Decades of Resistance: The Turkish-Kurdish Relationship

Posted November 23rd, 2011 at 3:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Decades of Resistance: The Turkish-Kurdish Relationship

August 10, 1920: A Kurdish state: At the end of World War I, the Treaty of Sevres proposes the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish state.

July 24, 1923: Turkey overrides Kurdish statehood: Under the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey is declared an independent state and plans for an autonomous Kurdish state are abandoned.

February 1, 1925: Rebellions begin: Thousands of Kurds stage their first uprising against the Turkish government — a move quickly suppressed. The rebellions start with February's revolt of Sheikh Said, who is hanged a few months later.

1936-1939: The Turkish government killed 13,806 people in the southeastern city of Tunceli, then known as Dersim.

October 27, 1978: The Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, is formed. Abdullah Ocalan is selected as the founding leader of the organization.

1984: Kurdish rebels begin an armed struggle against Turkey, resisting Turkification and seeking autonomy in the country's largely Kurdish southeast.

March 1, 1993: The PKK drops its declared objective of creating an independent state of Kurdistan in the southeastern provinces of Turkey.

June 12, 2011: Election of first pro-Kurdish political party, the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP.

October 19, 2011: Turkey launches an air and ground offensive against Kurdish militants in Turkey and in northern Iraq after a series of coordinated attacks by the PKK killed 24 soldiers — the worst loss of life for the Turkish army since 1993.

November 23, 2011: Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issues the Turkish government's first official apology for the killings of 13,806 people during a bombing campaign to crush a Kurdish rebellion between 1936 and 1939.