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CHP Raises 'Turkish Question' In Dealing With Kurds

The Republican People’s Party has characterized a political solution to the Kurdish question as compromising Turkey’s secular national identity, writes Kadri Gursel.
Thousands attend the funeral ceremony of the three Kurdish activists shot in Paris, in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, January 17, 2013. The bodies of the activists, including that of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) co-founder Sakine Cansiz, arrived by plane on Wednesday evening in Diyarbakir. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS OBITUARY CIVIL UNREST)
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It has become evident once again that Turkey’s efforts to find a solution to its Kurdish issue through negotiations or to its consequence, “the terror question,’’ will be confronted by serious psychological and political resistance stemming from republican Turkish identity.

Last Thursday, Jan. 25, the Turkish parliament debated draft legislation enabling defendants who don’t speak adequate Turkish to make their court defenses in their mother tongues. A legal defense in Kurdish is one of the rights demanded by the Kurdish political movement, and was among the demands of Kurdish prisoners to end their indefinite hunger strike, wich ultimately lasted 67 days. At the end, the draft bill that would could mitigate the sentiments of Kurdish victimhood was enacted by the parliament, but the debate in the parliament brought to the fore another issue: the Turkish question.

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