Kurdish New Year celebration in Istanbul
Last two weeks Kurds across the globe celebrated their New Year (Newroz). In various parts of the world, the celebrations were carried out in different styles and manner. In Kurdistan (Eastern Turkey, Northern Iraq, Northeastern Iran and Northern Syria) the celebrations were massive and millions participated to demand ethnic and cultural rights. In Iraqi Kurdistan, where the Kurds have an undeclared independence, the celebrations were in form in picnic and festivals; there was not a threat of being jailed or killed. In other parts of Kurdistan, the regional governments have jailed Kurdish activists for either speaking for Kurdish freedom thus insulting the nationhood. This was very evident in Turkey. Turkey has tried for many years to block Kurdish New Year celebrations as an act of separatism. By doing this, Turkish governments and other regional governments try to eradicate Kurdish culture in the Middle East and create homogenous ethnic cultures upon which their nations (Turkey, Iran, Syria and still Iraq) are based.
Picture from www.kurdistan.nu
Despite all the pressure—military or legal—Kurds have celebrated their New Year on March 21st. These celebrations have been in form of festival comprising of singing, dances and speeches on large city or town gathering places. In other countries such as Europe, North America and Russia and so on, Kurds have celebrated New Years festivities in big hall, conference rooms and even on the streets. This tradition has been going on in Europe for decades. It has become a cultural part of European celebrations.
Picture from www.kurdistan.nu Kurdish dances at Newroz celebration in Berlin