Noam Chomsky over de Koerdische kwestie

Noam Chomsky is nog steeds erg nauw betrokken met de Koerdische kwestie. Hieronder een interview van hem hierover. Binnenkort is hij ook te horen in NL.


NAMO ABDULLA: In my last interview with you, we focused on the Kurdish question in Iraq, but this time, I want to be broader and talk to you about Iraqi as well as Turkish Kurds. Given all the changes we are seeing in the Middle East, and what happened in Egypt and Tunisia, I am interested in having your thoughts on the Kurdish situation in general, especially in Turkey and Iraq?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, it is not just Turkey and Iraq. It is also Syria, Iran, parts of Russia. Kurds, you know – I don’t have to tell you – are the largest national, cultural group that has never been able to achieve a national territory. There are steps forward. So, for example, in northern Iraq, there is a degree of autonomy that never existed before, and also a security. There is a question of how the Kurds there will be able to exploit this opportunity to create a really decent society for themselves and a model for others. 

“There is a question of how the Kurds there will be able to exploit this opportunity to create a really decent society for themselves and a model for others.”               

In Turkey, where actually I just was a few weeks ago, the situation has improved. First time I was there, over 10 years ago, it was pretty awful. It was right at the end of the period of extreme violence, repression and destruction. People were afraid to use Kurdish colors and could not talk their language except in secret, and so on. So that’s improved slowly. So now, there is some recognition by the government, and by a large part of the population, of the legitimacy of Kurdish identity. Kurds no longer have to be identified as “mountain Turks,” just speaking some strange dialect. So now, Kurdish is recognized to an extent. There are options for a Kurdish broadcasting of radio and television. There is a promise about teaching Kurdish in schools – [an issue] that has not been resolved. And there are steps backward. When I was there in October, there were trials coming up of 150 Kurdish leaders, including some well-known ones, like Osman Baydemir, the mayor of Diyarbakir. [They were] non-violent activists and the charges were completely frivolous, but they were there, and I think they have been delayed. The government likely doesn’t want to pursue them. In general, there are steps forward, there’s some degree of progress. But, I think over time that could and should unify somehow with the Iraqi Kurds, and then there is a serious problem [about] what happens elsewhere.  

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