Dr. Hayri Hazargöl
“We often hear that chemical and toxic gases are used and even some samples have been sent to international institutions. That means international institutions and related circles take the claims on chemical weapons and toxic gases seriously,” writes Dr. Hayri Hazargöl for the daily Yeni Yaşam.
When it comes to discussions about the Kurdish Question in Turkey, people are not able to raise criticisms against the government and the state. Even those who do not find the policies and practices of the government favourable adopt auto-self-censorship if the subject is the Kurdish Question. (…)
Fires erupt in Turkey and you hear artists and authors and opposition politicians raising their voices for an effective intervention to stop the fires. Of course, this is what must be done in all circumstances, but the thing is, when fires erupt in Kurdish provinces, people play the three monkeys: ‘I did not see, I did not hear, I do not know anything.’
Kurdish people, ecologists, non-governmental organisations say, “The state burns our forests with their tanks and mortars and warplanes and helicopters.” Moreover, they emphasise that people who try to help stop the fires are prevented from doing so. Again, the people say that the armoured vehicles of the Turkish army that have been battling against the guerrilla of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) drive so fast on their streets, as if in a rally, hitting people. These issues are not raised as an item in the agenda for wider public or political discussion.
Already, there are thousands of unidentified murders, the perpetrators of most of which are actually linked to the state, just like the massacre in Roboski, but no soldier or police officer is brought to justice in order to not halt their ‘enthusiasm’ in the battle against ‘terrorism.’ Kurdish women, young girls, are raped, are killed, but the perpetrators are either ‘unknown’ or walking around freely. Kurdish people and lawyers dealing with such cases have been repeatedly saying that there is impunity, which motivates further crimes. That means: it is free to commit crimes against the Kurds!
In crimes against the Kurds, no soldier, no police officer, no fascist and no perpetrator cooperating with the state is brought to justice and policies of impunity are applied, even if they stand in court. Three members of the Şenyaşar family were lynched to death in front of police officers, but the perpetrators are outside, walking the streets freely.
Now, the Kurds have another claim: “The state uses toxic gases and chemical weapons against the guerrilla of the PKK.”
Now, no one can quickly deny such a claim. Those who used toxic gases against the people in Dersim in 1927-38 can surely be using chemical weapons in such a war against the PKK that even has the support of NATO.
Remember İhsan Sabri Çağlayangil, a former Foreign Minister, who clearly talked about how they “poisoned the people of Dersim in their caves like rats?”
Now, there are reports about the ongoing cross-border operations and how chemical weapons and toxic gases are being used in the caves against the guerrilla, who fight against the Turkish soldiers. Kurdish TV channels have broadcast some footage in which it was claimed that Turkey has been using chemical weapons. This issue is on the agenda of the Kurds now. People in northern Iraq also say that the Turkish state employs toxic gases and chemical weapons and that their villages are being destroyed and hundreds of civilians were wounded and lost their lives during these attacks. Those who were left injured and became permanently disabled after these attacks also spoke on Kurdish TV channels and we follow their statements.
We often hear that chemical and toxic gases are used and even some samples have been sent to international institutions. That means international institutions and related circles take the claims on chemical weapons and toxic gases seriously. However, since they do not want to stand up against Turkey, they remain silent about this issue and cover these issues up. But this time, Turkey can really face a serious charge and even their best friends might not be able to stand alongside Turkey this time. (…)
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) government are ruling on behalf of the people of Turkey. They make policies on behalf of the people of Turkey and they put these policies into practice accordingly. So, all their actions are committed on behalf of ‘the people.’ They take their legitimacy from ‘the people.’ So, if any of these claims reflect the truth – we know there is proof that most of these claims reflect the truth – then, there are crimes being committed on behalf of ‘the people of Turkey.’ No government has any right to commit crimes on behalf of the people. No ‘people’ should be brought into disrepute like that. In this perspective, such practices are crimes against people and they demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
So, the intellectuals, authors, academics, politicians, human rights institutions should address these crimes, which are said to have been perpetrated by the Turkish government ruled by the AKP and the MHP and announce the facts to the public. Otherwise, such crimes will be committed even more furiously in the future.