Political struggles over the future of Turkey have left the country profoundly divided. Former prime minister, now president, Tayyip Erdogan, has fuelled the growing polarization through his authoritarian response to protests, his large-scale urban development projects, his religious social conservatism, and most recently, through his complicity in the Islamic State’s war against the Kurdish people in Northern Syria.
US, UK and French imperialist powers raised, fed and armed the reactionary groups such as Al Nusra Front and ISIS in order that they would fight the Assad regime on their behalf. Only when they realised that these groups are not capable of overthrowing the Assad regime, they began to distance themselves from them until their interests in Iraq were threatened. Now they wish to be seen as standing against ISIS.
US imperialism created al-Qaeda to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, but then when al-Qaeda started contradicting with US interests, they turned on them. Following the capture of Mosul by ISIS, having realised that their imperialist dominance is threatened by ISIS they have now, through NATO, started an international coalition against ISIS.
The only reason why the Turkish state did not want to be part of the international coalition is because of its close relations with ISIS. The whole world should know that the resolution passed on October 2, 2014 by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, is not against ISIS. This official resolution that allows Turkish soldiers to be sent to Syria and Iraq is in fact directed against the Kurdish people in Kobani and Rojava (section of Kurdish homeland in Syria) who declared autonomy in the region. This official resolution allows Turkish state to set up a buffer zone on the border of Syria and declare a no-fly zone. The resolution further emphasises that in Syria, the PKK poses a serious threat, clearly revealing the main purpose of the resolution and the intentions of the Turkish state. Continue reading →
When people ask me, “what is the most important thing you learned about Bobby Sands?” I tell them one simple thing. The most important thing about Bobby Sands is not how he died on hunger strike, it is how he lived.
New York – Bıa news agency, 5 November 2012
The hunger strikes of 1980/1981, in which ten men including Bobby Sands died, are the most famous use of that political weapon. Yet hunger striking has a long history in Irish political culture. It is said that the ancient Celts practiced a form of hunger strike called Troscadh or Cealachan, where someone who had been wronged by a man of wealth fasted on his doorstep. Some historians claim that this was a death fast, which usually achieved justice because of the shame one would incur from allowing someone to die on their doorstep. Others say it was a token act that was never carried out to the death – it was simply meant to publicly shame the offender. In any case, both forms of protest have been used quite regularly as a political weapon in modern Ireland.
The history of Irish resistance to British colonialism is full of heroes who died on hunger strike. Some of the best-known include Thomas Ashe, a veteran of the 1916 “Easter Rising”, who died after he was force-fed by the British in Dublin’s Mountjoy Jail. In 1920, three men including the mayor of Cork City Terence MacSwiney died on hunger strike in England’s Brixton Prison. In October 1923 two men died when up to 8,000 IRA prisoners went on hunger strike to protest their imprisonment by the new “Irish Free State” (formed after the partition of Ireland in 1921). Three men died on hunger strike against the Irish government in the 1940s. After the IRA was reformed in the 1970s, hunger strikes became common once again. IRA man Michael Gaughan died after being force-fed in a British prison in 1974. And Frank Stagg died in a British jail after a 62-day hunger strike in 1976.
Unlike in Turkey, the Irish make no distinction between a “hunger strike” and a “death fast,” although many hunger strikes have started without the intention of anyone dying. In 1972, IRA prisoners successfully won status as political prisoners after a hunger strike in which no one died. They were then moved to Long Kesh prison camp, where they lived in dormitory-style huts and self-organized their education (including guerrilla training), work (including cooperative handicrafts production), recreation, and attempts to escape and rejoin the conflict. The prisoners used their relative freedom to raise their collective and individual consciousness about their struggle against British occupation of Ireland. They read international revolutionaries like Che Guevara and Irish socialists such as James Connolly. This was, in turn, a foundation for rebuilding the IRA on a basis that included a less hierarchical and more participative structure, with a higher emphasis on community politics as a part of armed struggle.
As the IRA rebuilt their organization in prison the British government also changed strategy. The main pillar of the new strategy was a “conveyor belt” of security operations that included widespread arrests of young Catholic males, heavy interrogation including torture, and juryless courts in which a single judge pronounced guilt often on the sole basis of verbal or written statements under interrogation. Continue reading →
32 people who were taken into custody in Istanbul because they protested the death of 35 civilians were now released. The villagers were killed in an aerial strike in south-eastern Turkey.
