Archive for April, 2006

SIMILARITY AND ITS DISCONTENTS

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2006 by Mizgîn
“One is forced to speak not of what is held in common between the cultures, but what is held in common between the myths, and that in its simplest archetypal forms.”
~ Carl Gustav Jung.

I have located an excellent video from Australia’s SBS TV which discusses the serious problem of torture inflicted on the Basque people by the Spanish government. On the surface, this may not seem related to the Kurdish situation, but if you watch the video and you know anything about the manner in which the Turkish government (or the Iranian or Syrian, for that matter) has handled its Kurdish problem, you will understand exactly why I am writing about this subject.

To get you set up, you can find the video here. It is a long one, almost 26 minutes, and it is definitely worth every minute of your attention. There is a partial transcript of the program provided at Istanbul Indymedia, which also contains a link to the video.

As I mentioned, this video focuses on torture as used by the Spanish government on any and every Basque they suspect, correctly or not, of being an ETA member, sympathizer or simply having any connection at all to ETA, including journalists who have interviewed ETA members. There are a number of other aspects of the Basque situation that are also familiar subjects to Kurds, but are peripheral to the discussion of torture as presented in the video, such as the Dirty War conducted against the Basques, efforts of Spain to create intra-Basque fighting and disunity, extrajudicial killings, deaths in prison and in custody, impunity of security forces, the whole propagandized “terrorist” question, and extraditions of Basques.

More on all those other aspects of Spanish repression can be found at EHJ-Navarre. Note, too, that it appears Spain and France had a little relationship going similar to the one between Turkey and Iran as regards extraditions.

I suppose the most striking thing to me is the attitude of the Spanish government toward the Basques and their longing for independence. Here is a country, Spain, that behaves in ways very similar to Turkey. It denies that torture takes place or, when cornered, attempts a tu quoque argument, as one government offical does in the video. He attempts to downplay the Spanish government’s guilt by asking, “Which country in the European Union hasn’t had cases of torture reported?” When the interviewer quotes the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture as saying that today, most claims of torture are leveled against Spain, the official demands that the camera be turned off so that the “terms of the interview” can be discussed.

That same Special Rapporteur, Theo van Boven, found that Spanish authorities were obsessed with the Basques, and that sounds so much like Turkey and its obsession with Kurds. All this obsession turns every Basque and every Kurd into “terrorists” by the respective, obsessed governments. Naturally, all of this obsession justifies torture committed against both peoples, as well as justifying all of the other dirty government tactics. Yet in spite of all this obsession, there appears to be a need to hide the atrocities well from outside eyes and to play the denial game when confronted with them.

A related point is one made by the interviewer, who states:

Outside of the Basque Country, the allegations of torture haven’t gained much traction. Anyone with a connection to Basque nationalism tends to be dismissed as a “terrorist” sympathizer by the national government and media.

Just as with Kurds, such sympathizers are beyond the legal pale and are permitted to suffer from impunity of security forces. All of those outside of the country in question simply believe the official media version of events. It helps that these governments have friendly relations with other, powerful governments, all of whom perpetuate the official myth worldwide and cooperate with extradition or deportation proceedings, in spite of well-founded fears of torture or danger to life itself.

The experience of Martxelo Otamendi, is a familiar one to Kurds. This editor of the Basque-language newspaper, Egunkaria, was detained incommunicado and tortured for published interviews with ETA members and the newspaper was shut down by the government. The Spanish government maintained that the paper was funded and directed by ETA, although to this day, no evidence to support that claim has ever been presented.

Compare that to the current situation of Roj TV, and there is no difference except that the Basque example was a newspaper and the Kurdish example is a TV channel. Both employ languages that have been restricted or banned by their respective obsessed governments, and both are accused of “terrorist” backing with no proof forthcoming. Unless, of course, we are going to permit a lot of governmental hot air and hysterics to be entered as evidence.

Otamendi was tortured while detained and when he continued to speak about his experience after release, he was slapped with additional charges by the government. The charges stated that he was a “collaborator” with “terrorists,” and that he was, in effect, defaming the very government that had tortured him. To top it off the government made the following ludicrous statement:

“[I]f there was a credible complaint of torture it would be discussed publicly; however in counter-terrorism cases it was standard for a person who has been detained systematically to allege that he/she has been tortured. Consequently, most press agencies did not report the case as they knew the claim to be false, except for those newspapers linked to terrorism” (p. 5 of link)

This is nonsense. In fascist-inspired states, nothing like this can be discussed publicly. There is a double-standard at work here, as well. In the video, the government official states that journalistic investigations are not credible for states that “uphold the rule of law,” but the statement I quote here, from the former Spanish Interior Minister, very obviously considers journalistic investigations to be valid. It is not the argument for or against journalistic investigations that is relevant; it is the fact that the Spanish government, like the Turkish government, will twist everything in any possible way in order to justify its own vile actions.

