Turkish behaviour against case-less Kurdish victims

  • KurdishMedia.com - By Shakhawan Shorash
  • 08/11/2011 00:00:00

An earthquake of 7.2 magnitude hit Wan, a Kurdish city in southeast Turkey. The earthquake caused hundreds of deaths, injured thousands, destroyed countless homes, and made thousands of people homeless. Wan province is a poor area with a lack of government supplies and such a natural catastrophe needs fast and urgent comprehensive help, which neither Wan nor Turkish authorities can give.

A few days before this natural catastrophe, Kurdish PKK partisans killed 24 Turkish soldiers in an attack that threw Turkey in mourning. Turkey, running amok, launched a brutal attack with heavy bombardment of the Kurdish mountains. More than 20 PKK guerrillas were killed and many of their bodies were totally burned. Kurds and others are accusing Turkey for using forbidden weapons such as chemical poisons and napalm in the attacks. Turkish authorities have begun an extensive campaign to arrest hundreds of human rights activists, writers, and others whom they suspect for connection to the PKK. Among them, some Kurdish members of Parliament have been arrested. The war between Turkey and the Kurdish partisans exists only because Turkey denies Kurdish cultural and political rights. Turkey supports the independence of Kosovo and Palestine, but this same country does not have a minimum tolerance toward Kurdish freedom. There are around 15 million Kurds who live in southeast Turkey, and like other people they have a right to be free and decide their own political destiny.

When the strong earthquake hit Wan, dozens of countries such as Germany and Britain offered aid, but Turkey rejected them! The people and the victims of the Wan province needed urgent help and the aid Turkey could give was primitive and insufficient. Countless people were waiting for help while struggling for their lives under the destroyed buildings and ruins. Homeless people were freezing and hopelessly waiting for first help accommodations. The assistance from other countries could have saved many lives, but Turkey prevented that! Only after five days did Turkey allow other countries’ assistance, but now that was too late for many victims. Why did Turkey reject outside help? Was that for covering up its mass arrests and military attacks on Kurdish villages and mountains? Was that because of the “Kurdishness” of the victims, with Turkey looking at them as supporters of PKK? Was Turkey’s rejection a punishment against these case-less Kurds? No matter the reason, Turkey is responsible for many lost lives and there is no excuse for that.

Some Turkish TV channels regarded the earthquake as God’s anger and punishment against the Kurds, as they accuse them of being PKK sympathizers or supporters. They were pleased with the earthquake catastrophe and publicly pried for similar destinies for other Kurdish cities such as Diyarbakir and Hakary. See the Turkish TV channel here:

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The earthquake was a natural disaster and had nothing to do with politics, nationality, or ethnicity. This sort of opinion shows a lack of respect for Kurds because of their ethnic background. This racist expression shows the gap between the Turks and Kurds. This would only help to instill more hatred between Turks and Kurds. But how could this sort of public expression happen in our modern time? How could this expression be allowed in Turkey, which claims democracy?

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is traveling around in the Arab world proclaiming the country’s support to freedom and showing Turkey as a model for a new political system in the Arab countries. What model? Ethno-nationalist discrimination and hatred against the Kurdish minority is continuing in Turkish society. There is oppression of human rights everywhere in Turkey. People are punished because of their different opinions and views on, for instance, the Armenian genocide, Dersim genocide, or other crimes committed in the past. Therefore, Turkey has to change its political culture and democratize itself before exporting its political system. So it seems to that Turkey has a long way left towards acceptance of diversity and democracy.

  • KurdishMedia.com - By Shakhawan Shorash
  • 08/11/2011 00:00:00