Turkey Confronts Ethnic Conflict

Recent attacks on Turkish military forces by members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party(PKK) have raised ethnic tensions within the country. Within days after several Turkish soldiers were killed by Kurdish terrorists, anti-Kurd incidents broke out all over the nation. In an Ankara high school, leftist and rightist students engaged in fighting while thousands of emails appeared urging people to boycott Kurdish owned shops in the city. Even on Facebook, many anti-Kurdish groups have begun to emerge. Yusuf Alatas, of the Human Rights Association,(IHD) blamed government inaction as a source of this violence. “For a long time, people have been hearing propaganda aimed at provoking negative sentiments. when the first lynching attempts took place several years ago, instead of preventing or punishing the perpetrators, the security forces and the state sided with them.”

Many Turkish cities are reporting incidents of anti-Kurd attacks as well as am accelerating electronic assault on Kurds. One solution would be emphasizing multicultural education in schools and dealing with economic and social discrimination.