As the crisis of government continues in Turkey, the role of opposition parties is also being discussed within the country. One of the most important subjects, which the opposition is often criticised for failing to address, is the situation and status of the Kurdish people. The Mesopotamia News Agency interviewed Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Saliha Aydeniz on this subject and the latest events in Turkey.
Saliha Aydeniz criticised the opposition parties for not having concrete policies for Kurds. “No opposition can come to power if they do not act with courage regarding the situation of Kurds in Turkey,” she said.
Demands of the Kurdish people
DBP co-chair Saliha Aydeniz is a member of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) delegation and the DBP in Çukurova. The delegation has been meeting with people and groups within the scope of the “We are organising against fascism” campaign. Aydeniz also shared her observations during these meetings, which will continue for nine days.
“Kurdish people who were forced to leave their villages during the forced evacuations that took place in the ’90s were settled in Çukurova. We have seen that they have never surrendered to oppression. Here we have seen the reality of people whose language and culture are oppressed and still they protected their language and culture. We have seen that the oppressive politics of Turkey did not work.”
Aydeniz noted that the people in the region demand an end to the isolation imposed on Kurdistan Workers’ Party leader Abdullah Öcalan. “They see Abdullah Öcalan as crucial to solving the issues of Kurds.”
Third way should be built
Saliha Aydeniz underlined that the debates regarding the coup are deliberately created by the ruling powers. “They use this discourse of a coup for their benefit. To continue to stay in power they need to create fear among people,” she said.
Aydeniz believes that the government does not embrace the whole of Turkish society, and she criticised the opposition along the same lines. “First of all, opposition parties need the courage to be in power. There are two alliances in Turkey now, the Cumhur Alliance and the Millet Alliance. In fact, none of them can embrace the whole of Turkey. A third way should be built. A democratic alliance needs to be built.”
What does the opposition say regarding Abdullah Öcalan?
Regarding the opposition groups in Turkey, Aydeniz underlined that they do not understand the demands of the Kurdish people and do not offer policies that can help Kurds. “The opposition speaks about the Kurdish issue, but what do they say about Mr Abdullah Öcalan? What do they think about the isolation of Mr Öcalan? What do they say about the Kurdish people’s demands that their mother language be accepted as the official language? Do they have a project regarding the status of Kurdish people?”
These questions need to be answered, she said. “Despite all oppression, the Kurdish people do not give up their struggle. The situation of the Kurdish people cannot be solved through war policies. The opposition should understand that. Politics in Turkey is determined by the decisions of the Kurdish people. We saw this in the latest 2019 elections. Kurds are political actors in Turkey as well as in the Middle East.”
Targeting Kurdish women
According to Aydeniz the AKP government is deliberately attacking the Kurdish women’s movement. “Kurdish women fought against ISIS and beat them, freed Kobane. That is why they target the Kurdish women’s struggle,” she said. “The Kurdish woman runs a co-chair system that is unique. They fight against all areas of oppression. They are allies with Turkish women and the feminist movement. We stand together against the government’s attacks against women’s rights.”
Aydeniz concluded, “Women in Turkey will not give up the Istanbul Convention. There is femicide all around the world. We as women should struggle together wherever we are against the male-dominated patriarchal state.”