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.