Turkish government, more war and oppression

This video from Turkey says about itself:

Turkey: thousands gather for peace rally in Istanbul

9 August 2015

Thousands of people have attended a peace rally in the centre of Istanbul.

The event was organised by the Peace Bloc, a group of around 80 Turkish civil society organisations, to mark the killing of 32 aid workers in a suicide bombing in the town of Suruç – and to call for peace in their name.

Those gathered heard a warning about a return to the 1990s era of deadly fighting between the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, and the Turkish Army.

“People want peace,” Selahattin Demirtaş, the Chair of the People’s Democratic Party said.


By Halil Celik and Jean Shaoul:

Turkish government steps up repression of political opponents

Washington launched the offensive under the pretext of fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), its former ally, which has seized vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, cutting across US interests in the region.

After months of equivocation, Ankara finally allowed the US to use its Incirlik airbase in southeastern Turkey to bomb ISIS positions. In return, Washington agreed to the establishment of a “safe zone” in northwestern Syria for “moderate Syrian opposition forces,” backed up by Turkish and American air power. This is a flagrant violation of Syria’s territorial integrity and constitutes an act of war that is almost certain to widen the conflagration.

It also gave the nod to Ankara’s real target, the PKK in northern Iraq and its allies, the PYD/YPG in Syria, which have carved out autonomous areas along the border with Turkey. Turkey’s purpose in establishing a “safe zone” is to prevent the formation of a contiguous Kurdish controlled area along the border that could lead to an autonomous Kurdish territory in Turkey as well.

Washington gave its agreement despite the fact that the Kurdish peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, the PYD/YPG and the PKK have been the most effective fighting forces against ISIS. But this evidently was a price worth paying to have Turkey on board.

Ankara joined the US-led coalition following the July 20 suicide bombing in the predominantly Kurdish border town of Suruç, which killed 31 activists, and injured many more people, who had planned to travel to the Syrian city of Kobane and assist in its reconstruction. While the government attributed the bombing to ISIS, the Kurds accused the government of organising a false flag operation to provide the pretext for military action in Syria. The PKK accused the government of doing nothing to prevent the bombing or protect the people.

Ankara’s broader political objective is to open up the Incirlik airbase to other air forces from France, Britain, Belgium and Canada, and thus get NATO rather than just US backing for its war drive against Syria. At the same time, Washington is pressing for Turkey to open up Malatya and Diyarbakir air bases to operational flights.

Turkish forces have made a show of bombing ISIS targets. However, they have reserved their heaviest firepower for airstrikes against PKK positions in northern Iraq, in an effort to get the KRG to expel the PKK.

Yesterday, Idris Baluken, the deputy parliamentary group chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), accused the government of committing a war crime. He claimed that an Interior Ministry official had told him that six fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD), had been handed over to Ahrar Al Sham, a coalition of Islamist militias that includes the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front.

While praising Ankara’s active participation in the anti-ISIS coalition, Turkey’s allies are nevertheless concerned that the Turkish offensive in northern Iraq will endanger the effectiveness of the US-led coalition and stoke up the already tense situation in Turkey.

The launching of war on two fronts testifies to the determination of Erdogan and the AKP to suppress the working class and hold on to power on behalf of the financial and corporate elite at all costs. War abroad, coupled with the renewed civil war at home, serves to deflect the mounting anger over social, economic and political issues, sow divisions within the Turkish working class, and create the conditions for an even more authoritarian form of rule.

Over the last few days, more than 1,600 people have been arrested, mostly PKK members, ISIS supporters and members of the DHKP-C, but also some trade unionists and left-wing activists. Many Islamists have since been released.

The police have broken up peaceful anti-war demonstrations with the utmost violence, while the authorities blocked more than 90 news websites on August 3, including the mainstream Evrensel and Ozgur Gundem. The only news media widely available are those that toe the government line. To step outside the boundaries of what the government deems acceptable means imprisonment.

