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Land Matters: Emergence Of Kurdistan Likely To Have Bearings On Hist

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  • Land Matters: Emergence Of Kurdistan Likely To Have Bearings On Hist

    ANALYSIS | 20.03.13 | 15:20

    ArmeniaNow correspondent

    The establishment of an independent Kurdish state, or perhaps an
    ethnic supranational entity, is apparently becoming a reality.

    Notably, this entity is likely to be established also on some of
    the historical Armenian lands in what is known as Western Armenia
    (part of modern-day Turkey) today. In that case, the descendants of
    Armenians massacred and dispossessed during the years of the genocide
    back in 1915 may face another fact by 2015 - their historical homeland
    will be officially proclaimed Kurdistan.

    After the establishment of Iraqi Kurdistan, which has gained nearly a
    state status, Kurdish movements are also expected to prevail in Syria
    and Turkey. A few days ago United States Secretary of State John Kerry
    spoke to the president of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government
    (KRG) in Iraq, Massoud Barzani, about the ongoing crisis.

    At the same time, the national coalition of opposition and
    revolutionary forces of Syria elected ethnic Kurd Ghassan Hitto head
    of the provisional government in the territory of the country which
    is now controlled by the opposition, reports Anadolu news agency.

    Hitto is the second Kurdish oppositionist after the head of the Syrian
    National Council Abdulbasid Seid to have taken a top position in the
    ranks of the Syrian opposition. And if the fight against the Assad
    regime in Syria ends in favor of the opposition, the Kurds may insist
    on a division of the state or at least a confederation.

    Meanwhile, in Turkey, the government is trying to reroute a growing
    Kurdish movement into the channel of so-called 'constructivism'. Kurds
    are building up resistance, and statements are already being made
    about a confederation and changes in the Turkish Constitution,
    repealing Article 66, which says that all citizens of Turkey are Turks.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, apparently worried over
    such developments, has established ties with leader of the Kurdish
    national liberation movement Abdullah Ocalan, who is serving a
    life sentence in a Turkish jail. Mixed reports have been made about
    agreements reached between the two parties. While Turkish media say
    Ocalan has urged his supporters to leave the territory of Turkey and
    go to Iraq or Syria, the Kurds deny the existence of any agreements.

    The Kurds themselves are demanding the release of arrested compatriots,
    including Ocalan. A Kurdistan Workers Party leader has called for a
    push for Ocalan's release during the current celebration of Nowruz
    (Persian New Year), as well as a campaign for a constitutional status
    for Kurds in Turkey.

    (There is a small Kurdish community in Armenia that also regularly
    stages peaceful protests in Yerevan against oppression of ethnic kin
    in Turkey or elsewhere in the Middle East).

    Still a few years ago several American think tanks published a
    map, according to which an independent state of Kurdistan will be
    established on parts of the territories that belong to modern Iraq,
    Syria and Turkey. Remarkably, in accordance with the same map a
    part of Western Armenia is joined to the Republic of Armenia. And
    now there is some expert opinion that soon the heirs of the victims
    of the Armenian Genocide will have to negotiate on restitution and
    financial compensation for the genocide and demarcation of the border
    not with Turks, but rather with Kurds.