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Here’s an essay contest, for which I personally will offer a $100 prize. Write 1,000 words on the subject, “Why the Palestinians Deserve an Independent State and the Kurds Do Not.”

Explain why the Kurds should not have an independent state, despite these facts:

1) There are 35 million Kurds, as opposed to perhaps six million Palestinian Arabs by the broadest definition;
2) The Kurds are an ethnic group distinct from Turks, Arabs, or Persians;
3) Perhaps 40,000 Kurdish militants have died at the hands of Turkish security forces during the past twenty years battling against Turkey for an independent Kurdish state;
4) The Kurds speak a distinct language and have a distinct culture;
5) Saddam Hussein killed up to 300,000 Iraqi Kurds, including by poison gas attacks on civilians;
6) The Iraqi Kurds have governed themselves successfully in northern Iraq since Saddam Hussein was overthrown by the American-led coalition in 2003.

Few peoples have suffered more than the Kurds, fought harder to preserve their culture (written Kurdish was outlawed in Turkey for most of the 20th century), showed more tenacity in pursuit of national self-determination, or shown themselves more capable of managing a modern country.

For special credit, answer the following questions:

Why is the human rights establishment so upset about Gaza—whose Hamas-controlled government uses the strip as a terrorist base against Israel—that it is willing to accept Turkish patronage to break the Israeli-Egyptian blockade?

And why has the human rights establishment accepted the patronage of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who vowed that Kurdish rebels will ” drown in their own blood .” As noted, the Turkish army has killed up to 40,000 Kurdish rebels (and countless civilians) during the past two decades. Journalists in Turkey are jailed for filing reports on Kurdish militant organizations that would be considered run-of-the-mill reportage in any civilized country.

Satirical essays will not be considered: the case must be made in earnest that Kurds do not deserve an independent state while the Palestinians do. Residents of Circle 8, Bolgia 6 are encouraged to submit essays but will not be eligible for the $100 prize as Charon does not accept checks.

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