Socialist Worker

Cops attack Kurdish protest after Isis slaughter in Turkey

Latest Isis atrocity sees Kurdish groups look to old enemies for support—with deadly consequences, warns Ken Olende

Issue No. 2463

A still taken from a video shot at the moment of the detonation in Suruc

A still taken from a video shot at the moment of the detonation in Suruc

At least 32 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked Kurdish volunteers in the largely Kurdish town of Suruc in eastern Turkey on Monday of this week.

Around 100 others were injured.

The town is about six miles from Kobane, just across the Syrian border, where Isis has been fighting Kurdish forces. 

Isis is believed to have carried out the attack. 

The victims were among 300 supporters of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations meeting at a cultural centre. The organisation was sending volunteers to help rebuild Kobane, much of which was flattened by 700 US-led air strikes as Isis was driven out.

The bomb went off during a press conference as people held up a banner saying “We defended it together, we are rebuilding it together”.

Thousands demonstrated over the attack in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, on Monday evening. Demonstrators saw the attack as a symptom of how the government has done little to challenge Isis. 


Kurdish groups rightly argue that the Turkish government is cynically using them as a buffer against Isis. 

The Turkish government has been fighting a war against Kurdish independence for decades and is happy to see Kurds killed by Isis.

Demonstrators shouted slogans attacking the Turkish president, including, “Erdogan is a killer”. Police attacked them with tear gas and water cannon.

A statement from the pro-Kurdish HDP party, said that the government has a “big responsibility for encouraging Isis and rising civil casualties in Syria, Iraq and Turkey as well.” 

Isis forces looked set to take the largely Kurdish city of Kobane in September last year. 

Many Kurds see an alliance with the US as the only way forward. But the US is the world’s foremost imperial power. Neither it nor Turkey are reliable allies.

The US will only offer support to the Kurds as long as their forces go along with its interests—and these do not include an independent Kurdistan.

In June US secretary of defence Ashton Carter wrote that the US would not send arms directly to Kurdish groups, as this “fuels false narratives in Iraq and elsewhere in the region that the United States intends to partition the country”.

The autonomous Kurdish region in the north of Iraq is now tied to the coat-tails of the US. It has hired lobbying organisations in the US to reverse this policy and get them US weapons.

Kurds will only get national freedom by allying with revolutionary forces in the region—not with the interests of the greater or smaller imperialist powers.

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