which is actually great. Despite the fact that most of the content of the debates is hostile, aggressive and divisive. Still, this is how it works in Turkish politics. If it can even be debated, than we are on the right track:)
The pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress organized a workshop with Turkish journalists, academics, politicians and rights defenders to discuss their suggestion of a “Democratic Autonomy”. Two days of discussion shed light on many aspects of the model.
The democratic autonomy draft, adopted by the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) that convened last weekend, signals a new phase in the Kurdish issue. This is something that can easily be misunderstood by anyone who is not into the intricacies of Kurdish politics.
I paid a very educational visit to Israel last week as part of a group of European scholars. My intention was to write a series of articles this week on the Israeli spirit, the perceived nature of the Palestinian issue and the Mavi Marmara flotilla affair.
Following terrorist Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, Kurdist politicians have recently been demanding something they call ?democratic autonomy.? Even though some details of their demand are becoming gradually clear, it is also obvious that neither their nor the public?s minds are clear.
For years every time I return from mostly Kurdish-populated areas of Turkey, my friends, my neighbors and the people around me ask the same question: What do Kurds want? There are perceptions and many more questions behind this simple question.
On the symbolically charged date of Sept. 12, 2010, Turkey held a heavily contested referendum on a number of constitutional changes. The current Constitution was introduced in 1982, when the military ruled the country.
Six journalists are in jail because of their writings. The number of people tried under the Anti-Terror Law is on the rise. Turkey was sentenced by the European Court of Human Rights. 190 people, including 67 journalists, are prosecuted for their thoughts and writings.
After the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress on “Democratic Autonomy”, Parliament President Şahin emphasized, “We do not recognize any other congress or assembly. […] The parliament is to be addressed in Turkish by law”.
It is a cliché to say that in Turkey huge differences exist between big cities in the west of the country and small villages in the east. Or to observe that in all parts of the country, the gap between the rich and the poor is enormous.
It is very evident that talking about issues such as autonomy, a flag and a defense force for Kurds will not make any contribution to the solution of the Kurdish problem. I think those who spark a debate on these know this well.
The bilingual debate kicked off by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) suggesting the use of Kurdish along with Turkish in public places has grown further with a proposal for ?democratic autonomy? by Kurds from the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), which gathered in Diyarbakır over the weekend.