Tuesday, November 27, 2007


"At this rally, we say enough is enough. Enough of denying the Kurds. Enough of trying to solve problems through operations."
~ DTP Parliamentary Group Leader, Selahattin Demirtaş.

Although a number of the DTP leadership were present and spoke at the mass meeting in Amed (Diyarbakır) over the weekend (including Emine Ayna, Selma Irmak, Akın Birdal, Aysel Tuğluk, Gültan Kışanak, Hilmi Aydoğdu, and Osman Baydemir), the remarks of DTP Parliamentary Group Leader Selahattin Demirtaş were echoed by all, even in the message sent to the meeting by the new DTP Chairman, Nurettin Demirtaş.

The following are the translated remarks of Selahattin Demirtaş, from an article on Yeni Özgür Politika:

DTP answered the state's racist, political lynching, and annihilation threats from Amed. 100,000 Amedîs cried out, "It is enough!"

In spite of the restrictions by the government, 100,000 Amedis attended the meeting called "A Call for an Honorable Life". Selahattin Demirtaş called on the prime minister, Erdoğan, to open free, peaceful, and democratic means to allow the guerrillas to come down from the mountains, who had gone to the mountains as a result of the torture of the 12 September coup.

Thousands of soldiers under the authority of the Turkish 7th Battalion encircled the crowd. The signs that the demonstrators brought were under strict control. None of them were allowed to be displayed because the soldiers claimed they were illegal. On the signs, however, was written "It is Enough," "No to Isolation and Suppression," "For a democratic solution and dialog--No to operations!"

Two thousand editions of Azadiya Welat newspaper were not allowed to be distributed to the protestors because Öcalan's picture was on the front page.

Referring to DTP's possible closure, Selahattin Demirtaş started his speech saying, "Welcome to the first court of DTP's closure, You honorable, resistant Kurdish people. Mr. Chief Prosecutor, we brought 100,000 witnesses. Mr. Chief Prosecutor, let's ask the witnesses, 'Can DTP be closed?'" After his question, the crowd shouted, "No!"

Then Demirtaş criticized PM Erdoğan for his ambivalence. "In 2002, in Russia, as an answer to a Kurdish worker's question about the Kurdish situation, Erdoğan said, 'If you say there is no problem, the problem will disappear. We say that there is no problem,'" said Demirtaş. "In 2005, in Diyarbakır, the same prime minister said, 'The Kurdish question is not only a problem of a part of this nation, it is also my problem.' In December 2006, one year after his statement, in the US, Erdoğan said, "Kurds do not have any rights problem in Turkey.' Now the prime minister who changes his mind every year, is demanding DTP to take a clear stand. What kind of contradiction is this, Mr. Prime Minister? He is asking the representatives whom you sent to Ankara with your resistance, belief, and labor, to take a clear stand and make the choice. How many times will these people make a choice, Mr. Prime Minister? Look! They made their choice for democracy and a parliamentarian regime."

Quoting from Erdoğan prior to the elections, Demirtaş reminded the crowd: "'Tomorrow they will come to the parliament, and we will watch their fight with MHP every day.' Erdoğan said, and now he sees that Kurds are serious in their politics and mature. Now he started fighting with us. The prime minister who could not make us fight with MHP, made us (DTP) the target. Furthermore, he started a lynch campaign against our party. Today we are saying, in fact, you (Erdoğan) make your choice: Are you going to be pro-democracy or pro-war? These people made their choice for democracy and raised their hands to Ankara. Do not let these hands stay in the air. For that reason, they are saying, 'It is enough!'"

Demirtaş continued his speech as: "The prime minister who made our party, the president of our party, the parliamentarians, and the mayors subject to political lynching, today pretends to be a disciple of democracy. The people who put the streets into action by political lynching against the Kurds, today pretend to be disciples of democracy. They behave as if they were not the same people that approved the closure of our party when the decision-making for DTP's closure came before them, and they pretend instead. Do not believe in them, my dear friends. They are the ones behind those who opened the closure case against DTP; they are the ones who brought the issue of the removal of parliamentary immunity into the Parliament. Do not ever forget these things."

Stressing that the message of the people of Amed must be read very well, Demirtaş said, "I believe if the message that the people of Amed give today could be read well, comprehended correctly, then peace is very easy, very soon."

Emphasizing that the policy implemented by the government today is making Kurds kill Kurds, Demirtaş said, "All the Kurdish citizens of the Turkish Republic want to live freely with all the other people in this land, with their own language, their own free identity, and their culture. Of course, the Kurds living in this country will be honored to have a regional Kurdish federation in Northern Iraq. These are the Kurdish people; rather than making Kurds kill Kurds, have dialogs with that political formation there. Improve peaceful and brotherly relationships to become a power together in the Middle East."

