“My life really started the day I moved to the United States. I’m not sure what would have happened to me if I stayed in Turkey. Here, I have a good family, there are good schools for my two sons, and I can help my people here and back home.”
A tall, slender man in his mid-forties with a striking black ponytail and goatee, Kemal Aytac is co-owner of Cafe Istanbul and proud of his humble beginnings. He attributes his drive for success through his work ethic combined with his cultural and family-oriented values instilled in him from a young age. “I always went over and beyond what was required of me anywhere I worked.”
Read more in Paste Magazine:
Unlike the warm, if not ambiguous and largely indirect relationship between Israel and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, relations between Israeli and Kurdish actors in Turkey have been considerably more fraught. For Turkey’s Kurds, pro-Israel sentiment has been less forthcoming and enthusiastic —Israel is often viewed as participating in regional realpolitik with NATO-ally Turkey—often at the expense of Kurds.
Read more here at Vocal Europe
We are originally from Afrin but lived in Aleppo (Syria’s second city) and moved there when we were children. We grew up with nothing. Though we went to school, no one cared about us; we we did not even have bicycles like my children now have. The Syrian government [led by former dictator Hafez al-Assad did not care about us. They did not like us or care about us because we are Kurds. The government did not invest in Kurdish areas as a policy: there was no industry, no new schools—nothing. We are very proud to be Kurdish: we named our children after a famous Kurdish folk song.
Read more here in KurdistanTribune
Now [Kurds] have two main choices (mostly in Iraq): 1. they can chose to become independent or they can somehow persuade these countries to provide them with full equality and democracy. There is a cost to war sometimes and it may pit democracy against independence. This may not result in the same outcome in all four countries but as it is often said, ‘democracy is a journey, not a destination.’
Read more here in Kurdistan Tribune
Coming out of the genocide, there was a common cause shortly afterward. Armenians were helpful and sympathetic to the Kurds in the 1920s and 1930s. It is also noteworthy that today there is a solid relationship among these diaspora communities.
For more read here at Philos Project