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Turks and Kurds as ‘cowboys vs. natives’

26 12 3

Let’s assume that you are a –for some obscure reason an utterly uninformed- foreign diplomat arriving in Ankara. You have some vague knowledge about Turkey’s history, a rudimentary mastery of the language and with a political baggage acquired from your first hand witnessing of ethno-sectarian conflict that you hauled from your previous posting which you hurriedly left to have your kind self parachuted to Ankara skies.

First, the joke is already on you because not Istanbul but Ankara is the capital of Turkey and you will have to deal with that during your tour of duty, so most welcome. Then, I would humbly suggest to you as a well-wishing friend that your first task should not be to get yourself totally immersed as part of your hands-on training but to take a deep breath and lean back in your chair to get your essentials straight first. Throw the newspapers straight to the bin under your desk and reach for your embassy’s library.

Or else, in no time you will find yourself angrily cabling memos to your capital about the “pro-Kurdish HDP”, the “Marxist guerilla organization PKK fighting the Turks to establish an independent Kurdish state”, “Kurds living in Southeastern Turkey”, “Kurds being the largest nation in the world without a state”, “Kurds being massacred by the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey alongside other minorities like the Armenians” etc. Well you know the drill already.


© Duvar English