The views expressed in this op-ed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SyriacPress.
By Suphi Aksoy
The current campaign of intimidation and hate by the ruling powers in Turkey contradicts today’s reality. The methods used against the various ethnic, religious, sectarian, and democratic opposition movements have shocked everyone. They elicit great reaction and criticism. The Turkish government is experiencing severe exclusion and isolation both at home and abroad.
Tensions are mounting and as this tense atmosphere gets more and more on everybody’s nerves, the constitution, civil liberties, and human rights are put aside. The atmosphere has turned into bullying, name calling, and shouting of slogans that reflect the prevailing fascist mentality. Opposition parties are tossed about by the government and bombarded with a wide variety of threats, accusations, and blackmail. Alliances are shaking.
The People’s Alliance between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the National Movement Party (MHP) has declared itself the owner of the state and of all its institutions. Even the Republican’s People Party (CHP), which has always taken pride in being the founder of the Turkish Republic, began to doubt itself and question whether it was a terrorist organization. When even established political parties experience this pressure, it is not difficult to imagine the extent and scope of intimidation and oppression in Turkey under the AKP and MHP.
Every day, the opposition parties in the National Alliance are being accused of malice, heedlessness, and betrayal. While these guardians of the political order and the Republic are being humiliated and accused, it should be remembered that the real targets of the accusations are the parties and institutions that represent democratic values and aim for the people to stand up and give the country back to the people. It has become clear that all effort is made to shape a uniform society by arresting, dismissing, and by publicly lynching intellectuals, journalists, artists, and all free opinion leaders who are the conscience of Turkish society.
Criticism from abroad on the crackdown of the press, is driving the ruling powers to silence more human rights claims inside the country. It is the working people, women, and democratic structures who pay the heavy price of every external conflict and criticism from Europe, the United States directed at the Turkish government. The institutions that pay the highest price are those advocating liberties, acceptance of cultural and ethnic differences, and Turkey’s democratization.
To remain in power, the ruling parties block democratic development. They create crises to try to stop the time and curb social development. The judiciary is directed to take favorable decisions. Majestic fake projects are produced and put on the market. Turkey chose the politics of liquidation: to neutralize every democratic attempt, silence every voice for the oppressed to raise themselves, mute every call for a multi-ethnic society, i.e., to purge itself from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). The number of formal legal accusations against HDP MPs increases by the day, elected party leaders and employees are detained and many of them arrested on vague charges.
Every day, before the eyes of the whole world, dozens of people fall victim to theae Turkish politics of liquidation and repression because of their thoughts and identities. However, no matter how violent and destructive the repression may be, no one who believes in democracy, human rights, justice, and freedom can stop speaking out and defend the truth. Through its program and adherence to multi-identity, a line that the HDP has represented and widely adhered to in the past and present, the HDP has shown itself to be a vital actor in the long-awaited democratization of the Middle East.
And although the democratic forces in Turkey and the Middle East, continue to pay a heavy price for their common struggle against all the status quo dictators and their structures that poison society with an anachronistic mindset, the barricades in front of them will eventually be destroyed, one by one, and democracy will prevail. And with the development of democracy in the Middle East, the threat on the peoples in danger of extinction will be lifted. Then, by representing themselves, these peoples will take the ground to develop a culture of solidarity.
Syriacs, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, and other threatened peoples on the brink of annihilation depend for their survival on this common democratic struggle. The struggle for justice, constitutional rights, and civil liberties should therefore be increased everywhere against the anti-democratic practices of repressive regimes. Submission to dirty tricks, foul games, small meaningless interests, and bowing to oppressions and threats that dishonor the people will cause the criminals to increase their attacks even more.
Turkey’s question of freedom and democracy has become a common identity question for all ethnic and religious communities. Except for a handful of profiteers and usurers, everyone feels restless now and the future of young people and children has become uncertain. Justice was handed over to the mafia, and profitable tenders were given to gangs. Since the HDP is the only party that keeps the course of democratic opposition, and distorts the calculations by the ruling powers of winning the next elections, all defamation and attacks were concentrated on the liquidation of the HDP. If the Peoples’ Democratic Party is able to continue its multi-vocal and multi-color political course, it will receive much public support and sympathy in Turkey, the Middle East, and from the international community. Then peace and tranquility will come.
Disclaimer: translated from the original Turkish as published by Gazete Sabro.