Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"The Kurdish problem"

Some argue the Kurdish problem is really a regional problem - many Kurds are fully integrated into Turkish society, with possibly a million Turkish-Kurdish weddings, Kurdish TV stations, and now a Kurdish head of the CHP. With Kurds increasingly participating in broader Turkish society, why does the PKK continue to grow? This is an interesting angle I have not heard before::
Another important finding of the report was the higher number of women who are recruited by the PKK. The major reason behind this was the overall negative attitude dominant in the region towards girls and women. The PKK, which claims that it values women and sees them as equals, can readily attract female participants.

An unnamed expert from the region is quoted in the report as saying: “It is very difficult to be a female child in this area. The society’s view of girls is very clear. Only boys are counted; to them, the girls aren’t there. They send them to school because they have to. They are never happy when they have a baby girl. They don’t have any place in the family; they are forced into marriage. They have to live in poverty because of the dowry paid by the groom. The groom spends all his money on the dowry. They are denied their right to inheritance. What can a girl do in this desperation?” The study found that girls join the organization [PKK] to escape these problems.
While I should be wary of "unnamed experts," it is an interesting theory about the regional strength of the movement. Full article here.

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