Is it any wonder then, that Spain and Turkey, together, are heading up the “Alliance of Civilizations” program? Exactly what kind of alliance of civilizations will that be?

At the beginning of the video, the presenter asks the question:

This disturbing story actually comes at an interesting time in the decades-long Basque conflict. Two weeks ago, ETA – responsible for hundreds of deaths over the years, announced a permanent cease-fire, the best chance yet for a resolution of the conflict. But could the torture allegations derail the peace negotiations?

If my Kurdish sense is correct, and I answer this question from my Kurdish sense, I would have to say that the public discussion of Spanish atrocities against the Basques–to include others besides torture–can only derail the peace negotiations if the Spanish government continues in its denial. As I see it, genuine peace negotiations and resulting settlement will have to take into account the government’s atrocities against the Basque people. The Spanish government is going to have to ask itself why the Basques felt compelled to engage in their right to legitimate armed resistance and it’s going to have to find honest answers, because there is no such thing as spontaneous generation. In other words, shit doesn’t just happen.

Turkey will have to face up to the same thing as regards the Kurds.

The video report ends by summing up the situation precisely:

After decades of violent struggle, it will not be easy to bridge the gulf of trust between the Basques and the Spanish Government.

Double dittos for the Kurds and the Turkish government.

Advertisements

THE INFERNO

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2006 by Mizgîn
The land of tears gave forth a blast of wind,
And fulminated a vermilion light,
Which overmastered in me every sense,
And as a man whom sleep hath seized I fell.
~ Dante Alleghieri, The Inferno, Canto III

Turkish Kurdish demonstrators display a banner with the pictures of PKK guerillas who were killed by Turkish troops during a demonstration in the town of Birecik, near the southeastern Turkish city of Urfa, in this Tuesday, April 4, 2006 file photo. Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a radical militant group, is calling on Turkish Kurds to bring ‘fear and chaos’ to Turkey and has posted do-it-yourself instructions for homemade bombs and detonators on its Web site, along with praise for suicide bombers. The Freedom Falcons is a splinter group of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, the main militant group in southeastern Turkey that is looking to step up violence against the Turkish state. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture came with a few but I will add a few more.

First order of business is that part of the caption discussing TAK (Têyrbazên Azadîya Kurdistan–Kurdistan Freedom Falcons). In yesterday’s post I remarked that the Turkish state, as well as Onder Aytac and Emre Uslu of The New Anatolian, were trying to make connections between TAK and PKK because there is no distinction made in the Turkish media. It is only now that journalists are beginning to say things like “splinter group of PKK.”

TAK made its debut last summer with a attacks in tourist areas, with their primary goal being one of disrupting the Turkish state’s lucrative tourism industry. During the recent serhildan, TAK indicated it would increase the violence as a result of security forces’ brutality against the Kurdish people:

“From now on, every attack against our people will be met immediately by even more violent acts, ” TAK said in an e-mail sent out to news agencies.

“We will start to harm not just property but lives too. With our actions we will turn Turkey into hell,” it said.

Since the biggest bogeyman of the TC is PKK, and since they can milk a lot of sympathy by blaming everything on PKK, that is where they have lain the blame for TAK operations. Last July, HPG denied ties to TAK:

The Kurdish People’s Defence Forces (HPG) issued a statement yesterday denying claims made by the Turkish state and media that their forces have ties to the militant organisation TAK (Kurdistan’s Freedom Falcons).

In the statement issued by the HPG Commandership Headquarters the guerrillas accused the Turkish government of deliberately smearing HPG’s legitimate struggle of self-defence.

“The Turkish government officials and media are in their statements trying to tie us to the attack in the city of Kusadasi. Their accusations are totally groundless and unfounded. We have nothing to do with the attack in Kusadasi. As we don’t have any ties to this attack, we also don’t have any ties at all with TAK and such organisations”, the HPG statement said.

