The Gaza Flotilla raid by Israel has Turkey quite upset, but they are not alone. Our own Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich appears to be hopping mad, as well.
In a letter intended to be sent to President Obama, Kucinich says:
“It is not acceptable to repeatedly violate international law. It is not acceptable to shoot and kill innocent civilians. It is not acceptable to commit an act of aggression against another U.S. ally. It is not acceptable to continue a blockade which denies humanitarian relief. It is not acceptable to heighten tensions in a region while the United States continues to put so much blood and treasure on the line.”The whole premise of Kucinich's anger is so fallacious as to be laughable, were it not so tragically flawed. Civilians who are beating and stabbing soldiers are not innocent, Dennis, and you may also wish to direct your ire over the violation of international law at Hamas, who lobs rockets at innocent Israeli civilians at will. Or you may wish to chastise Turkey for committing an act of aggression against Israel by sending the ships in the first place. And the blockade does not "[deny] humanitarian relief", it denies Hamas bigger rockets.
While Kucinich may be excused for simply getting his facts confused, the Turkish foreign minister must be called out on his incredible chutzpah and blatant hypocrisy. Recently, he said that the flotilla raid was Turkey's "9-11". Really, sir? Nine people killed after they attacked Israeli commandos?
For all of the people who are outraged over the Palestinian predicament, it must be pointed out that the concern for them shown by Turkey is touching, if not duplicitous. While they stray from home in a quest to provide "humanitarian aid" to the Palestinians, they have their own humanitarian violations back at the ranch.
There are over 30 million people in the South and East parts of Turkey known as the Kurds. Remember them? While they make up roughly 20 percent of the Turkish population, they are treated as second class citizens, living in poverty while the North and West enjoy prosperity. The Ankara government has systematically withheld resources from the Kurdish region, and repressed any attempts by the Kurds to develop political representation. Political parties are shut down as soon as they form, and its members imprisoned for "crimes of opinion".
As a result, in 1984, an armed separatist movement formed known as the PKK. From the website www.fas.org:
The state immediately responded to this threat with increased force, deploying some 300,000 troops in the southeast at an annual cost of $8 billion. In addition, the Turkish armed forces instituted a system of "village guards," paying and arming Kurds to keep the PKK guerrillas out of their villages. Villages that refuse to participate in the guard system face demolition by the Turkish military, while those that go along suffer under harsh reprisals by the PKK.I wonder, therefore, how Turkey would respond to a convoy of trucks rolling into the Southeast to provide "humanitarian aid" to the Kurds? I also wonder why Dennis Kucinich, et al, are not protesting the treatment the Kurds receive at the hands of the Turks? Sphere: Related Content
The war escalated dramatically in the early 1990s. Between 1984-91, an estimated 2,500 people had been killed. Over the next four years, that figure shot up to 20,000. Some 3,000 villages have been destroyed by the military in an effort to rout out PKK sympathizers, creating more than 2 million refugees.