Turkish Occupation Of Northern Kurdistan Essay Research

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History of Turkish Occupation of Northern Kurdistan.

Eric Jensen

Poli. Sci. ( Third World Politics )


Since 1984, and particularly the last few months, the domestic jobs of a

major N.A.T.O, Middle Eastern, and American ally province have come to the

head of the international intelligence scene. That province is the Republic of Turkey

and it & # 8217 ; s primary problems stem from the past seven decennaries of bitter

policies directed at the autochthonal cultural Kurds. The chief job, now, is the

Kurdish popular insurgence on it & # 8217 ; s custodies, in Turkish occupied Northern Kurdistan.

The Kurdish inquiry has long been covered up and denied by the province of Turkey,

but recent events has forced Turkey to profess that it has a serious Kurdish

insurgence on its custodies. Turkey & # 8217 ; s inability to cover with this state of affairs is the

consequence of the past 70 old ages of cultural, political, and human rights

maltreatments directed against the Kurdish population. In fact, this & # 8220 ; segregation & # 8221 ; is so

out of manus that the Turkish authorities has endlessly appealed to it & # 8217 ; s Alliess

and advisories likewise to assist counter the intensifying Kurdish asperation to

win from the Turkish democracy. Turkey & # 8217 ; s spatter and deteriorating economic system

is straight related to the long Kurdish battle for independency. Turkey has

spent over eight billion dollars or twenty per centum of her GDP to battle the of all time

deteriorating quandary in northern Kurdistan, and should pass more in the

hereafter ( Laber ) . Because of the force, the one time comfortable tourer concern of

Turkey, has now lost about $ 1.5 billion dollars yearly since 1990. Many people

now talk openly of another possible military putsch, there were three major

military putschs during the last 30 old ages ( Alister ) These fortunes in the

province of Turkey have besides hurt her opportunities of of all time fall ining the of all time affluent

European Union and buffeting its ailing economic state of affairs. The deepness of

Turkey & # 8217 ; s domestic and cultural quandary is one of the many that have arisen after

the terminal of the cold war, yet the cold war is a simple reply to a much more

complex one. The factors that have arisen to lend to this civil war were

created far before Capitalism versus Communism, East versus West, or U.S versus

the Soviet Union. In order to truly grok the holistic state of affairs in

Turkey one must foremost be familiar with the complete history of the Turks and


The Kurds of Turkey constitutes, by far, the largest cultural minority group in

Turkey. The estimation of their population, nevertheless, are really doubtful because of

the past Turkish policy to deny the really being of any minorities within the

boundary lines of her province. In fact, past Turkish rhetoric has been that there is no

official Kurdish job in Turkey, because officially no Kurds exist. We can

ascertain that the Kurds make up between 25 and 33 per centum

of the Turkey & # 8217 ; s population. This would set the Kurdish population about 12

to twenty million ( Morris ) . Because of past and present forced Turkish

assimilation patterns, the Kurds live in all parts of the state, but most of

the Kurdish population is concentrated in the southeasterly portion of Turkey. They

represent a high per centum of the population in 15 states and take up a

sum of 30 per centum of all of Turkey ( Kendal ) . Economically, the Kurds are

the poorest dwellers of the state. The per capita of a Kurd is one-tenth of

a Turk life in Istanbul ; good below the poorness line ( McDowell ) . While the

remainder of Turkey has modernized and adopted some capitalistic patterns, the

Kurdish countries, by contrast, are developing and exploited by feudal landlords.

The wealth of the country is & # 8220 ; drained and channeled to the Turkish city

( Kendal ) . & # 8221 ; Much of the part is comparatively unchanged since the last 70

old ages of Turkish regulation or has suffered even worse economically. The 30

million Kurds of the Middle East have lived in Kurdistan before record of modern

history was kept. The really first reference of the Kurds in history was about 3,000

BC, under the name Gutium. , as they fought the Summerians ( Spieser ) . Later around

800 BC, the Indo-germanic Median folk settled in the Zagros mountain part

and coalesced with the Gutiums, and therefore the modern Kurds speak from as Aryan

linguistic communication ( Morris ) . The Kurds are mentioned by Xenaphon, a Grecian soldier of fortune, as he

retreated from Persia with 10 thousand work forces in 401 BC, he says of the Kurds,

