In Feature Articles, Multipolarity, Turkey / Türkiye

Commentary by Hawzhin Azeez, published in Kurdish Question, Nov 7, 2016

‘The only certainty in the international system with its farcical laws and bogus institutions is ongoing complicit silence in light of the vast human rights violations against the Kurds, leftist groups and other minorities in Turkey and the AKP’s imperialist neo-Ottoman inspired invasions of Kurdistan in Syria and Iraq.’

In the past week, the Turkish state, led by President Erdogan and his AKP government, has engaged in one of the most troubling crackdowns on elected Kurdish members of parliament. The process which began with the arrest of Diyarbakir’s co-mayors has continued with the imprisonment of Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas, Figen Yuksekdag and seven members of Parliament.

This latest crackdown occurs in line with the events of July’s failed military coup. Since then, thousands of civil servants, teachers, municipality workers, journalists and academics and also soldiers have been arrested or dismissed. This crackdown highlights the ongoing and troubling political trends in Turkey. The so-called democracy in Turkey is in deep trouble and rapid decline.

The only mark of Turkey’s democracy is its shameful and transparent arrest of MPs, detaining of activists and torturing and killing of protestors.

The only certainty in the international system with its farcical laws and bogus institutions is ongoing complicit silence in light of the vast human rights violations against the Kurds, leftist groups and other minorities in Turkey and the AKP’s imperialist neo-Ottoman inspired invasions of Kurdistan in Syria and Iraq. The only freedom the international press expresses is its continued collective choice to remain largely silent about these violations. While the global Left remains carelessly subdued, crippled by inaction and indecisiveness.

This Orwellian nightmare represents the failure of the entire foundation of the New World Order. Its neoliberal, imperialist, statist institutions, once a symbol of the xenophobic ‘End of History’ argument defined as the epitome of its imperial crux, now represent the reality it has always been for the oppressed and the colonised: violent institutions of apathy and selective empathy determining, no longer now the fate of nations with simple strokes of pens on maps, but with the click of a few buttons on smartphones entire people’s right to exist or perish. And all of this before an insatiable global audience who consume the suffering of the oppressed greedily and call for more and more violent images of our oppressions to fulfil their morbid cannibalism.

Make no mistake, the resolution of the ‘Kurdish Question’ can be the greatest route towards immediate collective regional stability and peace or, if ongoing trends continue, it could implode into another protracted conflict with no end in sight. The only difference is now our oppression and its associated violence will no longer be contained neatly in our homes and backyards as it has been for decades and centuries now. But it will spill over into your backyard too.

Do not forget that the burden should not be on the oppressed to prove their humanity and therefore their right to existence. They are already charged with the unbearable burden of desperate resistance for their very survival. But rather, the burden should always be on the informed, privileged elite to reaffirm and regain THEIR humanity by doing something about it.

And so we wait. As we sit, collectively, on the precipice of a dangerous era.

*****

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