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Kurdistance: The Hypocrisy of Defending Turkey

As there is an increase of support for both Turkey and Palestine in the wake of the Israeli raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Kurdish bloggers caution against supporting a country whose human rights record leaves much to be desired.

Esra'a blogging for MidEast Youth starts this conversation:

I will first start by revealing that I completely sympathize with the Palestinian struggle for justice and freedom from Israeli oppression. It’s vital for everyone to join forces in exposing Israel’s crimes and systematic abuse. But I refuse to stand by other murderous governments just because they suddenly share this sympathy. Iran and Turkey are everywhere in the Arab media, praised as heroes, with Turkish and Iranian flags held high in almost every flotilla protest. This is disturbing for me, and I’m sure it’s even more disturbing for the millions of individuals who have suffered and continue to suffer under these regimes.

Let us not forget the number of people within Iran and Turkey who are also struggling for justice and human rights, namely ethnic and religious minorities who have been killed, kidnapped, tortured, and oppressed for decades, by the very people who are now being idolized as “peace activists.” Who is the Turkish government referring to when Erdogan says “human rights for all” and “thou shalt not kill?” Who? The gnomes in his garden? Or real people suffering in his name?

Aro from Kurdistan Commentary notes the hyprocrisy in Turkey's support of HAMAS:

Despite all this, what one could call hypocrisy, Turkey maintains its hostile stance towards Israel whilst conveniently ignoring its own domestic issues. They champion one militant group, Hamas, yet deny engaging their own home grown one, the PKK.

Aro continues in pointing out that “while one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter”

Turkey reacts with the charge of “state terrorism” at Israel for boarding a ship and subduing hostile crew members, leaving 9 dead. But what of the continued oppression of the Kurds? The most shocking policy that Turkey has pursued in recent years has been the imprisonment of children under anti-terror laws. Children of 14 and 15 years of age are being imprisoned for throwing stones at Turkish police and chanting slogans in support of the PKK, a crime under Turkish anti-terror laws. Yet Turkey complains about Israel shooting violent activists that support Hamas.

Much anger has been placed on the Middle Eastern community at large for supporting the Turks, from Behar blogging for MidEast Youth:

In the words of MLK, an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere, and as Edmund Burke himself once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” But how good can you be when you’re condemning one criminal act and not another?

I can understand if it’s the hypocritical state of Turkey that’s making these ridiculous claims about justice and human rights, but when citizens—especially Middle Eastern citizens—get all riled up about how heroic Turkey is and don’t even bother to recognize the suffering of their Kurdish brothers and sisters right next door…what does that say about the state of humanity? Has our humanity become so debased that we condemn certain acts of cruelty and oppression and not others? Is it not our duty as human beings to, at the very least, pay lip service to an injustice when we see it occur by condemning it with our tongues and hating it in our hearts even if we cannot physically change it with our hands, as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself once said? If he were alive…if so many other great leaders were alive like Francis of Assisi or even Saladin, I don’t think they’d stand for it one moment longer. I think they’d speak out against all injustices everywhere all the time until change finally arrived for those people.

KB from Kurdistan Commentary notes along a similar line:

Why not use some of that outrage for the way Turkey mistreats the Kurds? Sure, the Gazans are in a desperate situation and what happened to the flotilla is atrocious. But why aren’t you sending aid to the Kurds? That is also ‘inhumane.’

1 comment

  • As I’ve asked Aro on his blog, we must separate what’s siply Zionist propaganda (the Hamas connection with the flotilla) and what’s the truth (That Turkey played and outstanding role here, but cannot be praised as human rights defender):

    “Just tell me WHERE, aside the biased Israeli media or maybe FoxNews, have you read or listened or whatever, that the human right activists (for instance a brazilian film-maker and many european left MP’s) support Hamas or were even connected to Hamas? That simply destroys your argument.

    I believe that supporting Turkey’s role on this matter is different from agreeing with it’s internal policy. Turkey is no saint, the country makes Kurdish lifes a living hell and must be absolutely repudiated, but it’s impossible to deny that Turkkey had a major role on the Israeli action that was simpy the continuity of the ongoing genocide in Palestine.

    And, again, the Hamas thing is just Zionist propaganda.”

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