(Washington, D.C.) — Diliman Abdulkader, Senior Advisor of the Turkish Democracy Project (TDP), has published an article in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs detailing the Turkish government’s deployment of the ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves group to persecute Kurdish citizens.
Commenting on the rise of the Grey Wolves and ultra-violent Turkish nationalism, TDP Senior Advisor Diliman Abdulkader said:
“In an effort to impose a rigidly defined ‘Turkishness’ and advance its nationalist policies, the Turkish government has shown that it will readily ally itself with ultra-violent extremist organizations like the Grey Wolves. Considered a terrorist group by the European Union, the Grey Wolves has been implicated in the murder of almost 6,000 Kurds since the 1970s. The organization will continue to persecute the Kurdish people unlawfully and unjustly as long they are emboldened by Ankara’s support.”
Since President Erdogan’s assent to power nearly two decades ago, marginalized groups such as the Kurdish, Armenian, and other minority populations have faced increasing persecution by the Turkish state and state-sponsored organizations such as the Grey Wolves.
In a 2021 report by the European Parliament, policymakers called on Turkey to “ensure the protection and safety of human rights defenders and to promptly initiate independent investigations” into violent acts perpetrated against minority groups. The European Parliament also expressed its significant concern over the close links between the Grey Wolves and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), part of President Erdogan’s ruling coalition
Commenting on Diliman Abdulkader’s article and growing extremist violence in Turkey, TDP’s Executive Director Madeleine Joelson said:
“It is critical to the cause of Turkish democracy to promote independent research by Kurdish experts. In a time of growing persecution by groups such as the Grey Wolves, research like this is more important than ever. We have a collective responsibility to shed light on the repression and abuse perpetrated by President Erdogan’s government. Ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities continue to suffer terrible abuses because they do not conform to President Erdogan’s artificial and narrowly defined sense of ‘Turkishness’.”