& # 8220 ; These people, lived in the mountains and were really war-like and non capable to

the Iranian male monarch. Indeed one time a royal ground forces of 120,000 1000 had one time invaded

their state, and non a adult male of them came back.. ( Morris ) . & # 8221 ; When the Arabs spread

Islam to the Middle East in the 7th century, most of the Kurds bit by bit

adopted the faith but ferociously resisted Arab regulation, much like today in modern

twenty-four hours Iraq and Syria. This is apparent in a fable about the prophesier Mohammed ;

when the prophesier called all the princes of the universe to encompass the new faith,

they all hurried to subject to the prophesier of the new faith. When the Prophet

saw the Kurdish representative, named Zemin, with his elephantine size and piercing

eyes, the prophesier prayed to God that such a terrorizing people ne’er unite as a

individual state ( Morris ) . Around the 10th century the Kurds became a military

force to be reckoned with in the Middle East and defended Islam against the

occupying Christian reformers and defeated the Mongolian ground forcess at both Cerq De

Chavalier and the fortress of Irbile. Saladine, and the bulk of his military personnels

were Kurdish ( Safrastian ) . The Kurds established independent princedoms,

that ne’er united, but frequently fought each other for the benefit of foreign powers.

During the rough reign of Shah Ismail in Persia, most of the Kurds who were

Sunni Muslims, allied themselves with the Ottoman Sultan Selim & # 8220 ; the Cruel & # 8221 ; and

played the polar portion in get the better ofing the Iranian ground forcess at Chaldiran in 1514,

and therefore most of the Kurds in Iran are still Sunni Muslims among a predominately

Shiite bulk. The Kurdish princedoms, at this clip were free from the

cardinal authorities and struck their ain mintage and had Friday supplications in the

name of the local prince ( Morris ) . At that point of Kurdish history Kurdish

civilization and literature flourished. This lasted until the 19th century

when the Ottoman imperium tried to spread out its regulation into the Kurdish districts.

Using the tool of divide and conquer, the Ottamans use Kurdish folks to contend

fellow Kurds. Though, the Ottoman authorities gained nominal control of the

Kurdish countries, they were ne’er able to set up direct regulation ( McDowell ) . During

World War One, many Kurds really remained loyal to the Empire. They fought

courageously in many conflicts. The Kurds inflicted such heavy amendss against the

Czarist authorities that they about conceded to evacuating the full Caucus

part. Some historiographers besides suggest, they were 80 per centum of the Ottoman

casualties at the ill-famed conflict of Galilopi ( Gunter ) . During the war the Young

Turk authorities, in chase of a strictly Turkic imperium, massacred more so one

million Armenians and seven hundred thousand Kurds. After the Ottoman loss, the

Empire collapsed and was on the brink of atomization when a immature ground forces officer

by the name of Mustafa Kemal emerged on the scene.

Following the fatal licking of the Ottoman imperium after World War one, the

leftovers of the former imperium were divided up among the winning allied powers,

even the Turkish speech production part were to come under the authorization of foreign

disposal. In fact, much of Anatolia was already occupied by Greek or

Armenian forces. On August 10, 1920, Turkey and the allied powers signed the

pact of Sevres. This pact allowed for the creative activity of an independent

Kurdish and Armenian province on the remittal of the former Ottoman imperium. This

pact was to go void and null. Around the same clip the Serves pact was

being discussed, Mustafa Kemal gained power of what remained of the armed forces and

political substructure in Anatolia. Kemal, get downing in the Kurdish part and

proclaiming the integrity of Turks and Kurds, organized opposition to the Armenian

and Georgian forces in eastern Anatolia. These forces were defeated by about

wholly Kurdish ground forcess, who thought they were contending for a province where,

& # 8220 ; Turks and Kurds would populate as brothers and as peers ( Kendal ) & # 8221 ; as stated by

Mustafa Kemal. However, after the licking of the Grecian ground forcess in western Turkey,

Kemal declared to an assembly that & # 8220 ; The province the we have merely created is a

