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Turkish Politics

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1.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 06 Aug 2010 Fri 11:54 am

Turkish politics and society seem to be polarized to the point that reconciliation between opposing groups has become almost impossible. 

Students of conflict resolution and reconciliation must be dismayed by Turks who have so far turned a deaf ear to the pleas of Kurds and other minorities to end official discrimination and repression, and who are now expressing their desire to not live with minorities as if they can live happily ever after in an ethnically pure nation.


Looking back on Turkish political history, we see a dramatic decline in the ability of the republican state to manage diversity and to reconcile differences compared with Ottoman state. The Ottoman state was multiethnic and multicultural; the republican state claimed to be ethnically monolithic and tried to create a uniform culture to fit this fabricated ideology. ..


However, if reconciliation ever occurred, it was among the ruling classes. So far, besides the occasional amnesty granted to mainly common criminals, Turkey has never attempted a true process of political reconciliation that involved the following elements: amnesty and the commutation of prison sentences for those incarcerated for political reasons; the return of political exiles; pensions or reparations for those who lost on both sides of the conflict; symbolic measures, such as monuments for those who were victimized; the creation of new political coalitions; and constitutional, electoral and legal reforms to re-establish national unity.


.... Every group that is party to a conflict has a different story or historical account of what occurred. So ´truth´ incorporates both or all histories that must be re-examined and shared by the conflicting parties. Such a process unearths the past of a deeply divided society, characterized by injustice, conflict and untold suffering that has resulted in violence. Reconciliation aims to create a future founded on the respect for human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence. The best example of this is South Africa,..:


*Nation building -- Reconciliation emphasizes the importance of being a single nation in which different ethnicities and races can agree to live and work together and consider themselves constituent parts of a single nation.


*Mutual respect and peace between communities -- As a conflict comes to an end, it becomes important for the combatants who fought against each other to learn to coexist with each other, and to do so in a way that respects each other’s cultures.


*Forgetting -- Reconciliation requires selective forgetting. Continuously dwelling on the past will never allow old wounds to heal.


*Political cooperation -- Political elites of contending sides must agree on the terms of a common political system, and must cooperate to make it work.


Given this information, Turkey seems to be far from understanding both the meaning and practice of reconciliation.




Interesting way of looking at our Kurdish Problem from Prof Dogu Ergil but at the same time it is quite depressing..

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