Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Another melting pot: Turkey

At the end of Mustafa Malik's opinion article ("It's the Kurd's turn for world recognition," Dec. 9) there is a footnote saying that he has just completed four months of field work in Turkey. It's disappointing that he has not been able to discover the truth about Turkey and its citizens of Kurdish heritage, even after spending such a long time in there.

Our firm has been involved in Southeastern Europe for a long time and I would like to present a seasoned view on the matter. To start with, there is no such thing as a pure Turk. Turkey is the melting pot of various peoples from Central Asia, the Balkans, Caucasus, and the Middle East. In this respect, it is much like the United States. There are approximately 30 different ethnic groups that have melded together to create the Turkish nation. Each citizen has the right to elect and be elected regardless of his/her background. Presently, the Speaker of the Parliament is a Turk of Kurdish background and about one-fourth of the members of parliament are Turkish Kurds. The famed Turkish president, Turgut Ozal, was half Kurdish. Turkish is the official language of the country, but other languages, including Kurdish, are freely spoken and broadcasts made in those languages. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is not representative of the Kurds. If it were it wouldn't have made thousands of Kurdish civilians the target of its terrorist campaign. The majority of the Kurds have integrated into the mainstream society. Only a small minority would like to see their status downgraded to an ethnic minority. Ocalan has not been fighting for "the political and cultural autonomy of Kurds." He has been fighting to carve out a Marxist-Stalinist style country out of Turkey. Mike M. Mustafoglu Los Angeles President, TransGlobal Financial Corp. Most civilian victims of PKK terror have been Kurds who wished to have nothing to do with Ocalan or his PKK. Ocalan himself does not even speak Kurdish (he speaks Turkish), even after so many years of running an organization purported to fight for a Kurdish homeland. …

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