The Kurds Under Erdogan’s Tyrannical Governance

Tens of thousands have been killed over 40 years of bloodletting between Turkish forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and tragically there seems to be no end in sight. In May 2016, President Erdogan stated that military operations against the PKK will continue until “the very last rebel is killed.” What is alarming about Erdogan’s statement is that he still believes he can solve the conflict through brutal force. Erdogan does not understand that he cannot wish the Kurdish problem away—a problem that will continue to haunt him and the country for countless more decades unless a solution is found that respects their cultural and fundamental human rights.

There are 15 million Kurds, representing nearly 18 percent of the Turkish population. Like their Turkish counterparts they are largely Sunnis, but their cultural distinction trumps their religious beliefs. They are fighting to preserve their ethnic identity, fearing that otherwise their culture and language would fade away and die.

The history of the conflict is long, complicated, and painful. In the 1970s Abdullah Öcalan raised awareness about the Kurds’ plight, which was followed by crackdowns by successive Turkish governments, leading to the formation of the PKK and further escalation of violence over the years.

Under intensifying domestic and EU pressure, Erdogan agreed to restart negotiations in late 2012, which collapsed by July 2015. In the wake of the failed military coup in July 2016, Erdogan moved to crush the PKK and Kurdish aspirations, even though to date there has been absolutely no proven connection between the Kurds and the coup plot. His rampage against the Kurds continued despite the US’ and EU’s call to stop his heavy-handed approach that grossly violated their basic human rights. Only recently, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir that around 14,000 Kurdish teachers will be suspended, falsely accusing them of having ties with the PKK.

What made matters worse was Erdogan’s authorization to launch a fierce attack on PKK forces who were embedded in a civilian Kurdish-majority community in the southeast. A UN report documented human rights violations including killings, disappearances, torture, destruction of houses, and prevention of access to medical care, while leaving the area in ruins.

Between July 2015 and December 2016, more than 2,000 were killed, including 1,200 civilians and 800 members of Turkish security forces, and more than 500,000 were displaced. Hundreds of members of the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) were put behind bars on charges of collaborating with the PKK. Erdogan continues to refuse to negotiate, insisting that the PKK is a terrorist organization and must be brought to heel by military force.

Certainly, what is wrong or right matters, but what we must face here is a reality that neither side can ignore and expect to find a solution that can exclusively meet the requirements of either side. After more than four decades of bloody conflict that has claimed the lives of so many, and the destruction from which hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Turks have suffered, when will Erdogan come to his senses that the solution lies only in peace negotiations?

What is worse is that the international community, especially the EU and the US, has been publicly silent about Erdogan’s transgressions and ruthlessness. They often cite Turkey’s role in fighting ISIS, its NATO membership, and its geostrategic importance as an energy hub as the reason behind their unwillingness to pressure him to change direction.

That said, and regardless of the challenges that Turkey faces—including the fight against ISIS, a deteriorating economy, domestic upheaval aggravated by the failed coup, and the pressure of hosting three million refugees—nothing justifies Erdogan’s outrageous purges.

His utter disregard for human rights by jailing scores of Kurdish journalists, arresting a dozen Kurdish parliamentarians, employing collective punishment tactics against Kurdish towns and villages, and attacking Syrian Kurds whom he accuses of providing aid to the PKK, only further heightens tensions throughout the country, invites terrorism, and leads to increasing social and political polarization.

As a believer who preaches the gospel of Islamic values, he vilifies and violates these values and conveniently justifies the indiscriminate killing of innocent Kurdish men, women, and children, and still shamelessly claims self-piety.

Erdogan’s demagoguery is second nature to him. As President Kennedy said in the 1960,

“Voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality… [delude themselves that] strength is but a matter of slogans.”

Erdogan claims that Turkey is a full-fledged democracy, but he is dismantling the last vestiges of the country’s democratic governance that he himself promoted during his first and second terms in power.

He claims that the Kurds have equal political and human rights like any other Turkish citizen, and points out the fact that there are 110 Kurdish parliamentarians. True, they are equal under the Turkish constitution, but in practice are systematically discriminated against in government appointments, business contracts, job opportunities, and education.

Erdogan simply does not grasp the fact that even if the Kurds were treated equally in every walk of life, what they want is in line with and even complimentary to the framework of Turkish democracy. They are not seeking a state of their own, but simply to live freely as loyal Turkish citizens and enjoy their customs, folk music and dance, and way of life consistent with their long and rich cultural heritage.

