11/07/2016, 12.49
TURKEY
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"Sultan" Erdogan threatens to drag Turkey into a civil war

High tension after the arrest of the leaders of the Kurdish opposition party. An Armenian deputy cancels a trip to France to follow the evolution of the situation. Warnings of a "coup" against "rights and pluralism". The anti-Kurdish policies of the President and the similarities with the phase that preceded the genocide in 1915. From prison Demirtas speaks of "illegal detention".

 

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - Refuting the news circulated in the West about the travel ban imposed by the Turkish authorities, the Armenian deputy Garo Paylan, elected among the ranks of the pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP, said he decided to cancel his journey in France.

He was supposed to travel to Marseille, to give a lecture and meet personalities and citizens of Armenian and Kurdish diaspora. However, Paylan (pictured) preferred not to leave Turkey in a delicate and difficult period of its history. At the same time, he strongly denied the rumor mill of an alleged travel ban imposed by Ankara.

The arrival of Paylan was very well anticipated by the local and international press in France, to gather first-hand information about the growing restriction of individual freedom and freedom of thought in place in Turkey. A crackdown imposed by President turkish Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the aftermath of the failed coup in mid-July, laid at the feet of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who has always denied any wrongdoing.

Contacted by AFP, the Armenian deupty denounced the "coup" in place in Turkey "against pluralism, diversity and equal rights." Erdogan and his followers, added Paylan, want "one nation, one ideology, one religion and one identity."

In recent days the news of the arrest of the co-presidents of the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdag, along with a dozen other members of the same parliamentary group had already raised profound indignation. The mode of arrest in the dead of night and great secrecy also sparked concern, closely resembling the practices carried out by the Ve Terakki Ittihad (Union and Progress) party of the Young Turks in 1915. During the night of April 23 and 25 of that year the entire intelligentsia of the Armenian nation was arrested, the leaders of the community eliminated and the doors opened for the extermination of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire.

This is the thought circulating among Kurdish parliamentary leaders, who had chosen to counter the PKK by becoming part of the institutions and to fight for equal rights within them, abandoning their weapons. The Armenians also were not asking for anything other than equality with Muslims citizens, as well as the recognition of the language and free practice of religion.

101 years have passed since then but the party of the Young Turks, the blind nationalism, seems reborn in Erdoğan's deeds and in speeches. Words that have brought back memories of the ghost that led the country to the First World War and caused the empire itself to crumble. A thirsty movement of expansion, the desire to unite all Turks from the Bosphorus to China into a single empire.

Many wonder what there is of the Young Turks in the current head of state, in his neo-Ottoman territorial claims with dreams of Aleppo, Raqqa, Idlib and the entire Jezira in Syria; and again Mosul and Kirkuk in Iraq, what remains of Armenia, the Greek islands and Cyprus.

Meanwhile information is emerging on the hearing for Selahattin Demirtaş, HDP leader and secretary, also popular with different non Kurdish components in Turkey. In the court, he said he did not want to answer the charges, but to make a statement. He recalled he was "a member of Parliament" and for this should benefit from "legislative immunity" not for himself, but "the masses" who elected him. "There is nothing - said the Kurdish leader - I cannot answer. But I will never bow nor submit to the judges and prosecutors who are at the mercy of power, while the dignity of the judiciary in our country is violated ". I do not mean to be "a puppet," he continued, "in this judicial masquerade fabricated at Erdoğan’s orders".

"I do not think - said Demirtaş, addressing the judges - that an educated just and legitimate judiciary can see that my detention here is illegal."

The repression launched by Ankara against university rectors, journalists, judges, opposition politicians, deputies, academicians, men of art and entertainment, is also the subject of criticism of Turkey’s allies.

Many denounce the decline into dictatorship and the personality cult under way in Turkey, perpetrated under the pretext of fighting the coup leaders and with the aim of changing the Constitution and transforming the state into a presidential Republic. From Ataturk, Erdogan has learned to play the card of the rivalry and the promise of alliance between "enemies" as in the past with the British and the Bolsheviks of Lenin. An action that threatens to drag the country into a bloody and long civil war with the Kurds, disappointed by the failure to obtain justice and rights by peaceful means. (PB)

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