BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
That’s what happened. The lifeless corpse of Haci Lokman Birlik was DRAGGED behind a Turkish police vehicle with a rope which formed a noose around his neck. He was the brother-in-law of HDP (the pro-Kurdish party in Turkey) parliament member Leyla Birlik from Sirnak.
Here’s what has to happen. The U.S. media must be DRAGGED into reporting on these incidents which show the true face of the Turkish state. Initially, when I searched, only the New York Times, among the major U.S., had a report about the incident among the first twenty hits I got through a Google search. More seemed to pick up on it days later.
It’s also what happened in Texas in 1998 and 2008 when James Byrd and Brandon McClelland, respectively, were DRAGGED to death for being black men. So this horror is not unique to Turkey, but the state sponsorship of this obscenity is a Turkish feature. Instead of protecting its citizens, Turkey mutilates their bodies.
Imagine, officials initially DRAGGED out the argument that it was because Birlik’s body was booby-trapped, or that he had a suicide vest on. Naturally, it is the most sensible thing to do to drag a bomb around behind one’s vehicle right? They must think the whole world stupid!
It’s easy enough to imagine the equivalent being done to Armenians a century ago, except then we would have been DRAGGED behind a horse, not a motor vehicle. Everyone has seen the heads of decapitated Armenian corpses lined up on shelves. On other occasions, the heads of Armenians had been placed on tall spikes as a warning, to instill and maintain fear among the “rayah” (cattle).
One need not have his/her brain DRAGGED through complex interpretations to see that the same policy prevails.
Today, Kurds are being DRAGGED along city streets to instill fear in that community and render it docile and compliant with Ankara’s murderous whims. In particular, this was likely a message being sent to the HDP to “behave,” since if this can happen to someone with close family ties to a parliament member, it can happen to anyone in Turkey.
Clearly, the Turkish state has DRAGGED across the centuries the mindset and tradition of ruling through terror from the times of Central Asian invaders; through the period of Turkic statelets in Asia Minor; through the life of the Ottoman Empire and Young Turks of its terminal days; through Ataturk, the murderous founder of Turkey; throughout the “rule by coup d’etat” life of the “Republic”; and right up through the 21st century’s Turkish government with its neo-Ottoman pretensions.
Prime Minister Davutoğlu, who does not need to be DRAGGED into playing the public relations game, quickly condemned the actions of his government’s minions. But, his protestations ring very hollow in the context of the war his party and government reignited against the Kurds two months ago so they could whip up Turkish chauvinistic fervor to win a parliamentary majority in the upcoming November 1 snap elections.
Turkish civil society may be progressing, but it confronts a huge challenge since “official” Turkey obviously must be DRAGGED into modernity and civilization.
Tell your local newspapers, the major media, and your representatives in Washington about this incident since they, too, evidently, must be DRAGGED into properly reporting and acting on conditions in Turkey. Educate them about how common and historically consistent this behavior is for successive Turkish governments.