So what we have here is more looniness over PKK that turns out to be false, just as happened in the commentary I discussed yesterday, but the problem is that the guys who wrote yesterday’s article were spinning propaganda. Compare what Reuters reported about who is encouraging “fear and chaos,” to the BS of the Ondar and Emre show:

A radical militant group is calling on Turkish Kurds to foment “fear and chaos” and has posted do-it-yourself instructions for homemade bombs and detonators on its Web site, The Associated Press reported from Diyarbakir, Turkey.

In the past three months, the Marxist-inspired Kurdistan Freedom Falcons have claimed responsibility for at least eight bomb attacks in Istanbul and elsewhere that have left two people dead and 47 people wounded.

I said that the statement Ondar and Emre were “analyzing” didn’t sound like PKK.

By the way, read that entire Reuters report to see who just got the axe. None other than the Wan prosecutor himself, Ferhat Sarikaya. He fought the pashas and the pashas won–no surprise there. It will be no surprise either when the pashas tell the parliamentary Semdinli Commission what their findings are, even though their draft report is already very pasha-friendly.

Second order of business inspired by that AP photo: gerîla funerals.

During the serhildan, the Turkish state made the statement that they were no longer going to turn over the bodies of gerîlas to their families for proper burials, but they were going to bury them where they fell, after doing some kind of half-assed autopsy on them. You know, they have to go through the the formality of even half-assed autopsies so they can continue to fool the EU. DozaMe posted more details on this.

This is an atrocity against every Kurd, because it means Kurdish dead are worth nothing. I wonder what has happened to the bodies of those gerîlas who have died since the serhildan? I also wonder how the terrorist pashas will bellydance their way out of this one:

Professor Doctor Sebnem Korur Fincanci who previously headed the Istanbul University Forensic Medicine Department told Bianet in an interview that the practice itself was a violation of international human rights and that Turkey could be convicted at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for it.

[ . . . ]

She argued that bodies of the dead could not be buried where they were killed and added “an autopsy must certainly be carried out at a center, by forensic medicine experts.”

She referred to the international Mennesota Autopsy Protocol covering the effective investigation of extrajudicial killings saying, “the conditions of an autopsy are clearly stated in this protocol accepted by the United Nations. Because these conditions are not being met, Turkey could be sentenced at the ECHR for failing to conduct an effective investigation”.

Fincanci added that according to the Turkish Penal Code, no matter who the deceased was, respect had to be shown to their funerals and the bodies had to be surrendered over to their families.

For reference, everyone can check the Minnesota Autopsy Protocol at this site. It’s part of the United Nations Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions. You would think, by now, with all the extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions that the Turkish state has committed against the Kurdish people, that the Turkish authorities would be able to recite this manual in their sleep. No such luck. Just ask the Kaymaz family.

In the Bianet article, the IHD Chairman Alatas comments on the fact that the Turkish state will use this refusal-of-burial practice to hide its own atrocities, something that was my initial reaction when I first read the news. He goes on to say that this practice is also in violation “of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which governs respect towards family and private life.”

Alatas concluded, “in essence this is a practice to punish the Kurdish people. . .”

We should all be as mad as hell and not willing to take it anymore.

SATIRE, CONSPIRACY, OR PROPAGANDA?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2006 by Mizgîn
“The biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy. Nobody’s out to get you. Nobody gives a shit whether you live or die. There, you feel better now?”
~ Dennis Miller.

Man. . . you can read some really funny stuff on the Internet. I guess that’s one of the reasons I like it so much. You have your satirical sites like ScrappleFace or The Onion, or one that I recently stumbled across, called The EcoEnquirer. Hilarious! Then you have your conspiracy theory sites, like The Black Vault, which can be kind of scary, or the Global Gulag, which is just plain nuts.

Somewhere in between these two, on the spectrum of that part of the Internet that is home to the weird, you will find the Turkish media.

I have been watching Onder Aytac and Emre Uslu in their column at The New Anatolian for some time, but tonight they have broken the barrier and have formally entered The Weird. Although, I suppose I can’t blame them after watching the paranoia in the Turkish press lately, but I felt like their 19 April commentary deserves a pause and a little examination.

Onder and Emre are claiming that the PKK is having a power struggle with DTP, and that PKK is “lord[ing] over the DTP.” DTP cannot, therefore, in Onder and Emre’s analysis, do anything about this. It is too helpless in the face of the awesome military might of the big, bad PKK.

