‘If I was in charge of the Turkish Government, I would throw all Kurds out of Istanbul!’

Solin Hacador

By Solin Hacador:

The phrase belongs to Turkish youths. It is threatening! It smells very unpleasant! I was shocked listening to young Turks state: ‘If I was in charge of the Turkish Government, I would throw all Kurds out of Istanbul’. This phrase itself is open evidence of racism. Kurds are based in non-Kurdish areas because of the Turkish state’s forced migration. Kurds are victim of the Turkish radical nationalist state.

Radical nationalism is comparable to fascism. For sure, the majority of Turks do not realize for how long they have been occupying Kurdish areas, benefiting from their natural resources and spreading assimilation. They are too blind to see that the Turkish state is a colonizer. There are two ingredients in the colonial whole: the colonized and the colonizer. Much attention has been directed at the situation of the colonized. Can Turks appreciate what colonialism is?  Not really! I am aware of histories, biographies, and such like that do. It is time to take seriously the other element of the colonial totality: the colonizer. After all, as both Frantz Fanon and Albert Memmi so eloquently tell us in their works (The Wretched of the Earth and The Colonizer and the Colonized, respectively), there would have been no colonized had there been no colonizer. This acclaimed symbiosis between the colonizer and the colonized underscores the need to unearth the motivations behind the colonizer’s activity.

Racist behaviour in Turkey is very common and people can freely and publicly express their racist thoughts. Racism is not regulated by law and people are privileged to be Turks. For non-Turkish people, however, it is like torture to live in that environment.

For a Kurd, visiting Northern Kurdistan is a mixture of joy and pain. On the one hand, you feel happy to visit your country; on the another hand, you feel disgusted to encounter racism.

If you are travelling from abroad you need to go through Turkish cities to approach your beloved Kurdistan. I always feel enormous pressure when I visit Turkey. This pressure begins with my arrival at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. Since ‘Ataturk’ creates an unpleasant image in my mind, I cannot enjoy stepping into that airport. The same airport used to be called Yesilkoy Airport but the proud Turkish mentality changed it.

I was visiting my relatives in Istanbul. The entrance of their building was covered with a huge Turkish flag. When I entered the building the flag was touching my face. What an embarrassing thing for a Kurd to be in such a situation! I felt awful and could not keep myself from saying, ‘I hate fascism’. The doorman looked at me strangely and said: ‘Respect Your Flag!’ I did not understand why the flag was there. I was told that it was because of Eid. A Turkish flag for Eid? What a strange and fascist behaviour!

I do not have to respect this fascist behaviour, especially knowing that the Turkish authorities removed traffic lights in my home city, Diyarbakir and Urfa a few years ago. The authorities at that time claimed these traffic lights were displaying forbidden colours. They meant the Kurdish flag’s colours: red, green and yellow. It looked really funny when I saw traffic lights in red and green in Diyarbakir!

In Northern Kurdistan Turkish flags are occupying huge spaces. Not only that, the mountains are also decorated with Ataturk’s fascist phrase:  “How happy is the one who says I am a Turk”. As a Kurd, I do not want to see all of this on my soil.  I could not protest about the Turkish flag and Turkish fascist phrases. I had learnt that it is dangerous to offer such gestures to dictators and fascist behaviours!

Ataturk’s phrases and flags are so dominant in Turkish daily life. However, it looks more dangerous than ever. When you walk around Istanbul, you can see Turkish flags everywhere. Official or non-official places are under surveillance by the nationalists. People show up their loyalty to Ataturk by decorating their windows and balconies with Turkish flags! I was several times approached by street salesman to buy the Turkish flag. Well, some people benefit from this and constantly produce nationalistic products.

Radical Turkish nationalism has a long history that extends beyond the confines of the Republican regime. Meanwhile, in its current form, this populist political movement is heavily intertwined with the leading ideologies of Kemalism and political Islam. As such, it constitutes an important part of the status quo in Turkish politics. Since the 1960s, accentuated by the context of successive short-lived and ideologically incompatible coalition governments, MHP (National Action Party) cadres gradually increased their grip over Turkish politics. In addition, they became a considerable force located within the state apparatus by occupying significant long-term posts in the ministries and the bureaucracy.

This brainwashed party denies the very existence of Kurds. Alparslan Türkeş, General Secretary of the nationalist MHP said in an interview after the 1996 election that: “The Kurds are our people; they are all of Turkish stock. They are Turks that have become Kurds (Kürtleşmiştir) only through neglect. Turkey is not a cultural mosaic; everyone in Turkey is a Turk” (Yeni Yüzyil, 26 December 1996). It was very naive and simple-minded of him denying the existence of 18 millions Kurds in Turkey. This can only be considered as fascist behaviour.

We know fascism is dangerous and was not successful anywhere in the world. It is generally agreed that fascism was an effectively attractive political movement only in the period between the World Wars, although elements of its ideology clearly appeared before World War I and were still in circulation a generation after World War II. But as to why fascism became attractive at that point in Europe’s history, there is no general agreement or universally accepted theory. Perhaps there should be none, in view of the diversity of the countries involved, the operative factors affecting them, and the variety of movements alleged to be ‘fascist’.

