The AK Party and Turkish Government Dance with the Kurdish People: Same Old Dirty Games - By Dr. Aland Mizell

As Turkey prepares for the general elections in June, Turkey‘s
Supreme Electoral Board, the Yuksek Secim Kurulu, known as the YSK, decided to bar twelve independent candidates, most of them Kurdish, from running for Parliament. The YSK said that the barred Kurdish candidates are disqualified because they have previous terrorism-related convictions. However, as a result of the YSK’s decision, tens of thousands of Kurdish people took to the streets for three days, clashing with police forces and demanding that the YSK reverse its decision. Once again, however, the result was that the same ones paid the price for these three days of violence: the Kurds paid the price.  A 26 year-old Kurd was shot with live bullets fired by the police.  The YSK‘s mistake took a precious, young Kurdish life. Who is going to pay the price for the young Kurdish man who was killed by the police? This represents what happens when the war on Ergenekon is being carried out. The PKK is used as an excuse to circumvent Kurdish people’s life and liberties, a tactic that has become the
hallmark of the AKP and the Gulenist Administration in Turkey. The Turkish
government and the AKP’s agents improperly and illegally have used the PKK and the War on Terror as an excuse to imprison many Kurdish intellectuals, politicians, and writers, and to defame them  for the purpose of becoming the dominate power in the Southeastern part of the country. Otherwise, the AKP and the Gulenist agents cannot be successful without slandering and intimidating the Kurdish leaders and people. This kind of game has been played against the Kurds for decades and continues to be played. Gulenists and the AKP believe their objective is good, so that it does not matter if the way they achieve it is bad, wrong, or evil; they believe that to be able to accomplish their good, they perhaps need to do some evil thing, but when they accomplish their objective, their good thing will compensate for the little evil thing to make the deed right. This kind of dirty scenes against the Kurds will play over and over again as Turkey gets closer to the election in June.

When it comes to elections, all politics are dirty in a sense. In any political
campaign, successful candidates have two fairly simple imperatives: one is to promote themselves to make sure they appear better than the other candidates. The other is to suppress their opponents and their message. However, in a democratic political culture, it is not simply about elections every five years; rather a true democratic political culture is one that is diverse, pluralistic, informed, multicultural, and tolerant of the people and their ideas regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. It is also a political culture that has a sense of history, which informs the present and guides the future. The question is what kind of political culture does the Turkish government have in regard to the Kurdish people? Is it a political culture that is not limited by the majority Parliamentarians but rather one that encourages and embraces all the elements of the society? Is it a political culture that will respect the rule of law and the voice of the people? True democracy is not a political culture in which most research is funded by and for the State. It is rather a political culture in which critical thinking and a wide array of views are encouraged, as well as one in which those with alternate perspectives are not silenced, not imprisoned, and not marginalized. True democracy is a system that respects people’s privacy and allows for freedom of speech and of religion. However, the AKP party’s war on the PKK has turned into an ongoing war on freedom of speech and an attack on the media and intellectuals, using the draconian tactics of wire tapping, illegal eavesdropping, and spying on its citizens. This is a strange democracy which is setting new norms in Turkey, one where accountability, human rights, freedom of speech, and security are being discarded in defense of the war against the PKK and in favor of Ergenekon.

Hypocrisy and distortion are passing currents under the name of Democracy and the democratization of Turkey. Democracy in Turkey is hypocrisy without any limitation. To achieve their political ends, the AKP and the Gulenists are using a strategy of war on the PKK and of a fabricated Ergenekon. The closer we get to elections, the more the AKP will use Oçalan and the PKK card to be re-elected and will try all kinds of dirty games to gain political power in Southeastern Turkey and to defame the BDP party. The BDP is the only organized political voice that the Kurds have in the Turkish Parliament to challenge the AKP and the Gulenists. The AKP wants to have political control in Diyarbakir, so that they can bring their version of “peace” to the region and constantly reject the Kurdish political leaders’ proposals. The only way the AKP and Gulenists are doing this now is by jailing the BDP members almost daily and trying to crush the peaceful, non-violent, civil disobedience campaign of the Kurdish people. Also, the present government is trying to use the police to provoke the BDP leaders and members and to incite them to violence in order for the AKP and
Gulenists to justify their illegal actions against the Kurdish people.

In addition, they are again pitting the secular Kurds against the religious
Kurds. They are associating the BDP with the PKK, because the PKK has such a negative image for Turks and even some Kurdish people and because the PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the US and some European countries. The authorities will assign everything bad that happens to the PKK. Therefore, by association, the BDP will also be blamed for the crisis. They will try to make the PKK the enemy of Islam, and to do so, they will again use the Hezbollah against the PKK to divide the Kurdish vote. In the past they made Hezbollah fight against the PKK, and now they are trying to create a type of Palestinian Hamas in the Kurdish region. All Kurds should understand the AKP and Gulenists’ game and should support the BDP, regardless of the BDP’s shortcomings. This is the time for unity among the Kurds in order to bring peace and prosperity to the Kurdish region of Southeastern Turkey. Kurds should not allow themselves to be a
card for the AKP and the Gulenists’ political game. Kurds should give the BDP some time to overcome its imperfections and flaws and a chance to work for the Kurdish cause. It is not a time to blame each other; instead, it is a time for unity among the Kurds. A maxim says,” You can know a tree by its fruit.” So in the case of the AKP and Gulenists’ war on the PKK and Ergenekon, anyone can look at the actual results to determine what the war is really about. The name of the game is fear, intimidation, and defamation. Fear is being used to silence opposition to the ruling party’s policy-- fear of being called a traitor, fear of being disgraced, fear of being jailed, or even fear of being wiretapped or becoming subject to eavesdropping.

