Kurdish Issue Discussed in New York


Date posted: March 25, 2013

‘Kurdish Issue’, one of the most controversial agenda items recently, was discussed at a panel attended by academics and journalists in New York. Among the keynote speakers of the event were Mucait Bilici from John Jay College and the journalist-author Mustafa Akyol.

Mustafa Akyol as the first speaker of the series recalled that it was 8th President of Turkey Turgut Ozal who pronounced the Kurdish issue officially for the first time in Turkey. Akyol stated that two different perspectives exist in Turkey, one of which defines everyone as “Turk” as it is based on “one nation” principle. “The former perspective is an old-fashioned one. I believe majority could understand that it is wrong. The latter, on the other hand, is “one nation-multiple ethnicities” perspective which I myself have adopted.

Akyol, who highlighted the impossibility of a geographical Kurd-Turk distinction and that Kurds outnumber other ethnicities in Istanbul, went on to say the two communities also have kinship ties through inter-marriages. A likely separation will bring serious problems along for both parties like in India-Pakistan case. Akyol revealed that he is supportive of the process AKP (Justice and Development Party) has employed to address the issue and continued: “Military involvement is not a solution for the Kurdish issue which instead needs a political solution. The government doesn’t consider PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) the representative of the Kurdish people, which is the truth indeed. Turkey is debating how to disarm PKK. We as Turks owe an apology to Kurds as we refused their identity to date. We refused their existence and mocked their language.”

Another speaker of the event co-organized by Queens Turkish Cultural Center, Peace Islands Institute and St. John University was Loyola University Associate Professor Gunes M. Tezcur. Tezcur asserted that there is a little chance of success with the introduced process for solution. Noting that PKK has evolved into a company, Tezcur said “As long as PKK makes profit no one can shut it down. It has manpower, financial backup and training camps in Northern Iraq. It is not rational for PKK to close down when all these still exist.”

Presenting the statistical distribution of PKK’s activities since 2002 by year and his thesis that PKK will not abandon its terrorist activities, he concluded that “It is obvious that whenever a process for solution starts PKK activities intensify.”

As the last speaker of the first session journalist-author Aydogan Vatandas drew attentions the existence of international powers in the issue. Noting that various states have interests in Kurdish-populated region, Vatandas said that this factor has to be considered when seeking a solution.

Let us rename Turkey

John Jay University Assistant Professor Mucahit Bilici , at the second session of the panel, said that Turkey needs a new constitution. Bilici argued that people in Turkey have defined identity as “Turk”, “Muslim” and “Kemalist secular” for years and among them only “Kemalist secular” description has been abolished recently.

“I have no reservations about natural assimilation. As long as it happens through political ways, I am fine with that” said Bilici and proposed renaming Turkey as a part of solution for the issue. Bilici who is against a race-based name continued: “My approach to the problem is Islamic and humanistic. First of all, identity and independence of an individual has to be recognized. Suppose that we rename Turkey with a word that has no ethnic connotations.”

Bilici critical of Imrali process commented that it is reducing the Kurdish issue to a PPK problem. “The state, to date, has claimed that PKK is not the representative of Kurdish people. However, it takes PKK as the only addressee concerning the solution today. AKP’s approach to the problem is wrong too. It acts like it is granting something out of mercy with an oft-voiced approach saying “The state has to extend it compassionate hand”.

Florida University faculty Mustafa Gurbuz, PhD, delivered a speech too in which he claimed that European Union accession negotiations are notably instrumental in the process for solution to the Kurdish issue. He additionally suggested that to find public support the issue must be discussed openly exerting “citizenship diplomacy” for solution.

Source: [in Turkish] ZamanAmerika, 16 March 2013. English translation is retrieved from HizmetMovement.com


Related News

Hizmet Essay Contest 2015

The Hizmet Essay Contest is an annual contest series that encourages research on the Hizmet movement as well as the works of the Turkish Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gulen. The contest aims to motivate individuals to think critically about issues that affect the international society and, how to tackle these important issues from a Hizmet perspective.

Kurdish paper Rudaw’s interview with Fethullah Gulen

The Gülen movement’s stance toward the Kurdish issue has become ever more questioned since the Turkish government’s recent targeting of the Hizmet movement. A close analysis, however, suggests a complex picture.

GYV organized peace conference at United Nation

Speaking at the conference, GYV Secretary-General Hüseyin Hurmalı said that the GYV has been working voluntarily both in the US and across the globe to establish peace and dialogue. “We have tried to eliminate prejudices and wrong ideas about Turkey, we know that it is important for Turkey to enter into a process of peace and development,” Hurmalı added.

The Atlantic Institute announces the Art & Essay Contest winners

The Atlantic Institute has announced the 11th year winners of its traditional Art & Essay Contest. This academic year’s theme was “Compassion in Action… Caring Matters!” Awards Ceremony will be held at noon on Saturday, April 15th, 2017.

Fethullah Gulen sends his condolences to victims of Boston bombings

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic bomb attack at the Boston Marathon that cost the lives of innocent people and injured many more. I express my absolute condemnation of this senseless act of violence that accomplished nothing more than the infliction of unbearable pain on innocent people. I send my sincere condolences to the […]

Building bridges through knowledge, experience and friendship

Although the Turkic American Alliance (TAA) is a very young organization which was established only three years ago, it organizes amazing events to bring the Turkic world and the US together.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Int’l Gandhi Jayanti Conference on ‘Education as a Basic Right of Humankind’

Kimse Yok Mu builds village in Pakistan in honor of Iqbal

Peace Islands Massachusetts bestows Friendship Awards

Nigeria won’t allow mistreatment of her students by Turkey – Presidency

African queen promises to give support to Turkish schools

Dismissed top editor of Zaman: We made a mistake by not objecting to the imprisonment of journalists

Zambia seeks flow of Turkish investments at TUSKON event

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News