BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN
In recent days, scathing speeches by Armenian and Kurdish deputies in the Turkish Parliament have been circulating on the internet. Last week, I presented the bold speech by Armenian MP Garo Paylan, delivered in April on the Armenian Genocide. This week, I would like to share with readers another fearless speech by Kurdish MP Gultan Kisanak. Even though this video was recently posted on the internet, her remarks were delivered in January 2012, shortly after the massacre of 35 young Kurdish civilians by the Turkish military in Roboski village, in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan!
Here are excerpts from her remarkable speech:
“…Those who don’t feel grief or shame for this situation and call themselves Muslim; those who don’t account for this situation, I question their humanity, their Islamic religion, and beliefs. Everyone is aware of what happened there. Is this how blinded your conscience has become? Is this your definition of humanity? …How do you manage to be so reckless and careless about the massacre of 35 people? How do you manage to be so inhumane? First, you are going to stand up and apologize; get upset. That is if you’re a human being as you claim to be. If you have a conscience! But you are not doing any of these things and instead acting as if a fly or a couple of chickens died by an ‘accidental operation.’ Shame on you! …For 90 years, this country has been using the terrorism excuse and committing many massacres…. You are trying to exterminate the Kurdish people! There is no terrorism! … The Military Chief of Staff of this country said: ‘We killed 40,000 people. We bombed the mountains many times. But still this issue does not end.’ You still cannot understand this truth! There are people there; and these people have rights! There are people there whose identity is being denied. There is a Kurdish issue. There is no terror issue….”
Using even harsher language, the Kurdish MP continued: “We are going to make you pay for this! Those who committed this massacre in broad daylight against these civilians and their mules, under the watchful eyes of the police, and those who think they can go around massacring 35 people and threaten the Kurds, will soon realize that they are the losers in these massacres! No one is afraid of death! Is there anything more than death? … How dare you impose your superiority on us! What more do you have over us? What do Turks have more than Kurds? What did Germans have more than Jews? …As equal citizens of this country, everyone is going to freely have their citizen’s rights with their true identity. Living side by side as free citizens with honor, we will never accept to be dishonored. Never! Even if you commit a thousand massacres, we will never accept it.”
When a pro-government MP tried to interrupt her speech, the Kurdish deputy shot back firmly: “Shut up! You have not even shown the strength to condemn the massacre. Shut up!”
Kisanak, who is now the co-Mayor of Diyarbekir, resumed her remarks: “Someone [Erdogan] is saying: ‘We’re not going to allow them [Kurds] to settle down in those areas.’ What ‘settling down?’ We have been here longer than a thousand years. We are deeply-rooted in those cliffs, rocks, Mount Cudi, Mount Gabar, Mount Agri [Ararat], and Mount Munzur. We are in their depths. We are here and have been here since the beginning of history and we are going to be here till the end! What ‘settling down’? We have been rooted here since the beginning. Our ancestors, grandfathers, and graves are all here. Our language, culture is here. What ‘settling down’ are you talking about? …They want to assimilate and annihilate the Kurdish population that has been living here for over thousands of years.”
Calling the killing of 35 young Kurds by the Turkish military “a crime against humanity,” Kisanak continued: “We are not going to let it go — till the end! We will be using all possible international human rights to make them account for their crimes. All those who commanded it, gave the orders, bombarded the place, shredded the bodies of those young children, will give an account to the community for it. Someone said, ‘there was no intent, there is no apology,’ but, ‘there is compensation.’ Be ashamed of yourselves. You know what they call this in our [Kurdish] culture? Blood money! If I have the money, I can commit a crime and pay the money to cover it up. So you think you can kill, then pay and then try to cover it up? Be ashamed of yourselves….”
The Speaker of the Parliament turned off the courageous Kurdish MP’s microphone, forcing her to end her speech!