Turkish Justice: Gulen's recent Response to uludere massacre
- KurdishMedia.com - By Dr Aland Mizell
- 13/01/2012 00:00:00
Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.
- Frederick Douglass, American slave, abolitionist, and author
Almost two weeks ago, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) killed 35 Kurdish civilians from Uludere village in an operation along the Iraqi border. The official statement argues that these 35 villagers were killed because the military thought they were terrorists. The military knows everything about the smuggling business. It appears that the military has all the information on who crosses the Iraqi border and when they return. If they knew that information, why did the military think they were members of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) as they alleged? Who massacred 35 Kurdish young people and why? This massacre shows one more time that military action is not the solution for the Kurdish problem. When is the Prime Minister going to apologize to the victims’ families and to the Kurdish people? When is the Prime Minister going to acknowledge that military action is not the solution? When will the Prime Minister stop blaming the Kurds all the time and treat them with respect? Power gives choices. It is fair to say that trust for Gülen and for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) among the Kurds is diminishing and even among the Turks because trust correlates with how they use the power they have. In the past, people, like myself, believed that Gulen and his followers represented the truth. Now many people who know Gulen’s movement raise questions about their motive and especially the reason that so many people who do not agree with them end up in jail. Today Gulenists’ image abroad and in Turkey is slowly becoming shadier, mainly because of lack of transparency, accountability, human rights, freedom of expression, and the like.
For me the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression by the Turkish Armed Forces and cruelty by the bad people but the silence of the good people, of the international community, of the United State, of the European Union and even of the Barzani and Talabani leaders not pressuring Erdogan and Gulenists enough to stop their aggressive campaign against the Kurdish people. The Turkish media lost its credibility, because not until after two days were they able to report the massacre; the first massacre news came out via twitter and Kurdish Roj TV and was broadcast from the Netherlands. Parenthetically, for a long time Turkey has tried to pressure the Danish government to close Roj TV because of its defending Kurdish rights and being the only Kurdish voice. It is a shame for the Netherlands to close the Kurdish Roj TV because, according to the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers. The media has the decisive role of distributing information and framing events, which are subsequently interpreted by the audience. The Turkish media’s content has never been objective; there is always one view that dominates the others. Since many Turkish media organizations do most of their reporting from outside the Kurdish region, there is a belief within the Kurdish territories that the media’s agenda is being dominated by the view from the government and Gulenists. Deceptively showing the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) as merely a terrorist group yet failing to apply the same standard when it comes to describing the Turkish actions is typical for the Mainstream media and shows the lack of journalistic investigation and in-depth reporting in the news stories. Today the international community remains mute against the Turkish government’s dismissive attitude. This recent disaster was one in which the most advanced aircraft killed innocent Kurdish civilians. Clearly, no matter what the Kurdish people do, they will be killed.
If you don’t stand against oppression, you stand for it. It does not matter whether it was deliberate or accidental; the result is the same --35 innocent Kurdish civilian lives have been lost, and this can be perfectly identified as an act of the state killing its citizens. This clearly shows that the military is not the way to solve the Kurds’ problems but that the way to solve Kurdish problems is the negotiation table with the PKK and the BDP as guests at the table, so that the ruling power must listen to what the Kurds want. The reason the Kurdish people continue to be massacred is because the Turkish government has wrongly defined the Kurdish problem as a security matter rather than a social, political and economical one. The Turkish government must resurrect its conscience and offer an official apology.
The Turks also claim that the Kurds hate the Turks. They claim that Kurds are angry at the Prime Minister and angry at the governor who thanked the Turkish military for the operation. Who would not be angry if your own government killed its citizen and did not care, but instead after 20 hours went on TV to make a statement about the issue? Who would not be angry when one Turk gets killed the administration flies the flag of Turkey at half mast, but when 35 Kurds get killed, people crazily celebrate the new year while the Kurds are mourning? The Turks and Gulenists are accusing Kurds of dividing Turkey but do not realize that they are guilty of that charge; instead they think that everybody is blind like them --blind that they divide all others into camps. Recently Gülen issued a message incorrectly charging that the Kurds declared war on them and that because of their organization’s ethics, they will not tolerate this behavior. I am wondering what kind of ethics they are talking about. Is it ethical to kill citizens? Is it ethical to be silent against wrongdoers? Is it ethical to kill anyone you see on the grounds that you perceive them as terrorists? Where is justice in the Islamic sense of justice that says if there are 9 guilty in a boat and only one is innocent, that boat cannot be destroyed nor be sunk because one person is innocent? Is it ethical or justified in using any available means or method to achieve a goal, because they believe their end will result in good for the whole? Is it moral? In 1993, when Serbians were killing Bosnians during the New Year, Gulen and his follower were crying, and Gülen ordered the Zaman to give full coverage, saying “Bosnia weeps blood, so we cannot celebrate the New Year, we cannot have fun.” Did Gulen and Gulenists news media do the same thing when the Kurds were massacred by the Turkish military? We hear a resounding “No.” Instead, Gülen accused the PKK of perpetrating the massacre. Instead Turkish police increased raids on Kurdish house and offices, instead Prime Minister Erdogan congratulate Turkish general for doing their job. Kurds must embrace their pain and burn it as fuel for their journey against cruelty and oppression. Blaming others is a way of avoiding the need to accept one’s own responsibility. The blame game continues as Turks have blamed one group after another group for all their problems. This kind of war will provoke more Kurdish citizens and lead them to the edge of an uprising. Young people keep dying, so that the problems keep becoming more complicated and the Kurdish civilians’ trust for the Turkish government is withering.
In a speech broadcast on the website Herkul.org, Gülen expressed that the PKK distorted his previous speech about measures that should be taken for the Turkish army to kill all the PKK bandit group, but he failed to express his grief for the innocent Kurdish civilians and failed to express the view that the Prime Minister of Turkey and the Turkish army should apologize. The Islamic regime’s treatment of the Kurds will not be any different from previous regimes’ treatment of them. Under the previous regimes Kurds did not have problems as long as they denied that they were Kurds, and Gülen has factored the same formula under the current Islamic regime. As long as you do not say, “I am a Kurd,” you are welcomed with no problems. Today in Turkey the Kurdish Parliamentarians, the BDP members, were democratically elected by the Kurdish people and given a victory, but the Muslim administration is not happy and is using intimidation to attack every front, such as putting Kurds in jail one by one, charging them in court, financially and spiritually harassing them, as well as trying to lower their morale, so that they will give up. They are using many kinds of tactics to justify not just the end, but also their means. The real plan for Gulenists and the Turkish government is to replace the BDP with Kemal Burkay, a Kurdish writer and the founder and former Secretary General of the Kurdish Socialist Party, who fled Turkey in 1980. He received asylum in Sweden, where he has been living since. They want to replace the BDP with him and want him to establish a new Kurdish Party that will agree with the Gulenists and the AKP. That is why right now Turkey is using the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK) as an excuse to close down the BDP. This is the kind of “Justice” and “Peace” that the ruling Turkish government seeks to accomplish. Kurds should demand a thorough investigation in full view of the world’s eyes.
Dr Aland Mizell is with the University of Mindanao School of Social Science, President of the MCI and a regular contributor to The KurdishMedia.com. You may email the author at:firstname.lastname@example.org
- KurdishMedia.com - By Dr Aland Mizell
- 13/01/2012 00:00:00