Turkey: An Embarrassing Experience for the West!

Rebwar Reshid

By Rebwar Rashed:

The Western World is haunted by the problem of how to handle its conscience caused by its avoidance of being adequately critical of Turkey. The West needs a clear-eyed, realistic approach and a revolutionary re-thinking in order to understand and handle Turkey as it becomes the potential trigger to start the third world war.

Putting conspiratorial theories aside, shouldn’t liberals, feminists, social democrats, leftists, other anti-fascists and anti-authoritarians of the West ask themselves about the nature of Turkey?

Turkey’s history is a history of atrocities, political, social and economic suppression. It is a history of unthinkable and unimaginable abuses of national, democratic and human rights of ‘the others’.

It is a history of forcing out Armenians, Assyrians, hundreds of thousands of Kurds, confiscating their properties, displacing hundreds of thousands of families and separating family members from each other.

Tens of thousands of arbitrary imprisonments, killings and extermination, establishing a police-state, waging state-terrorism against both neighbours and “citizens” and blackmailing everybody – these mark the political quality of this ally.

Systematically forcing political prisoners to eat their own excreta, forcing them to lie naked on cold cement or on other inmates, undressing people, especially women, even after their deaths and cutting off fingers, noses or ears in order to intimidate the freedom-loving population and set examples – these mark the quality of the human rights record of this NATO member.

Erdogan and detainees held after the 2016 failed coup attempt - his 'gift from God'

Erdogan and detainees held after the failed coup attempt – his ‘gift from God’

All this hasn’t started since Erdogan came to power. This is rather the whole history of Turkey, including prior to its becoming a member of NATO and other interstate and international organizations.

The European Court of Human Rights has made a couple of thousand judgements against Turkey for human rights violations and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has made some warnings regarding freedom of media and freedom of expression and the Freedom House has noted Turkey as “not free”; but that’s it. It is of course not bad, but unfortunately it’s not enough to stop Turkey.

Doesn’t the West’s silence and unreasonable political, economic and diplomatic support for Turkey go beyond a rational methodology of concrete political analysis of Turkey’s real nature? Isn’t the West’s silence and unreasonable behaviour in selling modern and sophisticated weapons and so much fire power a series of decisions based on wrong conclusions? Can it be explained by the theory of neo-colonialism and industrial capitalism’s total concern for profit as a conscienceless power?

Assuming the West’s desire to bring about democratically elected governments, independent judiciaries and human rights, we could argue that Turkey has got much political, economic and diplomacy support than it doesn’t deserve.

For instance, Turkey is not fulfilling the democratic criteria prior to become a member of the EU, but rather it has asked to first become a member of the EU in order to “fulfil” them. Turkey is laughing at the world.

It is obvious that Turkey asks for more not-deserved support. Somehow, the Turks have learned that they can go ahead with any violations they like and they will sooner or later get away with this. Turkey knows by experience that violence, lies, threats and dishonesty pays off.

The Turkish tactic of “good and effective offence is our defence”, has become a winner.

  1. Turkey denies totally that there is a Kurdish question in Turkey.
  2. Turkey claims that the PKK has started the violence, even though it’s a fact that the PKK started a self-defence armed struggle in 1984 while the Turkish violence against peoples inside Turkey goes way back, at least to the establishment of the Turkish state on 29 October 1923.
  3. Turkey propagates that the EU is a “Christian Club” with no place for a Muslim country and blames Europe for Islamophobia and refers to anti-Turkey conspiratorial theories.
  4. Turkey claims that it harbours at least 3 million Syrian refugees without being able to give serious data about their whereabouts. The Syrians living inside tents don’t exceed 300,000 persons in the eight refugee camps inside Turkey (Kills, Islahiye, Osmaniye, Nizip, Karkamis, Alcakale, Caylanpinar and Kahramanmarash). Most of them are surrounded by barbed wire and heavy military surveillance. Some 500,000 could be refugees on the move in Turkey. The rest – more than 2 million people, is an imaginary fictive number. Another fact is that all of those camps are located in the Kurdistan area, not in “Turkey”. Kurdish and Assyrian political activists believe that Turkey is using the Sunni Arab refugees to implement demographical changes in the Kurdistan area. There are already many reported serious conflicts between the residents and the refugees. There is not even one refugee camp in the Turkish Anatolia.
  5. Turkey only talks about the “burden” of refugees. Turkey´s officials never mention the trafficking, prostitution, slave workers, child labour, sexual abuses, discrimination which abounds in the area and which is a making-money business for the Turks in the police and in the military.
  6. Turkey is encouraging people in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other countries to come to Turkey as “refugees”. Turkey has succeeded to use these people as a political and economic card against the EU. How often don’t we hear that they will “open the gates”?
  7. Turkey has occupied Syrian and Iraqi territories, much of it lands belonging to Kurdistan, but also argues that it “defends the territorial unity” of Iraq and Syria. We know well, with the benefit of hindsight, that Turkey is still occupying northern Cyprus with no intention to leave.
  8. The AKP’s and Erdogan’s logistical and financial support to ISIS and other extremist Islamist groups has caused much pain and human loss, not only in Kurdistan but also far beyond the Middle East. This harsh and cold-blooded violence of ISIS and Islamic terrorism will continue unless Turkey is guided to peace and tolerance.

It is probably impossible to fully list Turkey’s horrible behaviour and practices toward Kurdish people and the peoples of the Middle East. Erdogan must be stopped before he does more damage.

  1. Stop selling weapons to Turkey and stop supporting Turkey by political, diplomatic and economic means.
  2. Remove the PKK from the terror list as it is a political party struggling for freedom and has asked for peaceful settlement of the Kurdish question at least nine times since 1994.
  3. Give the people of Kurdistan the right of self determination and support democratic self governance of the cantons and communities in Kurdistan.

Rebwar Rashed is Co-Chairman of the Kurdistan National Congress – KNK

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