2007 November 12 Monday
Turkish Threats Stoking Kurdish Nationalism

Starting a war causes all sorts of unintended consequences. The Turkish response to Kurdish terrorists is stoking Kurdish nationalism.

YUKSEKOVA, Turkey Turkish threats to attack Iraq, which may be heightened by a kidnapping over the weekend, are having the unintended effect of fostering closer ties between Kurdish communities in the two countries.

Will the Turkish Kurds leave Turkey for a Kurdistan which will secede from Iraq? What justification can be offered for forcing Kurds to live under Turkish and Arab rule?

Ankara's stance is "pushing Kurds together and deepening the rift between Kurds and Turks," said Sezgin Tanrikulu, bar association head in Diyarbakir, the southeastern Turkey's largest city. "Wounds are being created that will not be easy to heal."

Five years ago, Turkish Kurds had little but contempt for Iraqi Kurdish leaders Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani. Kurds in teahouses across southeastern Turkey dismissed them as "backward tribesmen interested in nothing but dollars from Washington."

Today, that contempt has entirely evaporated. Instead of insults, many Turkish Kurds prefix mentions of Mr. Talabani and Mr. Barzani with the word "brej" a Kurdish expression of respect.

The Kurds within Iraq have been fleeing the Arab areas and are becoming more heavily concentrated in the Kurdish north. The central government in Baghdad is a net negative in their lives. They'd be better off with independence. Will they get it?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 November 12 04:57 PM  Mideast Iraq Costs

Audacious Epigone said at November 14, 2007 12:38 AM:

Will the Turkish Kurds leave Turkey for a Kurdistan which will secede from Iraq?

There are around 15 million Turkish Kurds compared to about 5 million Iraqi Kurds. Some from Turkey would come to a northern Iraqi state, but the bigger threat to Turkey than emmigration is the potential that its Kurdish southeast might try to break away and merge with that state.

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