Commons:Disputes noticeboard/Archive: Kurdistan

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Moved from Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/Disputes -- Cat chi? 11:52, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Kurdistan[edit]

Cool Cat (talk · contribs) and Bertilvidet (talk · contribs) appear to have a problem with each other regarding Kurdistan. From what I can see is that Cool Cat's opinion is that we should not categorize according to nations that are not officially recognized, while Bertilvidet thinks that categorization also should be done by de facto nations. This is somewhat similar to the Martorell/JuicedLemon case above here. Hist: [1] [2] Users have been notified on their talk page. -- Bryan (talk to me) 20:29, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I do not believe Kurdistan qualifies to be even a defacto nation and I feel its existence is at best aspirational and within vague boundaries hence not verifiable. --Cat out 20:34, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
In this case I would see it reasonable to have categories like "Turkish Kurdistan" or "Turkish Kurd areas" and the same for Iraq, Iran, and Syria. These categories could be subcategories of Kurdistan as well as Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria respectively. Furthermore, some images and categories could be placed in both categories "Turkish/Iraqi/Iranian/Syrian Kurdistan" and "Turkey/Iraq/Iran/Syria" or one their subcategories.
While it is true that this is a political issue and also an issue with ambiquities, I would primarily like to see this as an issue of categorizing for effective searching and finding of files. Samulili 21:12, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Alright, apparantly we need a policy decision for this kind of issues. I'll work out a draft. / Fred Chess 21:14, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
It is NOT remotely reasonable. (How can you have a reasonable inclusion criteria for a political issue with ambiguities (in your words))
In my view categories of disputed regions should only be used for images directly related to the actual dispute (such as pictures of people involved/relevant images such as maps and etc.) and not for some commons version of Risk territory grab. 'Kurdistan' doesn't defacto exist - and its existence is at best aspirational and within vague boundaries. Please cite sources if you think otherwise.
We do NOT ever categories cities by ethnicity. I overwhelmingly oppose such unhelpful categorizations. What percentage of a cities population would count as "in"? How can you even come up with numbers for countries like Turkey when ethnicity data is not collected not even in censuses.
I also overwhelmingly oppose any policy proposal. Commons is known for its lack of policy. This is why we run efficiently.
You can easily navigate using country -> province.
--Cat out 23:09, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Ok then. I don't think these type of discussions will go away, and the Catalonia issue doesn't appear to have been settled yet. But if no-one wants to have a policy about it, then so be it. / Fred Chess 23:30, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
No hard feelings OK :) I am just drooling what I have in mind ^_^' --Cat out 02:13, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I think language, for example, is such a good way to categorize as administrative borders. If there is a cultural community that speaks Kurdish, Catalan or whatever, why not including both cultural and administrative categorizations? you may find one useful, I may find the other. And we can be all confortable with our categorization...--Xtv 17:45, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I cannot see a reasonable way to categorize like that. If something is relevant to Kurdish people or Catalan people we have categories for those. What do you propose to base your categorization on? --Cat out 21:07, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Language, culture, ... it deppends on what you want to categorize. In English Wikipedia there are pages with lots of categories (en:Alanis Morissette, en:Wayne Gretzky) with for example some for me funny categories as Canadian expatriate ice hockey people in the United States or People with eating disorders. Sincerely I find more logical Kurdistan category than some of those ones.--Xtv 07:59, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
We are not English wikipedia. English wikipedia is full of redundant categories (such as the infamous vegiteranians by country one). What in your view is Kurdistan supposed to be (your inclusion criteria)? --Cat out 18:27, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello there. I do not really see the problem. This seems to be about two of my photos, taken in locations in the heart of Kurdistan, both places of importance for Kurdish people. Censoring this info away is hard for me to accept, indeed I would like my photos to be available for anyone interested in the Kurdish lands. Bertilvidet 20:55, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