The irony is that while Erdogan wants the Kurds to be loyal citizens, he never understood that their allegiance to the country depends on the way they are treated, the rights they are granted, and the civility they are accorded. To demand from the Kurds unconditional loyalty while robbing them of their basic rights only further alienates them and forces them to seek, fight, and die for autonomous rule if not independence, which he is bent on preventing.

I do not support, and I condemn any individual or group who uses brutal force for political or social gains regardless of its source, motivation, ideology, or belief. Erdogan and the PKK are equally guilty, and must pause and think where all this killing and destruction will lead to, when at the end of the day they will still have to coexist and face one another.

When violent extremism is on the rise, when human rights are fair game, when terrorism is surging, when ethnic violent conflicts are escalating, and when thousands of men, women, and children are slaughtered, leaders of conscience must not add fuel to the raging regional fires that have been consuming us unmercifully and relentlessly.

The PKK must not play into the hands of dictators like Erdogan by killing innocent civilians; as long as they are viewed as a terrorist group, they will not receive any support from influential civic organizations and the Turkish population in general.

To shed the stigma of being a terrorist organization, the PKK must declare a unilateral ceasefire and express its readiness to enter peace negotiations unconditionally, which would increase public pressure on Erdogan to resume peace talks.

Absent American leadership, the EU must assume upon itself the responsibility to use its enormous political and economic leverage to stop Erdogan from pursuing ruthless methods and policies not only against the Kurds, but his own fellow Turkish citizens. Erdogan’s nationalist zealotry is dividing the country and could potentially lead to widespread violence among the Turks, while further intensifying regional instability.

Mr. Erdogan, wake up. You will not succeed in killing every PKK fighter—not only because of the nature of guerilla warfare, but primarily because of the Kurds’ determination to preserve their rich cultural heritage, language, and fundamental human rights. They will remain resolute and will outlast you, regardless of how much pain and suffering they endure under your tyrannical governance.


Originally published on 2017-06-05

About the author: Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies.
alon@alonben-meir.com Web: www.alonben-meir.com

