Monday, October 12, 2015

Turkey's Kurds, Embattled for Peace

"Gang leaders [supporters of Erdodan's Islamist Justice & Development party] can hold safe rallies in this country, but those who want peace are murdered."
"We are faced with a murderous mob state. How is it possible that a state with such a strong intelligence network did not have prior information on the attack?"
Selahattin Demirtas, the leader of the H.D.P.

"As Mr. Demirtas said in his statement, I think it’s obvious who was behind this."
"We fell to the floor [when the first blast struck] and there was blood and flesh splattered everywhere. I stood up and started running. There was about one second between each explosion. When I turned around I saw a lake of blood and bodies. I couldn’t tell who was dead or alive."
Emek Karakilic, adviser to the Kurdish [parliamentary] H.D.P.
A Turkish police forensic officer works at the site of an explosion in Ankara. Credit Depo Photos/Associated Press
"After the first explosion, I just ran. When I went back to help there were bodies on the floor and blood spattered everywhere."
Oya, Barlas, Kurdish activist, bombing witness

"We were expecting an attack in Ankara before the elections, but nothing to this extent."
"There’s so much hate and polarization, nothing is surprising anymore."
Sedat Larta;. Ankara resident

A man held the hand of his friend who was among more than 90 killed in Ankara on Saturday, in an attack weeks before elections. Credit Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images

Once again, Kurdish peace activists targeted and once again death came to those who protest Turkish violence against Kurdish aspirations for autonomy. In the Turkish capital of Ankara, two explosions killed 95 people and injured hundreds of others. Their crime was to rally for peace. In a country where tensions are volatile and hatred a force to be reckoned with as snap parliamentary elections approach in several weeks' time.

Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is determined to regain his party's majority in parliament after the surprise wins of the Kurdish H.D.P. took enough seats in parliament at the last general election to deny Erdogan his majority which would have enabled him to change the country's constitution and manipulate laws to have him remain leader for just as long as he contemplated, which is forever. Erdogan chose to use the attack and death of two Turkish police as reason to resume the war against the PKK.

The resumption of armed conflict and the Turkish military bombing PKK posts in Iraq and Turkey led to the planned march by Kurds and leftists protesting the deadly armed conflict at the very time when it is Kurdish militias that are leading the fight most effectively against Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. The bloodied green banners of the Peoples' Democratic Party (H.D.P.) the Kurdish political group, were eloquent testimony to demonstrators holding hands and chanting for peace prior to the first blast.

The audacity of the H.D.P. to sustain sufficient votes in the general election to net seats in Turkey's parliament, through hitting the required ten percent threshhold has concentrated Erdogan's mind in an ongoing paroxysm of rage. Deflected from his imperial plans to be anointed emir of a reinvented Islamist Turkey, he embarked on his mission to bring the Kurds to their proverbial knees, to beg for mercy. Instead they demand peace.

The nearing remedial elections called for November 1 just happened to see the coincidence of violence renewed in the Kurdish southeast and a campaign of hate-filled public relations rhetoric accusing the Kurds of treason and a plan to entirely destabilize Turkey while slicing off for themselves the homeland partition they have always demanded. So for that crime, the Kurds are in the military's and the Islamist death squads' cross-hairs.

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