Turkish province ( Kendal ) & # 8221 ; Immediately after, a reinforced Turkey renegotiated

the Treaty of Lausanne with the Alliess. With much more favourable footings for the

Turks, but no reference of the Kurds in the pact. Thus the Kurds went from equal

spouses to non-existent citizens in the new Turkish province. After the pact of

Lousanne, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk proceeded to incorporate the state and get down a

procedure of Westernize the one time Orthodox Islamic imperium. Kemal abolished the

Caliphate Arabic alphabet, and adopted the western Latin alphabet, therefore

implementing some capitalistic steps in the name of a freshly established

secular authorities. Mustafa Kemal enacted rough Torahs on Islam in general. Kemal

made the Islamic call for supplication illegal and went every bit far as censoring Islamists.

The most of import of these determinations against Islam, was the criminalizing all

Islamic sanctum houses of learning. This was to hold profound impacts on the

spreading of Islamic fundementalists within Turkey. This backfired against

Mustafa, by coercing Islam to travel underground, the signifier of fundamentalism that

manifested in Turkey was much harsher so the 1s that existed before being

banned by Kemal. Kemal seeking to make a state province, came upon a job.

The new province of Turkey was a heterogenous one, composed of multi-ethnical

groups, non a homogeneous one of merely pure cultural Turks, as Mustafa Kemal

proclaimed. The capitalisation on a new found Turkish patriot motion

yielded a good tuned systematic run of killing the kernel of the

Kurdish within the boundaries of freshly formed Turkey. Kemal abolished all of the,

& # 8221 ; Kurdish schools, associations, publications, spiritual fraternities, and

medressehs ( McDowell ) . & # 8221 ; The Kurdish state represented such a menace to the

territorial unity of Turkey that all people and names of topographic points were

forcibly Turkicized by the authorities. This was to became referred to as cultural

cleansing or race murder. Old archaeological memorials and construction that proved the

ancient history of Kurdish people in Anatolia were consistently destroyed. The

words & # 8216 ; Kurds & # 8217 ; and & # 8216 ; Kurdistan & # 8217 ; were eradicated from all books and publications.

Anything that would take to a separate individuality of the Kurdish people were

eliminated in order output the assimilation of the ethnically different Kurdish

state. Even the Kurdish linguistic communication was banned, a fact unparalleled in history! No

one in the province of Turkey was allowed to talk Kurdish, even though it was the

linguistic communication of 30 per centum of the people. All Kurdish pupils were feed

Turkish propaganda on the cultural lineage of the Kurdish people, they were

taught that Kurds, were a pure & # 8216 ; Turkic race, & # 8217 ; whereas in actuality the Kurds are

ethnically Indo-Aryan, and the Turks are a mixture of Hun-Mongolian people. The

Turkish instruction curate proclaimed that, the Kurds had forgotten their

& # 8220 ; Turkic & # 8221 ; linguistic communication in the speed of the mountains of sou’-east Anatolia, therefore

mentioning to them as, & # 8220 ; Mountain Turks. ( Gunter ) . & # 8221 ; The racialist spoon provender

propaganda of the Turkish educational establishments has reached to such a grade

of reducibility, that it is frequently taught in the schools of Turkey, all the great

Babylonian, Summerian, Egyptian, and Hittite civilisations had been created by

the Turks ( Kendal ) . In order to conceal the fact that the Kurds had lived in

Anatolia four thousand old ages before one Turk stepped in. The Turkish

clerisy determined the Kurds came from Central Asia five 1000s old ages

ago. The state of affairs deteriorated to the point where to province & # 8221 ; I am a Kurd & # 8221 ; was

a offense so serious as to justify the decease punishment under Turkey & # 8217 ; s anti-terrorist

Torahs ( Kendal ) . All past steps were non plenty in the eyes of the Kemalist

authorities to destruct the leftovers of five thousand old ages of Kurdish presence in

