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The Kurdish Issue


The majority of Kurdish people live in Middle East nations such as Iraq, Iran, Syrian and Turkey. They speak varied languages and practice different religious. Their unique culture and traditions makes them outstanding in many regions. Interestingly, at 30 million, they are the largest ethnic group that does not have their own nation. They are the second largest ethnic tribe in Turkey. During the Ottoman Empire, the Kurdish people and the Turks lived peacefully. Ethnic fights were rare, and actually, Kurds enjoyed a unique position due to their functional self-governments. Unfortunately, the Kurdish issue or question came about after the rise of the Republic of Turkey. There have been many deliberate attempts to discriminate against the religion, traditions, and the culture of the Kurds, which has sparked violence and protests. Thus, for an amicable solution to the Kurdish issue, there should be the restoration of the group’s special status.

Roots of the Kurdish Issue

The first president of the republic of Turkey introduced modern ideologies and western culture with the hope of bringing social stability into the country. The traditions and policies established during Ottoman Empire were abolished. At the same time, the Turkish ideas were encouraged. The national language of the country proposed was Turkish. In so doing, the government disregarded all other ethnic groups. As a result, Kurdish people formed their own political parties and opted to revolt so as to establish their own state. Though there have been some success in such revolts, many people have lost their lives in the process. Further still, development of infrastructure has been rare in the southeastern regions of Turkey; where the Kurdish people reside.

Efforts to Resolve the Kurdish Question

In the recent past, the Turkish government has sought to resolve the Kurdish issue by trying to build infrastructure in the southeastern region. Nonetheless, there is chance that the Kurdish people will still revolt because the real issues have not been resolved. Turgut Ozal, one of the Turkish prime ministers in the 1980’s attempted to resolve the issue well by advocating for the recognition of Kurdish language and identity. Importantly, he advocated for a change of attitude towards the minority groups. Such efforts were not successful. However, many other politicians and leaders have echoed the same concerns and achieved a few milestones. Currently, the ban of Kurdish language has been repealed. Education has also been emphasized amongst the Kurds. This has brought some level of peace and cohesion between the Turkish people and the Kurds. Indeed, resolving the Kurdish issue is as easy as respecting the identity of the minorities in Turkey



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