It [PKK statement] maintains that “while the Turkish military is launching operations against ‘our people,’ demanding peace would mean annihilation. Under current circumstances neither the Kurdistan People’s Congress (Kongra-gel), the new name of the PKK, nor its military wing, the People’s Resistance Force (HPG), demands peace; demanding peace means accepting defeat. If carefully reviewed, in our latest calls we asked [the people] to intensify the resistance continuously. Therefore, if anyone, be it a political party [implying the Democratic Society Party, DTP] or any individual [implying Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir], urges a halt to resistance, our people should not listen to them. On this matter you should follow our, the HPG’s, statements.”

According to Onder and Emre, this is a quote from the PKK statement–notice the quotation marks? First of all, why are they quoting an alleged PKK statement that refers to KONGRA-GEL as the new name of the PKK? Why would PKK say something like that? Why would it have to explain who and what it is if it is addressing Bakurî Kurds? Secondly, why would it refer to it’s “new” name by an old name? Why is the name of HPG rendered as “People’s Resistance Force,” when that is not how the Kurdish is rendered? And why would PKK not simply use the acronym, “HPG?” Everyone knows what that means.

Secondly, what proof is there of the implications that Onder and Emre draw, namely, that DTP is the party, or Osman Baydemir is the man, being “threatened?” I can imply that the party that is being threatened is AKP, and the man, Erdogan. I can imply any European party or, for example, Joost Lagendijk. If either of those insist that resistance be halted then no one should listen to them. Yet I cannot, for the life of me, remember a moment in the last couple of weeks when DTP as a party, or any individual within the DTP called for a halt to “resistance.” DTP members have called for an end to violence on the part of demonstrators as well as on the part of the fascist Turkish state. They have also expressed their empathy with the demonstrators because, after all, DTP members are also Kurds, subjected to the same circumstances that forced the demonstrators to rise up in the first place. Of course, they are rightly empathetic.

Thirdly, what is wrong with resistance? What resistance is referred to in the statement? Civil disobedience is resistance, boycotting is resistance, general strikes are resistance, just as blowing up infrastructure is resistance. So which resistance is referred to here? Can acts of resistance by the people be carried out in such a way that solidarity is created with the gerîlas? Absolutely. In fact, coordinated acts of resistance by the people are great morale boosters to the gerîlas and reinforce the concept of total gerîla warfare. Should it be this way? Yes. Is this powerful? Again, absolutely. Solidarity is always powerful.

Mao said, “The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.” This is a true statement and it cannot be otherwise. It is especially true for the Kurdish people because the gerîlas come from the people, they are of the people. How then can they be separate from the people? And if anyone wants to say there is a separation, why is it that 10,000 or more people at a time turn out for the funerals of gerîlas? If the death of a gerîla, or a civilian resistor murdered by the state, has the power to draw thousands, if not tens of thousands–as we witnessed last November–then it is clear that the people is one and both participate in their appropriate forms of resistance, one by defence of arms and another by protest, boycott, general strike, or even simply a mental attitude of resistance.

It is also an act of resistance when Osman Baydemir calls for calm in his city, the great and beautiful Amed, and to comply with his call is also an act of resistance. In this case, both the call and the act of compliance nullifies the power of the state while, at the same time, empowers the Kurdish people. Therefore the alleged PKK statement cannot be implying any threat against DTP or Osman Baydemir.

I am deeply touched at the apparent concern by Onder and Emre for the DTP, but if their concern were sincere, why are they not then calling for Ankara to help DTP achieve “peace” and, at the same time, foil the evil plots of the PKK? But Onder and Emre are rather silent on that point, aren’t they? Ankara and the EU are also silent on that point, even though some fifty DTP leaders have been arrested since the serhildan. On top of that, the DTP leadership is in the process of being judicially buried in a pile of investigations and charges that make a mockery of any pretence to “democracy” that the state might claim.

Let me also point out who it is that has been threatening Osman Baydemir. It is the Turkish state. I have to agree with the DTP statement about the results, if the state so much as touches Heval Osman. If the state thought it saw violence a couple of weeks ago in Amed, let it come and touch Heval Osman and it will learn what an Amedî serhildan really is.

In spite of all this, we can still occasionally read the moanings of Europeans, Americans or Turks about how there is no Kurdish leadership to deal with. Unbelievable! The Kurdish leadership has been arrested, tortured, extrajudicially murdered, forced into exile for decades, and are now being arrested and drowned in state-sponsored harassment known euphemistically as “investigations,” and the stinking hypocrites in the West–yes, Ankara is in the West–shed crocodile tears over the lack of Kurdish leaders.

