well we have always tried to tell the world how turkey thinks and acts, now we hear this of you own here!!!!!

      November 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  9. kuasol

    Turkey is moving ever so slowly toward exorcizing its ghosts. The Kurds have a culture going back millennia and a language related to the Persian language, not Turkish. These problems arise from forced assimilation. Until Turkey comes to terms with its history, good and bad, instead of living in a fantasy world, she will never find peace either domestically or internationally.

    November 10, 2012 at 3:03 am | Reply
    • GeneralSherman

      kuasol, whe are not "exorcising" anything because we don't have any "ghosts" to exorcise, unlike the US which still has not apologized and paid reparations for the genocides of the Native American (tens of millions), Vietnames (millions), Iraqis (hunrdes of thousands; possibly at least a million), Afghans (hundreds of thousands; possibly at least a million) they murdered. We have nothing to be ashamed of. You by being an American and a Christian have millions of things to be ashamed of so start exorcisng YOUR ghosts. Kurds don't have a culture, let alone one going back millenia. The kurds are not a single ethnic group. They are actually a forced grouping of several Iranic offshoots whose languages aren't mutually intelligible and whose populations aren't genetically coherent. A kurd from Southeastern Turkiye can't understand and isn't related genetically to a kurd from Northern Iraq for example. This is becaue the kurdish ethnic gruop was invented by 19th century European/Russian imperilialists to try to cause trouble against Turks. If the Kurdish "language" (which is mostly Turkish, Arabic, and Persian words) resembles Persian in anyway, it's because 1. defeated kurdish terrorists living in European ghettos over the past century made an artificial overhaul of their language where Turkish/Arabic words were replaced by a Persian counterpart and 2. because kurds are foreign land-robbers from Iran/Afghanistan/India. Kurds were never forcefully "assimilated" no more than Turkish-American child in the US is forcefully "assimilated" by going to an American school where the language of instruction is english. Again we don't have anything in our history that is bad that we need to come to terms with while the US has a million things that it needs to come to terms with that it continues to go merrily along NOT coming to terms with. We're not living in fantasy world. We are living in reality. You cannot lie to us. We know the truth. Turk-hating supporters of kurdish terrorists like you losers are the ones living in a fantasy world. We already have peace domesically and internationally. How about you lecture the Russians who continue to oppress their more than 60+ Turkic/Caucasian/Muslim minorities in a way that even the kurdish terrorist propagandists wouldn't be so shameful as to pretend being.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
      • andy


        November 13, 2012 at 2:54 am |
      • Ferhat Balkan

        2,100,000 Turkish civilians died during WW1. Armenians were not the only ones who died.

        November 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Marine5484

      Well said, kuasol and so very true, too. Don't let these Tea Partying nitwits like this "General Sherman" here try to tell you otherwise!

      November 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      I thought Kurdish people fancied that their language resembled French. I never heard of this new "Pesian" version of it :)

      November 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  10. Hewa

    Turkey is going to be a dictator country, 20 million Kurds live there without any basic rights!!! really it is shameful for turks. I think now it is time to new state, which is Kurdistan, and it is important everyone support Kurds to get their rights. I am surprised how some racist turks in 21 century can deny 20 million people????the thing is Turkey sould give the Kurds right, if not the problem worsen

    November 10, 2012 at 6:40 am | Reply
    • GeneralSherman

      Hewa, Turkiye a "dicator country"? What are you babbling about, you s. ubhuman kurd? Turkiye is the only democracy in the Middle East and the region. You undertand? Democracy? That's a word the primitive kurdish brain can't understand. There are less than 14 million kurds in Turkiye (half of them living in the Western half of the country to get away from their fellow kurds lol). They already have their basic rights and have had them since the beginning of the republic. It is really shameful for kurds to have losers like you make up lies. It is really shameful for kurds to have several thousand kurds be the willing terrorist prostutees of Russians/Americans. No, there is no such thing as kurdistan nor has there ever been nor will there ever be. The kurds already have their rights? Tell me, what rights are the kurds denied? What rights are they denied that a Turk has? There are no racist Turks. There are some racist (and greedy) kurds who support Russian/American hostility against Turkiye by being their willing terrorist puppets. There are less than 14 million kurds in Turkiye, not 20 million. Again, kurds have always had their "rights" in Turkiye. Anybody who suggests otherwise doesn't deserve to be given the time of day.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • gazal48

      00 hunger strikers will die soon in Turkish prisons and according to amnesty international turkey has been denied medical care to those who are dying. Is not disaster in today's world and the West turns a blind eye and counts turkey as a member of NATO? there are no similarities between the turkey and the EU or the USA!

