writes Sara Aktaş for Yeni Özgür Politika.new kind of racism with a grip on the larger masses has emerged in Turkey in the 2000s. It is fuelled and popularized by the fascist policies of the government and is based solely on hostility towards the Kurds. An effective struggle against it […] passes through understanding where and how it has been produced and what it causes,”
The strategy of denial of Kurdish identity and hostility towards the Kurdish people has reached a new phase during the administrations of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) as a consequence of the genocidal policies systematically practiced by the present fascist administration. The result of these policies has been the justification of deadly attacks on people merely for speaking in Kurdish, singing a Kurdish song, wearing local Kurdish garments, and even just for being a Kurd […]
It must be remembered that the racist ideologies in the world categorized people hierarchically as superior and inferior species in a period beginning from the 19th century till the early 20th century, claiming that these species had certain natural qualities, and trying to base this claim on scientific biological data. It can be said that this classical racism, based purely on the notion of ‘race,’ has adopted a new content in today’s world: it is now based rather on all sorts of strategically instrumental discriminations, like cultural discrimination.
While this transformation from classical racism to neo-racism isn’t independent from political, economic, social and cultural processes underlying racism, the ability of neo-racism to be integrated with any discriminative ideology and its tendency to grow mostly on cultural differences makes it a new phenomenon.
In fact, those sections of societies that cannot be integrated into the establishment, are forced to integrate through economic, cultural and political means by nation states and their institutions. So racism is now encountered as a regime problem, and the groups carrying out racist attacks are fundamentally those supported by the state. The police, the judiciary, schools and families have become the primary institutions reproducing racism. The aggressors perceive the demands of ethnic groups for equality, for equally sharing the common benefits, as a threat to their existence, domination and political power, and the massacres, genocides, and all other kinds of racist attacks base their claims on this threat perception of rage, hate, and a desire for exclusive power and domination […]
In today’s conditions, the poison of racism is fed to society on a larger scale, reproduced on a wider plane. The common property of all attacks is the desire to show who’s dominant in the country, to show ‘others’ their place, and to destroy totally if those ‘others’ do not consent.
It must be added that this is theorised in accordance with transformation on a global scale. It is obviously impossible to view the racist attacks on Kurds since the 1990s separately from the denial and destruction policies of the Turkish state, going a long way back in history. After 1923 [the year of the foundation of the Turkish Republic], accepting the Turkish ‘identity’ and shaping oneself as a ‘Turk’ has been imposed through the most brutal means on the non-Turkish ethnic groups. The Kurds who were exiled to Turkish-majority cities in the 1930s and 1940s were subjected to various aggressions, being widely called terms like “the Kurd with a tail”, “savage Kurd” and “bandit”. More recently, merely possessing a Kurdish identity is considered justification for aggressions, and Kurds are labelled as “traitors” and “terrorists” […]
We can say that a new kind of racism with a grip on the larger masses has emerged in Turkey in the 2000s. It is fuelled and popularized by the fascist policies of the government and is based solely on hostility towards the Kurds. An effective struggle against it – positioned as an ideological structure – passes through understanding where and how it has been produced and what it causes.
Note for the reader: This is a translation of excerpts from the article, not the whole article.