Kurds Have Rights Too
Europe is showing Turkey that matters of domestic unrest are everybody's business. Thursday, less than two weeks after Turkey gave Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan the death sentence for his part in an insurrection that led to the deaths of tens of thousands, the European Court on Human Rights found Turkey guilty of violating Kurdish rights too. The European court's "guilty" sentences - made in response to the torture, deaths, unfair trials and violation of free speech of Kurds - require Turkey to compensate the victims or their survivors financially.
For all the Turkish flag waving that took place after Ocalan's sentence was handed down, Europe was quite right to point out that pomp and circumstance aren't in order until both Turks and Kurds acknowledge their own roles in ethnic violence. How Turkey decides to respond to these charges will show whether its intent is to bring justice or ultra-nationalism to the fore of its agenda.
Ocalan, it is true, is among the worst of the worst. To lead an armed insurrection which leaves over 30,000 dead is nothing short of horrific. It is monstrous. His sentencing led to still more Kurdish violence. In response to the Ocalan ruling, Kurds have killed at least five and injured 30 others in bombing or machine gun attacks. …