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Newroz celebrated in Turkey
by by
23 March 2002 16:23 UTC
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Turkey experienced its Newroz crises once more in March 21.

First of all, Newroz is a celebration ceremony of Kurdish people, which is
for the celebration of spring and the awakening of nature. It has a history
as old as Dionysus.  Also for the last 20-25 years, it has some more special
meaning for the Kurds; it is a way of requesting democracy.

In Istanbul (most crowded city of Turkey with 13 million, also has a very
large Kurdish population more than 3 million people) this was the third year
of the prohibition of the Newroz by the Turkish government and local

Here are the some notes from this year's celebration crises:

Except Adana, Diyarbakir and Ankara, there was not any permission for the
celebrations. The reason of this was explained by the officials as it was
because of the letter "w" not included in Turkish alphabet. If government
accepts this name, it would be an recognition of the Kurdish language whose
existence is not accepted by the government for years and abolished to speak
in publicity. Turkish government states that it is some kind of divisive
behavior against the integrity of the state.

In Diyarbakir, multiplicity is owned by HADEP (People's Democracy Party),
most democratic party of the Turkey and also its former DEP (Democracy
Party) was closed by the Turkish National Security Court and its
representatives in the senate were arrested.

So Turkish government could not take risk of prohibition and allowed for the
celebrations. There were about 500 000 people in the celebrations and people
gave a democracy lesson to the government. Situation was also same in Adana
and Ankara.

In Mersin, one person was killed by a police panzer and 60 people injured.
At night, one of the injured people was died in the hospital. People's try
for celebration and police aggression was looking very similar to
Palestinian-Israel conflict.

In other no allowed cities, thousands of people were arrested. Police used
gaseous bombs and sticks on the remaining.

All these experiences prove that Turkish government cannot understand (or do
not want to understand) that all efforts by Kurdish people to get the right
of representation in the political arena give Turkey very important chance
to build a democracy in the country.


PS: I am attaching some photos for your interest




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