I celebrated Newroz in Diyarbakir with teary eyes!
Kurdishaspect.com - By Luqman Barwari
I celebrated Newroz in Diyarbakir among more than a million Kurds on March 20th. The Newroz program started at 10:0 am with welcome and well wish speeches by the organizers. The program followed by a beautiful musical group from beloved Mihabat, Eastern Kurdistan, singing their first song “Em Roji, Sali Taze e Newroza Hatewa”.
The program continued with messages from Mr. Ahmet Turk, Mayor Osman Baydemir, among several other regional Kurdish leaders. The Newroz participants enjoyed more music and dances by Hozan Brader, and Hozan Comert, as the participants were dancing and chanting to their music and songs. Unlike the past 4 years Newroz program that I had attended, the program ended at 1:00 pm.
The Newroz participant were asked to join BDP, and other Kurdish official and activists for a peaceful 10 miles march towards the “Peace Tents”. A group of at least 200 thousand, including Mr. Ahmet Turk, Mayor Osman Baydemir and other M.Ps started the peaceful march towards the Peace Tents.
As the marchers continued their march to their destination, heavily armed Turkish police interfered and confronted them. Skirmishes took place between some of the brave Diyarbakir youth, and the heavily armed Turkish police, while the remaining marchers continued their march towards their destination.
We arrived at the Peace Tents Park around 3:00 p.m, but the Newroz peace marchers were not left alone by the Turkish police forces.
We were at the park, locked in, surrounded and attacked by the Turkish police on the ground as several Helicopters were hovering the park continuously and throwing tear gas on the park grounds as the skirmishes continued between police and the Diyabarkir youth.
No one could escape from the affect of the tear gas spreading so rapidly all over the park. The gates were locked, there was a heavy police presence outside the park, and there was nowhere to escape, many were injured. Several hours later, negotiation took place between the Turkish state police and Mayor Baydemir and other Kurdish city officials.
At around 7:00 pm, ambulances were allowed in to attend and take away the injured. I myself left the park around 8:00 pm, still suffering with inflamed and teary eyes, and a continues cough from the affect of the tear gas.
As I came back to my hotel room, fatigued, and still suffering from the physical and emotional aftermath of the events, I could not wonder but think about how cruel and hypocritical the Turkish regime is against innocent, defenseless Kurdish people.
The recent speeches of the Turkish prime minster, Erdogan were playing in my head and haunting me, as how hypocritical a head of a state can be.
Where he goes around the world, preaching and encouraging the recent uprising in the Middle East among the Arab world against dictatorial states.
Where he is so vocal against Israel for mistreatment of Palestinans. Didn’t you recently state, Mr. Erdogan? “ My fits of anger toward the death of children were “indiscriminative” of race and religion. “Wherever, whenever, you continued by saying “if a child is been killed,” I would fiercely stand against the murderers”.
Oh, I don’t know where to start, but Mr. Erdogan, why don’t you do something about your own state before you go around the world and preach to other states how they should treat their citizens?
What about the uncovering of all the mass graves in the Kurdish region on daily bases?
What about the recent closure of democratically elected Democratic Society Party (DTP) and subsequent jailing of more that 1800 Kurdish politicians, and human rights activists since April 2009?
What about the imprisonment of more than three thousand Kurdish children under 18 years of age?
As far as I know, Mr. Prime minster, their only crime was to attend peaceful gathering, and marches as I witnessed yesterday.
How can they defend themselves against those brutal, and vicious police force?
Yes, the only weapon that I witnessed those kids were using were, peaces of concrete from the side walks against the heavily armed Turkish brutal police force, equipped with machine guns, armored gears, shields, gas masks, water cannons, and helicopters hovering above, throwing tear gas bullets on the marchers.
I urge you Mr. prime minster, stop going around the world and preaching to other states about how to conduct democracy.
Although, it maybe difficult to create a democracy any time soon in your won state, but start with your own state, before preaching it to the others.
You cannot hide your state’s apparatus crimes against defenseless Kurdish people, not with today’s mass media outlets.