Newroz Piroz Be!
[sintesi in italiano, più sotto]
Happy Newroz! (by Sezayi Erken/S4C Istanbul)
Tens of thousands of Kurds celebrated Newroz festival in Istanbul as they carry Kurdistan flags, portraits of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerillas and rebel Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan on 20th of March.
Women, men and children who dressed in traditional way, danced and demanded their rights here in Istanbul. Tens of thousands of Kurds chanted support for a Kurdish rebel group and its imprisoned leader.
Newroz in Turkey has become a symbol of Kurdish identity. Every year millions of Kurds celebrate Newroz festival throughout the country. While the Kurdish celebration has taken the form of a political expression, other countries such as Iran and Afghanistan, newroz is understood as a traditional spring festival.
In Kurdish legend, the Newroz holiday which coincides with the spring equinox, celebrates the deliverance of the Kurds from a tyrant. The celebrations are held between 18 and 24 March and it has an important place in the terms of Kurdish identity in Turkey.
The Kurds are a large and distinct ethnic minority in the Middle East, numbering some 25-30 million people. Half of the Kurds reside in Turkey, where they comprise over 20 percent of the Turkish population. Since beginning of modern rebuplic, any expression by the Kurds of unique ethnic identity has been harshly repressed. As a result, Kurdish nationalism is deemed separatism, and grounds for imprisonment.
The Turkish government has consistently disrupted attempts by the Kurds to organize politically. Kurdish political parties are shut down one after another, and party members are harassed and imprisoned for “crimes of opinion.” Beside that, The Ankara government has withheld resources from the Kurdish region. As a result, the inequality and repression did lead to the formation of an armed separatist movement, the PKK, in 1984. While the majority of Turkey’s Kurds do not openly support separatism from the Turkish state, many do support the PKK, as the only force fighting for broader Kurdish cultural, economic and political rights.
Despite of the campaign of armed violence in 1978, the rural-based insurgency began in 1984 with the urban clash throughout this period. According to official documents released by the Turkish military, more than 30 thousands of people including guerillas, soldiers and civilians have died in the bloody war. Some 3,000 villages have been destroyed by the military in an effort to root out PKK sympathizers, creating more than 2 million refugees.
Buon Neworz! (foto di Sezayi Erken/S4C Istanbul)
Newroz, in Turchia, è diventato un simbolo dell’ identità curda. Ogni anno milioni di curdi celebrano la festa in tutto il Paese. Mentre la festa curda ha preso la forma – in Turchia – di espressione politica (Nella leggenda curda, la festa Newroz che coincide con l’equinozio di primavera, celebra la liberazione dei curdi da un tiranno), in altri paesi come l’Iran e l’Afghanistan, Newroz è intesa come una tradizionale festa di primavera.
I curdi sono una grande minoranza etnica e contano circa 25-30 milioni di persone.