Kur­dis­tan not rec­og­nized state

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

A re­cent Wash­ing­ton Times spe­cial sec­tion in­cludes a dis­torted map of the re­gion strad­dling the borders of Tur­key, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The map fea­tures a transna­tional re­gion de­picted as so-called “Kur­dis­tan,” which does not ex­ist and thus con­sti­tutes a grave false­hood that mis­in­forms your read­ers. Ev­ery other la­bel on the map is ei­ther a phys­i­cal geo­graphic fea­ture or an in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized state. By pre­sent­ing a non-ex­is­tent, hy­po­thet­i­cal en­tity along­side and on the same foot­ing as in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized states, the map gives the er­ro­neous per­cep­tion that “Kur­dis­tan” is a state or a po­lit­i­cal en­tity.

“Kur­dis­tan” is not a state or a po­lit­i­cal en­tity of any kind. Over 25 mil­lion Kurds live across the Mid­dle East, in­clud­ing in Tur­key and they are all cit­i­zens of the coun­tries in which they re­side. There is no in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized “Kur­dish State” that rules over a de­fined ter­ri­tory pop­u­lated by Kur­dish peo­ple — one of the min­i­mum cri­te­ria re­quired un­der in­ter­na­tional law to claim state­hood.

For decades, Tur­key has fought a sep­a­ratist ter­ror­ist group called the PKK, which was formed to carve out an in­de­pen­dent, Marx­ist-Lenin­ist state and which uses vi­o­lence and in­tim­i­da­tion on Turk­ish cit­i­zens of Kur­dish des­cent as well. Since 1984, more than 40,000 peo­ple lost their lives to PKK ter­ror­ism, with 343 civil­ian deaths since July 2015 alone. PKK is rec­og­nized as an in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion by Tur­key, the United States and the EU.

Such dis­torted maps that vi­o­late the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of Tur­key and other coun­tries in the re­gion play into the hands of ter­ror­ist groups such as the PKK. They also in­flict a grave in­jus­tice on vic­tims of ter­ror­ism and those who have been fight­ing to de­feat this men­ace.

SERDAR KILIC Am­bas­sador of Tur­key to the United States Wash­ing­ton

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