The Turkish regime’s effort to exercise absolute power over all important aspects of the state and society is designed to suppress the Kurds. Its education system is also imposing racism against other ethnicities, religions, political opinions and social groups. As a result racism is increasing in Turkey. This is dangerous and the danger speaks out against them as well. While Turkey is a customer of the European Union, it should realize that racism is a crime by EU law. Turkey should get rid of its nationalist, racist behaviour. No EU country displays symbols of dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco and Benito Mussolini. Therefore, the Turkish education system should be ashamed of bringing up racist youths who want to throw Kurds out of Istanbul. If the regime wants to take part in the EU, it first of all needs to get civilized, improve respect for others and provide Kurds with their rights.

© Kurdistantribune.com, terms of use

Solin Hacador is a new columnist for The Kurdistan Tribune. She has done an LLM in international law, and works in teaching and business consultancy fields. Solin is from the capital city of Kurdistan, Amed. She resides in Spain and writes for ‘Gelawej’ and ‘Kovara Jinan’.


4 Responses to ‘If I was in charge of the Turkish Government, I would throw all Kurds out of Istanbul!’
  1. Safo Dirik
    October 26, 2011 | 17:49

    A very impressive article. Well done. You are going to fill a gap in The Kurdistan Tribune. Congratulations.

  2. Solin HACADOR
    October 27, 2011 | 03:25

    Dear Safo,
    Thanks a lot for your comment. It is very appreciated. I am honoured and delighted to be with you all.
    Best Regards

  3. Safo Dirik
    October 27, 2011 | 05:40

    Today is the second day of the earthquake. Van and Ercis ethnic structure is Kurdish.The Ercis mayor is from AKP while Mayor of Wan is from BDP. Wan Mayor Kaya has been accused because he did not deny PKK and is going to be sentenced a 2 years .Think of a legal party with nearly all of their administrative staff is jailed with foolish reasons. A lonely Mayor, weakened, faces an earthquake but he represents a majority and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan visits Wan for a very short while, shows no communication with him. How can you expect such a person tends to peace. Erdogan is a trader of war. He and his staff are only concerned with the commercial figures and what comes in their pockets. His aid organization “Deniz Feneri” is a black organization still on trial in Germany. They bought ships and fed their activists by millions collected from naive Moslems in Europe and Turkey. Now they are trying to put obstacles to BDP aid services and the army continue their attacks on kurdish guerillas without thinking of any cease fire with such a calamity. You may think how AKP feels itself politically so powerful in the region.He depends on the AKP votes fifty fifty, still its a pity with such an election law in favor of AKP. So South East is not a victory for him. He has to show an iron fist over Kurds.

    Kurdish spring is and will be a leader to all springs. Egypt and Tunisia must take good lessons for their future. What is Kurdish spring? What declarations were made by BDP Congress? What must be the modern”!Free and Equal” construction of Middle East? All are in BDP declarations. Kurdistan Tribune must enlighten on these issues which are presented as terrorism by AKP tyrants . Yes, the youth in middle east needs a real spring. Erdogan presents himself as a model. He is promoting economic progress and religious maintainance hand in hand in modernity. This is a trap. The trap is written in USA. For decades they are organizing the Moslem communities on Fethullah Hoca basis, educating them and pulling forward all commercial opportunities. Turkish backed religious policy is very strong in the geography and we see its power firstly in Tunissian voting. Brother AKP knows all the election tricks and writes their road map for absolute power. Most of Tunisian freedom fighters maybe are dissapointed. Your real fight now starts.

    Listen to the tycoons, business man backing AKP. Sürreyya Ciliv, ceo of Turkcell speaks to Charlie Rose in Bloomberg. Says; “Turkish people are dying to work from the sunrise till fall. We achieved Turkish Miracle.” Rose asks about human and political rights. He smiles without an answer. The man is American made. Doesn’t like humanitarian Europeans. He misses the Wild American Capitalists of old age. Despises America for its new situation. America owes its miracles to the slaves. Wild capitalism backed by Modern Islam? Who are going to be new slaves? Lowest classes of Moderate islam. They are far better than black slaves of America. They won’t be able to revolt on individual rights. Easily manupulated and governed. No trade union, low wages only enough to pay the bank card depts. Prisons filled so easily by daily laws. A cage worse than Sharia. Be ready Arabian Spring.

    Kurds are tough people. The youth are self made, intellectually very high, reading, creating, fighting. They forgot the springs, seasons, fairy tales and thanks to the history of struggle they learned all type of lies. Thats why the AKP provokes the flag Kemalists for a pogrom on them. If they achieve it, there won’t be a Kurdish spring but a Kurdish Volcano.

  4. Haval
    October 27, 2011 | 13:31

    if you live in Turkey you do realise you are living in a colonised country Kurdish part .Well done solin for the article and very impressive

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