Not much to comment, just passing along this article. It’s quite startling how much have been arrested so far in Newroz celebrations with virtually no condemnation or criticism against the government from Europe or America. Beyond Kurdish sources, coverage on this has been scant and nonexistent. Firat news carries this article:
679 people taken into custody in four days22 March 2012
From the 1st of March to the 21st the number of detained people rises to 1095
Between 18 and 21 March some 679 people have been taken into custody in Turkey. From the 1st of March to the 21st the number of detained people rises to 1095.
The government had banned all Newroz celebrations planned before 21 March but people took to the streets as the main demonstrations have always been celebrated on the Sunday before 21 March.
The police attacked the crowd intending to join the demonstrations since the early hours of the morning. And clashes followed. Celebrations have been held in 130 areas, organised by the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party).
On 18 March BDP executive Hacı Zengin died in Istanbul as the result of the violent police attack on the crowd. In Istanbul BDP deputy Mülkiye Birtane were also targeted by police and taken to hospital.
From the beginning of the year some 2945 people have been taken into custody. The Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TIHV) has recorded 693 people taken into custody in the month of February. Of these, 178 were remanded in custody. In January the number of people taken into custody reached 887. On average, according to these figures, 36 people a day are taken into custody.
It’s an uphill battle in Turkey. Not only do Kurds have to deal with the repression from the government, but decades of brainwashing and chauvinism among Turkish ultra-nationalists who prevent Kurds from expressing their culture. All the while the same decry the treatment of their kin in Cyprus or the oppression of Palestinians- all legitimate and real problems that Kurds should recognize too, but why not the same for Kurds? It’s hardly consistent.
Turkey also currently holds the mantle of the government with the most journalists imprisoned, edging out media ‘favorites’ like China and Iran.
March 9, 2012
Turkey’s Jailed JournalistsPosted by Dexter Filkins
Quick: What country jails the most journalists?If you guessed China, you were close, but no cigar. Twenty-seven reporters are in prison there, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York. If you guessed Iran, you’re getting warmer—forty-two in prison there—but you’re still off.
How many of you guessed Turkey?
Measuring strictly in terms of imprisonments, Turkey—a longtime American ally, member of NATO, and showcase Muslim democracy—appears to be the most repressive country in the world.
According to the Journalists Union of Turkey, ninety-four reporters are currently imprisoned for doing their jobs. More than half are members of the Kurdish minority, which has been seeking greater freedoms since the Turkish republic was founded, in 1923. Many counts of arrested journalists go higher; the Friends of Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener, a group of reporters named for two imprisoned colleagues, has compiled a detailed list of a hundred and four journalists currently in prison there.