Friday, May 26, 2006

Ethnic conflict between Azerbaijanis and Kurds pave the way to bloodshed

4/24/2006 - By Pirot Hejar
A community of Kurds have lived in northern part of Eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan as far back as history has been recorded and from a political and ethnic perspectives, they rightly consider these regions as part of their own land, Eastern Kurdistan, whilst the Azerbaijani Turkish people consider these regions as part of the Western Azerbaijan province and as part of Southern Azerbaijan. These two Kurdish and Azari communities have lived in these ethnically mixed regions for centuries.

In present political atmosphere, neither Kurds nor Azerbaijanis have determined their own destiny. Therefore there is no need for engaging in disputes over territorial integrity. A sustained and sincere effort should be made to achieve mutual benefit for both communities.

This issue can wait for the future, when a viable solution could be found through democratic dialogues and mutual understanding. To meet this task, not only the political forces which represent each community, but also Kurdish and Azerbaijani individuals or other ethnicities and communities should take part in the pursuing peaceful ways of solving these problems.

After the events of last February in Maku and its surroundings, an anti-Kurdish campaign, have started by some circles and pumped up through Gunaz TV channel. One of outcomes of such anti-Kurdish campaign has been a petition which is addressed to Kofi Annan, the General Secretary of UN. This petition is posted in an Azerbaijani related site and reads as the following.

"To: UN

The Honourable Secretary General of UN Kofi Annan,

Demonstrations held by Kurdish terrorist groups in the southern Azerbaijani city of Maku. These dangerous actions threaten stability in the region.

On 16 February 2006, several Azerbaijani Turks lost their lives in an attack by a terrorist organization, known as the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), in South Azerbaijan, an area located in the North West of the so-called of Iran.

PJAK, a related Iranian faction of the PKK, had organised a protest to mark the 7th anniversary of the capture of the PKK's founder, Abdullah Ocalan, in the southern Azerbaijani city of Maku. Kurds who were brought from Kurdish regions to Maku chanted anti-Turkish slogans and attacked civilians. In this demonstration, Azerbaijani Turks were targeted and several Azeris lost their lives.

According to information received from city of Maku, the majority of the Kurds who participated in these attacks were not locals. They were Kurds from Kurdish cities such as Sanadaj, Soleymaniyeh, and some Kurdish cities of Turkey, who were brought to spread terror in the Azerbaijani region.

These incidents originate from the claims of Kurdish leaders to some parts of southern Azerbaijan. The Democratic Party of Kurdistan - Iranian (KDP-I) claims the south Azerbaijani cities which is evidence in the news, maps and reports the KDP-I publish. Furthermore, the PKK conducts terrorist activities in Azerbaijani cities trying to show their presence in this region. We ask for immediate attention to the unrest created by the alien terrorist groups of PKK and KDP-I.

This is not the first time that Kurdish terrorist groups have committed atrocities in Azerbaijani regions. Atrocities committed by the Kurdish militia were started by Ismail Simitko, who massacred thousands of Azerbaijani Turks in present-days of southern Azerbaijan from 1920 to 1921. Also in the 1980s, both terrorist organizations of the Kurdistan Democratic Party - Iranian and Komoleh have killed and terrorised hundreds of innocent people in Sulduz (Naghadeh). Kurdish parties still do not respect the territorial rights of the Azerbaijani people and continue to claim parts of this region.

We urge you to condemn these acts of terrorism committed by the PKK, and would like to call the attention of the international community to the anti-Turk Kurdish terrorism in this Azerbaijani region.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


The Undersigned”

The idea behind such petition is clear. It seeks to incite racial hatred between Kurdish and Azerbaijani Turks. In the events of Maku, a number of unarmed innocent Kurdish protesters were perished and if some person among the armed security forces had lost their lives, their ethnic identity would have not change anything.

The organisations that works in Eastern Kurdistan, without compromising the rights of Kurds to territory must pursue a clear and concrete policy. They should expose the cheap propaganda and plots of pan Turanists who are the clear enemy of the noble Azerbaijani Turkish people and Kurds alike.

The sensitivities of the area should be taken into account, and a sustained effort should be pursued for understanding, dialogue and mutual respect.

It is the clear right of both peoples to live in their in these lands together.


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