Monday, November 28, 2005

SOCCER, KURDISH LANGUAGE AND THE EU



The FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association--that would be "football" as in "soccer," for Americans) has created a huge scandal for Turkey and the Turkish Soccer Federation. According to an AP report, Kurdish is mentioned as one of the official languages of Turkey in the 2006 Almanac of World Football, published by FIFA!

What a rotten twist of fate for Turkey, that suddenly Kurdish should be listed somewhere, anywhere, as one of the official languages of the Turkish state! For one thing, this little irony comes so soon after Erdogan left Denmark in a huff over the Roj TV fiasco which he tried to force the Danish government into shutting down. Roj TV is one of the few Kurdish-language channels in existence and is the only one run primarily by Kurds from Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

For another thing, the association of the Kurdish language with the Turkish state must drive the Kemalists into a fury, given all the trouble they've gone to for the last eighty years in trying to lie about or stamp out this very language.

Secondly, the news that the Turkish Soccer Federation is upset about something or someone comes right after the Turkish soccer team dealt with the Swiss team in a way that could be described as less than gentlemanly, as reported by Deutsche-Welle.

And this is the country that hopes to join the EU?

The difficulty is that Kurds have pinned their hopes to Turkey's EU accession, as a way of forcing the issues of political and cultural rights for Kurds, things the Turkish state would never grant on their own initiative. For the EU to reject Turkey will not hurt Turkey, but it will certainly hurt the hopes of 20 million Kurds who yearn for freedom.

Things are becoming very hard for Turkey these days. It gets less respect. It is expected to behave in a civilized way. I almost feel sorry for Turkey.

Almost.

6 comments:

Philip said...

There is a hilarious debate amongst zoologists--Turkish zoologists are IRATE that a number of animal species have received latin names that are...well, "TURKISHLY INCORRECT"...such as "kurdistanicus," or "armenicus."

Unfortunately for the Turks, the names aren't changing!

Vladimir said...

I added your link to my blog. Keep on blogging. In the meanwhile the FIFA sent their apology.

I think FIFA was thinking from a logical perspective. Millions of Kurds live in Turkish occupied Kurdistan, so why Kurdish wouldn't be an official language?

Dara Sor said...

You can say that again... Long live FIFA's naiv attitude... LOL

Mizgîn said...

Thank you, vladimir. If FIFA has sent an apology, then I hope that the Turkish team continues to beat the hell out of every other team. . . outside the locker rooms and NOT on the playing field. To be sure, Kurdish language has never been considered "official" by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought that it was great that FIFA did mention Kurdish, however offensive it is to the Kemalist ideal of "one nation, one race, one language." How familiar does that sound?

Yes, there are some 20 million Kurds under Turkish occupation. Like it or not, the Kurdish language still exists and should be considered an official language, as it is in Iraq.

philip, your example is a well-known one which continues to illustrate state paranoia over all things Kurdish or Armenian, or anything else that violates the holy Turkish trinity of "one nation, one race, one language."

dara sor,it is surprising to read the news, isn't it? But it will be even greater if, one day, we can read that Kurdish is an official language as a result of reality instead of naivete.

hiwa said...

hope you will continue,I was looking for the past posts and your archive. I am sure you can sort that out!

keep it up!

Mizgîn said...

Roj baş, hiwa. What you see are my past posts and archive.