Turkey adopts Kurdish festival
Saturday 23 March 1996
A new jerry-built platform of Turkey's state ideology turned Nevruz into a re-discovered spring festival of all the 150 million people of the Turkic world.
One of the more bizarre results is that the spring festival is now officially encouraged in Turkey while liberal Germany has banned it because celebrations had turned into violent demonstrations by the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).
In Turkey, however, the PKK is banned and, despite new PKK threats against Turkish tourism and cities, it is militarily weakened after 11 years of fighting in which 18,500 people have died. The establishment is now debating what to do next.
Faint hints from Mr Yilmaz about allowing Kurdish broadcasting, education and free cultural expression have found few echoes. But the meaninglessness of the old state nationalism was underlined by the way the establishment was able to adopt the new Turkish-style Nevruz without missing a beat.
In the capital, Ankara, President Suleyman Demirel fired a pistol to start the First International Nevruz quarter- marathon. The Turkish national lottery had a special Nevruz draw. Pamphlets arguing the long "Turkish" tradition of Nevruz were posted to all and sundry.
Meanwhile, down in the Kurdish south-east, Kurds who used to use the day to defy the Turkish authorities - 100 people were killed in Nevruz clashes in 1992 - were encouraged to gather to celebrate in stadiums. Soldiers on checkpoints were ordered to greet wayfarers with the greeting "Happy Nevruz".
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...