Published by New Eastern Outlook 23 February 2016
While the Turkish army, following the orders of their commander in chief, carries out armed aggression against Iraq and Syria, in Turkey itself authorities have launched an all-out offensive against the civil population of its Kurdish regions. It won’t be an exaggeration to state that Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is systematically exterminating Kurds throughout Turkey which constitutes an act of genocide. All across the major cities Kurdish activists are being routinely arrested and more than two hundred offices of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party have been burned to the ground.
The Turkish authorities have decided to suppress the Kurdish drive toward independence with military power, which has already led to countless victims among the civilian population. But it doesn’t seem to stop there since the Turkish media is reporting that the government is buying tens of thousands of pieces of special equipment designed to facilitate fighting in urban areas, including sniper rifles, microwave radars to identify people behind walls, machine guns that allow the gunner to shoot around corners and 22,000 sets of helmets and body armor that provide enhanced protection for melee engagements. What this basically means is that Kurdish towns are going to be transformed into warzones.
President Erdogan has decided to turn a blind eye on the fact that raids in urban areas usually result in a large number of those unable to protect themselves being decimated, including women, children, and elders. If reports from the Kurdish populated areas are to be believed – whole towns are on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.
But it seems that Erdogan couldn’t care less, since Kurdish settlements that are now being transformed into warzones, sealed off from any politicians, journalists, or human rights defenders. Experts say that the total number of internally displaced persons has already exceeded one hundred thousand people.
If Sirnak Kurdish activists are “only” getting arrested and beaten in broad daylight, a massive extermination of the civil Kurdish population has been reported in the town of Cizre located some 20 kilometers from the Syrian-Turkish border. This name may sound familiar to observers since back in June 2015 85% of its population voted for the Peoples’ Democratic Party. Yet, Turkish officials are convinced that they are “only conducting a “special operation.”
Recently Kurdish MP Feleknas Uca accused the government of the brutal murder of 150 Kurdish civilians. She told journalists that in the area of Cizre families were burned alive in their homes only due to the fact that they were Kurds.
Additionally, she reported that due to the aggressive actions of Turkish troops in the province of Diyarbakir, 200 civilians were trapped in their basements. But regular forces didn’t allow anyone to come rescue them, since that province is also inhabited by Kurds. Another string of tragic events unfolded in the Kurdish town of Yüksekova.
Deputy Feleknas Uca said in an interview with the German edition of Süddeutsche Zeitung, that the EU representatives must come to the south-east of Turkey, to see for themselves how genocidal Erdogan’s policies are.
Numerous video posted on social networks are showing that large caliber guns are being used to level whole districts of the cities of Cizre, Diyarbakır and many others to the ground under the pretext that “Kurdish separatists” have allegedly been hiding there. However, these videos demonstrate that Turkish authorities are deliberately massacring civilians, including old men.
It’s impossible to tell the exact death toll in Cizre Yüksekova, Diyarbakır and other Kurdish cities due to extremely limited information that journalists are able to obtain. However, there is no doubt that among those killed there’s droves of civilians
In response to the inhuman actions of the so-called elected authorities, a wave of protests swept across Turkey. People have been demanding the end of the so-called “military operation” in Kurdish regions. The biggest protest occurred in Diyarbakir that has de facto become the unofficial Kurdish capital of Turkey. Peaceful demonstrations were rigidly suppressed by police units that employed water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters. Similar clashes in south-eastern Turkey have been going on for over six months. People are leaving their homes in a hurry, streets are filled with tanks and armored vehicles. The clashes between the police and Kurdish resistance units never seem to stop.
Kurdish communities across the globe have urged the leading players to put an end to the genocide perpetrated by Turkey’s officials. Several hundreds of Kurdish activists gathered outside the UN office building in Iraqi Irbil demanding the international community to stop the ongoing destruction of the units of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, considered “a terrorist organization” in Turkey.
Turkish parliamentarians of Kurdish origin have made a formal appeal to the international community and the EU parliamentarians demanding an end be put to the oppression of their population.
Italian member of the European Parliament, Laura Ferrara, has been enraged by the fact that the EU is providing Turkey 3 billion euros in aid, while it’s committing atrocities against Kurds and she has stated her position loud and clear.
However, it seems that the EU is so concerned with the recent migrant crisis, that it pays little to no attention to outrageous examples of human rights violations in Turkey. The Telegraph notes that Angela Merkel is so dependent on Turkey’s ability to prevent refugees from coming to Europe that she doesn’t have the stomach to say a word against the genocidal policies of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
However, a senior official of the European Parliament – the President of the GUE / NGL Gabi Zimmer urged the EU to condemn the ongoing genocide of Kurdish population in Turkey and punish those responsible for it. It’s curious that his position is shared by a number of other European MPs.
Erdogan’s position is getting weaker by the day. In addition, the Kurdish conflict is being exploited by the West as well. However, the lack of any form of condemnation – that’s what is truly disturbing about this situation. The silence of the West and its satellite states in the Persian Gulf is clear – they would never accuse an ally that they rely on in the Syrian conflict of massive offenses against the Kurds… And nobody cares that that by killing Kurds in droves Turkey is mimicking the crimes of its predecessors who committed such acts against Armenians.
However, any crime leads to punishment and the international community seems to be determined to bring it upon Erdogan’s head.
Martin Berger is a Czech-based freelance journalist and analyst, exclusively for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.