Let that fact of life sink in for a while.

In the meantime, back at the Onder and Emre show, they do seem concerned that the alleged PKK statement calls for resistance in urban centers:

. . . They [PKK] call on Kurdish youth to take up arms and carry out individual attacks. “The youths should establish full resistance units (armed action units) in every village, town, neighborhood, borough, city and metropolis. When there is a police/military operation, these units should kill the security forces. Under the current circumstances, this type of structuring became an obligation and an immediate duty.” The terror organization urges Kurdish youth to “choose civilian targets, tourist destinations, factories.” It says “you can set fire to these places… You can target police, military personnel, bureaucrats who advocate the military operations, as well as Justice and Development (AK) Party and Republican People’s Party (CHP) offices in southeastern Turkey, and parties which are hateful toward the Kurdish people [implying Turkish nationalist parties].”

With the latest announcement, the organization changed its traditional strategy, according to which terrorists had to follow the chain of command to attack a target. In the latest announcement, the PKK asks youngsters to act individually: “The attacks mentioned aren’t difficult to carry out; you can put gasoline on your target and set it on fire. Two or three youths could come together, and even if you lack arms you could stab the enemy when you find them in a quiet place; you could even choke them with wire. This type of new organization and action is an obligation. The only way for resistance against state forces is to organize full resistance units and attack our enemies.”

Theoretically, what is wrong with anyone attacking the Turkish security forces? Nothing. They are a force of occupation which engages in atrocities against the Kurdish people and the Kurdish people has an inherent right of self-defence. After all, Erdogan himself has already declared total warfare against all Kurds and not even the peaceniks that make up the EU bothered to bat an eyelash over that little bombshell. Does the state really believe that the Kurdish people should sit and wait for the state to crush them? The state knows nothing about the Kurdish people, if that is the case, because if Kurds were a people that did nothing in the face of a terrorist machine bearing down on them, they would have ceased to exist long ago.

That isn’t the case, though, is it? Kurds are still here and Kurds are still fighting back.

This section of the alleged PKK statement makes reference to civilian targets and even goes into an extremely anal description of the fact that it is possible to burn things. Okay, I think everyone has the burning thing figured out because it is common knowledge among all humankind that it is possible to set fires, yet we are expected to believe that the PKK has to tell people that you can set things on fire? Ditto on the stabbing and choking business.

Yeah, right, whatever. Only the Turkish state would write something that stupid.

Seriously, PKK is not going to go against its own policy, which it made in a statement to the UN in early 1995. Turkish security forces do not adhere to any laws of land warfare as known by civilized states, and complete ignorance of PKK’s 1995 statement is something I would expect from the state. In fact, it confirms for me that the state is the organization who manufactured this alleged PKK statement. In this section of the alleged statement, the state is trying to make a connection between PKK and TAK. They make no distinction between the two in their media, which makes it easier for the gullible to swallow this red herring whole.

The most likely reason why the organization decided to implement such a tactic is that it is losing ground in urban centers and having difficulty recruiting in these centers. Instead of pushing people to join the organization actively and leave their homes, it would be much easier for them to push people into these types of actions; they can take part of the organization’s subversive activities where they live.

Bullshit, plain and simple. The people are going to the mountains from everywhere, including urban centers. There is no need for recruitment because the Turkish state takes care of all PKK’s recruitment needs. With every act of repression, every detention, every arrest, every lack of services, the Turkish state sends Kurds to the mountains, but Onder and Emre are living in fantasy land and are incapable of seeing reality.

Just as I was touched by all the concern gushing from the keyboard of these two “analysts,” so I am touched by their extreme concern for the Kurdish people as a whole, at the end of all this drivel and nonsense which is passed off as “analysis.” Their concern takes the form of chiding Kurds to “strongly oppose” this plot by “discouraging their children” (a little dig at all the Turkish media’s recent lies that children were “used” by PKK in the demonstrations, when the only children to be murdered in cold blood by Turkish security forces were on a playground or watching from their home balconies) from joining the urban “units.” Their concern also extends to a call for Kurds to oppose this plot by demonstrating against it in public.

Sure, so that Turkish security forces can murder more Kurds with impunity, right guys?

Onder Aytac and Emre Ulsu, from The New Anatolian. Satirists extraordinaire, conspiracy loons or Turkish state propagandists?

