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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Turkey's war against the Kurds

During Turkey's elections on June 7, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) won a great victory by securing 13% of the vote, which allowed its candidates to occupy 80 seats in the 550-seat parliament of Turkey -- not all of them are Kurdish, some are Turkish or of other ethnic groups. In any normal country, this would be welcomed by state authorities as a potential way to resolve a huge national issue in a non-violent manner for the benefit of both peoples, Kurds and Turks.

Sadly, Turkey does not seem to be about to do so. The recent incidents in which Ferhat Encu, a Kurdish deputy from the HDP, was threatened, insulted and beaten by Turkish soldiers in the Kurdish village of Roboski (Uludere) in the Kurdish-majority province of Sirnak are another manifestation of that. (Video of the incident: here and here, and here.)

For four months, the Turkish army has blockaded the plateaus in Roboski and banned the villagers from going to those places, Ferhat Encu told Gatestone Institute.

Heavy military reinforcements have also been sent to the village, which borders Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government, and this has created tension in the village, said Encu.

In 2011, Turkey's air force killed 34 innocent civilians, including 17 children, in an airstrike on Roboski. Ferhat Encu lost 11 relatives in the massacre, including his brother Serhat Encu.

Between the 2011 massacre and his election to parliament in June 2015, Ferhat Encu had been detained by the police six times under various pretexts...

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