American outlet for the news I cover for Hürriyet! Context for both Turkish residents here and Americans.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Canan Çevik - The earthquake that shook humanity!
It is no news that an earthquake hit eastern Turkey recently, and many people lost their lives and homes. What has been missing from reports of this disaster is its political dimension.
The affected region is home to a Kurdish majority, and some fascist sects of Turkish society have actually cheered over the loss and devastation brought upon Kurds—simply because they are Kurds!
As you may already know, there’s a long history of tensions between Turks and Kurds, since Kurds aspire to an independent state within the country, and Turkey would never allow it. But to condemn individual Kurds and to see them as deserving of this terrible disaster is utterly narrow-minded and mean-spirited.
As a Turk, I would like the world to know that in spite of ethnic tensions, we are as capable of solidarity and humanitarian action as any nation. To that end, I conducted an interview with Canan Çevik, a Kurdish Turk who studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMASS Amherst), and I am glad to share her humanistic thoughts—as a strong message against the politics of hatred.
Canan Cevik said, “Right to life trumps all else, especially in the midst of human suffering. Discrimination itself is a shame, but to discriminate against those who are already down, is very close-minded. Our humanity is the most essential thing in life. Although no one should question another’s race under any circumstance, some bigoted people question people’s races even during hard times. That is incomprehensible! On the flip side, it was great to observe a lot of generous people of all races helping the region.”
P.S. The interview will be published at Hurriyet very soon!