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The Situation of Kurdish Children in Turkey

Éditeur : KHRP Date & Lieu : 2010, London
Préface : Pages : 158
Traduction : ISBN : 978-1-905592-29-6
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 148x210 mm
Thème : Politique

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
The Situation of Kurdish Children in Turkey


There are an estimated 15 million Kurds in Turkey. Comprising 23 per cent of the country’s population, the Kurds are Turkey’s largest non-Turkish ethnic group. According to census data, one quarter of the Turkish population is under 15. Accurate figures for the percentage of children under 18 are difficult to find given that the Turkish census only aggregates demographic data according to those aged 0-14, 15-64 and 65 years and over. However the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), estimate that approximately 36 per cent of Turkey’s population is under the age of 19, and applying this percentage to the Kurdish population we can roughly estimate that there are around 5,400,000 or more Kurdish children aged 19 and under in Turkey. In line with the mandate of promoting and protecting human rights in the Kurdish regions, in 2004 the KHRP produced a report on the situation of Kurdish children in Turkey, which was developed from desk-based research. KHRP decided to follow up on this report in 2008 in order to assess what improvements, if any, had been made in the intervening period.

The 2004 report was produced in the wake of the assessment of Turkey’s international obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 2001. Immediately following this assessment a number of NGOs had produced their own reviews of Turkey’s compliance, and as a result, there was a dearth of new investigative material. Since then, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has gone onto review in December 2007, Turkey’s report under Article 8, paragraph 1, of the optional protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and in September 2009, the Turkish government’s responses to the Committee’s list of issues. The continued policy of the Turkish state which does not distinguish between its citizens ethnic/cultural/linguistic origins makes it difficult to gather information or data on any specific sub-group of the Kurdish population, including children. This problem is magnified by the fact that many of the international organisations working in Turkey that KHRP contacted, did not distinguish between the Turkish and Kurdish population within their work. A report developed solely from desk-based research would therefore not be sufficient to produce a comprehensive assessment of the situation of Kurdish children in Turkey...

a) History of the Kurdish People in Turkey

Both the social oppression and the forced displacement of the Kurdish population in south-east Turkey have a long history. The south-east region of Turkey has historically been predominantly Kurdish. The history of ethnic diversity in Turkey is highly complex, but it is marked by the consistent disenfranchisement of its largest minority, the Kurds. For the Kurds, the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the Turkish nation state in 1923 did little to alter their social and political position. During World War I, the Ottomans usurped Kurdish tribal lands and forced mass resettlement. Significantly, the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which defined Turkish independence and paved the way for protection of non-Muslim minorities including Armenians, Greeks and Jews, made no mention of the Kurdish people. After Turkish independence, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his followers attempted to create a homogenous and unified Turkey. This involved the suppression of minority cultures and, in an attempt to integrate and homogenise the population, the mass displacement of the Kurdish peoples. The forced displacement of the Kurds under the Law of Resettlement (1934) briefly slowed during the 1950s. However, armed conflict between the Turkish military and the Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK) between 1984 and 1999 renewed the government’s policies of forced displacement and cultural oppression. It is estimated that between 1984 and 1999, over 3 million Kurds were displaced from their villages, that approximately3,000 of the 5,000 Kurdish villages in the south-east of Turkey were partially or completely evacuated, and that roughly 37,000 people were killed...

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