Human Rights abuses are looked upon as exceptions to the otherwise wonderful and peaceful nation, anywhere. This kind of thinking is ridiculous, really. The world map, and the nations we live in and that encircle the globe, have been created by hundreds of years of pillaging, destroying, killing, massacres, fires, bombs, genocide, criminalization, stabbings, rapes, forced displacements, creation of poverty and tortures. The national boundaries have been drawn on indigenous lands, and often usually decided by people who do not live in those places where the boundaries fall. All are made to comply with those rules.
In the US, the experience of the successful genocide of the Native American tribes, is spoken about as just a thing of the past. It is politically incorrect to speak of any of the Global north nations as abusers of humanity. Yet, in our hearts of hearts, in our quiet moments, when we reflect on what is happening globally; and if we have any scant awareness of how history has been developing since the 16th century, then we know that the techniques and tactics of RULING are largely unchanged. What changes are how it LOOKS and the furthering of the role of smoke and mirrors, propaganda and formulations of ‘truths.’
Turkey has been a nation carved out of the World War One experience–a combination of elite Central Asian and Meditteranean peoples who fought hard enough to not be swallowed by the expansion and control of European colonial rule. In its necessities to unite a people who were as diverse as one can imagine in the Ottoman Empire, there needed to be certain forms of killing. Cultures, people, groups, villages, language, etc. Much like the Native Americans in the boarding schools in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who would dare speak their own language or sing a lullaby they remember that their mothers sung to them. If they did, they were punished. Bars of soap might be crammed down their throats and the child wimpered and cried out. They were told it was ‘for their own good.’
Most nations did this. The Australian whites toward their Aboriginal tribes, the Canadians and their native tribes, the Japanese and the Ryukyu people and the Ainu and the other countless peoples that used to reside as different in Japan. Today, who even remembers such things about Japan. Now we think “they’re one people.” Propaganda has been largely successful.
Turkey, in its desperate attempt to fight the racism of the Europeans, had to eradicate and continue eradicating much of what has not been in its own image. Whatever may appear to be ‘uncivilized’ would get in the way of Turkey’s acceptance into the Euro-American imagination. It continues to do so. As mentioned earlier, Partha Chatterjee’s notion of the ‘extinction of the peasant’ is not just speaking literally about peasants, but about certain looks, certain social classes, certain ‘lower’ forms of life that are deemed so by what the Europeans would call primitive. What nation, under the thumb of the First World Nations at the UN meetings, would dare to be lesser? After all, the first world nations have not understood those ‘lesser’ to even be human. If they were human, they were ‘not yet like us.’
The USA has pushed and controlled much of what has happened since the British left off. As an empire with far-reaching resources, the USA has also pushed my Kurdish friends working for justice, into the justice system, holding them up in courts, complicating their lives and keeping them hidden from public view. The Kurds are expendable, much like the Roma, certain Jewish tribes, the Assyrian tribes, and thousands of others we do not hear about in our lives. They are not invisible by accident. The USA has spent billions and billions of dollars, working with Turkey, to make way for gentrification and modernization in these areas inhabited by people who everyone doesn’t know about. This is not hard to figure out. But even as many people know about the Kurdish people, there is still an ignoring.
Journalists, human rights workers, artists, singers, lawyers, and thousands of others who have been fighting for justice in Turkey, for the marginalized groups such as the Kurds, Alevis, Dersimians, and other groups, have endured not just a ‘Turkish’ form of control. We must remember that much of Turkey’s justice system, prison industrial complex, the military, and technologies, are informed by the US since the 1950s. Deep operatives have been in Turkey, helping to ‘transform’ them into the image of the acceptable ally for the USA. First World technologies must be allowed and MADE to work in those countries. In order for technologies to work in these places, the culture needs to be destroyed/changed. Those locals who want power and wealth, most of them gladly want to get on board. They become the first ‘leaders’ and are not chosen for their other qualities. The USA ensures that these people, who want to work with US government and transnational corporations, stay in power.
Jake Hess has been detained in Turkey. He has been reporting the abuses by the state and Turkish cultural dominance of primarily Kurdish and Alevi people in southeastern Turkey. Americans are hardly ever detained for their work in human rights work in Turkey. Usually they are deported and barred from returning. But nowadays things have change, since the Patriot Act and Homeland Security technologies are being globalized. The propaganda and also the positionings and the impunity of governments that goes along with this have also intensified. US journalists who put their lives on the line, such as Jake Hess, are now in a more precarious position.
If you and I and everyone you know can help put pressure on our government and media, it would turn out alright. But if no one cares, anything can be done with the resources at play. One never knows how long the tentacles are and the tactics of superiority. Jake Hess has not been in the television news, save a mentioning. There is a reason for this. Even newscasters I know of in the past, have brought these news pieces to the attention of their bosses, in relation to the Kurdish issues, and they are told that they would NOT print or put on air. Why?
I am hoping that there is enough action from around the world, to push for accountability and justice for Jake Hess, and all of the people working in Turkey and elsewhere, for a different world.
FOR ORIGINAL NEW STORY: US Journalist Jake Hess Detained in Turkey.
Beginning overview of US covert operations in Turkey – wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_activities_in_Turkey
Operation Gladio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio