Support from progressives is pouring for the people of Cizre devastated under the fascist attacks of the Turkish state.
Objecting to the Turkish state’s open war against its Kurdish citizens, progressives, socialists, humanists and Kurds from across the country are joining forces to stand with the people of Cizre. Even as far as from Izmir.
After spending 10 days under heavy artillery attacks and 7 days of day and night curfew, Kurdish people of Cizre were allowed to leave their homes to find water, food and medicine only after tens of thousands of people started marching I solidarity through fields, hills and rocky terrain to reach the besieged town. During the Turkish military and police’s siege, 23 people were killed by the Turkish forces, including a 35 day old baby, many older women and children. A 70 year old man said nobody would harm an old men and ventured out during the 7 day curfew to find food for his starving family. He was wrong. Sharp shooters of the Turkish forces immediately shot him and his body was left on the ground till next day with his bread sack next to him.
In a string of attacks since the first days of the republic against its own Kurdish citizens, the attack on Cizre is only the last recorded assault. Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the republic had asked help from the Kurds in the so-called “war of liberation” to be on their side, promising autonomy and cultural freedom after independence. However, as soon as he obtained what he wanted from the Kurds, made a turnabout, forgot his promises and he banned any discussion of Kurds, Kurdistan or anything related to the Kurds. Kurdish identity was banned, Kurdish language also banned, and Kurdish villages, towns and cities started to get Turkish names. Kurds reacted to this break of promises with many uprisings which were suppressed violently by Ataturk and his followers.
Assault on Cizre is not a new atrocity for the Kurds.
Following the well-established Turkish tradition of attacking anything diverse or different from the official, Turkish version , Kurds were subject to unimaginable massacres, torture, oppression, lynching, racist and nationalist humiliation for trying to keep their identity, language or culture in modern Turkey’s history.
The Turkish state finds no shortage of excuses to attack the Kurds. Since 1990’s the excuse in fashion has been that Kurds and their grass roots organization PKK is involved in “terrorism.” It falls on deaf ears in Turkey that PKK was formed as an armed organization to DEFEND the Kurds from brutal and constant attacks of the Turkish state. Any and all activities of the Kurdish organization PKK is propagandized as “terror” while the incessant Turkish army and police attacks are headlined as “defense of motherland” or “war on terror.” Due to being the only defensive force the Kurds have against Turkish massacres, the popularity of PKK has surged among all Kurds. Even a Turkish general in the 1990’s admitted, “When we kill one PKK member, 10 of his relatives take up arms against us and join the PKK!”
Claiming to “fight against terrorism,” Turkish state this time attacked the civilian population of Cizre who had voted nearly 100% HDP, a pro-Kurdish progressive party in the last June 7 elections. People of Cizre had to be punished for exercising their democratic right to vote, but also for voting for the “wrong choice” in the eyes of the Turkish leaders. Confining the population to their home for straight 7 days and nights, the state broke into and looted the resident’s stores, helping themselves to food and drinks while the population could not even take their loved ones to the hospitals. A mother had to take her daughter’s dead body to bed with her and slept holding the lifeless body all night long because they were not allowed to go to the hospital under the threat of being shot by the Turkish forces.
What triggered the latest assault on the Kurdish town was the June 7 election results.
Being one of the most corrupt Turkish government in the history of the country, the ruling Justice Development Party (JDP – AKP) fears being prosecuted not only for their individual and collective thefts and corruption, but also for their illegal arms smuggling to help the jihadist ISIS terrorists if they lose the government. Many rulers have committed war crimes in their fight against the Kurdish population.
Last year, huge trucks operated by the Turkish intelligence agency MIT which is very close to Erdogan, the now president of Turkey and a founder of the JDP party, were intercepted by the army as they illegally transported arms to Syrian jihadist terrorists. Government said the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid to the Turkish nationals in Syria, ordered the soldiers not to check the trucks’ cargo. However when the cargo was opened against the government’s orders, it was revealed that the truck was full of ammunition, grenades, automatic rifles and bombs, all headed to the jihadist terrorists Turkey claims to fight against these days on the side of the US!
Fearing they will lose the thievery and corruption they currently enjoy and the possibility of prosecution from illegal activities such as arms smuggling or war crimes, the outgoing government staged the environment of chaos to hide behind the smoke and dust of the war. As the Turkish saying goes, “The wolf loves the foggy weather.” To create the foggy weather for the hunt and kill, the Turkish government first pulled out of peace negotiations with the Kurds. The president declared, “There is no table, no negotiation, nobody to talk to, no agreement, no discussion, I turned the table over!” However, government sponsored press started a campaign immediately accusing PKK of abandoning the peace process. If anyone writes this is not true, or says PKK prefers peace and negotiations as they have been, they will be charged with “terrorism propaganda.” Press is unable to write the truth, because current Turkish anti-terrorism laws prevent it!
Then the military attacks started against the Kurdish civilian citizens of Turkey. Entire Kurdish regions came under brutal Turkish military and police assault using heavy artillery. Everyday civilians are being massacred as a means to whip up nationalism and racism against the Kurds. Behind this all lies the success of the pro-Kurdish, progressive party which received 13% of the total votes. This Kurdish success was one reason that prevented the JDP from grabbing the power again and was forced out of the government. The Kurds had to be stopped in electoral politics so that JDP could continue looting the country. The town of Cizre was chosen to be made an example. Cizre had voted HDP, the pro-Kurdish party. The people of Cizre could not get away with a sin like that! They had to pay the price, with their lives. Even a 35 day old baby, even a 10 year old girl, even a 53 year old mother, even a 70 year old were not spared for voting opposition!
The usual excuse that has been the mother of all excuses was yet again ready to be serviced: Suddenly terrorism appeared like magic in Cizre! What else could the poor little Turkish state do but “disable the big bad terrorist PKK”? Turkey has laws in the book that define nearly everything, including prostitution, as terrorism! Who would allow such laws to go to waste?
Kurdish Cizre had to be “saved” from the Kurds, err, no, sorry, scratch that, the oh-so terrorist PKK. Yes, yes, yes, Cizre had to be saved from the big bad, separatist, terrorist, low-down, treacherous Kurdish army PKK. It doesn’t matter that nobody in Cizre saw anybody from PKK, or any activity or any action from PKK. Or, reverse that, it does not matter that every single person in Cizre already supports their genuine organization that protects them from Turkish massacres. That is, PKK and the Kurdish people are one and the same after 30 years of ground work PKK had done in their country. After 30 years of grass roots organization that led to the embrace of PKK as a genuine organization PKK legitimately represents all Kurds in Turkey, North Syria and even in Northern Iraq.
This concept that finally, after 30 years of struggle that cost more than 40,000 lives and endless misery, torture, rape by the Turkish forces, PKK had become a grass roots organization accepted in every household by the 20-25% of the people of Turkey just drives the racist Turks crazy. Turks had been brainwashed with the Nazi doctrine of One Nation, One Leader, One Flag, One Language, One Country, One Religion. For years now the Kurds had embraced the guerilla Kurdish army as their official defense organization to protect them from, well, attacks like the one being staged over Cizre right now! Kurds had finally understood that this One Nation does not include them, and even the most simple demands of human rights like saying “good morning” to your mother at your home is illegal in their own country! One witness to this could have been the boy who spoke Kurdish on his cell phone last week. But he has been stabbed to death for speaking Kurdish. Do we need to say that the government has not even started an investigation of this street lynching? And this was proven again for the umpteenth time when the 23 innocent civilians murdered by the Turkish forces, including the 35 day old baby were sent to their final rests. The mass funeral did not have a single Turkish flag as seen in the so-called martyrs of the Turkish forces, the police force on the payroll of the Turkish government who brutalize, murder and even torture people on the streets like they did last week to a 16 year old boy. The entire procession, attended by over 100,000 people, of the murdered civilians’ funeral was covered with the illegal colors of the Kurdish resistance, the flags of the PKK. Turkish forces just had to watch helplessly as the people of Kurdistan showed them who their real representatives were. As the Turkish governors, similar to the British governors in colonial India, watched in shock while tens of thousands of Kurds shoved them aside and defied the ridiculous Turkish ban of carrying red, yellow and green colors together. What gave the Kurds this power to stand up straight in the face of racist oppression was nothing but the PKK. Turkish racist army is accustomed to attacking defenseless civilians in Kurdish towns, gathering the elders and forcing them to eat their shit. Or attacking a village, stripping men, tying strings to their penises and giving the other end of the string to their wives and forcing them to march in the village square to Turkish national anthem. Yes, this is the tradition of the proud Turkish army attacking defenseless Kurdish villages. Let’s not even mention playing soccer with the severed heads of Kurds, raping the bodies of women killed in a gunfight, severing and exchanging the ears of murdered Kurds, or burning Kurdish homes while sick and disabled were confined inside. The list is endless. We haven’t even started with the kidnapped and murdered Kurdish elders, journalists; intellectuals; leave alone the tortured families of “suspected” guerillas. Who wants Kurds to have a defensive organization when the Turkish military has a free hand to have such fun? At least now the military and the police know that they will also pay a heavy price for their crimes against the Kurdish population in the East. This is why the entire fascist, racist, state propaganda brain washes its subjects with “Terrorist PKK” headlines.
