For decades, Turkish bureaucrats and state employees viewed assignments in Southeastern Turkey, a large area predominantly populated by ethnic Kurds, as a “punishment” because it meant moving to impoverished and restive areas... like the Kurdish province of Van, where I grew up.
Kurdish children smile for the camera in Gurpinar district near Van on June 26, 2012. (AFP)
Kurdish discrimination in Turkey
Kurdish activists and politicians occupy a main road as the part of their civil disobedience campaign in Van, Turkey on March 26, 2011. (AP)
The right approach
Children play at the garden of Fatih College in Istanbul on April 16, 2008. The school was run by followers of Fethullah Gulen before it was closed by the Turkish government. (File photo: AFP)
Turkish riot police disperse pro-Kurdish demonstrators in Van, Turkey on March 22, 2008. (File photo: AP)
Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania on July 10, 2017. (Reuters)