Saturday, 30 January 2010

1,144 Kurdish Politicians were Arrested in 2009

This post makes use of data appeared in Özgür Gündem which used the data from the Diyarbakır (Amed) branch of the İHD's report on the arrests in Kurdistan. In 2009, a total of 1444 Kurdish politicians were arrested. I went ahead and tabulated the data so we can do some analysis.

Month Detained Arrested
April539 265
May184 67
June 362129
Apr-Dec Total33571142
Grand Total44751444

Let's state some facts now so we can examine the data and draw some meaningful conclusions.

It is usually a trend to have a high number Kurds getting arrested during every February and March. This is because February is the month Mr. Öcalan was kidnapped and brought to Turkey and March is the month Kurds remember Halabca Massacre. 21st of March is Newroz and the reaction of Turkish security forces to Kurds have been violent and oppressive. Countless videos on YouTube shows police beating up defenseless kids and women during Newroz celebrations. So, since we established that the January-March quarter seems to be fitting the old trend and can be considered "normal" by the thugs of the fascist regime. The experience also suggests that after Newroz things usually "calm" down and the arrests/detainments usually slow down until the next cycle. Well, obviously 2009 was different.

What was so different about April-December, the three remaining quarters of 2009? 3357 Kurds active in politics were detained and 1142 of them were arrested in this 9-months period. Well, the Kurdish party Democratic Society Party (DTP) won a major victory in local elections in Kurdistan and the local elections were held on March 29, 2009. Of course, it took sometime for the official results to be announced. Despite all the state (including military and police) support the AK Party had in the region, including giving away washing machines and food in combination with advice from security and state officers about for whom the Kurds should vote, sprinkled with Kurdish votes being stolen and burned here and there, DTP accomplished a major victory in Kurdistan. AKP and the Generals were furious. One of AK Party's major figures, Chicken Little Çiçek, has basically said that "They [Kurds] are now at the gates of Armenia and we have to assess this situation very carefully and act accordingly". This statement was in effect the same with what the Generals said: "We are assessing the outcome of local elections carefully".

So the arrests of Kurdish politicians begun on April 14 and continued. DTP was closed on 11 December 2009 and even some shepherd was banned from participating in politics with the allegation of being a DTP politician.

The arrest wave in December of 2009 was the last major blow by the AK Party government and state to Kurdish politicians so that the AK Party may get some votes in Kurdistan when elections come up in 2011 or should AK Party decides to hold early elections.

Recently Kurdish politicians were lined up and handcuffed. The picture was widely circulated on the Turkish media to make sure Kurds get the message of what can happen to them if they ask for their rights. These politicians have had nothing to do with any kind of violence. What they did was to greet their people in Kurdish at political meetings but their main crime was to speak for Kurds and defend their rights under a legal political party. The arrests of Kurdish politicians have continued in January. I will incorporate that data when I get my hands on it.

I never trusted the AK Party and the state about the so called "Kurdish Initiative" which was later renamed as "Democratic Initiative" and now renamed as "National Unity Initiative". I am sure the AK Party and the state are proud of themselves as they can do all these things to Kurds and still be referred as "an advanced democracy" by their masters.

No comments:

Post a Comment