While Turkey wages a full scale war against its own people, Europe turns a blind eye.
Tatiana Zdano is a member of the European Parliament from Latvia. She is best known for her fight for equal rights for ethnic and non-ethnic (Russian speaking) Latvians. With four other MEPs, she visited the areas of Turkish Kurdistan where President Erdogan is waging a war against those citizens who speak a different language.
Ms Zhdanok shared her impressions with the Russian language Latvian newspaper Vesti. Amazingly, the story was marked ‘Advertising’, which is why we cannot provide a link. In the EU, this visit was not covered at all, including on the European Parliament’s own news service.
What is the strongest impression you got from the trip to Kurdistan?
Tatiana Zdanok: It was not the sound of gunfire nor the iron fences, or even the smoke rising over the bombed out blocks…As we were saying goodbye to the Kurdish activists and leaders, we were informed of the Turkish ultimatum: the Kurds had to surrender or be bombed. By the time this interview is published, some of our companions may have been killed in this civil war in eastern Turkey.
In the capital of Turkish Kurdistan –Diyarbakır – there is an old section called Sur. It is surrounded by a fence and under curfew, with Turkish artillery ‘working’ along the perimeter. The Deputy Mayor of Dzhizra, Leila Imret, managed to get out to meet with us, with special permission from the military besieging the city. She had not been out for three months. The city is in ruins and people hide in their basements. Leila gave us a list of 167 civilians killed.
Most places in Turkish Kurdistan look surreal: there are metal fences, armed soldiers against a background of huge posters depicting Turkey’s leaders – Erdogan and Davutoglu. Apparently the mixture of the bombardment and the portraits are expected to promote love of the government among Kurds…
What can and should the European Parliament do to achieve peace in Turkish Kurdistan?
The situation drastically worsened last fall when EU leaders exchanged 3 billion euros in financial assistance in return for Turkey halting the flow of refugees to Europe. In addition to the money, they apparently promised Turkey not to interfere in the Kurdish issue. We strongly disagree with this deal. Turkey depends on Europe, and the EU should take advantage of this to put to an end the bloodshed and force the Turkish ruling party and Kurdish politicians to negotiate.
For more details and a graphic description of the suffering of Turkish Kurds, including comments by Tatiana Zdanok, see this news report on the state owned Russian channel Rossiya. The four minute video is sub-titled in English. Weblink here, or click on the screen below.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.