Ali Duran Topuz

Ali Duran Topuz

Beat the Kurd, the dictatorship will follow

Are things not going well? Are there no stories left to peddle to your voters? Then play the easiest game: Strike the Kurds, the rest will follow. The fewer people who will report properly and resist on election night, the better.

The ruling bloc has no recourse left but to beat the Kurds over the head. The legal attack initiated this morning in Diyarbakir is one of many attempts to multiple birds with one stone.

The root cause and effects of the police operation lies in the people who were targeted. That is to say, it is quite evident:

The strategy of launching seemingly legal attacks and taking journalists hostage has been on the agenda for a long time, and this morning was no exception: many members of the Mesopotamia News Agency (MA), whose many other members are being held in prison, were once again targeted. There are very valuable journalists among this group, but I want to mention one in particular:

Abdurrahman Gok. If it were not for Abdurrahman, they would have claimed "Kemal Kurkut was a terrorist" after killing him in 2017. Gok shed light on the truth with the seriousness and courage he displayed in his profession with images that shattered the [government’s] lie in the public eye. Of course, exposing the state's lie warrants punishment. This has always been a priority. The murderer was all but awarded a medal for his crime, while they are still looking for a thousand ways to possibly punish Abdurrahman. Mesopotamia is not just about this, of course, there is also a second example: if it weren't for MA journalists, no one would have heard of the helicopter torture incident.

The Kurdish newspaper based in Diyarbakir, “Xwebûn,” is also being targeted. Why would it not be? After all, its language of publication is Kurdish. It was only recently that its online publication was banned. It is not for nothing that “Speak Turkish” was inscribed on the steps of that school.


The primary reason for journalists being targeted today is of course the upcoming elections: The fewer journalists there are working during the elections, the more they can create the environment conducive to their plans for election day and night.

Speaking of elections, identifying the second group targeted is even more indicative of the motivations of the authorities: The lawyers of the Association of Free Lawyers. These lawyers had been preparing to play a role in ensuring ballot security and integrity on election day and night, and to carry out the organizing that would ensure said security. The word “Terrorist organization,” [though faulty], has its roots here. They do not want anyone to “organize,” much less the Kurds.


The third group targeted concerns the spirit of the Kurdish question: theater actors. Let us keep in mind that Aram Publishing House was also raided in the operations. Add to this the recall and banning last week of a novel by Kurdish author Yavuz Ekinci. Yes, a novel, a work of fiction, that is to say, a fictional story and fictional characters became the target of the criminal justice system. After all, what need do the Kurds have for art and literature?


Kurds are targeted with their journalists, lawyers, and artists, but as stated in Kilicdaroglu’s "Kurds" video, when "elections are approaching,” the Kurds' characteristic of being “terrorists” becomes absolute — especially if the upcoming election has Kurds in critical roles as both the lock and the key. Especially if the steps taken to stop Kilicdaroglu, who formed a considerably positive impact with his “Kurd” and “Alevi” videos, prove weak, then [the regime] chooses to put Mr. Kemal aside and hit the Kurds directly to see what happens. Let's see if Kilicdaroglu will be able to defend the "fraternity" he mentioned in his video. It is a tedious game, but [the regime] does not tire of it because it proves effective each time.

Yes, this latest move aims to prevent the production and dissemination of information that will affect both Kurdish and non-Kurdish public opinion before and during the election, reduce election security in favor of the ruling government, and restrict the field of operations for all members of the “opposition” but for Kilicdaroglu in particular. The government knows this well: Yes, Kilicdaroglu released the "Kurds” video, but he is still walking on eggshells when it comes to this topic as he still has to contend with Good Party Chairwoman Aksener on the opposition coalition, as well as segments of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) electorate — his own party — that have nationalist persuasions and are highly allergic to the Kurds.


If Kilicdaroglu and the opposition remain silent, the operations will continue to grow in size. If the opposition raises its voice, then the regime will deploy its pent-up aggression towards the videos in which Kilicdaroglu mentioned “fraternity” and his "sincere Muslim" identity in the form of an “anti-terrorism” charade. In short, this time there are two reasons to strike the Kurds. The first is more general, and based on the fundamental consensus on anti-Kurdish sentiment by the religious-racist-bureaucratic oligarchs which constitute the state. The second is a specific reason intended to break Kilicdaroglu’s resolve in the Kurdish issue and to condemn him to only abstract compliments. As it stands, it has already been hours and not a peep has been heard from the opposition. Moreover, the strong media institutions affiliated with the CHP media gave the news of the raids almost "grudgingly.” They said little more than “The operation was extensive, the reactions are large, the incident has political significance.” Of course, why should they bother covering something that will hinder the government’s machinations if the issue concerns “the Kurds?”

The ruling government’s goal is to both shatter courage and eliminate solidarity that would work against them in this strange election. A Kilicdaroglu silent in the face of an attack will inevitably affect the “voice” of the Kurds. In Kurdish, the word "deng" is used for "vote" (as well as "rey" and "sewt"), and these words essentially mean “voice” or “noise.” Those who want "deng" make noise; those who produce "deng" get "deng" in return. But since Kurds will not be voting for Kilicdaroglu based on some sort of expectation from him, the difference between voting willingly and voting grudgingly will come into play.

This "Kurdish complex" among the opposition is indicative of something crucial with regard to the upcoming elections. If there is no strong Kurdish representation in parliament, even if the opposition wins the elections, they will have almost no chance to make any steps toward "democratization.” The existence and success of the Green Left Party is critical in this respect. Of course, the consequences of the difference between "voting grudgingly" and "voting willingly" for the elected president will also be made clear that day.

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