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Monday, October 10, 2005 

New Items...

Lately there have been a lot of news items that I have been wanting to comment on, but time has not permitted. Mostly these particular items just make me want to beat my head against the wall repeatedly.

Item #1:
Turkey's Kurdish Language schools closing.
When the schools opened it was like a dream come true, and now that dream is fading away....and we should be outraged. The Turkish government would like to say that there is no demand to learn the language, which is untrue. If you only allow the language to be taught privately and not in public schools it is obvious that class enrollment will be low. The target population for learning the formal language is also the lowest socio-economic class in Turkey. If Turkey really wanted the EU to truly consider them for membership, implimenting language revitalization programs in the Southeast would be a huge mark in their favor. Also, if language programs were implimented, even if it was something like TSL classes (Turkish as a Second Language) the education system in the region would improve....but that will not happen. The republic of Turkey has set up the Kurdish regions of the Southeast to fail.

Item #2:
The EU finally announced that formal negotiations with Turkey were going to begin. Honestly I thought that they were negotiating anyway, but it all comes down to sematics, doesn't it? Of course, now that this topic is being revisited all of those little things that they need to fix are coming back into the limelight....torture..anti-terror laws...fun things like that. Now, I will cede that Turkey made efforts to change/improve the human rights situation...but it was only accomplished on paper, and things definitely have not changed. The following KBU articles both deal with the current human rights issues: European mission unearths torture claims in Turkey and KHRP:OSCE urged to examine Kurdish-Turkish relations.
For the Kurds of Turkey, these items are not new but just an everyday reality. For other people where the human rights situation in Turkey is brand new news I would like to offer the following comment: "Duh! Pay attention won't you!" And there is further "happy news" (please note the sarcasm) that the Turks are looking to Strengthen their Anti-Terror Laws, it isn't bad enough that they can already jail you for thinking thoughts against the state but they are going to make the penalties even stronger than before. But then again, ALL of the persecution that the Turkish government has committed against the Kurdish people they have managed to make perfectly legal in their law code. Ethics and morality in law aren't related anyway were they?

Item #3:
Of course Turkey's paranoia of critism does not only apply to the Kurds but to anyone talking about the Armenians as well. Instead of using the ultra-popular Orhan Pamuk to good use as a progressive Turkish face, they are threatening to imprison him for publically acknowledging the Armenian Genocide. Doubtless his book sales will skyrocket if he is imprisoned, but Turkey's international support rating will plummett. And journalist Hrant Dink is also being threatened with imprisionment for addressing the same issue on the Armenians, he is being cited as Insulting Turkishness. Which is a crime that many many people are guilty of.

Item #4:
The Kurdish paranoia is spreading again across the border to Syria. Again they are jailing Kurds for trying to separate from Syria. Of course, being a Kurd means that you want to separate from Syria there anyway...well if you are the Syrian government, that is what it means. Maybe Syria read about the wonderful things that the Iraqi Kurds have managed to achieve in terms of governmental stabilty and got a little scared.

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