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by Theodore G. Karakostas
The National Review (Letters), January 25, 1999


Your editorial condemning Abdullah Ocalan ["The Week," Dec. 21], "leader of the Kurdish terrorists who wage war against Turkey," ignores Turkey's severe repression of its Kurdish population, including its raising of more than 3,000 Kurdish villages. It is Turkey's refusal to tolerate even moderate Kurds that makes terrorist groups like Ocalan's inevitable.

History has shown that the Turkish state is incapable of treating its ethnic and religious minorities in a civilized manner. One need look only to the Armenian and Pontian-Greek genocides earlier this century, or to the pogroms and deportation of its Greek minority carried out through the 1960s, to understand why the Kurds demand independence. They fear that any alternative would mean continued repression and extinction, as did occur to Turkey's ancient Christian minority.



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