The first five days of November 2013 saw the Nobel Laureate (1995) Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. As a guest participant in this 60th biennial world class conference on global security concerns, I was assigned to the Working Group ‘Turkey and its Neighbours’. Central in our discussions was the Kurdish issue. The fate of this unjustifiably stateless nation, is a matter of concern for a number of regional countries, Iraq, Iran, Syria but above all Turkey, where the fifteen million strong Kurdish minority quest for liberty is brutally repressed for as long as the repressive regime of ‘one country, one nation, one language’ imposed by Mustafa Kemal exists. Sadly, this repressive regime as far as minority - but not only as the fascist seizure of control of Zaman newspaper shows - rights in Turkey is concerned, comes alarmingly close to reach a centennial anniversary 1923-2023.
Indeed, those who closely follow the politics of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ascertain that this is his ‘absolutism dream’: to celebrate the centennial of the Republic of Turkey as the supreme ruler, the neo-Sultan, whose ‘wisdom’ in governance is challenged by no one let alone the unruly ‘mountainous Turks’: a Turkish government’s official jargon term for the Kurds. Yet, common sense, let alone sophisticated political analysis, tells that the endless bloodshed that Turkey experiences in recent months are a direct consequence of the Turkish President’s relentless and authoritarian rule. In other words, Erdogan’s dream is everybody else’s in the country nightmare!
Today, Turkey lives a daily nightmare: from the continuous massacre of Kurdish freedom fighters in the southeast and the genocide conducted against the civilian Kurdish population of this vast region, to the terrorist attacks and the bloodbath caused by the week in week out clashes of pro-Kurdish and pro-democracy demonstrators with the police in Ankara and Istanbul.
Consequently, yesterday’s fresh bomb blast in the heart of the capital, Ankara, killing 34 and wounding more than hundred innocent citizens should come as no surprise. The moral responsibility for the country’s shameful drift to bloody chaos lies nowhere else than the brutal policies of Erdogan seconded by Prime Minister Davutoglu; policies that sadly target all well-intentioned detractors: be it the freedom-loving Kurds, the free press, the investigative journalists, the intellectuals, the Fethullah Gulen movement, the secularists and so on and so forth. Erdogan has created an endless list of enemies both inside and outside the country, locking himself up in an untenable position of brutal repression of dissent. In true terms, Erdogan is shooting himself in the foot, putting himself in the solitary confinement component of his country’s political landscape, from where he finds no escape. Sadly, all this happens at the dawn of the 21st century! Erdogan’s foreign policy mistakes are equally horrible: endless meddling in Syria’s internal affairs, including underground support and personally benefitting from ISIS illegal oil sales, taking on Russia: downing its fighter plane September last in a futile gimmick to drag NATO into the conflict, using the Turkmen Syrian minority to secure future territorial gains at the expense of Syria, stifling engulfment of the dwindling Turkish Cypriot minority while implanting backward devout Muslim settlers and other dubious foreign elements in occupied Cyprus.
Concluding our short analysis with a view to end the massacre of both Turks and Kurds: as I pointed out to my well-meaning Turkish intellectuals, friends and colleagues, at Istanbul’s Pugwash Conference in 2013: there can be no military solution of the Kurds’ inalienable right to self-determination. The more high-armoured troops the ruthless Erdogan-Davutoglu duo sent to the southeast to brutally suppress the rebellion, the more Kurdish-inspired terrorist attacks we are bound to see in the Turkish political and financial capitals. And this is to the severe detriment of the peace-loving average Turk in the street.
In our next article, we shall substantiate our analysis by revisiting the historical precedents - of the not too distant past - to Erdogan’s ruthlessness against the country’s minorities. Precedents that almost exterminated Asia Minor’s culturally rich Greek Orthodox minority.