Assad : al-Nusra, ISIS, etc. | Erdogan : DHKP-C ?
Turkish police were forced to respond with rubber bullets and tear gas after coming under attack by extreme left-wing DHKP-C members in the Istanbul district of Okmeydani on Thursday.
Bystander Ugur Kurt and Ayhan Yilmaz died as a result of their injuries they sustained during the clashes, as DHKP-C members hurled grenades, Molotov cocktails and stones at police.
It’s too soon — and yet never soon enough — to note the possibility of Prime Minister Erdogan’s using the surfacing of the long outlawed DHKP-C as a foil with which to ramp up the repression of more moderate democratic people’s resistance to both his potential and so far evident drift toward greater absolute authority.
As much has been accomplished by Bashar al-Assad’s uneven decisions about barrel bombing noncombatants while leaving, as author Aboud Dandachi has suggested, terrorist havens intact, the better to cast himself as the Hero of the Secular Engaged in Fighting Islamic Terrorists.
While the possible path — Putin : Assad : Syrian Resistance–> Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party – Front (DHKP/C) vs Erdogan / Turkey : NATO/US — may seem ironic in its mirrored facet, the effect may be to taint modest internal Turkish resistance to Erdogan’s authority with the vivid red brush of a faction of the New Old Now Old Far Out and Lost Left.
As regards the interests of the global human rights community, these games help no one; as regards the interests of dictators, letting the fox slip into the hen house may give the farmer the excuse he needs to pick up his shotgun and go in and shoot the place up.
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By April 2011, over 500 people had been taken into custody and nearly 300 formally charged with membership of what prosecutors described as “the Ergenekon terrorist organization”, which they claimed had been responsible for virtually every act of political violence—and controlled every militant group—in Turkey over the last 30 years.
On the other hand, as regards Turkey’s deeply compartmentalized politics, the noise made in the streets — and occasional bombing — by the now and then visible DHKP/C may be just part of the chaos roiling the currents beneath the surface of comparatively calm waters.
If the reports are true, it might mean that the terrorist group, which some experts describe as long past its heyday, is seeing a revival now that the Syrian conflict has given the U.S. and Turkey new reason to cooperate on foreign policy.
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