writes Arzu Demir for Yeni Özgür Politika.very step the government has taken was with the intention of fortifying fascism. Not only with legal regulations. We’ve seen once again with the revelations of the fascist Sedat Peker that the AKP has armed its supporters,”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on his visit to Diyarbakir (Amed) on the 9th of July said, “We are, where we said we were, in 2005”.
According to Vahap Coşkun who spoke to BBC Turkish, Erdoğan “stood by the solution process” with this statement.
This assertion of Coşkun is obviously not just a reflection of “political optimism”. He doesn’t fall short of criticising the colonialist occupation policy of the Turkish state for triggering “an emotional breakdown in the Kurdish voter”; a policy he defines as “sectaritarian policy”. Yet, as if he’s doing public relations work, he tries to promote Erdoğan -who has now shown his true face in Kurdistan- by saying, “President Erdoğan has stood by the solution process probably for the first time in the last five years.”
There are certainly others too who want to mislead the victims of fascism, including the Kurdish people of course, by creating a “democrat” out of the Justice and Development Party AKP and Erdoğan. Vahap Coşkun is not the only one.
Now let’s see what the government subjected the Kurdish people to during this time when such a perception of Erdoğan is being attempted to be manufactured. We can start by doing a quick memory shuffle.
Military offensive for the occupation of Southern Kurdistan by the Turkish state continues. Kurdish guerillas are putting up a historical resistance against occupation.
The hunger strike of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) members in prison, started in 27 November 2020, is on its 231st day; it has been ongoing for almost eight months. The prisoners have now intensified their hunger striking periods for 15-day intervals instead of 5.
You might have heard of Mehmet Emin Özkan. Or seen him in the photos, as he was taken to the hospital among soldiers, were posted on the social media. The things they made a 83-year-old sick person endure is one of the most striking illustrations of the government’s Kurdish policy. The whole world saw that he wasn’t able to walk. Despite those images which would make the heart of any person with a conscience ache, the Department of Forensic Science, a state institution, issued a report saying he could stay in prison.
When was he supposed to be given some time to spend with his family and friends to say farewell? People he’s been kept away from for over quarter of a century through mulitple violations of his rights to receive medical treatment, he was left in prison in solitude, in a sombre process of dying alone. He has been kept in prison for 26 years on a verdict based on the false statements of two confessors. The Lice Massacre carried out by the contras of the state and the Bahtiyar Aydın murder* were pinned on him when all the evidence was pointing elsewhere.
July 9 was the seventh day of the detention of Democratic Islam Congress and Religion Scholars Association members. Nine others were detained later for preaching in Kurdish.
15-year-old Hamit was in hospital in Ağrı Doğubeyazıt (Agirî Bazîd) on the day Erdoğan was speaking in Diyarbakır, because he was shot in the leg by soldiers on 6 July.
A fascist group of 60 people attacked a Kurdish family in Konya, saying “We are iealist Hearts**, we won’t let you live here.” You must have seen the pictures of seven people severely wounded in the attack. What sort of hostility! What sort of brutality! What happened afterwards? The fascist perpetrators were released after a brief detention and assigned protection by the state.
There are numerous examples that show the hostility of the government against the Kurdish people, but this is enough.
Erdoğan boasted in his Diyarbakır visit with ending the state of emergency. Yet he ruled the whole country in a state of emergency after the 15 July coup attempt. The state of emergency practices have been legalized by means of decrees and changes in more than 300 acts. But even this wasn’t enough. The government prepared a new draft bill to ensure a permanent state of emergency. The draft has already been accepted in the Parliament’s Plan and Budget Commission. It is briefly as follows: “The re-regulation and the application of the principles regarding extra detention time for certain offences are to be extended for three years starting in 31 July 2021.” This means that the government will rule in a state of emergency for three more years. And this is covering the general elections in 2023.
Every single step the government has taken is with the intention of fortifying fascism. Not only with legal regulations. We’ve seen once again with the revelations of the fascist Sedat Peker that AKP has armed its supporters. They have actually armed themselves with the “missing” weapons.
As was seen in Erdoğan’s termination of the so called solution process, the intention of the government was never to reach a democratic solution to the Kurdish question. The Kurdish people, living in conditions of war for a long time, naturally wanted to test “the possibility of peace and solution”. But it didn’t work. All preparations of the government back then was for the new battle they were to start along with the Suruç Massacre on the 20th of July. Erdoğan and AKP have no choice but to continue with war. They lack the genetic content that will take them to a democratic path. The solution to the Kurdish question is thus linked to going beyond this present government.
* When Bahtiyar Aydın, the regional commander of the Turkish Gendarmerie in Diyarbakır, was shot and killed in the town of Lice by unidentified assailants on 22 October 1993, this was the trigger for a systematic massacre in the town by the Turkish army leaving at least 16 civilians dead.
** The supporters of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in Turkey, known also as “Grey Wolves”, who were responsible for thousands of political murders in the 1970s, call themselves “Idealist Hearths”.