Turkey: Serious allegations against Erdogan
In the run-up to the elections, the Turkish President is trying to win over voters by attacking Kurds (Press Release)
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) warns about an escalation of violence against Kurds inside and outside of Turkey in the run-up to the elections in the country. “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up his attacks against the Kurds, putting the lives of thousands of civilians at risk. In view of the parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24, he is apparently trying to impress his potential voters with new victories,” criticized the STP’s Middle East correspondent, Kamal Sido, in Göttingen on Tuesday.
Following the illegal military invasion of the Kurdish region of Afrin in northern Syria, the Turkish army has been attacking positions of the banned Kurdish PKK in the border area with Iraq and Iran for days – also using fighter planes and drones. The Turkish army admitted killing six “terrorists” and attacking 16 “terrorist positions”. According to Kurdish sources, however, the Turkish Air Force also attacked peaceful villages.
In Turkey itself, there are more and more attacks against members and offices of the pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP. Erdogan-loyal Islamists and Turkish right-wing extremists destroyed several advertising stalls of the HDP, while the Turkish security forces watched idly. Last week alone, members of the HDP reported assaults like this in Gaziantep, Ceylanpinar, Istanbul, Bursa, Bolu, Antalya, Manisa, Ankara, and Hatay.
The HDP is not just the party of the Kurds in Turkey. It is also the voice of the oppressed, of the women, and of disadvantaged ethnic groups. Thus, the HDP is open to Christian Assyro-Aramaeans, Alevis, Yazidis, and Armenians – to ensure that members of these minority groups can become candidates in the elections. The HDP’s list also includes the politician Yalçin Yanik, who is of African descent. According to many observers, this is absolute novelty in Turkey. Yanik is a candidate in the constituency of Izmir. His ancestors are said to have been slaves to the Ottoman Empire, as workers on the cotton plantations, almost 200 years ago. There are almost 100,000 descendants of these people living in Western Turkey. The subject of slavery is largely taboo in Turkey – and there have been no real attempts to come to terms with the past.
Header Picture: Press Secretary for the President of the Russian Federation via Wikimedia Commons