19.04.2016 Author: Vladimir Odintsov

Turkey is Carrying on its Anti-Kurdish Policy

3453444Back in 2015 Turkey launched a massive military operation against its Kurdish population that resides in the south-east of the country. Since then an ever increasing number of reports on massive civilian casualties is coming from Turkey.

The Yemeni online radio Mustaqbal has been covering the punitive operation that is being carried out in Turkey in much detail. It notes that there’s an ongoing genocide of the Kurdish population, in spite of the promise Erdogan has given long ago to resolve the Kurdish issue.

A similar position is occupied by the Lebanese news portal Annabaa, where a representative of the pro-PKK forces described the “random” bombing of Kurdish inhabited areas as a “large-scale attack on the Kurdish people launched by the Turkish government.” In turn, by stressing the power of the “oppressed” people fighting for the restoration of their rights, co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party Figen Yüksekdağ accused the Turkish government of waging war against Kurds, stressing the fact that over 20 thousand people were displaced at the result of the conflict in the south-east of the country.

The Arabic media source Elaph published an article under the title “The collapse of Turkey is Inevitable”, which notes that the modern Turkish state was founded on the principles of racism and the suppression of Armenians, Kurds and other minorities that are living on its territory. Turkish leaders have consistently tried to destroy the cultural identity of ethnic minorities, while denying their right to exist, and this policy has been brought to a whole new level by Tayyip Erdogan.

A couple of weeks ago Turkish President openly stated that there could be no peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. While obeying his instructions, Turkish security forces are carrying out attacks against Kurds, seeing no difference between armed representatives of the PKK and women with children, since any Kurd, according to Erdogan’s position, is a terrorist. If Turkey is going to pursue this twisted logics even further, it’s highly unlikely that it will see any stability in the near future, since no state can effectively suppress 20 million people.

On April 5 the leader of the nationalist National Movement Party of Turkey Devlet Bahçel said that the country is getting drawn into the civil war along the Syrian scenario and called on the authorities to act more harshly against the members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party. In his statement he said the following (emphasis added):

“Mr. Prime Minister, here is my advice to you: Make a call to our citizens who have been living in Nusaybin [a district in the southeastern province of Mardin] and other provinces and districts where operations are ongoing. Grant them three days and take them to secure places by ensuring that they evacuate the cities. Afterwards, level Nusaybin to the ground and leave nobody alive. Do not let our martyrs’ blood remain on the ground

In February pf this year, the deputy of the Peoples’ Democratic Party Feleknas Udzha reported that Turkish troops burned alive about 150 Kurds. She stated that:

“In the Cizre district of Sırnak, around 150 people have been burned alive in different buildings by Turkish military forces. Some corpses were found without heads. Some were burned completely, so that autopsy is not possible.” 

It should be noted that the number of Kurds residing in all parts of Kurdistan amounts to 35 million people, which makes them the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East after the Arabs, Turks and Persians. The number of Kurds in Turkey ranges between 18-20 million people, while additional 8 – 10 million are residing in Iran, 5 million in Iraq, and 1.5 million dwells in Syria. One-third of all immigrants coming to Europe from Turkey are ethnic Kurds.

For a long time the Kurdish issue was a problem only for the countries in the region, which exacerbated internal conflicts and was the cause of the socio-economic crisis in a number of these countries, including Turkey. However, over the past few years, the Kurdish issue has become an important issue for the international community, especially after the outbreak of Ankara’s undeclared war against the Kurdish population. Right now the Turkish army carries on a systematic slaughter of Kurds. Houses, streets, villages are destroyed and razed to the ground. The Kurds are making every attempt to resist, by forming armed units for the purpose of self-defense and in hopes to achieve their main goal – to get an autonomy or even achieve the creation of a Kurdish state.

At the same time we must not forget that Kurdish armed groups were perhaps the most combat-capable forces in the fight against ISIS and other Islamist groups. However, to achieve its political objectives on the reconstruction of neo-Ottoman Empire Erdogan refers to all Kurds as terrorists, without exception. Yet, the international community makes no steps whatsoever to stop the genocide of the Kurdish population in Turkey.

The US is occupying a dual position on this matter. Since Turkey is a NATO member, Washington keeps on calling every single state to respect human rights and democracy around the globe, while avoiding any kind of public condemnation of Ankara’s criminal actions against the Kurdish population. On the other hand, since Washington has been trying to use Kurds to topple the government of Bashar al-Assad, the White House is in no position to voice its support of Turkish authorities.

The European Union has also been forced in keeping silent about Ankara’s criminal actions against Kurds, since it has become a hostage of Erdogan due to the migration crisis that the latter has been using as a weapon. After all, the Turkish president has voiced threats to get the EU drown in refugees in case it makes any “wrong steps”.

However, Erdogan’s attempts to force Kurds into submission has been counterproductive so far. Once faced with a prospect of being slaughtered en masse, Kurds are rallying all of their forces in Turkey, while their brothers and sisters in Syria, Iraq, Iran and elsewhere around the world show their support to the Kurdish population of Turkey. They demand to put an immediate end to Turkey’s genocide of the Kurdish population, and, of course, the universal condemnation of the criminal actions of Turkish authorities.

Vladimir Odintsov, expert politologist, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.