Socialist Worker

Kurds killed as Turkey’s clampdown continues

Kurdish people in southern Turkish cities are facing brutal repression by the state, reports Charlie Kimber

Issue No. 2493

Photos of the Turkish offensive, as displayed on a recent Kurdish demonstration in London

Photos of the Turkish offensive, as displayed on a recent Kurdish demonstration in London (Pic: Holt)

Turkish forces launched a further round of assaults last weekend in their bitter war against the country’s Kurdish minority.

People took to the streets in the city of Diyarbakir last Saturday to protest against continuing military occupation and lockdowns that prevent any normal life.

Turkish security forces fired tear gas and water cannon against them.

Several people were later shot dead.

Isis forces also launched an attack on the Kurdish-controlled town of Tell Abyad on Syria’s border with Turkey on Saturday.

Turkish artillery fired on the same area at the same time.

Such incidents underline what the Turkish state has repeatedly stated—that it sees the Kurdish national liberation struggle as a greater threat than Isis.

There is a civil war being fought in the cities and towns of south east Turkey. Over 50 round-the-clock curfews have been imposed by the central government on Kurdish-majority communities—in some places for the last three months.

The government has used tanks, artillery, and helicopter gunships to destroy whole sections of cities and cut off supplies of electricity, water and gas.


Opposition parties and human rights groups have recently said that the attacks have forced 200,000 Kurdish civilians to leave their homes.

According to Faysal Sariyildiz, a local MP for the HDP party, the population of Cizre has fallen from 120,000 to a mere 20,000.

Last week Turkish police arrested Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry while she was visiting Diyarbakir because she dared to record the sound of bombs falling. She was later released.

Turkey is a member of Nato and a key Western ally in the region. It is trusted to make components for the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet.

The British government disgracefully refuses to condemn its ally’s actions.

Instead it has welcomed Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu to London to discuss military cooperation and increased trade.

The US occasionally criticises aspects of Turkey’s murderous actions against the Kurds, but does nothing effective.

Over the last 100 years the Kurds have been betrayed by all the major powers. At various points imperialists have used sections of the Kurdish movement for their own ends—and then dumped them.

At the same time the 30 million Kurds have had their national rights denied in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.

As they manoeuvre for control, the US, Russia, the Syrian regime and even Israel have all claimed to be friends of the Kurds. None of them can be trusted an inch.

The demonstration on Sunday in London against Turkey’s war on the Kurds deserves full support.

National Demonstration, Stop Turkey’s War on the Kurds. Break the silence! Sunday 6 March 2016, 1pm, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA.
March to Trafalgar Square. Go to

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