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Turkey’s Missed Opportunities With the Kurds

Disarray in Turkish foreign policy is not allowing Turkey to play its rightful role in supporting Kurdish national unity.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani pose for the media before their meeting in Istanbul April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer/Pool (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR30XVX

The idea of convening a Kurdish National Congress of Kurds from "four parts" in the Iraqi Kurdistan — or South Kurdistan — town of Erbil that has become the Kurdish national center goes back four years.

What is meant by "four parts" are the four countries Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, where the Kurds have been forced to live without their own state despite their sizable populations and geographical continuity. An important element in the injustices heaped on the Kurds occurred after World War I, when Western colonial powers reshaped the region on the rubble of the Ottoman Empire with the creation of Persian, Arab and Turkish nation states (Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey). But this doesn’t mean one should overlook the Kurdish social structures that are vulnerable to divisions, tribal rivalries, internal conflicts and their feeble national consciousness that enhances such injustices.

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