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Kurdish Repression in Turkey | Cultural Survival

14.5.16

Kurdish Repression in Turkey | Cultural Survival: With the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the allies created the modern Middle-East. And while the Treaty of Sevres provided for an independent Kurdistan, it was never ratified. In 1923 the treaty of Lausanne created the modern states of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, but Kurdistan was ignored. During Turkey's war for independence, Turkish leaders, promised Kurds a Turkish-Kurdish federated state in return for their assistance in the war. After independence was achieved, however, they ignored the bargain they had made.

Months after the declaration of a Turkish republic, Ankara, under the pretext of creating an "indivisible nation," adopted an ideology aimed at eliminating, both physically and culturally, non-Turkish elements within the Republic. These "elements" were primarily Kurdish and Armenian.

A 1924 mandate forbade Kurdish schools, organizations and publications. Even the words "Kurd" and "Kurdistan" were outlawed, making any written or spoken acknowledgement of their existence illegal.


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