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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reason #13 To Fly A Peace Globe ~ Turkey and The Kurds

The first peace globe from Istanbul, Turkey came flying in last November. Click the globe to read Devi's amazing post. Her story put a personal stamp on the peace globe movement from her part of the world. My community just crossed another doorstep. Her words bring the reality you're about to read below, one step closer to my own blog door. And yours.

Here's Reason #13 to fly a peace globe..........
There are more than thirty ongoing violent conflicts waging right now around the globe. The United Nations defines Major Wars as military conflict inflicting 1,000 battlefield deaths per year. Wikipedia expands that definition to include wars that cause destruction and humanitarian crisis of outstanding severity." Ongoing civil wars fueled by racial, ethnic, or religious differences come with a new twist that distinguishes them from wars in previous generations - civilian casualties. During World War I non-combatants made up less than 5% of casualties. Today, the number is a staggering 75% civilians killed or wounded. Less than thirty days from now we will engage in another BlogBlast For Peace. By my research and estimation, there are at LEAST 30 very good reasons to fly a peace globe. To begin your activisim. To increase our awareness of the suffering of others. To talk about peace. To write about peace. To be part of a larger voice for peace. To invoke peace. To pray for peace. To focus on peace.

To wage peace.

Here's Reason #13
The Turkey - PKK Conflict and The Kurdish people in Turkey
since 1970s

Casualties: 37,000+ since 1984 and hundreds of thousands refugees

There are 37.5 million Kurdish people including 40,000 in the United States

WHO is fighting? Republic of Turkey and The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) - The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and many other international communities.

WHERE? Turkish/northern Iraqi border
(Turkey borders 8 countries iTurkey and Kurdistan Northern Iraq ncluding Bulgaria, Greece, Iran, Iraq and Syria)

WHY? over control of the Turkish region of Kurdistan
Kurdistan literally means "land of the Kurds" and is an extensive area in the Middle East covering large parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Armenia.

Recently: Cross-border fighting 2007/2008 Turkey launched a cross-border raid involving fighter jets into northern Iraq.
The 2008 Turkish incursion into northern Iraq known as Operation Sun
began with aerial bombardments by the Turkish Army and was the first confirmed "ground incursion" in Iraq since the 2003 U.S. -led invasion. Turkish bombing of PKK camps in the hills is ongoing. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released a statement calling for the "utmost restraint" in this border battle. There have been demonstration in the US and abroad in recent months against the Turkish bombardment over the border of Iraq.

About the Kurd oppression: During the 1980s Iran-Iraq War, the Iraqi regime led attacks against the Kurds in Iraqi, destroying 2,000 villages and an estimated 100,000 people killed. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds fled to the borders. The Security Council was prompted to establish a "safe haven" and anti-Kurd practices were widely condemned by the international community. The 1988 campaign against the Kurds by the Iraqi government was called Anfal meaning "Spoils of War" which amounted to the mass murder of a population of people.

Today, about half of all Kurds still live in Turkey but some 3 million people remain internally displaced and unable to return to their villages. They have long fought for recognition as an autonomous Kurdish state within the region but Kurdish revolts were suppressed.
In fact, until 1991, the use of the Kurdish language was illegal.
An interesting note: The first female Kurdish representative in Turkey's Parliament was sentenced to 15 years in prison for identifying herself as a Kurd with this remark at her inauguration in the Kurdish language.for stating, "I shall struggle so that the Kurdish and Turkish peoples may live together in a democratic framework."

Human Rights Watch has documented many instances where the Turkish military has forcibly evacuated villages. Three- thousand Kurdish villages in Turkey were virtually wiped from the face of the earth, displacing more than 378,000 people.

Nelson Mandela refused to accept the Ataturk Peace Award in 1992 because of the oppression of the Kurds in Turkey.
I am appalled by the needless suffering in my world.
If words are powerful, then this matter.

Come on. Join the Revolution.

How To Get Your Peace Globe

Photos: public domain, Creative Commons license attribute 2.0 and GNU Free Documention License

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Anonymous said...

Well why why war???


Durward Discussion said...

Do you have a clue yet about how many globes will be circling the earth? I'm so looking forward to the Google numbers.

Travis Cody said...

Like Jamie, I'm looking forward to seeing what a google search yields on 4 June.

Mimi Lenox said...

Angela - The question of the day.

Jamie - There are 49 new globes sitting in my mailbox and many many more to come based on the mail and comments I'm getting and just googling BlogBlast as of today, so many have put the button in the sidebar. No clue but I'm very excited to keep counting...and counting...and counting....

Travis - You are always such a help to me on peace globe day! I am looking forward to it as well. Very much so.

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