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March 28, 2012

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What If Kurds Were Turkish Cypriots?

Kurdishaspect.com - By Antifon

Fully aware that the ultimate Kurdish national goal is for an independent Kurdistan with all its components from Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran, I nevertheless must tell you that for the Kurds of N. Kurdistan (Turkey) today, the most crucial question to ask is: “What if Kurds were Turkish Cypriots?”. The answer, albeit offensive to Turkey’s Kurds, may be the catalyst for effectively raising international awareness and effecting positive change.

What if?

If Kurds were Turkish Cypriots then Turkey would have used military force to protect them & secure on their behalf Equal Community Status in the Turkish Constitution:

1. A Presidential system comprised of the two major ethnic communities, the Turkish Community and the Kurdish Community, and various other minorities. 

All these clauses exist in the current Cyprus Constitution which was extorted by Turkey in 1960, by threatening war, on behalf of Cyprus’s 18% ethnic Turkish Cypriot minority.

2. A Turkish President and a Kurdish Vice-President, both with the right of veto, a final veto, which can be exercised separately by each one of them against: [a] laws or decisions of the House of Representatives concerning foreign affairs, defense and security; and [b] like decisions of the Council of Ministers. 

3. The official languages of the Republic are Turkish and Kurdish. All minorities to have the right to learn/speak their ethnic language, but must learn one official language.

4. All aspects of the Republic are bilingual, in both Turkish and Kurdish, including the currency, passports, IDs, street signs, public building signs, government documents, etc.

5. The flag is of neutral design/color chosen jointly by the President and the Vice-President.

6. 70% of the Public Service must be composed of Turks and 30% must be composed of Kurds [1.7 times a minority population of 18%], to be applied, as far as practicable, in all grades of the Public Service.

7. The Security Forces must be composed of 70% Turks and 30% Kurds [1.7 times a minority population of 18%].

8. The Army must be composed of 60% Turks and 40% Kurds [2.2 times a minority population of 18%].

9. The President of the House of Representatives, who must be a Turk, is elected by the Turkish Members of the House and the Vice-President, who must be a Kurd, is elected by the Kurdish Members. 

10. Any law imposing taxation and any law relating to Municipalities, and any modification of the Electoral Law, requires separate majorities of the Turkish and Kurdish Members of the House of Representatives taking part in the vote.

11. The House of Representatives always consists of 30% Kurds [1.7 times a minority population of 18%] and 70% Turks. A majority of the Kurdish Members present during the vote always defeats a Bill, even if all Turkish Members vote for the Bill.

12. Separate Municipalities are created all across Turkey, from Istanbul to Diyarbakir. 

13. The administration of Justice is separated on the basis of Communal criteria by providing that in all cases, civil and criminal, a Turk must be tried by a Turkish Judge, a Kurd by a Kurdish Judge and that cases, however trivial, involving both Turks and Kurds, must be tried by a mixed Court composed of Turkish and Kurdish Judges.

14. Two Communal Chambers, one Turkish and one Kurdish, each having jurisdiction in matters of religion, education, cultural affairs and personal status over members of its respective community, as well as control over communal co-op societies.

15. Three foreign guarantor Powers for the Republic, a powerful friend of the Turkish Community, a powerful friend of the Kurdish Community, and a third with economic and strategic interests (e.g. Pakistan, Iran, USA), each with the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the normal state of affairs in case of internal strife.

What If Kurds Were Turkish Cypriots?

The sheer beauty about asking the question is that Kurds would be invoking ethnic Turks’ own thinking in approaching the rights of a circa 20% ethnic community! How can Turks deny Kurds those rights they themselves secured for a minority of another country as far back as 1960? Would it be honorable for Turks to reject their own minority rights’ thinking?

I am no fool. I know Turks won't care to answer. But the question won’t be asked for the sake of Turks. Cyprus is a member of the European Union (EU). If Kurds were to ask the question they would in effect force, or at the very least encourage, Europeans to ask Turks the very same question on Kurds' behalf. Such questions from the EU would definitely advance the Kurdish cause for more rights within the Turkish state.

Why would Europeans care enough to ask? The rights Turkey’s Kurds are certainly an issue that concerns the EU as Turkey is a candidate for joining the union. When Kurds ask the question very few will stay silent as it is raised by a 16-20m strong community of a candidate country and it reveals Turkey’s hypocrisy in the Cyprus dispute, an EU problem. 

Yes, first the killings of Kurds by the Turkish terror state must stop. But Kurdish demands must not stop there. Kurds, who have a historical claim on a large part of the land mass called Turkey, must at the very minimum attain Community Status within Turkey's constitution as a necessary first step. Kurds must ask for no less than Turks find just for a handful of Turkish Cypriots, the minority of another country!!

Today, while Turkey and Turkish Cypriots ostensibly negotiate for a solution to the Cyprus problem, following the Turkish invasion of 1974, their logic and demands are rooted in1960!

Frankly, I’m flabbergasted that this analogy has not taken center stage yet. Its power is immense because no other minority struggle in the world can possibly be more relevant for the Kurds of Turkey. At home, Turkey sees things from the majority’s perspective (ethnic Turks’) and in Cyprus from the minority’s perspective (ethnic Turks’). The reason of course is none other than an excessive Turkish nationalism which leads to this blatantly obvious hypocrisy and application 'of double standards. Unveil the hypocritical Turkish state!

There is no minority community situation in the entire world more relevant to the Kurds of Turkey than the Turkish Cypriot one!

Sincerely,

Antifon March 26th 2012 abetterturkey@gmail.com

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