Kurd Storm

It’s one of those perfect storm moments in Turkey, but for peace. Finally, everyone involved has a vested interest in the success of this ceasefire: Erdogan, the Prime minister of Turkey will get his new constitution, economic benefits and a place in history. The Kurds will gain local self-government, language rights and a lifting of other repressions.

It’s finally time:

  • The Iraqi Kurds have self-government in the northern part of Iraq. (Currently 3,000 PKK guerillas need safe passage to Iraq in order to withdraw there.)
  • The Syrian Kurds are in a dangerous crisis with hope for real change.
  • Kurdish-Turks are assimilated all through Western Turkey- 3,000 in Istanbul alone- and emotionally, the Kurdish population is ready to give up the ideal of an independent state.

No one agrees on how many thousands of people have died for this cause, but the suffering caused by this war has been astronomical…so many villages, so many families.

It’s time because it’s Newroz. March 21 is the celebration of spring and the new year for Kurds. This year in Turkey, it was as it should be: joyous, proud, hopeful.

A perfect storm for peace. All winds shifting to lift oppression, carry fathers and boys home, blow strength and prosperity into community-building. It is a blessed change in the weather, a clear sign of global-warming.igns in the southern Turkish city of Diyarbakir. (AFP)

A fantastic photo at http://www.albawaba.com/news/kurdish-ceasefire-turkey-478975 is well-worth the click- the joy of Newroz and the ceasefire in one snapshot. March 21, 2013 was a good day to be Kurdish in Turkey- and there haven’t been many in the last century.

“Today I start a new process witnessed by millions of people,” Ocalan was reported as saying by the Turkish daily newspaper, Hurriyet, adding, “The period of democratic rights, freedom and equality starts.”

Ocalan told supporters that they must lay down their weapons and move out of Turkey. “We are shifting from armed struggle to democratic struggle,” he said.

More info:

http://www.kashmirtimes.com/newsdet.aspx?q=14278

http://www.omantribune.com/index.php?page=news&id=140479&heading=Europe

http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=383838

http://www.albawaba.com/news/kurdish-peace-process-turkey-481665

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/anatolia-news-agency-to-start-broadcasting-in-kurdish-in-september.aspx?pageID=238&nID=44389&NewsCatID=341

The Kettle Boys – Worth The Trip

The Randy Boys, oops, I mean the Kettle Boys, were having a good ol’ time out at Fortune Farms near Almonte (Ontario) this weekend. Beyond the modern maple syrup operation and the free taffy on snow, through the woods and beyond the demo of an early vat system, up the hill and over the crest, you’ll find the Kettle Boys cooking up “the real stuff”. These older men in zippered overalls carry around “the good stuff” like it’s moonshine. In fact, it’s syrup from the 3 huge cast iron kettles hung over a long wood fire. After hours of boiling, it’s filtered…but you never know what’s in it: the round Kettle Boy suggests ashes, leaves and squirrel droppings as possible ingredients. It’s not for sale.

kettle-boys

These guys laugh and letch the whole day long, feeding wood to the fire and homemade fudge to the guests who find their way up the hill. Music plays and stories are told. I eat enough syrup to send a large man into shock, but I’m Ontario-born: I need my taste of early spring. That condensed sap flows through my arteries and melts heavy winter right out of my mind.