English parliament should lend an ear to the HDP’s Altan Tan

Published 25.11.2014 01:43

People's Democratic Party (HDP) Mersin deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü, attended a meeting held at the English parliament in London last week. A speech he made there as a Turkish parliamentarian was of course notable. Turkey is in a critical process of introducing a reconciliation process that would mark not only Turkey's, but also the world's history. At a critical phase of the negotiations with the PKK, the demonstrations for Kobani broke out on Oct. 6-7 and 40 people lost their lives as a result of the incidents. Normally, the process would have collapsed under such conditions. But fortunately, that did not happen. A state of war was prevented, the parties kept their temper under control and currently, the optimistic expectations from the process have increased. All these developments took place in a matter of weeks. But I would like to make a few objections to Kürkçü's speech in the English parliament. I first want to underline the sections I object to.

"Upon President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan's inclination for the fall of the city and the ineffective air operations, thousands of people took to the streets in Turkey. The reply of the Turkish government to those demonstrations was fatal. At least 40 citizens of Kurdish origin lost their lives. A considerable part of them were killed by security forces. And about 10 citizens were killed in the incidents between ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham] supporters and PKK supporters and some were killed by lynching." "Kurds in Turkey do not maintain a peace process without peace in any place where Kurds live." Kürkçü's subjective remarks naturally caused a stir in media. He tried to verify his points by sharing two pieces of news on social media. However, if you objectively read one of the news stories he shared, an edited story on the Hürriyet daily, you can clearly see that Kürkçü's points are not supported.

"About 10 citizens were killed in the incidents between ISIS supporters and PKK supporters and some were killed by lynching," Kürkçü said. This is really strange. The ones he called ISIS supporters are actually Free Cause Party (HÜDA PAR) members. And HÜDA PAR is threatened by ISIS. It is not possible to understand how Kürkçü declared the deceased citizens as ISIS supporters and on which ground he based his claims. But more gravely, he said it was a reciprocal clash and he concealed who the lynched were. Only in Diyarbakır, four young people taking shelter in a building were taken out and shot by PKK supporters. Some of them were thrown from rooftops, run over by cars and set on fire. A building belonging to the Kocakovacık Village Cultural, Assistance and Solidarity Association (Köy-Der), an association known to have ties to HÜDA PAR, was set ablaze and three HÜDA PAR members who fled the building were shot.

By the way, this information is from the link Kürkçü drew his information from. However, as one looks at Kürkçü's presentation, one might infer that all of the people killed were HDP and PKK supporters and these murders were performed upon the government's order. Also, some critical points remained ambiguous by making some round-offs. Of course, there are HDP and PKK supporters among those who were killed. They are required to be investigated and those responsible must be brought to justice. However, it is unprincipled to try to conceal the HDP's responsibility by breaking up a whole, as the HDP, who called people to protest in the streets, started the incidents with a call on Oct. 6.

The HDP knows better than anyone what might happen when such a call is made to the public in the region. Meanwhile, another HDP member, Altan Tan, was self-critical after the incidents. "While calling our supporters to take to the streets, we should have thought about its consequences. Could it remain in democratic limits? Can we manage to control it? We should have thought that out. We should have used a language and tone that could prevent violence while calling people to the streets. Also, we could have done something when the incident went off the rails. According to what I know, first the demonstrators attacked HÜDA PAR and the institutions having close ties with HÜDA PAR. Three members of HÜDA PAR were killed in their place and their corpses were thrown into the street. After that, they returned the attacks with weapons." I guess the English parliament should also lend an ear to Altan Tan.

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