Doğan Çetin, who was doing his compulsory military service in the western Turkey in Edirne was physically attacked by two soldiers for saying “wish we had been educated in Kurdish”. The attack took place on 15th August during which Çetin fractured his nose and forehead. Çetin, who filed a complaint with the police, said that the attackers are being protected by some of the military commanders and his life is at risk.
Despite making up at least a quarter of the population in Turkey, in practice Kurdish remains banned. It is claimed that people can speak whatever language they choose but, as this example shows, even the simple desire to be taught in Kurdish can result in an attack.
In recent times racist attacks have been increasing in Turkey. Just yesterday in Konya, western Turkey, Ozkan T – a Kurdish worker – was killed and two others were injured in another racist attack. In Samsun, Northern Turkey, Eymen Hammami a 16 year old Syrian was also stabbed to death.
Erdogan and the AKP government have been igniting racial tensions and using racist rhetoric, including that “the Turkish race is superior” and that everybody living in Turkey is Turkish. It is these politics that have led to the increase in racist attacks on Kurdish people and minorities in Turkey, and emboldened racist groups and individuals.