I report, you decide.

SPIES, RED HERRINGS AND STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16, 2006 by Mizgîn
“The three rules of journalism: make it juicy, make it brief, make it up.”
~ Anonymous

The New Anatolian has a few interesting pieces up and running that I’d like to point out.

The funniest one is titled “Spies in tourists’ clothing”, in which TNA describes how the parliamentary Semdinli commission is finding “spies” going around as tourists in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. Apparently, the “spies” were using the cover of studying folklore research in Hekarî. A likely story.

One of these “spies” was allegedly French and the other Greek, but I’m sure the parliamentary Semdinli commission knows the real truth, that these “spies” must be JEWS. The PKK is so powerful that it controls the World Zionist Conspiracy®, which means the PKK controls all the world media, all financial institutions, all the arms industry, all governments, and it is through these means that PKK will come to dominate the entire world. The goal of all of this is, of course, to violate the territorial integrity of the sacred Turkish state and tear it into a thousand little pieces. Unless the spirit of Ataturk descends immediately, the entire globe will be lost in a vortex of evil!

Seriously, these people are paranoid, but I guess that is to be expected of fascists. I predict that it will soon be nearly impossible to visit Turkish-occupied Kurdistan with a tourist visa, and this particular article that I mock is the second indicator of my prediction. The first was the human rights worker who was to be deported last week. Jonathan Sugden is a long-time human rights worker for Human Rights Watch, working in Turkey, and he has always done this work on a tourist visa. If the Turkish government is deporting him, along with academics who are also using a tourist visa, I believe this is a trend that will continue. I suspect it will also extend to journalists soon as well.

By restricting access to Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, the Turkish government will create a total blackout of news and information coming from the area, a tactic that was used during the Armenian genocide, during the Dersim rebellion and during the 1990’s Dirty War. It will permit the Turkish government to act with its usual cruel impunity against the Kurdish people.

You will notice in the last paragraph of the article, that there is a reference to drug-trafficking. Funny thing, I have been doing some background research on drug-trafficking in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan and the thing that I have noticed is that this industry flourishes with massive cooperation from the state. All one has to do is google “Susurluk,” to get an idea of how important drug-trafficking is to the Turkish state. Then there was the example of Huseyin Baybasin, who gave TV interviews on Turkish television and blabbed about his great connections within the state. Tansu Çiller made a big show of cracking down on Kurdish traffickers back when she was pretending that she was running the show. The thing about Çiller was that she cracked down on Kurdish traffickers to open the market more completely to Turkish traffickers.

Now that the Central Asian states are no longer under Soviet control and Afghanistan is no longer under Taliban control, well, it makes things a lot smoother. Don’t count Iran out of the equation either. Iran has a serious drug problem and they are pushing the goods among their own population as well as to the outside. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the recent cosy relationship between Turkey and Iran have facilitated trafficking. Both are also looking to become nuclear powers. . . but just for energy, right?

Another item of interest is a piece, again from our ever watchful Semdinli parliamentary commission, which probes PKK’s weapons sources. For a commission that was established to “get to the bottom” of the bombing of a bookstore, which was witnessed by the populace, whose perpetrators were captured by the populace, the Semdinli commission has wasted a lot of time fishing for red herrings, and this article is another one of those.

No surprise from this one, at least if you have a brain, since the Semdinli commission concluded that PKK has weapons from all over the place and they can’t figure out exactly where PKK got the weapons. However, this article should serve some propaganda value for the clueless. Let’s bury this smelly red herring and move on.

They’re still tooting the new anti-terror law horn like they’ve been doing for the last two weeks or so. This is definitely something to watch for, but for the moment, there was one funny line from the Interior Minister:

Asked whether the law would put any restrictions on basic rights and freedom in Turkey, Aksu replied that the fight against terrorism won’t harm democracy.

Of course the new anti-terror law won’t harm democracy because there is no democracy in Turkey to harm. Aksu is also reported to have said that the new anti-terror law will “strengthen the hands of security forces.” What the hell? This is what the Turkish constitution is for, why bother with another law?

The last article on my agenda is related to my previous post on Rastî. It is a little report on Turkey’s good friend, Jalal Talabanî, and how the PUK has finally taken it’s first major action against “a PKK-affiliated group in the region.” When they write “the region,” they mean South Kurdistan, but they have to use a euphemism because for them to actually write or say “Kurdistan” would choke them to death.

