April 19, 2024

At the Centre stage:

The motives of the perpetrators in killing an entire family in central Turkey sparked sharp differences between the government and the opposition, which considered the crime an “act of racism”. In turn, Erin Keskin, vice president of the Human Rights Association, said in a tweet: “This is an issue we have been following. The youngest member of the family told me: ‘We are very scared.”

 

Photo: Turkey… 7 members of one Kurdish family were killed with “racist” motives. Source: https://www.islamist-movements.com/58353

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding in detail:

On Friday 30, July 2021, according to Turkish media, gunmen who attacked their house and tried to burn it killed the seven members of the Dedeoglu family.

Members of this family were seriously injured last May 2021 in an attack by a number of their neighbours because of their Kurdish nationalism, telling them, “Kurds are not allowed to live here,” according to what the Gazet Duvar news website quoted in mid-July from a member of this family who was killed on Friday.

On that day, the victim accused the police and judiciary of favouring the attackers, stressing that all family members feared for their lives.

According to the victims’ defence attorney, Abd al-Rahman Karabulut, the release of the perpetrators of the first attack gave them a sense of impunity.

“It is a completely racist attack,” Karabulut told Arte TV. “The judiciary and the authority bear their share of responsibility for what happened.” This is the second deadly attack targeting the Kurds in Konya in a month.

On July 21, a Kurdish farmer was killed in Konya by assailants who had previously threatened him, telling him, “We don’t want Kurds here”, according to statements by relatives of the dead man carried by local media.

Furthermore, Karabulut said he was made a target by politicians from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Konya governor, who argued that the attack was not racially motivated but rather due to a family feud.

He said he has been receiving insults and death threats from various social media accounts but that he is determined to pursue the case to completion.

Following the attack, government officials had dismissed racist motives as the main factor behind it, saying instead that it was committed because of old hostilities between two families. In the same words, the Konya governorate authorities denied the racist nature of the crime, asserting that it was the result of an argument that broke out over cattle that entered fields in another village.

Critics of the ruling AKP, on the other hand, argued that the AKP’s discriminatory and polarizing rhetoric is responsible for the increase in violence targeting Kurds in the country.

The jailed former co-chair of the HDP Selahattin Demirtaş also held the government’s discriminatory policies and rhetoric targeting various societal segments responsible for the attack.

Standpoint:

Despite the Turkish government’s best efforts to subjugate Kurds, many still hold out hope for cultural, social and political freedom. “We have followed the struggle of the Kurds to rise out of their second-class status for years [… as well as] the wonderful things that the Kurds did in Iraq in terms of getting their own country, in effect,” said Lundahl. Kurds in southern Turkish cities are reviving the ancient oral practices of Dengbej, a musical storytelling tradition that goes back 5,000 years. Its return represents the preservation of heritage in the face of oppression.

Though the situation holds complex diplomatic weight and serious humanitarian concerns, it also is not without hope. Organizations like The Kurdish Project work to spread knowledge of Kurdish oppression, history, and struggles for everyday Kurds. Their work continues the advocacy for Kurdish rights in Turkey and beyond.

Furthermore, there exists a set of international law, standards, principles, and mechanisms adopted by the United Nation (UN), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Council of Europe (CoE) designed for the protection of minority rights, which are legally or politically binding on Turkey. In addition, EU membership, which Turkey is striving for, would require abidance by EU standards concerning the treatment of minorities.

 

 

References:

 

Borgen Magazine, (August 6, 2021):” Continued Kurdish Oppression in Turkey”. Retrieved from: https://www.borgenmagazine.com/continued-kurdish-oppression-in-turkey/

DW (July 31, 2021): “Seven members of a Kurdish family killed in Turkey – “racism” or “family conflict”? Retrieved from: https://www.dw.com/ar/%D9%85%D9%82%D8%AA%D9%84-7-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A3%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D9%83%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%83%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D9%86%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A3%D9%85-%D9%86%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%B1%D9%8A/a-58717873

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), (October 2006): “Turkey: A Minority Policy of Systematic Negation”. Retrieved from: https://www.refworld.org/pdfid/46963b010.pdf

Sky News Arabia, (July 31, 2021): Turkey… 7 members of one Kurdish family were killed with “racist” motives”. Retrieved from: https://www.skynewsarabia.com/world/1454381-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%83%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%AA%D9%84-7-%D8%A7%D9%94%D9%81%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%8A%D9%94%D9%84%D8%A9-%D9%83%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B9-%D8%B9%D9%86%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9