First anniversary of the Roboski Massacre and the crisis of the Kurdish political ratio
On 28 December 2011, Turkish Military Forces (TSK) used F16's, killing 34 Kurdish villagers from Roboski, including 17 minors and 28 from the same family. Roboski village is linked to Qilaban (in Turkish: Uludere), in the district of Shirnak, close to the southern Kurdistan border. Although a year has passed, there is still an order of secrecy over the file of the Roboski investigation.
Turkish state authorities had claimed that the road was bombed because it was known as the Kurdistan Workers Party's (PKK) transit road, and frequently used by its fighters. According to the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) high-level officers, it was an "operational accident" and an "intelligence failure." However, Kurdish public opinion does not think that this bloody event was a mistake or an accident. The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)replied harshly to Turkish officer's statements and claimed that this was an intentional mass murder. Besides, Ahmet Turk, a prominent figure in Kurdish politics, had called the incident "genocide."
On 28 December 2012, thousands of people, including deputies from the Peace and Democracy Party, the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for the Oppressed (MAZLUM-DER), Dersim Associations' Federation and Peace Parliament, assembled in Roboski village, commemorating the death of the 34 Kurdish civilians.
On December 15th, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that while it is required to pay compensation for 20.000 TL to the families of those killed, they paid 100.000 TL. However, the mayor of Qilaban (Uludere), the county of Shirnak, FehmiYaman, stated that the families did not want compensation after the Roboski massacre. He said "they only want people responsible for this massacre to be brought to justice. There isn't any change in the demand of families, but agencies of this event have not been judged yet."
There isn't any development about the Roboski massacre on the Turkish side. The event is still regarded as an "operational fault." Furthermore, Turkish state authorities have expressed their discomfort about the big place for this event in the country's agenda. PM Erdogan comes at the top of the list and has received the most reaction from all segments of Kurdish society with his statements he has made whenever the matter is opened.
On Friday, the Prime Minister stated that the investigations on the Roboski massacre as well as on Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) still haven't been completed. "I watched the images provided by Turkish drones, the region [Roboski] is an area of terrorist activity. There might be a fault. We declared the fault, the apologies and the compensation. It's impossible to determine these people one by one. Security forces consulted relevant authorities and did what was necessary. Mistakes can always happen," he stated. He also said that some people abuse this event and continued, "Some are stating that all people who died there were civilians and therefore want us to apologize. But we first need to see the judiciary ruling to make it definite that all those died were civilians."
In short there is no change in the Turkish stance; they have maintained the same stance for a year. So, as for the Kurds, on the other hand, what is happening on their side?
A petition campaign has been launched which claims that those responsible for the Roboski massacre should be put on trial and the government should officially apologize. Kurdish political and intellectual cadres do not consider the Roboski event as an "operational mistake." Every single day, they openly accuse Turkish government of being the "instigator." Moreover, Kurdish politicians and intellectuals restrict themselves to solely "find and punish the offenders."
There is no doubt that such a restricted understanding of political opposition causes a handicap as seeking the justice from the offenders.
Principally, the Turkish Sovereignty System does not build a relation with Kurds taking the opposition as the basis. Since before now, Turkish State has continued its existence by applying different law systems in Turkish lands and Kurdistan, running the risk of the deep gap between its existence and law and accordingly deploying its lawyers, police force and army in Kurdistan within this "non-compliance." For sure this non-compliance refers to an ordinary act of the Turkish law implemented across Kurdistan.
In other words, the main non-compliance is the existence of the Turkish State in Kurdistan. However, Kurdish political and intellectual circles have not managed to analyze this non-compliance adequately and called it only a law irregularity, a mistake or unlawfulness. The noncompliance, in its very nature, does not stem from unlawfulness but a private law system implemented in Kurdistan. Therefore, we could infer that the Kurdish political and intellectual figures are developing alienation to the preconditions of the Turkish State's existence in Kurdistan and the truth of Kurds' nation-country by naming the Roboski massacre as lawlessness and seeking justice and mercy from the Turkish State. It is beyond doubt that this alienation is the one of the most fundamental reasons why Kurds in northern Kurdistan do not possess any status in their own native country.
It should not be forgotten that the Turkish State's political ratio does not deem it a problem that Turks have built a great military and bureaucratic existence in Kurdistan, set fire on Kurdish villages and applied other oppressive and cruel methods. On the contrary, it describes such applications as what should be done. Furthermore, it does not care the Kurdish opposition discourse (that all the happenings in Kurdistan refer to "unlawfulness").
Besides, all these applications have been done within the framework of state policy. So the next ones will only be due the fact that it is the unique way for Turkish state to preserve its sovereignty in Kurdistan. In other words, what Turkish state is doing for the time being and will continue to in the future cannot be reduced to dichotomies such as right-wrong, fair-unfair, democratic- antidemocratic, Muslim-Kafir or oppressive-oppressed. It cannot be limited to these dichotomies relationships, and it is rather the main and unique condition for the Turkish Sovereignty System in order to continue its existence in the North of Kurdistan. Actually, Turkish sovereignty has been settled in Kurdistan by means of this noncompliance.
This situation, the inconsistency, in fact, requires some explanation: the Turkish state is in a state of non-compliance with its own laws regarding any step it takes about Kurdistan and this noncompliance is ontologically a must. The reason is that the Turks prevail in territories which do not really belong to them, and the desire for keeping their sovereignty over these territories results in fulfilling the requirements of its ontological necessity.
However, the opposition circles in Turkey, especially leftist opposition ones, prefer referring to them as unlawful. The intellectuals in these parties have extremely manipulative and confusing effects on the politicians and intellectuals of northern Kurdistan. Despite the blood incompatibility between the Kurdish and Turkish people, the Kurdish mind, being politically and intellectually fed by the minds of the intellectuals from the Turkish opposition circles, is in a great trouble. Yet, it is the Turkish law that causes this non-compliance. In brief, this noncompliance is not unlawful but the representation of private rules in action. Roboski is not the final one of this system nor will it ever be.
Roboski is not only the story of 34 massacred Kurdish people, indeed, it is one of the massacres relating to the partition of Kurdistan among the four states of the Middle East. If we see this massacre, which was experienced last year, from a different point of view, Roboski becomes rhetoric of victimhood which is consumed daily in Kurdish politics, and we begin throwing ourselves at the feet of the Turkish legal system. People of Roboski whose heads broke into pieces by Turkish war craft, depict Kurdistan, which has been broken into pieces.
The Turkish government is indeed aware of the aforementioned non-compliance, and yet still in action and so will it be in the future. It is highly important that the true nature of the issue will be disregarded if the issue is brought up with some means or the above mentioned noncompliance. Whatever is done regarding the issue is the announcement of what is already known. The highest position this statement offers the Kurdish people is to be the opposition party in the Turkish Sovereignty System. The position opposition which, recently the PKK/BDP have taken over is the following: keeping their position in the margins that the Turkish Sovereignty System offers as appropriate and thus surviving by obeying the rules of the Turkish State.
Victims' famililies try to recognize remains of Uludere Roboski massacre.