What is Kurdistan supposed to be? A state? --Cat out 21:07, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Although not officially recognised by e.g. UN I do believe there is some consensus about where Kurdistan is/should be/not is. If I say "Kurdistan" to one of you guys you will not start think "oh right - Greenland" or something that alike. You will start think about some disputed territory in the Middle East. And it could be practical to have a category to refer to for e.g. maps of the area. --|EPO| 21:21, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes. But the images in question are not maps and etc. Individual sites (cities) have been declared to be inside Kurdistan (by a random wikipedian). --Cat out 21:57, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Surely. But that does dot change my point. It is relevant and practical to have a category for this area as well as other areas - disputed or not. Perhaps for disputed areas it would be even more relevant to have a place to collect any information about this area as the topic could be more interesting in some ways than established countries. --|EPO| 22:12, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Defacto countries, I am all fine with. Aspirational countries is a big no-no. --Cat out 22:18, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Right, no borders (geographical or any other) are uncontested. Most states have some issues about border drawing, just think of the issues of minor Aegean islands, Nothern Cyprus, Kirkuk, Syria's claim of Antakya for a well established state as Turkey. Obviously it is no easier to clearly define borders of a stateless nation - for this reason I do only label regions as Kurdistan if they are in the heartland - not on the borderland - of the region. The two concrete examples, Diyarbakir and Hasankeyf, are clearly within the region. The debate whether Kurdistan is supposed to be a state is a political debate without any relevance for sorting media in Commons. Bertilvidet 12:27, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Verifiability of an inclusion criteria is critical to any kind of media sorting. So the politics behind an issue is very relevant.
Categorization boundaries are based on what countries claim as theirs only because way we can referance their claim. Categorization is not intended to be a political message but instead is intended to be a reliable (verifiable) navigation aid.
What is a heartland? Based on what is Diyarbakir and Hasankeyf inside Kurdistan?
--Cat out 17:24, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I would like to analyze your examples. If you find my analysis incorrect, please correct me.
  • Minor Aegean Islands are at the moment officially uncontested. The Imia/Kardak issue almost lead to a war. To my knowledge Greece and Turkey reserve the right to claim ownership but do not make such a claim (If you look closely that article (island) isn't categorized either as Turkish or Greek) When anyone makes a claim we can base our categorization based on it. Currently though it can neither be categorized as a Turkish nor Greek island.
  • Northern Cyprus claims to be an independent country (contradicting every other country on Earth but Turkey). We hence have a verifiable set of borders to categorize. Similar to Taiwan (Republic of China) or Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • Kirkuk is officially a part of Iraq and no other country made a claim over it. In the Iraqi Federal System the political entity north (Iraqi Kurdistan) wants administrative control over Kirkuk and other cities. Weather the status of the city will change or not will be determined sometime this year according to the Iraqi authorities. As far as we are concerned it is an Iraqi city either way.
  • To my knowledge Syria no longer claims over Antakya but they did for a while. Currently no one makes a claim for Antakya but Turkey. If such a claim does exist, it can and should be categorised accordingly.
I do not believe Kurdistan is anything like the given examples.
In addition, entire Antarctica continent is a disputed area. Antarctic Treaty System can explain better than I can.
--Cat out 17:24, 1 March 2007 (UTC)


I am not aware of any maps or other serious attempt to define Kurdistan, that does not include Diyarbakir and Hasankeyf. For the record, Syria still claims Antakya, albeit less determined than her claim of Golan. My above examples just served to illustrated that actually any polity is more or less contested (even a stable and quiet place as my native Denmark). Bertilvidet 20:33, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

You are suggesting that we categorize based on intersection of maps that don't match drawn by random people? There are plenty of maps that are without Kurdistan in fact you can call that a majority.
A place being contested or not is irrelevant. If there is a verifiable source for the contested area, we can work with it. Only countries (de facto or de jure) can contest an area. I am sorry but as you point out there is absolutely no verifiable way to define Kurdistan in the absence of a de facto/de jure country to make the claim. We cannot base categorization based on heartlands.
--Cat out 21:02, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Right, I didnt answer your question what that word means. How about looking it up: [3]? Bertilvidet 22:20, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
"the central region of a country or continent; especially a region that is important to a country or to a culture."
Kurdistan is neither a country or continent... We still do not categorize based on heartlands. --Cat out 22:31, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Also see: [4], a real dictionary. --Cat out 22:34, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Even better, just to make it clear with the term is nothing about how people might feel in their hearts. Bertilvidet 22:41, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I knew what the term meant. We do not categorize based on heartlands. What is considered a heartland is far more disputed than the whole thing. Some claim the heartland of California is the vineyards and not Holywood. --Cat out 23:06, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe that I made it clear what I not am aware of is any maps or other serious attempt to define Kurdistan, that does not include Diyarbakir and Hasankeyf. Only countries can contest an area? Disagree, I remember having heard debates about the limits of a city or the boundaries of a continent. Bertilvidet 22:09, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe I said "we cannot base categorization based on heartlands". --Cat out 22:16, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Btw, currently Kurdistan redirects to Kurdish people. I find this very unfortunate as it prevents us from gathering images from Kurdistan. Bertilvidet 20:35, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I do not believe how that is relevant to this discussion. Please stay on topic. --Cat out 21:33, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I find it highly relevant. That you don't might well be symptomatic of the issue I raise below. ++Lar: t/c 21:55, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

User:Cool Cat's involvement[edit]

User:Cool Cat should know better than to be doing any editing related to Kurdistan. Jkelly 20:49, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Why? --Cat out 21:02, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Because you clearly have strong feelings about the matter that impact your editing and treatment of people who disagree with you. Your beliefs on the subject seem to be more important to you than, for instance, making sure our users can easily find the content that they're looking for. That should be enough to tell you, especially being an admin, that you should recuse yourself from working on that material. Jkelly 21:06, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I refuse to recuse myself on any edit I make. Anybody can edit. Now if I protect a page or delete a page based on my beliefs, they you'd be correct. I do not believe I have blocked anyone based on my beliefs either. If you feel there is a conflict of interest here, feel free to point it out. You may even nominate me for deadminship if you like if you feel that I abused my admin tools.
The logic behind and applies to commons and all I seek is that.
--Cat out 21:12, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm having a hard time understanding the above as a response to what I wrote. If someone accused you of abusing admin tools, it wasn't me, and you should take it up with that person. I'm saying that you shouldn't edit things that you have strong biases about, and that admins are held to higher standards of behaviour. Jkelly 21:20, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I do not believe adminship is nobility. I also believe nothing I have done is disruptive in the context of this discussion. Admins are allowed to edit issues they have "feelings" about (Kurdistan isn't one of them for me, I am more strongly biased on issues like global warming and etc). --Cat out 21:30, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Cool Cat, when I did not oppose you for admin here, it was because I believed that you had achieved the wisdom to stay completely out of all Kurdish or Kurdistan related issues, questions, or controversies. I think I was wrong. I have been disappointed to see you involved in more than one. I think you being involved in any of these sorts of matters does the wiki a great disservice and I would sincerely and honestly ask you to refrain. Let this go, and let all future Kurdistan related matters go too. Really, it would be for the best. Please. ++Lar: t/c 21:44, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I would rather step down from my adminship post. I strongly suggest anyone from discussing my involvement to the issue and discuss the actual issue. I am starting to get annoyed. --Cat out 21:50, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd prefer you not be put in a situation where stepping down is your only choice but you really must walk away from matters that tend to cause you to be embroiled in controversy, such as this one, for your own good. You may be as annoyed at me about that as you feel you need to, but I bear you no malice, I am just concerned for you and for the wiki. ++Lar: t/c 21:55, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I am just concerned for the wiki. Having biased, unverifiable categories cause problems and even lead to flame wars such as this one. If there is a single person that can take over, I'd be happy to do that. I do not even like getting involved with Kurdistan related matters. I am unaware of a single unbiased person with the knowledge of "kurdish" issues. I am not certain if such a thing is possible. As for this issue, I do not feel I am requesting something controversial. --Cat out 22:03, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
This is a wiki. Anyone can edit. If you have a bias that should not prevent you totally from doing edits on these topics. Better remember it when doing edits and make no rules are broken. Administrator or not I will not ask Cool Cat from editing at all. Only be a bit careful. Just like any other user. --|EPO| 22:12, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Cool Cat, there is no deadline and there are millions of things that need doing. Why not stay out of areas that are proven to cause controversy? Bias is one thing, it's fine, we all have them. But arguing against the existance of a category just about always raises a red flag with me. It suggests that there is some POV pushing going on, or some information hiding, even if there really isn't. Just avoid controversy, be a bit careful as EPO says. ++Lar: t/c 22:19, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Under normal circumstances I would have requested page protection for this, as information continuously has been removed. However, in this case it wouldnt make sense as it is done by an administrator, except for one anon in the midst who make the same edit and label me as a secrewed up, terrorist supporting communist homosexsual bastard (sic). Bertilvidet 22:04, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
In my own personal view.. Cool Cat has really not done anything serious, only removed the name "Kurdistan" from an article. [5] (on two occasions, more than 24 hours apart) I would probably just ignore this incident for the moment... / Fred Chess 22:26, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
You skipped over an intermediate revision, this one: [6] I do not think that this edit is appropriate for an administrator to make, (am I misreading the diff, or did this get oversighted or something? It looks like his edit...) even for a moment. I recognise that Cool Cat removed it in the very next edit, but it just suggests to me that this topic is so volatile for Cool Cat that the best thing to do is for Cool Cat not to be involved. At all. Not even a little. ++Lar: t/c 22:32, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
An annon made a slanderous comment which got in the way of revert. A checkuser can determine if thats me or not if you don't trust my word for it. --Cat out 22:35, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any reason to suspect CoolCat for writing that unpleasant message, as he himself immediately deleted it. Bertilvidet 22:40, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Cool Cat, thanks for the explanation, and Bertilvidet... Me either, now that it's been explained, that's just fine... I absolutely take your word for stuff Cool Cat, that's not the issue. However even absent that edit I just think you ought to stay away from that entire topic. Heck, why can't the image say both Turkey AND Kurdistan, and note the controversy ?? Why can't it be in both categories? Why is this even worth fighting over? ++Lar: t/c 22:42, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not worth fighting over! Let's rather spend our time on adding media and organizing it. Bertilvidet 22:45, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Lar because Kurdistan is neither a defacto nor dejure country. It doesn't have defined borders. If someone decides to call Paris as a part of Nazi Germany or India as a part of British Empire or Greece as a part of Ottoman Empire, that would be bad. This is bad in a similar manner. Though unlike those cases, this one isn't verifiable either. --Cat out 23:03, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Seeking a solution[edit]