The AKP is trying to close down the HDP under the mantra of “fighting terrorism.” One of its co-leaders, Selahattin Demirtas, now faces a judicial investigation over his support for last October’s protests against the government’s aid to Islamists fighting the Syrian Kurds in Kobane. Supporters of the opposition Gulenist movement founded by US exile Fethullah Gulen, former allies of the AKP, are also being targeted for their support of investigations into leading AKP figures for corruption.

The reckless turn to war and authoritarianism, after several years of covert support for Islamist militias in Syria, took place within weeks of the June 7 elections in which the HDP, the new pro-Kurdish Party, won 13 percent of the vote. The result deprived the AKP of its majority and halted Erdogan’s move to amend the constitution in favour of an executive presidency.

Acting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has until August 23 to form a coalition government. Should he fail to do so, either with the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP) or the fascistic Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), new elections must be held, probably in November.

Now, rather than form an unstable coalition government, it would appear that Erdogan and the AKP have deliberately stoked the conditions that will enable him to suppress all opposition and emasculate or outlaw the HDP in order to achieve a majority in new elections.

13 thoughts on “Turkish government, more war and oppression

  1. Demirtaş: Turkish society must raise its voice

    HDP Co-President Demirtaş objected to the massacre of civilians in Zergelê village and said that HDP was going to send a delegation to the village. Demirtaş emphasized that peace would only come if Turkish society raised its voice.

    HDP Co-President Demirtaş objected to the massacre of civilians in Zergelê village and said that HDP was going to send a delegation to the village. Demirtaş emphasized that peace would only come if Turkish society raised its voice.

    Demirtaş spoke to journalists in front of HDP Headquarters and pointed out that the Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed the massacre in Zergelê. Demirtaş noted that AKP was trying to at least cut off treasury grants to HDP by suing HDP, and said that it was AKP that should have been sued for Roboski and Gezi massacres as well as the Turkish state support for ISIS.


    Demirtaş stated that HDP could not yet send a delegation to Kandil due to the ongoing Turkish warplane bombardments in the region, and emphasized that peace would only come if Turkish society raised its voice against the AKP plans for war and chaos. Demirtaş called upon Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu to change his discourse from ‘annihilating Kandil’ to ‘stop shooting at those who are not shooting back.’ Demirtaş added that AKP was responsible for each death in this country.


    Demirtaş highlighted the need for returning to dialogue, and warned that AKP was trying to polarize Turkish society. Demirtaş noted that everyone in Turkey wanted peace except for the Palace and its circles, and said that nobody should be hateful towards one another.
    Source: ANKARA – ANF 02-08-2015

    HPG: Zergelê martyrs will be avenged

    HPG condemned the massacre of civilians in Zergelê village and said that the martyrs would be avenged.

    HPG Media Center issued a statement on the Turkish army’s bombardment of Kandil’s Zergele village, and said that Turkish colonialism killed civilians in South Kurdistan once again. HPG condemned the cowardly and fascist attack targeting civilian people, and offered its condolences to the martyrs’ families as well as the people of South Kurdistan. HPG wished a speedy recovery to everyone who got injured during the Turkish warplanes’ bombardment, and said that Zergelê martyrs were also martyrs of HPG’s revolutionary struggle. HPG ended its statement by declaring that the martyrs would soon be avenged, massacre perpetrators would be brought to account, and the memories of the martyrs would live through the freedom struggle.
    Source: BEHDINAN – ANF 02-08-2015


  2. HDP Delegation in Zergelê: Turkey carried out a massacre of civilians here

    HDP delegation inspected Qandil’s Zergelê village where Turkish warplanes had carried out a massacre on August 1, killing eight people and wounding tens of others.

    HDP delegation inspected Qandil’s Zergelê village where Turkish warplanes had killed civilians, and stated that at least 6 houses in Zergelê were targeted during the attack. The delegation recalled that 8 civilians were killed and tens of civilians were injured, and Turkish warplanes had clearly carried out a massacre in the village.

    HDP delegation composed of Urfa Parliamentarian Osman Baydemir, Siirt Parliamentarian Kadri Yıldırım, İstanbul Parliamentarian Hüda Kaya, HDP Vice President responsible for foreign relations Nazmi Gür, MYK member Hatice Altınışık and DBP Hewler representative Şilan Eminoğlu inspected Zergelê village where Turkish airstrikes had targeted the civilians.

