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Over 7000 Detained in Turkey since April 2009


The Kurdish question in Turkey has a long and intricate histrory. Over the last twenty years, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has been the dominant actor of Kurdish politics. With its strong armed groups (the Guerilla) now based in northern Iraq and large scale influence on legal politics and over Kurdish communities, PKK and its convicted founder and leader, now imprisoned Öcalan has an undeniable influence over the Kurdish society particularly in Turkey but in other parts of Kurdish country (in Syria, Iraq and Iran) as well.

1990's faced a bloody war between Turkish military, Turkish paramilitary and the PKK's guerilla. Assasinations by unidentified perpetrators, village raids and evacuations, forced migration and cross-border military operations were common. Later, official reports revealed that the death toll of this "low internsity warfare" was about 30 thousands. 

Early 2000s were also the early years of the now ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government characterized by some move towards Turkey's accession to the European Union, democratic reforms and armistace mainly pursued and obeyed by PKK. The influence of the Turkish military over civil politics was still very strong and the long aspired demands of the Kurds were neither earned nor compromised. With ongoing military operations, racist assaults towards newcomer Kurdish communities in the western townd and cities, unjust judicial measures targeting the Kurdish region in Turkey (such as the Law Against Terorism and the prosecutions by "authorized" courts) warfare gradually restarted with the activation of the PKK's guerilla forces.

After the ruling AKP instituted its power after year 2007, by re-election of Erdogan by a wide marging as the prime minister, and by Abdullah Gul's presidency accompained by spectacular arrests towards the so called Ergenekon terrorist organization leaders and activists, including retired and on duty high army officials, some academics and writers, the military influence in Turkish politics was weakened and a new era has started.

Now AKP had the power to initiate its own Kurdish policy. In 2009, it declared the "opening" and "fraternity" policy in Kurdish question. Yet, the road map was not settled and the strongly demanded initiative came from imprisoned Öcalan. Soon it was better understood that AKP's "opening" was to demarcate PKK and the so called moderate Kurds and to come to terms with the latter. In April 2009 detentions towards Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) activists has started with a spectacular arrest of hundreds of legal Kurdish politicians and opinion leaders. This was understood as a deliberate humiliation of the Kurds, particularly by those under the influence of PKK.

KCK is the most inclusive organization of the Kurdish liberation movement aiming to express itself within the grassroots and in the civil society. From the states point of view, and through the lenses of the public opinion rainforced by the mass media, KCK is the "urban structure" of the PKK terrorist organization, aiming to infilter terrorist acts in towns and cities.

Currently, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is characterizing its Kurdish policy as "soft power", being a "dow in the lands and hawk on the mountains". Meaning, PKK is going to be exterminated by brutal military raids (even by resorting to the use of chemical weapons) and those so called moderates will be on the display for negotiating the terms of cultural rights, say in the new constitution making process.

But this policy is an obvious deadlock because a large array of Kurdish civil life is now under the influence of PKK and KCK. The immediate consequence of the criminalization of KCK is the hundreds and then thousands of arrests including not only the grassroot activists but mayors, officals, journalists, teachers and etc. Most recent wave in KCK operations cover the academics communicating with the Kurdish legal politics (the Peace and Democary Party BDP). This is also understood as a message to a few Turkish intellectuals who have a positive attitude towards the Kurdish liberation movement.

If AKP insists in its policy of criminalizing the civil life, obviously there will not be adress to negotiate a respectful peace. The death toll of the over twenty years "law intensity warfare" will now reach at fifty thousands, a permanent hatred among Kurdish and Turkish communities will be instilled and younger generations will be socialized in a war atmosphere.

To give support for the KCK detainees and for those who are under arrest sign the online petition at:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/detentionsinturkey/

 

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