Thursday, February 7, 2008

Recent Strikes Incite Kurdish Tensions

I feel like I should I have knocked on wood following my Feb. 4 post concerning reasons to be skeptical about the relative peace enjoyed at the moment in the Kurdish southeast. The recent air strikes in northern Iraq have prompted Kurds to join in numerous rallies throughout Turkey. An article in Today's Zaman chronicles the journey of a convoy of DTP supporters in İstanbul who planning to converge in Diyarbakır to demonstrate against the raids and raise awareness about the Kurdish problem. The convoy was subject to numerous stops by security services, including here in Kocaeli. The Turkish city with the largest Kurdish population is İstanbul, not Diyarbakır, and the article goes to prove that Kurdish unrest affects the whole country, not just the southeast region. Motivated by a search for jobs and a better life, many Kurds have moved in recent years to large cities in the west, driven by the lack of opportunities characteristic of the southeast's underdeveloped economy.

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