Anatolia. After these and more inhibitory steps were taken out, the

significant Kurdish population began to revolt from the force per unit areas below the belt

exerted on them by the oppressive and force prone province of Turkey. The early

rebellions were unorganised, lacked money, and ill supplied. They lasted, on and

away, a small over 13 yea

R. The requital of the Turkish ground forces was so

extreme, they about destroyed, looted, and burned the full eastern part of

the state. Whole small towns were either deported to Western Turkey to be

assimilated or, if the authorities knew that the peculiar folk or small town were

non traveling to be assimilated that easy, they merely merely massacred them. much

like the Nazi slaughter of Judaic civilians ( Morris ) . Throughout these barbarian

methods of inhuman treatment instituted by the Turkish governmental constitution, the

barbarian Turkish authorities managed to slaughter or behave one million, five

hundred thousand Kurdish civilians ( Kendal ) . The repression was so haneous that

the full Eastern subdivision of the province of Turkey was prohibited to all

aliens and under soldierly jurisprudence for about 30 old ages, so as non to disciple

to the West. In contrast to Western Turkey, the whole of Eastern Turkey was made

into a military cantonment, and it has remained that manner until today. The Turkish

curate of justness made the relationship of Turks and Kurds clear:

I believe that the Turk must be the lone Godhead, the lone maestro of this state.

Those who are non of pure Turkish stock ( Kurds and Armenians ) can hold merely one

right in this state, the right to be retainers and slaves ( McDowell ) .

After Kemal & # 8217 ; s decease, more consecutive and broad minded governments came to power.

The 1960 putsch by the ground forces attempted to Turkicize the whole of the Kurdish part.

Every individual street, river, mountain, small town, or metropolis was given Turkish name to

the really last item. What small hope the Kurdish population had in the hope

more or less disappears as the putsch ne’er truly brought out cardinal alteration

for the Kurdish people. The rights of the Kurds were still non-existent, the

Kurdish linguistic communication denied to them, and their civilization still prohibited. The

consecutive putschs of 1971 and 1980 ever tended to convey Kurdish freedom and

self-expression to a arrest. To warrant a putsch, the ground forces would province that there

was a planned Kurdish rebellion. Nevertheless, throughout the sixtiess and 1970s,

Kurdish patriotism did emanate in the signifier of little belowground publications

and newspapers, but they were ever outright banned and the editors

instantly apprehended and given drawn-out gaol footings. Throughout all the

repression, the Kurds were able to take part in political life, although under

forced Turkish individualities ( Gunter ) . Today the foreign curate of Turkey, Ardal

Inunu, is a Kurd ; every bit good as his male parent the late president Ismat Inunu, former

presidents Fahrey Koruturk, and Cevdet Sunany, even the late president Turgut

Ozal claimed Kurdish heritage ( Gunter ) . The female parent of all sarcasms, is that two

people who made the bases of Turkish patriotism were Kurds, Ziya Gokalp and

Ismet Inunu, who were born in the Kurdish metropoliss of Diarbekr ( Kendal ) . The sum

of Kurdish people successfully assimilated into chief watercourse Turkish society is

so minute that over 91 per centum of the Kurdish population doesn & # 8217 ; T

even talk one word of Turkish ( Kendal ) . Reporter, who have merely late been

allowed to come in Eastern Turkey, are amazed at how, in this built-in part of

Turkey no 1 speaks a word of Turkish.

During the uneasy times of the 1970s many leftist pro-Kurdish groups

manifested periodically throughout the Turkish province. The 1980 putsch put an terminal

to many of these organisations and political parties. After the barbarous policies

of the military junta that took control of Turkey, may Kurds were put in prison

and executed for & # 8220 ; segregation & # 8221 ; which would intend anything from guerilla warfare

to merely talking Kurdish in public. During those times of extremism, even by

Turkish criterions, a group of socialist-Kurdish young person began to form and

formed a political party. Their simple selfless end was to obtain the God given

right of self-government for the worthy Kurdish state, which included out-

right independency from the Turkish mainstream authorities. The chief leader for

this independency motion was a immature political scientific discipline pupil from the

Kurdish metropolis of Urfa, named Abdullah Ocalan or Apo ( Kurdish for Uncle ) . This

group of organisers were Marxist-Lenninst in political orientation and adamantly stated that

the Kurds and Turks were separate people and therefore Forth, the Turkish military

force nowadays in Kurdistan was a aggressive action of business of Kurdistan.

