In the 1980s and 1990s there was a nationalistic slogan, "Turkey belongs to the Turks," which summed up all the troubles that were created by chauvinistic Turks. At the time we objected to such slogans and were dubbed traitors who wanted the country to collapse. We tried to explain to these people that such an approach, in fact, only fuels divisions and creates more problems for the future of the country. Time went by and we were proven right.
Now some sensible people have understood that Turkey doesn't belong to Turks alone, it belongs to everyone who lives on Turkish soil and accepts being a citizen of the Turkish Republic. Now it is time that the Kurds of Turkey realized that southeastern Anatolia does not only belong to the Kurds but that it is part of a country that belongs to us all.
As we celebrate the 91st anniversary of the Turkish Republic, every citizen has to understand that every inch of this country belongs to the citizens of this country irrespective of their color, ethnic origin, language or origins.
The peace and reconciliation process between Ankara and militants Kurds of Turkey has shown in clear terms that even the chauvinistic Turks realize that they have to accept the fact that this country belongs to those who call themselves citizens of the Turkish Republic. However, we are hard pushed to say that the chauvinistic Kurds have also come to terms with the fact that they are part of this country. They are still acting as if they are the citizens of another country and that it is only a matter of time until the grand Kurdish state is established in the lands possessed by Turkey, Iraq and Syria.
Kurds have to realize that they will never actually be a part of any grand Kurdish state and that their best bet is to stay in the Turkish Republic and benefit from its potential and riches.
Our Kurdish brothers and sisters live across the country, although the population of southeastern Turkey is predominantly Kurdish. Istanbul has the largest Kurdish population in the world while its population is dominated by Turks. No one can drive the Turkish out of Southeast Anatolia as no one can drive the Kurds out of Istanbul. We are all obliged to live together and hope the peace and reconciliation process yields positive results.
Those who think that by destroying this process they can reap benefits are seriously mistaken. Everyone will lose but the Kurds will be the grand losers. Turks and moderate Kurds can eventually recuperate and can, despite major losses, survive and make amends. But the militant Kurds will only be wiped out in the process.