      November 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      When did Turkey's population reached the 100 milions. I knew we have a young, reproducing generation. But such a population increase calls for recruiting the retired parents as well.

      November 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  11. Diako

    what Kurdish people want in Turkey is nothing more than what Erdogan wants for Turks in Bulgaria.They are asking for rights that they have been born with.Unfortunately some Turks do not understan that being human is more important than being Turkish. diversity can make Turkey more beatuiful and richer if you think for a minute.If you look at the glory of Ottaman empire there are two simple facts behind it. Diversity and tolerance.Istanbul was the centre for all intellectuals and innovators all around the empire, no matter what their religion was. Ottomas never imposed their language or cultures in their kingdom.infact they were using Arabic for their correspondance as well.Now look back dear turks, look what has happened to you in the past 200 hundred years. focusing on a nationalisn that is making you weaker and weaker and smaller and smaller.so please leave this illusion that Turkey is one country and will remain so. Turkey has been bigger than this and can be smaller than what it is as well. so please wake up, make your country home for any one who lives in that geographic framework, not just for the Turks.embrace Kurdish culture and values if you want to live them.You call PKK terrorist because they have killed because they have killed 100 soldiure which were brothers ,dads or sisters of turkish people. but why dont you look at the story from their angle, instead of 100 , 800 PKK fighter have been killed. these people were also borthers and sisters , they were the loved ones of their fgamilies and their communities. please wake up , if you want too root out PKK you have to kill every single kurdish in your country. Be realistic and solve the issue in the civilised way, make turkey a nice country for both nattions and all othe minorities that live there. Start from today from your family from your friends.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • GeneralSherman

      Hey kurdish s. ubhuman terrorist puppet of Americans, since most Turks living in Bulgaria were deported, I guess that means we get to deport kurds from Turkiye? Kurds have always had their "rights". Being Turkish is being human and even if it wasn't, being Turkish would be more important than being human. Some kurds apparently don't understand that being human means more than being kurdish. Diversity? Why don't you tell it to the Russians and Americans who fund and arm you kurdish terrorists. They wiped out the indigenous peoples of the lands they robbed. "Diversity and tolerance" did not make the Ottoman Empire great. While I do agree that they were insanley tolerant compared to the West European imperialists, if anything, that hippy nonsense contributed to its downfall. What made it great was the Turks. "no matter what their religion was"? Well, 99 % of the time it was Muslim. D. umbass, we're not the ones focussing on nationalism. Turkiye is absolutely one country and will forever remain so. You will die knowing this. LOL, your argument is so ridiculous. Russians, in a desperate ploy, invented the PKK to cause trouble in a NATO member. The PKK is the result of this. So you present this ridiculous argument that the PKK would make Turkiye better? OK, so I guess al-Qaeda would make the US better right? It doesn't take killing every kurdish land-robber to end the PKK. You just have to stop their Northern Iraqi and possibly Syrian/Iranian support bases. In case you haven't noticed, the PKK was dead in 1999 because they didn't have Northern Iraq as a haven. However, if it did take killing every kurd to end hte PKK, I would most certainly do that.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • gazal48

      totally agrre with you Diako!

      November 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      There is certainly this rhetoric on NATIONALITY in Turkey currently. People tend to think that they have to make a choice between their roots and their nations. I know it clearly though. I am 1/4th Kurdish; 1/4th Central Anatolia; 2/4th Eastern Mediteranian which equals to a Turkish woman. I can not say how much of those physical genes I inherited. But I can clearly say that 8I was brought up with these traditionals which are ALL under Turkish nationality.

      November 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      Diako that is a touching explanation. I do have the same inclination BUT....Look around you. As you say a history of 400 years is nothing in the past. And weak people are more inclined to be suspect to misdirection. Will you delete them? educate them? Give them a Ghetto to live in?. That, you can see all in recent history.

