Abdullah Gül – do we owe your state anything in the north of Kurdistan?

Turkish President Abdullah Gül

Turkish President Abdullah Gül

By Mufid Abdulla:

Abdullah Gül, the President of Turkey, told reporters yesterday that he is concerned that Kurdish citizens in the north of Kurdistan aren’t carrying the Turkish flag during their Newroz celebrations. “We have sacrificed a lot for the sake of this flag”, he said, adding that Kurds’ disregard for the Turkish flag could pose a problem in future negotiations.

How naïve are the expectations of this President. His state has crushed the hopes and freedom dreams of millions of Kurds – and yet he expects them to raise its flag!

On the day the bodies of three murdered PKK activists arrived in Dyarbakir, almost two million Kurds joined the funeral ceremony. Did he really expect those people to carry the flag of the state of Turkey?

Gül wants every Kurd to fly the Turkish flag, but he should instead focus on how the Turkish state has treated Kurds in the north of Kurdistan.  Does he think the Kurdish nation owes something to the Turkish state – perhaps for a good experience of democracy, respect and human rights?

If you want the Kurdish nation to respect you and your flag, Mr President, there must be new institutions and a re-founding of the Turkish state on a truly democratic basis, guaranteeing the rights of all ethnic and religious minorities. The current state has until now pursued brutal policies of assimilation.

If Gül’s comments were intended to set the tone for the anticipated peace talks, he is making a big mistake. The political process will only get properly underway when Abdullah Öcalan is released, alongside thousands of other Kurdish political prisoners. President Gül’s comments represent a kind of blackmail, but he must not prevail.

Copyright © 2013 Kurdistantribune.com

4 Responses to Abdullah Gül – do we owe your state anything in the north of Kurdistan?
  1. Kurd
    March 23, 2013 | 19:44

    When they can solve the Kurdish issue While are still thinking by this approach!! I really believe there is no any genuine peace talk…

  2. Suleiman
    March 23, 2013 | 23:14

    Enough of stirring the pot please. There is ceasefire and a peace process going on now. Let the process take its course and then judge the outcomes. Why are you not happy that the Kurds of northern Kurdistan have just gotten more recognition than anytime before in the history of Turkey? Do you still want to sit behind a keyboard in an office instigating problems so innocent Kurdish fighters can be killed in the mountains? Give thus process a chance, for heavens sake

    • havel
      March 26, 2013 | 22:43

      To turn Clausewitz on his head, politics (e.g. peace talks etc) are the continuation of war by other means. Amnesty International has said it’s the Turkish government’s turn to deliver something real. Is that ‘stirring the pot’? Should Kurds just keep quiet now and hope that Erdogan is nice to them?

  3. Sissy Danninger
    March 24, 2013 | 10:25

    Apart from the Turkish President’s complaint about the Kurds not flying the Turkish flag there is an interesting element in this report: Who used the term “north of Kurdistan”? If it was not the author of the article but Abdulla Gül himself (which is not made completely clear) this would be highly remarkable. In that case the President would have – maybe unintentionally – accepted the existence of a great(er) Kurdistan in public, as a northern part logically means there are southern, eastern and western parts as well.

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