Ataturk’s response to the “Kurdish Question”

I found this on Mavi Boncuk, I have copied the post here.

Mustafa Kemal in his answer to the question posed by Ahmet Emin Yalman at the Izmir Press Conference, and this answer was repeated at Eskisehir.

“The Kurdish question cannot be raised because of the interests of local Turks. Because, as you know, the Kurds within our national borders are settled in such a way that only in a very few areas there is a concentration of Kurds. Elsewhere, they are dispersed throughout the Turkish population and this has led to the development of such a border that if one wanted to draw a border separating the Kurds, one would have to devastate Turkey. There would have to be a border that went as far as, say, Erzurum, Erzincan, Sivas or Harput. Indeed, one must not forget the Kurdish tribes in the deserts of Konya. Therefore, instead of imagining a separate Kurdish nation, it is better to abide by our Constitution, under which a kind of local autonomy will in any case form. This means that in those provinces with a Kurdish population they will enjoy autonomy. Furthermore, as far as the Turks are concerned, it is necessary to give voice to their existence as well. If this is not done, it is only to be expected that they will regard this as a problem. The Grand Parliament of Turkey consists of both Kurdish and Turkish deputies, and the Kurds and the Turks, these two elements have united their interests and destinies. It would not be right to attempt to draw a border between them.”

I am honestly amazed at how much this response is still fitting for today (not that I support it) but in respects to Turkish policy and their reactions to calls for Kurdish independence.

Also found on Mavi Boncuk, is an article about the debate on the ethnic identity of the Kurdish Alevis.

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