Turkey is well known for countless things, heavenly beaches and immaculate holidays but for Kurdish people it is known for notorious violations of Human rights, which has been overlooked by the international community for decades. Turkey's influence in post-revolutionised Middle Eastern countries continues to grow, but if Turkey is an indicator of how Arab countries will treat ethnic groups, it will be a step back, not forward for the Arab world. In order for Turkey to exert itself as a regional authoritative force, especially since it has not been accepted into the European Union as a member, it must champion Human rights, instead of hiding its bloody track.
While the current Turkish government has initiated an opening of dialogue to deal with its Kurdish question, it has done the complete opposite through its KCK (Kurdish Communities Union) operations. In the past year, hundreds of Kurds have been arrested including activists, campaigners, and members of parliament, union members, writers, filmmakers and directors. Despite the wide scale crackdown on activists, there has been an overwhelming response and rise in pan-Kurdish nationalism because of the injustices Kurdish people continue to face in Turkey due to their ethnicity.
Alliance For Kurdish Rights has covered countless arrests, and recently discovered that several Kurdish child prisoners were subject to sexual abuse, and rape inside one Turkish prison, known as Pozanti prison. Four officials were removed from Pozanti prison when the news was leaked, but legal measures were not taken against the administration for negligence despite the child prisoners pleas to move them to a ward without adult offenders. This terrible revelation did not spark international outrage despite Turkey being the only country in the world with the highest number of children locked up under terrorism charges, used excessively and deliberately to stop teenage protesters.
Turkey can't possibly be immune from international consequences because disregard for Human rights is not a domestic issue, it is one that should be met with scrutiny and legal repercussions, something yet to be seen in Turkey because over the years public outrage over Human rights abuses have only come from Kurdish activists. Mainstream organisations that are supposed to highlight Human rights abuses have marginalised Kurdish voices, despite being the world's largest nation without a state - over 40 million stateless people.
In late December 34 Kurdish teenagers were killed who were called smugglers by the Turkish state, when in fact they were merely transporting much-needed essentials in their poor region, which has not attracted investment or educational improvements. So when Turkey speaks about Human rights, it epitomises irony because it has never made legitimate steps in ensuring a peaceful solution to its Kurdish problem. Turkey has been at the forefront of condemning the current Syrian regime, which has butchered over 10,000 protesters, including women and children but continues to disregard calls for constitutionally protected rights for Kurdish people. It can never be a legitimate voice for Human rights while it violates them on a regular basis within its borders, and it seems unless neighbouring countries press Turkey towards making reforms Kurdish people will continue to suffer.
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