Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Turkey's Kurds face a historic choice

Turkish Daily News

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Turkey's Kurds face a historic choice


.....On another front, it has become apparent that Turkey's efforts to combat broadcasting of Roj TV may not come to a satisfactory result by our efforts alone in urging Denmark to close it. Turkey needs to take the offensive and establish its own Kurdish TV station, broadcast to its own population and beat Roj TV in the hearts and minds of Turkey's Kurds. As a good friend noted recently, if need be, "We need to explain the Turkish Republic and Atatürk in Kurdish." There are certainly risks involved but strong political leadership requires such risks to take. That said, it is saddening to see how the main opposition is trying to make political capital out of such a sensitive and equally critical issue for this country.

The latest comments by the governor of Diyarbakır reveal fresh thinking and need to be explored further. Sabah columnist Erdal Şafak's recent writing also demonstrates sober and constructive views on the problem. Finally, Prime Minister Erdoğan's statements after the events in Diyarbakır offer hope for a new willingness to focus on the problem. The plan to solve the Kurdish issue must be multifaceted. It entails a political plan that will have to address the issue of education in the mother tongue, TV broadcasts and the establishment of a true Kurdish TV station as well as an economic investment plan that has a strong social dimension.....