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The expres­sion blos­somed today in Erdoğan’s media in Turkey: “Anoth­er ter­ror­ist fed in prison, died.”

Turquie manchetteOne of the rags under order from the regime, with a strong acquain­tance with its ultra-nation­al­ist wing, found it legit­i­mate indeed, con­cern­ing the “sus­pi­cious death” of  a Kur­dish pris­on­er, Garibe Gez­er in prison, to estab­lish a his­tor­i­cal par­al­lel. The head­line refers to the words of Kenan Evren, the gen­er­al involved in the mil­i­tary coup d’Etat of Sep­tem­ber 12 1980, inscribed in the country’s fas­cist his­to­ry. Con­cern­ing Erdal Erden, a rev­o­lu­tion­ary exe­cut­ed by hang­ing on Decem­ber 13 1980 at the age of 17 he declared: “We should  not hang him, but feed him, maybe?”

We can also see in it an igno­ble par­al­lel with the vic­tims of hunger strikes.

Garibe was offi­cial­ly found “hang­ing” in her iso­la­tion cell.

This ultra-nation­al­is­tic quip, reek­ing of hatred, was picked up by the mob, of course. This being the back­fire set up to  counter the emo­tion and ques­tion­ing set off by the State fem­i­ni­cide that Garibe’s death rep­re­sents. In a let­ter addressed to the Kur­dish press, her co-detainees denounced the con­di­tions of reten­tion, the sex­ist vio­lence in pris­ons, the secre­cy which allows every attack and aggres­sion, the sys­tem­at­ic strip-search­es and, con­cern­ing Garibe, her con­tin­u­al per­se­cu­tion through her trans­fers from one prison to anoth­er as well as in her iso­la­tion fol­low­ing com­plaints she had made of rape and sex­u­al abus­es to which she was sub­ject­ed. Type F pris­ons in Turkey, by iso­lat­ing pris­on­ers under the pre­text of “human­is­ing and indi­vid­u­al­is­ing” con­di­tions of  incar­cer­a­tion,  become, on the con­trary, places where abuse remains hid­den, where arbi­trary mea­sures are put in place in order to break down any form of resis­tance, through the tor­ture of iso­la­tion raised to the lev­el of a dogma.

This sem­blance of carcer­al evo­lu­tion, then used against oppo­nents, be they Kur­dish or not, becomes a weapon of repres­sion that can lead as well to death as to the sys­tems of tor­ture prac­ticed pre­vi­ous­ly and which proved too vis­i­ble. Con­cern­ing these, see Zehra Doğan’s graph­ic nov­el “Prison N°5”.

Garibe was buried in her native soil, despite all the obsta­cles encoun­tered by her fam­i­ly in order to do so,  since the admin­is­tra­tive author­i­ties exer­cis­ing the ward­ship, des­ig­nat­ed by the regime to replace the elect­ed mem­bers who were dis­missed by decree, refused to offer any aid or pro­vide the slight­est assis­tance for “ a ter­ror­ist who killed herself.” 

This is how it goes with every right-wing extrem­ism across the world.  When men­tion­ing carcer­al con­di­tions, there’s a very quick switch over from “they con­stant­ly get more atten­tion on tele­vi­sion” to “feed­ing the use­less mouths of crim­i­nals”. Fol­lowed by pro­pos­als  of secure sen­tences, of a Guan­tanamo for “ter­ror­ists”, then to the re-estab­lish­ment of the death penal­ty. Once again, Erdoğan’s ultra nation­al­ist allies are serv­ing as prompters by sug­gest­ing their pro­pos­als to fas­cists world-wide.

There’s no point either in point­ing out how this nation­al­is­tic vir­il­ism is always matched with a declared adher­ence to patri­archy which, in the case of Garibe’s death, gives the crime the char­ac­ter of a State fem­i­ni­cide, join­ing the sex­ist crimes com­mit­ted against LGBTIQ+, assim­i­lat­ed hel­ter-skel­ter to “ter­ror­ists divid­ing and destroy­ing the nation”. That lan­guage is the same everywhere.

No need either for fur­ther devel­op­ments on what the weight of nation­al­ism rep­re­sents in Turkey, cur­rent­ly in alliance with Islamist big­ots. It hap­pens to be the same his­tor­i­cal affil­i­a­tion that pre­vailed in the Armen­ian geno­cide, the per­se­cu­tion of Jews and Roums (Greeks), that of the Kurds and the mas­sacres of Ale­vis, a fil­i­a­tion still at work behind these media reminders.

The vile beast nev­er miss­es an oppor­tu­ni­ty through his­tor­i­cal con­nec­tions  to ren­dez-vous with itself.

Translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges
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Daniel Fleury
Let­tres mod­ernes à l’Université de Tours. Gros mots poli­tiques… Coups d’oeil politiques…