Kurdish controlled Kobane city in northern Syria has been a source of discomfort for Turkey as well as all other hegemonic powers, said Turkish novelist Aslı Erdoğan in an interview with Jinnews on Friday, urging everyone to take action to prevent another war in the region.
Aslı Erdoğan, who was jailed in Turkey for four months in 2016 on charges of terrorist propaganda over her opinion column published in the pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem newspaper, said that Turkey’s attacks on Kobane on 16 August signalled a new phase in Ankara’s ultimate aim of invading the region.
The novelist, who lives in exile in Germany, was among 308 intellectuals who signed a peace petition earlier in August calling on the Turkish opposition to oppose the government’s escalating aggression against Kurdish-controlled territories in Syria.
Apart from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), all political parties in Turkey display similar nationalist reactions to Turkey’s shelling of Kobane, the writer said.
“Some might ask, ‘What can be changed with a single statement?’, but as politics become less serious, the strength of intellectuals like us also weakens. It is important to raising one’s voice, at least symbolically,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey has entered a dangerous period as elections in Turkey approach, according to the novelist. “In today’s Turkey, war-mongering increases the votes of both the government and the opposition. Therefore both are in competition,” she said.
But the opposition could face a serious defeat as a Turkish invasion in Kobane might allow the Turkish government to postpone the upcoming elections, according to the author. “Kobane has a vital importance in this regard. We have to be able to explain the gravity of the situation,” she said, adding that the government’s plans to invade northern Syria could also jeopardise secularism in Turkey.
“We have watched hundreds of scenes related to the war to date. There are people who are torn to pieces when they watch those scenes. And now it is only a matter of time before these scenes unfold once again in Kobane. The impacts of such traumas have been continuing for decades. War is a very serious thing, a calamity. We have seen this over and over again. This time please let’s do something before the war starts. There is no use in crying once it starts. Now is the time to act and let’s not allow another war. The Kurds have already suffered too much,” she said.