Êdî Bese!


Anonymous said...

The last paragraph is a little ironic, because it was "dear" Ocalan wasn't it who differentiated himself from all the other groups in Turkey by his violent ways. I don't deny that Turkey has killed many many more Kurds, but it's scary when its used to rationalise other killing. Anyone who knows anything about the political environment in how the PKK was created, also knows that they were fundementally a Marxist group, which was indiscriminate in its application of violence to both Kurds and Turks. Perhaps this is why the DTP have isolated some of their Kurdish voters, I personally know many Kurds who don't follow the DTP. Why does the DTP claim to represent all Kurds in Turkey? And what about those Kurds that don't want to be used as propaganda like this? Can you answer that?

Mizgîn said...

Who else represents the Kurdish people in Turkey, Anonymous? CHP? MHP? AKP?

There are no Kurds in those parties because they are totally assimilated . . . just as Ziya Gökalp or İsmet İnönü or Turgut Özal were. Therefore it is impossible that they represent the Kurdish people.

It sounds like the "Kurds" you know are just as assimilated. Since they are Turks, they shouldn't have any concern about being "represented" by DTP.

DTP and PKK are the only true representatives of the Kurdish people.

Oh, and I know TONS of Kurds who are disgusted with Turkish propaganda which says Kurds are completely equal and free in Turkey. Why does the racist Turkish regime lie about the true situation of the Kurdish people? Can you answer that?

Anonymous said...

I think you are confusing the regime with the civilian. I do not deny that many Kurds especially in the south east have been treated like second class citizens, but I also think you fail to address the basic freedoms of the individual. I have a friend who lost his family in conflict in the south east. But amazingly he is not bitter and is happy to live in Turkey regardless of which ethnicity lives here. And so what if one Kurd has been assimilated. We all have been in our countries of birth, if we are not of that nationality, and we don't have a problem with it. These people don't say they are Turk, they say they are Kurd and citizens of Turkey, and don't have a problem with Turks. They say that my grandfather fought for this land. They come from more affluent families perhaps yes, but then is it only affluence that allows education, and therefore only education that allows them to make up their minds about who they are. They don't like the fact that their identity is politicized. Yes, they say they want rights, but they are well-educated enough to also understand the landscape of Turkish politics. One thing you never address is the fact that AKP's politics are not nationalist - they can't be for the simple fact that they are Islamist. This is a super-national idea, which is why integration all of a sudden, AND more rights for Kurds is even being discussed here in Turkey. It takes time here to change things, many people who have tried have been killed for it. I am also not a big AKP supporter because of their conservative ways, but I also want to see a peaceful Turkey. What the DTP needs to do is grow up a bit and face the reality of the Turkish political culture, and work with the government instead of against it. It is much easier to play the victim than play the patience. It seems that the DTP only want the more radical vote, which means they will sadly lose more votes as Turkey develops further and the lifestyle and education gets better. It's not only happening here in Turkey. In Egypt, Palestine, the Islamists are winning because they do grass roots work. They don't simply shout about things. This is where the real battle is. When a poor woman needs to feed her family, the reality is that if someone helps her (call it bribery) well yes they will win. I just don't see any strategy from the DTP but hatred and anger, and we all know that this never gets us anywhere. It's a real tragedy, because it seems that the only thing the DTP stand for anymore is Kurdish nationalism, which for obvious reasons doesn't suit every Kurd and can never suit any other part of society. If they campaigned on their true principles well there might just be some room for breakthrough. Instead the DTP attempts impossible politics in a country that really changes sloooowlllyyy...... It's very tragic. And some may say that young Kurds who have had a hard upbringing are easily manipulated against the state. Just look at the TJAK movement that said it was liberating women. How can a woman blowing herself up be a liberation? When can it be? When the only future she can see before her is what her father, brother and relatives want. There is a cultural war going on here too, many aspects of which are exploited. I read you regularly because, no.1 you're writing is very articulate and a pleasure to read, no.2 I come across interesting topics for research such as the ATC, but it saddens me sometimes that there is so much hate in your writings. Correct me if I'm wrong. And I also think you really have to distinguish between the "establishment" in Turkey and the "Islamists", they are not one in the same. It's too easy to group them all together, it suits DTP politics. And although it may be true from your perspective it is not going to win over more voters next time around, if we even have a DTP by then. And the whole "APO stuff", well that really needs to be canned. What did he do for the Kurds? He just happened to be Kurdish. He was a Marxist not a Kurdish nationalist. He fought against capitalism and imperialism. He terrorized many Kurds. I know Turkey did too and in much bigger numbers, but why is he so holy when he terrorized his own people. It's what gave the PKK their name. Many Kurds who want rights know this and don't support violence. I'm personally hoping for a less discriminative constitution, one that doesn't single out any ethnic group, but one that doesn't belong to only one ethnic group either. The word "citizen of Turkish Republic" would suit all ethnicities. I do not support positive discrimination, that I find generally turns out to be chauvinist. I don't know if I answered your question, but hopefully have contributed to the debate. And surely the DTP should be working on gaining compensation for those who support it while in government, than trying to get kicked out of it.