    The HDP delegation accompanied by the families of Zergelê martyrs, survivors of the attack, and Qandil Co-Mayors Hesen Mihemed and Emine Xame issued a press statement on the site of the massacre.

    HDP Urfa Parliamentarian Osman Baydemir spoke on behalf of the delegation, and said that Kurdish people would never surrender to brutality despite the wound Zergelê massacre inflicted upon the hearts of Kurdish mothers. Baydemir noted that they visited Zergelê in order to share the pain of broken-hearted mothers as Kurds from North Kurdistan, and offered HDP’s condolences to the people of South Kurdistan. Baydemir said that the delegation’s visit aimed to raise awareness about the massacre with the peoples of Turkey and the rest of the world, and recalled that the AKP government and its media outlets have not yet described the bombing as a massacre. Baydemir reminded that official statements were claiming that only PKK guerrillas were hit, but the HDP delegation on the site of the massacre observed that Turkish warplanes undoubtedly hit 6 houses and massacred 8 civilians.


    Baydemir stated that they would deepen their investigations, apply for the prosecution of the massacre’s perpetrators, and expose the truth about the massacre. Baydemir explained that they would apply to courts both inside and outside Turkey for the prosecution of perpetrators, and present their reports to human rights associations. Baydemir added that Kurdish mothers were not alone and 40 million Kurds’ hearts were broken as well the hearts of these mothers.


    Osman Baydemir noted that they visited the injured people who survived the massacre, and everyone they interviewed during their visit confirmed that the event was a massacre of civilians. Baydemir described war as pain, tears, and destruction, and called upon the Turkish state to end its attacks. Baydemir ended his statement by reminding that problems could only be solved through negotiation, and inviting AKP to re-establish the negotiation table that it recently destroyed.
    Soiurce: QANDIL – ANF 05-08-2015


  3. HDP applies to the UN regarding ‘extrajudicial executions’ by AKP

    HDP applied to the UN regarding extrajudicial executions and massacres. In its application that included examples of state killings, HDP warned that the massacre of civilians could increase, and demanded the prosecution of perpetrators.

    HDP applied to the UN regarding extrajudicial executions and massacres. In its application that included examples of state killings, HDP warned that the massacre of civilians could increase, and demanded the prosecution of perpetrators.

    HDP Co-Presidents Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş applied to the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns regarding AKP government’s unlawful, arbitrary and extrajudicial executions. In its application, HDP demanded the investigation of extrajudicial executions and disappearances carried out by the Turkish state since July 20, 2015.


    The HDP application had information on the following events that form the basis of the application:

    Turkish soldiers killed a woman from Rojava named Firas Feyad on July 23, 2015. Turkish police opened fire on protestors in the Yafes neighborhood of Şırnak’s Cizre district, and killed Abdullah Özdal who was 23 years old.

    11 years old Beytullah Aydın fell from the 7th floor of a building on the Öğretmenler Street of Diyarbakır’s Bağlar district as he was running from a police attack on July 26, 2015.

    35 years old Bülent Ecevit Güngör was shot in his head with a hard object in Mersin city center as he was sitting in his balcony and watching the street protests over Suruç massacre, and recent air strikes and arrests.

    Police fired upon protestors and killed university student Seyithan Dede in Mardin’s Nusaybin district on July 26.

    Anti-terror police squads raided a house in the Fevzi Çakmak neighborhood of Ağrı on July 29, 2015, and killed 3 civilians inside the house.

    The murdered civilians are brothers Sezai and Ahmet Yaşar, as well as Mirzettin Göktürk. Contrary to police accusations, the three civilians were murdered inside the house where they were living with their families, and there was no shootout since the civilians did not have any guns on them.

    Police shot fires on a civilian vehicle in the Nusaybin street of Şırnak’s Cizre district between 23:00 and 23:30 on July 29, 2015 and the vehicle stopped by hitting the curb on the side of the road.

