Discuss the issues that separatism has brought to different areas of the world (40 Marks)
Separatism is an attempt by a regional group within a country or across the borders of one or more countries, to gain more political control from central governments over the areas in which they live. There are many different reasons for why separatism occurs around the world, these can include: the feeling of being economically inferior to other areas within the same country the fact that they are often in an outlying location to the political centre and the feeling or being mistreated due to being an ethnic minority like the Kurds in Iraq or a religious minority like the Christians in Sudan.
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The Kurds are a good example of diaspora separatism with over thirty million Kurds spread out over the borders of Northern Iraq, Turkey and Syria as well as thousands living abroad, thirty thousand of which reside in the UK.
An example of where Separatism has led to violence is between the Kurds and the major surrounding political powers (Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran) who oppose the idea of an independent Kurdistan for fear of destabilisation in their own countries. Primarily Turkey who would lose a sizeable chunk of land to a new Kurdistan and similar tracts of land in Iran and Iraq, this fact has led to decades of violent conflict and political oppression and persecution against the Kurds, a fine example of this is during Saddam Hussein’s reign in Iraq where he vehemently sought to remove Kurds from Northern Iraq though a campaign of deportation and mass executions, these attacks where called ‘Anfal’ a word which has come to represent the entire genocide over the decades. One particularly notable act of violence was the Halabja chemical attack in 1988 where Hussein ordered chemical attacks in which nearly 5,000 civilians were killed. It is violence and persecutions like this where extreme separatism arouses and eventually leads to more widespread problems.
Turkey on the other hand is not totally innocent of the persecution of the Kurds, although it has not gone to the extremes of Iraq yet the Turkish army has still been brutal in its approach. In the early eighties, the Kurdistan Workers Party began a campaign of armed guerrilla warfare against Turkey which cost the lives of nearly 35,000 people. The ordinary Kurds were once again the victims of this campaign. More than three thousand villages were burned by the Turkish army in retaliation for supposedly cooperating with the Kurdistan Workers Party and those who fled to the larger cities were met with a life of depravation and poverty because Kurds were seen as social outcasts and largely ignored in terms of welfare by the Turkish state.
On the other hand however, not all separatist movements...