Source: Global Research

Origins of immages: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
Ethnic Intolerance Against Christians in Kosovostan
Recent episodes of ethnic intolerance against the Serbian minority exacerbate conditions in a country which is increasingly an “Islamic island” in the heart of Europe. Kosovo is once again the centre of attention in Orthodox Church circles. In addition to new instances of intolerance against the ethnic Serbian minority, recent actions taken by Russian Patriarch Kirill and Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), abbot of the Moscow monastery of Sretensky Stavropegic, have drawn attention. Violence against Orthodox Serbs is growing: unsurprisingly, some of them speak openly of cultural genocide. Approximately one hundred and fifteen churches were destroyed or severely damaged during the Albanian attacks, and ...
READ MORE
Selective Solidarity with the Victims of Terrorism
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations. Save
READ MORE
Kosovo: What Everyone (Really) Needs to Know
Preface Kosovo is today one of the most disputed territories in Europe and a real Balkan powder keg which can explode again at any time. It is a province within the Republic of Serbia, recognized as such by both Serbia’s constitution and the Resolution 1244 by the Security Council of the United Nations (the UNSC Resolution 1244, June 10th, 1999). However, Kosovo parliament with a clear Albanian majority proclaimed the independence of Kosovo (without a referendum) in February 2008 that was recognized by the majority of the Western countries followed by their puppet clients all over the world (in reality, today ...
READ MORE
Donald Trump is an International Law Breaker
Donald Trump‘s decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie. In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened: The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. [prior to the Chemical Weapons attack] There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at ...
READ MORE
From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II
I stated some months ago, while assembling a criminal dossier against the NATO powers for the ultimate war crime of aggression, that the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe, particularly American, concentrated on the Baltic states and Ukraine, presaged hybrid war operations against Russia leading to a general war. This build up of forces and ancillary developments I termed Operation Barbarossa II in light of the remarkable similarities to the build up of forces by Nazi Germany for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 which the Germans code-named Operation Barbarossa. Events have only confirmed my views. The degradation of ...
READ MORE
A Russian Warning
We, the undersigned, are Russians living and working in the USA. We have been watching with increasing anxiety as the current US and NATO policies have set us on an extremely dangerous collision course with the Russian Federation, as well as with China. Many respected, patriotic Americans, such as Paul Craig Roberts, Stephen Cohen, Philip Giraldi, Ray McGovern and many others have been issuing warnings of a looming a Third World War. But their voices have been all but lost among the din of a mass media that is full of deceptive and inaccurate stories that characterize the Russian economy ...
READ MORE
Al Qaeda: The Data Base
Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence. “I first heard about Al-Qaida while I was attending the Command and Staff course in Jordan. I was a French ...
READ MORE
How Palestinians Can Reverse Israel’s Divide and Conquer Tactics
Most veteran observers, including Israeli security authorities and Palestinian leadership, were dumbfounded by recent events in Jerusalem, where tens of thousands of Palestinians mobilized non-violently in response to the Israeli closure of the Old City and placement of metal detectors at the entrance of the Dome of Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. What was the secret ingredient that made such a mass action take place and be a successful example in Palestinian non-violent resistance to the 50 years of Israeli military occupation? How did it happen so spontaneously, non-violently and with seemingly no leadership? A new report by the group, titled, Relations Between Palestinians Across ...
READ MORE
“Islamic State Déjà Vu”
Author’s note: The following article focussing on the jihadist terrorist insurgency in Macedonia was first published by antiwar.com in July 2001, barely two months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest had become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress had revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment ...
READ MORE
Western Imperialism ‘Must Go’
For years now, the Western elite have been incessantly pushing the slogan that ‘Assad must go.’ Under the pretext of removing an ‘evil’ dictator and helping the people of Syria, the West has been funding, arming and training an array of Al-Qaeda affiliated legions to force regime change in the country. Contrary to helping the people of Syria however, this has only worked to bring pain, misery and tragedy to Syria. Even the former US Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, admitted that the insistence on ‘Assad must go’ has “paralyzed” any rationale Syrian strategy.  Whenever the West appears to have moved on ...
READ MORE
On Universities and NATO War Drums
It is coming clear these days that many university professors are increasingly fat-cat and lazy, not doing any research once they get tenure. It is a system-wide corruption of the academy, so entrenched that central administrations have only led the corruption in multiplying salaries and offices with no committed function to advancement of learning and dissemination of knowledge – the constitutional and statutory objective of the academy the best are devoted to everywhere. This deep-structural degeneration is not confined to any one place or region. Regular contacts from other universities report a similar decadence. The solution is straightforward, but unspoken: (1) ...
READ MORE
Obama’s ‘Big Lie’: US has Supplied Ukraine with Arms from the Start
President Obama is still considering arming Ukraine in case the latest ceasefire is breached and the conflict escalates; but political analyst Stephen Lendman told Sputnik in an exclusive interview that the US leader is lying, and that the US has been supplying arms to Kiev from the very start of the military operation. The ceasefire between Kiev forces and independence supporters of Donetsk and Luhansk is generally holding, shelling in Donbas has stopped as the truce came in force on midnight, a spokesperson at the Kiev special operations headquarters said Sunday.But a day earlier Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US President Barack Obama, during a meeting by phone, agreed on the ...