    17 years old Hasan Nerse got out of the car in a critically injured status, and police officers handcuffed Hasan and tied his feet together before shooting him once again. Hasan Nerse was kept bleeding for more than half an hour, during which officers took photos of Hasan and shared hateful posts on social media using these photos. Moreover, the nurses from the ambulance that arrived at the crime scene did not examine Hasan. Police officers threw Hasan Nerse’s body in a large back and put it at the back of the ambulance, where Hasan lost his life.


    Yüksekdağ and Demirtaş underlined the necessity for UN mechanisms’ investigation of these events, and the prosecution of the executions’ perpetrators. HDP Co-Presidents stated that these events were clear examples of the Turkish state’s extrajudicial killings and disappearance of its citizens, and expressed their fears at the possible increase of such murders and massacres. Yüksekdağ and Demirtaş emphasized the importance of international institutions and related mechanisms, and called upon Christof Heyns and his organization to investigate these unlawful, arbitrary and extrajudicial executions.
    Source: ANKARA – ANF 06-09=8-2015

    Turkey handed over six injured YPG fighters to Al Nusra in Idlib

    YPG Kobanê Command denounced that the Turkish state handed over six injured YPG fighters treated in Bakurê (North) Kurdistan to Al-Nusra gangs. YPG demanded an urgent explanation from the Turkish state regarding the reports.

    YPG Kobanê Command released a statement denouncing that the Turkish state handed over six injured YPG fighters treated in Bakurê (North) Kurdistan to Al-Nusra gangs. YPG demanded an urgent explanation from the Turkish state regarding the reports.

    The statement by YPG said that; ”Six comrades of our had been legally sent to Bakûrê Kurdistan through Mürşitpınar border gate to receive treatment for the injuries they suffered in the battle against ISIS. We, however, lost contact with and haven’t heard from these six comrades for a long while. According to the information we obtained, the Turkish state handed over six injured comrades of ours to Jabhat Al-Nusra gangs through the Bab El Hewa border gate in Idlib. As YPG Kobanê Command, we demand the Turkish state to make an urgent explanation on the issue and hand over our comrades to us.”

    YPG named the six combatants as Ahmed Şêrko, Omer Qadir, Rêber Seyho, Ehmed Helûm, Cemal Ehmed and Beşîr Mihemed.
    Source: NEWS DESK – ANF 06-08-2015


  4. Wat bezielt Erdogan? Wat bezielt de Navo?

    Door Freddy De Pauw

    30 juli 2015 – Wat bezielt de Turkse president Recep Tayyip Erdogan om Islamitische Staat (IS) de oorlog te verklaren, Koerden in Irak te bombarderen en meteen het vredesproces met de Koerden in eigen land op te blazen? Wat bezielt de Navo om daar haar zegen aan te geven?

    Na enkele dagen lijkt het toch allemaal te draaien rond de vrees van de Turkse leider voor de groeiende Koerdische macht in eigen land, zoals die uit de verkiezingen van 7 juni bleek. Erdogan lijkt vastbesloten met verdere repressie en wapengekletter zijn aangetast gezag te herstellen.


    Ankara en IS: na jarenlang IS logistieke en politieke steun te hebben verleend en te hebben belet dat IS vanuit Turkije werd aangevallen, heeft de Turkse luchtmacht enkele stellingen van IS in Syrië gebombardeerd. Maar tegelijk ook posities van de Koerdische PKK in het noorden van Irak. Was het bestoken van IS-posities dan wel meer dan oogverblinding? Blijkbaar wel, want eindelijk mogen toestellen van de anti-IS-coalitie nu de luchtmachtbasis Incirlik gebruiken voor operaties tegen IS. Dat is een reële ommekeer, want tot dan toe was de Turkse overheid zacht gezegd medeplichtig aan het offensief van IS.

    Zoals al zo vaak in de recente geschiedenis gebeurde, worden monsters een gevaar voor degenen die ze hielpen groeien. Washington heeft al heel wat ervaring met islamfundamentalistische groepen die het lang sponsorde, tot ze zich tegen hen keerden – Al Qaida is daar één voorbeeld van. Ankara kan er niet naast kijken dat IS Turkije als een onderdeel van zijn kalifaat ziet. Op termijn vormt IS een bedreiging voor het Erdogan-bewind – waarbinnen het al talrijke sympathisanten heeft die als vijfde colonne kunnen opereren.


