“The truth is that the century has passed, but neither the arguments nor the dirty methods used by fascist governments change. With the Reichstag fire Hitler approached infinite power and institutionalised fascism. After a century, the Erdoğan government, using the same steps, is once again trying to institutionalise fascism with the so-called Kobanê case”, writes Sara Aktaş for Yeni Özgür Politika.
The Kobanê case is reminiscent of the Reichstag case. After World War I, Germany was in a dramatic situation. The effects of the great depression were deeply felt in the society, and its inability to establish a stable administration only caused more harm. Moreover, the rage in society hit extreme levels. The Nazi Party manipulated these conditions and started to get more votes. However, this was not enough for Hitler, who wanted to be in power as the only man, by himself. The German Parliament was burned down on the night of 27 February 1933. There was a general election on 5 March 1933. Marinus Van der Lubbe, a Dutch construction worker, was caught in Berlin. It was claimed that he was a communist and he started the fire alone, according to the police records of the time. As a matter of fact, there was a fire in various parts of the building at the same time. He was probably not even aware of the people who started fires in various parts of the building.
Adolf Hitler and other fascist leaders were quick to turn the crime scene into a rally area. For them, international communism attacked German unity! In other words, the fire allowed Hitler not only to take the power by himself, but also enabled him to use that power limitlessly.
After that night, “Reichstag Fire Decree for the Protection of the German People and State” was issued. The current Weimar Constitution was repealed and all the rules of democracy were suspended.
In a short time, 100,000 members of the German Communist Party and social democrats were arrested. Therefore, the Reichstag fire was turned into the most important step in the transition to fascism. Hitler’s party embarked on a witch hunt against those two parties. Parties became unable to stand for election. On 28 February, intellectuals, journalists and writers around the world were arrested.
Marinus’s trial began on 21 September 1933 and he was executed in 1934. Even though Marinus reportedly admitted that he burned down the Reichstag, it is still not clear what really happened in Reichtag on that night.
Let’s also recall that years later, in 1980, the Berlin Court ruled the illegality of all the proceedings in the fascist period and acquitted Marinus. The truth is thatthe century has passed, but neither the arguments nor the dirty methods used by the fascist governments change. With the Reichstag fire Hitler approached infinite power and institutionalised fascism.
After a century, the [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan government is using the same steps, and is trying to institutionalise fascism once again with the so-called Kobanê case. Using the Kobanê case, they try to cover up all the political, social and economic crises in the country. They also seek to close the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which is the only opposition power standing against the government, despite all the brutality and persecution.
As a matter of fact the Kobanê case was prepared after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on the release of Selahattin Demirtaş, together with another 108 jailed politicians, the total sum of the duration of the prison sentence of whom adds up to the tens of thousands of years in prison. The Kobanê case, which consists of 3,530 pages, was prepared by using news from media outlets and some old documents, which supply no solid evidence of the crimes identified in the file.
Although the HDP requested the investigation of all the incidents that occured amid the Kobanê protests more than once, they did not receive any response, and the HDP members were put on trial based on false allegations, such as the killing their own members. Therefore, Erdoğan, just like Hitler, wants infinite power and tries to make his rule permanent by justifying this case. He illegimately uses Kobanê resistance, which is a resistance by the people against ISIS, for unlimited manipulation and distortion of the facts. Violence emerged in the protests following Erdoğan’s statement in Antep that “Kobanê will fall!” In other words, Erdoğan and supporters of ISIS gangs were responsible for the violence.
As a result, we can say that although the dirty methods of fascism have not changed, the fate will change. Undoubtedly, the day will come when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will give an account for all they have done to hinder justice, just like in the Reichstag case. In the end, the people will attain the power to stop the darkness of Erdoğan, just like the people who resisted in Kobanê attained the power to liberate Kobanê on 26 January 2015.