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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 98 09:01:49 CST
From: A. Tuncil <AyDoghan@HotMail.com>
Subject: Kurds Conditions in the Mid.East
Article: 27205

How is the situation of the citizens of Kurdish descent in Turkey in comparison with the Kurds of neighboring countries?

An extract provided by A. Tuncil, 6 February 1998

[Publisher's note: The origin and context of this document is unknown.]

David Ransom, head of the section for South European Affairs at the US State Department summarized the situation of Kurds in Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey as follows; ...I have been to Syria and Iran before. In Syria they force Kurds to pick up olive and grapes. In Iran they force them to weave carpets and to work in making jewelry. In Iraq they kill Kurds! But Turkey is different. One-fourth of Turkish parliament is comprised of Kurdish origin MPs and this fact alone is enough to reflect the situation of Kurds in Turkey.21

In 1970 an autonomy agreement in Iraq that granted Kurds a regional parliament, the right to broadcast and education in Kurdish was endorsed. But atrocities which reached its highest level in Halabja in March 1988 with the deadly gas attack killing thousands of civilians clearly indicated the policy of Iraqi regime on its Kurdish people.

In Iran with the Islamic Revolution in 1979 a regime that politicizes religion and converts it into a radical form and penetrates all areas of life came to power. According to a report by United Nations Human Rights Commission dated February 1992, fundamental freedoms and human rights were seriously violated by Teheran regime.22 As the US State Department annual country reports on human rights, issued in 1997, state, Teheran Governments human rights record remains poor and there are systematic abuses.

In Syria Hafez Assad has led one of the most oppressive dictatorships in the Middle East since 1970. Kurdish language and literature have been rigorously suppressed and a hard policy of assimilation has been followed by the Assad regime though the Kurds in Syria are less militant than elsewhere.

Turkey which is surrounded by such oppressive antidemocratic states is a member of Council of Europe and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) both of which can only be joined by democratic states. It ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and recognized the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and allowed submission of individual petitions by its citizens to the European Commission of Human Rights. Turkey is also a signatory to the European Social Charter, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of the Child and The Charter of Paris for a New Europe.