Kurdish terrorists kill 24 Turkish soldiers near Iraqi border. Why?

The terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) killed 24 Turkish soldiers and wounded 18 Wednesday in simultaneous attacks in Hakkari province, southeastern Turkey, 1,200 miles from Istanbul.

This attack is the most serious in years, in a battle that’s been on and off since 1984. The violence has been confined to remote areas near the border with Iraq, where the PKK takes sanctuary. Areas favored by western tourists and travelers have been free of violence.

Turkey has a population of 79 million, of whom about 14 million are Kurds, a largely Sunni Muslim people with their own language and culture, which Turkish governments have feared and repressed for decades.

Why should Americans care about this? Because the violence threatens the peace of Turkey, a friend of the United States, a member of NATO, and the Middle East’s only functioning democracy, a secular one at that. And because most Americans who have visited Turkey, especially including me, have fallen in love with the country and with its people.

The roots of the conflict are many and I thought, hard to follow, until my friend Arzu Tutuk, who makes a living showing Westerners the wonderful attractions of Istanbul and other parts of Turkey, clarified it in this crisp and poetic fashion:

Remember how happy we were when the Kurds elected members in the Parliament back in June?

Erdogan’s party did everything they could to not admit these members.

Some are in prison.

What do these people want? Broadcast in Kurdish, name their kids Kurdish names, sing in Kurdish and share the same economic welfare.

We continue killing them for this. ‘We’ as in Turkish. As in Turkish army.

They go on killing back. ‘They’ as in Kurdish. As in PKK.

Growing up I never felt the tension, but just today at the shop I heard the owner saying, “I’m not selling to that Kurd.”

Seems like it should be easy to remove the cause of violence. Let the Kurds use their language as they like, name their kids as they like, and sing the songs they like. That’s not too hard. But there’s no sign that the Turkish administration of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is inclined to bend. And so the killing will continue.

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3 Responses to “Kurdish terrorists kill 24 Turkish soldiers near Iraqi border. Why?”

  1. Istanbulite Arzu Tutuk explains the issues of the Kurds in Turkey and the PKK « Ethics Bob Says:

    [...] wrote last week about the deaths of 24 Turkish soldiers at the hands of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers party, and [...]

  2. dfklhadlfha Says:

    i could care less. I don’t want just human rights in kurdistan i want a country seperate from turkey. you are naive about the situations in kurdistan. kurds and americans are in agreement as well. don’t you know that the supplier of weapons is the usa. thanks to america sadam is out and persecuted. thanks to america kurds were given peace for last 10 years. thanks to america barzani (kurdish) is government and jilal is president. thanks also for money from iraqi oil sales. Also don’t call ppk a terrorist group. they are an army… they are an army which mustafa barzani fought in. another thing, jilal the president, said that kurdistan is a country in a speech in chicago. why don’t they just give kurdistan back. its mostly occupied by kurds anyway. you can see that iraq doesn’t belong to arabs anymore. oh i forgot one last thank you, thank you america for exposing arabs to extreme radiation so they can’t have kids anymore.

  3. Ethics Bob Says:

    Your last sentence is ugly and an outrageous lie. I assume you meant it to shock.

    YOU may want an independent Kurdistan, but polls have repeatedly shown that most Turkish Kurds do not.

    Regarding PKK, an Army doesn’t murder diplomats and doesn’t intentionally kill civilians. Most countries have called PKK terrorist; surely they practice terrorism to achieve their political goal.

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