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Home arrow Politic arrow Turkey's Crimes
Turkey's Crimes چاپ ارسال به دوست, Los Angeles, California, USA   


Turkey's Crimes!

"Not in our name and never again under our watch."

Friday 12,30,2011
By: Cklara Moradian

Turkish war planes bombard civilians near the village of Uludere in the southeastern Sirnak province around 11 pm Turkish time (21:00 GMT) on Wednesday December 28, 2011. When the debris settled a horrific massacre was uncovered.  

In what the official Turkish army is calling "a mistake" due to "a possible intelligence failure," at least thirty-seven young Kurdish men have been declared dead and dozens of others injured. Victims were as young as 12-years old and were the main providers for their families in an already impoverished region. Due to the severe burns inflicted on the bodies, not all of the victims have been identified, and the harsh winter condition is making the process more difficult. In several videos broadcasted by local news agencies, families of the victims are shown mourning the loss of their youth. Bodies wrapped in blankets are lined up on the snow with family members struggling to identify their kin. Photos of villagers carrying their dead fathers, sons, brothers, and uncles reveal the aftermath of a heinous crime of aggression perpetrated by the Turkish government.


 This massacre is carried out by the same Turkish government that boasts of democratic reform. A NATO ally Turkey is regularly referred to as the only modern democratic country in the Middle East. As the self-proclaimed leader of the region, Erdogan speaks of human rights and meddles in the affairs of the neighboring countries. With high moral authority, he speaks boldly against Israel and the Syrian government, while simultaneously carrying out a brutal crackdown on Kurdish intellectuals, journalists, activists, and students under the slogan of “war on terrorism.” And now he justifies the death of civilians as a simple “blunder.”


 The Turkish military has yet to apologize. They maintain that unmanned drones spotted what was thought to be PKK fighters.

Survivors have given a more horrific account of the events. They testify that they were spotted by the Turkish army, deliberately re-routed, and then ambushed. They had no way of defending themselves or a way to escape. So far the response from the International community has been non-existent, and the Turkish media have been shamelessly callous. They continue to portray the victims as lawless smugglers who were illegally crossing the Iraqi-Turkish borders. They fail to mention the economic depravation, lack of opportunity and education, and the inhumane levels of poverty plaguing these young men. They fail to mention that these conditions are caused by decades of systematic discriminatory policies against the Kurdish population. They overlook the fact that even the modest agricultural livelihood native to the people in the region has been destroyed by years of military operations in the name of “national security.”

Turkish apartheid policies against Kurds have left young people with not much choice.  Smuggling goods, such as diesel and cigarettes, from Kurdistan in Northern Iraq has become one of the only means of survival. These young men walk several hundred miles in harsh winter conditions, often with inadequate shoes and clothing, in order to provide for their families. They carry goods on mules, risking severe injury and illness. They constantly face the danger of losing limbs by accidently stepping on mines or becoming victims of cross-fire fighting.


In Turkey’s major cities, the civilian deaths of these young men have caused massive outrage. Thousands of Kurds have flooded the streets in protest.

Kurdish communities in dispora are holding emergency gatherings, protests, and vigils to show their solidarity with people in Sirnak province. In several cities around the world protests in front of the Turkish embassy have been organized.

Kurdish-Americans in Washington DC will be holding a protest in front of the Turkish Embassy at noon on Friday, December 30, 2011.

United States citizens are urged to write to their representatives, send letters to their local newspapers, and media outlets, demanding an end to the sales of arms to Turkey. Last month the Obama administration supplied the Turkish government four predator drones. According to the Turkish armies statements a US made unmanned drone was used in the operations that killed these innocent young men. It is the responsibility of every citizen to loudly protest these crimes against humanity by saying “not in our name and never again under our watch.”

This day will be remembered as yet another day of injustice committed against innocent Kurdish people. For Kurds around the world, 2011 will end in mourning.


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