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Turkey’s new political landscape – can the Kurds still be ignored?

This month's issue focuses on the ever so near dialogue between the Turkish government and the Kurdish people in Turkey. Election results in Turkey revealed a new political landscape and seemed to indicate that one of the most important issues, especially for the predominantly Kurdish southeast, is the Kurdish question. Although direct talks concerning the Kurdish question have not yet taken place, discussions have emerged across Turkey following the Turkish president's remarks regarding a need for resolution and an interview with a Kurdish rebel leader.

Exclusive Interview: Sebahat Tuncel, Kurdish MP in Turkish Parliament

Kurdish Herald sits down with Ms. Sebahat Tuncel, a Kurdish member of Turkey's parliament and a member of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), for an exclusive one-on-one interview regarding a number of issues including the Kurdish question in Turkey, the DTP's recent successes in the nationwide local elections, and the Turkey-EU process.

Is Turkey-PKK dialogue on the horizon? by Servet Tosun and Jeff Allan

Changes are taking place in the attitudes of both the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The reactions to the peace process have been so far are considerably positive and have created hope for the future in the relations between the Kurds and the Turks. Nevertheless, it is also evident that there are very serious obstacles to progress.

Sivan Perwer and Kurdish Music: "I Would Return to Turkey to Contribute to Peace" by Ozan Aksoy

Living in exile in Europe, Sivan Perwer is one of the most popular Kurdish figures and perhaps the most political figure in modern Kurdish music, as he has become the voice of a silent nation. He himself is well aware of the situation, as the title of an interview he conducted with Halil Can (published in 1991) indicates: "My music alleviates my nation's pains and sharpens their rage." Recently, he has become the subject of considerable attention in Turkey.

The Persecution of Kurdish Political Activists in Iran by Sayeh Hassan
The Islamic Republic’s pursuance of nuclear technology has raised concerns but has also overshadowed perhaps the more concerning and most serious issues. Under the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the rate of executions in Iran has risen to one of the highest in the world. Although the Kurdish people consist of less than 15% of the Iranian population, they also make up about half of the number of people executed

Natural Alliance by Hayder al-Khoei

The strong political and military alliance between the Shia and Kurds goes back to the early 20th Century, when both groups were marginalized by the occupying British forces. The Shia-Kurdish alliance became stronger as the years went by as Iraq’s various opposition groups worked on and off with one another toward regime change in their homeland, and after the fall of Saddam in 2003 it was a Kurdish-Shia political alliance that formed the basis of the Iraq’s government after democratic elections.

Celebrate a Kurdish Writer, Laleh Khadivi: The Age of Orphans by Natsumi Ajiki

Ms. Laleh Khadivi, the winner of the 2008 Whiting Writers’ Award with her first novel, The Age of Orphans, was born in Esfahan, Iran in 1977 to a father of Kurdish descent and an Esfahani mother. Her book is a powerful historical novel as she relied heavily on history, photographs, interviews and her travels to Iran. Ms. Khadivi’s desire, however, was to conjure a much older world, a world that does not exist, by using her imagination to create a mythical geography as the setting for the story.

Letters of the Diaspora from Quebec, Canada: The Anfal Chronicler, Khalid Sulaiman by Vahal A. Abdulrahman

Born The district of Garmian is often referred to by Khalid as “Anfalistan”; it was here where the young Khalid Sulaiman watched his fellow countrymen, including members of his immediate family line up to get into the back of trucks and be taken away never to be seen again. The dead shared an identity; they were Kurds, insofar as the Saddam regime was concerned, that alone qualified them to be the “The Spoils of War.”

 


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