Thursday, May 25, 2006

09. The Theory of Greater Kurdestan

09. The Theory of Greater Kurdestan

Here I am making a diversion to explicate a theory that is sometimes heard from some uninformed Iranian Kurds as a solution to the problems of Kurdestan.

Basically the Unity of Greater Kurdestan has been a demand mostly desired by the Turkish and Iraqi Kurds and except for some uninformed individuals, the Iranian Kurds have never had such a desire.

The reason is because the Iranian and Ottoman Kurdestan have separated since the time of Shah Ismaiil (War of Chaldoran), as I noted before, and that is about four centuries ago. And even the result was that the Iranian Kurdestan became a semi-independent state ruled by Ardalans. So the Iranian Kurds were as free as one could be, and had no interest to join the other parts of Kurdestan. They are as separate as the Austrians and Germans.

But the Ottoman part of Kurdestan was divided between Turkey, Iraq, and Syria in 1920 [actually between the then Ottomans, British, and French], following the end of First World War. This is why those previously Ottoman sections of Kurdestan are yearning for reunification. They had lived together in their primitive capitalist development, which could have led to formation of a nation-state. But Iranian Kurdestan has done that development with the rest of Iran, rather than with the previous Kurdestan of Ottoman Empire, as I have shown it in this article.

Whether it is realistic or not for the Turkish and Iraqi Kurds to reunify is really not my interest here. It depends on many factors. But for Iran, it is definitely a bad plan. I am just emphasizing here that Iranian Kurdestan is as Iranian as all the other parts of Iran. Only being Sunni and under religious and cultural oppression, some uninformed Kurds may sigh for the Greater Iranian Kurdestan as a nice dream, but the informed Kurds know that it is more of a nightmare than a sweet dream, where tribal chiefs will destroy all the progress that has already, belatedly, been made in Kurdestan.

Finally the issue of establishing democratic rights of people of Kurdestan and other parts of Iran within a federal system has nothing to do with the "Theory of Unity of Greater Kurdestan". Iraqi government even at Saddam's time, had recognized some form of autonomy for Iraq?s Kurdestan and today's Iraq is a federal regime.? In fact, having similar rights for all provinces and regions of Iran, regardless of nationality, religion, or ethnic background, is what is needed.

It is really unfortunate that neither the Shah's government nor IRI have recognized such rights for Iran's Kurdestan and other regions of Iran, such as Azerbaijan, or Baluchestan, or other religions such as the Baha'is or Jews, etc. Why should an Armenian kid be forced to learn how to do voozo or read namaz? Why should an Azeri child not have a choice to take Turkish literature class at school?

These things have nothing to do with separation or Greater Kurdestan. These are rights that all Iranian minorities demand. I think the Iranians who have spent 20 years in the US, may demand English class for their kids, if they go to school in Iran. I think any political group and Iranian state should recognize these rights. These are not secessionism or forming Greater Kurdestan, Greater Azerbaijan, Greater Armenia, Greater Assyria, etc, these are simple recognition of cultural and political needs of different nationalities and ethnic groups of Iran.

Finally I think the Turkish Kurds and Iranian Kurds share a language and culture, just like many Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, or the Arab states . So they watch the same movies without sub-title, but sincerely I think that is where the commonalty ends. The Kurds of Iran have a lot of stake in Iran and I doubt it if they would ever give it up.