"[I]n an underdeveloped and poverty stricken region like Kurdistan where majority of people are struggling just to survive it will be unlikely for a Kurdish liberal party to gather a mass following."
~ Dr. Hussein Tahiri.
Funny guy, that Serafettin Elci. He's the only Kurd in the TC who can get away with talking about a federal system as a solution for the Kurdish situation. This isn't the first time that he's tried this, but what is funny is that he's still walking around alive and still talking about it.
Here are some links on the story of the announcement of Serafettin's new party, in chronological order, for reference:
Turkey will have a new pro-Kurdish party
Elçi: PKK a source of despair for Kurds
Anti-PKK Kurdish movement founds political party
2nd party favoring federation on the Kurdish front
Think about this: Let Osman Baydemir or Abdullah Demirbas talk about allowing the free expression of the various ethnicities within Turkey, let them talk about allowing the use of Kurdish language at the municipal level of government, let them send an ambulance to take the body of a gerîla home for burial and they are indicted for separatism, terrorism or humiliating the public. Let every DTP mayor sign a letter that is sent to Danish PM Rasmussen in support of Roj TV, and every one of them is indicted and must face prosecution. Let Osman Baydemir try to calm the violence in his city, let him express his empathy for the feelings of the people, and he is attacked by Ozel Tim/Ozel Hareket Tim.
In short, the predominantly Kurdish DTP tries to work within the framework of the unitary state and it is vilified.
Not so, Serafettin, not so at all. He walks freely and talks about forming a federal system within the TC. He says that Kurdish should be the second official language of the TC, as he did in this February, 2005 interview in Radikal. Nothing happens. Not a cross-eyed look from an ulkucu, not an indictment, not a bad word in the press, not even an assassination attempt.
Why is that?
Naturally, given all the freedom that Serafettin enjoys, especially when juxtaposed against the repression that DTP politicians suffer, and adding his service to the regime into the equation, I'm thinking: Deep State. However, if you paid attention to the Radikal article--Hey! Why do you think I provide you with links? For decoration? Read it!--you would have noticed a minor, but significant detail. Serafettin Elci is related to Masûd Barzanî. I don't have a problem with that in and of itself, but I have a big problem with it if it means continued repression of the Bakurî Kurds for the sake of filthy lucre.
You know . . . corruption, Turkish-gang style.
Why do I say that? Well, check this item from May, 2006, at The New Anatolian. It's about a new Turkish firm, a small one, that's going to start producing oil in South Kurdistan. But check out the last paragraph, which cites a report by Anatolia News Agency:
The report mentioned Cevikler Construction LTD. President Ilnur Cevik, former Turkish Minister and Deputy Serafettin Elci's son Renas Elci and Turkish woman entrepreneur Ferda Cemiloglu as the first Turkish investors in northern Iraq.
Ilnur Cevik and one of Serafettin's kids . . . Ilnur is very close to Kak Masûd too. He helped KDP establish KTV, at the request of the Turkish General Staff--the pashas. Check an article from November, 2005, at the old DozaMe site for that. Is this what you'd call trans-border nepotism? A few days after the oil investment article came out, Ilnur Cevik wrote this editorial on the status of Kurdish politicians under Turkish-occupation. When Ilnur speaks, who is listening? KDP? The Turkish General Staff? The Americans or the EU? Or ordinary people who pay no attention to what is said, who is saying it, and doesn't know what their connections are?
If you think Serafettin has a new party out, think again, by comparing this March, 2000, article, by Dr. Hussein Tahiri, with the articles I posted above on Serafettin's new Free Kurds group. Looks to me like Free Kurds is DKP v.2. What was the overriding theme of Dr. Tahiri's characterization of Serafettin's old party? Elitism. Check it out:
The DKP was an elitist party. It seems that the new to be established Kurdish liberal party to be elitist as well. The members who are working to form the party are mainly formed of Kurdish intellectuals and politicians who can relate with liberal ideals. Also, the 900 people invited were selected elites. Liberal democratic ideals can be attractive in developed countries.
Dr. Tahiri asks some interesting questions about it too:
Here are some questions: should the Kurdish elite form an abstract Kurdish political party distinct from the Kurdish masses? Should political parties be formed to incorporate masses or should they be formed to mould the masses?
Maybe he should have called his new party "Elite Kurds." On the other hand, that would be kinda like blowing the whistle on yourself, wouldn't it?
When I read the term "elitism" with regard to politics inside the TC or Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, again I'm thinking: Deep State. Remember Yavuz Baydar's little trip to Dogubayazit? Okay, class, review question: Who is the "entire elite of Turkey?"
Old Serafettin has spent a lot of time away from his roots, distancing himself from the Kurdish masses, serving the regime in Ankara as a minister and an MP. Now he surrounds himself with his elitist intellectual clique of other Kurds, also far removed from their roots, talking about federalism with the permission of the pashas and accusing DTP of organic ties to PKK.
For the moment, Serafettin is useful to the pashas as one of their errand boys. As long as he serves a status quo that is diametrically opposed to the will of the Kurdish people under occupation everything will be cool for him. In other words, as long as he blames all of the world's evils on the big, bad PKK, and as long as the pashas find him useful in this regard, he'll be safe. We probably can't blame him too much for being diametrically opposed to the will of the Bakurî Kurds, though. After all, he's been busy with his elitist friends, far away from the Kurdish masses.
Think he's not so removed from the people? Well then, where was he during the Amed Serhildan? He didn't have any words for the Kurdish masses under attack by Ozel Timler in Amed, did he? Yeah, funny guy that Serafettin Elci.
There is a reality in the TC, that Kurds are not permitted to speak of anything that might remotely conjure images of separatism . . . unless they have the blessing of the pashas. When the pashas decide that Serafettin is no longer useful, he'll have an accident or he'll be assassinated. Confusion will reign until the pashas blame his unfortunate and untimely death on the big, bad PKK.
Then everyone will be lulled back to sleep by the steady hum of the status quo. Never mind the interruption, now and then, by the faint sound of automatic weapons from far, far away.