08:28 GMT +3 hours30 July 2016
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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (2nd L) speaks with commandos during his visit at the Gendarmerie Commando Special Forces headquarters in Ankara, Turkey February 16, 2016

Erdogan's War Against Kurds in Southeast Turkey is 'Part of Business Plan'

© REUTERS/ Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace
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Ankara has unleashed a devastating war against Kurds in the southeast Turkey to "urgently nationalize" the affected structures and implement the AKP-led project of Urban Change in Diyarbakir, Istanbul-based independent scholar Dr. Can Erimtan writes, dubbing the process as "disaster capitalism à la Turca."

The Kurdish peace process launched by Recep Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) back in 2009 has been eventually brought to an end by Ankara, who now has unleashed an all-out war against its own population in southeastern Turkey.

"The Turkish-state-as-led-by-the-AKP has been waging all-out war against the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] ever since the June elections proved unable to produce the desired outcome. In fact, the hostilities began on 24-25 July 2015 when Turkey's Armed Forces (TSK) undertook Operation Martyr Yalcın aimed at PKK and ISIS [Daesh] positions in northern Iraq (KRG) and northern Syria (Rojava)," Istanbul-based independent scholar Dr. Can Erimtan narrates in his article for New Eastern Outlook.

Citing Human Rights Watch's December report, the scholar calls attention to the fact that since July 2015 Kurdish civilians including women, children and elderly residents have been killed in the course of the Erdogan government's military operation in southeastern Turkey.

The severe military crackdown has led to the destruction of numerous buildings and monuments, including mosques and churches.

According to Erimtan, the ongoing operation is not a mere punitive action, but, apparently, part of Ankara's business plan.

The crux of the matter is that since 2010 the AKP-led government has repeatedly made vain attempts to kick off the Urban Change program in Turkey's southeast region. The project envisaged that 330 individual buildings would be demolished in the area of Sur in Diyarbakir.

"In view of the numerous protests against this apparently wanton and profit-driven destruction, these controlled demolitions were brought to a halt subsequently. But now that real estate is being destroyed in the course of the ongoing armed conflict, Turkey's State Housing Agency Directorate (TOKİ) has come to the fore once more," Erimtan elaborates.

Turkish pro-government media outlets have begun to bang the drum for the AKP-led program of Urban Change in Diyarbakir, claiming that the affected structures should be "urgently" nationalized and rebuilt.

There is something very fishy about the Turkish Ministry for Environment and Urban Planning's report 'Urban Change and Diyarbakir,' issued in February 2015, when nothing hinted at any trouble, the scholar stresses.

"The report deals specifically with the area of Sur within the prefecture of Diyarbakir and proposes the realization of 'a comprehensive change' in favor of earlier 'localized interventions' or 'narrow-scope implementations' in order to accomplish feats of 'conservation,' 'regeneration,' and 'renewal' in the area," Erimtan explains.

The lucrative project envisioned the construction of 8,000 new buildings and the conservation of 1,000 historical monuments.

What lies beneath Ankara's punitive operation in southeastern Turkey? Apparently it is Erdogan's "disaster capitalism."

Erimtan refers to Canadian author Naomi Klein's book "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" (2007) that describes the controversial strategy invented by US economist Milton Friedman and then implemented by his followers all over the world.

"Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable," Friedman wrote in the 1960s.

Klein's book tells the story of the utter victory of neoliberalism and corporations which used natural and man-made disasters and wars to ruin a region's economy and infrastructure in order to grab its assets and natural resources.

Remarkably, in 2015 independent Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein released his book "Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe" that echoes Klein's concept and confirms that disaster has become big business.

Erimtan believes that the Erdogan government is implementing its own version of disaster capitalism in Turkey. Instead of bolstering the country's productivity and increasing its gross domestic savings, the AKP is pushing ahead with widespread privatization of Turkey's state assets and enterprises.

The ongoing armed conflict is seen as an ideal business opportunity by Ankara: ignoring the people on the ground the Erdogan government is planning to carry out its lucrative building project in southeast Turkey. 

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Tags:
Turkish Kurds, housing construction, capitalism, crisis, business, war, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Justice and Development Party (AKP), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Diyarbakir, Turkey, Syria, Iraq
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  • copius
    No choice but to invade turkey, rapidly.
  • yehedgehogin reply tocopius(Show commentHide comment)
    copius, It would be easier to bomb Turkey flat. Thus giving them a disaster capitalist area to renovate and removing them from the political scene. A win, win situation, with everybody happy?
  • The Kurds need to be given the kind of weapons that will allow them to blow up gas and oil pipelines traversing within or close to their territory, at will. Erdogan will come to his senses very fast when there is no electricity in Istanbul, when the gas pipelines are repeatedly hit. Lets do it Volodya, short range pinpoint rockets that will blow up even buried pipelines. !!
  • Beady-eyed Insomniac
    Then crackhead Erodogan needs to re-write his business plan as it has failed miserably, and include the Kurds as partners - but wont happen while he continues to snort the white stuff
  • terryjohnodgers
    The Turks are into another genocide. They have a history of that - remember what happened to the Armenians.
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