Sonntag, 13. September 2015

The shadow of Turkish civil war falls over Germany on a bloody Saturday

Graphic by the activist "Thoreau Redcrow", who compares the situation in Turkey with Nazi-Germany

Turkey is on the edge of a civil war.
All over the country violent lynch mobs supported by the police, chanting slogans like "We need to transform these areas into Armenian and Kurdish cemeteries", "We don't want arrests, we want massacres" and asking the government to resolve the "Kurdish problem" in a "traditional Turkish way", filled the streets, burned Kurdish shops and restaurants and beat up pedestrians for talking Kurdish on the phone.
The mobs consisted of members of the right-wing radical Grey Wolves as well as of the pro-government militia Ottoman Squads (Osmanlı Ocakları).
Under the pretext of fighting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Turkey besieged the city of Cizre and killed at least 20 civilians, among them also six children. Although the eight day lasting siege ended on Saturday, 12 September 2015, it must be called a shame that the international community did not act. With the exception of the German Green Party and the European Council, almost no important politician commented on what is going on.
The situation was similar to Kosovo in 1999 and a massacre was in the air.
Even worse that the German minister of foreign affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, advocating for a two-state solution in the Middle East conflict and once a close confidante of the former chancellor Schroeder, who played a pioneering role in the recognition of Kosovo's independence, did not even retract his statement dating from the middle of August 2015, when he expressed his support for Turkey's military strikes against Kurdes and spoke out against Kurdish self-determination (Source: RUDAW: German FM: independent Kurdistan would destabilize region ).
There were already signs of Steinmeiers' double moral standard in April 2015, when he tried to play off the Jewish and Armenian community against each other, in order to avoid the parliament from recognizing the Armenian genocide, although Dr. Josef Schuster, chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany publicly took side for the recognition.

Turkish civil war reached Germany and Switzerland on weekend

Almost unnoticed, Saturday, 12 September is a memorable day in German history. Never before, a conflict between immigrant groups did reach such a violent level.
In several cities such as Mannheim, Berlin, Hannover and the capital of Switzerland, there have been attacks by Turkish nationalists against Kurdish institutions and demonstrators.
A Kurd was stabbed in the neck in Hannover by Turkish fascists. He was in critical condition, while a fascist was arrested by the police. Fortunately his condition stabilized. The linked picture shows the victim in hospital:

In Bern (Switzerland) another Turkish right-wing radical carried out an attack on a group of Kurds with his car, injuring several people. His car was found. (Video:

In Berlin about 60 Turkish right-wing radicals carrying party flags of the MHP and AKP, gathered at the underground station "Kottbuser Tor" to hunt people, that they consider to be unpleasant. Soon they received support and reinforcing by several like-minded participants of an anti-PKK demonstration taking place at the "Hermannsplatz". The overburdened police could not stop them starting a manhunt on Kurds in the heart of Kreuzberg, a quarter that was once a left-wing stronghold, but today is rather a Mecca for the partying scene. (Source: Lower Class Magazine: „Sie wollen Kurden töten“)

Bad conscience or just ingnorant indifference: German politicians remain silent

Given the violent incidents, one can hardly understand the German politicians not even breathing a word about it. The reasons behind this can only be guessed, but it seems in all probability that their silence is related to a 30 years continuing history of cooperation between German policy and imported and supported Turkish extremism.

When the first Turkish guest worker came to Germany in the 1970s, many of them were Kurds or belonged to Turkish leftist movements. Fearing that they could join German leftist or even communist movements, a fatal decision was drawn in 1978. Franz-Josef Strauss, an influencial Bavarian right-wing politician and former German minister of defence, met Alparslan Türkeş, an avowed admirer of Adolf Hitler, and founder of the Turkish nationalist party MHP and coordinator of their paramilitary organisation, the Grey Wolves. Strauss and Türkeş agreed upon founding and building up wide-scale organizational structures for the Grey Wolves all over Germany in order to neutralize and fight communist movements.
Strauss promised Türkeş to guarantee a save haven for his organization and its' members in Germany. With help and support of the German secret service (BND), represented by Dr Kannapin, they were made able to establish their network and spread their racist ideas against first and foremost Kurds, Jews, Armenians but also many other non-Turkic people.
(Historian Nikolaus Brauns quotes on how the Grey Wolves came to Germany)
At the end of April 2015, they held a demonstration of power with more than 10.000 participants in the city of Oberhausen. During the event, discriminating speeches about Turkey's ethnic and religious minorites were held. Despite protests of especially the Kurdish and Armenian community local politicians did not even comment on the event, e.g. the major preferred to take action against 16 members of the anti-islam movement "Pro-NRW" protesting at the same time in Oberhausen.
But it is not "only" the Grey Wolves spreading discriminating attitudes against especially Kurds, Jews and Armenians in Germany. There are furthermore organisations like Millî Görüş or the DITIB, which directly from the Turkish Ministry for Islamic Affairs depends financially, ideologically and even in personnel matters.
Although they are criticized for anti-Armenian activities, such as in June 2014 when they organised a freebie bustour for theirs members to the Dutch city of Almelo to demonstrate against an Armenian genocide memorial (Julian Tumasewitsch: Kaffeefahrt zur Störung der Totenruhe........Mit UETD- und Diyanet Tours unterwegs in den Niederlanden), anti-Jewish activities, like conspicuously not supporting political initiatives against antisemitism support by Jewish, Christian and Alevi organisations, e.g. at the end of June in Stuttgart (Ralf Balke für die Jüdische Allgemeine: Tatort Schulhof-Lehrer sehen bei Judenhass häufig weg, jüdische Schüler werden alleingelassen), and their efforts to assimilate members of the Alevi community to Sunni Islam.
Being aware about this kind of conveying racial and ethnic tensions, Austria forbid foreign sponsorship to Islamic organisations in spring 2015, while German politicians keep on presenting these Ankara depending federations as partners in matters of integration and fighting religious extremism.
In the middle of August 2015, Germany's social democratic Minister for Family Affairs, Manuela Schwesig, media effectively presented a project against the radicalization of young Muslims. The partner she chose is the DITIB controlled Şehitlik (Turkish word for martyr) mosque in Berlin. However, Schwesig did not give a satisfactory answer, how a mosque community that houses and worships the graves of Cemal Azmi and Baheddin Cakir (Marcel Leubecher für Die Welt: Ehrengräber für Völkermörder an Berliner Moschee), two main architects of the genocide against the non-Muslim minorities of the Ottoman Empire (Armenians, Syriacs, Pontic Greeks and Kurds of Yazidi believe), can seriously help to prevent Islamic extremism.
Furthermore, in November 2014, the Berlin Şehitlik mosque community rejected an invitation by the homosexual initiative "meet2respect" againstt homophobia(Micha Schulze auf Şehitlik-Moschee sagt Treffen mit Lesben und Schwulen ab).

German politcians seem to remain completely indifferent about the mentionned unions and federations manifestly fuelling ethnic tensions and homophobia.
On Saturday, 12 September 2015, their bad ideological influence reached a further level of escalation and peaceful Kurdish demonstrators and antifascists paid the price.

* Alevis are a religious community in Turkey with about 15 million believers, consisting of a ethnically Kurdish majority, but a large number of Turkish Alevis as well. In the past, they were largely persecuted and in todays' Turkey, they are still not legally equal to Sunni Muslims. In Germany, they are about 500.000. About the half of them consider their religion to be part of Shia Islam, the other half interprets Alevism as an independent zoroastrianism-like religion.

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