Newsflash from Saf and Dobra: More (in English) on Diyarbakir’s Recep Güven


Districts of Diyarbakır

Districts of Diyarbakır (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saf and Dobra managed to force their way into my office here at the University just now.  It is a tough wooden door made to withstand the knocks of the wayward student who dares to tap when it is not within the timeframe of my office hours.

“We are sorry, m’lady,” they said, breathless from running all the way from the car, where I had left them. “We just had to share the news that there is a good English translation of more about what our hero (Saf *swooooons* at the mention of the word “hero”) said about a new way forward between Turks and Kurds.  We had to share it!”

And here is what they showed me…….how could I deny these puppets, who love-hate Turkey so, not to mention the United States, when a bastion of hope is upon them with respect to the Turkish motherland that vexes them so at times? And this is especially important, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rebuked these very comments, saying “We have never wept and will never weep for terrorists killed in clashes with the Turkish security forces.”  Things are not what they seem.

New Diyarbakır Police Chief Utters Hopeful Remarks

Published in English by Bianet.org – click link above for website – the text below this line is a copy of the Bianet.org website.

The newly appointed police chief in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır voiced unusual and poignant remarks about the Kurdish issue. Critics expressed hope that the sentiments he voiced will translate into action but struck a cautious note as he still remains an agent of the Turkish state.

Diyarbakır – Siirt – BIA News Center
08 October 2012, Monday

The newly appointed police chief in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır delivered some rare and striking comments with respect to the Kurdish issue. Critics expressed hope that Police Chief Recep Güven‘s remarks will help bring about some change but remained cautions nonetheless, as he is still a representative of the Turkish state.

“It is not the country but humanity that comes first. I had said that you are not a human being unless you weep for the terrorist up on the mountain either. My heart sinks for all terrorists. If a child goes up on the mountain [to take up arms] then we all have responsibility in that,” Police ChiefRecep Güvensaid in a press meeting, according to the daily Taraf.

Güven has recently been transferred from the Siirt Police Headquarters to the Diyarbakır Police Headquarters.

“I served in Diyarbakır between 1991 and 1996. It was a difficult period. I tried to render my services in Diyarbakır at a time which we [all regret.] I had established a theater in the police academy. I used to write bits and pieces of poetry. I could neither visit the theater nor write my poetry nor read Ahmet Arif in Diyarbakır,” he said.

“We were aware that every evacuated village, in fact, represented a threat to our future. We were also aware that people who went incognito would not be subject to any system. I would rather not criticize the past, but this is what lies underneath the problem we are having today,” Güven added.

Recep Güven also said he knew all too well that security measures would not help rectify the Kurdish problem, as he had served in the police intelligence for 20 years.

“We were both the victims and the prisoners of the system in that time, and we were doomed to it,” he said.

“I had said you are not a human being unless you cry for the terrorist who dies on the mountain during [a speech at Istanbul’s] Bahçeşehir University in 2005. However, you are not a state unless you can intern a monstrous terrorist who massacres children either,” Güven said.

“If a child goes up on the mountains, then we all have responsibility in this. How could I avoid self-criticism? [We are talking about] a child who could not cling onto a social life due to the use of excessive force in one of my checkpoints, or the ill-treatment of an officer of mine at a police station. If I am one of the reasons why he ran away, if there is a problem in this society, then how are we to solve it unless we lay all this bare?” he said.

“Alright, we have suffered, but we cannot continue this business through more suffering. The state exists to serve [the people.] It is not the country but humanity that comes first. The greatest problem is to reach out to the mothers and the children,” Güven added.

Forging a common language

It is significant that a police chief spoke about the forced evacuation of countless villages in southeastern Turkey, said Mehmet Emin Aktar, the head of the Diyarbakır Bar Association.

At least 1 million Kurds were forced out of their homes during the evacuations in the countryside in the 1990s.

“It is extremely important that this person said his conscience went out for everyone who lost their lives,” Aktar told bianet.

“People’s deaths should not be distinguished from each other. It is quite human to feel sorrow about [someone’s] death through a common attitude and reflex. The rhetoric of hatred has begun to accrue greater strength in conjunction with the escalation of the conflict, and people have started rejoicing in others’ deaths. It is exceedingly dangerous for society to grow apart over people’s deaths. The basis of co-existence also begins to wither away when we have no more sorrows or joys in common,” Aktar said.

Mehmet Emin Aktar also expressed his hope that Güven’s remarks may pave the way to form a common language by those who wish to co-exist.

“He says the state is also responsible for people going up to the mountains [to take up arms.] In that case, he needs to work toward eliminating those circumstances which cause people to go up to the mountains,” he added.

“I paid a visit to Güven after he took up office. He also uttered similar remarks during our conversation. He spoke about assuming a common stance against people’s deaths and of being partners in sorrow. As a legal expert, I look at the matter through the perspective of human rights and freedoms, and as a police chief, he sees matters though the lens of security. I thought we could forge a common language, however,” Aktar said.

The government’s new Kurdish policy?

Cumhur Kılıççıoğlu, the owner of Siirt Mücadele newspaper, referred to Police Chief Güven as a person “with a sentimental approach.”

“He was in office to fight against terrorism, but he was also deeply interested in children. He strove a lot to prevent children from taking it up to the mountains [to fight against the military.] I can say he did not strike an unfavorable image. In the end, however, he was a person tasked with implementing the state’s policies,” Kılıççoğlu said.

