Amnesty International: The crackdown on dissent in Turkey continued in 2019

Amnesty International: The crackdown on dissent in Turkey continued in 2019

The crackdown on real or perceived dissent continued in 2019, despite the end of the two-year-long state of emergency in July 2018. Thousands of people were held in lengthy and punitive pre-trial detention, often without any credible evidence of their having committed any crime recognizable under international law. There were severe restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and people considered critical of the current government – in particular journalists, political activists and human rights defenders – were detained or faced trumped-up criminal charges. The authorities continued to arbitrarily ban demonstrations and use unnecessary and excessive force to disperse peaceful protestors. There were credible reports of torture and enforced disappearances. Turkey forcibly returned Syrian refugees, while continuing to host more refugees than any other country.

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What is Turkey fighting for?

If you did not know, Turkey is at war, and this war, apparently, for a long time. It would seem, why? Relatively prosperous country, they take – would and stop the war and live peacefully and quietly. But it’s not that simple. 1/3 of the territory of modern Turkey is the land on which the Kurds live. The Kurds are a large people, numbering 40 million people, who believe that their land is occupied by the Turks, and they are not only guerrilla actions. In the regions adjacent to the borders of Turkey, there is also a multi-million Kurdish population. At the moment, at least two independent Kurdish Autonomous States have already taken shape: in the North of Iraq and in the North-East of Syria. The armies of these new States have proved quite successful in recent years in the fight against ISIS (banned in the Russian Federation organization) and are armed with the latest modern weapons. Kurdish leaders have repeatedly stated that their goal is the liberation of all Kurdish lands from invaders. It is obvious that the war between Turkey and the Kurds is inevitable, and it, in fact, never stopped. and in our time came to a new round of confrontation.

Turkey is in a difficult situation. The combined forces of the Kurds are not inferior to the military capabilities of Turkey, and given that the Kurds are fighting a war on their land and for their people, relying on local residents, and Turkey does not have such support, the outcome is not in favor of Ankara. What to do in such a situation? The most correct decision- ” sits down at the negotiating table.” Give broad autonomy to those territories where the Kurds are the majority. But, clearly, this will mean the subsequent withdrawal of this autonomy from Turkey and the proclamation of an independent Kurdish state. Yes, losing territory is unpleasant for any state, but a war that has no chance of success and is guaranteed to lead to defeat and surrender is even worse.

It seems that the solution is obvious and it remains only to gather the political will in a fist and begin to implement the peace plan. But, in Turkey, as probably in any country in the world, there are Pro-power extremists-patriots who say: “if we now give in to the Kurds, then we will give in to the Armenians, and then to the Greeks, and then what will remain of Turkey?”Whatever you understand, about 1/3 of the territory of Turkey is the former Western Armenia, the population of which is renounced Armenians. Another 1/3 of Turkey, including the largest Turkish city of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) – is Greek territory, and most of the families in these lands have roots of Greek origin, although now recorded as Turks. One has only to start dividing Turkey and nothing will remain of this country except the capital region itself-Ankara, according to the hurrah-patriots.

How right are the supporters of the war in Ankara’s government circles? It is difficult to say. In my opinion, without strong external support, neither Armenia nor Greece (a NATO member – as well as Turkey) will ever initiate such actions. The population of Turkey with Armenian and Greek roots is also unlikely to take active action, it is almost impossible, they have long been incorporated into Turkish society. Of course, the probability of such a scenario always remains – if, for example, the United States, for some reason, decides that such a project is beneficial to them, then by investing tens of billions of dollars and bringing to power the War parties in Greece and Armenia, they will achieve the elimination of Turkey. But why? Although, on the other hand, why was the United States to dismember historical Russia and oppose one part of it-Ukraine, the rest of Russia? But that’s what we’re seeing now. The policy of the West is invariable – “Divide and conquer”.

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The treaty basically reduced the Ottoman Empire

This was bad enough. The treaty basically deprived Turkey of its independence and put millions of its people under foreign domination, but it gets worse. Greece didn’t like its share of the booty, because they didn’t get Constantinople or Trebizond back, and their cut wouldn’t fulfill the dream of the Megali Idea. So, after General Mustafa Kemal, in the immortal words of author Ben Thompson, “told the West to go fuck a donkey” where the Treaty of Sèvres was concerned, the Greeks invaded Turkey to get more land.

The Turkish people rallied around Kemal, and over the next three years proceeded to drive out the ItaliansFrench, Greeks and Armenians who had all invaded their country, not to mention the worthless Sultan. The Ottoman Empire duly became the Republic of Turkey.

Rather than have Kemal cross into Europe and dictate the terms of peace at the Acropolis, the British stepped in after the Greeks were driven out of Asia Minor and invited the Turkish government to new negotiations. The Treaty of Sèvres was torn up. Turkey became the only defeated nation of World War I allowed to negotiate fairly with the Allies at the end of the war. Not coincidentally, they also became the only defeated nation of World War I who didn’t join the Axis in World War II. MareşalKemal (he got promoted after the war) received the surname Ataturk (Father of the Turks) from a grateful country, and so respected as a world leader that the U.N. honored him 43 years after his death, on what would have been his 100th birthday.

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