Kurds Ascending by Michael M. Gunter

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For the first time in their modern history, the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey at least are cautiously ascending. This is because of two major reasons. (1) In northern Iraq the two U.S. wars against Saddam Hussein have had the fortuitous side effect of helping to create a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The KRG has become an island of democratic stability, peace, and burgeoning economic progress, as well as an autonomous part of a projected federal, democratic, post-Saddam-Hussein Iraq. If such an Iraq proves impossible to construct, as it well may, the KRG is positioned to become independent. Either way, the evolution of a solution to the Kurdish problem in Iraq is clear. (2) Furthermore, Turkey?s successful EU candidacy would have the additional fortuitous side effect of granting that country?s ethnic Kurds their full democratic rights that have hitherto been denied. Although this evolving solution to the Kurdish problem in Iraq and Turkey remains cautiously fragile and would not apply to the Kurds in Iran and Syria because they have not experienced the recent developments their co-nationals in Iraq and Turkey have, it does represent a strikingly positive future that until recently seemed so bleak.
Publication Date:
10 / 12 / 2007

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