      November 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  12. GeneralSherman

    What garbage. The "kurdish" ethnic group and kurdish nationalism are the inventions of 19th century european imperialists. Read christopher dickey's "Don't Redraw Middle East Map". The "kurds" in Turkiye, iraq, syria, and iran are all genetically dissimiliar and liguistically incoherent. The reality is that they are iranic offshouts from india who have always lived on other people's land. Even then the kurds in northen iraq have haplogroup J in frequencies of higher than 40 % making them more Arab than some Arabs. The kurds in Turkiye didn't even inhabit Eastern Anatolia until the Ottoman sultan defeated the Persian shah and gave a large amount of land to a kurdish servant of his. Historically, the "kurds" defined their allegiance by tribe, faith, or the nation to which they were stealing the culture from. Even kurdish nationalists admit that one-hundred years ago "kurdish" was mostly Turkish, Persian, and Arabic.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
  13. GeneralSherman

    Americans including the one who wrote this are insane. Turkish newpapers should write articles demanding that US "change course" with its al-Quaeda insurgency.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • Marine5484

      You wouldn't by some chance be Phunnie boy posting here under General Sherman's name, would you? You sure sound like him or one of his ignorant Tea Partying friends. Do you honestly believe that the U.S. has an "Al Qaeda" insurgency here? If you do, then I've heard everything!

      November 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • gazal48

      why Turks use Western World name? trying to impress better?

      November 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
      • deniz boro

        Gazal dear... I am sory to be the first one to tell you that PEOPLE NEED TO COMMUNICATE. That is how problems are solved recently. So people generally use every means to communicate....NOT STICK TO ANCIENT MEANS.
        Well ...that is IF YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE.
        If one side tries to communicate and the other one jabbers meaninglessly....That is not by any measures a communication. And if one side insist on a communication on jabbers, that may be taken as something "NOT SO WELL ADVANCED".
        For your kind information I would like to inform you that there IS an international language that you are wellcomed to learn and use.

        November 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
      • Peres

        Because they are ashamed of their Turkish name you think that loser who call himself Genera Sherman will put his real his Turkish name General Mohamed.

        November 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
      • gazal48

        I have no problem that you use western names, I just thought that you will be drawn that there is a general from the United States that give wrong information about turkey. If the name is not important why you forcing Kurds to the name of their towns, villages and mountainside? Dialogue is my favorite!

        November 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  14. deniz boro

    Definitely mispositioning of contributions. Leading to an undesirable "shocking position. Please keep to your lining to keep credibility.

    November 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      Gazal, Dear do improve your general knowledge if you want to comment on linguastics. Sherman (smt nickednamed as General Sherman) was also a M4 Thank used in World War II. It was known to be a rolling castle. Heavy weapon. Or similar.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  15. General Sherman

    Hello folks, I'm the true General Sherman here and I want t say that none of those idiotic comments above posted under my name are mine. Some Tea Partier has been using my name to spew out their ignorance, making me look like somr kind of a right-wing, Turkish-loving moron! Moreover, I do support the Kurds in their struggle for their right to set up their own home state just like the Jews did back in 1948!!!

    November 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      CLARIFICATION: I do not know how to hack anybody's name. However, whenever I notice a comment, or line-up that I did not place in person, I do warn CNN, MY LOCAL SERVER, and the internet committee of my country.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  16. Ferhat Balkan

    We all know the Kurds enjoy more freedom in Turkey than in any other nation. As for the PKK terrorists who are starving themselves in jail... I think Abdullah Ocalan should join them. If he's truly a glorious master prophet as the PKK believe, he should really stop caring for his well being and start a hunger strike as soon as possible.

    November 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  17. goahead

    this is going to be a one big mess

    November 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  18. lweba

    After all the suffering the Kurds have gone through I think now the Kurds will bargain for nothing less than the region being made semi autonomous. By becoming semi autonomous this again will raise the question of Kurds elsewhere. In the end a state called Kurdistan which Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran have been avoiding will soon be on their tables.

    November 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  19. mardeen

    sosyalist işçiler, madam, ve sosyalist parti ya da sevgili efendim merhaba.
    Ben o sosyalist inanıyorum. artık sosyalist değildir ve onlar Kürt halkının bildiği gibi onlar, dayanışma, ya da onları desteklemek için kamp yapacak bazı ülke ya da kişi, faiz alacak biliyorum eğer ben, parti sadece ilgi arıyor, inanıyorum, bir olan ülke dışına ile dünyanın büyük doğa, yine bizim düşmanları, insanlarımızı öldürüyor.Eğer 10.000 'den fazla türkiye ne oluyor, gördüğünüz gibi, bizim anadillerinde konuştukları gibi izin vermeyin. siyasi mahkumlar, yaşam yaklaşık 700 civarında, çok kötü durumda. açlık grevi 65 gün, bazıları gong.Geçmişte yolu, ama ne bana sürpriz yapmak. i bile dünya medyasında geçmeye, herhangi bir sosyalist partinin bu konuda medya konuşmak, ya da gerçek bir utanç Kürt, ile mick dayanışma görmedim.Türk tarafından ne oluyor, hakkında konuşmak.Kürt için, her ülkede her kentin, diğer yardım almak dışında olan, siyasi tutsaklar desteklenmesi amacıyla açlık grevi var Kurd

