21st October 2015
By Yasin Duman
The current climate of conflict and war in Turkey goes back to the end-times of the Ottoman Empire. Initially non-Muslim peoples (Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Assyrians etc.) and then non-Turk and/or non-Sunni peoples (Kurds, Arabs, Alawites etc.) have been victims of the state’s systematic violence. The state’s dependence and tradition of creating internal and external enemies for itself has also meant that it has massacred Turks who are in opposition to it. Socialists and communists faced state violence at its most intense.
For their own gains those in power have criminalised any sort of difference or otherness in sound (language), colour (race), ideology, perception or lifestyle and presented these as dangers to Turkishness, the state, the flag or the unity of the country, in the process destroying many differences. Nowhere in the world will any government, party or leader stay in power indefinitely but in Turkey’s political history parties or leaders in power have a perception that they will stay in power forever. According to them they will decide the best for the people. In protecting the ‘welfare of the state and people’ they secure and defend their own interests, at the expense of the people. They sanctify the state and everything to do with it and with this sanctification guarantee their permanence as well as the power to protect those closest to them while declaring everyone else enemies or traitors.
Those who have identities that are different to the dominant one are massacred in this way. If they haven’t been exterminated they are assimilated. If they are still continuing their existence partially then they are branded as being in opposition to the ‘majority’ and demonised. Because this is a vicious cycle every party that takes power reproduces it. They do this in the best way because they are the ‘only force to protect and defend the people from internal and external dangers.’ All political power structures (ruling parties) see the people as being unable to think, perceive or do. In fact this is what gives the power-structure (ruling party) its power. The mental, spiritual and physical abilities and resources of the people are monopolised and used for the enhancement of the power-structure (ruling party).
For this reason there is no place for peace in the hearts and minds of ruling parties/structures. When they make peace they will not be/be able to be in power because the conditions for their ruling have become non-existent. Enmities and polarisation will have ceased to exist, therefore the need for the state to protect anyone also. Nobody will need to kill or die for the defence of state, flag or unity. War, in the history of humanity, came about with the monopolisation of social, political and economic power and the defence of this through violence. All borders that have been created are domains for this power-structure. Wars that happened thousands of years ago occurred for the same reasons they do now and in the same areas. Therefore power itself is a reason for war. To have power in this sense has not brought about peace anywhere in the world at anytime.
As long as the current ruling party/structure is in power in Turkey, peace will not be unattainable now or at any other time. War is destructive everywhere in the world. Even if one side is victorious in a war, the defeated and the lost are not limited to the field of battle. War leads people to lose their senses, feelings and minds. As the war continues the ruling power structure strengthens and as it strengthens the war continues forevermore. To put an end to war and power and to make peace and protect our senses and minds we must put an end to this vicious circle. This isn’t our war. We can exist without losing our humanity, our lives and without killing and dying. Is it so difficult to achieve this?