Mizgîn said...

Anonymous, I am not confusing anything, and to say that Kurds in North Kurdistan have been treated like second-class citizens by the Ankara regime is like saying the Nazis treated the Jews like second-class citizens.

So what if a Kurd has been assimilated? Then don't claim to be a Kurd. And it's pretty funny to hear that such so-called "Kurds" talk about how their grandfathers fought for Turkey with Ataturk. Do they remember who stabbed them in the back immediately afterwards?

Yeah, affluence allows education and AKP is bribing voters with green money, so why is it that whenever DTP attempts any little projects for their constituents, the DTP politicians in question are prosecuted by the regime and the programs shut down. Or, in the case of Abdullah Demirbas and Sur Municipality, the municipality itself is dissolved by the Interior Ministry. Why is it that the regime controls the funds that should go to local municipalities, prosecutes mayors like Osman Baydemir when he says local resources should be administered locally and not by a fascist central government?

The regime is still attempting to genocide the Kurdish people, just as it has done for the last 84 years. Things change slowly, do they? We should continue to wait for justice, should we? For how long are WE supposed to be patient? For another 84 years? I don't think so. It is clear that since there is no pacifist movement in the history of the world that has ever brought about any positive change, and since there is no viable political avenue for the Kurdish people in Turkey, then armed defense is the only option.

You should be grateful that DTP is, in fact, working within a system that opposes them. I guess you didn't pay any attention to the news leading up to the elections or you would have seen the obvious attempts of the regime to repress DTP. But, of course, you know all this; it's just that you refuse to admit it because then it would show how your "democratic" attitude is nothing but a facade.

And speaking of elections, who was it that was playing the victim then? AKP. This party, and its predecessor, always plays itself the victim of the generals even while its cooperating with them.

You want to talk about hatred and anger of DTP, then tell me who it was that was shooting at the DTP office in Ankara? So who is it that engages in hatred and anger? The next thing you'll try to tell me is that DTP was shooting at DTP.

And who was it who got your POWs back for you? DTP. As a result, the whole world knows that instead of surrenduring honorably on the battlefield, the Ankara regime prefers that its soldiers commit suicide. Talk about reacting from a position of hatred and anger. . .

And by the way, it's always people like you who accuse others of having "so much hate" in their writing. From your comments, I'd say you're suffering from an extreme case of psychological projection.

What is TJAK? I've never heard of such a thing.

Don't play so stupid as to claim that AKP is not a nationalist party. You can pretend that the Fethullaci (yes, AKP is all Fethullaci) are not nationalists, but your pretence does not change the truth. AKP is completely nationalistic--to the point of fascism--a fact that has been recently noticed by the Arab media, although it is old news to the rest of us.

You can forget about the "APO stuff" being canned. You have no idea of what Apo means. Apo and PKK showed the Kurdish people that it was possible to fight back against a brutal regime and this has been a fact since 1984. It's another fact that the regime's response has achieved nothing and will achieve nothing until it sits down to negotiation with PKK, just as Britain has done with the IRA.

Apo terrorized Kurds? Which Kurds? The ones working for the regime? Biji Serok Apo! If Apo was not a Kurdish nationalist, then why didn't he just stay with the Turkish left?

What about before Apo? Like everyone else who knows nothing or pretends to know nothing, you imply that everything was absolutely wonderful for Kurds pre-1984, What about 1925? What about 1937? What about the hundreds of thousands of Kurds slaughtered by the Ankara regime in all the years before 1984?

You go ahead and continue to hope for a "less discriminatory constitution." Such a constitution is not acceptable to me, nor to DTP. What is acceptable to me, and what DTP is working for, is a non-discriminatory constitution.

But I'm not going to hold my breath for that because the regime is incapable of producing such a document.