Friday, 2 November 2007

Turkey, Iraq and the Kurds

Historically Liberals have been sympathetic to the Kurds. They are a people without a nation, and how been oppressed by the governments of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
They have fought back, but the power of these states has always kept them at bay.
If you are denied constitutional protection as minority, and denied democratic rights, it seems reasonable that you have a right to fight back.
Recently there has been a breakthrough for the Kurds. Turkey wants to join the EU. Democracy and human rights have improved for the Kurds living in Turkey. Progress has been made.
Then the setback. Turkey is an ally of the US, but when the US invaded Iraq, Turkey was put in an impossible position. They do not want an independent Kurdish state in the region, because that may mean the Kurds in Turkey will want one too.
So relations with the US took a turn for the worse, and Turkish politicians once again stepped up the anti-Kurdish rhetoric.
Now of course Turkey is attacking the Kurdish part of Iraq and the PKK.
The PKK are a resistance organisation of the Kurdish people. In many parts of the world, including the UK, they are considered terrorists.
The PKK did not do well in the recent elections in Turkey, which could be taken as a good sign; that Kurds are moderating their views after the recent improvements they have experienced.
But the signs in Hackney (and maybe Turkey as well?) is that Kurds are rallying round the PKK again.
So how should Liberals propose intervening? Should we take sides as we have done in the past, or should we be impartial and try to aim for a political solution?
Tough call. I suspect there is a lot more to this than meets the eye, unfortunately...

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