The Raids Against the Opposition in Turkey Show Erdogan’s Weakness

Emergency Committee for Rojava

Summary: Amid economic and political crisis, Turkish police crack down on pro-Kurdish HDP and the non-Kurdish opposition. First appeared on website of Emergency Committee for Rojava on September 26, 2020 https://www.defendrojava.org/news/the-raids-against-the-opposition-in-turkey-show-erdoans-weakness — Editors

This morning, Turkish police arrested 82 leading members of the left-wing, pro-Kurdish HDP, while also mounting a separate assault on the opposition in Istanbul. As its own social base crumbles under the weight of economic and public-health crises, Erdoğan’s regime is mounting an increasingly desperate campaign against “the enemy within.”

The first series of raids, conducted by the chief prosecutor in Ankara, was directed against the leftist, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). The official justification was that the raids happened because of the so-called “Kobanê events” of October 6–8, 2014. That’s right — a lightning police response to events that took place six years ago.

There also was a second series of raids, directed by prosecutors in Istanbul. Officially, it appears as if this second attack is directed against a loose platform called “Movement of the Nameless,” which is active on social media with hashtag campaigns on Twitter. While lawyers have not been able to access the case files yet, it appears that the charge is “coup attempt via social media.” Further information seems to suggest that the Turkish state wants to present the “Movement of the Nameless” as a terrorist organization that seeks to stage a coup via tweets.

While the justifications for both these attacks are absurd, the target of each is relatively clear. In the first case, the target is the Kurdish movement and particularly the HDP; in the second, it’s the social opposition that crystallized in the Gezi Uprising in 2013. While there are currently no protests of that scale, the regime around Erdoğan still fears that a coalition of social dynamics similar to Gezi could take to the streets again.

But there are also deeper objective factors behind these assaults. The social and economic crises in Turkey are constantly deepening, and the regime seems to be unable to get them under control. The pandemic was horrendously mishandled, hospitals are overloaded, health workers are dying, and even the doctors’ association is protesting the government’s handling of the crisis.

Read more in this article from Jacobin Magazine.

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