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I have a spring semester elective course: Communication and Persuasion. Every semester, I change the content of the course but it is always related to course title. Last year, I had focused on Rhetoric itself. This year the theme is Propaganda. Students monitor election campaigns in groups. While they present their monitoring weekly, I lecture based on a book entitled as: Propaganda and Persuasion (by Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell) By thebeginning of April, we may have produced a report on March 2009 local election campaigns.I will of course share it with you.

Today a group that focused on DTP’s Istanbul municipality campaign brought to our attention to DTP election song. Check out the election video here. There is a little bit of Kurdish rap there, too.

Another group showed us a Saadet party event where a Rapper group sings for this Islamist party…Here is the event video.  So comes the Turkish rap.

A round up on Turkey and Kurds follows… 

Turkey’s Kurdish Question: Irony Within Irony – The Jamestown Foundation

By: Emrullah Uslu

Ahmet Turk, the Chairman of the Kurdish nationalist Democratic Society Party (DTP)

In November 2008 Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan made one of his most disconcerting statements toward the Kurds in Turkey: ‘We have said, ‘One nation, one flag, one motherland, and one state.’…Those who oppose this should leave’ (See EDM November 4, 2008).

What has Türk done?

By STAR MUSTAFA KARAALIOĞLU on Turkish Press Review

Just as he no doubt suspected he would, Ahmet Türk has managed to stir up a great sensation with the speech he delivered in Kurdish a couple of days ago in Parliament.

A Kurdish Politician Puts Erdogan In A Tough Spot | Newsweek International Edition | Newsweek.com

Have bans on Kurdish ended?

By MILLIYET HASAN CEMAL on Turkish Press Review

What happened when Ahmet Türk, the head of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), spoke in Kurdish in Parliament? Did doomsday break loose?

Contradictions posed by Türk’s speech in Kurdish

In Columnists

The debates that were ignited when pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) leader Ahmet Türk switched into Kurdish from Turkish during his party’s parliamentary group meeting earlier this week still continue, triggering either negative reactions or appreciation.

Speaking Kurdish In The Turkish Parliament

[Originally published in Hürriyet Daily News] The leader of the Democratic Society Party, or DTP, Ahmet Türk, shocked the country the other day, by speaking Kurdish in the Turkish Parliament. At a session with his parliamentary group, he reminded that Feb. 21 is celebrated as "International Mother Tongue Day," and then uttered words in his own mother tongue. Right away, with no surprise, hell broke loose. The media reported the "incident" as breaking news. TRT 3, the official TV channel that airs Parliament meetings, stopped its live broadcast. Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan noted that it was against the Constitution to use any language other than Turkish at Parliament. And opposition leaders bashed not just Ahmet Türk, but also the government, which they saw as a collaborator of the pro-Kurdish cause.

Welcome To Kurdistan (Not ‘North Iraq’)

[Originally published in Turkish Daily News] The Abant Platform, which holds frequent conferences at which Turkish intellectuals convene to discuss timely issues, was in northern Iraq last week. I was among the nearly one hundred names that were supposed to fly from Istanbul to Arbil for this significant meeting, but a last minute change of plans destined me rather to Washington. Yet I have been carefully reading what Abant participants have been writing about their experience in Iraqi Kurdistan — a country whose very name is a big bone of contention in Turkey. Perhaps I should first note what the Abant Platform is. It is a discussion forum launched in 1998 in order to "allow Turkish intellectuals from all walks of life to come together and talk freely." The idea and the organization belong to none other than the strongest religious community in Turkey: The Fethullah Gülen movement. In a step that some considered a public relations campaign, and others have suspected as an effort to "buy in" the intellectuals, the Gülen movement promised to create a sustainable ground for "dialogue" in a country dominated by hostile monologues. And, like it or not, they have been successful in establishing in the national scale something similar to the Bilderberg Meetings in the global scale. (But unlike Bilderberg, Abant is open to the public.)

A new phase for the Kurdish issue by MÜMTAZER TÜRKÖNE

In Op-Ed

The parties to the "Kurdish issue" are going through a radical mental and political transformation. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has halted its attacks under a de facto cease-fire, and there are reports that its violent attacks will end completely.

Rethinking the Kurdish problem by Levent Köker

In Op-Ed

The 18th Abant Platform meeting titled "Searching for Peace and a Future Together," which was held on Feb. 15 in Arbil, northern Iraq, has made quite an impression.

Kurdish language problem: trap and provocation

By SAR MEHMET METINER on Turkish Press Review

The Democratic Society Party (DTP), which feels uncomfortable about a smooth resolution of the Kurdish issue without its involvement in the process, now seeks to create an environment of irresolution by transforming the Kurdish language problem into a crisis.

Mother tongue

By YENI ŞAFAK KÜRŞAT BUMİN on Turkish Press Review

After DTP leader Ahmet Türk delivered a speech at his party’s parliamentary group meeting in Kurdish, a columnist asked in his column, "What’s the matter with the DTP?" When the issue is speaking in Kurdish, who has more of a right to complain than the DTP leader?

The rise of Kurdish

By RADIKAL YILDIRIM TÜRKER on Turkish Press Review

We celebrate the fact that Kurdish is no longer really taboo in Turkey. And while the prime minister’s attempts at delivering words in Kurdish with his Kasımpaşa style may be funny, I say we are the better for it.

Türk’s Kurdish speech ‘bi xer be’

By YENI ŞAFAK YASIN AKTAY on Turkish Press Review

Even if we can’t discern precisely what Ahmet Türk’s intentions were in delivering part of his speech at his parliamentary group meeting in Kurdish, there were some reasonable results that emerged from his speech.

Which party deserves to be shut down?

In Columnists

The stance of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) is obvious to everyone: It is making its best effort to ensure that it will be closed down. There are already many people or institutions dying to shut it down.

Kurds "Not Fooled" by TRT6

More cultural rights for Kurds argues think tank

ISTANBUL – Former soldiers and diplomats say recognition of the Kurdish social and cultural identity and constructive relations with northern Iraq should be cornerstones of a strategy to end domestic terrorism and secure the unity of the Turkish state

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