* Posts by Suzan Deyhim

1 publicly visible post • joined 19 Sep 2007

Turkey stuffs YouTube (again)

Suzan Deyhim

Why don't you people know anything about history?

I understand why Turkish people have a hard time dealing with the reality of their history-- the censorship within the country is so intense, the actual cost of speaking the truth so dire. Hundreds of people are in jail simply because of what they have written. At this point though, Turkey's actions are simply an embarrasment. Ataturk, by the way, was perhaps a great general, but as a leader, he literally criminalized the use of the Kurdish language, (the population of Turkey is at least 25 % Kurdish) and he is a war criminal, having ordered the genocide of at least forty thousand Alevi Kurds in Dersim, in 1937-38. He insisted that one could only be "Turkish". I don't know if anyone can imagine the effect of having your language be classified as "ilegal" but the entire policy of the Turkish Republic since it's inception has been a policy of forced assimilation, and genocide for all it's minority populations. I am not a racist by the way, I have spent a lot of time in Turkey, speak a functional Turkish and have a real love of Anatolian culture and life in all it's complexity and richness. And by the way, the AKP victory is perhaps not a bad thing. They have pulled the rug from under the military for the first time in the history of the Turkish Republic, and this is simply a result of democracy, which many people claim to respect.

The place that was known as Dersim, (a Kurdish word which meant "silver door) has since been renamed "Tunceli" - which is Turkish and means "Bronze Hand". Most of the names of Kurdish (and Armenian) villages and towns have been renamed -= given Turkish names, in attempt by the state to erase history. It's not unlike what was done to the Irish.