OPINION

Boris Johnson Receiving Lavish Gifts from a War Criminal.

29/09/2016 - 12:52 0
UK's 'Ottoman' Johnson Guilty of Human Rights Laundering in Turkey

Human rights activists in Turkey and Kurds were left open mouthed in shock and disbelief as the UK's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson used his first official diplomatic visit to Turkey to ingratiate himself with the Turkish regime, despite widespread international condemnation by human rights organisations of Turkey's continuing and worsening brutal suppression of human rights and freedom of expression against the media, social society and especially, the Kurdish population. 

At a press meeting attended by the UK foreign secretary and Turkey's EU affairs minister Omer Celik on Monday, instead of lambasting Turkey for it's brutal treatment of the Kurds and raising the concerns of international human rights groups of allegations of war crimes against the Turkish regime for crimes committed against Kurdish civilians in Cizre and elsewhere, Boris Johnson said this: 

“We are happy in the United Kingdom to be one of the biggest recipients of Turkish goods,” he said. “I am the proud owner of a digital, very well-functioning Turkish washing machine.” 

Kurds and human rights activists are left open mouthed at the insensitivity of this statement and angered at the craven aquiescence of a UK representative towards the perpetrator of systematic and brutal and ongoing crimes against humanity!

With this 'washing machine' statement, the UK is truly and quite literally, laundering the human rights abuses of the Turkish state and makes the UK guilty of aquiescing in those crimes. 

In turn the Turkish state lavished gifts and accolades onto the foreign secretary, Mr Celik, proudly calling the British foreign secretary an “Ottoman”, referring to Mr Johnson’s Turkish great-grandfather, Ali Kemal. 

Ironically, Ali Kemal came to the UK in 1909 following a press crackdown returning to Turkey before the outbreak of World War One.

In 1919, Ali Kemal openly advocated for a British protectorate status in Turkey, something which caused him to be seen as a traitor by Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish republic, and led to Johnson's grandfather Ali Kemal being lynched by a nationalist mob in 1922. 

At the same time as Boris Johnson was laughing and dining with the same ideological ancestors of those responsible for killing his own family and very much guilty of crimes against the Kurds today, Kurdish activists including elected mayors were being rounded up by the Turkish regime and thrown in jail to face torture and imprisonment.

As the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson left Turkey, the Turkish regime, emboldened perhaps by the silence of the international community shut down all Kurdish TV stations.

Since the last Turkish general election in 2015, when the pro-Kurdish political party HDP won massive majorities in Kurdish cities such as Nusaybin, Cizre, Sur and Silopi, the Turkish army has laid siege and imposed militarily campaigns to raze these cities to the ground, without a whisper from the UK. International human rights organisations have alleged war crimes agains the Turkish regime. War crimes that have still not been investigated.

Meanwhile the UK granted 71 military export licences to Turkey worth £12,766,730 between 1 Jan 2015 and 31 March 2015. (latest figures.)

Human rights and war crimes have literally been laundered by Boris's 'washing machine' statement and turned into UK arms sales. 

The UK's criminal silence over Turkey's war crimes against the Kurds and arms sales to the regime makes the UK guilty of aquiescencing in those crimes. 

It is up to human rights campaigners in the UK to make sure that the UK government is held to account and a campaign to stop UK arms sales to Turkey should be urgently highlighted.

British people should also support the Kurdish people's struggle for basic human and political rights in Turkey by joining the campaign to Stop Turkey's War on the Kurds and put pressure on the UK government to use its offices, not to sell weapons used against the Kurdish population but to put political pressure on the Turkish regime to release the Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan, held in a Robben Island type prison cell, so a process for peaceful political settlement to the Kurdish question can begin. 


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