Turskish gout, gives reasons to pout

Turkey is viewed by many as one of the most progressive Muslim countries in the world. The country was even founded on democratic principles and rights with their founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Since the “election” of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2014 however, the populous of Turkey has seen a dramatic decrease in their rights and a serious increase in government oppression.

One of the most targeted groups by the government are the Kurds. The Kurds are an ethnic minority group that live in a large area of Central Asia called Kurdistan. However, the Kurds have no country of their own and are spread out mostly between Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

In countries like Iraq, Kurds are given some autonomy, and even have their own special region. Kurds in Turkey, however, are severely oppressed. The Turkish government has been working to undermine the Kurds’ culture and identity for years. The government has even gone so far as to ban anyone from speaking the Kurdish language in public and private life.

This obvious discrimination of one of Turkey’s largest ethnic groups has to stop. Erdogan is bad enough for regular Turks, but his policies on the Kurds are disgusting. The Turkish government and the Kurds have been in a continuous armed conflict for decades.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party has been declared a terrorist group by Turkey, and the Turkish military has carried out countless military operations in southeast Turkey to combat Kurdish rebels. This has taken a serious toll on human rights in the region. More than 40,000 people have died in the conflict, mostly Kurdish civilians.

Frequent travel restrictions and internet shutdowns by the government are commonplace in the region. Turkey is increasingly becoming an authoritarian and terrible place to live. In mid-2013, protests emerged throughout Turkey in retaliation to the government’s encroachment on many rights of Turkish people. The protests were named the Gezi Park Protests because they began at Gezi Park in Istanbul.

In one of the largestdemonstrations in the history of Turkey, 22 people were killed and thousands were injured. These protests show that many Turkish citizens, not just the Kurds, are fed up with Erdogan’s authoritarian policies. Turkey should no longer be allowed to treat the Kurdish people like trash.

International organizations like the UN should at least denounce the treatment of these people, and find a solution, even if it involves military action.

Authoritarian countries around the world like China, Turkey, and Myanmar consistently commit serious abuses against their minority populations. You would think by this time in age everyone would learn to respect other cultures and treat everyone equally. Erdogan and the Turkish government have shown that this is not the case.

If Turkey wants to associate itself with other progressive nations around the world, they need to stop this barbaric practice against its own citizens. The Kurds deserve the same rights as everyone else in Turkey, and everyone in Turkey deserves the same rights as designated by international law.