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The PKK proclaims the autonomy of Dersim

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Photo : PKK Roadblock in Dersim.

In response to the shelling by the Turkish Army of the Kurdish population in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, the PKK (a clandestine Marxist-Leninist party) has organised for the protection of the population and proclaimed the autonomy of Dersim.

Turkey has called this region Tunceli (« Hand of bronze ») since the genocide of the Christians, who were mostly Armenian. Since 2012, it has been placed under the authority of Governor Hakan Yusuf Guner.

On the 20th July 2015, a terrorist attack claimed by the Islamic Emirate, or Daesh, killed 32 people and wounded a hundred others at the Syrian frontier at Suruç (Turkey). The attack was aimed at a demonstration by the CHP (left-wing pro-Kurd party) and its Alevi allies against the policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Syria.

Pretending to have been attacked by a terrorist organisation, Turkey declared a « war on terror » and bombed PKK installations – which it qualifies as « terrorist » - and also the civilian populations who support it in Turkey, Irak and Syria, but did not bomb Daesh. By doing so, Turkey has taken the initiative of repressing its Kurdish minority – however, it continues its support for Daesh by bombing the Kurds who were fighting it in Syria and Iraq.

While the repression of the PKK has already cost more than 400 deaths, the country is slipping into a state of civil war. The Turkish Lira has lost 27,8 % against the dollar since the start of the year. In the absence of government since the general elections in June, President Erdoğan proposed the formation of a transitory coalition government, which the three main opposition parties refused. The Electoral Commission offered to hold a new round of general elections on the 1st November rather than the 22nd.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

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