Why could the Kurds not establish their state?

Much more can be said about "(not) pursuing minority rights in Lausanne" that is both conceivable and important.

After the disgraceful Israeli regime bombed even the hospital, nothing was left to say about this. We should ask Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who said, "We don't want foreign soldiers' boots in our own country," about the Syrian and Iraqi parliaments. Ask him if Syria and Iraq do.

Let's talk about something else this week.

I read in the media that the reasons the Kurds could not establish their state were also examined during the Marxism Days hosted by the School of Marxism in Diyarbakir (Amed).

One of Turkey's most prominent intellectuals, Erdogan Aydin, claimed that the Kurds had favorable internal and external circumstances to create a state but could not use them. Aydin discussed the Lausanne issue while highlighting the Turkish influence, the progress of Islamization, and the competition between Kurdish beys as causes for this:

"(...) So much so that they did not insist on being a part of the delegation that attended the Lausanne negotiations and did not object to the Turkish delegation's and representatives' speech, which was reflected in the national struggle in the parliament in Ankara. The Turkish delegation and representatives attempted to ensure that Kurdishness was not mentioned in any written records in Lausanne. "Minority rights are not what we want in Lausanne." Together with our Turkish brothers, we are here. This is not just the parliament of Kurds but also Kurds and Turks; in reality, they adopted a stance that strengthened their own hands."

These conclusions are correct. However, much more can be said about "(not) pursuing minority rights in Lausanne," which is both conceivable and vital.


1) The Kurds, who belonged to the "Millet-i Hakimime" because they were Muslims, could not demand the minority rights given to non-Muslims, the "Millet-i Mahkume," in Lausanne since doing so would have resulted in their severe downgrading, because of the Millet System, which, despite being technically in place between 1454 and 1839, continues to build the "operating system" of the Muslim mentality in Turkey at a breakneck pace.

I won't go into details, but the term "minority" in international relations has five components: a) differing from the majority (in terms of ancestry, language, religion, etc.); b) Being less many than the general population; c) Not being dominant; ç) Being a citizen; and d) Believing that being different is a necessary component of identity. Kurds possess all five. But you can still say to Kurds in Turkey, where non-Muslims are perceived as minorities, "You are a minority," and see how they respond.

What difference would it make if the Kurds wanted minority rights? Turkey has respected none of the minority rights granted to non-Muslims under Chapter III of Lausanne; that's another matter (see the new book Lausanne Violations - Turkey and Greece, Minorities and the Aegean with Ali Dayıoğlu).

There are language rights for Kurds in Chapter III, but they were not implemented. Although it bears the title "Protection of Minorities," this Chapter is a human rights protection text. This is because it grants rights to citizens other than non-Muslims, whom it recognizes as "minorities," and even to "everyone living in Turkey" (Art. 38/1/2 and Art. 39/2) to varying degrees (none of which can be revoked, as per Art. 37). Among these, the rights concerning Kurds are:

a) Rights granted to Turkish citizens who speak a language other than Turkish (Art. 39/5). As a requirement of this, Kurds have the right to "use their language orally in courts." But the state has not and does not respect this right.

b) Rights granted to all Turkish citizens (Art. 39/4). As a requirement of this, Kurds have the right to "use any language of their choice in all kinds of relations, in matters of religion, press or all kinds of publications and open meetings." But the state has not and does not respect this right.

2) "Greater Armenia," announced to be established in Chapter VI of Sevres, sent shivers down the spines of the Kurds. The most important thing was to prevent this project. Lausanne eliminated this plan, which extended from Artvin to Giresun in the west and then southward to Erzincan, Erzurum, Mus, and Van.

Although Lausanne likewise did away with the idea of Kurdistan outlined in Sèvres Articles 62–64, these paragraphs were not like Greater Armenia; they were "summer will come and the clover will be gone" articles. The UK was no longer interested in the Kurds since it was delighted to have de facto secured the Mosul oil (which at the time was considerably more powerful than the US today) (at least in Lausanne, years before June 1926, when it officially seized it). Kurds were not even given the title of "colonial state," which it gave to African tribes.

Again, without going into specifics, the Kurds of Mosul were more aware of their Kurdishness than the Kurds of Turkey, which was one reason M. Kemal Pasha ceded Mosul (which he had little chance of taking anyway) to the British.

In May 1919, Greeks who had been "giaour" and former subjects took control of Izmir.

3) As mentioned, the Kurds were dramatically fragmented and lived in a feudal society.

4) Most significantly, M. Kemal Pasha offered the Kurds autonomy at various times and locations. Chronologically and again, in a nutshell:

a) In the middle of 1919: "I am wholly in favor of offering my Kurdish brothers all the rights and privileges they should have to ensure their freedom and the means of their prosperity and advancement."

b) At the Erzurum and Sivas Congresses in October 2019, it was declared that "all Islamic components living [in the eastern regions] are brothers and sisters who completely respect their social and legal rights and the circumstances of their surroundings."

c) Talks conducted in October 1919 in Amasya between the Istanbul Government and the Delegation of Representation: "It was deemed appropriate to allow the Kurds to be better off in terms of racial law and social rights to ensure freedom of development and to make this matter known to the Kurds in advance to prevent foreigners from causing trouble by appearing to aim to realize Kurdish independence."

d) The Misak-Milli (Misak-Milli) Article 1 of January 1920 provides the following definition of the term "national territory": "... areas inhabited by the Ottoman-Islamic majority, united by religion, faith, and aspirations, harboring feelings of mutual respect and self-sacrifice, fully respecting each other's ethnic and social rights, and entirely respecting each other's territorial conditions."

d) July 1920 Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minutes: "Within the country's boundaries, there are diverse Islamic communities that are self-siblings and accept each other's racial, regional, and moral rights. We wouldn't want to go against their wishes, so we wouldn't."

"The people of Turkey... form a community with a common future and common interests," according to the March 1922 legislative minutes. One of the primary tenets of our internal policy is respect for this community's racial, socioeconomic, and regional rights.

"1) The gradual formation of local administrations throughout the country is a need of our domestic policy," the July 1922 Parliament secret session minutes state. Regarding both our domestic and foreign policies, we think it essential to erect local administrations in the areas where Kurds live gradually. 2) The idea that nations may control their destinies is widely acknowledged. This idea is one that we share.

e) According to Article 11 of the Constitution from January 1921, "The provinces... are autonomous... The provincial councils (chosen by the citizens of the relevant province) have jurisdiction over the organization and administration of foundations, madrasahs, education, health, economy, agriculture, public works, and social welfare concerns."

F) Press Conference in Izmit, January 1923: "There will be a certain amount of local autonomy under our Law on Organization and Principles. As a result, in any liva where there are Kurds, they will rule autonomously. They [the Kurds] must be expressed collectively for the Turkish people. It is always possible for difficulties to develop on their own when they are not expressed (Mustafa Kemal, Eskisehir-Izmit Konusmalari (1923), Istanbul: Kaynak Yayinlari, 1993, p. 105)".

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