“In the eyes of Europe, the Kurds exist as a physical being, but the Kurds do not exist as politically recognised subjects who have official representation”, writes Seydi Fırat for Nupel.
Europe had a policy towards the “insane” during the 18th and 19th centuries. These were the times when they did not let the ‘insane’ exist in society: they were isolated on an island, in a hospital or incarcerated in prisons/institutions. There were also times when they placed them in boats, to be isolated in the middle of the seas. The purpose was to ensure “peace” in society and all those opponents to this “peace” policy – the unemployed, the women, the people who reacted to the system were labelled as “insane” and isolated from their societies.
Does this policy still continue today? Yes, it does! It does in a new version applied to the Kurds. In the eyes of Europe, the Kurds exist as a physical being, but the Kurds do not exist as politically recognised subjects who have official representation. In national platforms, the Kurds do not exist as well, because they are not given seats.
And the leaders – the struggle, the politicians and the political movement of the Kurds – are on the list of “suspects” in the eyes of Europe.
After the genocide of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrian peoples, the concept of genocide targeted the Kurds and this orientation towards them has been going on for a century. It has been a century where global and regional powers have sought to arrange their geopolitical and geostrategic benefits either by supporting the Kurdish genocide or by ignoring it.
It is not possible to evaluate the policies of Turkey towards the Kurds based on genocide independently from the policies of Europe. As a result of such dirty ‘bargaining’ and ‘partnerships’, Turkey occupied Afrin with the permission of Russia and performed an ethnic cleansing campaign on the Kurds. Then again, through a ‘dirty partnership’ with the USA, Turkey occupied and de-Kurdified Serekaniye (Ras al-Ayn) and Gire Spi (Tell Abyad).
Europe has given all possible support to Turkey with the excuse of legitimising Turkey as a NATO member in Turkey’s genocidal policies against the Kurds. Europe plays a role in the tragedy of the Kurds by covering up the Kurdish question, by keeping the question unsolved in blood and by disregarding the legitimate, democratic rights of the Kurds.
International law, humanism, democratic values … None of these are taken into consideration when it comes to the Kurds. Europe has been politically involved in the Kurdish question for almost 150 years. For the last 150 years, they have been sweeping the ‘Kurdish question’ under the carpet. However, since the Kurdish ‘entity’ is large and unyielding, it is not that easy to cover up. So, they have always applied policies to harm the Kurds. They have been harming the Kurdish ‘body’, the Kurdish ‘existence’ for the last 150 years.
Germany, a leading power in Europe, was radically faced with Hitler’s fascism. They have admitted the genocide: they have banned the denial of genocide. With this attitude, Germany received great respect in the eyes of humanity.
However, the same Germany has not only closed its eyes to the policies of massacre by the Turkish state against the Kurds – to the burning down of the houses and villages of the Kurds, to the forced displacement of millions of Kurds, to the thousands of ‘unidentified murders’ – but it has also strengthened the policies of the Turkish state by providing it with all political, financial, military and diplomatic supplies.