By CAFER SOLGUN,
Cizre is a district of Şırnak province with a population of 140,000.
It is situated at the epicenter of the geographical area Kurds call Botan, a region where Kurdish identity has always been strong. It has a long history of resistance that can be traced back to the 19th century. A number of Kurdish uprisings began there. For this reason, many operations have been conducted in this area. Cizre is a residential area at the skirts of Mount Cudi. It is also the crossing to Iraqi Kurdistan. For this reason, it has served as a venue where Kurdish rioters were based. Mount Cudi is also currently one of the places where PKK guerrillas are located. It is not easy to maintain military control there. State pressure and military operations have not brought Cizre closer to the state. On the contrary, these measures have pushed the district away.
The interim government, in which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is dominant, imposed a blockade upon Cizre for eight consecutive days. The state shut down all channels of communication, and thousands of members of security forces were deployed to the city. No information about what was happening in the district was transmitted during this period lasting over a week, and even delegations from civil society groups, and from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) were denied entry. Also prohibited from entering were HDP ministers serving in the interim government; they were harassed by security forces who upheld the blockade.
And this operation was called an operation to purge Cizre of terrorists. The state invaded this town by deploying 5,000 military and security officers to “purge” 100-150 “terrorists.”
However, terrible news has been reported, in spite of the strong blockade. Children were killed. They were kept in freezers because their parents were not allowed to bury them. A number of civilians died. Sick patients were not taken to the hospital and people were unable to maintain adequate food supplies because of the curfew.
But according to Ahmet Davutoğlu, the prime minister of the interim government, not a single civilian was harmed during this huge military operation. Davutoğlu made such statements, which were quickly proven wrong. It is not possible to understand why he does so.
EU Minister Ali Haydar Konca (an HDP deputy) made this statement, which refuted Davutoğlu’s claim: “It is evident that there is wide-scale destruction in Cizre, where more than 20 people have died and 50 are wounded. Even in times of war, the dead are buried and the wounded are taken to hospitals. We could not do this in Cizre. It saddens me deeply to see those images. The bodies of children were kept in freezers for days. This is not something we would like to see in this country.”
The news reports and photos from Cizre taken after the blockade reveal the sad truth. In the days to come, hidden truths will be further revealed when the stories of human beings are told. The truth will be revealed, despite efforts by the pro-government media and the AKP. In Cizre, the state fought against the people, not “terrorists.”
It is not possible to establish domination in Cizre, Botan and Kurdistan by relying on the logic and practice of war. Please read the first paragraph of this column to better understand this.
Cizre has gained a symbolic meaning in reference to the strategy of inciting chaos that the AKP calls the fight against terror. By reliance on this logic, it is not possible to take Cizre into the framework of unity and solidarity. You may approach Cizre and the Kurds by offering a real peace to them. But the AKP is devastating the basis of this peace.