Letter: The Kurds: victims or terrorists?

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Sir: Koray Asena (letter, 29 January) calls the Kurdish liberation organisation the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) a Kurdish terrorist organisation.

If this were true then the majority of the 15-20 million Kurds in Turkey are terrorists, because the PKK has the support of the Kurdish population. It is this frightening logic that is fuelling the "dirty war" in the Kurdish regions of south-east Turkey. There are now more than 3 million Kurdish refugees and over 3,000 razed Kurdish villages and towns. I have walked through burning towns and villages myself.

Turkey's policy can best be summed up by the prosecutor in the recent "trial" to close down the only legal Kurdish party left in Turkey, HADEP, (Peoples Democracy Party). He said: "There is only one nationality in Turkey and that is Turkish. Any demands for recognition of the Kurdish cultural identity would be a secret and serious step towards dividing the country. There is only one state, one country and one nation in Turkey. These principles can never be compromised. Anyone who attempts to compromise these principles will be treated as traitors." (Ankara state security court, 23 October 1996).

The PKK and the Kurds have no choice; all democratic avenues have been shut; armed struggle is the only option left.

MARK CAMPBELL

Kurdistan Solidarity Committee

London EC1

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