Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Message from Dr. Burhan Elturan Kurdish Academic
Indiana University, USA

I am an academic and diaspora Kurd from the USA. Thanks to the Roj-TV Online, I and my daughter can maintain and improve our mother tongue Kurdish. We have no other source of our spoken language on a daily basis. In this regard, there are thousands of diaspora Kurds in our shoes. We appeal to Danish authorities that they do not give into Turkish state's bullying and coercion towards the closing of the Roj-RV.

The Turkish state (should we say the armed forces) finds it easier to prevent social, cultural and political change, rather than changing itself to include the Kurdish rights into its narrow mentality and hostile attitudes. This strategy of forcing everyone else to come down to its abominably backwards and enslaving standards has worked so far. USA, Germany, England, Holland and a few others have caved in, to save their trade and other relations with Turkey. But we need a country with a backbone to say a clear and sweet "no" to Turkey. The Danish authorities have done a good job so far in resisting to the Turkish bullying in this regard. I hope they will continue their principled stance. Who, we may ask, needs to accept whose standards? Should Denmark give up what it has and resemble today's Turkey? Or should Turkey rise up to Danish standards of civility and governance?

After all, the Kurds do not demand much from the Turkish state, except their cultural, social and political rights as a nation and as an indigenous people to the region. The Kurds had such rights under the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of today's Turkey, but lost them in 1920's with the establishment of an ultra-nationalist and paranoiac "modern" state. The "modern" Turkish state has played the three monkeys for the last 80 plus years in denying the existence of the Kurds and the Kurdish language. Well, we have good news for that state: we are still here and we are willing to help you to change. Denial will not help you. Healing always start with acceptance of your reality. See?? We are here!! And we will be here, no doubt!! Also, we are bound to live as neighbors!! Do not alienate us further. We the Kurds are really trying hard not to cut all of our ties to you, though we are very hard pressed. Are you ready to be a good neighbor to the Kurds? All you have to do is: CHANGE YOUR BACKWARD POLICIES! Embrace us, our language, our culture and our identity as Kurds. Nothing less will work.

Instead of dragging Denmark into the mud, Turkey should rise up to at least the level of the Ottoman civility and accept the multi-cultural and multi-lingual reality that it most adamantly denies. Kurds are part of that multiplicity and they are fully awake. No force can burry them alive by denying the survival of their language, culture and national identity at the threshold of the 21st Century . Turkish state hates Roj-TV precisely because Roj-TV is the only vein that feeds the Kurds in all these three arenas of Kurdish life.

I just wonder to myself, how could those who construct their happiness on the unhappiness of the others, can really find happiness? The negative process involved in denying others their well deserved happiness, will and does sap all the energy to a waste!

When there is no energy, there is no creativity and creation. This is the real dilemma Turkey faces: Will it waste all of its resources and energy trying to tie millstones to each Kurd's legs to contain her/him, or will it discard its straight jacket policies and let both nation, the Kurds and Turks, flourish?

Dr. Burhan Elturan

Indiana University, USA



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