    November 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  20. mardeen

    hi dear sir or madam, in the socialist workers,and socialist party.
    i believe that socialist. is not longer socialist ,and i believe that, the party's just looking for interest,if they know they will get interest from some country or people , that will make solidarity, or camping to support them,as you knows Kurdish people, the are a bigger nature in the world, with out of country, still our enemies,killing our people. the don't let as to speaking in our mother tongue,as you see what happening in turkey,more than 10,000. political prisoners, are life in very bad condition, around 700 hundred. gong to 65 days on hunger strike,some of them. the past the way,but what make me surprise. i haven't seen any socialist party's media talk about that, or mick solidarity with Kurd, that is a real shame,, even cross the world media. talk about, what happening by the Turk. to the Kurd,in every country every city's, Kurd the have a hunger strike to supporting the political prisoners , with out of get help from other,

    November 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Reply
    • Ferhat Balkan

      You should look up the definition of a 'Troll'.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  21. mardeen

    سلام عزیز آقا یا خانم، در کارگران سوسیالیست و حزب سوسیالیست است.
    من باور دارم که سوسیالیستی. است دیگر سوسیالیستی نیست، و من به بر این باورند که، این حزب را فقط برای علاقه به دنبال، اگر آنها می دانیم آنها خواهد شد علاقه از برخی از کشور و یا مردم، که خواهد همبستگی، و یا کمپینگ حمایت از آنها را دریافت کنید، به عنوان شما می داند که مردم کرد، هستند طبیعت بزرگتر در جهان، با خارج از کشور، هنوز هم دشمنان ما، کشتن مردم ما است. آیا اجازه نمی دهد به صحبت کردن در زبان مادری ما، شما ببینید چه چیزی اتفاق می افتد در ترکیه، بیش از 10،000. زندانیان سیاسی، زندگی در شرایط بسیار بد، حدود 700 صد. گونگ تا 65 روز در اعتصاب غذا، برخی از آنها. گذشته در راه است، اما آنچه را من تعجب. من بحث رسانه ها در مورد هر حزب سوسیالیست آن، و یا همبستگی میک کرد، که شرم آور است، دیده می شود، حتی عبور از رسانه های جهان شده است. صحبت کردن در مورد آنچه اتفاق می افتد توسط ترک. کرد، در هر کشور در هر شهر، کرد اعتصاب غذا در حمایت از زندانیان سیاسی، از کمک گرفتن از دیگر

    November 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      TRANSLATOR PLEASE. Or I shall start to write in my own language as well. For equal rights you see. And THE HELL WITH GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  22. mardeen

    مرحبا عزيزي سيدي أو سيدتي، في العمال الاشتراكي، والحزب الاشتراكي.
    وأعتقد أن الاشتراكية. لا تعد الاشتراكية، وأعتقد أن للحزب فقط تبحث عن الفائدة، إذا كانوا يعرفون أنهم سيحصلون على الفائدة من بعض البلاد أو الشعب، من شأنها أن تجعل التضامن، أو التخييم لتقديم الدعم لهم، كما يمكنك يعرف الشعب الكردي، وهي أكبر الطبيعة في العالم، مع خارج البلاد، لا يزال لدينا أعداء، قتل شعبنا. وكما لا تسمح للتحدث بلغتهم الأم لدينا، كما ترون ما يحدث في تركيا، أكثر من 10،000. السجناء السياسيين، هي الحياة في حالة سيئة للغاية، حوالي 700 مئة. غونغ إلى 65 يوما من الإضراب عن الطعام، وبعض منهم. الماضي الطريق، ولكن ما يجعلني مفاجأة. أنا لم أر أي الحزب الاشتراكي وسائل الإعلام الحديث عن ذلك، أو ميك التضامن مع الكرد، وهذا هو عار حقيقي، حتى عبور وسائل الإعلام العالمية. الحديث عن ما يحدث من قبل الترك. إلى كردي، في كل بلد كل مدينة، ويكون الكردي في إضراب عن الطعام لدعم السجناء السياسيين، مع من الحصول على مساعدة من الآخرين،

    November 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      TRANSLATOR PLEASE. Or I shall start to write in my own language as well. For equal rights you see. And THE HELL WITH GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