The Turkish population already raised with the One Nation, One Flag, One Religion, One Country fascist, racist brainwashing readily accepts the official propaganda and organizes Turkish lynching mobs to attack Kurdish construction workers and try to murder them by setting fire to the construction site, with the workers trapped inside. It is no wonder they can do this more easily in the West where it is harder for PKK to come to the rescue of Kurdish workers. Anyone can understand why PKK is hated by the racists and the fascists. PKK makes it harder to lynch the Kurds.
However, after the initial shock, the progressive organizations, Turkish as well as Kurdish, finally stood up to the brazen, illegitimate war the Turkish state had started against the Kurds. Leftists, socialists, revolutionaries, progressives and decent people who are against racism formed the “peace blocks” across the country to extend their hands to the Kurds and to the people of Cizre.
Gathering needed supplies and immediately traveling to Cizre, the members of Peace Blocks reached Cizre last week. Even from the farthest points in Turkey convoys of Peace Blocks were in Cizre to pay respects to the people murdered by the Turkish forces and who were kept in coolers and refrigerators during long days and nights of the Turkish siege.
Talking to the Kurdish people in Cizre, members of the Peace Blocks heard details of the Turkish military assault on the town. People told their life under curfew where bearded and armed men roamed the streets speaking in perfect Arabic, obviously allowed by the Turkish military since anybody who left their homes were shot by the Turkish military sharp shooters waiting on roof tops.
People also told how the ambulances for emergencies were not allowed, again, by the Turkish military. They reported that the town hospital had been emptied of all patients and had been turned illegally into a military post. This was also corroborated by the lawyers and other progressive organizations that were able to reach Cizre the day before.
Joining forces with their Kurdish brothers and sisters, progressive organizations like the Peoples’ Houses also brought supplies to the town of Cizre from all over the country. A sendika.org report by Murat Bay can be found:
This period is a test of the Turkish people.
This period is a test of Turkish progressives.
Kurds are already accustomed to racist attacks throughout the Modern Turkey after 1923. Kurds understand racism, nationalism and attempts at forced assimilation for the last 90 years.
However, Turks will have to finally come to a decision on which side they are on.
Will they follow their official racist bullshit about One Flag, One Nation, One Religion, One County or will they look at who is on their side and see their Kurdish brothers and sisters?
Will Turks break from the official lies about Kurds and their organizations and see through the propaganda that raises nationalism and racism to a new height?
Will they abandon empty Turkish calls for an abstract and meaningless “brotherhood” and accept their Kurdish citizens at equal terms Turks enjoy as the dominant nation in the country of Turkey?
Will Turks finally see the true “mosaic” of the country and its peoples with the diverse populations, diverse religions, and diverse languages and expand on this wealth to unite the country on principles of respect, equality and rights or will they march blindly behind fascists and racists to slaughter their brothers and sisters?
The progressives, socialists, communists and the decent people of Turkey who are able to break the 90 years of heavy brainwashing are already seeing through the official lies and are siding with the Kurds in their democratic struggle. They are passing the test with flying colors.
The Gezi Park resistance of 2013 was a great step forward towards democratization of the country. Kurds are now carrying that flag with the Turkish progressives and socialists following them closely behind. It is about time the antiquated teachings of nationalism, racism, xenophobia are thrown to the dustbin of history and a new humanity where no classes, no nations, no borders, no flags exist. The time has come for a new humanity. As John Lennon asked us to Imagine a world, with no country and “Nothing to kill or die for.”