The Politics of Post-Modern Genocide in Turkey
By Luqman Barwari   
After reading the recent article by Mr. Salater Bakhtavar in Iranian.com, it appears from his article in reference to the recent conflict and the Turkish aggression against Southern Kurdistan (North Iraq), is merely a response to terrorism, and maintaining the stability in the region. I believe Mr. Bakhtavar has been certainly mis-informed, or this is just another attempt by his narrow minded propaganda to twist the truth. Therefore, I thought I should response to Mr. Baktavar and state some facts about the "Poltics of Post-Modern Geneocide in Turkey"

There is a constant fear that the justified resistance of Kurds there will lead to the creation of a state not only for Iraqi Kurds, but also for Kurds in Turkey and elsewhere. This is why Turkey lobbies the U.S. so hard.
Turkey's history of ethnic cleansing and genocide is rooted in its particular brand of virulent and racially supremacist nationalism. When Mustafa Kemal Attaturk founded the modern nation of Turkey, he did so on the foundation of genocide against Armenians-a genocide that is yet to be recognized by much of global public opinion or the U.S. Congress. In addition to Armenians, almost millions Kurds were deported or massacred at that time, and more than a million Greeks were also forced from Anatolia, in a broad attempt to create a racially "pure" Turkish society. Nevertheless, Kurdish leaders and fighters were instrumental in securing Turkey's borders from various would-be occupiers. Their reward for this help was the mass execution of its leadership, reneged promises, and ongoing repression. After the Armenians, Kurds became the primary targets of nationalist terror, as their "stubbornly" held separate identity posed a threat to Turkey's vision of a monocultural secular society.
The ensuing decades saw dozens of uprisings, all of which were ruthlessly crushed, until PKK guerillas asserted themselves in the mountains and engaged with the Turkish army in the 1980s. This cycle reached its apex in the 1980s and 1990s, when Turkey's scorched earth policy destroyed more than 4,000 villages, forcing more than 4 million Kurds into internal exile or permanent refugee status. The penalty for returning to villages remains torture or death, as recent killings by Turkish military and paramilitary forces have shown. In Turkey, Kurds are prevented from using their language, naming their children Kurdish names, wearing Kurdish colors- even the traffic lights have been changed to red, yellow, and blue because red, yellow, and green are the Kurdish national colors.
Turkey's efforts to annihilate Kurdish culture-it refers to Kurds only as "mountain Turks"-has been repudiated by all of the world's respected human rights organizations, notably Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and even the U.S. State Department Reports on Human Rights, as well as by numerous European Union representatives and bodies. Turkey's efforts, including the mass transfer of Kurdish children to boarding schools where they are "decultured" and raised as Turks, constitute in the language of the Geneva Conventions Against Genocide acts of cultural genocide aimed at reduction or elimination of a distinct group of people.
When one analyzes the situation of the Northern Kurdistan through description of genocide, most of these aspects can be found since 1923:
1. In the political field: Kurdish self-government systems were destroyed in the 1920s and 1930s by deporting local leaders to western Turkey.
2. In the social field: The social cohesion of Kurdish society has been broken and its normal development hindered by killing and removing important groups such as intellectuals and religious and political leaders. After some quite decades since the 1950s operations intensified in the 1990s.
3. In the cultural field: Kurdish schools, associations, publications, and religious fraternities were closed in 1924 and the use of the Kurdish language in public places was forbidden until 1991.
4. In the economical field: While western Turkey has been developing towards a modern economy, production in the Kurdish provinces is still based on feudal land ownership and the same farming methods that were used during the middle ages. There is almost no industry; the Kurdish area is like a colony, which produces raw materials and a labor force for western Turkey.
5. In the biological field: The Turkish state implemented its policy of depopulation on a massive scale. This intensified during the 1990s.
6. In the field of physical existence: During the 1990s morbidity and mortality increased among the displace Kurds, but the Turkish government is still denying international humanitarian organizations permission to deliver food and medicine to them.
In 1977, Mehdi Zana, a courageous Kurdish leader who emerged from the grassroots was elected Mayor of Diyarbakir, the largest city and capital of Turkish Kurdistan. He was soon arrested and imprisoned for more than a decade and suffered unspeakable torture and humiliation that will affect him for the rest of his life; he now lives in exile from his native land.
Similarly, Leyla Zana (Mehdi is her husband) became increasingly radicalized when she and five other Kurds were elected to Parliament in 1991, but soon after were stripped of parliamentary immunity and arrested. Their "crimes," also under the label of "separatism," consisted of wearing Kurdish colors in their hair, speaking the Kurdish language, and testifying before Europe and the U.S. Congress about human rights abuses in Kurdish areas, where they served 10 years.
Whatever happens to the Kurds at this most hopeful and most perilous moment, the history of suffering must eventually be addressed. Kurds often discuss their position in relation to that of the Palestinians, saying things like: "When the Palestinian question is answered, then it will be the Kurdish turn."
Yet, if the startling Turkish fall from U.S. graces proves in the end not to be a mirage, some are now asking if an emergent Kurdistan might function more like Israel, as a U.S. ally and base in the region. Such comparisons are too loaded and complex to make lightly, but the paradigm questions remain real.
After 80 years of persecution, the present conjuncture does not offer particularly clear paths toward liberation for Kurds, but nevertheless Kurds will undoubtedly engage what opportunities there are to the best of their advantage. Will the people of the world, especially progressives, support them?