HDP staffers death: time for Turkey to decide on what kind of future it wants

Deniz Poyraz, an employee with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) İzmir headquarters was killed in an armed attack on the party’s head office in the western province on June 17. We understand from photos shared on social media that 27-year-old assailant Onur Gencer had in the past went to fight in Syria. We do not know yet whether he received training from the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) or  Turkish government-sponsored paramilitary SADAT Defence Consultancy.

Gencer made dozens of threats on social media targeting Armenians. Nothing was done about his hate speech and threatening posts since our state officials and our police seem to have preferred going after the peaceful tweets of those who criticize the government.

If a 27-year-old assailant can easily enter a party building with a Kalashnikov and commit a massacre in an attempt of a larger attack, as reported, it is necessary to question the system which, in the words of the widow of assassinated Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink “creates a killer from a baby.’’ These people do not appear overnight, and it is not like a crazy person gets angry about something and decides to carry out a massacre.

First of all, groundwork is laid to carry out massacres. During the armed clashes and curfews in Kurdish provinces in 2015-2016, paramilitary structures such as SADAT and the Esedullah team took to the field to measure their strength by fighting the Kurds.

SADAT has had considerable press attention for years in Turkey, where opposition politicians say the firm works to enforce Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s agenda without any public oversight.

I first heard of SADAT in  connection to the village of Mehle in southeastern Diyarbakır province. In July 2016, 33 villagers in Mehle were tortured and attempted to be buried alive. The villagers said that the "soldiers" who tried to burn them spoke Arabic and added that other soldiers came and saved them. These paramilitary structures are growing stronger and are operating not only in Lice, but all over Turkey as they raise armed killers.

It is well known just who creates a killer from a baby in this country, laying the groundwork for these massacres.

The government, which disseminates hatred against the HDP on Turkish televisions and targets the HDP and the Kurds, is responsible for the murder of Poyraz, too.

The ruling party’s far-right ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and its head Devlet Bahçeli are responsible for her murder with their deplorable rhetoric and hate speeches.

Turkish mainstream media such as CNN, HaberTürk, Star, Yeni Akit, Sabah are also responsible for the murder with their broadcasts and the discriminatory hate speeches that they circulate.

If people can fight easily and receive all kinds of weapon training in organizations like SADAT, then these paramilitary structures are responsible for the murder of Poyraz, too.

Others who are responsible for this crime include those who keep saying “the HDP equals to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)” and “the HDP members are PKK members” are responsible for the murder.

MHP deputy chairman Semih Yalçın, who said that “The HDP/PKK is a herd of political insects that must be completely destroyed,” is also responsible, as are politicians and “journalists” that use similar discourse. They all have Deniz Poyraz's blood in their hands.

Bahçeli said that the attack was “a bloody rehearsal, a treacherous plot”. It is true that this is a bloody rehearsal, a treacherous massacre in which the MHP plays the leading role with its rhetoric. In fact, the MHP leader shared dozens of tweets about the murder of Poyraz, but he did not express his condolences or display a single sign of sorrow in any of these tweets.

We all know that there is no need to look for an instigator for this massacre. The address is obvious. And unless we say stop, unless we raise our voices against this terrible trend, unless we stand together and show solidarity, the massacres will continue and people like Deniz will lose their lives.

I have a request for readers of this article. Please put the photos of the murdered Poyraz and the racist and fascist murderer Onur Gencer side by side and have a look. Which one would you prefer, which future would you opt for?

Come on Turkey, the time has come for you to choose your future before it's too late.

You must decide if you want to destroy the current order that created a killer from a baby, or stand up by saying "We want Rights, Justice and Democracy".

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Ahval.