Toward a Kurdish version of ‘Animal Farm’?

Toward a Kurdish version of ‘Animal Farm’?

The latest crime of the PKK, the armed and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a terrorist group by most international definitions, is also unprecedented: They kidnapped a member of Turkish Parliament, namely Hüseyin Aygün, deputy from the eastern province of Tunceli. 

What is even more significant is the political line of the hostage: Mr. Aygün is a Kurd himself, and a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party. He has been a vocal critic of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government, and its policies on the Kurdish and Alevi minorities. (Mr. Aygün is himself an Alevi, too, as are most people from Tunceli, an exceptionally Alevi, Kurdish, leftist and rebellious area.)

So, normally Aygün would not be a political figure that the PKK, a group that claims to fight for Kurdish rights, would find disturbing. But, well, the PKK also claims to be the only legitimate representative of Turkey’s Kurds, and threatens any “traitor” who defies this totalitarian vision.

Therefore, the kidnapping of Aygün had actually a very clear rationale: The vocal MP had recently been criticizing the PKK for its continuing commitment to violence. Earlier this year he openly said to a daily:
“The organization [PKK] has not abandoned its arms and keeps on shedding blood. Even if there is a leftist government [in Turkey], it cannot preserve its will for peace while armed organization members in the mountains continue their attacks. The fact that the organization stops violence for three to five months and then escalates it again makes even me confused about this problem. Even I think that this is a tactic and an insincere one.”

Aygün had also pointed out that the PKK targeted not just soldiers but also civilians – which makes it undoubtedly a terrorist organization. “The organization has executed five people in Dersim,” he said, adding that his political campaign in Dersim (Tunceli) had been carried out “under the threat of PKK terrorism.”

No wonder that when Aygün was declared the winner of elections in June 2011, a pro-PKK group raided the CHP election bureau in Tunceli, angry about the defeat of the candidate from the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party), or the political wing of the PKK. 

Such things keep happening, for the PKK does not allow any other political movement to find ground among Turkey’s Kurds. So far, their main target has been the AKP, for this party gets at least half of the Kurdish vote in the southeast, which the PKK envisions as its future “free Kurdistan.” (Over the years, many AKP election bureaus in Kurdish areas have been attacked, and various AKP members have been killed or kidnapped.) 

But now, even a CHP member proves to be prey to the PKK. It is expected that the PKK will release Aygün after several days of interrogation, but this is enough to see the way the PKK carries out its “politics.” 

At the end of the day, the PKK proves to be a lethal threat not only to Turkey’s peace but also to Kurds’ freedom. For the “freedom” that the PKK seeks is only the “freedom of the Kurdish people” from foreign yoke. And since the “Kurdish people” are supposedly represented by the PKK, any Kurd who deviates from the party line becomes the “enemy of the people,” and deserves to be threatened, tortured and even executed.

I think that more Kurds should read George Orwell’s 1945 classic, “Animal Farm” – a novel that wonderfully portrayed how socialist “liberators” can prove worse than the “fascist” masters that they “saved” their people from. For if the PKK succeeds in its vision, that is what its “free Kurdistan” will probably look like.