Another date is added to the long list of dates on which Kurds were brutally murdered. 30 July 2021: Yaşar Dedeoğlu, Barış Dedeoğlu, Serpil Dedeoğlu, Serap Dedeoğlu, İpek Dedeoğlu, Metin Dedeoğlu and Sibel Dedeoğlu were killed by a racist mob in Meram, Konya. The massacre will be commemorated for years to come, with calls for justice, which will not be delivered.
I can’t help but think of Roboskî massacre, the bombing of 34 boys and men on the Iraqi border on 28 December 2011, this year a decade ago. The situation is even grimmer now.
Last night I was watching the press conference at the HDP head quarters, where co-leader Mithat Sancar spoke about what happened. The emotions were tangible. He seemed barely able to suppress his intense anger, formulating razor sharply how the state is deliberately creating chaos in the country. There is a policy of death, a mindset of destruction created by the now years-old AKP-MHP alliance. The only thing that can turn the tide, he said, is unity among opposition parties. The HDP will be in Konya today and Sancar called on all opposition leaders to join them. Only by being united can the work for equality, human rights, living together, democracy and peace forcefully advance.
Sancar is basically calling for protection against the racist mobs that the AKP-MHP coalition is unleashing. Let’s call them by their name: the Grey Wolves are hunting, they are untouchable and free to roam the streets and kill, and only a united front of people who stand for equality and a common future can stop them. The Dedeoğlu-family makes it to the big headlines now because they did not survive, like HDP volunteer Deniz Poyraz last month in Izmir, but the last couple of weeks, attacks against Kurdish citizens have been on the rise in all provinces in central and west Turkey. It is scaringly enough, only a matter of time before more Kurdish lives will be lost.
The forest fires that have been haunting Turkey’s coastal regions this week, fit into that picture. Government media have started to publish their articles about the PKK and by extension the HDP being responsible. The anger about these fires will only endanger Kurds more, everywhere in the country. Maybe this could help open the eyes of supporters of the biggest opposition party, CHP, and of environmentalists who also know the truth: part of the forest fires are lit by people with high interests in the tourism sector, who want to clear lands for project development to enrich themselves and the corrupt circles around them. The AKP is the center around which that dynamic evolves.
I think the AKP and MHP have divided their roles. I recently read on Al-Monitor that during the AKP-MHP coalition, none of the law proposals of the MHP have made it through parliament. So- law-making is not the MHP’s role. The AKP is in charge of further suffocating Kurdish society with laws and by locking up its leaders, while the MHP can unleash its civil armed mobs the Grey Wolves to murder Kurds. Forest fires are perfect to flare up the hate. The scene is truly apocalyptic.
I have seen people on social media calling for an independent Kurdish state. Only an independent Kurdistan can protect the lives of Kurds, they say. I hear them loud and clear, but would it have saved the Dedeoğlu family? Konya is far outside the Kurdish-majority lands in Turkey’s southeast. Deniz Poyraz lived in Izmir, which would not be in Kurdistan. Part of the teenage boys I met in Roboskî ten years ago, when I was investigating the massacre, have moved from the village to cities elsewhere in Turkey to work, often on dangerous construction sites, because it is increasingly impossible to make a living in the Kurdish regions.
What would an independent Kurdish state mean for all these people? For the millions of Kurds who have been living in Istanbul, Izmir, Adana, Mersin, Ankara for years, sometimes already generations? Will they have to move to Kurdistan? What if they don’t want that? What if they refuse? Will they be forced? Stuffed in buses and trains, on a journey to Diyarbakır, to Van, to Dersim and Hakkari? There will be a word for that, and Turkey has a rich history with it: ethnic cleansing. Where will the borders of Kurdistan be? Is Gaziantep Kurdistan? Malatya? Agri? How much blood will be spilled defining what is Turkey and what is Kurdistan?
Kurds are not a minority in Turkey. They are co-owners of the land. They deserve to live in peace in every single corner of the country. Free to go and live wherever they please. It is the only solution within the realms of humanity. The AKP-MHP alliance insists on the ‘solution’ the state has proposed since its foundation: assimilate and murder Kurds to reach their ideal of a pure Turkish homeland. The more chaos, the more Grey Wolves and ordinary citizens lend a helping hand. This is the chilling spiral of expanding chaos that Turkey is currently in. Can you imagine being a Kurd in such a non-society? Can you?
Roboskî became a symbol of the way the state can murder citizens with impunity, also in the 21st century. Don’t let Meram, Konya become a symbol of how the Grey Wolves can roam and kill with the same impunity, and plunge a country into total chaos.