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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thomas Friedman's "When Friends Fall Out": And What About the Kurds?

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "When Friends Fall Out" (, Thomas Friedman observes that he has a "soft spot for Turkey" and writes, "it has been painful to hear . . . Prime Minister Erdogan in recent years publicly lash out with ever-greater vehemence at Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza."

Friedman not even once mentions that some 20% of Turkey's population - 15 million people - consists of Kurds, who for decades have been abused in the most violent, ugly and shocking manner by Turkey. The Kurds, who have long sought their independence from Turkey, have been tortured and murdered, have suffered ongoing economic and educational discrimination, and have even been prevented by Turkey from using their own language.

Before Turkey seeks to come to the aid of Hamas, whose charter calls for the murder of all Jews and which rejects a nonviolent solution with Israel, Turkey should first redress the horrific wrongs which its Kurdish minority has suffered by granting them independence.

It need be observed that the Kurds are also the object of abuse and discrimination in Syria and Iran. On May 9, five Kurds convicted of "Moharebeh" (i.e. waging war against God) were executed in Tehran's Evin Prison.

Turkey's warming relationship with Iran is no accident, given their common war against their Kurdish minorities and Turkey's growing religious militance. Turkey's patronization of the Gaza flotilla, primarily aimed at freeing Iran's proxy, Hamas, from the Israeli blockade, as well as Turkey's recent efforts to facilitate Iran's pursuit of its nuclear weapons program are part and parcel of this budding alliance.


  1. I would add:1) 'Turkish' Kurdistan has been illegally occupied by the Turks for more than 500 years, 2) the Turkish air force violated the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan two weeks ago, with 19 Turkish Kurds murdered in what can only be called state-sponsored terrorism and an act of war, 3) Turkey's embrace of Syria is also about their common 'Kurdish problem', 4) Erdogan got his courts to ban the Kurdish political party in order to keep the PKK as an official "terror organization" (contrast that with Erdofan's support of Hezbollah and Hamas because they participate in the political process), and 5) tonight is the final episode of Turkey's television soap opera: "Valley of the Wolves: Ambush," The January 10, 2010 episode depicted the Israeli intelligence service Mossad spying inside Turkey and kidnapping Turkish babies.

    Tom Friedman, the NYT, and Prsident Obama are all WAY behind the curve on what is wrong with Turkey.


  2. And what about the Armenians?