I wonder if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ever watches his speeches again. If he does not, do his advisers not warn him? Or is it that they cannot “advise” due to fear? For us Kurds, his speeches are deeply familiar.
For example, he promised Mother Berfo that those responsible for her son’s disappearance under custody in the wake of the 1980 military coup would not go unpunished. He did not keep that promise, she passed away before Cemil Kırbayır’s bones were laid in a proper grave.
He also said during the 2014 siege by the Islamic State (ISIS) that the Syrian Kurdish town Kobani would fall. It did not. The People’s Defence Units (YPG) prevailed against ISIS and his other mercenaries.
He spoke of a peace process. We have seen nothing but war. We have seen Kurdish banned again, and prisons filled to the brim. He said he felt all the pain in his heart. We have seen nothing but his lack of mercy.
One of his most significant U-turns came recently. Since 2013, Erdoğan has been insulting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, calling him a murderer, putschist and a tyrant. He even sought to win votes in the most recent Istanbul local election by badmouthing El-Sisi.
That all changed with a handshake in Qatar during the FIFA World Cup last year. Most recently, Erdoğan said El-Sisi’s approach to the war between Israel and Palestine was “praiseworthy”. That reminds me of former Turkish President Süleyman Demirel’s famous quote: “Yesterday is yesterday, today is today.”
They say Turkey is under the rule of law. So why does the law never stop by our door? What we see on our doorstep is insecurity, instability, material and spiritual collapse, and an endless dark chasm.
Local elections draw near once again. And once again, the matter of alliances is of the utmost importance. Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has once again set its sights on the Kurdish vote in major cities.
I do not believe any Kurd would vote for this government, but we no longer have that much trust in the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) either. At this point, it would be difficult for them to gain it back. And at this point, us Kurds should not be bothered by the conflict between the AKP and CHP. We must march down our own path, and work towards the future.
My father, Musa Anter, used to tell this joke: An imam, a priest and a rabbi discuss the way the world has become. After a long discussion, a fight breaks out over disagreements. The imam prays for all the rocks and earth and iron in the world to fall on the heads of Christians. The priest prays that all the ships, planes and cars to fall on the heads of Muslims. As they continue this back and forth, they notice the rabbi sitting silently. They both turn on him and ask why he hasn’t said anything. Calmly, the rabbi says, “I am but a humble man of faith. What could I say in response to you? The only option would be, Amen.”
As the saying goes, there is no end to tricks in the Great Ottoman State. But we grow tiresome. We must from now on direct the future together, thinking of our own people.