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The Kurdish Case Against Turkey
There is no room for confusion in the Kurdish case against Turkey: to be a Kurd in Turkey is to be denied the right to be yourself. The case is as clear-cut as I am putting it.
Unlike imperialism or global capitalism, whose primary interest is not a people’s ethnic particularity but their labor, Turkish nationalist state aims specifically at undermining Kurdish identity.
This is a goal the nationalist state has been feverishly pursing from the start; its enormous bureaucracy, legal and educational systems, as well as its cultural and media outlets, have been persistent in articulating and reinforcing a vision of national identity based on Turkishness alone. And it is a vision with totalizing political and cultural power. Laws deal harshly with the slightest criticism of it, and, at the cultural level, years of brainwashing can make many a Turk feel perfectly justified in committing murder in its name.
This is one of those rare cases in which nationalism has successfully been transformed into a kind of national unconscious, or a deeply entrenched groupthink, whereby a Turk can be quite open-minded and progressive about many issues but in the same breath be downright racist about the Kurds without even being aware of his/her racism. At all levels, much of what gets said and read and written about the Kurd in Turkey is filtered through this unconscious.