“Colonialism is not an issue that is being ignored or remained silent about here in the name of Turkey. At the same time, there is a reality of colonialism that is deeply internalised by the political mind ( in Başûr ) .” writes Meral Çiçek for Yeni Özgür Politika.
The fascist Turkish state is a colonial power. Moreover, it is not a neocolonialist, but a colonial occupying state in the classical sense. Although liberalism and today’s world system claim that the colonial era ended with the Second World War, this is the truth.
Turkish colonialism is not limited to Bakur [Northern Kurdistan or SE Turkey] or other parts of Kurdistan. Today, the cities of Afrin (Efrîn), Ras al-Ayn (Serêkaniyê) and Tell Abyad (Girê Spî) in Rojava, as well as Al Bab (Bab), A’zaz (Ezaz) and Jarabulus, are also colonies under Turkish occupation.
While taking control of these cities, in addition to blackmailing policies, the TC [Turkish Republic]has also gained power due to the current political conjuncture. Since the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria is not officially recognised internationally, the rest of northern Syria is considered as belonging to no one, when the regime is considered illegitimate as well.
But the same does not apply for Başûr. So how does TC invade and colonise these places?
A few days ago, the invading Turkish army ‘detained’ two young men from Dayla village in the Sîdekan region of Bradost for ‘being in a military area without permission’ and took them to a military base in Şemdinli (Şemzînan), Bakur, for ‘interrogation’! In other words, the soldiers of a foreign state detain two youths from Başûr in the land where they were born and raised, kidnap them and take them to Şemdinli.
The Kurdistan Regional Government should have reacted strongly on this major issue, but officials have not issued a single statement yet. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which is the main responsible party of the Soran region where Sîdekan is located, has also not said a word. While the main political parties of Başûr did not condemn Turkey nor call on the government to take responsibility, Hüseyin Kaçmaz, People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak(Şirnex) deputy in Bakur, asked the Turkish War Minister about the issue.
So what’s behind this situation? How can TC be so relaxed and how can the political authorities of Başûr remain silent in the face of this situation?
In 2018-2019, TC set up 9 bases in a large area of the Bradost region and occupied it with hundreds of soldiers. In April 2019, 2,000 people from 140 villages in the Bradost region sent a letter to the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Iraqi Government and the UN, calling for an end to the Turkish military presence and airstrikes there.
The fascist TC’s presence in Bradost is not limited to military bases. Other states have military bases on different countries’ territory as well. However, TC considers an entire area to be its own and pretends to be the master of it. In the summer of 2019, for example, Turkey declared a curfew in 79 villages and threatened to shoot anything that moves.
And now Turkey has blockaded Dayla, the village of the abducted youths. As if that wasn’t enough, the networks are automatically switching to Turkcell in some areas of Bradost because Turkey has set up base stations in the region. More than 2,000 villagers were forced to leave their homes and migrate to the city because of the colonial TC. So they were forcibly displaced.
But the political parties of Başûr don’t talk about this either. As if it were normal for the TC to invade the territory of Başûr and establish a colonial regime here! When it comes to another Kurdish force, they react and say whatever they want, but regarding TC’s invading the Kurdish territory, they remain silent. They remain silent against kidnappings of Kurds and Kurd’s being put behind bars in Turkish prisons, just as they did in Afrin or Ras al-Ayn. Why don’t they defend the rights of their people and their land?
Because colonialism is not a issue that is being ignored or remained silent about here in the name of Turkey. At the same time, there is a reality of colonialism that is deeply internalised by the political mind. (in Başûr).
Therefore, although it has been autonomous for 30 years and not governed by a central state, the reality of the colonial nation and its influence on politics, society, economy, culture, etc. is very much alive in Başûr.
This, of course, is not just Başûr’s problem. Since Kurdistan is colonised as a whole, the reality of the oppressed nation exists in all parts. However, the fact that Başûr’ s policies in the face of the colonial practices carried out by the invading TC, a power that seeks to complete the Kurdish genocide, should not be treated normally, but should be questioned in depth and a radical struggle should be developed to overcome it.