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Monday, 27 June 2022
Turkey’s Racism Against Kurds Is Systematic
Jwan Dibo

Since 25th of last month, vehement and peaceable protests have ignited across the United States and Europe in protest against the killing of an American African called, George Floyd, by a bad policeman in Minneapolis. Demonstrations have erupted even though Floyd’s murder

was not systematic, at least theoretically, because racism in the American constitution is not permissible. In contrast, the world has overlooked the methodical and ideological racism and discrimination that Turkish state has wielded against Kurds inside and outside Turkey despite

it is constitutional and institutional.

The modern Turkey that was founded in 1923 is built on ethnic and racist foundation. The word of Turkey derived from Turks as a race and Turkishness is a national spirit which nourishes that race.

The constitution of a new Turkey since its first emergence in October 1923 until its last amendment in 2017 repudiates systematically the existence of other ethnicities in Turkey like Kurds, Armenians, Arabs, Assyrians, Greeks and Jews. The Turkish constitution considers automatically all non-Turks peoples in Turkey as Turkish in the context of Turkishnisation policy which aims to the smelting of all non-Turks into the crucible of Turkish nationalism.

The term Turkish is mentioned 61 times in Turkey's revised constitution promulgated in 2017.

The version does not contain any reference to other ethnicities at all. The eighth page of the preamble of the constitution states the following “That no protection shall be accorded to an activity contrary to Turkish national interests, Turkish existence and the principle of its

indivisibility with its State and territory, historical and moral values of Turkishness”. The article 42 declares that “No language other than Turkish shall be taught as a mother tongue to Turkish

citizens at any institution of education”. Based on these texts and others in the Turkish constitution, it is very evident that racism and discrimination in Turkey have their constitutional basis and justification. This constitutional origin, in turn, feeds and poisons the legislative and

statutory sectors in the country by issuing and espousing racial and discriminatory legislations  and laws. Even this proclivity has become an integral part of the collective consciousness, culture and civilisation of Turkish people.

On 2nd of this month, The Guardian newspaper published a report titled “Killing of Kurd in

Turkey sparks discrimination accusations”. The report was about the killing of a Kurdish young man, Barish Pakan, by three Turkish racists because he was listening to Kurdish music and songs

with a friend in a park in the capital of Ankara. On 7th of this month, the body of a 16-years-old Kurdish girl named, Malak Juma Khalil, was found in the countryside of Azaz. The region has been occupied by Turkey and its Syrian mercenaries since 2014. The girl was kidnapped on 23rd

of last month in the occupied region of Afrin by the group of Sultan Murad, which works within "the Syrian National Army" that implements Turkish agendas in Syria as well as in the Middle

East and Noth America.Turkish methodological racism against Kurds has turned over time into an official and public Kurdophobia in Turkey. This governmental and communal consciousness has portrayed any Kurdish demand or attempt for freedom or getting rights as a great peril aimed at Turkish

national security. So, Turkish racism toward Kurds is systematic because it has political, ideological and historical roots and backgrounds. This excessive racist mobilisation has made

the Turkish state always ready to threaten and attack any Kurdish attempt to liberate and obtain rights, inside and outside Turkey. On this basis, Turkey has occupied several Kurdish cities in Syria since 2018 in attempting to undermine the Kurdish Regional Self-rule Administration in Syria. Likewise, in September 2017, Turkey threatened to invade Iraqi

Kurdistan in the wake of the independence referendum. Turkey fights legitimate Kurdish aspirations everywhere even on behalf of all countries that persecute the Kurds, especially Iran.

Since 2002, the year Justice and Development Party (AKP) took over the government in Ankara, and since 2018, the year when the form of ruling shifted from parliamentary to presidential,

religion has also been used against Kurds who oppose Erdogan. Erdogan has described dozens of times his opponents of the Kurds as atheists, in reference to the supporters of Kurdistan

Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Kurdistan and the supporters of Democratic Union Party (PYD) in western Kurdistan. He ordered the imams of mosques to recite verses from the Qur’an

before the assault of Afrin and other Kurdish cities in Syria, and described his aggression as a conquest, a metaphor for historical Islamic conquests. The most potent common principle

between Erdogan's party and its ally, the far-right National Movement Party, is hostility of Kurds and fighting their ambitions and efforts for emancipation and attaining rights regardless of formulas.

The whole world has denounced and demonstrated against the killing of only one black man under the anti-racism clause, and this is good and promising, even though racism in America is

unconstitutional and non-institutional. But the same world neglects Turkey’s implementation and embracing of a systematic racism in its constitution and institutions as well as its recurrent

attacks against Kurds inside and outside Turkey. We can only call this duality a hypocrisy, and only hypocrisy and immorality can be the true face of international politics and relations, especially those adopted by the great powers.References: Turkey’s Constitution (2017). Turkey's Constitution of 1982 with Amendments through 2017.

Available at: https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Turkey_2017.pdf?lang=en/. McKernan, B. (2020) Killing of Kurd in Turkey sparks discrimination accusations. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/02/of-kurd-in-turkey-baris-cakan-sparks discrimination-accusations.

Al-Arabia net (2020) Turkey’s followers executed a Kurdish woman who was shot dead … and

dumped the body. Available at:



By: Jwan Dibo