READ MORE
Five Facts About Kosovo the Fakenews Media is Lying to You About
1. Kosovo is not ancient Albanian land Its very name comes from the Serbian word "kos," meaning blackbird. Its Albanian name, "Kosova," means nothing whatsoever. Kosovo was the heartland of medieval Serbian state and the site of the 1389 battle in which both the Serbian prince and the Ottoman sultan died, checking the Turkish expansion into the Balkans for almost 70 years. Ethnic Albanians were settled there by the Ottomans over the intervening centuries, and became a majority due to pogroms and persecution of Serbs - which began under Ottoman rule but continued under Austro-Hungarian occupation in WWI and German/Italian occupation in ...
READ MORE
McCain Against the World
In his militarist lust he was near lunacy; his ignorance: profound; he was, in many respects, conventional—numbingly conventional—on Washington’s global role. That was John McCain. This was a man who, post-9/11, promoted measures expected to boost foreign terrorism. “Within hours” of that morning’s carnage, he made himself “leading advocate of taking the American retaliation against Al Qaeda far beyond Afghanistan,” to countries—like Iraq—with no Qaeda ties, where revenge, really, would be aggression. On CNN, aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, on “Face the Nation” he pushed for assaulting Iraq, stressing the “need to keep telling the American people” about Saddam’s menace, to ...
READ MORE
Terrorists or “Freedom Fighters”? Recruited by the CIA
Note: First published by GR in February 2015 in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo Terror Attacks. The barbarous phenomenon we recently witnessed in France has roots that go back to at least 1979 when the mujahedeen made their appearance in Afghanistan. At that time their ire was directed at the leftist Taraki government that had come into power in April of 1978. This government’s ascension to power was a sudden and totally indigenous happening – with equal surprise to both the USA and the USSR. In April of 1978 the Afghan army deposed the country’s government because of its oppressive measures, ...
READ MORE
A Special Relationship Born in Hell: The US Should Cut all Ties with War Criminal Israel
If you want to understand what the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States really means consider the fact that Israeli Army snipers shot dead seventeen unarmed and largely peaceful Gazan demonstrators on Good Friday without a squeak coming out of the White House or State Department. Some of the protesters were shot in the back while running away, while another 1,000 Palestinians were wounded, an estimated 750 by gunfire, the remainder injured by rubber bullets and tear gas. The offense committed by the Gazan protesters that has earned them a death sentence was coming too close to the Israeli containment fence ...
READ MORE
“Going After” the Islamic State: Guess Who is Behind the Caliphate Project?
Author’s note and Update The following article was first published in September 2014 at the outset of the air campaign “against the ISIS”. In recent developments Russia has officially joined the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). What are the implications? Amply documented but rarely mentioned in news reports, the ISIS is a creation of US intelligence, recruited, trained and financed by the US and its allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and Jordan.   What this means is that the ISIS terrorists are the foot soldiers of the Western alliance. While America claims to be targeting the ISIS, in reality it is protecting the ISIS. The air campaign is intent upon ...
READ MORE
Since 9/11, the U.S. has been Involved in More than 5 Wars
Why Does America Keep “Losing” Its Wars? Below, we demonstrate that the U.S. keeps “losing” war after war. There are 3 potential reasons this might be happening: Is this chaos an intentional way to implement regime change and grab resources? Or is this a sign of the decline of the American empire … and we just can’t win a war anymore? Or do those in charge just not really give a damn about winning … and are they just focusing on one short-term goal after another? We’ll let you decide why you think this keeps happening. But if you don’t believe that the ...
READ MORE
Vladimir Putin is the Only Leader the West has
A Reuters news report under the names of presstitutes Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold shows how devoid the West is of honest, intelligent and responsible journalists and government officials. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-summit-idUKKCN0ZN2NN First we will examine the dishonesty or incompetence of the reporters and then that of Western government officials. Emmott and Siebold describe NATO as a “Western defense alliance.” Since the Clinton regime NATO has been an alliance for waging offensive war, a war crime under the Nuremberg rules established by the United States. Under the NATO banner a number of countries have been bombed, invaded, and had their governments overthrown by ...
READ MORE
A New Age of Global Security: The ‚Ukrainian Question‘ and ‚Kosovo Precedent‘
Article by Vladislav B. Sotirović:  „A New Age of Global Security: The ‚Ukrainian Question‘ and ‚Kosovo Precedent‘“, Vojno delo (Military affairs), Interdisciplinary Scientific Theoretical Journal, International edition, Vol. 69, Issue 4, 2017 (May-June 2017), ISSN 0042-8426, Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia, pp. 176−211. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
Ethnic Intolerance Against Christians in Kosovostan
Selective Solidarity with the Victims of Terrorism
Kosovo: What Everyone (Really) Needs to Know
Donald Trump is an International Law Breaker
From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II
A Russian Warning
Al Qaeda: The Data Base
How Palestinians Can Reverse Israel’s Divide and Conquer Tactics
“Islamic State Déjà Vu”
Western Imperialism ‘Must Go’
On Universities and NATO War Drums
Obama’s ‘Big Lie’: US has Supplied Ukraine with Arms from the Start
Five Facts About Kosovo the Fakenews Media is Lying to You About
McCain Against the World
Terrorists or “Freedom Fighters”? Recruited by the CIA
A Special Relationship Born in Hell: The US Should Cut all Ties with War Criminal Israel
“Going After” the Islamic State: Guess Who is Behind the Caliphate Project?
Since 9/11, the U.S. has been Involved in More than 5 Wars
Vladimir Putin is the Only Leader the West has
A New Age of Global Security: The ‚Ukrainian Question‘ and ‚Kosovo Precedent‘
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu