“Remember, if there is any honour left in parliament, you owe it to the courageous resistance of HDP. You also owe human dignity to the guerrilla fighters who saved humanity from ISIS terrorists in Syria.” writes journalist Doğan Özgüden, who has been in exile in Belgium for more than 50 years, in Artı Gerçek.
The big story in Belgium this week was the increase in the death toll due to the coronavirus which concerns everybody in the country with health measures taken regarding the pandemic being strengthened.
The second big news event in Belgium this week was the commemoration held regarding the massacre of 32 people with 340 injured after the attack on the Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station 22 March 2016.
The Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo emphasized that all Belgian security forces are on high alert against any similar attack. He stated these words during a ceremony attended by all state officials, including King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. De Croo tried to reassure the citizens of the country.
However, neither in the speeches made at the official commemorations nor in the Belgian media, did one single person mention the forces who actually defeated the Islamic terrorist organization ISIS in Syria.
Yes, exactly two years ago, on 23 March 2019, Baghouz, the last piece of land sieged by ISIS in Syria was liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, and Armenian resistance units. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) were the leading force in the SDF.
The Democratic Union Party (PYD) was instrumental in establishing the democratic Autonomous Administration of North East Syria (AANES) throughout the regions that they liberated from the Islamic state terrorists. Not only the peoples of Syria, but the peoples around the world, and especially in Europe, which has suffered from the terrible massacres in Paris and Brussels owe a massive “thank you” to the PYD. The reward for this great service should have been recognition, a thank you, even a ceremony.
However, no one did that.
Those countries continue their close relations with Turkey and Turkey describes all three organizations as “terrorists”. Turkey is now trying to shut down the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) since the party supported the Kurds in Syria.
It has been understood that the EU summit meeting on 25-26 March would not end up with a decision of proper sanctions against Turkey, even after the Istanbul Convention, the treaty which protects women against violence, had been withdrawn with a single signature of Erdoğan …
It was obvious from the words of Josep Borrell when he said, “Turkey is an important neighboring country and we want to establish good relations with Turkey. We will continue to closely monitor Turkey’s attitude.”
This meant that there would not be any sanctions against Turkey…
Even the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, who has had the most tense relations with Turkey in the EU, took a step back after making a series of criticisms in his speech on France 5 Television at Tuesday evening.
The message was,“We will continue with Tayyip.”
“Turkey is an important ally on the immigration issue. If Turkey opens its border, the EU may suddenly face a 3 million refugee problem,” Macron said.
Moreover, while Macron was talking on television, other news was shared on social media. At least 9 people were detained in the early hours of the morning in the city of Marseille, with simultaneous raids on their homes and on the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre.
The police broke the doors of the centre, they even used police dogs during the four-hour search at the centre.
In a written statement on these operations, the French Communist Party rightfully asked,“Is Macron normalizing his relations with Erdoğan by sacrificing the Kurds?”
I was not surprised when I read the news … It was 26 years ago, I remember when Socialist Mitterrand was the president of France. I was invited from Brussels to Paris to speak on a TV broadcast on Turkey.
I said then, “Nazim Hikmet in Moscow, Yilmaz Guney in Paris, both died away from their countries due to the oppressive politics of Turkey. It is a shame for Turkey. Turkey oppresses Kurds, Armenians, Assyrian-Chaldeans, and left-wing people.” I also called on Europe to raise its voice against these repressive policies in the program.
Immediately after the program was broadcast, the Turkish media started attacking me. The next day, Hurriyet newspaper headlines were saying that I was “an enemy of Turkey and they accused me of saying “very bad things about Turkey on French television.”
These were not surprising … The French government imposed sanctions on me four years after that.
In 1989, a meeting by the European Parliament was organized in Strasbourg. I was going to watch it as a journalist and also I was going to share some new information regarding human rights violations. However, I could not enter France. I was banned.
Two weeks before the meeting, I applied to the French Consulate General in Brussels and requested a visa. Since I hold an official press card of Belgium and am also a journalist accredited by the European Parliament and the European Commission it was very natural for me to watch a European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg.
Although I waited for days and telephoned the authorities numerous times, and even went to the Consulate in person, my visa request was not given a response. One day before the start of the meeting in Strasburg, my application was rejected. I would not be given a visa from now on, since I was a threat to France.
My friends in France found out from research they conducted, that France had put me on a black-list due to the pressure of the Turkish State. The speech I had made on French television was shown as the grounds for that.
All these occured under the socialist president Mitterrand …
Moreover, the president’s wife, Danielle Mitterrand was one of the key figures fighting against the oppression that Kurdish people face in Turkey.
The Freedom Foundation of France, headed by Madame Mitterand, organized a conference with a title, “Kurds: National identity and human rights” in the halls of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 14-15 October 1989, together with the Kurdish Institute in Paris.
I received an invitation letter personally from Madame Mitterrand, the head of the foundation, to attend the conference and speak. However, I could not attend this meeting due to the visa ban again.
It was only six years later, after I was granted Belgian citizenship on 3 April, 1995, that I could re-enter France.
As always Belgian politics regarding Ankara was based on surrender. Our attempts to obtain a residence and work permit to establish the Info-Turk agency in Brussels had not been accepted for four years due to the pressures of the Turkish state.
Years later, when we applied for Belgian citizenship to gain freedom to travel , we had to fight for years again. This also happened due to the interventions of the Turkish State.
It took years for us to be granted Belgium citizenship.
In one of its reports to the prosecutor’s office, the Belgian State Security Unit (DGB) claimed that we were a “threat” for Belgium since we have attended press conferences and “well-known terrorist activities” of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party).
However, this problem was solved as a result of the determined struggle of the progressive and democratic deputies. At the session of the Belgian Federal Assembly on 3 April 1995, our request was urgently put on the agenda and we have been accepted as Belgian citizens.
As a journalist who has experienced all this, it is not surprising that European leaders make up a thousand excuses to continue their relations with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, despite all the human rights violations he has committed, despite the fact that he disregards the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, and withdraws from the Istanbul Convention.
Nine political parties stand by the HDP against the attempts to ban the HDP: United Revolutionary Party, Democratic Regions Party, the Labour Party, Laborer Movement Party, the Socialist Party of the Oppressed, Socialist Refoundation Party, Social Freedom Party and Turkey Workers Party Green Left Party. They issued a joint statement in support of the HDP, which gives hope.
What about the CHP (Republican People’s Party), the İYİP (Good Party), the SP (Felicity Party), the DEVA (Democracy and Progress Party), and the GP (Young Party)?
These are the opposition parties in Turkey that support the attacks of Tayyip’s army and its affiliated mercenaries against the Kurdish people in Syria and Armenians in the Caucasians.
When will you shake off your embarrassing laziness?
Remember, if there is any honour left in parliament, you owe it to the courageous resistance of HDP.
You also owe human dignity to the guerrilla fighters who saved humanity from ISIS terrorists in Syria.