    Het optreden van de Turkse luchtmacht in twee aangrenzende landen, Syrië en Irak, heeft wellicht ook te maken met het nucleair akkoord tussen Iran en de groep 5+1. Dat akkoord versterkt de diplomatieke en economische positie van Iran, grote rivaal van de soennitische alliantie rond Saoedi-Arabië. Die alliantie is zeer misnoegd over de houding van de VS. De verbale steun van de Navo aan het Turkse optreden tegen IS maar vooral tegen de PKK, kan als een compensatie worden gezien voor het akkoord met Iran. Zowel de “soennistische coalitie” als Israël hebben immers al compensaties voor dat akkoord gevraagd.

    Het Turkse wapengekletter moet nu aantonen dat Turkije een regionale macht met militaire middelen is. Iran staat sterk in Irak, het verdedigt zijn bondgenoot Syrië, het steunt de Houthi’s in Jemen – Turkije laat gespierd zien dat het in de regionale conflicten meetelt, aan de zijde van Saoedi-Arabië en diens bondgenoten.


    Maar de grootste schok die Erdogan weer in het offensief jaagt, was het verkiezingsresultaat van 7 juni. Erdogans AKP verloor met glans haar volstrekte meerderheid, terwijl de HDP – een alliantie van Koerdische vertegenwoordigers met andere linkse groepen – succes boekte en domineerde in het zuidoosten, met zijn overwegend Koerdische bevolking.

    Dat volstond om het spookbeeld op te roepen van een nakende Koerdische autonome regio in Turkije naar het voorbeeld van Rojova, de Koerdische regio in Syrië, en de Koerdische autonome regio in Irak. Ankara bakt wel zoete broodjes met de leiding van die regio in Irak, maar ziet met lede ogen de toenemende invloed van de PKK daar omdat die het voortouw neemt in de verdediging van de Koerden tegen IS. De ‘veiligheidszone’ die Erdogan wil in het noorden van Syrië heeft weinig met IS te maken, maar zou moeten dienen om de Syrische Koerden, bij wie de invloed van de PKK zeer groot is, af te snijden van de Turkse Koerden.

    Het is niet de eerste keer dat wapengekletter moet dienen om uit een politieke impasse te geraken. Na meer dan anderhalve maand is er nog geen zicht op een nieuwe Turkse regering. Oorlog kan dienen als drukkingsmiddel op andere partijen om de rangen te sluiten. De grootste oppositiepartij, de kemalistische CHP, heeft al aangeboden om in een regering van nationale unie te stappen. Er is ook nog de ultranationalistische MHP, goed voor een zesde van de stemmen, die zeker geen graten ziet in een anti-Koerdische oorlog.

    Indien het niet lukt om de steun van de oppositie voor een nieuwe regering te krijgen, komen er nieuwe verkiezingen. Erdogan gokt dat zijn oorlogstaal zal toelaten deze keer de volstrekte meerderheid te heroveren.


    Door het spectaculair afbreken van het vredesproces met de Turkse Koerden, wil Erdogan natuurlijk ook de Koerdische beweging zwaar onder druk zetten. Hij hoopt allicht een weg te drijven tussen ‘haviken’ en ‘duiven’, deze laatste aangemoedigd door het succes van de HDP. Maar tegelijk neemt Erdogan die ‘duiven’ de wind uit de zeilen met zijn dreigementen alle politici, ook parlementsleden, die banden hebben met ‘terroristen’ te zullen vervolgen. Er is duidelijk een nog sterkere repressiegolf op komst.

    Last but not least, zet hij ook de VS onder druk. Want de toenadering tussen Washington en de PKK is Ankara natuurlijk al lang een doorn in het oog. Door de draai rond IS, met de basis van Incirlik als grootste aas, verplicht hij de VS en in hun zog de Navo zijn frontale aanval op de PKK goed te keuren. En die PPK is Erdogans grote vijand, niet IS.

    Bron: Uitpers.be via De Waarheid.nu 01-08-2015


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