Between Bombing and Siege:
The Kurds under the guillotine of the new-Ottomans
The researcher in the affairs of Turkish-Kurdish relations since the emergence of the Ottoman dynasty on the political scene and until the rule of the new Erdoganists may be exhausted when he tries to identify a boom or even a slight change in the political approach between the early and new Ottomans, especially in the aspect related to dealing with the Kurdish issue. They are adopting a set of classic tactics that are difficult to practice for the current Kurdish generation, which seems to have accumulated historical experiences that qualify it to fight Turkish politics with more shrewdness and political savvy.
Kurdish political maturity was the result of centuries of struggle against ethnic Turkish domination of which the AKP is a racist extension. This is what was confirmed by a set of facts that showed that Erdogan deals with the Kurds with the logic of the reserve tank in the Turkish electoral stations, and then their blood and their lives become insignificant immediately after the closure of the polling stations.
If the history of Turkish-Kurdish relations is full of unequal bloody confrontations, Turkish politics under Erdogan is moving in the same direction by accusing all Kurds who reject Erdogan’s exclusionary policy of terrorism, and also through the solid approach taken by the Turks in resolving their political problems with an important ethnic group such as the Kurds. The results of this matter appeared in the Roboski bombing incident in 2011, as well as the siege of large areas of Diyarbakir city in 2016.
In this context, Roboski massacre constituted a complete crime against humanity, in which young men in the prime of their lives were forcibly practiced smuggling after their livelihoods were lost under an exclusionary policy that distinguishes a particular dynasty and exalts the race. Their fate was to turn into human body parts mixed with animal ones that embody the nature of the Turkish terrorist dealings with the Kurds, who are not classified as Turkish citizens unless they accept the logic of “Compliance and obedience” and live without a clear position in the society in what is similar to the status of “somewhere in between”. They are neither full citizens, nor are they fully independent.
The Turks found themselves in an unfortunate position. On the one hand, there has been evidence that the Turkish Air Force was responsible for this bombing, which claimed the lives of Kurdish youth, who may not even understand the dimensions of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. On the other hand, the claim that the aerial bombardment targeted a group of whom Ankara describes as “terrorists” puts the reputation of the Turkish intelligence on the line and questions the method of collecting and categorizing intelligence information, especially after it was found that the classification and evaluation of the information were wrong and resulted in indiscriminate aerial bombardment that killed dozens of victims without guilt.
Ankara could have dealt with this heinous crime with a sense of patriotism that refutes the allegations that the Turks treat the Kurds with ethnic superiority and consider them of no value in Turkish society, by bringing those involved to justice and holding them accountable according to what is determined by the criminal regulations and laws in Turkey. Instead, Turkish politicians resorted to the Brotherhood’s logic, which states, “We will not hand over our brothers to you”. They tried to evade by concealing the progress of the investigations. They maneuvered by trying to appease the families of the victims with some money but they refused to receive with great reverence.
Roboski massacre left a deep wound on the Kurds, who were sure that the Turkish policy towards them had not changed since they accepted that they would be ruled by elements with no known history or geography. Rather, they suddenly dominated the region and expanded at the expense of the indigenous peoples before they subject them to their mercy by means of intimidation, enticement and containment.
Five years after the Roboski massacre, some Kurdish youth declared their desire to enjoy autonomy within the framework of Turkish sovereignty at the level of the Tire region in the center of Diyarbakir. Perhaps this expression, which may have appeared in haste and without achieving some subjective and objective conditions, but it shows the exaggerated Turkish reaction by imposing a siege on large areas of the city of Diyarbakir. As a result, 368 civilians were killed and more than 24,000 people were displaced in the first month of the three-month siege.
Diyarbakir experienced months of unequal armed confrontations that made the Kurds endure inhumane conditions, especially since Turkey did not open humanitarian corridors to evacuate the wounded, and some Kurdish families were even unable to bury their dead due to the Turkish siege. This fact is confirmed by a testimony given by a Kurdish to Amnesty International, where he described one of the painful scenes of the killing of a relative inside his house during clashes near his house. The family had to wait nearly two weeks with a decomposing corpse in their house before they were allowed to bury it.
The Turkish oppression machine was not satisfied with besieging the residents of Diyarbakir and pushing them into forced migration in an attempt to complete the project to change the demographic structure of the Kurdish areas, but also made attempts to mass murder the residents of the siege areas. This happened by cutting off the water repeatedly, which is confirmed by the testimony of a resident of Silopi. Amnesty International documented this and confirmed that the authorities deprived them of water for a full 20 days.
Roboski massacre and the siege of Diyarbakir definitely confirmed that Erdogan is following the path of his predecessors and does not view the Kurds as an original component of the Turkish state. Rather, he sees in them a political card that he seeks to use whenever necessary, even if it is necessary to buy some Kurdish votes and put pressure on others in order to win over a part of the Kurds who have shown on many occasions that they are not loyal to each other.