Are the authorities most intolerant toward the Kurds? 

Turkey has been dancing with the Kurds for more than three decades. They are not genuinely trying to solve the Kurdish problems. If only the Kurds would listen to those in power and accept their way of life, the current Gulenists’ government would be content because they believe they are the chosen people. For example, I am sure that the AKP and Gulenists know the military and Turkish states conducted a dirty war in the Kurdish regions and did not want the problem to end, because the generals were making big money. During the 1990s’ dirty war in the Kurdish region, there was a state policy to detain, to kidnap, or to torture thousands of civilians without giving them proper judiciary processes. How many of those who committed such acts have themselves been detained or have gone to prison?

Why do the AKP and Gulenists refuse to investigate unsolved political murdered conducted during the 1990’s in the Kurdish region? Why are the AKP and Gulenists silent about clandestine disappearance of Kurds? Perpetrators of these crimes are known to the government, but the AKP and Gulenists continue to turn a blind eye; however, when someone speaks against their organization or spoke against it in the past, they will put all the generals, writers, and journalist in prison. However, no one who committed a crime against the Kurds has gone to prison.  Instead, the government and the Gulenists will cover up such crimes. How many times have the Gulenists news media covered the imprisonments in Diyarbakir or clandestine operations in the Southeast? But when the BDP brings this kind of
issue to the public, the government slanders the BDP and accuses them of
creating terror in Turkey. How many independent delegations have been formed to investigate the disappearance cases in the Kurdish region? But Gulenists’ and the AKP government’s media will fully investigate the death of Mushin Yazici Oglu but will not investigate thousands of disappearances and deaths of Kurdish people?  How many generals, police, and politicians have been jailed or sent to court for their dirty war during the period of 1991-1996? How many police, gendarme, military generals, or even journalists who broadcast false news against the Kurdish people have gone to jail? The only people who have gone to jail are those either supposedly plotting against Gulen or Erdogan or actually uncovering the Gulenists’ organization and his plan. But what happened to the more than 4000 villages that were burned and the military that forced the Kurds to relocate them? The AKP and Gulenists are only dancing with the Kurds but not
producing any solutions, unless the Kurds want to live according to their way of life. Has the AKP legislated or passed any laws relating to human rights?

Like the Turks, the Kurds are hungry for peace, stability, and safety
and want to see a promising bright future for their children. In the end the
Kurds are paying the price, the Kurds are dying, and the Kurds are suffering, not Erdogan’s or Gul’s kids. The AKP and Gulenists are not sincere in their wanting to solve the Kurdish problem, but instead are using stances of the BDP and the PKK as an excuse not to take necessary steps to bring about a real, honest solution. The BDP and Kurdish people believe that the AKP government has no intention of making peace with the Kurds. A Democratic Semi-Autonomy within the Turkish territory would indicate a democratization of Turkey. It would indicate a strong Turkey, one respecting and promoting different cultures rather than subjecting them to assimilation. A quasi-autonomous region does not mean secession from Turkey or the establishment of a new country, but rather one group’s enjoyment of full rights. Rather than entertain this idea for the Kurds’ justice, Erdogan and his government will help to make peace between the Hamas and Fatah organizations, even though the Hamas leader made a statement
condemning America for killing Osama Bin Laden, and even though Hamas considers Fatah a terrorist organization. Also, even though Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the US government, Turkey has received them in Ankara several times. But at the same time during the AKP s meeting in Parliament, Erdogan accused the BDP of supporting terrorism, claiming that they were collaborating with the outlawed terrorist organization. Furthermore Erdogan said that those who are in direct or indirect contact with the PKK are accomplices to murder. But why are Mr. Erdogan and his government by directly or indirectly supporting Hamas and receiving Hamas in Ankara not an accomplice to murder? Whenever Kurds demonstrate on the street, Gulenists and Erdogan cry that it is caused by an external power and that these dissidents do not advance the great
Turkish nation. Remarkably and ironically, at the same time Erdogan will call
upon the leaders of Egypt, Syria and Libya to listen to the voices of their
people, he continues to refuse to listen to the Kurdish voice as he has done for many years. There is a proverb saying, “We have seen the enemy and it is we.” It is time for soul searching by us. The Kurds should be more cautious especially as Turkey approaches the elections; they should look both ways before crossing the street. Because the BDP party is the only rival party in Southeastern Turkey, the AKP will use all kinds of dirty games to control the region. No observer should be surprised if terrorism rises in Turkey again and especially if many Kurdish citizens die, since the AKP associates the BDP with the PKK and will accuse the BDP for an increase in violence. Ankara will accuse the BDP of not condemning violence and make people believe that the BDP actually advocates it. If the AKP is successful with its strategy and the AKP and Gulenists come up with their version of a solution for the region, then the AKP will desperately need to win the Diyarbakir and Kurdish regions. But will the plan be for the AKP
to perpetrate a new terror campaign against the BDP and thereby to outrage the people against the BDP, so that the incumbent party can win their vote? The Kurds should not believe those provocations and games. If Kurds want justice, they must be vigilant against the AKP and Gulenists’ dirty games, slander, and injustices. Those who slumber do not help the cause of justice, only those who are vigilant and cautious.

Other articles by Dr Aland Mizell

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May 9, 2011
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