At 21.39 on December 28, 2011, disaster struck and in an instant the village lost its youth when they became victim to the Turkish government’s ‘war on terror’.
‘Başınız sağolsun’ we say to everyone we meet in the Kurdish village of Roboski/Uludere. We are offering our condolences to the families of victims of one of Turkey’s most appalling recent crimes – the Roboski Massacre. One after one we offer our sympathy – no-one here is exempt from grief.
Massacre in the mountains
Visiting Roboski, a small isolated mountain village on the Turkish Iraqi border, is a sobering experience. For over two years Roboski has been a village in mourning. At 21.39 on December 28, 2011, disaster struck and in an instant the village lost its youth when they became victim to the Turkish government’s ‘war on terror’. Thirty-four of a party of 38 – most of them children – were slaughtered in an aerial bombardment by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet. Those killed were engaging in traditional cross border trade. Roboski is a poor village where there is little or no work. Cross border trade provides a small and welcome income for the older men and pocket money for the purchase of notebooks, stationary and pens for the teenagers.
Mary Davis, prominent trade unionist, academic and new patron of the Peace in Kurdistan campaign, recently wrote this piece on the KCK trial of 69 union members which featured in the Morning Star. Professor Davis recently travelled to north Kurdistan on a solidarity delegation in support of a variety of women’s groups working in the area.
11 October 2012
The trial of 69 Kurdish trade union organisers which started yesterday should remind the world of the continued denial of democratic and national rights in Turkey. These trade unionists are being prosecuted under the country’s anti-terrorist legislation for being leaders of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCM).
The government claims that the KCM has links with the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Their actual crimes consist of organising demonstrations and taking part in strikes.
Eight thousand people have been arrested under this legislation over the past four years. Almost 6,000 are still in detention – including many women.
Today around 20 million Kurds live within Turkey. They do so as a result of the arbitrary carve-up of the Middle East after the first world war by Britain and France.
The new states of Iraq (British), Syria (French) and a residual Turkey all contained sizeable Kurdish minorities, as did north-west Persia (modern Iran), another British dependency.
Read the rest of the article on the Morning Star website.