The Kurdish march intolerable for Erdogan

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The peaceful “march for democracy and the coup d’etat” which Turkey’s largest pro-Kurdish party, the Democratic Party of Peoples (HDP), gave birth on Monday 15 June to protest the constant arrests of his MPs and mayors.

The march, divided into two sections, the north-western one symbolically left from the city of Edirne where there is the maximum security penitentiary in which the charismatic Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtaş is imprisoned in a type F cell intended for terrorists. The other section started symbolically from the Kurdish city farthest from Edirne, that is, from Hakkari, to symbolize the desire to represent all 84 million Turks. The two sections will meet in the heart of Anatolia, in the capital of Turkey, Ankara.

A march therefore that in its symbology, according to the organizers, intends to embrace with fraternal impetus all the peoples living in Turkey, all ethnic and religious minorities such as Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Abkhazians, Arabs, Assyrians, Circassians, Lazio, Roma, Kurds, pupils and ezids.

Since it was founded in October 2012, the HDP has seen its ruling class decimate: 13 arrested parliamentarians, over one hundred defrauded mayors, many of whom ended up behind bars along with over twenty thousand executives and militants. It was from the early nineties that there was no such repression against the organizations and parties of the Kurdish movement. When the state of emergency then prevailed, Kurdish militants and intellectuals filled the ranks of the desaparesidos.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the loss of parliamentary status on June 4 for two MPs from the HDP, for Leyla Güven, the passionate Kurdish human rights officer, co-president of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK, umbrella organization of Kurdish parties and NGOs from Turkey) and deputy from Hakkari and per Musa Farisoğulları, a deputy from Diyarbakır, all accused of terrorism together with the parliamentarian and journalist of the largest opposition party (CHP), Eniş Beberoğlu. All three arrested and shortly after released with the exception of Farisoğulları.

“They kicked out our democratically elected mayors and now they do the same with our deputies. The policy of appointing trustees to replace the elected by the people constitutes a political coup, “said the co-president of theHDP, Mithat Sancar.

“We will march democratically, for democracy, to meet the people, to dialogue, we will march so that everyone knows that a political coup is taking place”, with these words, the leader of the HDP Sancar, an eminent Arab ethnic intellectual in the province Kurd of Mardin, started the march.

A political coup, Sancar pointed out, such as that which occurred on March 2, 1994 when even then some Kurdish parliamentarians elected from the ranks of the Social Democratic Party (SHP) lost the status of parliamentarians and were arrested; among others, Leyla Zana, prize Sakharov in 1995, guilty of having sworn in Parliament in Kurdish language and Ahmet Türk charismatic figure of the Kurdish movement.

A political coup d’état such as that of 4 November 2016, when the HDP co-presidents, MPs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.

The police tried in every way to prevent the march from taking place.

Co-President and Member of Parliament Pervin Buldan and other party leaders and members had gathered in front of the shopping center in the Silivri district, north of İstanbul, where there is the so-called prison of journalists, so named for the high number of journalists who there are restricted, among them, the writer Ahmet Altan and the philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala.

They were immediately attacked by police who used rubber and tear gas bullets, MPs Tuma Çelik and Musa Piroğlu were also affected. Over ten arrests have been recorded, including those of some journalists who intended to follow the march.

At the same time on the other side of Anatolia Mithat Sancar was leaving with Hakkari marchers. The city had been besieged by a disproportionate number of fully armed gendarmerie agents, completely surrounded by the early hours of the morning. Special anti-terrorist security forces were also employed, and snipers were stationed on the buildings along the route. The police immediately surrounded the provincial building of the HDP, where the Armenian MP Garo Paylan started a live broadcast on the march.

The events of the last month should be enough to understand why this event is happening.

On May 22, 18 political activists were arrested, many of them from the Democratic Party of Peoples (HDP), the feminist association of the Pink Women in Diyarbakır, the largest Kurdish-majority city in Turkey.

About two weeks ago, some plastic boxes full of bones of 261 people were found, they were buried one above the other under a sidewalk in Kilyos, in a location north of Istanbul. The bones are of those who were buried in a cemetery in the province of Bitlis in eastern Turkey with a Kurdish majority and were transferred to Istanbul, without the knowledge of their families. Bones, these, found piled, under a sidewalk.

A mass grave was discovered a few days ago in Dargeçit, in the province of Mardin, always in the southeast with a Kurdish majority. They were skulls and bones of 40 people. Forty Kurds, who were taken away in the 1990s, kidnapped from their homes, torn from their loved ones and murdered. This finding also went unnoticed in Turkey.

Because? The Kurdish writer and human rights activist Nurcan Baysal wonders. Because it is Kurds. Nobody asked who these people were, what lives they led, who snatched them from their loved ones and who killed them.

A few days ago the government-appointed trustee to replace the Kurdish union of the HDP elected with an overwhelming and then defenestrated majority, Berivan Helen Işık, ordered the workers of the municipality to demolish the Library, named after Celadet Ali Bedirxan in honor of the Kurdish linguist who first wrote a Kurmanji Kurdish grammar book, spoken in Turkey, Syria and parts of Iraq.

Recently, some photos documenting torture in Diyarbakır police headquarters have gone around social media.

Many observers argue that the Turkish president even thinks of annihilating the third largest party present in Parliament, namely the HDP. Through continued arrests of its mayors, parliamentarians and leaders or even by exerting pressure on the constitutional court that may decide to close it for its alleged links with Kurdish terrorism.

The recent insinuations of the media controlled by Erdoğan seem to aim to intimidate the opposition with the specter of the use of heavily armed and violent pro-Erdoğan vigilantes.

“Let’s close the HDP”, was read last week on the front page of the Turkish ultra-nationalist newspaper Aydınlık (in Turkish Luminoso), which publishes an appeal by ex-military, nationalist politicians and entrepreneurs close to Erdoğan with which they ask for the closure of the pro-Kurdish party , third most represented political force in Parliament.

All this makes us fear that Erdoğan will not or will not allow a peaceful alternation of power through the elections.

And while Kurdish elected parliamentarians, mayors and journalists are jailed, Kurds in Syria and Iraq are bombed.

In the same hours as the Turkish government was busy inside the country to crack down on the march of what is considered the most insidious opposition, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that “hiding places of terror” in which attacks against Turkey had been “razed to the ground” by Turkish jets that bombed 81 targets in the mountains of Northern Iraq including the area of ​​Mount Sinjar, the home of the Ezids where the Islamic State unleashed its genocidal massacre in 2014, west of the Qandil mountains on the border with Syria where the Eagle Claw operation started in May last year, the largest Turkish anti-Kurdish offensive since 2015, is still ongoing.





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