The Progress of Human Rights Reform in Turkey Essay

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The Progress of Human Rights Reform in Turkey

Throughout the last half-century of American politics, the Presidents of the United States have been more susceptible to public attack and scorn than ever before in our history. Through events such as Nixon's Watergate, Clinton's impeachment, and the Bush wars the public has voiced scathing criticism of our national leaders without fear of personal harm. People in America know that they can openly criticize anyone and anything in our country including our president or the pillars of our country's history like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, or even our first president George Washington.

Americans do not think much about human rights because they are interlaced into the very
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Ataturk was a domineering, former general for the Ottoman Empire before its collapse following World War One.[iii]? He realized the only way to organize the new nation was to westernize it in an attempt to ward off initial criticism from European nations.[iv]? The 1920?s and 30?s were filled with widespread reforms, such as separating Islam from the government and literacy campaigns, in an effort to secularize Turkey and strengthen the Turkish government and people.[v]? Ataturk wanted to abolish religion as the cord that fastened all of society together, and instead chose to make Turkish nationalism the cornerstone on which he would build a country.[vi]? However, he also ushered in a lack of democracy, repression of the Kurds, and a heavy reliance on the military, and laid the foundation for similar patterns and human rights abuses to continue throughout the nation?s history.[vii]? Ataturk promised he would make Turkey a nation for all, explicitly including Kurds, but it would not take long before riots began over unjust treatment of Kurds throughout Turkey.? As a result, Kurdish culture was banned from Turkish society, and Kurdish leaders were executed one after another.? Moreover, ?The decades in between the 1930?s to the 1980?s, [were] covered by a blanket of silence? as troops, police, and prisons lined the southeast, Kurdish portion of Turkey where foreign travelers were prohibited.[viii]? In fact, the Turkish government even refused to admit

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