Tuntutan puak Kurds di Turkey memohon autonomi dari Kerajaan Turkey sudah tentu menuntut penyelesaian terbaik dari Kerajaan Turkey sekarang yang diterajui oleh PM Abdullah Gul. Selepas kerajaan neo-islamic ini menerajui pundak pemerintahan Turkey ini adalah cabaran pertama yang dihadapi Gul iaitu menyelesaikan tuntutan puak Kurdish. Siapakah mereka? Perlukah Gul melayan tuntutan autonomi mereka. Mungkin artikel di bawah membantu untuk kita tahu serba sedikit mengenai puak Kurdish di Turkey.
“About half of all Kurds live in Turkey. According to the CIA Factbook they account for 20 percent of the 70 million people of Turkey, thus numbering about 15 million people. Other estimates vary between 12 to 15 million. They are predominantly distributed in the southeastern corner of the country.
The best available estimate of the number of persons in Turkey speaking a Kurdish-related language is about five million (1980). There are about one million speakers of Dimli (Southern Zaza), and about 140,000 speakers of Kirmanjki (Northern Zaza), which has about 70 percent lexical similarity with Dimli. These estimates are from 1999 in the case of Dimli and 1972 in the case of Kirmanjki. About 3,950,000 others speak Northern Kurdish (Kurmanji) (1980). While population increase suggests that the number of speakers has grown, it is also true that use of the language has been discouraged in Turkish cities, and that many fewer ethnic Kurds live in the countryside where the language has traditionally been used. The number of speakers is clearly less than the 15 million or so persons who identify themselves as ethnic Kurds.
From 1915 to 1918, Kurds struggled to end Ottoman rule over their region. They were encouraged by Woodrow Wilson‘s support for non-Turkish nationalities of the empire and submitted their claim for independence to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The Treaty of Sèvres stipulated creation of an autonomous Kurdish state in 1920, but the subsequent Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 failed to mention Kurds. In 1925 and 1930 Kurdish revolts were forcibly suppressed.
Kurdish mother and baby near Lake Van, 1973
Following these events, the existence of distinct ethnic groups like Kurds in Turkey was officially denied and any expression by the Kurds of their ethnic identity was harshly repressed. Until 1991, the use of the Kurdish language – although widespread – was illegal. As a result of reforms inspired by the EU, music, radio and television broadcasts in Kurdish are now allowed albeit with severe time restrictions (for example, radio broadcasts can be no longer than sixty minutes per day nor constitute more than five hours per week while television broadcasts are subject to even greater restrictions). Additionally, education in Kurdish is now permitted though only in private institutions.
As late as 1994, however, Leyla Zana, the first female Kurdish representative in Turkey’s Parliament, was charged for making “separatist speeches” and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. At her inauguration as an MP, she reportedly identified herself as a Kurd. Amnesty International reported that “[s]he took the oath of loyalty in Turkish, as required by law, then added in Kurdish, ‘I shall struggle so that the Kurdish and Turkish peoples may live together in a democratic framework.’ Parliament erupted with shouts of ‘Separatist!’, ‘Terrorist!’, and ‘Arrest her!'”.
The Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (PKK), also known as KADEK and Kongra-Gel, is considered by the US and EU to be a terrorist organization dedicated to creating an independent Kurdish state in a territory (traditionally referred to as Kurdistan) consisting of parts of southeastern Turkey, northeastern Iraq, northeastern Syria and northwestern Iran. It is an ethnic secessionist organization using force and threat of force against both civilian and military targets for the purpose of achieving its political goal.
Between 1984 and 1999, the PKK and the Turkish military engaged in open war, and much of the countryside in the southeast was depopulated, with Kurdish civilians moving to local defensible centers such as Diyarbakır, Van, and Şırnak, as well as to the cities of western Turkey and even to western Europe. The causes of the depopulation included PKK atrocities against Kurdish clans they could not control, the poverty of the southeast, and the Turkish state’s military operations.Human Rights Watch has documented many instances where the Turkish military forcibly evacuated villages, destroying houses and equipment to prevent the return of the inhabitants. An estimated 3,000 Kurdish villages in Turkey were virtually wiped from the map, representing the displacement of more than 378,000 people.