Published: Less than 2 hours ago
On the doll representing President Recep Erdogan, they had written “terrorist” – and PKK flags flew freely in Oulu.
Árpád Kovács, the man behind the protest, now talks about the purpose and how he was inspired by the Swedish Erdogan doll.
– NATO membership should not be decided by the pettiness of a dictator, says Kovác.
The manifestation on Monday evening is an annual event and was organized by the association Oulu Anarchists. According to Árpád Kovács, the goal is to get the imprisoned PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan released.
But the attention this year was greater than ever.
– It is quite incredible, for several years we have supported the Kurdish movement. Last year we had a demonstration where we put Erdogan’s face on a cut-out fighter jet and threw snowballs at it. It received no attention at all, except in the occasional Kurdish media.
“Dictator who rules and imposes”
When the focus is now on Finland’s and Sweden’s relationship with Turkey and Erdogan in connection with our NATO application, the situation is different.
– It is clear that we understood that it is a different situation now, but a dictator should still not be allowed to rule and rule in Europe. There are no excuses for that, says Árpád Kovács.
It is not the first time he has been rewritten. A couple of years ago, he was noticed, among other things, in QX after performing a church wedding of a same-sex couple, despite the fact that the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church did not allow it.
Now the spread has become even greater, but Kovács has not yet noticed any Turkish reactions.
If they come, they will come, he reasons.
– We knew there would be some kind of commotion. We have demonstrations to make people think, but the main purpose is never the provocation itself. The point is that there is a dictator who not only wants to dictate the conditions in his own country, but in all of Europe. And he has been acting like that for many years.
– There are a lot of people who have realized that we have a dictator in the east in Putin, but it’s about time people see that we also have one in the south in Erdogan. And he’s not a bit better.
Toned down protest
After Turkey was hit by a massive earthquake, Kovács and the others in the Oulu Anarchists Association decided to tone it down a bit. They began with a minute’s silence and an appeal to donate money to aid organizations in the area.
Árpád Kovács believes that it would be dangerous to ignore the issue of human rights in Turkey until only after Sweden and Finland have prepared their way into NATO.
– Turkey is playing a game of divide and rule. Sticking your head in the sand and thinking that we should talk about the Turkish problems only afterwards would be a very dangerous way to go, and certainly not a good idea.
– Human rights are more important than NATO membership.