Dur­ing a speech Tayyip Erdoğan pro­nounced in Maraş on Sat­ur­day, in the com­pa­ny of a lit­tle girl in bat­tle dress, he declared:

There, we also have bur­gundy-col­ored berets.1Bur­gundy-col­ored berets don’t cry.2JÖH3, Colonel, bur­gundy beret… Macha’Allah. The Turk­ish flag is in her pock­et. If she falls a mar­tyr, they will wrap her in the flag inch’Allah. She is ready for every­thing, isn’t she?” 

With this call say­ing “every­one must car­ry the flag in their pock­et” he once again invit­ed mil­lions to kill and to be killed. The expla­na­tion for this speech is not “are you ready to die? Are not 80 mil­lion cit­i­zens ready to die?”  but rather “I am ask­ing you to die”.

And with the lit­tle girl stand­ing by his side, this means “not only those of age to be con­script­ed today, but also who will be in the future, in the decades to come, they must be ready to die. ” Build­ing the future dreams of a small child on “dying and killing” shows the lev­el mil­i­tarism has reached in Turkey. This real­i­ty that a group of anti­mil­i­tarists and con­sci­en­tious objec­tors attempt to chal­lenge and make vis­i­ble by their strug­gle, under the slo­gan “mil­i­tarism kills” is per­fect­ly illus­trat­ed by this one photo.

In the same speech, he also sent the mes­sage to all men capa­ble of bear­ing arms to stand ready, with these words “those who receive their mobi­liza­tion order must stand ready. There is no need at the moment. But the moment the deci­sion will be tak­en, we will lunge for­ward on the road.” 

The mobi­liza­tion order con­cerns the call-up of men who have already done their com­pul­so­ry mil­i­tary ser­vice. [In case of a call-up] those receiv­ing the mis­sion order are asked to report to the mil­i­tary unit to which they have been assigned. Those who do not heed the call can be arrest­ed as “desert­ers” and brought to their unit. The fol­low­ing dec­la­ra­tionThe ‘muhtar’4are charged with fol­low­ing close­ly the sit­u­a­tion of those who do not obey the order. Per­sons shown to have not report­ed to their unit when they were in the zones con­cerned by the ‘muhtar’, will be report­ed to the secu­ri­ty forces”, placed the muhtar in authority.

Dur­ing the Gezi peri­od, hun­dreds of thou­sands of us had unan­i­mous­ly said “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan/AKP will do every­thing to estab­lish absolute pow­er. The strug­gle must con­tin­ue for this rea­son.” In com­ing to pow­er„ Tayyip Erdoğan/AKP declared “I will put an end to the mil­i­tary tute­lage” except that after tak­ing pow­er, par­tic­u­lar­ly begin­ning in 2009, he clung to mil­i­tarism and began imple­ment­ing its plans, step by step. In his first years in pow­er, while chang­ing his words, under the slo­gan “Sin­gle Nation, Sin­gle flag, Sin­gle par­ty”, he had adopt­ed total­ly mil­i­taris­tic and racist words. Some of those who know full well what this means had announced “Bad days await us”. But an effi­cient oppo­si­tion was not built up against this. The strongest social oppo­si­tion to this pol­i­cy occurred with Gezi. Sur­viv­ing that peri­od by play­ing dead, Erdoğan imple­ment­ed a monop­oly of total State vio­lence so as to neu­tral­ize prac­ti­cal­ly the entire oppo­si­tion­al struc­ture, both par­ties and individuals.

He start­ed by doing every­thing that made us react by say­ing “No, that can’t be pos­si­ble !”. In par­tic­u­lar, he start­ed orga­niz­ing vir­ile, racist and mil­i­taris­tic styles and rely­ing on those forces. The wom­en’s struc­tures saw what these orga­ni­za­tion­al efforts rep­re­sent­ed. And against them, they ini­ti­at­ed counter-restruc­tur­ing. They ini­ti­at­ed and orga­nized mean­ing­ful actions and cam­paigns against the State/AKP’s racist and mil­i­taris­tic poli­cies. Nonethe­less many par­ties, struc­tures, groups with whom we fought arm in arm at Gezi, are now part of the racist and mil­i­taris­tic front.