“The governor [of the southeastern province of] Siirt also uttered similar remarks last week. The governor said he was going to hire an instructor to learn Kurdish. This could be the government’s new Kurdish policy. I hope, however, these [officials] do not just pay lip service and that their words translate into action. Peace is the common demand of all our people,” he said.

“Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin says their struggle will continue until the last terrorist falls, but a police chief will weep for the people he will kill. Şahin also needs to grow a bit more sentimental and not make his own personnel cry,” he added. (EKN)

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13 Responses to Newsflash from Saf and Dobra: More (in English) on Diyarbakir’s Recep Güven

  1. Jack Scott says:

    The acceptance of Kurdish culture and language will not destroy the Turkish state but a suppression of it just might.

  2. gercek says:

    Do you christians weep for the muslim freedom fighters you kill?

  3. E. says:

    Dear Gercek;

    Thank you for commenting on my blog.

    First things first – while the tone of your comment suggests to me the great pain in your heart – yes, yes as a matter of fact, I do cry for all who die in these awful conflicts which I do not support. I see human beings first, beyond religious or ethnic or national identification. If you read my blog, you would see that this is the entire point of what I am doing – please read – please engage with me here – I welcome any comment you care to make if you are really open to true dialogue.

    Second, I do not imagine it is fair that you lump me in with other Christians – and I am barely one of those having seen what the Christian churches can perpetrate in the name of the Bible. Unlike the stereotypes that many people have about Americans, I am aware- well aware of what has been perpetrated against Muslims worldwide by the U.S. and/or people who are Christian or use the Christian moniker for centuries. This does not represent the Christianity I know or was raised in. Please know that “we” are not all the same. We do not all hold the same views. We do not all support the idiotic and oppressive political maneuvering and warmongering that goes on.

    I implore you to engage in productive discussion with me – let’s move beyond the pain and hatred – life is too short – the ills perpetrated by our leaders are too great – let’s re connect as humans. It may sound trite or blithe – but I mean it.

    With respect,

    Liz

  4. E. says:

    Well put, Jack. May not be a popular opinion…but I stand with you on it.

  5. Pingback: Hacivad Bey ponders a reader’s pained comment: On Christians and Muslims; Tears and corpses muslim freedom fighters you kill?” | Slowly-by-Slowly

  6. Rosamond says:

    Well said!!

  7. gercek says:

    I have lived in your christian country for more than 6 years and I know very well how much you christians hate us. It’s ridiculously ok to vilify muslims in the christian world. It’s the standard. Nothing is wrong with it. It’s also freedom of speech to speak ill of muslims but it’s a crime to say anything bad about jews, and it can’t even be considered as hypocrisy. It’s just the way it is. Is it a coincidence that the christian crusaders who hate muslims are so much into Kurds? You christians love Kurds, just like you love jews because they are your fellow criminals in the Mıddle East.

    No one cares about the two millions of muslims you genocided in Iraq and Afghanistan because you christians have the economic power and you rule the world. There is not even a single authority in the world who is not afraid of standing against the christian crusaders. That gives you the right to commit any barbaric crime and get away with it. But do you think that will be the same forever? When the christian world loses its economic superiority, which is due soon, you will pay for what you are doing now.

    So you christians come to Turkey, wear your christian clothes, refuse to
    learn Turkish and you are fine to live here. But if I wear my muslim clothes and refuse to learn your language in your country, I’m an islamofascist who
    doesn’t integrate into the society. But still you are so tolerant and we are
    islamofascists, right? Has anyone called you a christianofascist in Turkey?
    Is it a coincidence that the christian crusaders who hate muslims

  8. gercek says:

    When will your christian country accept the muslim culture and stop oppressing, raping, torturing and genociding them?

  9. E. says:

    Thanks, Rosamond! İt is great to see you back! As a Muslim woman, what do you have to say to Mr./Ms. Gercek, if anything? See new response this morning…

  10. jolly joker says:

    I love the words like “I know very well how much you Christians hate us”.
    A great generalization, I wish you saw someone that doesn’t think that way but apparently not, all Christians hate Muslims, bummer!!!

  11. Pingback: Afiyet olsun: Karagöz revels in the joy of a Tulum cóctel de mariscos | Slowly-by-Slowly

  12. Rosamond says:

    Sorry its took so long to respond but here I am now and I hope it’s not too late.
    your post; E. on October 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm
    I couldn’t have said it better Liz plus the fact that you have been very kind and diplomatic towards Gercek. I feel he just wants to get attention because his outburst was not fitting to your post. He said he lived 6 years in the US, if it was that bad why didn’t he go back home??
    I have to say that as a Muslim I have bad opinions on quite a number of Muslims, Jew’s and Christians but as you said every individual is not the same.
    I hate and my heart breaks for what is happening to Muslims in the world under the western guise of giving freedom or saving the Heathen!!!! I also feel helpless as an individual living in a country that allows or even promotes and supports the US government interfering and making war in other countries . I could easily hate all Americans but I feel I am the better person than Gercek because I understand how helpless a citizen is concerning their government’s foreign policies’ and hoiw their media can distort the truth.
    A lot of what Gercek said, we Muslims do feel but fortunately most of us handle our gripes in a civil matter. Its people like him, who retaliate in violent outburst, whether they are Christian, Muslim or Jew that ignite the flames.

  13. E. says:

    Hi there, thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. And, it’s never too late to comment. I think that is part of the best of the Internet, that things can go on over time. I feel the pain of Gercek and I wish that he could find a way such as the way you have found with your faith. Thanks so much.

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