Noam Chom­sky urges Turkey to end Kur­dish con­flict

The Kurdish Globe - - COMMENT & ANALYSIS -

Noam Chom­sky, an Amer­i­can in­tel­lec­tual and pro­fes­sor of lin­guis­tics and phi­los­o­phy at the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (MIT), called on Turkey to end its war with the Kur­dis­tan Work­ers' Party (PKK).

The PKK has been fight­ing for the cre­ation of an in­de­pen­dent Kur­dish re­gion since the 1980s.

Chom­sky em­pha­sized that the the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government's in­creas­ing in­de­pen­dence in Iraq and the like­li­hood that Syria's Kur­dish re­gion could sep­a­rate, if the coun­try’s civil war wors­ens, put pres­sure on Turkey to con­front its own Kur­dish prob­lem.

Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Tayyip Er­do­gan has ex­pressed his will­ing­ness to hold peace talks with the leader of PKK, which is con­sid­ered a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion by Turkey,the United States and the Euro­pean Union, and has claimed to want to end a con­flict that has claimed more than 40,000 since 1984. On Jan­uary 9th, it was re­ported that the Turk­ish government and the PKK had agreed on a peace roadmap to end the con­flict.

Chom­sky ac­knowl­edged the prospects of peace of­fered by the re­cent ne­go­ti­a­tions, in spite of crim­i­nal ef­forts to dis­rupt them, a ref­er­ence to the re­cent as­sas­si­na­tion of three Kur­dish ac­tivists, one of whom was a found­ing mem­ber of the PKK, in Paris. Striv­ing to avoid any pos­si­ble links to the Turk­ish gov- ern­ment, Er­do­gan con­demned the as­sas­si­na­tions and claimed that they were caused by in­ter­nal PKK feud and were, there­fore, an in­side job.

Chom­sky crit­i­cised Turkey for jail­ing jour­nal­ists, es­pe­cially Kur­dish ones. The Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists re­cently pub­lished a report ac­cus­ing Turkey of be­ing the coun­try with the largest num­ber of im­pris­oned jour­nal­ists, sur­pass­ing coun­tries such as Iran and China.

Chom­sky made th­ese state­ments dur­ing a lec­ture ded­i­cated to the me­mory of Hrant Dink, an Ar­me­nian-Turk­ish jour­nal­ist who was as­sas­si­nated on Jan­uary 19th, 2007, by a young Turk­ish na­tion­al­ist, in broad day­light in front of the build­ing of the weekly news­pa­per for which Dink was the ed­i­tor-in-chief. Dink’s killer was con­demned for pre­med­i­tated mur­der and was given 22 years and 10 months in prison.

Dink pub­lished Chom­sky’s writ­ings crit­i­ciz­ing Turkey’s han­dling of the fight against the PKK, which brought two tri­als for the pub­lisher, as he was ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing anti-ter­ror­ism leg­is­la­tion and in­sult­ing “Turk­ish­ness.” He was ac­quit­ted in both in­stances.

In his lec­ture, Chom­sky ac­knowl­edged Dink as a "brave mar­tyr of free­dom".

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