Letter: Kurds betrayed

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The Independent Culture
Sir: If the Turkish public is "baying for Ocalan's blood", is that our problem? Most of us reading Justin Huggler's report ("Turkey warned to spare Ocalan or lose EU entry", 26 November) were born well after the British, together with other members of the League of Nations, voted against giving the Kurdish people a territory at Lausanne in 1926.

During the decades that followed, oligarchies which could be counted on to serve western interests came to power in new nation states which divided between them the territory of the old Ottoman Empire.

Kurds have suffered 40 years of systematic dispossession, pogroms and cultural discrimination by the Turkish state, which has been a useful ally of western political interests since the Russians displaced the Ottoman Turks in central Asia. If Abdullah Ocalan hangs, it will be a victory for the status quo.


London N8