Kurdish, Armenian, and other oppressed groups joined political activists in front of the Turkish Consulate today to denounce the assassination of (and to honor) Tahir Elçi, Hrant Dink, and other victims of Turkish state violence. The rally was organized by the Rojava Solidarity Committee of Los Angeles, and the Armenian Youth Federation.
Protestors chanted, “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!” “Tahir Elçi Lives, Hrant Dink Lives!” and “Biji (long live) Kurdistan!”
Tahir Elçi and Hrant Dink were both well known human rights activists in Northern Kurdistan (Turkey), who were murdered for their efforts to bring justice to oppressed groups in Turkey. Elçi was a prominent Kurdish lawyer, known for his humanitarian efforts. He was assassinated during a press conference while calling for an end to violence.
Hrant Dink was a prominent writer and member of Turkey’s Armenian community. He was an advocate for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and received numerous death threats for speaking out about the Armenian genocide. A Turkish nationalist assassinated him in 2007.
Organizers spoke about their lives, and the lives of other victims of the Turkish state in front of the Turkish Consulate:
Afterwards, activists held a sit in, putting tape over their mouths and ties around their wrists:
— Revolution News (@NewsRevo) December 19, 2015
The Turkish state is continuing its war on oppressed communities within its borders, against the YPG in Syria, and also its war against the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) in the Quandil mountains in Iraq. Turkish police are attacking civilians and imposing curfews in Kurdish areas. Curfews are imposed in districts which predominantly support the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
Curfews and operations, which are mainly held in urban districts, affect civilians on many levels. Civilian deaths have been reported as curfews restrict the entrance of food supplies to the cities, and many citizens cannot access health services.