Kurdish issue related articles, news etc.
Today’s Zaman: A pro-government journalist has implicitly spoken in favor of extrajudicial killings of Kurds in Turkey’s southeast similar to those that took place in the 90s, but this time at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Journalist Ömer Turan posted a series of tweets on Tuesday night in which he strongly criticized the entry of pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) into Parliament after Sunday’s election, accusing supporters of the party of carrying out murders in the region. He was referring to the killing of the head of a charity close to the Kurdish Islamist Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par) in Diyarbakır earlier in the day.
“The HDP is a terrorist organization disguised as a political party,” Turan claimed, referring to HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş as a “murderer.” “At the moment, they [HDP supporters] are killing Muslims in Diyarbakır. Renault may have halted the production of white Toros cars. But I think Toyota’s pick-up series may well fill its deficiency,” he said.
Turan was referring to extrajudicial killings carried out by the Gendarmerie Intelligence Organization (JİTEM), an illegal network inside the gendarmerie that is believed to have been responsible for thousands of unsolved murders in eastern and southeastern Turkey in the 90s. White Toros — a Renault brand unique to Turkey that is no longer manufactured — cars are notorious in the Southeast, as they were used by the perpetrators of these killings.
The journalist’s statements also made clear reference to ISIL, whose fighters use the Hilux, a pickup truck Toyota has built since the late 1960s, implying that ISIL fighters may be used to kill Kurds.
Hundreds of Kurds fell victim to unsolved murders, but the figures on the exact number of such murders are contradictory. According to a report the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) released 2013, the number of unsolved murders rose drastically in the 1990s. A total of 1,901 unsolved murders were committed just between 1990 and 2011 in Turkey, but Kurdish researchers in the southeast argue that the number of unsolved murders in the country exceeds 20,000.
Analysts believe JİTEM was initially intended to facilitate the military’s fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeast. They say JİTEM was given special powers, a high degree of immunity from accountability and a secret budget. However, unlimited power and little or no supervision eventually turned JİTEM into an instrument to terrorize locals in the predominantly Kurdish region.
Kurds in Turkey took to streets to protest the siege of Kobani, which is on the border between Syria and Turkey, by ISIL late last year after rapid ISIL advances in mid-September. They also protested the Turkish government’s Kobani policy and demanded the government to do more to prevent the town from falling to ISIL, holding mass protests in which at least 35 people were killed.