Tip of the iceberg

Prof. Beril Dedeoglu
Prof. Beril Dedeoglu


Date posted: November 29, 2013

BERİL DEDEOĞLU

A significant allegation is circulating. Some people claim that the government wants to close prep schools because of a secret deal with the Kurds.

They probably suggest that the Kurds are against the education institutions established by those close to Fethullah Gülen’s thinking, and they want to replace these prep schools with Kurdish educational and cultural institutions. They believe the Kurdish political movement rejects the Hizmet movement’s educational institutions, as those underscore the common Muslim identity of the Kurds and Turks, while the Kurdish political movement wants to promote the Kurdish language, culture and ethnic identity. In other words, some people claim there is an educational battle between the Hizmet and Kurdish movements in southeast Turkey and, now, the government has decided to support the Kurdish point of view.

It is not possible to know if all these arguments reflect the truth; however, it is known that those who are close to the Kurdish political movement generally dislike the Hizmet movement’s sympathizers, and vice versa.

Every step that contributes to the resolution of the Kurdish problem is a step to be applauded. The Kurdish issue was and still is the country’s most fundamental problem. If the long-term objective is to make Turkey’s Kurds feel they are equal citizens, every segment of society has to contribute.

There are different methods that will allow Kurds to feel they are equal and respected citizens.

First is to find a way for the Kurds to join in the country’s political life through their ethnic identity and to allow them to exist in social life as “Kurds.” The second method is to make sure that those of Kurdish origin may join in the country’s political, bureaucratic, social and economic life as equal citizens, not through their Kurdish identity, but through their Turkish citizenship.

It largely depends on the Kurds’ decision which one of these methods will be adopted. The only variables are not the expectations of the citizens or the government: We mustn’t forget that two critical elections are to be held in coming months, and then we mustn’t forget either what is going on in the region surrounding Turkey.

The Turkish government is not disturbed to see Turkey’s Kurds having good relations with other countries’ Kurds. But even so, it wants them to remain separated. The relationship between Ankara and Arbil reflects this policy. However, in order to fully implement this policy, the fate of Syrian Kurds must become clearer. The Turkish government believes that Syrian Kurds have supported the Bashar al-Assad regime, though Ankara supports the Syrian opposition. Thus, the relations between Turkey and Syria’s Kurds are not very friendly.

One may ask, what is the connection of all these balances to the prep school debate? The government wants to find a compromise with Syria’s Kurds, but if they refuse Ankara’s demands, the government believes it can fight and defeat them. The Hizmet movement, on the other hand, believes that no compromise will last and sooner or later violence will resume. The government believes that the rapprochement with Iran reduces the risk of a renewed armed struggle, while Hizmet sympathizers think that Iran is using the Kurdish card just to manipulate Turkey.

It appears that the two sides believe in diverging future scenarios about the Kurdish issue’s possible evolution. Those who believe the government is assessing the situation wrongly think that all will be lost and the old guard of the former tutelage regime will come back. The government, however, believes that the tutelage regime will come back only if they don’t find a compromise with the Kurds.

The two sides’ common worry is the return of the tutelage regime; so maybe it would be better to concentrate their energy not on this battle but against those who are happy with it.

Source: Today's Zaman , November 29, 2013


Related News

Did PKK change its view of religious movements?

It is wrong and harmful to present Gulen Movement or create a picture that will make the Movement look as if it gets along and tries to collaborate with, or in need of help from PKK. I believe that Gulen movement will not fall into such a trap.

Abant Platform urges government, protesters to exercise common sense

Turkey’s leading social debate platform Abant has called on both government and protesters to exercise common sense, urging restraint for both sides to avoid violence in nationwide protests that gripped Turkey for more than a week. The Abant Platform expressed its concerns over possible chaos that could follow sometimes mutually violent actions of both sides […]

Hizmet rejects claims it is linked to graft probe, says democracy is antidote to chaos

The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), whose honorary chairman is Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, has categorically rejected accusations that it is linked to the corruption and bribery investigation that has rocked Turkey for nearly a month, urging everyone to avoid language that only deepens the “dangerous polarization” in the country.

Overshadowing the graft probe

Erdoğan’s government has removed around 113 police chiefs from their posts in a major overhaul and issued a decree that dealt a serious blow to judicial independence since the operation, which targeted some members of his inner circle, was initiated on Dec. 17. All these draconian measures taken by the government are intended to prevent the police and judiciary from carrying out criminal investigations without the government’s — i.e., the executive’s — knowledge.

AK Party’s ’parallel’ election campaign

In Turkey, the term “pool media” refers to the pro-government media outlets which were created through funds raised by various businessmen to protect the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) interests.

In Blow to Erdogan, Turkish Court Halts Closing of Schools Tied to His Rival

In a blow to the government, Turkey’s highest court has overturned a law that would have closed thousands of preparatory schools linked to an influential Muslim cleric and rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Latest News

Crimes Against Humanity in Erdogan’s Turkey

Exiled journalist warns of a genocide in the making in newly released book

Vague terrorism charge used to target supporters of the Gülen movement: UN special rapporteurs

ECtHR urges Albania not to deport Gülen follower to Turkey

Woman detained over links to Gülen movement after giving birth

Formerly Gülen-linked schools in Albania face growing gov’t pressure

Exclusive: Turkey, Kosovo violated fundamental rights of expelled teachers, UN body says

Sacked policeman’s grim death sparks debate on COVID-19 data in Turkish prisons

Dissidents of the Turkish government are living in fear in Canada

In Case You Missed It

Turkish intelligence staged a rocket attack on Erdoğan’s palace to rally public support

Journalists and Writers Foundation to discuss girls’ education in Afghanistan

Cuba wins Kimse Yok Mu cartoon competition

AFSV Statement on Temporary US Travel and Immigration Ban

Kimse Yok Mu: A charity with a difference

Scholars stress need for dialogue, cooperation to solve global issues

Is the AK Party turning into the old CHP?

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News