"> Decentralization is the only solution to Kurdish-Turkish, Kurdish-Persian, and Kurdish-Arab dissensions

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September 13, 2011

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Decentralization is the only solution to Kurdish-Turkish, Kurdish-Persian, and Kurdish-Arab dissensions

Kurdishaspect.com - By Dilshad Mustafa

Many countries in the world have adopted the notion of devolution and decentralization of governing power as an effective solution to democratize the country, empower people, reduce poverty and most notably, in the last ditch, to salvage a war-torn country from the menace of civil war or total disintegration.

Decentralization is increasingly being perceived as a fundamental democratic principle. A plain illustration is the post-invasion Iraq. The current system of governance in Iraq has succeeded in creating a pluralistic legal framework that protects minority rights and guarantees full political participation by all Iraqis. Federalism in Iraq not only averted the break-up of the country, but also helped cobble the country together as a unified force. Countries like Turkey and others in the Middle East that are composed of numerous and diversified ethnic and religious minorities can also learn from the proven experience in North of Iraq.

The 20 million underrepresented minority Kurds in Turkey have long bleated about their insufficient representation in political arena, lack of equity in the allocation of resources, and the inefficiency of service deliveries. The lagging behind of Turkish Kurdistan due to intentional government apathy and continued refusal to grant them greater political and administrative autonomy has forced the majority Kurds in Turkish Kurdistan to resort to an armed struggle to obtain their legitimate rights. The conclusion has been a three- decade old internecine conflict that has resulted in the death of more than 40 thousand innocent civilians, mostly Kurds, and deceleration of country’s socio-politico-economic development. Like many countries of the world, when groups are held together in one nation mainly by force and fear, anxious minorities may seek to secede at the first sign of a weakening of central government power . If Turkish central government makes an early and sincere grant of autonomy to the Kurds, the consequence would be greater stability and unity, rather than secession. Turkey could avoid the peril of disintegration if it develops over time democratic means for the division and devolution of power. An introduction and implementation of a swift decentralization plan for its 20 million marginalized Kurds is de rigueur to preservation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of key NATO member.

Decentralization can serve as an instrument of democratization, reconciliation, social integration, can conflict mitigation between the minority Kurds and majority Turks in Turkey by allowing sufficient shared exercise of power. 

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