These commandments are first and foremost of relevance to everyone connected to the Turkish government, the opposition, and in the context of the recent history of contemporary Turkey. Turkish history is littered with massacres and the version that the Turkish Government relies on is false (like other countries in the region), because it fails to disclose important information, in particular in relation to Kurds and Armenians.
 
The late Mussa Antar, journalist and fighter for Kurdish rights, was killed by the secret services of the Turkish State in Diyarbakir in 1992, when he was in his seventies. Antar wrote in his memoirs in the Turkish language, on page 29 as follows:
 
Kurdish villagers were bringing chopped firewood on their donkeys to sell in the market town of Mardin, which is in the south-east of Turkey and on the Syrian border, home to Kurds, Arabs, and Syriacs. The incident dates back to the 1930s. The price of a load of firewood on the back of the donkey was sold at 50 to 60 Turkish kurush (one Turkish lira – 100 kurush – was equal to one U.S. dollar at the time). The price of the donkey and the wood together was 5 to 6 Turkish liras.
 
Kurds use the words “tcho tcho” to drive their donkeys, and at that time these people did not know a single word in Turkish. Many of the wretched villagers lead their donkeys laden with firewood towards the Mardin market chanting “tcho tcho”, oblivious to the trap set for them by the Turkish gendarmerie at the gates of the city. Suddenly the gendarmerie attacked and began beating the convoy, and cursing them using obscenities. The villagers were amazed at what was happening and asked the gendarmerie what crime they had committed. Every time they spoke and shouted, the beatings intensified and the insults flew at them. These poor people did not know that the level of punishment would increase; they did not know that the key to this was in the word “tcho”. This word is Kurdish.
 
The punishment of a fine for using any word other than Turkish would be 50 kurush per word, equivalent to the price of a load of wood which was essential to the owner’s livelihood. The other words that the villagers used, including groans and requests for an explanation, were added to the fine.
 
Mussa Antar in his narrative says:
One of these “criminals” was my uncle. They seized the donkey and its load which was worth about 5 lira, and he was detained for two days by the gendarmerie, where he suffered all kinds of brutal torture, which Turks are famous for. This has been common knowledge amongst the Arabs since the Ottoman era.
 
After three and a half months the tax collectors came to collect their money accompanied by a patrol gendarmerie. They demanded that my uncle should pay the rest of the fine of 7 lira (the fine in total was 12 lira, five lira having paid at the time of the “crime” when they took the donkey and its load). It seems that he had used 24 Kurdish words in Mardin. The gendarmerie threatened to seize the assets of his house if he did not pay the fine. Poor Uncle had to sell five of his goats to clear this fine for “a crime of speaking Kurdish.”
 
After that, the Kurdish city of Mardin became a ghost town, haunted by the silence of the grave. No-one knew how to speak Turkish. Speaking non-Turkish brought punishment and heavy fines. No one spoke outside the house. Speech was by signal only, as if all the people in the whole city were deaf. Perhaps many people did not know that it was obligatory for the call to prayer to be in the Turkish language at the time.
 
This is an example in Turkish history during the early days of Ataturk’s Republic that reveals the racism and brutality that has been committed against the Kurds.
 
If someone is interested to know about the massacres committed in the city of Dersim in 1937 and 1938, they need only write the word “Dersim” in ‘Google’. The name of the city was changed to ‘Tunceli’ which is a Turkish name. On reading about this,  Arabs will hesitate to talk about the terrible events at Dayr Yasin in Jerusalem, and even about what happened in Halabja (and this is not to minimize the horror of these massacre), when they compare these with the enormity of the events in Dersim.
 
One may wonder about the significance of this writing?
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are suffering from occupation, injustice, siege, etc. 
Kurds in Turkey are suffering many times over, and they are prohibited from giving their children Kurdish names, and from teaching in their language, and there has been war in the Kurdish area for a quarter of a century, which has brought displacement, poverty…etc.
Now Palestinian and Arab people have found an ally in Turkey against Israel.
 
If Israel with its political and financial, media and military technology stood with Kurds from Turkey, for example in supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – PKK movement, we would as a result have an Israeli-Kurdish alliance, against Turkish oppression. What would the Arabs and Palestinians think about Kurds in Turkey then?
 
Is there any special divine consideration of Arabs and Jews – the “best nation on earth” and “God’s chosen people”? God Almighty will solve this problem, but this will not happen before the Day of Resurrection.
Large numbers of the Turkish Press warned Erdogan of the dangerousness of events if Israel moved to support Kurds in Turkey. The number of Kurds in Turkey is about 30 million people.
The answer is left to the mind, and intelligence, and conscience.
 
Alliances based on immorality, and betrayal of principles, and double standards will be shamed before God and history. The same applies to the clerical regime in Tehran.
 
8 July 2010
 
Bangi Hajo is a doctor and well-known Kurdish writer from Syria, living on Sweden.
Translated by SKS Staff.
July 8, 2010 by sks  
Filed under News, Syria, Turkey

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