Many words have been written, but few indications on how to solve this. On my hard disk I have loads of photos from Turkish Kurdistan, places from where no media is available at Wikimedia. I would like to share them, and let them be accessible for people who are interested in pictures of that region of a great geo-strategical importance and subject to intense debate. But before uploading these I need some kind of assurance that they can be labeled broadly, and not subject to some kind of censorship, even if some people get offended by the fact that these represent a region mainly inhabited by Kurds, and some of the venues play an important role in Kurdish culture and history. Will this be possible, or is it naive to trust that we can deal with a region inhabited by an ethnic group whose identity apparently offends some editors? Bertilvidet 21:18, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

In other words your prerequisite/demand is that images you upload must be tagged with "Kurdistan" or else you wont upload them. You even expect assurances. -- Cat chi? 21:35, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I seek a broad agreement that we can categorize and organize photos even from that particular region. I do not intend to upload numerous photos, if I have to spend enormous amount of time keeping their description. Bertilvidet 21:37, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
If your descriptions are based on verifiable information, no one will revert it. When you upload an image you do NOT own the image description page. If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly by others, do not submit it. -- Cat chi? 21:44, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for stating your view so explicit. Bertilvidet 21:59, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
This isn't just my view. That last sentence was a copy-paste from en.wiki. Click "edit" on any page to see it. -- Cat chi? 22:08, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Latest discussion[edit]

I have now protected Image:Diyarbakir City walls.jpg. Note that protection during an edit war is not an endorsement of the current version. Kjetil r 18:03, 18 March 2007 (UTC) I also protected Image:Hasankeyf.JPG, as it was a part of the same edit war. Kjetil r 20:52, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Alright, now what? His main rationale is his belief on "kurdistan heartland", I do not consider that one bit reliable. -- Cat chi? 18:11, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Now you should reach consensus about the description of the image. An edit war is not the way to reach consensus. I am not saying that one of you is right and the other is not. Kjetil r 20:52, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Please see above. I do also believe that the meaning of heartland has been clarified, in order to understand this is far from the issue. Bertilvidet 21:19, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
The only acceptable consensus is the one that can be based on verifiable data. Otherwise you are creating controversy for the sake of controversy. -- Cat chi? 21:37, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Kjetil, I do not believe it is possible to reach a consensus. The user has been actively ignoring the en.wiki mediation attempt on an issue of similar nature for quite some time now. -- Cat chi? 21:48, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
This is not about individual editors. Cool Cat, I left a message on your talk page apologizing for not having time to participate the case. Please do not manipulate and do not turn this into a personal vendetta. You and I have discussed these issues at many, many occasions, and we will probably never agree. This is why I appeal to a wider range of editors to weigh in, I will then keep a low profile in the debate. Bertilvidet 21:59, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Personal vendetta? You currently have the time to actively revert me here on commons, participate in this very discussion here yet you still "don't have the time" to comment at the mediation case even now?
You expect people to agree with a categorization scheme based entirely on what you (Bertilvidet) feel is the "heartland"?
-- Cat chi? 22:07, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I am really sorry for all the lost efforts, but the thing that really bothered me is the fact that no one answered coolcat concerns. He is simply asking for a reasonable argument that can stand. None provided such an argument. Whether he has issues, bias, or you name it, his arguments stand strong. ( Yes I know I am almost three weeks late )--Tarawneh 04:33, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Going through the, by now rather long debate, several arguments from both sides have been presented. Unfortunately, only two editors have really taken part in it (and no surprise, if folks find it overwhelming to follow this debate). My hope is still that we can find a way to categorize media files more broadly than existing states. Bertilvidet 17:15, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know, I don't think that an " I LOVE X LOCATION" is a good category choice. A line , well a gray band, must be drawn to decide what is acceptable, and what is not.--Tarawneh 04:08, 31 March 2007 (UTC)