This is how the Turkish State has resolved the Armenian, the Greek,
the Assyrian and the Kurdish problems

''The same state
`problem solving' mentality was in work for both the Armenian and
Kurdish questions. Population exchanges, forceful evacuations and
atrocities directed at civilians. Nothing has changed over all these
years. The same `problem solving' mentality created the very problem
it was trying to solve.''

http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/columnists-1825 42-the-ugly-truth-about-the-kurdish-question-the-a rmenian-question.html

ORHAN KEMAL CENGÄ°Z
The ugly truth about the Kurdish question -- the Armenian question!?
If we could discuss the Armenian question openly, if we could confront
the Armenian tragedy, there would not have been a Kurdish question. We
are far from understanding the Armenian question, yet can we be close
to solving the Kurdish question?
To answer this, we need to look at how the Kurdish question emerged in
the first place. The same state `problem solving' mentality was in
work for both the Armenian and Kurdish questions. Population
exchanges, forceful evacuations and atrocities directed at
civilians. Nothing has changed over all these years. The same `problem
solving' mentality created the very problem it was trying to
solve. The Kurdish question was very simple to solve in the
beginning. There was a marginal armed group (the PKK, or Kurdistan
Workers' Party) which used to carry out sporadic attacks against
security forces. Most Kurds did not like them. But many Kurds also
wanted to be recognized as Kurds; be able to preserve and live their
culture, speak their language and so on. At that time, the Turkish
official stance -- dictated by the military, basically -- was very
rigid on the Kurdish question. According to this `understanding,'
there were no Kurds, there was no separate Kurdish language. Kurds
were `mountain Turks.' They were called `Kurds' because of the sound
they make when they walk on snow: `Kart,' or `Kurt.' For those of you
who do not know the difference between Kurdish and Turkish, they are
about as similar as Chinese and English. So basically, the official
understanding of the Kurdish question was a joke. If we did not know
the sufferings of Kurds as a result of this `unwise' approach, we
could even say that the Turkish state has a dry sense of humor because
of the creation of this `mountain Turk' concept. But it was not a
joke, and this understanding of the question caused a serious human
tragedy in Anatolia once again.
The treatment of Kurdish prisoners in the Diyarbakır prison after the
1980 military coup was a turning point. The torture and ill treatment
of Kurdish inmates in this prison was beyond human imagination. The
Diyarbakır prison was like a Nazi concentration camp. The inmates
suffered so much that upon release almost all of them went to the
mountains to join the ranks of the PKK. People were imprisoned even
for just expressing peaceful ideas about the Kurdish problem. It would
not be an exaggeration to say that the phenomenon of the Diyarbakır
prison created the PKK we know today. With these `angry' militants in
its ranks, the PKK increased the number of its attacks
dramatically. The Turkish security apparatus started to seek new ways
to handle this =80=9Cnew phenomenon' and (not surprisingly, of course)
came up with the idea of using more violence. They created the concept
of `fighting terrorists with their own methods.' Kurdish villages were
set on fire; 3,000 villages were destroyed. The monster created by the
Turkish deep state, JÄ°TEM (an illegal gendarmerie unit), claimed more
than 17,000 lives. People were abducted in broad daylight, and their
dead bodies later thrown onto streets, under bridges and into
wells. No person ever turned up alive after being taken by JITEM. The
terror they created, like the terror in the Diyarbakır prison, sent
more and more militants to the PKK.
Stuck between a rock and hard place
This is one side of the coin.
On the other side, there is the PKK. It was first established as a
Marxist-Leninist organization and turned into an extremely
nationalist, violent structure. Many times, poor Kurdish villagers
were persecuted simultaneously by security forces and the PKK, both of
which accused villagers of aiding and abetting `the other' one. The
PKK killed many Kurds. The PKK tortured and killed its own
militants. The PKK used terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings,
exploding bombs in the most crowded streets, and so on. The PKK was
ruled by an iron fist. To be honest, for many years I thought the
worst thing that could ever happen to the Kurds would be to live under
the authority of the PKK, which has the potential of becoming one of
the worst dictatorships the world has ever seen. Today we are at a
point where Turkish state officers mention the `Kurdish question'
openly, and both the PKK and the Turkish state are about to explain
their `road maps' for a solution to the problem. In the past, there
were occasions when we all felt so close to the solution. Each time,
the `Turkish deep state' and the `deep PKK' found a way to sabotage
the whole process. Today, because of the Ergenekon case, we are in a
more advantageous situation. At least one `party' has fewer options to
sabotage the `process.' But what is this process? Does it include an
open confrontation with our past?
Does it include both Turks and Kurds questioning taboos? Will it lead
us to confront older and deeper wounds in our past, like the Armenian
tragedy, which was created by Turks and Kurds together?
My observation is that no one in Turkey is ready for this kind of
confrontation. Instead, everyone waits for `the other' to accept their
responsibility without sacrificing anything. I strongly believe that
if we do not confront this ugly past, if we do not open our hearts to
the human suffering, no `solution' will be long lasting. If Kurds do
not open their hearts to PKK members who were tortured and killed by
the PKK or the Turkish victims of terror created by this organization,
likewise if Turks fail to understand the pain and suffering of Kurdish
villagers who were wrested from their very roots, we cannot solve
anything. This is the first level. At the second level, we need a
deeper understanding. Both Turks and Kurds need to confront the
Armenian tragedy, which they created together. If Kurds start to
understand this tragedy, they will get rid of the illusion that they
are the only people who ever suffered in Anatolia. If they understand
the Armenian tragedy, and how Kurds were used by the deep state then,
they would be much more humble, much less nationalist. We need to
question many things. Every answer will lead to other questions. This
is a process full of pain. Is anyone ready for that much deep
questioning? I don't think so. Unless we engage this kind of
questioning, we will inevitably end up with shallow `solutionsâ' which
will not be long lasting. If we had understood the Armenian tragedy,
we would not have become mired in the Kurdish question. Unless we
question our past, some people will try to restore the `deep stateâ'
once again, some people will try to re-establish the PKK sometime in
the future. Everything depends on severing the moral bases of these
terrible structures, and this depends on an open confrontation with
everything in the past. Can we start?

31.07.2009
Columnists