June 5-July 20, 2015 Massacres in Diyarbakir and Suruc

Pouring years of thought on a solution for the Kurdish problem in Turkey paved the way for me to become completely hopeless today. Hatred has been cultivated in the mindsets of Turks for so deeply that I question the existence of humanity in my homeland.

I will explicitly state my side because someone needs to do so. Someone must step forward by simply saying Turks have been oppressing the Kurds without making sentences to defend the Turks. For instance nothing, including the presence of PKK, can justify the ban on the Kurdish language for years or the long-standing tradition of torture in the Diyarbakir Prison.

Why am I writing this today? Because I closely followed the very first reactions coming from the Turkish side right after the massacres in Diyarbakir and Suruc and those reactions started choking the last bit of hope in my heart for this country. The first reaction sounded very ignorant which ultimately caused me to feel very uncomfortable, yet I could keep my sanity. Turks claimed that the Kurds organized both those bombings, because they needed to draw attention in order to gain votes for the elections. On July 20 Kurds needed to secure their seats in the parliament in case of an early election. The altered mind behind this theory sticks with the idea that the Kurdish party, HDP, increased their votes by channeling the society’s grief on its premise of freedom and equality. In other words, the more grievances they obtained the more seats they gained. Certain issues with this theory prove to be absolute nonsense. Not only no rational actor would kill at least 30 of its supporters just to secure seats in the parliament but also the surveys had already indicated that HDP would have certainly entered the parliament. Moreover, an HDP member, Ferdane Kilic, and her son died in Suruc. Would not HDP refrain from sending its members to Suruc if they knew there was going to be a suicide bombing there?

The second reaction, however, blew my mind away. I cannot possibly express my frustration and grief. I have to emphasize this reaction reflects the opinion of at least a couple of millions of Turks here. They simply compare PKK and ISIS, and conclude that PKK is no different than ISIS so two Kurdish dominated cities obviously deserved ISIS’s attacks. So many points should disturb anyone who knows a little bit about Turkey’s history but I will start with the insanity of this comparison. To give a hint why PKK drastically differs from ISIS, I am putting a fact on the table: the EU is considering removing PKK from the list of terrorist organizations. Going back to history and depicting a vivid picture of Turkey in 1970’s and 1980’s would justify some of PKK’s acts.

Put yourself in a bubble and land this bubble in Diyarbakir, a southeastern city of Turkey also the ideal capital of a future Kurdistan. Forget about whatever language you speak, because now you are a Kurd in Diyarbakir. You were raised speaking Kurdish since both your parents are Kurds. Now I can offer you different scenarios and you can choose the best one. I shall warn you being a Kurd in Turkey in this era; you will probably either end up dead or psychologically damaged no matter what.

Case 1: You are a Kurdish child. You wake up every night because the army has the habit of knocking your door, taking your father, beating him to death, throwing him like a trash bag to in front of your door in the morning.

Case 2: You are a Kurdish child. You wake up every night because the army has the habit of knocking your door, taking your father but one day your father does not show up half dead in front of the door. Your father mysteriously disappeared or shall I say at this point you cannot find where your father’s corpse is. In the meantime, you have to go to Turkish schools and every day at school you have to say: “How happy is the one who says I am Turkish!” However, you are not Turkish. The Turkish fascism murdered your father, yet you must be happy to say you are Turkish. Not enough. Your Turkish ID says you were born in Diyarbakir and your Kurdish name proves that you are a Kurd, which means your existence threatens the core values of Turkey. Remember those nights they would come for your father? Now, you are the target and we already know the end of this story.

Case 3: You are a Kurdish politician fighting for equality and your people. You are walking on the street and all of a sudden everywhere is dark. You are shot. No one takes you to hospital before it is too late and of course no one finds out who murdered you.

Case 4: You are a Kurdish politician fighting for equality and your people. Consequently you insult the Turkish government because you mean that the government does not protect the Kurds. What Kurds? There are no Kurds in Turkey. Are you denying your Turkish identity? Your verdict arrives quickly: treason against Turkey or sentenced to life in prison. Diyarbakir has a reputation for extreme brutality. Imagine your first day in this prison. Traditionally, you have to get naked and stand there for a gigantic army dog to attack you. The army already trained those dogs to attack your penis. You do realize they aim more than physical pain. Because you were raised in a patriarchal society as a male, they wipe away your male pride first, in order to prove their absolute sovereignty on you. You know that you will face with worse of those tortures until nothing from your identity remains. Also, you might die because of numerous reasons but the priority is to keep you alive while injecting you a Turkish identity during those torture sessions.

The list can easily go longer but the main point will remain the same: Kurds cannot get out of this situation. After going through one of those cases, a man named Ocalan comes up with the idea of fighting back. Why would you say no? Would anyone prefer sitting on his corner and waiting for torture? Would any mother prefer a corpse of a tortured and raped child to a corpse of a PKK militant who fights for his people? As rational human beings we shall never support violence but we should comprehend that certain conditions might justify violence.

Now leave Diyarbakir in your bubble and come back to our day. Can you still claim PKK is no different than ISIS, which brutally murders people from any country just because their beliefs diverge from extremist Islam? No one should.

All in all, the intricate hatred towards Kurdish identity that coexists with the essence of this society allows the government to remain irresponsive to the ISIS’s threat. Because no matter how well they hide it, a good number of Turkish people feel content by knowing that Kurds are dying while fighting against ISIS. Thus ISIS could easily bomb Kurdish towns twice in two months.