      November 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  23. kurdistan

    مرحبا عزيزي سيدي أو سيدتي، في العمال الاشتراكي، والحزب الاشتراكي.
    وأعتقد أن الاشتراكية. لا تعد الاشتراكية، وأعتقد أن للحزب فقط تبحث عن الفائدة، إذا كانوا يعرفون أنهم سيحصلون على الفائدة من بعض البلاد أو الشعب، من شأنها أن تجعل التضامن، أو التخييم لتقديم الدعم لهم، كما يمكنك يعرف الشعب الكردي، وهي أكبر الطبيعة في العالم، مع خارج البلاد، لا يزال لدينا أعداء، قتل شعبنا. وكما لا تسمح للتحدث بلغتهم الأم لدينا، كما ترون ما يحدث في تركيا، أكثر من 10،000. السجناء السياسيين، هي الحياة في حالة سيئة للغاية، حوالي 700 مئة. غونغ إلى 65 يوما من الإضراب عن الطعام، وبعض منهم. الماضي الطريق، ولكن ما يجعلني مفاجأة. أنا لم أر أي الحزب الاشتراكي وسائل الإعلام الحديث عن ذلك، أو ميك التضامن مع الكرد، وهذا هو عار حقيقي، حتى عبور وسائل الإعلام العالمية. الحديث عن ما يحدث من قبل الترك. إلى كردي، في كل بلد كل مدينة، ويكون الكردي في إضراب عن الطعام لدعم السجناء السياسيين، مع من الحصول على مساعدة من الآخرين،

    November 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  24. CuriosityKilledTheCat

    There are 2 extreme's of Rebels, think the R.U.F. in Africa, bent on murder and mayham, and a united,honorable rebellion,think American Confederates!!, There is only 1 kind of terrorist, the bad kind. At some point in time the PKK is going to have to make a choice.

    November 14, 2012 at 7:51 am | Reply
  25. Nuri Yalcin

    You are wrong Hugh. So are your allies and your paymasters. Your camp inadvertently lit the fire of Islam among the Kurds. Now, Erdogan will use it. Nurjus will use it. Yes, nationalistic Turks and nationalistic Kurds will continue to move away from each other. But this fire is amalgamating the Ottoman fabric back into reality. The supporters of PKK may have seen this but it is too late. Just watch what happens between now and the end of the next election in Turkey. You, the Hugh Popes and Henri Barkeys of this world, will continue to make decent salaries from your paymasters, but your predictions will be condemned to the garbage bin of history.

    November 15, 2012 at 4:38 am | Reply
    • deniz boro

      Yep. Turkish resident Kurdish so called "freedom fighters" are misplaced and also excluded now. There are other Kurdish groups in demand. No bread left in Turkish grounds. It was just the election season that misguided some opinions :)

      November 19, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply
  26. deniz boro

    However idealistic it may sound, I sincerely would like to hear about the PERFECT SOLUTION in living in Turkey together. As I said above I am 1/2 Kurdish, and I never realy suffered for this. I would lşke to hear your story on this.

    November 19, 2012 at 7:56 am | Reply
  27. Bulent

    It is obvious the above article is a product of either utter ignorance about the region or an Anti-Turkish Propaganda Piece all together! As the definition of a Turk is the inhabitant of the country called Turkiye there has never been discrimination against anybody within the borders of Turkey who are willing to live as peaceful and law-abiding citizens. However no country on earth has the luxury to allow Separatist Terrorists to carry out bloody murderous acts against innocent people. Furthermore Turks of Kurdish ethnicity enjoy life as police officers, politicians, wealthy entertainers and in the case of Turgut Ozal, even as the Prime Minister of the country. The ignoramus mindlessly posting anti Turkey propaganda here are free to check on their own what party the majority of the people in the so-called Kurdish regions of Turkey voted for? ... Ironically enough it was the ruling AKP!

    December 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      I am just too glad that smb (WHO now cesure my listening to Mldava by Smetana) took to be present in the Social Web. It was kind'o lonly here. But the result is utterly unaccaptale.

      May 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  28. deniz boro

    Oh well, "developped" countries just do not export raw materials...The ultimate point is im getting administration fees in "handling". Re-positioning of a "ex-officia" group should get 5 stars.

    September 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  29. deniz boro

    It is all geting so exited...Since Turkey is a big bite for all those WHO want to seek new markets or POWER. But they fail to know history Turkey never was just a land of so many people. It actually forces one to get deep down. Because if 80 000 000 people vote equay....Well...
    Those WHO know history knows it aready.

    May 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Reply

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