By Rebwar Rashed:
The modern history of Turkey is the history of racism, discrimination and exclusion. Thus, it is a history of assimilation, extermination, deportation, displacement, harassment, imprisonment and persecution. The victims are many: Kurds, Assyrians and Armenians and also other non Hanafi-Islam sorts, especially the Alawits.
In the rhetoric of Turkish state ideology and of established Turkish political parties such as the MHP and CHP, we see the same pattern: The Kurds are the Enemy — the entire Kurdish population in Kurdistan, villages as well as cities, children as well as elderly, women and men.
Now under Erdoğan’s leadership Turkey gets totalitarian, authoritarian and more violence-oriented and sinks more into conspiratorial thinking and intimidation.
Since July 24th 2015, Turkey has been destroying thousands of Kurdish homes and has killed at least a couple of thousand Kurdish civilians under the pretext of “fighting terror”. The West, NATO and Russia have detailed information about this inhuman situation, but they have chosen to look the other way.
It is a fact that Turkey been supporting terrorism in the Middle East. It has created tens of different Islamic groups with different names. Turkey has been supporting these Islamic terrorist groups, such as ISIS, Jabha Alnusra, Ahrar Al Sham, Sultan Murad Brigades, Jeish Al Islam, and so on, openly.
Now, with the benefit of historical experience and hindsight, we can claim that the aims of Turkey are the following:
- Fighting the Kurdish liberation movement at the expense of the western democracies and NATO. Turkey doesn’t hide that it does not tolerate any Kurdish rights.
- Erdoğan’s plan was to “liberate” Jerusalem and establish a Palestine state belonging to Turkey, recalling the Ottoman Empire.
- Erdoğan had sworn to topple Bashar Al Essad and instead establish a Hanafi-Islamic puppet regime belonging to Turkey.
- Making Syrian immigration into a real political crisis and thus into a business trade.
- Using the Syrian political refugees as a political tool against the Kurdish people.
Factors such as the downing of the Russian jet on November 24th 2015, the deterioration in relations with Israel, the breeding of Islamist groups which have no principal differences with ISIS, and the Kurdish peoples’ will to fight back and struggle for peace and rights, have brought Turkey’s Erdoğan to his knees. By firing Davutoğlu, Erdoğan gave himself and the AKP a new opportunity for new political maneuvers. Yet now, all of a sudden, Erdoğan sings the song of “increasing friends and decreasing enemies”.
It seems that Erdoğan understands at last that the toppling of Bashar Al Assad is not in his hands, Israel will not surrender to Turkish blackmail and Russia is more determined than Erdoğan thought. Erdoğan understands too that the West, which has a history of colonialism and imperialism, will not allow Turkey to be an equal business partner at their table.
So the West, Russia and Israel have shown Turkey the path back to the cage. In order for Erdoğan and the AKP government to deal with the anger and zero self-confidence this induces, there are always Kurds to kill and Kurdistan to burn and destroy.
After abandoning those aims and dreams Erdoğan is eagerly betting on getting the help and assistance he needs to root out the Kurdish people. Erdoğan approved a bill on June 7th 2016 which will lift lawmakers’ immunity from prosecution. He wants to pave the way for the removal of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) from parliament. Turkey gives no place or chance to Kurds for politics.
Erdoğan desperately seeks a global cooperation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People’s Defense Units (YPG) [the only reliable force against ISIS] by insisting on the necessity of the Turkish “anti-terror law”. This explains why on June 23rd 2016 the Turkish parliament granted immunity from prosecution to members of the armed forces conducting “counter-terrorism” operations against Kurds.
Since July 2nd Erdoğan has been whipping up his MPs and forcing others into accepting the granting of Turkish citizenship to Syrians in Turkey. Erdoğan is trying to change the demography of Kurdistan by settling hundreds of thousands of Sunni Syrians in Kurdish areas (not in Turkish areas). Turkey has practised the same policy before, for example, by settling Meskhetian Turks from Georgia in Erzincan and in the province of Bitlis [2 Kurdish provinces!]. Erdoğan does not have a humanistic approach, but rather he tries to deceive and distort the international and domestic democratic opinion. His strategy is to change the demography of Kurdistan and to find internal sectarian religious frictions and conflicts.
Erdoğan also tries to create constituents through cheap labor and strenghten the AKP’s patriarchal hegemony. There are already many reports of trafficking, child-prostitution, child-marriage and also human [Syrian!] organ trading. The Turkish racist official ideology helps deepen the already existing prejudices against refugees. Erdoğan doesn’t hide that he prefers “educated refugees” and wants to send the “less educated” to Europe.
There have been reports that the Turkish military and police have forced the Syrians to fast during Ramadan in order to keep the refugees’ share of food and money for themselves. Turkey talks about having 3 million refugees, although less than 300,000 live in refugee camps. Many think the rest is an imaginary figure to cheat the EU out of more money.
It’s quite clear that the Erdoğan’s approach is neither a humanistic nor a solidaristic one.
Erdoğan’s remarks that the state will “rebuild!” destroyed Kurdish areas after the harsh Turkish military operations is far from the truth. It’s not a secret that the so-called “rebuilding” contracts go into the pockets of construction companies and pro-government subcontractors to create a money scheme for, among other things, the next election. Erdoğan has been making profit from these kinds of political projects, i e. Syrian refugees, Kurdish depopulation strategy, “rebuilding” destroyed Kurdish areas, etc.
To understand this strategy of Erdoğan’s we have to understand that this procedure is a copy version of the “Orient Reform Plan” of the 1920s and the post-Dersim Uprisings when Attatürk killed thousands of Kurds and destroyed their homes and confiscated their belongings.
Besides the war on Rojawa and intervention in Bashur (Kurdistan in Iraq), the Turkish attacks on Bakur Kurdistan (Kurdistan in Turkey) actually began after the June 7th 2015 elections. There followed the barbaric attacks on Suruc (on 22nd July, killing at least 32 people) and the Ankara attack (on 10 October, killing at least 102 people). Since 16th August 2015 the Turkish state has enforced unlawful curfews in dozens of Kurdish cities and many Kurdish towns where as many as 2 million people have been directly affected and face displacement and compulsory interim re-settlement. Diyarbakir’s Sur district has been practically bulldozed to the ground except for the historic mosque and the churches. There is a lack of electricity, drinking water, food and hygiene products. The Turkish military have committed massacres in these towns and cities, killing thousands of civilians.
Outside the Kurdish towns and cities Erdoğan has waged a real war on Kurdish guerrillas as Turkish fighter jets and drones fly almost all the time, bombarding Kurdistan and burning the beautiful nature of Kurdish landscapes.
Erdoğan’s barbaric war against the Kurdish people has a racist colonial history and explanation. This colonial and racist war becomes more deadly and harsh with time as the Kurdish liberation movement gets more inclusive, pluralistic, democratic and secular.
The Kurds need international democratic support in order to overcome these difficult days ahead of freedom.