The P.K.K ( Party Kereykarey Kurdistan or Kurdistan Workers Party ) besides called

for the abolition of tribalism, feudal system, and the & # 8220 ; slave-like dependance of

women. & # 8221 ; A great sum of the P.K.K military force were female. The P.K.K besides

believed the lone manner to achieve freedom and independency were through force,

much like the American and Gallic revolution of mid 1700s.

To gestate the P.K.K as wholly left-of-center is untrue, they have adapted the

Communist subject of political orientation to counter-weight the Turkish entity as a NATO province,

so it is safe to presume that the P.K.K has chosen the Marxist way by default.

Similar to the American fore-fathers taking a republic signifier of authorities to

defy the British signifier of authorities, and France taking a parliamentary signifier

of authorities to dominate the history of monarchal reign of France. This

might look to be absurd, but non when you see a & # 8220 ; democratic & # 8221 ; Turkey that

espouses a contradictory patriotism and topographic points marks everyplace in Kurdistan

that says, & # 8221 ; Proud is He who calls oneself a TURK & # 8221 ; or & # 8221 ; A TURK is worth the

whole existence ( Kendal ) . & # 8221 ; So consequently, underneath all the political orientation and

propaganda of the Cold War, what you basically have is two combating


The 1980 putsch mentioned earlier reasonably much halted all of P.K.K & # 8217 ; s political

activities and other similar leftist organisations. But the P.K.K & # 8217 ; s political

politburo instantly regrouped in Syria and Lebanon. With aid from some

neighbouring states, the P.K.K was able to establish little foraies into Turkey in

1984. After the onslaughts grew in strength and figure, the Turkish authorities

became earnestly alarmed. The P.K.K was every bit violent as it advertised, many times

killing Kurds join forcesing with the Turkish authorities. This didn & # 8217 ; t raise their

popularity with the local thickly settled. But, one thing they did carry through was that

no other party or group in Turkey of all time did, was the acknowledgment of a Kurdish

job in Turkey and a acknowledgment of a Kurdish people in Turkey ( Gunter ) . Therefore,

the Kurdish state of affairs was brought out to the international sphere for the whole

universe to witness the of all time dynamic quandary in Northern Kurdistan. The Kurds

went from & # 8220 ; Mountain Turks & # 8221 ; to a & # 8220 ; Kurdish world in Turkey. & # 8221 ; The Turkish ground forces

so extended soldierly jurisprudence to thirteen states in Eastern Turkey. The Turkish

ground forces head of staff admitted that & # 8220 ; status of war & # 8230 ; exists in sou’-east

Turkey ( Smyth ) . & # 8221 ;

The P.K.K so began to follow a less hostile attitude towards the civilian

population, recognizing they can non run without the aid of the people. While

the P.K.K ceased to assail civilians, the Turkish ground forces & # 8217 ; s attitude towards

Kurdish civilians took an even harsher tone. What happened in the yearss of

Attaturk, were being implemented one time once more. It was like the state of affairs was

dorment for 45 old ages, and one time once more it came back to populate. Amnesty

knowing reported the sweeping apprehension and anguish of Kurds in all parts of

Turkey. The full small town of Sirnak, population 25,000, was demolished and it & # 8217 ; s

dwellers forced to fly ( Pilger ) . In all the Turkish ground forces has destroyed an

estimated 1,700 Kurdish small towns and towns ( Montalbano ) . The P.K.K has

successfully begun to infiltrate larger metropoliss and forming merchandiser work stoppages

and mass protest against the Turkish authorities. The Turkish ground forces and secret

constabularies reacted by covert blackwashs and & # 8220 ; decease squads & # 8221 ; that killed anyone

that was even remotely linked to the P.K.K. These decease squads have even killed

journalists who have reported the Turkish atrociousnesss in Northern Kurdistan.

