NATO's Ethnic Cleansing: The Kurdish Question in Turkey


  • Sinan Esim





Of all the arguments put forward in defense of the NATO war against Yugoslavia, that which invokes the plight of Kosovar Albanians is certainly the most powerful. The claim that NATO is an appropriate instrument to pursue the aim of defending the lives and rights of the Kosovars is logically the fundamental premise of the pro-intervention left. Leaving aside all of the other problems concerning this kind of approach to imperialism and war, we need only look to one of the member countries of the alliance to see the utter hypocrisy of the NATO claim of humanitarian intentions in response to ethnic cleansing and oppression. That country is Turkey, whose planes are participating in the air operations in Yugoslavia and which has prepared special forces to be used for eventual ground combat. This is the same country which, for decades (practically since the foundation of the republic in 1923), has subjected its Kurds to the most ignominious oppression and that recently carried out one of the dirtiest wars ever waged against a national liberation movement Turkey also resorted to one of the most massive operations of ethnic cleansing since the Second World War.