RealNews

Kurds fear war will renew crackdown

Like a shifting breeze or a whisper, change is hinted at more than announced in the dimmer corners of old Byzantium, and so it is here with the grim new rumors of war. It started, people say, more than a year ago, when the government announced a strange new policy regarding babies’ names in this overwhelmingly Kurdish part of southeastern Turkey; all Kurdish names, officials said, were henceforth outlawed as subversive. Then came the unexplained detention in solitary confinement of Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned chief of the Turkey’s Kurdish guerrillas whose bloody separatist war ended in 1999. Political protests soon followed. Dozens of arrests were made–and ignored by the national media. And, now, fear has reached new heights after Turkish troops exchanged lethal gunfire with long-dormant Kurdish rebels twice last month. “By God, look at that,” hissed a Kurdish taxi driver plying the nighttime streets of Diyarbakir, an ethnic Kurd stronghold in the region. He gaped at Turkish soldiers, heavily armed and masked with black balaclavas, deployed on a downtown sidewalk for the first time in years. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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