Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council co-chair Cemil Bayık said on Monday that the waves of arrests targeting pro-Kurdish circles, which have been ongoing since last week, were aimed at hindering the election ambitions of the Labour and Freedom Alliance led by the Green Left Party, to ensure the continued existence of the current government.
“This is clearly an intervention in the ballot box,” Bayık said, calling for retaliation at the polls on election day to this aggression, adding: “No one should back down.”
“Because this election is not just any election. It is an election that will determine the future of Turkey, the future of the Kurds, Alevis, women, labourers, youth and all the peoples. Either Turkey will institutionalise fascism or it will take steps towards becoming a democratic republic,” said the KCK executive and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) commander Bayık.
The commander said that the Turkish government, which has become a mob, has been pushing social polarisation and dividing society from the very beginning in order to protect its existence and power.
“They have dragged Turkey into a quagmire that will be very difficult to get out of,” Bayık said. “They label everyone who does not serve them, who is not with them, enemies of Turkey. They label them terrorists, they label them traitors.”
With less than two weeks to go until the elections, Bayık believes that everyone now understands that this process will not be easy, but, he says, if everyone works to get the maximum result despite the difficulties, “I can easily state that this fascism will come to an end and Turkey will take a step towards democratisation.”
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) left hundreds of thousands of people to die in the aftermath of the earthquakes that devastated the country, according to the KCK executive.
“We could not remain indifferent to this because we are a socialist movement. We are a humanitarian, moral and conscientious movement. We could never accept those people being left to die in that way,” Bayık said.
Bayık explained that in order to prevent deaths, all energy should be concentrated on the work in the earthquake zone and this was the reason for the decision to refrain from [armed] action that the PKK declared after the February quakes.
In the first days of the earthquakes, the Turkish government turned a deaf ear to the people who wanted change, so everyone thought it would use provocations to stay in power, Bayık said.
“Taking this situation into account, we have decided to extend the decision to refrain from action until the elections in order to prevent the longed-for change from being sabotaged, so it can take place, so as to eliminate grounds for possible provocations that may develop, so as not to become a party to these,” the commander continued.
“While we had announced such a decision, while we refrained from carrying out any actions in the cities, the Turkish state continued to increase its attacks.”
Bayık believes that it is the silence of NATO and the European Union against Turkey that has allowed Turkey to escalate its attacks and repression as it has. He called on NATO and the EU not to be a tool for the Turkish government’s policy of Kurdish genocide.