Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey

Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace

February 21, 2017 · 2 min read

A collective statement by members of Academics for Peace in Germany and the UK reads:

‘As Turkey’s constitutional referendum is approaching, we are, once again, witnessing an intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey. For more than a week, there has been no communication with the people of Xerabê Bava (Koruköy), a village in Mardin-Nusaybin. The village is under round-the-clock military curfew and there have been claims that villagers are being tortured and executed. Visitors, including journalists, MPs and human rights observers were denied entry to the village.

Academics for Peace are concerned that what is going on in Xerabê Bava might be a harbinger of approaching larger scale state violence against the Kurdish population and other minority populations in Turkey. Since the violence exercised on Kurdish population has become a strategy for the government in order to consolidate a nationalistic support for the referendum, it is crucial to raise an urgent reaction to this violence at its very beginning. We, therefore, urge international human rights organisations, journalists, and peace coalitions to pay attention to Xerabê Bava and take the necessary steps to investigate the allegations of rights violations in the village.’

Academics for Peace is a group of academics from Turkey who signed a petition in January 2016 calling for an end to state violence against the Kurds and the Turkish state’s ongoing violation of its own laws and international treaties.

Last year Red Pepper interviewed five feminist academics from Academics for Peace on the political situation in Turkey and the role of women’s groups in fighting for structural change. ‘Peace, redistribution, gender equality and ecology are among the burning issues which people cannot afford postponing’ they said.


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