"The Genocide Calendar"
Kurdishaspect.com - By Beyan Farshi
It’s happened a lot, and in between many reminder notes have been overseen or lost through the centuries. Browsing through the lost reminder notes might reveal the unspoken truth, but the thing that most of us are aware of is the conspiracy of those silent suspicious souls who intended, and still do, to legitimize the deletion of other cultures’ traces for their own materialistic advantages.
We are still wearing the same mask and covering the same unspoken truth and applying the same means for the same purposes but with a modernized and inviting look. How it really was back then and how it is going to be in the future is not the central concern. However, why it was like that and how are we going to continue should be our main focus.
Each one of us was and is guilty of genocides that have happened over the past centuries, as we did not raise our voices to prevent them. We preferred and prefer the silence. We watched them happen while the so-called superior races doomed the victims to be extinct.
The perpetrators justified their crimes with the most unbelievably ridiculous reasoning, namely, dehumanization and associating the victims with evil spirits, which is still efficient and in usage.
Looking back at the 15th century and the arrival of Europeans on the South American mainland, followed by global European conquests which led to the collapse of ancient Aztec and Maya civilizations and the death of millions of Indigenous people in America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The genocide of Indigenous people – their culture, their language, and their identity – continues until today. Turning them into strangers to their own selves by wiping out their identity and forcing them to unlearn their mother tongue made it impossible for them to retain and maintain their own way of life.
The colonization of Africa by western countries in the 19th and 20th centuries resulted in slavery, dehumanization and the massacre of African people under the pretext of them being inhuman and dirty. Convenient nonsense reasoning allowed colonizers to conduct human stratification and classification in groups and classes based on a newly identified term, namely race. Obviously, according to the holy stories, dark is defeated by light and black is associated with darkness and white with brightness. A simple justification for slaughtering millions of people, putting them in the slavery industry, robbing them of their culture and identity, making them believe that they are less valuable and privileged human beings – only for the sake of taking control of their natural resources.
Looking back at the other half of the planet Earth and, still in the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of Armenian people were eliminated from their 3,000 year-old homeland and driven over mountains and deserts and deprived of food and water and starved to death.
The newly arrived people, the Turks, occupied and destroyed everything to build a homeland on the ruins of other peoples’ existence. The Young Turks and the Mustafa Kemal regime from 1914 to 1923 killed 1.5 million Pontian and Anatolian Greeks, along with two million Assyrians and Armenians. The genocide is still denied by Turkey’s government.
The Jewish people in Europe were massacred because they were Jewish, wealthy, and belonged to the so-called inferior race. They were starved to death, gassed, and degraded for practising a different belief. After WWII, the Kurdish Jews in Iran, Iraq and Turkey were deprived of their citizenships, their properties and any of their belongings and killed if they insisted on staying.
From 1992 to 1995, the Serbs murdered more than one hundred thousand Bosnian Muslims and Croats in the so-called Ethnic Cleansing Campaign.
In 1994, we broadcast the genocide in Rwanda but didn’t try to stop the homicide. The deliberate plan of murdering of more than 500,000 people within a hundred days benefited the western powers. Dehumanization of one group by the other and promoting hatred and racist ideology intensified the conflict.
From the 16th to 19th centuries, the Kurds were the target of bloodthirsty rulers in the Middle East. At the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Dersim in today’s Turkey were massacred for being against the Turkish government and for practising a different religion.
The founders of the Republic of Kurdistan were executed in 1946 by the Iranian regime. The killing and execution of many thousands of Kurds after the Iranian revolution in 1979 continues to the current day, with the massacre of hundreds of villagers just for being of Kurdish ethnicity.
In 1988, Iraq’s chemical attack on Kurdish people in Halabja killed more than 5,000 people and injured more than 10,000. From 1983 to 1988, more than 184,000 Kurds were buried alive by the Iraqi regime. More than 5,000 villages in Kurdistan in Iraq were destroyed, burned, and thoroughly dried out. Even animals were slaughtered.
Thousands of villages in Kurdistan in today’s Turkey were destroyed completely. Thousands of Kurdish women in Turkey were forcibly sterilized with the aim of the discontinuation of the Kurdish people.
We did not prevent these genocides from happening, and we still overlook the today’s ongoing genocide, the genocide of Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iran. Even those nations who have previously experienced genocide do not raise the stop sign.
For decades, the existence of Kurds in Syria has been denied. They do not have an identity and, if they do, they are not identified as Kurds but Arabs. The purpose of the complete denial of their existence can be seen now. Today, the Kurds in Syria are killed and slaughtered, but officially they do not exist. Thus, you can’t report the death of someone who doesn’t exist and have any official record. And everyone around the world is excused for not seeing the injustice and not reflecting the casualties in their media.
This systematic, institutionalized process of erasing the Kurdish nation, which is seen as a threat to colonizers’ economic stability and western profit has to be brought to an end. I will not understand if the today and future generations also insist on pursuing their happiness at the expense of others. The time has changed and we need to make changes in our strategies, international policies and relationships to guarantee the continuation of human beings’ togetherness. We can’t continue build our future on the ruins of our neighbors, we can’t destroy other lives in order to go forward.
It is about time to put an end to the genocide calendar. Let my nation’s genocide, the Kurdish nation genocide, be the last page of this bloody calendar. Let us stop the bloody profit.
Beyan Farshi was born in Bokan, East of Kurdistan. She studied biology in Germany and Canada, and is currently doing Linguistics and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. She is passionate about reading and writing in Kurdish, and a while ago she started to write in English. weblog: