Turkey’s War on Its Kurdish Population
by Stephen Lendman
Turkey is an Erdogan-run fascist dictatorship, masquerading as democratic, not a glimmer of its values in sight.
It’s Kurdish communities resemble Occupied Palestine. Turkish soldiers and militarized police wage war on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members - freedom fighters wanting autonomy, democratic rights denied them, called terrorists to justify the unjustifiable.
An earlier peace process collapsed last July. Open warfare followed. Turkey’s involvement in Syria and northern Iraq adds to ongoing belligerence.
Kurdish freedom fighters are being attacked in Diyarbakir, Cizre, Silopi and Nusaybin - Ankara using tanks, helicopters, artillery and thousands of combat troops.
Local residents have no place to hide. Many left to find safe havens, free from conflict. Freedom fighters have light weapons compared to Turkey’s firepower, a mismatch leaving them vulnerable, forced to fight guerrilla war best they can, determined to persist for their rights.
Ankara-unleashed open warfare is the most intense since ceasefire ended last July. Regime efforts to eradicate Kurds could become protracted civil war, affecting neighboring countries Syria and Iraq.
Interviewed on Kurdish media, PKK commander Murat Karayilan said if Ankara “push(es) the military too far and it carries out a massacre, this will fan the flames. In that case, we will take new directions” - without further elaboration.
Erdogan wants all opposition to his regime eliminated, Kurds and Turkish politicians against his hardline rule - aiming for unchallenged tyranny, using the full might of his military and police to achieve it.
Turkey’s nonviolent Kurdish political opposition seeks support from Russia. Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party of Turkey (HDP) co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas held talks with Sergey Lavrov in Moscow - forthrightly denouncing Erdogan’s viciousness.
He seeks world support for long denied Kurdish rights, including self-rule in its own areas.
“While the Kurdish people have put forth their legitimate demand for self-rule, (Ergogan’s ruling AKP) is running a policy of massacres and suppression by using military ground forces and tanks,” Demirtas explained. We want the whole world to see that the Kurds want autonomy.
Since fighting resumed last summer, Ankara imposed curfews affecting well over a million people, waging war without mercy, civilians harmed most - around 200,000 forced to flee.
Turkey is a valued NATO member. Washington and EU nations are virtually silent about ongoing high crimes too grave to ignore.
At most, comments from their officials and Ban Ki-moon urge all sides to show restraint - effectively endorsing Erdogan’s war without mercy, slaughtering Turkish citizens.
Tens of thousands died since PKK fighters began militantly seeking their legitimate rights in 1984. Prospects today are worse than ever under Erdogan.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.