Pouring years of thought on a solution for the Kurdish problem in Turkey paved the way for me to become completely hopeless today. Hatred has been cultivated in the mindsets of Turks for so deeply that I question the existence of humanity in my homeland.

I will explicitly state my side because someone needs to do so. Someone must step forward by simply saying Turks have been oppressing the Kurds without making sentences to defend the Turks. For instance nothing, including the presence of PKK, can justify the ban on the Kurdish language for years or the long-standing tradition of torture in the Diyarbakir Prison.

Why am I writing this today? Because I closely followed the very first reactions coming from the Turkish side right after the massacres in Diyarbakir and Suruc and those reactions started choking the last bit of hope in my heart for this country. The first reaction sounded very ignorant which ultimately caused me to feel very uncomfortable, yet I could keep my sanity. Turks claimed that the Kurds organized both those bombings, because they needed to draw attention in order to gain votes for the elections. On July 20 Kurds needed to secure their seats in the parliament in case of an early election. The altered mind behind this theory sticks with the idea that the Kurdish party, HDP, increased their votes by channeling the society’s grief on its premise of freedom and equality. In other words, the more grievances they obtained the more seats they gained. Certain issues with this theory prove to be absolute nonsense. Not only no rational actor would kill at least 30 of its supporters just to secure seats in the parliament but also the surveys had already indicated that HDP would have certainly entered the parliament. Moreover, an HDP member, Ferdane Kilic, and her son died in Suruc. Would not HDP refrain from sending its members to Suruc if they knew there was going to be a suicide bombing there?

The second reaction, however, blew my mind away. I cannot possibly express my frustration and grief. I have to emphasize this reaction reflects the opinion of at least a couple of millions of Turks here. They simply compare PKK and ISIS, and conclude that PKK is no different than ISIS so two Kurdish dominated cities obviously deserved ISIS’s attacks. So many points should disturb anyone who knows a little bit about Turkey’s history but I will start with the insanity of this comparison. To give a hint why PKK drastically differs from ISIS, I am putting a fact on the table: the EU is considering removing PKK from the list of terrorist organizations. Going back to history and depicting a vivid picture of Turkey in 1970’s and 1980’s would justify some of PKK’s acts.

Put yourself in a bubble and land this bubble in Diyarbakir, a southeastern city of Turkey also the ideal capital of a future Kurdistan. Forget about whatever language you speak, because now you are a Kurd in Diyarbakir. You were raised speaking Kurdish since both your parents are Kurds. Now I can offer you different scenarios and you can choose the best one. I shall warn you being a Kurd in Turkey in this era; you will probably either end up dead or psychologically damaged no matter what.

Case 1: You are a Kurdish child. You wake up every night because the army has the habit of knocking your door, taking your father, beating him to death, throwing him like a trash bag to in front of your door in the morning.

Case 2: You are a Kurdish child. You wake up every night because the army has the habit of knocking your door, taking your father but one day your father does not show up half dead in front of the door. Your father mysteriously disappeared or shall I say at this point you cannot find where your father’s corpse is. In the meantime, you have to go to Turkish schools and every day at school you have to say: “How happy is the one who says I am Turkish!” However, you are not Turkish. The Turkish fascism murdered your father, yet you must be happy to say you are Turkish. Not enough. Your Turkish ID says you were born in Diyarbakir and your Kurdish name proves that you are a Kurd, which means your existence threatens the core values of Turkey. Remember those nights they would come for your father? Now, you are the target and we already know the end of this story.

Case 3: You are a Kurdish politician fighting for equality and your people. You are walking on the street and all of a sudden everywhere is dark. You are shot. No one takes you to hospital before it is too late and of course no one finds out who murdered you.

Case 4: You are a Kurdish politician fighting for equality and your people. Consequently you insult the Turkish government because you mean that the government does not protect the Kurds. What Kurds? There are no Kurds in Turkey. Are you denying your Turkish identity? Your verdict arrives quickly: treason against Turkey or sentenced to life in prison. Diyarbakir has a reputation for extreme brutality. Imagine your first day in this prison. Traditionally, you have to get naked and stand there for a gigantic army dog to attack you. The army already trained those dogs to attack your penis. You do realize they aim more than physical pain. Because you were raised in a patriarchal society as a male, they wipe away your male pride first, in order to prove their absolute sovereignty on you. You know that you will face with worse of those tortures until nothing from your identity remains. Also, you might die because of numerous reasons but the priority is to keep you alive while injecting you a Turkish identity during those torture sessions.

The list can easily go longer but the main point will remain the same: Kurds cannot get out of this situation. After going through one of those cases, a man named Ocalan comes up with the idea of fighting back. Why would you say no? Would anyone prefer sitting on his corner and waiting for torture? Would any mother prefer a corpse of a tortured and raped child to a corpse of a PKK militant who fights for his people? As rational human beings we shall never support violence but we should comprehend that certain conditions might justify violence.

Now leave Diyarbakir in your bubble and come back to our day. Can you still claim PKK is no different than ISIS, which brutally murders people from any country just because their beliefs diverge from extremist Islam? No one should.

All in all, the intricate hatred towards Kurdish identity that coexists with the essence of this society allows the government to remain irresponsive to the ISIS’s threat. Because no matter how well they hide it, a good number of Turkish people feel content by knowing that Kurds are dying while fighting against ISIS. Thus ISIS could easily bomb Kurdish towns twice in two months.

Reklamlar