"The dinosaurs disappeared because they could not adapt to their changing environment."
~ Arthur C. Clarke.
~ Arthur C. Clarke.
An interview with Murat Karayilan is being carried over on KurdishInfo. As a veteran of PKK, Chairman of the Executive Council of Koma Komalên Kurdistan, and a long-time observer of the Turkish system, he has some interesting comments on that system. The gist of what he says is that the Turkish system is a dinosaur and, since it's based on fascism, he's right. Where all the European fascist systems were brought to an end by World War 2, Turkey still lumbers along pretending to be a modern, democratic, secular state while passing an anti-terror law that violates the most basic freedoms and rights that people in the West take for granted on a daily basis. As Karayilan says, this law "criminalise[s] Kurdish people in all spectrums." Exactly so; this law is aimed directly at the Kurdish people.
Karayilan observes that AKP, the Islamists, have been working to "take over" the system. If anyone followed Turkish politics, even months before the Amed Serhildan, this goal was was apparent. It was far more subtle before the serhildan, and you still had to wade through a load of garbage in Turkish media to see it, but it was there. In its attempt to take over the system, AKP has run up against the pashas, so it has had to adjust his methods to cater to them, since they are the only real power in Turkey. They always have been the only real power in Turkey and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Even though AKP made a lot of promises during the last elections, it has done nothing but attempt to jockey into a position of greater power. Think back to last August, when Erdogan visited Amed and said the word "Kurd." I will never understand why everyone got so excited over the fact that he can pronounce the word. Everyone should realize that talk is cheap, especially with Turkish politicians. The same thing happened again after the Semdinli bombing, with Erdogan promising to get to the bottom of the affair, and we all know what happened with that. The Parliamentary committee doing the investigation blamed the whole thing on PKK; the prosecutor in charge of the investigation was sacked from his job because he wanted to dig in Buyukanit's dirt and, finally, Seferi Yilmaz, the owner of the bombed bookstore and target of the state's attack, was arrested last month on allegations made by a "PKK confessor."
See yesterday's post for more on "PKK confessors."
Seven months after Erdogan's heroism in pronouncing the word "Kurd" publicly in Amed, he gave security forces the green light to murder any Kurd, including women and children. Keep in mind that he gave this order to a NATO army, one that presumably is supposed to obey the Geneva Conventions and its protocols. In reality, it appears that the Geneva Conventions are more window-dressing for Turkey. Erdogan played the democracy card with Kurds in order to secure AKP's position in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. He played the Kurd card with the pashas in order to secure his position for the presidency.
Take another example, an example that is not organically Kurdish or Turkish. We know that Michael Rubin is no friend of Kurds, particularly Bakurî Kurds. He's written a lot about Turkey but in all the words he's expended in defense of Turkish secular democracy, he's never expended one word on Turkey's atrocities against Kurds. In fact, Rubin is more Kemalist than the pashas. But you can learn from your enemies. One of Rubin's articles that gives food for thought on how AKP has worked to take over the system is "Green Money: Islamist Politics in Turkey", from last year. Rubin dismisses the influence of the Deep State in his conclusions, something that was a huge miscalculation on his part, but the rest of the article is an indication of the ways in which AKP has been working toward a takeover of the system.
Another indication of AKP's working to "intensify its power," as Murat Karayilan puts it, is Erdogan's burning desire for the presidency. He must have the approval of the pashas for this. To gain that approval, he sounds like he's turning idealist (ulkucu). Not only do the pashas require this, but all of the Turkish political parties are demanding it, too. Each one makes more extreme nationalist statements than the other, especially after the Council of State attack and Ozkok Baba's personal plea for extreme nationalist sentiment to be displayed by the people. It was then that Erdogan found out he didn't like being called "murderer" by the mobs, even though the attack was the work of the pashas.
Along with all this is the extreme discomfort the pashas feel by EU accession and the requirements of that process. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They still want to genocide Kurds but they have to do it in a way that no one notices. So they permit paper reforms and carry on with the pretence that Turkey really is the great secular democracy--and Muslim too!--that every liar on Earth loves to proclaim. No one seems to notice, however, that the avoidance of establishing a western-style democratic system is the exact opposite of pure Kemalism. We can argue then, that the pashas themselves have abandoned pure Kemalism in its aspects of secularism, modernization, and democracy. That, in turn, could lead us to argue that the pashas themselves are traitors to the glorious memory of their beloved Ataturk.
From the interview:
At times, rather than gaining power by owning up to Turkey’s problems and attempting to solve them, it negotiated, agreed, and at times fought with the forces within the system to stay in power. It envisioned placing itself within the system. Therefore Turkey’s problems were abandoned.
Turkey's single biggest problem are all the problems it has willfully created for the Kurdish people. By addressing those problems, the Ankara regime would improve life for everyone in Turkey, but never in Turkey's history has the regime ever listened to the Kurdish people. During numerous ceasefires, the Ankara regime failed to negotiate a settlement and yet recently we have heard many calls for Kurds to lay down their arms and take up a political path. Since there was no effort during ceasefires to listen to the Kurdish people, much less engage them politically. All these calls for peace are insincere and any chance at peace can only come from genuine and complete reform of the system, starting with the end of the military occupation.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Any real opposition, like the human rights people or the Turkish left or the "intellectuals," are simply too weak and have no real popular base. If they had some strength, we would see more from them and there would be a group with which Kurds could work. The Turkish media is geared to manipulate emotion and to spread propaganda, something that has been very apparent in the last few months. Add to that an educational system that incorporates the teaching of fascism at all levels. There is also the situation of DTP and its continual harassment by the regime. It is clear that it's going to take a long time for any kind of real reform.
Since the problems of Turkey have been abandoned by the regime, these domestic political power struggles are the real dynamics behind all of Turkey's actions now, including its threats to invade South Kurdistan in order to attack PKK. Will Turkey really invade? They will not invade until late August or thereafter, something I have said for some time and something with which Deutsche Bank agrees:
It is probable that the operation in northern Iraq will take place following the annual routine changes at the top of the chain of command in the Turkish Armed Forces in August. The operation is expected to cover both domestic and cross-border terrorist targets, the Deutsche Bank said in its analysis.
I have not been able to track down the Deutsche Bank report.
Regarding the question of invasion, the other thing to consider is the greater regional dynamics, dynamics which are moving very quickly at the moment. I did mention that the only thing that brought down European fascism was war, didn't I?
Seems to me it will take a warrior culture to bring down Turkish fascism. Good thing Kurds have a warrior culture.