Riot police stand guard as Kurds protest after Turkey's air force attacked suspected Kurdish rebel targets across the border in Iraq, killing some 35 people, many of them believed to be smugglers mistaken for guerrillas, in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Dec. 29. 2011. The killings spurred angry demonstrations in Istanbul and several cities in the mostly Kurdish southeast.
Kurds protest after Turkey's air force attacked suspected Kurdish rebel targets across the border in Iraq, killing a dozen people, many of them believed to be smugglers mistaken for guerrillas, in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Dec. 29. 2011.
Istanbul – BİA News Center
03 January 2012, Tuesday
32 people were taken into police custody on 29 December in Istanbul because they protested the death of 35 civilians who were killed in an operation of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in south-eastern Turkey. All of the 32 people in custody, among them conscientious objector İnan Süver, were released on 31 December.
The TSK carried out an aerial strike in the region of Uludere in the Kurdish-majority province of Şırnak in the night of 28 December. Unmanned air vehicles and thermal cameras of the TSK had determined a group of people close to the Iraqi border. Thereupon, an aerial strike was launched in the region close to the Ortasu Village.
35 civilians from the villages of Ortasu (Roboski) and Gülyazı were reported dead after the incident. It turned out later on that these people were not members of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as supposed by the military but villagers aged between 12 and 37 years old who were smuggling diesel fuel.
After the funerals, relatives of the victims explained the reason why they went to get diesel fuel from Iraq: “Poverty is the reason. This is our only source to get by”. Continue reading →
With the massacre of 40 peasants in Şırnak the fascist Turkish state has added a new massacre to its list of atrocities against the Kurdish nation!
3 January 2012
ATİK | 03 – 01 – 2011 | The fascist Turkish state is continuing the massacres against the innocent Kurdish nation by means of chemical weapons. In the village of Roboski of Şırnak Uludere province 40 innocent people have been massacred in bombings by war planes. In the warmongering statement after the last MGK (National Security Council) meeting, the practical implementation of the statement “The operations will continue day and night” was that, civilian peasants have been brutally killed through air bombings. We are carefully awaiting to know what the AKP government will fabricate with regards to the massacre under their responsibility while they are claiming to be against the massacres of the Khadafi regime in Libia, the Esad regime in Syria and also calling upon and threatening Esad to seize the massacres.
Forty peasants from Ortasu (Roboski) in the Uludere region, between the ages of 15 to 20 who were returning to their village from where they had been working were brutally killed by F-16 war-craft bombings. According to the statement of the wounded peasants who survived the bombings, “When we came back the jets started bombing us. A bitter smell was in the air during the bombing. Suddenly people started to burn and were killed. 5-6 people hid between the rocks to escape the bombing. The airplanes have also bombed there. They all died there at the rocks”. As a result of the bombings large number of burned and mutilated corpses of many people were taken to the county.
The policy of destruction and denial against the Kurdish nation since the founding of the Turkish Republic State is continuing with massacres and mass arrests. Racism is being instigated in all layers of society by imposing the mentality of any Kurdish in movement is ‘guilty’. Within the last month, lawyers and journalists have been arrested, detention periods have been prolonged, their homes and offices have been raided, extrajudicial executions, mass killings have taken place. These are a continuation of the atrocities of the nineties in a different form. Continue reading →
Press Statement as read out to the Turkish media – 19 October 2010
For and on behalf of the UK delegation: Mr. Jeremy Corbin MP, Mr. Hywel Williams MP, Mr. Ali Has – Lawyer/Spokesperson of Peace Council Britain, Mr. Hugo Charlton – Barrister, Mrs. Margaret Ann Owen – Barrister/Human Rights Activist and Serife Semsedini – Human Rights Activist. ————————————— We, as delegates from Britain of varying backgrounds and ethnicities, welcome the opportunity that has been afforded to us to have firsthand insight into these historic trials. During our observations thus far we have had the opportunity of meeting and speaking with Mayors, Parliamentarians, Lawyers, Academics and many other interested parties. This has given us the opportunity to explore at firsthand the issues in these trials and have helped to shape our understanding of the actual meaning of these trials.
We had firsthand experience of being in the Courtroom with the 151 defendants and their 250 lawyers yesterday and today. We can confidently express our observations thus far in the following manner:
Turkey, in its desire and aspiration to become a member of the European Union has not shown that it has progressed very much in terms of its treatment and approach to the Kurdish people, their politicians and the Kurdish question generally so as to pave a way forward for peaceful dialog and solution. We are confident in finding that these trials are politically motivated and are an attempt to suppress the political struggle of the Kurdish people through the judicial system. Continue reading →