Published On: Sun, May 27th, 2012

Are the Kurds mentally divorced from Turkey?

By EMRE USLU

The Uludere incident once again raises questions about the state’s heavy-handed treatment of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as critics wonder if it could lead to further similar incidents and cause the psychological separation of the Kurds from the state and from the west of Turkey.

Indeed, it is true that some Kurds are already mentally divorced from the state. They no longer consider the government their own government, military their own military or police their own police. It is also true that an incident like Uludere deepens this feeling of disengagement.

However, it is wrong to argue that the incident is in itself the reason why Kurds are increasingly disengaged from society. Rather, this is the fault of the political decision-making process. If the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had responded immediately following the incident with an apology and a promise to initiate a transparent investigation into the incident we might have seen a re-engagement of the Kurds with the system. I disagree with the majority of intellectuals destined to criticize any security policies regarding the PKK’s terror campaign and putting pressure on the government to end military operations. Security policies per se are not the reason for this mental divorce. Even in the 1990s the sometimes forceful handling of Kurds by security institutions was leading to such mental disengagement.

Thus criticism of politicians in general, and following Uludere criticism of the AK Party’s attitude in particular, is right. But criticizing security measures toward the PKK makes no sense at all.

If we are really going to talk about the mental disengagement of Kurdish society from Turkey as a whole we should mention the PKK’s campaign to help widen this gap. We should examine PKK policies intending to spark conflict, even a civil war, between the two. We should talk about the PKK’s desire to bring about popular revolution by a campaign of murder. We should talk about the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) network, which has been established to oversee this Kurdish-Turkish divorce.

Given a group would not secede from a state or sheltering society unless guided by a working political network and leading elites promoting and supporting such a move, we first need to talk about this network and these elites, if we really care about the psychological distance between Turkey and the Kurds.

By ignoring the very existence of the PKK, its strategies and networks, its aim to create discord and disengagement between the two societies, by pointing the finger at security measures employed against the PKK for such a schism, we discover the deep cynicism of some apparent liberals about this issue.

Do intellectuals not realize that the very existence of the PKK is an obstacle to unity? To be honest, some of them don’t even seem to know that back in 1978 the PKK named Turkey its colonizer, occupying Kurdish territory. Some of these intellectuals may not be aware of the PKK’s armed propaganda strategy, formulated and implemented to create distance between the Kurds and the rest of Turkey. Some of these intellectuals may not know that the KCK has established schools to indoctrinate Kurds with the notion that this state is not their state.

Some intellectuals are sincere in raising concerns about this mental disengagement, but they need to be reminded that this distancing is inextricably bound up with PKK strategies to forge such disengagement. They must start thinking about how to end these strategies.

EMRE USLU

e.uslu@todayszaman.com

Today’s Zaman

May 27, 2012

  • sauron

    kurds are muslims and should start acting like it, why do they rebel and steal land from iraq and iran and syria, what exact horribble things do they want to do? i think governments need to be heavy handed with the kurds or else they will betray and rebel.

    • Turg

      Kurds are muslims and they should be treated like muslims, fairly and justly. Their land has been divided by force between Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. None of the articles about misleading the rest of the world on Kurdish people will succeed. Nothing that any of these rouge countries, specifically Turkey, can do to stop Kurdish people from getting back what has been taken away from them. Good luck in heavy handedness. That brings Kurdish people together even more. These countries that are occupying Kurdistan have been built on bloodshed and terror. Please don’t blur the picture. The world still see it.

    • Rebaz

      You're an ignorant idiot. Turkey, NATO and their masters will never find peace in Karda, land of the Kurds. We have God with us, because we fight for a just cause. These English and French made states have stolen lands from us, not opposite. Long live Kurdistan!

    • BunnyOlesen

      You want to know why? Because the Turks hate anybody who is not an ethnic turk. These people were told they cannot give their children KURDISH names, they cannot teach their children kurdish language or teach lessons in kurdish EVEN IN THEIR OWN HOMES. The government has murdered thousands of them and bulldozed the homes & destroyed their villages.

      Maybe you should READ about the conflict before you open your mouth and look really like an idiot. You see any Somalians in Turkey? NO. TURKS are highly nationalistic, they don't care if you are muslim or not, they don't want anything that is NOT Turqic in the land they stole originally from the Assyrians, Armenians and Helenic Greeks, who they also murdered in the millions. They are ethnic cleansers.

  • Oremar

    Unfortunately the image of Turkey is TOTALLY wrong and misleading in most of the African countries & especially in Somalia. Exactly at the same time R T Erdogan visits poor people in Somalia his army are raping, torturing and killing Kurds.

    If someone would understand the suffering of our people it would be our African brothers & sisters, since they have experienced the apartheid. The turkish apartheid is precisely the same as what "white man" did to the blacks, now it is not about color but ethnicity.

    With friends like Mr N Mandela and all other freedom loving personalities in the World we will win this battle of justice.

    @Oremar

  • Botani

    it is a good time for kurds to totally regain there own stolen land from turkey it is the time for kurdish spring like arab spring .turks would never be open minded and be fair and democratic towards kurds .so enough steeling the wealth of kurdistan and enough genocides against kurds .kurds have done no harm to yours . certainly the world has changed and it is the time of of the biggest stateless nation to get there full independance without any more bloodshed as already over one million kurds killed ,hunderds of thousand injured ,raped,imprisoned and deported from there ancestors land . Humanity thould stand up to this and not let this to go on any longer. Long luve kurds long live Kuristan

  • Jîyan

    Kurds have never felt Turkey as their state, they never feel Turkish governments as their own governments. They have rebelled against Turkish oppression 29 times according to a former Turkish president. The only reason they haven't separated from Turkey so far is simply force (half a million security forces overall in Northern Kurdistan committing countless massacres) and lack of recognition and support from the West. Turkey is able to get away with all these cruelties thanks to the Western states. Can this support go on forever? I dont think so. When that time comes we will see if Turkish authors like Mr Uslu can still write such carefree articles putting the blame of the oppressors on the oppressed.

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