As an individual I have many components. I can define myself in many ways depending on the context. I am a homosapien, a monotheist, Yahya’s and Matine’s father, a husband, a Turkish author, a philosopher, a lawyer, a skeptic, a believer, a democrat, a conservative, an American, a political activist, a reformist, a chess-player, a copywriter, a poet, a handyman, a Macintosh user, a teacher, . . . and I am also a Kurd. I am not sure how being a Kurd ranks among the manifold ingredients that makes up my personality, but recently it became one of the important characteristics. Why? Because I have realized that I am denied of this identity. I have also witnessed that many others who share the same culture and heritage are oppressed and killed just because of being born in a Kurdish family.
This paper was the topic of an interdisciplinary symposium held in March 1999 at Yeshiva University, Cardozo Law School , New York. The symposium was moderated by David Golove, Professor of Law, Cardozo Law School. Panelists Thomas Christiano, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona and Gregory Fox, Professor of Law at Yale Law School, focused on the philosophical paradox involving the banning political parties to protect democracies; William Pfaff, International Affairs Columnist at International Herald Tribune and Paul Magnarella, Professor of Law and Anthropology at the University of Florida focused on the democratic process and human rights violations in Turkey.