Turkey’s Erdogan uses bombing as excuse to lock up hundreds of Kurds
posted at 10:01 am on December 13, 2016 by Jazz Shaw
In case you missed it over the weekend, there was a very serious bombing attack in Istanbul, Turkey which resulted in more than three dozen fatalities and at least an additional 155 people being injured. Normally we’d expect to see ISIS behind something like this, but the PKK (a violent offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party) took responsibility for the attack. Even with all of the tension between the Kurds and Tayyip Erdogan’s regime, the viscous assault was widely and correctly condemned and the Turkish government vowed to get to the bottom of the matter and punish those responsible.
But much like some famous American politicians, Erdogan isn’t one to let a good crisis go to waste. The fires hadn’t even been put out from the blast when the President sent out his forces to begin rounding up his political opponents from the ranks of the Kurds. They newly “detained” individuals number in the hundreds, so if they were all in on the bombing that must have been one heck of a bomb. (Telesur)
Turkish authorities have detained as of Monday 235 people with alleged links to Kurdish militants in the wake of Saturday’s deadly bombing outside an Istanbul soccer stadium that killed 44 people and wounded some 150.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu vowed those responsible for Saturday’s attacks would be “wiped from this geography.” An offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK, claimed responsibility for the blasts.
Many of those detained were members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, also known as HDP, parliament’s second-biggest opposition grouping, which President Tayyip Erdogan and the government accuse of having links to the PKK.
While the government obviously has not only the authority but the responsibility to investigate a terrorist attack and punish those responsible, all of this looks a bit too convenient. When we face any sort of terror attack in the United States it always takes some measurable amount of time to investigate, even when you have the attacker’s body in hand. Erdogan’s forces were out of the gate almost immediately and rounding up Kurdish politicians as if it were “the usual list of suspects” in Casa Blanca. And now that even more of his Kurdish opponents have been “detained” in this fashion, it’s even less likely that there will be continued, peaceful resistance to Erdogan’s agenda through the normal political channels.
With that in mind, it’s tough to ignore the fact that the bombing came on the same day that the nation’s Parliament was voting on a new plan to alter the constitution, giving Erdogan vastly expanded powers and the possibility of becoming President for Life. (A move which we previewed almost a month ago.) Erdogan’s party has seized nearly – but not quite – a supermajority in the legislative body and their ability to force opponents into submission (or simply make them disappear) means they can likely drive this agenda through. It wouldn’t be too shocking at this point to learn that the bombing was planned by Kurdish loyalists who see their future security in the country evaporating.