Nytt

Mange tyrkere er grepet av en nasjonalistisk stemning som krever utløp i krig. Folk marsjerer i gatene i en blanding av begravelse og opptog. De høyreekstreme Grå Ulver har oppslutning, og ropet «Allah vil ha krig» høres.

Det skumle er at dette også går ut over individuelle kurdere i hverdagen. Skulle Tyrkia invadere og miste mange soldater kan det bli riktig stygt. Dette må feks. den britiske regjering vite, likevel går man langt i å forstå tyrkerne. Ingen tør å advare mot et høyrenasjonalt hysteri med religiøse undertoner.

Maximillian Popps reportasje for spiegelonline er skremmende.

Tyrkia plages av historiske forbrytelser og nasjonale identitetskonflikter. Uretten mot kurderne forvandles til aggresjon. Problemene innen islam og forholdet mellom religion og sekularitet er uløst.

The mood in Turkey is becoming increasingly jingoistic as thousands take to the streets, calling for war against the Kurdish rebel organization PKK and an invasion of northern Iraq. But Baghdad has promised to curb the Kurds.

Anger drives them on to the streets, anger provoked by the images of dead soldiers shown on Turkish television. Thousands of demonstrators walk along Istiklal Caddesi, or Independence Avenue, Istanbul’s longest shopping street. They are calling for war: War against the Kurds, against the PKK, against Iraq. «We have waited long enough,» reads one poster. «Allah wants this war,» is the message on another.

People have been protesting throughout the country since Sunday evening, after it was revealed that rebels from the Kurdish separatist organization the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had killed 12 Turkish soldiers in eastern Turkey. It is mainly young people who take to the streets, with Turkish flags in their hands, whistles in their mouths and hatred in their eyes.

«We have waited long enough,» says Erkan, a young car mechanic from Istanbul. «It’s time to strike.» His face is pale and his right hand is clenched in a fist. «We are all Turks, we are all soldiers!» he calls. Many of the demonstrators sympathize with the right-wing youth organization the Gray Wolves. Their message to the Kurds is clear: Admit you are Turkish, or die.
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Aside from international diplomacy, though, many demonstrators in the streets are calling for war — now. Even among liberal Turks and university students, the mood is edgy. Many believe Turkey has allowed itself to be provoked by the PKK for long enough. «Erdogan shouldn’t allow himself to be pressured any longer, we need to invade Iraq,» says 23-year-old political studies student Ayla. «The Kurdish problem cannot be resolved through diplomacy alone.»

In the cafeteria of Istanbul’s Bilgi University, one of the country’s most prestigious schools, students hand out Turkish flags and black ribbons. «We want to express our sympathy for the dead soldiers,» says Gözde, one of the campaign’s initiators, and hits the table with her fist. «I ask myself how many Turks still need to die before our government finally does something about it.»

«Nobody wants war,» adds fellow student Metin. «But if that’s the price of security, we have no other choice.»

Det finnes tendenser til å ta et oppgjør med kurderne også innen landets egne grenser. Hvis en invasjon skulle lede til store tap kan det utløse uforutsette handlinger.

Regjeringen har gitt støtte til økonomisk utvikling av Øst-Tyrkia. Halvparten av kurderne stemte på AKP ved valget. Men historier om at harmen går ut over individuelle kurdere er ikke oppløftende.

On Sunday evening the street demonstrators in Istanbul wanted to storm a Kurdish neighborhood called Talabasi. The police managed to hold them back.

Emrah, 26, grew up in Diyarbakir, a Kurdish stronghold in southern Anatolia. He studied economics in Mersin and wants to find work in Istanbul. «I’m afraid,» he says. «I don’t know what’s going on in this country.» Lately he’s suffered more and more abuse: «People who were my friends just a few months ago won’t talk to me anymore.»

Emrah had a job interview at a bank last week. When he said he came from Diyarbakir and was Kurdish, he received a withering look. «I work hard, but no one is giving me a chance,» he says.

ANTI-KURDISH PROTESTS IN TURKEY
‘Allah Wants This War’