Mehmet Amin Pencewini is president of the Kurdish Writers Union and a popular Kurdish poet and author. He characterized as treachery the conduct of the two Kurdish organizations in South Kurdistan--northern Iraq.
He said that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) have "for many years turned their back on the Kurdish masses with their misleadership." Mehmet Amin said that today the Kurdish workers and oppressed in northern Iraq look to the leadership of the PKK.
In 1993, the first two parties collaborated with the Turkish army to wage a war against a PKK-led insurrection on the border. They were armed and supported by the U.S. CIA.
Dr. Ismet Serif Vanly, president of the Kurdish Institute of Berlin, compared the Kurdish struggle for self-determination to the Irish movement. Both have had to travel a very difficult and treacherous journey to liberation. They have succeeded, he said, "only by sincere struggle and the mobilization and reliance on the workers and oppressed."
Dr. Vanly strongly supported the PKK's efforts for the liberation of Kurdistan and mentioned that "never before has a Kurdish organization been able to organize rallies of over 150,000 Kurds, as is done by the PKK supporters in Germany."
The Kurdish Institute in Berlin is a center of education for Kurdish language and culture. Within Turkey, where Kurds constitute almost a third of the total population, Kurds are not allowed to use their own language in schools or administrative and public offices. Turkish law prohibits printing in the Kurdish language.
Talking to a Workers World reporter after the meeting, Dr. Vanly said he regrets that "the United States government, without taking into consideration the violation of human rights and despite the amounts of blood being shed, sends hundreds of millions of dollars in military, financial and technical aid to Turkey." He wants to see an end to this policy.
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