When adolescent politics replaces mature politics
The world is talking about what the armed group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has done in the Kurdish town of Kobane in Syria, right across our border.
The humanitarian side of the issue is very grave. In just a few days almost 150,000 Syrian Kurds have crossed into Turkey from villages. They are our relatives, the relatives of our citizens.
For this reason, the ongoing war in Kobane between ISIL and PYD forces, and the extension of PKK in Rojova, are of close interest not only for Syrian Kurds but also for the Kurds of Turkey. Right now, the Kurds in Kobane are going through a life or death war.
The strategic aim of ISIL is to cut the relationship between various Kurds into “cantons,” forcing the Kurds to flee so that the region is depopulated and ethnic cleansing is conducted. They did the same thing a few weeks ago in the Sinjar region of Iraq. Many Yazidis, a small group that has been living in the region for thousands of years, were forced to flee to Turkey.
In the event that Kobane falls, (in other words, if it is ethnically cleansed), then nobody doubts that next will be other centers in Rojova, one by one…
While these grave things are going on right in front of our eyes, the clashes on the Turkish side of the border in Urfa, between various groups and the police and the gendarmerie, have been added.
The primary reason for the clashes on the border is the call of Turkey’s Kurdish political movement of, “Let us go to Kobane; let us save them.” The gendarmerie, while trying to stop those trying to cross into Syria, used teargas and water. Those wanting to cross the border threw stones at the gendarmerie.
The Kurdish political movement that calls out “Let us go and defend Kobane” is a major and important political movement that was able to obtain 4 million votes in the latest presidential elections, and which regularly receives around 2.5 and 3.5 million votes in general and local elections.
I wish this strong political movement - which currently rules substantial number of cities of the country, and which ran a candidate to become the Turkish president - had used its influence not to call the Kurdish youth to war in Syria, but to pressure the government in Ankara to protect our relatives in Syria.
It is questionable how much use a few thousand youth trying to cross the border will be in the war against ISIL, but the silencing of the ISIL artillery and mortars by the Turkish artillery on this side of the border could change the equilibrium in the Kobane war in favor of the Kurds.
The HDP/BDP deputies, instead of throwing stones at the gendarmerie, could have been more useful for the Kurds if they conducted secret negotiations in Ankara to perhaps widen what are called the rules of engagement, at least to have Turkish artillery protect Kobane.
Mature politics does not burn schools
Education in mother tongue is an essential human right and Turkey is denying that right to its own Kurds. All are agreed.
However, we should remember that education in mother tongue is not the only essential human right that Turkey is denying Kurds. We should remember that there is still a long way for us to go in recognizing essential human rights. Here, the name of hope in this long journey is the Kurdish “resolution process.”
Opening a school in Diyarbakır to remind people of the right to education in mother tongue and, when this school is sealed off by the authorities, opting for non-violent civilian resistance… Rather than doing this, can it be considered an act of “mature politics” to burn schools in the country?
Let’s assume that those who are burning schools are others. Shouldn’t a “mature” politician condemn these acts, encourage them to engage in civil resistance instead of violence, try to make their voices heard with non-violent methods until this essential human right is obtained?