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The 1916 signing of the Skyes-Picot agreement divided up the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, creating the borders of modern day Iraq, Syria, Armenia, and Palestine, among other countries. But left out of the negotiating were one of the regions largest ethnic groups: The Kurds.
One hundred years later, the estimated 20 million Kurds living in modern Turkey—about 18 percent of the population—are still left fighting for both autonomy, and their very existence.
After a historic peace between the Turkish state and Kurds broke down last year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been increasingly forceful with the Turkish Kurds.
Under a guise of anti-terrorism measures, widespread curfews, crackdowns against thousands of academics, and the death of over 1,000 people—the majority of whom were Kurdish civilians in urban areas—have all contributed to a tense situation for any Turk who speaks out against the government, and particularly for Kurds, who hope that the era of the Skyes-Picot is coming to an end.
But meanwhile, Hisyar Özsoy, a Kurdish member of the Turkish parliament with the HDP party, says that the situation is escalating every day, and that Turkey could very well be on the verge of civil war.
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