“I do not intend to object to anybody standing against wars, however racist they may be, or fascist, or hostile against Kurds. It is a good thing to oppose wars, to be anti-war (…) The abnormality lies in the hypocrisy of those who shout out in delight for the massacre of people [geographically] close to them, while objecting to wars in faraway lands and distorting the truth,” writes Fehim Işık for Yeni Özgür Politika.
Journalist Nuri Akman shared a video on Saturday, with the caption, “Video from Kiev. Russian soldiers randomly bombing the city centre, with no regard for children or the elderly.”
It was, obviously, an ironic reference to the sudden surge of anti-war sentiment in Turkey. The journalist had followed what happened in the southeastern border town of Cizre (Cizîr) after the collapse of the Kurdish peace process in 2015. He knew very well that the video did not show the Ukrainian capital, and that the soldiers were not Russian, as did tens of thousands of his followers.
A similar reaction came about after artists in Turkey started to make anti-war posts. The singer Servet Kocakaya said that the very people calling for ‘no war in Ukraine’ were gathered around President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the invasion of Afrin in northern Syria, singing war songs.
These were not te only ironic posts on social media. Özlem Çerçioğlu, the opposition mayor of the western province of Aydın, posted a quote by Turkey’s founding president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: “Peace at home, peace in the world”, and the slogan ‘No to War’. Social media users commented by calling hypocrisy and posting photos of a missile, on which she had signed her name during the deadly bombing of Afrin .
There have been so many posts against war in Turkey recently that it is not easy to pick the most hypocritical ones, or expose those who stand squarely in the racist or anti-Kurdish camp. Those who don’t know Turkey well, who are not aware of the existence of racists with their screams of joy when bombs rain down on the Kurdish people, would soon be convinced that this was a country of utmost opposition to war.
With the Russian attack on Ukraine, a similar situation came about among certain circles that call themselves left-wing. They suddenly remembered the USSR and the East-West divide, and attempted to create justifications for Russia’s attack on Ukraine with odes to socialism. Grup Yorum, the most famous revolutionary collective of musicians in Turkey since the 1970s, took the lead in this. First, band posted content from their recent concert in Moscow, saying they played “in the motherland of socialism”. In another post, they openly supported Russia’s attitude, saying, “We support the people of Donbas in their fight against NATO and Ukrainian fascism”. There were others on the left who shared similar posts.
The stance of these groups is no different to that of racist and fascist Turks regarding the ruthless war against the Kurdish people. While the racists and fascists support genocidal attacks on the Kurds with the official narrative of the state, these people try to justify themselves by directing ridiculous accusations against Kurdish national movements and the leaders of the Kurdish struggle for freedom, calling them ‘nationalists’ or ‘supporters of imperialism’. They will not use the word ‘revolution’ for the revolution in Rojava whose influnce has spread across the world, and they consider the resistance of the peoples of Rojava, as dignified as it was costly, to be surrender.
With these examples I do not intend to object to anybody standing against war, however racist they may be, or fascist, or hostile against Kurds. It is a good thing to oppose wars, to be anti-war. That is not abnormal. The abnormality lies in the hypocrisy of those who shout out in delight for the massacre of people nearby, while objecting to wars in faraway lands and distorting the truth…
This hypocrisy is no doubt a manifestation of a lack of morals based on personal gain. That is also the fundamental reason behind wars. Those who think all evil and hypocrisy is justified when it comes to their own interests object to war because it risks those very things. This is the case for racists and fascists both in power and in opposition, both on the right and on the left. They do not object to war because the people of Ukraine and Donbas have bombs raining down on them, they do so because their interests are at stake.
Where do Kurds stand in all this? What do the various Kurdish national movements and the leaders of the Kurdish fight for freedom think?
It is obvious. They object both to Russia’s attack on Ukraine and to NATO and the West tossing Ukraine at Russia like a football. They also emphasise strongly that those responsible for this war are imperial forces. That is the truth. The sides involved in the Cold War started another war of partition after the USSR fell, and sinc then have been displaying all manners of immoral behaviour to redesign the vile order they call the ‘new world’ according to their interests.
Choosing sides in the ignoble imperial engineering in this war of partition is not an anti-war stance. It is pro-war. Dressing up the motto ‘No War’ in fancy clothes cannot cover up this vileness. Truth, revolution, human life – these values require saying no to war in all aspects of life. Separating the people who die under falling bombs into Ukrainians, Dombassians, Kurds, Afghans, Alevis, Yazidis, Christians, Shi’as or Sunnis and taking a stance accordingly is the height of immorality.