Those elections – a view from Turkey

A longstanding journalist colleague of mine writes: “The election result was surprise for everyone. Many analysis points out that the nationalists voters (MHP) shifted to the AKP. And also some religious Kurdish voters who supported Kurdish party (HDP) in the June election  turned back to AKP at this election. It is said that the bomb attacks (the first one was in July in Suruc and the second one was in October in Ankara) changed the minds of these two groups.

It is well known that those attacks were made by the ISIS suicide bombers. These and other suicide bombers were known by the security office of the Turkish government. There was much criticism of the Turkish government for failing to prevent these attacks. Furthermore, many feel that the authorities paved the way for the bomb attacks.

After the Ankara bombing, the Prime Minister said that they could not detain the suicide bombers before they acted because of “the rule of law”! Following the first attack in July, the government started a so-called war against ISIS and bombed their camps. Nobody knows they were a real air attacks or not. But the following day, the government started a real war against PKK in Iraq by arguing that there was no difference between terrorist organisations, PKK, ISIS or DHKP-C (a leftist armed organisation which has not carried attacks for several years).

There were no more so-called ‘air bombing’ of the ISIS camps, but the attacks on the PKK continue. I also do not expect any more attacks by the ISIS within Turkey because their aim was to get the country to see the results of a coalition government without AKP. They (ISIS and Erdogan) reached their aims.

On the other hand, the Turkish air force continues bombing the PKK militants (PYD) in the Northern Syria. According to the local people it is remarkable that when the PYD militants start an attack towards the ISIS region, the Turkish air forces bombs the PYD camps to hinder their attacks to the ISIS.

I think this dangerous coalition between Erdogan and the ISIS will continue. Another dangerous scenario is an open war in Syria with the participation of Turkey. Within Turkey, we expect an increase at the pressures on non-government supported media, freedom of expression, and arrests of opposition groups especially Kurds and also secular Turkish people.

At a recent event, police threatened a journalist by saying that “Nothing will be the same as before. We’ll teach you this!” You may find the video (in Turkish) showing police trying to arrest a journalist who follows a demonstration made by university students.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jYAKD_g0ko&feature=youtu.be

 

 

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