Facebook in southeastern villages
“The gendarmerie used to raid the village during elections, put pressure on us. They are all past now, sir. They are history. Now, we record it on video and immediately share it on Facebook. If there is a rally in a village, we record it and share it with other villages. This communication era has been good for us, the best. Somebody writes something, we all learn of the incident and we reply. Those in the West can only see the Turkish media; we, here, can see and monitor both the Turkish and Kurdish media. It is our advantage.”
I visited two villages in southeastern city of Diyarbakır last weekend. The narrative above belongs to the people in the village. This shows why they ban social media every now and then. I visit the southeast region regularly. Now, people have a raised level of awareness. They seek their rights; they follow up. They have been “sharpened” so much that Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will tear the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to shreds in the southeast; the rage of the mighty is because of that.
People have full confidence; they say, “Demirtaş is cool and calm; he would not compromise.”
Facebook and Twitter are all around the villages; they symbolize an enormous awakening. It is not possible to be stopped by attacks or aggressive speeches. In their terms, “The election is between us and the AKP.”
Nobody caught for three months
Between Feb. 20 and 23, there were attacks on the HDP offices in Ankara, Kocaeli, Trabzon, İzmir, Erzurum, Kayseri, Eskişehir, İstanbul, Manisa and Adana; in three days and 10 provinces. On April 18, there was an armed attack on the HDP headquarters in Ankara; they continued with racist slogans in Ankara’s Keçiören and Mamak.
On April 24, there was an attack on an HDP election office. Two days later, those participating in the press statement were interrupted by tear gas and batons in Niğde. On April, the attack on the HDP provincial center in Bilecik lasted two hours. Party members were trapped inside. On May 2, there was a new ambush.
On April 25, 28 and 30, in addition to May 4 and 7, HDP flags were burnt and attacks were carried out with stones and sticks in several places of Istanbul.
On May 3, the gendarmerie came to a promotion meeting in Balıkesir; they fined participants 6,000 liras because of loud music. On May 5, there was an attack in Isparta, then another one on May 8. On May 4 and 10, flags were torched at the HDP election office in Osmaniye and an election vehicle was stoned. On May 12, the landlord could not handle the pressure; he locked the building. On May 3, flags were taken down in Mudanya; the election office was stoned.
In Tokat, Kars, Muğla Milas, and Erzincan, the same thing happened: the rally of Selahattin Demirtaş was not allowed because of a Davutoğlu rally the next day. There was an attack in Yalova, a fire in Soma, attacks in Konya Selçuklu, Cihanbeyli and Kulu. HDP members handing out leaflets in Seydişehir were detained. There were attacks on HDP election offices in Siirt, Erzurum, Elazığ, Uşak, Trabzon, Van, Kırşehir, Rize, Aydın, Sivas, Zonguldak, Kayseri, Nevşehir, Fethiye and Kırşehir. A concert was banned on grounds of security in Aksaray. There were attacks in Silifke, Alanya, Bolu and Edirne.
In every place in Turkey, the attacks have been ongoing for three months and, somehow, not even one person has been caught.
Beyond condemning the attacks, Davutoğlu is obliged to explain how come none of the perpetrators have been caught. How he cannot understand that this much of a fighting and insecure environment takes the country into what kind of a danger; how he does not see this is difficult to comprehend.
Votes shift from AKP to HDP
HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş commented on the attacks in a private conversation, saying, “We are taking votes from the AKP. The presidential system is gone; that’s why attacks are increasing. I am trying to calm them down. These attacks, slanders and lies accumulate rage in the people. We will cross the threshold; people will not forget these evils after the election. I am concerned about the settling of accounts.”
Instead of so many attacks, what is reasonable is for the HDP to enter parliament in peace. Anybody who does not only think of himself or herself but of Turkey should explain that to the people. Exactly on the contrary, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Davutoğlu call HDP every name in the book at every opportunity.