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Tags: kurdish

After the establishment of the modern Turkish state under the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, Turkey began to forcibly assimilate the Kurdish people, having asked for and got their support in fighting the 'imperialist' powers including Britain, France, Greece and Italy. The Turks had appealed to the Kurdish people by way of their Islamic identity presenting a 'Christian' army as the enemy.

After the defeat of the 'imperialist' powers Turkey turned on the Kurds, epitomised in the dishonourable treachery displayed towards Hasan Hayri, the Kurdish representative who stood in the Turkish parliament, at the request of Mustafa Kemal Pasha himself, and said that the Kurdish people were accepted by Turkey and that their culture and identity was respected and that Kurdish people did not want a separate state as provided for in the Treaty of Sevre but wanted to live in peace and harmony with Turks in Turkey. His speech's were transmitted to the delegates at Lausanne and the international press. It was as a result of his speech's that the delegates signed the Lausanne Treaty in 1923, confident that the Kurdish people had rights in Turkey and did not want separation. Not long after his speech Hasan Hayri was hanged for treason by the same Turkish authorities that asked him to speak in the parliament. and a brutal and cruel policy of forced assimilation of the Kurdish people began.

A policy that was designed to annihilate Kurdish culture and identity. Ismet Inonu (below) said to the Turkish Congress May 1925,

"We are frankly Nationalist........and Nationalism is our only factor of cohesion. Before the Turkish majority other elements have no kind of influence. At any price, we must turkify the inhabitants of our land, and we will annihilate those who oppose Turks or 'le turquisme."

And so the Turks began a policy of annihilation. Banning Kurdish language, Kurdish names, Kurdish culture and implementing a policy of racism on genocidal proportions against the Kurds.

Thousands of Kurdish villages were razed and tens of thousands of Kurdish people killed in the most barbaric of manners. Of course there followed many uprisings against the racist policies enacted towards the Kurdish people that were always crushed by similar methods used against the Jewish people in Nazi Germany. Decapitationsgassing's in caves, mutilations, rape, ariel bombings with chemical weapons, hangings, torture, mass imprisonment, etc etc, etc.

The Kurdish people have never accepted forced assimilation and cultural genocide. Many of the Kurdish organisations that existed before the Turkish coup d'etat in 1980 were brutally crushed by the Turkish state after the military coup and thousands fled into exile to organise and publish Kurdish periodicals in Egypt, Sweden and other countries. The only organisation that was able to resist the Turkish onslaught was a group that had been formally established by
27 November 1978, by among others, a man called Abdullah Ocalan, this group was called Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan, the PKK.

Two years of organising a new Kurdish Liberation Party had culminated in a meeting that began in a small village near Lice called Fis, on the 25th November 1978. Kurdish people had come to the conclusion that non violent action had achieved nothing from the Turkish authorities in terms of political and cultural rights for the Kurdish people. Those who had tried to organise for rights had ended up in prison charged with treason or worse. Kurdish was banned in the media and in education and the state's racist notion that "Happy is he who calls himself a Turk!" dominated. Kurdish history was deleted and denied and Kurds were criminalised. The only way to struggle was by armed struggle. Two days of formulating the new Kurdish party's political programme ensued and on the 27th November 1978, the PKK, Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan, was born.

The PKK set up their resistance HQ in Damascus and a training camp in the Bekka Valley called Mahsum Korkmaz Academy in 1979 and began an armed struggle against the Kemalist and racist policies of the Turkish state on 15th August 1984. Thousands of young Kurdish volunteers from Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran came to the party and very soon the PKK became the most affective advocate of the Kurdish people living under savage military racist law and circumstances.

The PKK fought for the rights of the Kurdish people and soon from its small beginnings became the National Liberation Organisation of the Kurdish people.

It has faced the most extraordinary enemy in the powerful Turkish army massively funded by the USA and European countries. It has fought provocations, infiltrations and has drawn its resources solely from the Kurdish people themselves, both in terms of finance and human resources.

It has been, the Martyrs, the self sacrifice of the Kurdish and at times, non Kurdish volunteers, that have brought the Kurdish struggle to the stage that it finds itself now.
Without the beginning of the armed struggle and the political and diplomatic work of the PKK there would be no Kurdish Question in Turkey today. There would only be 'mountain Turks' as the racist policies of the Turkish state tried to label the Kurds.

It is to the shame of the US and European powers that they have slavishly accepted the labels placed on the victims of Turkish fascistic practices and criminal that some have even aided these policies by giving training in psychological warfare and supplying weapons to Turkey to be used against the Kurdish people.
Abdullah Ocalan in solitary confinement on Imrali Island.
On the anniversary of the foundation of the PKK and beginning of the Kurdish armed struggle for freedom and as we remain hopeful of a political solutonAbdullah Ocalan has been incarcerated on Imrali Island since Feb 1999. The only political prisoner on the island prison. Kept in solitary confinement (above) against international law he has remained at the head of the Kurdish Freedom Movement.

His power of the leader of the Kurdish Movement was clearly demonstrated for all to see when he called on the Kurdish political prisoners on hunger strike for 68 days to bring the hunger strike to an end.

Any political resolution of The Kurdish Question in Turkey must have as a precondition the release of Abdullah Ocalan.





BIJI 27th Nov 1978!

This post first appeared on Hevallo, please read the originial post: here

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