One Right at a Time for Kurds in Turkey

Euphrates River in Kurdistan during heavy rain

Euphrates River in Kurdistan during heavy rain

The letters q, x and w have long been illegal in Turkey due their use in the Kurdish language. (It was illegal to speak Kurdish until the early 1990s although many residents of East Turkey knew no other language.) The 3 offensive letters were not needed for Turkish words.

Finally, the Turkish government will lift the ban on q, x, and w as the peace process inches ahead, There is still much to be accomplished, as Kurdish, the first language of thousands of Turkish citizens, is not spoken in public schools. However, it is finally legal to spell Newroz, a Kurdish holiday, correctly.

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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 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.

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