"Moral Compass"

Moral Compass

These Izmir street performers were singing in their native Kurdish language.

It is estimated that, out of a population of about 75 million, there are between 8 to 15 million native Kurdish speakers in Turkey . After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Kurdish language, dress, folklore and names were banned and the Kurdish-inhabited areas were put under martial law until 1946. Speaking Kurdish in public and private life was officially prohibited again after the 1980 military coup until the ban was lifted in 1991.

At her confirmation hearing in January, the new United States Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said "I'm prepared to speak up against anything that goes against American values" and then repeated the old adage that the "United States has always been the moral compass of the world". Almost every State, while discriminating against their own citizens or interfering in other nations affairs, claims some form of exceptionalism, superiority and a special burden to "civilize" the "savage". Turkey is no exception. Until recently, The Turkish Government officially denied the existence of Kurds altogether and categorized them as "Mountain Turks". Just as the Kurds don't seem to want such "Turkish values", the rest of the world isn't so keen about adapting so-called "American values". That said, many city dwellers in Turkey are culturally becoming "more American than American".

Especially thanks to Television and the Internet, in a world and an age when cultures are rapidly becoming extinct and evolving into a "global consumerist popular mono-culture", cultural and linguistic forced assimilation is a consequentially bad idea. At first thought, establishing cultural homogeneity might make "governing" seemingly easier for states and governments, but in the long run, the lack of diversity of people and culture, thus of ideas, is what cripples and leads to the collapse of states. The whole society, but especially the most vulnerable in it, suffers for decades to come. The Great Mystery loves diversity...
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