Should There Be an Independent Kurdistan?

August 27, 2010

Dr. Kamal Artin, President of the Kurdish National Congress (from Iranian Kurdistan)
Mr. Luqman Barwari (from Iraqi Kurdistan)
Dr. Ruken Sengul (from Turkish Kurdistan)


Tonight’s special show focuses on the history and the current problems facing what may be the largest occupied people on Earth: the Kurdish People of the Middle East, who are currently under the rule of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, and Syria.

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  • Kara Namiq Agha September 1, 2010 8:13 pm

    This is a crash course on Kurdish history and their struggle throughout the years.

    The Kurds rarely looked to establish an independent state until they found themselves within borders not of their own making in the early 20th century and were suppressed. The Kurds helped Ataturk win the War of Independnce, having been mobolised as the ‘muslism brothers’. Hence, Kurdish national conscience and desire to self-determine was never really there until the Treaty of Lausanne was drawn up.

    Of course, Kurds are a disctinct people for the purposes of international law and have a right to self-determination. Whether they’d be allowed to exercise this right and potentially change the international frontiers of four states, is a whole different matter.But one thing is certain, Kurdish nationalism and desire for self-determination is a genie out of its bottle and can no longer be ignored.

    Thanks for drawing attention to the issue Mark.

  • KA August 28, 2010 3:48 pm

    Thank you Mark for the talk show on Kurdistan. In the long run, people like you make a difference!

  • Serkan (from South Kurdistan/Turkey ) August 28, 2010 10:45 am

    the main independent war, Kurds have, is in Turkey at the moment. Kurds because of the PKK(Guerrillas movement, still actif at the pinnacle of the months)got some rights in Turkey yet still need help deeply. the other regions kurds are unhappy as in Turkey. an example citi of that is gonna be Iran! the worst monster who ever lived! killing kurds without reason, or just because they are Kurds! Kurdish people in Iran are in terrible situation because of the AHmedi Nejo! I do hear many killed stories from people or news or kurdish media. channels, how terrible to be kurds in Iran!

    Syria! is the country of the unknown kurdish people! how many they are and what they have, passport, idendty, is nothing! predominantly being threated as illegal! they dont counted as a citizen!

    To come to Turkey; the country that i have lived and grow up and got educated and discriminated against all the time! having different colour, accent, appearence, problems all for kurdish people!

    they were mostly in village before 1990s but government killed or burnt most of their villages, they relocated to cities, no job no home no food! now they doing the worst jobs in Turkey!

    the war is still around especially at the east part of Turkey, these cities: Diyarbakir, Siirt, Mus, Bingol, Hakkari, Sirnak, Batman, Agri, Cizre, Urfa Kars, Igdir,Tunceli are mixed kurdish cities.

    the result is very insulting and atrocities. thousonds children, women, men, are in jail without case! and they say turkey respect to children rights!

    now that turkey has a new constitunal election and the AKP wants to make a new constitution, however,there is nothing about kurdish people, nothing is being altered or changed! so im gonna boycot the new constitutional amendment!

    Mark I`m very glad that i have chance to met you in W.DC.!

    thank you very much dealing with Kurdish issues! it is absolutly true that we`re (kurdish people) need help! I think you`re going to turn over a new leaf on that issue!

    MA, sociology,

  • ruken August 27, 2010 10:24 pm

    just a quick correction to a mistake i made during the program.

    apparently, jake hess was released and deported from Turkey a few days ago. sorry about that.

    please see the link below for more info

  • Jan August 27, 2010 9:54 pm

    Jake Hess was a real hero, he did not accept help from the American consulate because he thought it would be a hypocritical of him to accept help from the consulate

  • Mark Levine August 27, 2010 9:46 pm

    Thanks to all the people who’ve written in. I’ve tried to address your issues. I knew the Syrian Kurds were oppressed but I had no idea they did not even have Syrian identity/passports.

    I have little time left but will try to touch on Jake Hess as well.

  • Jan August 27, 2010 9:43 pm

    The sound is awful, it is echoing, difficult to understand. Please fix it

  • Ihsan Efrini- Syrian Kurdistan August 27, 2010 9:40 pm

    No Identity

  • Ihsan Efrini- Syrian Kurdistan August 27, 2010 9:37 pm

    I hope you focus on Syrian Kurdistan too !!!

  • Ihsan Efrini- Syrian Kurdistan August 27, 2010 9:25 pm

    Kurd without of state, in my opinion that because of the international community never listen to kurds, they alweyes listen to the occupiers of the Kurdistan. In the last 2 decade they started to liston to the Kurd; however, they havn’t done anything. The only thing they did, they helped just one part of Kurdistan which is Iraqi Kurdistan.
    We hope the international community start to focus on solving kurdish issues in other 3 Part of Kurdistan, at least to intervene and reduce of the brutal abuses against Kurds in other 3 part of Kurdistan. In syria just in one year 41 youth who where serving at Syrian Military were killed under unknown circumstances!!! In Iran everyday there is Kurd hanged in middle of vilages. In Turky chidrens abductions by the Turkish intelligent services. Is’nt time USA and their allies to focus on this nation who can play major peace rule in the Middle East ???

  • Babban Q August 27, 2010 8:40 pm

    I am just tuning in, I hope I did not miss much.

    I agree with Dana that we were at fault to an extent, but the main issue was we were just too unorganized. At that time, the Kurds were divided between different Empires, and mini-States, this made it hard for us to have a united voice. For the Turks, they were generally in one area, they had more experience being organized having been a major part of the ruling body of the ottoman empire.

    We should not just let go of our dreams because we have “different ideologies,” all ethnic groups have different ideologies. We have been under different occupiers for so long that our ideologies vary, and our enemies tried hard to have some major influence on this!

    The best idea for “One free Kurdistan,” would be a Kurdistan with different states, united by a federal government.

    Cheers :)

    I hope one of our speakers can touch up on Syrian Kurdistan, where close to a million Kurds are without an identity, unrecognized by the state or the world!

    Also, please touch up on the deportation & and the arrest of American journalist, Jake Hess, who was arrested for reporting on the mistreatment of the Kurds in Turkey!

  • Nuha Sarraj August 27, 2010 8:15 pm

    Why are the four parts of Kurdistan treated so differently in American Foreign Policy?

    Kurdish rights seem to be ignored all around (in all four areas), but there are still differences.

    Thank you!

  • Dana Gafoor August 27, 2010 8:07 pm

    “Why don’t Kurds have a country? Are they just unlucky or what?” Mark Levine

    Funny how all the Kurds dodged the question. And none admitted that it was our own fault, we did not agree within ourselves as to what we want. We let religion dictate our future.

    It should also be stated that even though we are all Kurds. Each part (albeit Turkey, Iraqi, Syrian, or Iranian part) have different ideology and beliefs. Not only that, each city has a different perspective on the situation.

    I believe it would be more logical and ideal to let go of the idea of ONE united Kurdistan. It would be more beneficial and practical to have four independent countries as a goal.

    Would love to know everyones take on this?

    I personally believe each country would be independent of the other and each can have their own identity. We were never really together so why wish for this?

  • Kent Lawless August 27, 2010 7:49 pm

    How united are the Kurdish people today (culturally and for a common cause) having been dispursed across modern States of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey for generations now?

    What part do or would these differences play in efforts to create a homeland Kurdistan?