1st week of November.
A quiet and a peaceful week is never an option for Turkey. It was again an action packed week that we left behind. Let’s have a look.
Things started to get out of hands in Turkey with the developments in last week, and the future looks grim. We would like to keep calm and see the bright side, but it’s hardly possible.
Raid at opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet
The first noteworthy development of the last week was the raid of the biggest opposition newspaper in Turkey, Cumhuriyet, which is known for defending secular and modern values. The newspaper can be easily defined as the biggest opposition to Erdogan regime in Turkish media. And, if you don’t bow, you pay the price. Why not? 18 staff including the chief editor and columnists were detained. Some of them were released, but some were arrested.
The funny accusations brought to the newspaper staff were that they were supportive of PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) and FETO (Fehullah Gulen Terrorist Organization). Sorry, but the accusations are not even funny, as neither the newspapers’ stance nor the columnists’ personal views have nothing to do with PKK or FETO. But, you already know why Cumhuriyet was the target, don’t you? Right. Erdogan doesn’t like people who oppose him. It’s as simple as that. Erdogan roughly controls majority of mass media, but it will never be enough, until he swallows any opposition left in Turkey.
Can Dundar’s house raided
With regards to the raid to Cumhuriyet, the police also raided the house of the former chief editor of Cumhuriyet, Can Dundar. He was Erdogan’s special enemy, after he covered some sensational news regarding the shipment of guns and arms full of tracks on the way to Syria, which was initially denied by the government, as they claimed the cargo was medicine supply. After the video record was released, the government claimed the arms were being shipped to Turkmen group in Syria. However, they were sent to Free Syrian Army to fight against Essad Regime. Dundar was later charged with uncovering state secret and faced trial for life sentence. However, he was released, and Dundar moved to Germany. Oh! Erdogan mentioned him saying, “He will pay a heavy price.” after his coverage was published. He did pay the price for telling the truth.
HDP joint leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag arrested
9 MPs including joint leaders of pro-Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democrat Party) Selahattin Demirtas, also called ‘Kurdish Obama’ and Figen Yuksekdag were arrested last week with regards to counter-terrorism operation. HDP is the 3rd biggest party in the assembly, and they show strong opposition to Erdogan and ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) Firstly it was Cumhuriyet. Then, it is HDP. Is there anything stopping Erdogan? Probably not… The funny part is how Turkey will deal with the Kurdish problem. Back in the days, when PKK used to be more dominant in the region and terrorize the eastern and south eastern region of Turkey, Kurdish people and politicians used to be encouraged to bring their arguments to table under a democratic system, which is the assembly. They did. Afterwards, their party was shut down, and its members were jailed.
They play an important role in the democratization of the country and taking the Kurdish problem to a healthier level. They represent a heavy percentage of Kurdish people in the assembly, although AKP has their Kurdish supporters of Islamic origins, too. However, the question is what to do next? If Kurdish people are involved in politics, they are jailed, and if they join PKK’s ranks, they are labelled as terrorists. While HDP is the official representative of huge amount of people, we really wonder how the next days will shape.
HDP decides to launches parliamentary boycott
Yes. You’ve read it right. After the arrests of 9 MPs, HDP officially announced that they started parliamentary boycott. They will not take part in general assembly sittings and parliamentary commissions, although they didn’t fully withdraw from the parliament. In any way, it’s a huge blow to democracy and something to put a smile on AKP and Erdogan’s face, as the less opposition there is left, the easier it will be to impose and dictate their policies.
Bombing at Diyarbakir
On the same day as HDP MPs detention, a bombing occurred in Diyarbakir. A car bomb aimed the former police station building in Diyarbakir, killing 9 people, including 2 police officers, and wounding more than 100 people. Who is responsible for the attack? Diyarbakir Governership claims it is a PKK member, while ISIS claimed responsibility on their website. In this case, we will go for ISIS, as PKK actually didn’t officially take responsibility for the attack, while ISIS leader Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi was recently claimed to call for attacks on Turkey in an unconfirmed voice recording. As there is no transparency in Turkey, this may take a while to figure out who really are behind this attack. Surely, we will find it out by our own sources.