Posts Tagged ‘parliament’

Istanbulite Arzu Tutuk explains the issues of the Kurds in Turkey and the PKK

October 26, 2011

I wrote last week about the deaths of 24 Turkish soldiers at the hands of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers party, and included a short poetic summary of the conflict by my friend Arzu Tutuk, a Turk from Istanbul.

The conflict is important to America because it threatens the peace of Turkey, the most important Muslim ally of the United States. The campaign is creating a wedge issue that can poison relations between Turkey and all her neighbors as well as between Turkey and the rest of NATO.

 I invited Arzu to expand on her thoughts about the conflict. Here they are: 

For most of the Turkish people, it is difficult to face the truth. There is a PKK issue in Turkey. PKK is a terrorist organization. There’s also a Kurdish problem in Turkey. It’s another issue, but not totally different.

I have many Kurdish friends who live in Istanbul. They went to good schools, got a good education, have proper jobs and great families. They grew up in families where the mother only spoke Kurdish. They did not hear a word of Turkish until primary school. At primary school it is forbidden to speak any other language (more…)


An American Turkophile approves of the election results

June 12, 2011

Turks went to the polls today in numbers that should make Americans blush: 44 million of 50 million registered voters, or 88 per cent.

The results should get two cheers from American friends of Turkey. The victory of the Justice and Development (AK) party was a foregone conclusion. AK got 49.9% of the vote and 325 seats, losing eleven seats from the current level.

But the critical issue for Turkey is what happens to the Turkish constitution, which was written by the Army after the 1982 military coup. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is committed to writing a new constitution. He hoped to capture two-thirds, or 367, of the seats in parliament, which would have allowed his party to write the new constitution by itself. Failing that he hoped for three-fifths, or 330, of the seats, which would have allowed the same unilateral drafting of a new constitution but subject to a popular referendum (which he would have been heavily favored to win). But on Sunday AK fell a little short of even the 330 threshold.

This matters for two reasons. First, AK is an Islamist party, and while many (more…)