Tag Archives: Kurdistan

In Turkish Kurdistan

‘In Turkish Kurdistan’ by Tariq Ali for The London Review of Books (Diary), November 16, 2006

It was barely light in Istanbul as I stumbled into a taxi and headed for the airport to board a flight for Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish city in eastern Turkey, not far from the Iraqi border. The plane was full, thanks to a large party of what looked like chattering students with closely shaved heads, whose nervous excitement seemed to indicate they’d never left home before. One of them took the window seat next to my interpreter. It turned out he wasn’t a student but a newly conscripted soldier, heading east for more training and his first prolonged experience of barrack-room life, perhaps even of conflict. He couldn’t have been more than 18; this was his first time on a plane. As we took off he clutched the seat in front of him and looked fearfully out of the window. During the flight he calmed down and marvelled at the views of the mountains and lakes below, but as the plane began its descent he grabbed the seat again. Our safe landing was greeted with laughter by many of the shaven-headed platoon. read more

From the archive

  • Tariq Ali on Scottish Independence

    March 11, 2014

    Tariq Ali’s upcoming series of talks in Scotland on the campaign for a Yes vote in the upcoming Scottish Independence Referendum are being covered across the Scottish media.

    Speaking to the Herald, Ali said “”England has been politically petrified since the Thatcher era.” Although the Tories were soundly beaten by New Labour in 1997, Blair was the heir to Thatcher, he says. “An independent Scotland could also lead to something quite new in England; but not something nutty like UKIP.””

    Read the interview in full on the Herald website.

    Speaking to the Daily Record, he said “My hope is that independence will create spaces of critical thought in England as well as in Scotland because people down here are very depressed and demoralised too.”

    Read his interview with the Daily Record in full on their website.

  • A Snapshot of Pakistan

    January 30, 2013

    Tariq Ali for London Review of Books, 7th February 2013

    Pakistan is preparing for elections in May and June, and an all-party caretaker government will soon take over to supervise the process. Meanwhile, things continue as eventfully as usual. There has been yet another clash between the Supreme Court and the Zardari government; a previously obscure Muslim cleric returned from Canada to lead what he hoped would be a ‘million-strong’ anti-corruption march to Islamabad; and two factories in Lahore and Karachi have burned to a cinder with the workers still inside. Add to all this Sunni vigilantes regularly targeting and killing Shia; the Pakistani Taliban striking security targets; the military responding with indiscriminate killings; and the regular drone attacks, courtesy of Obama.

    On 15 January, the Supreme Court, having last year got rid of one prime minister, Yousuf Raza  …