The Diyarbakır Bar Association held a press conference on a report its members prepared, entitled “Violations of Children’s Rights Due to Armoured Vehicles, Landmines and Debris from Clashes” on March 2. The event was held in the conference hall named after Tahir Elçi, the late president of the bar who was murdered in 2015.
According to the report, 67 children lost their lives in the last 11 years due to such violations, 66 of them in Kurdish cities.
Turkish society is not fazed by children dying in armoured vehicle collisions and landmine explosions. The state manages to manufacture consent for the death of Kurdish children and poses for photos on top of this manufactured consent with a narrative of democracy.
An abomination that fits every illegal, unlawful act it is responsible for into the law via “the indivisible unity of the state” and shows off the sharp edges of its axe as it declares everybody an “enemy”.
Unfortunately, children in Kurdish cities losing their lives in armoured vehicle collisions and landmine explosions never resonates in the western half of the country.
These children are considered casualties in a war, and their death is deemed normal by the state. As the overlap between the attitudes of the state and society grows, the silence deepens. The hypocrisy of this silence becomes the executioner in these children’s deaths.
Right-wing ideologies, nationalism, chauvinism and populism destroy the consciences of anybody they come into contact with, like a virus. They take over whole continents, poison democracy, and make civilisations sick.
It can be seen in the conflict between Russia and NATO that this hypocrisy is greater than “civilisations”; it is stronger and more daring. How sad!
The dead fish eyes of those who have their conscience captured by the state are on the rise around the world. They circle us and condemn all others who are not like them.
The “great civilisations” that classify children according to their skin colour and birthplace let only white children board their ships and spare a mere look of pity to the rest.
“Our worthiest souls contain racial prejudice,” warns Sartre. “On closer scrutiny you won’t see one that isn’t stained with blood.”
Does the world still remember Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old whose body washed up on the Aegean shore? He was the child of a family who had to flee the civil war in Syria. He drowned as their boat capsized on the way from Turkey to Greece. His body was found in Bodrum, Turkey.
He went down in migrant history as a “tragedy”. Everybody was upset. The West was in sorrow. But Alan Kurdi had dark skin. He was not allowed to go across the water.
He had no “élite” colour to his skin. He did not belong to a white land. Civilisation was, in fact, surrounded by barbed wire, and the dead bodies that clung to the wire were necessary for our “worthiest” souls!
Alan Kurdi’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, told anybody who would listen that they did not want what they were forced to do.
“Nobody wants to leave their home, but refugees have no other option. They need Europe,” he said. But his voice was not white.
In the last eight years, 67 children lost their lives in armoured vehicle collisions and explosions of landmines remnants of war. You could ask what the connection between these two is.
The answer may be that there are bodies stuck on the barbed wire we put between our consciences.