Tayyip Erdoğan orga­nized this front on the basis of an anti-Kur­dish sen­ti­ment. These struc­tures and advances caused a cat­a­stro­phy for every­one liv­ing in Turkey, and this goes on. The only win­ners of racist and mil­i­taris­tic poli­cies are those whose aim is absolute pow­er, mer­chants of weapons and blood. Because of these poli­cies, along with the Kurds, the Ale­vis, the Sun­nites, women and men will go on los­ing. In a fas­cist order, there can be no room for jus­tice, equal­i­ty, free­dom, nor can there be a hap­py future for chil­dren. There can be noth­ing but death.

Late­ly, with the process of occu­py­ing Afrin, Erdoğan has start­ed serv­ing to pub­lic opin­ion the fact that dying and killing are “nor­mal” and “wor­thy”. From the expe­ri­ences of oth­er peo­ples we know that the point we have reached is an extreme­ly dan­ger­ous one. [The tak­ing over] of the army, the tri­bunals, the uni­ver­si­ties, the par­ties, the police forces not being enough for him, he has estab­lished spe­cial oper­a­tion units, arm­ing thou­sands of civil­ians. That still not being enough, he is now telling all cit­i­zens “be ready to die ”.  There will be no win­ners in this hor­ror show. His­to­ry has shown us how racist and mil­i­taris­tic struc­tures evolve and their ter­ri­ble end, through the exam­ples of Fran­co’s Spain, Hitler’s Ger­many, Mus­solin­i’s Italy.

The racist and mil­i­taris­tic struc­tures of Fran­co, of Hitler and of Mus­soli­ni caused huge dam­age, and hor­ri­ble mas­sacres and geno­cides, inscribed in the social his­to­ry in Spain, in Ger­many and in Italy. Their suf­fer­ings and trau­mas per­sist to this day. And now we live and tes­ti­fy to anoth­er exam­ple tak­ing hold and grow­ing with the same policies.

The biggest strug­gle against this process is tak­ing place in Afrin. There is much to be done so that the peo­ple do not suf­fer a hor­ri­ble fate. The strug­gle in Afrin against this racist and mil­i­taris­tic struc­ture is not the Kurds’ only bat­tle. Indi­vid­u­als, par­ties and groups tak­ing part in this strug­gle know this. But that is not enough.

In Europe, I fol­low close­ly the reac­tions and mobi­liza­tions of Euro­pean orga­ni­za­tions, par­ties and unions. The most basic sen­si­ti­za­tion con­sists in “Sol­i­dar­i­ty with Afrin”. This approach is par­tial­ly faulty. The posi­tion that should be tak­en today should not be one of “Sol­i­dar­i­ty with Afrin”, but the more active and inclu­sive one of : “The strug­gle in Afrin is OUR struggle”. 

We can still act in order to win. Orga­niz­ing more effi­cient­ly is still pos­si­ble in all zones, regions and towns in order to counter this racist and mil­i­taris­tic struc­ture. It is still posi­ble to over­tun the sit­u­a­tion of the occu­pa­tion of Afrin and to send them back where they came from.

Today, the largest and most effi­cient mass mobi­liza­tions are in Europe. But Ger­many and France con­tin­ue sell­ing arms to Turkey. Women and chil­dren in Afrin are killed with French and Ger­man weapons. France and Ger­many must join the mobi­liza­tions against Turkey in a more effi­cient way. In order to do so, all par­ties, polit­i­cal groups and oppo­si­tion unions must be part of the mobi­liza­tion front.

Tomor­row will be too late. What must be done, must be done today..

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges

Türkiye — Efrin • Mil­i­ta­rizm öldürür Oku­mak için tıklayınız
Turquie — Afrin • Le mil­i­tarisme tue
Cliquez pour lire
Turquía — Afrin • El mil­i­taris­mo mata Haga clic para leer

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Ercan Jan Aktaş
Objecteur de con­science, auteur et jour­nal­iste exilé en France. Vic­dan retçisi, yazar, gazete­ci. Şu anda Fransa’da sürgünde bulunuy­or. Con­sci­en­tious objec­tor, author and jour­nal­ist exiled in France.