In the villages neighboring Iraq and Syria main occupation is smuggling goods from those countries since the taxes and prices in Turkey on main commodities are very high. Also high level of unemployment in Turkey’s Kurdistan region plays an important role in this mode of living. Separatist PKK has also been accused of smuggling operations as well as the Turkish Security Forces themselves.
The events were hidden from mass media until this morning until after Turkish Military press release which mostly blamed the deceased claiming that the area should be unmanned and any action could be mistaken as PKK guerrilla activity.
As of this afternoon, the state officials are still silent or in denial that the murdered were civilians. The murdered are accused of being smugglers in state statements. In a country where only half of the taxes due could be collected by the government, who is a smuggler and who is a decent citizen could be a long debate. Turkey is also known as a stronghold of state sponsored crime and trafficking of illegal commodities.
In the same time Western press is coming up with dual headlines featuring the attack on Kurdish civilians and the silence of Turkish media until they are only allowed to write what the government orders them to say.
Yesterday’s events are in rapport with the developments of last week when French Parliament accepted a bill which outlaws denial of Armenian Genocide in France. Turkish official rhetoric was always in denial of killings of the Armenian population in 1915. Officials belittled their counterparts defending freedom of speech against French legislative more or less. But their common denominator was denial of any wrongdoings against any minorities past or present by Turkey or its predecessors.
Turkey, while championing democracy and human rights in its relations with Arab states in the region, acts like a dictatorship to its own citizens, might they be journalists, academicians, minorities or dissidents.
Yesterday’s massacre shows once more that state mechanism in Turkey is a fierce inhumane machine that crush all opposition and diversity. Turkey needs close monitoring and checks and balances on its compliance to modern values of civilization in the back garden of Europe.
Photos courtesy of RojTv (FNA) and Efkan Bolaç (@efkanbolac)
Pro-Kurdish BDP supporters have gathered at Taksim Square in Istanbul on 16:00 hours to protest yesterday’s killings. The police teams attacked the protesters with teargas and clashed with dispersing crowds.