Out of The Woodwork

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Photos from Radikal

The sign says “Vampire Bats Choose The Dark”

A series of molotov cocktail assaults have shaken Turkey’s cities of Mersin and Diyarbakir over the past few days. In Mersin, the attacks were on a police station, reportedly by PKK sympathizers. (click here, in Turkish) In Diyarbakir, attacks were on the AKP headquarters and an Islamic organization called Sura-Der, or Adana Social Solidarity Association (Der is short for dernek, or association). The Turkish news reported this within the Islam versus PKK paradigm, as it does most things. And indeed the following day there were demonstrations by hundreds of members of “Islamic organizations”, veiled in black, or clutching Quarans and Hizbullah flags. However, the commentary of these protestors, also printed in the newspaper, was not so much anti-PKK or anti-Kurdish but anti-secularist and anti-Ankara. (click here, in Turkish)

There is little information about Sura-Der on the web. It is one of a number of similarly named Islamic organizations under the website of vuslatgroup, which has a warning that this site could damage your computer. I found some interesting commentary on an earlier clash between Sura-Der and the PKK on a website about Turkish affairs (click here, in English) that adds more complexity:

According to this site, Sura-Der has ties with Kurdish Hezbollah (and newspapers say with AKP and Gulen Movement? The trifecta!) One of the other organizations is Mustazaf-Der, which according to the website “is supported by Iran and the Kurdish Hizbullah which was used against the PKK by the ‘deep state’ in the past.”

So the fight appears to be between Kurdish factions: Kurdish Hezbollah versus PKK.  And also between radical Islamists and the secular state. But not Turks versus Kurds, which is the explanatory framework the newspapers use to explain almost any violent incident these days (it used to be “leftist versus rightist” long after those categories ceased to make any sense in the Turkish context).

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One Response to “Out of The Woodwork”

  1. and this country wants to be part of the European Union? After all, Sarkozy and Merkel are right. No place for Turkey in the EU.

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