Friday, 26 September 2008

History in the News: Eastern Anatolia & the Kurdish regions

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) photograph by ACoE photographer Jim Gordon. Splendid canyon, Kurdistan, northern Iraq. Licensed with Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 for redistribution. See for details. The photographer does not necessarily endorse the message in this blog.Canyon, Kurdistan, northern Iraq.

26th September:
Eastern Anatolia & the Kurdish regions

by Derry Nairn

Reuters reports today that Turkey has bombed the positions of Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq (read the full news story by clicking here). The operation is one of several launched in recent months by the military against the Kurdistan People's Party (PKK).

The military venture has wider political ramifications for the region. Turkey's status as a key US ally, a NATO member and a potential entrant to the EU are all compromised to some extent by the border incursions.

According to the report, the PKK launched their campaign for a Kurdish homeland in 1984. However,
articles from our archive show that the origins of tensions among stateless ethnic minorities in the region can be traced back centuries.

In Turkey's Fundamental Dilemma, John Crossland looks at the impact of statesman and soldier Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Andranik of Armenia, Aram Bakshian tells the story of a national hero without a state, whose story "personifies the fate of small nations caught in the cross-fire of great powers and great events."

Francis Robinson identifies both the physical and historical limits of the region of 'Greater Central Asia' in
A Forgotten Region.

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