In the past Turkey was a gendarmerie state: Now it is a police state

Turkish state routinely represses Kurds
Gulenists and the AKP will close the BDP, the main Kurdish party

By Dr Aland Mizell:

While most of the world is busy focusing on the Arab Spring, a possible war on Iran, the US and Europeans debts, world financial markets, and the price of oil, Turkey and Gulenists’ police are busy jailing all the Kurdish intellectuals, journalists, elected leaders, students, and writers. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is strongly backed by the Gulenists, and their media is conducting a dirty campaign against the Kurdish political party, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), with a clear motive. It is part of the strategy of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Gulenists against the Kurds’ only representative party, the BDP, with its 36 democratically elected MPs.

The government aims at tarnishing the image and values of the Kurdish political party in the eyes of the Turkish and Kurdish people. These Kurdish elected political leaders are behind bars, and hundreds of others have been in jail for months or in some cases years without convictions. Illegal wiretappings also breach the citizens’ right to privacy. In Turkey’s operations against the Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), many Kurdish journalists have been imprisoned. It is unusual for a democratic country’s police to launch operations against civil society’s organizations and use excessive force against its citizenry. The question must be asked– is Turkey really a democratic country? What has changed since Gulenists and the AKP took over Turkey?

In the past Turkey was a gendarmerie state; the military would do all kinds of illegal activities because no one dared to question them. That is why we saw ‘deep states’ come about in Turkey. So what has changed since the military is essentially gone?   Nothing has changed except that Turkey has transformed from a gendarmerie state unquestionably to a police state. Police now exist to defend the Gulenists’ ideology. Today the AKP and Gulenist groups know that closing a party detracts from their good image and yet they want to get rid of the BDP, the only party that represents Kurdish interests and one that has been elected by the more than two million Kurds.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the BDP as an extension of the PKK thereby demonstrating that he does not respect the will of the millions of Kurdish voters. If the BDP is an extension of the terrorist organization, then more than two million people who voted for BDP candidates are terrorists as well. Would Prime Minister put all the Kurds in prison? No.

Here is the contrived rationale behind the Gulenists and the AKP’s dirty game against the Kurds. They know that there is only one party that really represents the Kurdish interests. Further, they know that there is only one party that rejects Gülen’s ideology in southeastern Turkey, and that it is the biggest obstacle to the Gulenists’ ideology being successful.  Mr. Gülen himself addressed his followers acknowledging that they failed to assimilate the Kurds and explaining that that’s why they have problems today. Since they cannot close the party, because this punitive action would not be good for Turkey‘s image, they are trying to link the BDP with the KCK and the KCK to the PKK, since the PKK is considered a terror organization. Consequently they can put all the elected Kurdish leaders in prison and pass legislation for them not to run for office again, so that the ruling party can gain time to establish a new Kurdish political party that will agree with the interests of Gülen and then will be loyal to Gülen and his ideology, but will not necessarily defend Kurdish interests.

They probably will endorse Kemal Burkay, a Kurd, but one who agrees with the AKP and the Gulenists’ policies. Remember in Turkey when you say, “I’m a Turk,” you don’t have problems, but when you say, “I’m a Kurd, and I want to have basic rights,” then you become the problem. Mister Burkay understands this.

There is another trap waiting for the Kurds– the Islamic card. Gülen is already using it to recruit many Kurds to his movement. The Islamic regime’s treatment of the Kurds will not be any different from previous regimes’ treatment of them. As mentioned, under them Kurds did not have problems so long as they denied that they were Kurds, and this factor will be the same under the Islamic regime. As long as you do not say, “I am Kurd,” you are welcomed with no problems. Today in Turkey the Kurdish Parliamentarians were democratically elected by the Kurdish people and given a victory, but the Muslim administration is not happy and is using intimidation to attack and put the Kurds in jail one by one, charging them in court, and financially and spiritually harassing them in an attempt to lower their morale, so that they will give up. They are using many kinds of tactics to justify their means.

Purposefully working on a plan to bring in the Kurds, Gülen wants his circles to discuss Kurdish issues rather than Europeans or other scholars. If today Kurds are somewhat known in the international arena, is it because Kurdish lobbyists have carried out many important activities concerning Kurdish issues. Because many Kurds who moved to the West were already older and had a hard time integrating into Western culture, it is important to bring the younger generation into the political arena. The Kurdish government should fund the lobbyists, so that they can focus on lobbying. The Kurds should work together, not just as individuals. For example, the Kurdish problem in Syria should be the same problem as that of the Kurds in Turkey or Iraqi Kurds. I believe nothing is impossible for the Kurdish people to accomplish; if Kurds have enough will, they should always find sufficient means, not excuses.

Dr. Aland Mizell is with the University of Mindanao School of Social Science, President of the MCI and a regular contributor to The Kurdistan Tribune, and Kurdish Media.You may email the author 

One Response to In the past Turkey was a gendarmerie state: Now it is a police state
  1. Kuvan Bamarny
    January 26, 2012 | 23:20

    They can close BDP .They can arrest kurdish intelectuals and jouralists ,but trust me they can never eliminate kurdish culture and identity, unlesss they destroy the whole kurds of the world which is impossible to happen , because kurdish peoeple have spreaded every where in this world.

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