By Momen Zellmi:
A senior Turkish official has acknowledged that 38 civilians were killed in the air strike near a Kurdish village close to the border with the Kurdistan Region. Turkey’s military said earlier that it had targeted suspected Kurdish militants. But the victims of Wednesday night’s attack were villagers involved in smuggling cigarettes into Turkey from Iraq. A Turkish security official told Reuter’s news agency: “There were rumors that the PKK would cross through this region. Images were recorded of a crowd crossing last night; hence an operation was carried out …We could not have known whether these people were (PKK) group members or smugglers”.
The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) condemned the air strike as a ‘massacre’, saying that most victims were aged between 12 and 20. BDP leader, Selahattin Demirtas, said: “Those killed were young people who made a living from smuggling. There were people studying for university exams among them.”
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) called for an uprising against the Turkish state, “We call on all the people of Kurdistan and especially that of Hakkari and Sirnak to show their reaction against this massacre and to hold the perpetrators of this massacre accountable through their serhildan [uprising],” Bahoz Erdal, a PKK commander said in a press release. According to the PKK, the death of civilians was not an accident, as the Turkish government claimed.
This attack and its aftermath filled my mind with the verse:
“My season always is yellow, day after day, I should wait for great disaster, and so what is the result?”
I learned the Holy Quran when I was just seven years old. I learned the principles of Islam. I noted that most of the harassments are upon me and my nation. Sometimes I think that because I haven’t seen my father, my great guide, that is why I could not imagine my ideal life, because when I was just one the Iraqi regime killed him in a genocide operation. So I must learn the word of ‘Trouble’ behind my name, because we Kurds have a lot of memories of injustice.
After this attack the Kurdish presidents were quiet, and we don’t pay attention to this, the reason is too clear to understand: it is because the KRG has a lot of financial transactions with Turkey government. If not for 38 civilian villagers, if thousands of Kurdish people were killed by Turkey, would the KRG then speak out?
I saw only scholars, journalists, opposition members of parliament and some Islamic leaders condemning this brutal operation by Turkey. Masud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan region, announced: “We are unhappy about this event”. But he did not condemn it!
But, in a surprise statement, Salahadin Bahaddin, the Islamic Union’s Leader (who is considered as the closest Kurdish leader to Erdogan and the AKP) harshly condemned the massacre on his Facebook page.
“Unfortunately, the military mindset and the military means of solution are still dominant in Turkey”, he wrote.
“If this ugly act and obvious crime is committed under the justification of technical mistake and false intelligence reports, it is unacceptable. In the era of new advanced technology and developed military tools, and for a country like Turkey which is a member of NATO, would combat airplanes confuse between armed people and unarmed people? Or don’t they want to make that distinction!”
Also Kurdish youth took to the streets to protest against the Turkish air strike, especially in most of the cities of South Kurdistan where hundreds of youth protested this attack and raised Ocalan’s photos and shouted against the AKP and Turkish government.
The representative of the Kurdistan Solution Party, Mam Hazhar, read a statement outside the Kurdish Parliament in Irbil. He said, “We stand against Turkey’s mass killings. What they have done is against humanity and far from democracy.”
“Turkey must be condemned. We urge Kurds to stand against Turkey’s actions as one nation.”
I think by this attitude the Turkish government showed that they have the intention to kill all of humanity, and this attack told us that the AKP has a false idea for solving the Kurdish problem in Turkey.
They seem to want to secure a prosperous life for Turkish people of Islamic background but, in Islam, killing one person means killing the whole of mankind. Allah said: “Anyone who saves one life, it is as if he has saved the whole of mankind and anyone who has killed another person it is as if he has killed the whole of mankind.” Holy Quran – Al-Maida (32).
I believe there is no difference between injustice in any part of world, whether secularist, Islamic or nationalist. Injustice is the same, especially for Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Syria or Iraq.
Finally, Kurdish people should be aware, more and more, of every brutal plan against them. We hope that this incident will move the Kurdish presidents to have the conscience to boldly pursue political and peaceful ways to solve Kurdish issues in the world.
* From the poem by Omar Gulpi