Turkey has the highest decease rate for journalists in the universe, even transcending

Bosnia and Tadjikistan. Many pro-Kurdish politicians and human rights militants

have been killed, doing mass protest from the Kurdish population, even the

protest control constabulary unfastened fire on unarmed civilian dissenters, killing

100s of work forces, adult females, seniors, and kids indiscrimenantly ( Kendal ) . The

province sanctioned DEP ( People & # 8217 ; s Democratic Party ) , a legal political entity was

forcibly closed down after their top political representatives were cryptically

assassinated, their newspaper affiliates ( Ozgur Daily ) bombed, and it & # 8217 ; s

Parliamentarians arrested. All of these went against the established Turkish

constitutional Torahs. The lifting of Parliamentary unsusceptibility is a direct misdemeanor,

but when it comes to utilizing illegal Torahs against Kurdish civilians there are no


Acerate leaf to state, the brutal and genocidal Acts of the Apostless of the Turkish authorities have

merely fanned the flair of the Kurdish thrust for independency. In some parts of

Turkey, over 90 per centum of the people support the P.K.K ( Marks ) . When the

people see the authorities firing their houses, farms, and household members how

can one truly back up the constitution? How can the people believe the

authorities when they have publically broken parliamentary Torahs by collaring

Kurdish parliamentary members for talking Kurdish? The people has two picks,

the foreign residents or their boies, brothers, girls, sisters, or male parents.

In response to the & # 8220 ; cultural cleaning & # 8221 ; and soldierly jurisprudence, the Turkish authorities

has besides stationed over 450,000 military personnels in the country, backed by US made modern

armored combat vehicles, Apache choppers, Super Cobra choppers, F-16 combatant jets, and

50,000 elect contra-rebels in the Kurdish part. Many generals in the armed

forces have openly talked about utilizing chemical arms on the Kurds ( Turkey used

chemical arms on the Kurds in the 1930s, British used it in the 1920s, and

Saddam Hussien used it in 1988 ) ( Kendal ) .

Turkey has went every bit far as busting Iraqi Kurdistan with the air planes given to

them by the US. As late as March 20, 1995, Turkey invaded Iraqi Kurdistan.

They said the invation was to seek for and destruct the P.K.K, but in actuality

the ground forces couldn & # 8217 ; t fight the P.K.K. The 35,000 occupying force did little more

so destructing civilian small towns, killing civilian Kurds, and destroying farm

harvests. UNHCR ( United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees ) reported that

10,000 Turkish Kurds, who escaped Turkey & # 8217 ; s systematic combustion and destroying

Kurdish small towns were forcibly detained and forced to return to Turkey. The

whereabouts of the refugees are unknown ; knowning the Turkish path record,

their hopes are blue.

Abdullah Ocalan

It now appears that the P.K.K has ascertained itself as the voice of the Kurdish

people, after 70 old ages of grim subjugation. The P.K.K & # 8217 ; s unequivical

insisting of independency is rebuffed by Ankara, who province that everyone in

Turkey is equal and there are no room for minorities in Turkey. The ground forces, an

organisation who operates independently from the political wing of Turkey, will

non even pacify a intimation of even a signifier of bantam local liberty for the

Kurdish people. The P.K.K is exhibiting, and for their portion turn outing to the

Kurdish multitudes that their violent manner is the lone avenue for any signifier of Kurdish

independency. Since the creative activity of the irredentent Turkish province the Kurds have

non received anything more so a gravestone with a forced Turkish family name. The

P.K.K has given 15,000 sufferer in the span of 11 old ages ( Marcus ) , the ground forces

has massacred more so 1,500,000 in the span of 60 old ages, more the 1,500

small towns destroyed, every signifier of Kurdish individuality denied, and their politicians

and journalists killed by secret constabulary. After all it is the US fundamental law

that has written:

& # 8221 ; When in the class of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to

fade out the political sets which have connected them with another, and to

presume among the powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which

the Torahs of nature & # 8217 ; s God entitle them, a nice regard to the sentiments of

world requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the

separation & # 8230 ; ..whenever any signifier of authorities becomes destructive of these

terminals, it is the right of the people to change it, or to get rid of it, and to

establish a new government.. & # 8221 ;

It is the really illustration the United States has set, that the Kurdish people

wants to declare their independency. For, the lone thing different between the

Kurdish revolution and the U.S one, is merely two hundred and nine old ages. All

subjugations are bad, all businesss are incorrect, every state has the right to

make up one’s mind their ain destiny.

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