Compering different separatism movements
The first separatist movement we are going to look at is the one between Kosovo and Serbia.
Then we will look into Catalonia separating from Spain, Eastern Ukraine separating from Russia and lastly, we will look at the Kurds.
In February of 2008, the province Kosovo separated from Serbia and became an independent country. The Albanian part of Kosovo’s population were thrilled, but the Serbian minority of the population were not. Conflicts were started, and Kosovo’s independence weren’t recognized by the Serbians.
Today, Kosovo has been recognized as an independent state by over 100 countries, including America and Sweden. However, Russia and China both stand with Serbia and refuses to recognize Kosovo. The Serbs living in Kosovo are conflicted whether they should join their new society or protest. In southern Kosovo, many of the Serbs have joined the society, however in the north, a minority of Serbians, are against the independence. In the beginning, Serbia supported the Serbs in northern Kosovo, but in 2013, Kosovo and Serbia, with the help of EU, made a deal that meant that Kosovo would be recognized as having superiority over the Serbian-dominated areas in the north.
November 2013, Kosovo had its first election, the Serbs threatened to boycott it, but the election was able to be completed in peace.
In the middle ages, Catalonia allied with France. In the 1400s Catalonia grew closer to Spain under the rule of King Ferdinand. The Catalonian industry had great success in the 1800s. Which the Spanish made sure to take advantage of. In the 1800s the modern separatism started, which inspired many. In 1936 the Spanish civil war started which stopped the separatism in Catalonia. When the war ended in 1939, the new ruler of Spain came into power and oppressed Catalonia. Today Catalonia is rich. They pay money to the poor parts of Spain. Catalonians are not happy with this. In 2017 Catalonians had a referendum vote. Only 37% participated but 90% of them voted to leave. However, Spain decided this was illegal and denied them their independence.
Eastern Ukraine was originally a part of Russia, but in 1991, when the Soviet Rule fell, Ukraine became independent. Since then there has been many disagreements on which country Ukraine should be a part of, in 2013 the leader President Yanukovych didn’t sign a partnership deal with the EU. This lead to major protests in Kiev. Many were not happy with how the country was being run and demanded change. On May 11th, there was a vote in Ukraine to see if the people wanted to be independent or not. Most people voted yes for independency, but the Ukraine leaders said was illegal and didn’t count. Russia’s leader Putin said the vote was fair and supports their choice. Because many Russians live in Eastern Ukraine, there was worry that they would join Russia. In a vote in 2014, East Ukraine voted for dependency, but their government said it was illegal.
The Kurds have never had their own state, they have most of their roots in the border-areas around Turkey, Iraq and Iran. None of these states want to give up any of their territory, but in Iraq the Kurds have a sufficient self-rule. During the horrors and worries of IS, the Bagdad-government and the Kurds worked together, but when the Kurds tried to declare themselves as independent, the cooperation stopped. Since the war in Syria, the Kurds have tried to take advantage of the vulnerability of the country and tried to take control of large areas in the north and northeast. The Syrian Kurds are in a way a sort of a pawn in a political game between the US and Turkey. To the US the Kurds are considered important allies against IS but Turkey only sees them as terrorists. Having a Kurdish state is not the main priority for most Kurds. Some Kurds don’t vote for the Kurdish parties and distance themselves from the actions of the Kurdish party PKK.
Kosovo, Catalonia and Eastern Ukraine and The Kurds all had to deal with governments that do not support their decisions, most of the countries had votes that were called illegal and were not listened to. And the Kurds were not given any single piece of land to inhabit. In a way, they have all been oppressed by their government. But Catalonia got it the worst. To this day Catalonia is still being used by Spain for their money. Kosovo and Catalonia both were and still are, desperate for independence. However, the Kurds and Eastern Ukraine are not. Some Kurds want a state of their own and to be independent, but some don’t. There are many differences and conflicts between Kurds from different states. They want different things, which is similar to the people in Kosovo. The Albanians were thrilled but the Serbs were not. Some Serbs decided to join the society and some still want to leave. It is also similar to Eastern Ukraine. The majority of the population want to leave and only as small minority want to stay independent.
The country with the biggest recognition, even though it is not recognized by Russia, China and Serbia. It is recognized by 100 plus countries. But Eastern Ukraine is not. It is not a part of a map a single country, but Kosovo is. Many say that the Kurds will never have their independence because of their differences, but many think, that Catalonia is deserving of their freedom and they have a lot of support. Catalonia and The Kurds are both being used. Catalonia for its money, and the Kurds for their alliance with The US against IS. Catalonia’s fight for independence has been the longest and was in a way the inspiration for other independent states like Kosovo.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29478415(And notes from class)