Armenian News Network / Groong By Onnik Krikorian December 1, 1998 Sabri Kash is the Representative of the PKK and ERNK in Armenia and the Caucasus. He was interviewed during festivities celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK] organised by the Yezidi [Kurdish] community in Armenia, and staged at the Russian Theatre in Yerevan. The Russian Theatre was full to capacity with Yezidi dressed in the Kurdish colours of red, yellow and green, and waving PKK and ERNK flags while live Kurdish music played. Representatives from Armenian political parties and other groups and organisations in Armenia voiced their support for the Kurdish national liberation movement, and for Abdullah Ocalan, President of the Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK]. OK: What is your role here in Armenia. SK: I am the official representative of the Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK] and National Liberation Front of Kurdistan [ERNK] in the Caucasus. OK: You are from Turkey? SK: I am from Diyarbakir. OK: You are officially in Armenia as representative of the PKK and ERNK? SK: It is not a secret. OK: It is interesting to see how different it is for Kurds in Armenia now. Perhaps even up until six months ago, many Armenians did not realise that Yezidi were Kurds, and probably most are still ignorant even today. It is interesting to observe the growth in a Kurdish national identity among the Yezidi minority in Armenia, and specially now. SK: It is a phenomena that is occurring not only in Armenia, but all over the world. OK: But in Armenia you have individuals such as Aziz Tamoyan [National Union of Yezidi in Armenia] who accuse the PKK of kidnapping Yezidi to fight in Turkey, and who are adament in their declaration that the Yezidi are not Kurds. That is the difference in Armenia. SK: Nobody takes Aziz Tamoyan's words seriously - noone pays attention. Even in Turkey until very recently it was said that there were no such people as the Kurds. They were just "mountain Turks". Nation and religion are two different things. Armenians do not define their nation as being called "Christian", they define it as being called "Armenian". We do not consider that religion makes anyone higher or lower than anyone else. We consider ourselves as a nation. OK: With Ocalan's arrival in Rome, and the media attention on this event, do you feel that negotiations for a settlement of the Kurdish Question in Turkey are inevitable? SK: We do not expect anything good from Turkey. I think that Europe must recognise the freedom of the Kurds - it all depends on Europe. OK: Are you feeling optimistic in this regard? SK: We expect it, and we are waiting for it. We believe in Europe, and we will watch what will happen. We ask for nothing else apart from freedom - all we want is freedom. I have a Turkish passport, but I am not Turkish. There are 40 million Kurds and all we want is the right to speak our language. We want Europe at least to recognise the Kurdish nation. After the first World War Europe failed to solve the Kurdish Question, and actually blocked agreements that were made [Treaty of Sevres] - Europe didn't solve the question. We are now about to enter the twenty-first century - is it right that forty million should enter a new century without a nation? We want only freedom.. -- Onnik Krikorian is a journalist, photojournalist and new media consultant who has spent over three years working on projects surrounding the Kurds in Turkey and the Caucasus. His work on the Kurds can be seen online at: http://www.freespeech.org/oneworld/photo/ and his photographs of the Kurds in Turkey and Armenia are to be published toward the end of December in the next edition of "Armenian Forum".
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