This business about a “first major action” is, naturally, a lie. PUK most recently attacked and harassed PKK itself back in the year 2000. I have a link in my previous post to that information. As this article further notes, the PÇDK did run in the recent Iraqi elections and did not gain a large number of votes, so how big a threat is PÇDK to the PUK? Maybe a better question is, why does PUK have so much fear about another party, even a small one like PÇDK? Why does Turkey fear PÇDK?

I guess the old adage is true; politics really do make strange bedfellows.

PROTESTS, PLOTS, AND POLITICAL POSITIONS

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2006 by Mizgîn
“The regional plots that pushed some Kurdish parties against other Kurdish parties are about to come to an end.”
~ Jalal Talabanî.

There has been something strange going on with the PUK lately and it doesn’t appear to be anything good. It is something of an open secret in Hewlêr that the PUK’s internal struggles appear to be fracturing the organization into three factions, but I don’t know how much those internal struggles are affecting what is going on, on the ground, in South Kurdistan, nor will I venture a guess as to how Talabanî’s devotion to Baghdad affects these internal struggles. I can only guess from what I see happening.

I suppose it began with the PUK’s attempts to suppress protests by Kurds in Silêmanî against the Iranian regime’s brutalities against Kurds under Iranian occupation last July and August.

Then, in early September, reports began to be made of protests in the PUK’s area–protests which were repressed with violence. The protestors were demonstrating for an improvement in water and electricity availability, but according to the PUK, the protest ended in violence due to the presence of KIU and KDP “provocateurs.”

A much smaller crowd demonstrated to protest the lack of services later in the month, in Silêmanî as well as in Rania. I guess it wouldn’t look good to fire up a crowd within Silêmanî proper.

In the middle of March of this year, right before the Helebce protest, there was a PUK crackdown at a demonstration of students at Koya University. Again, this was a protest against lack of services and, again, the result was violence on the part of the PUK security forces.

Immediately following the Koya protest, was the PUK’s provocation of the residents of Helebce, a protest against their continued use by Southern Kurdish officials who continue to refuse basic services and proper medical treatment years after the Helebce tragedy.

The most recent action by the PUK against protestors took place on Thursday, in Silêmanî, in which members of the PÇDK were detained for attempting to demonstrate in support of Kurds under Turkish occupation, and it appears that the PUK used similar tactics on DIHA journalists that they had used against journalists who covered the Helebce protest. The journalists had their photographic equipment seized and they were beaten, while Kurds coming from Hewlêr to join the protest were also attacked, including women and children.

Is the PUK taking its orders from Erdogan now?

Earlier, supporters of the PKK’s legal party in Iraq, the PÇDK, held a successful and peaceful demonstration in Hewlêr, in support of Amed. The Hewlêr Globe reports that the demonstrators marched from downtown Hewlêr to the Kurdistan Parliament, where they were met by officials of the Parliament. I guess the KDP doesn’t have a problem with PÇDK that the PUK has, especially given Barzanî’s recent interview with Hurriyet.

We should also remember that one of the PWD leadership, Kani Yilmaz, was murdered in PUK territory in February. How is it that PÇDK is not even permitted to demonstrate in PUK territory but, according to PWD statements, PÇDK had been behind the murder of Kani Yilmaz?

Something is wrong here and it makes me ask myself, why is that?

Before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Talabanî was doing his best to promote the presence of the Turkish troops in South Kurdistan. Later, October last year, to be exact, he was calling for a general amnesty for PKK. As a result, it is difficult to impossible to know where he stands, if one looks only to his statements. Since actions tend to speak louder than words, it is better to look at what has been going on in that part of South Kurdistan which is controlled by PUK to have a better idea of what his position really is.

The use of violence against those dissatisfied with Talabanî’s administration, the repeated attempts to blame all dissatisfaction on other influences, such as other political parties, and the appearance of complicity with a political murder have less to do with the PKK and the situation of Northern Kurds than they have to do with maintaining some sort of leverage against the KDP, especially given the recent background of the internal political situation.

The fact that these things are happening now, when the future is open to the Southern Kurds, when all other Kurds look to the South for inspiration, and when Kurdish power is beginning to make itself felt in the region, is disturbing. Very disturbing.

Will Talabanî sell out the gerîlas, PÇDK, and the Bakurî for a short-term tactical advantage? Only time will tell.

FREEING UP A LITTLE MENTAL SPACE

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2006 by Mizgîn
“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. “
~ Oscar Wilde.

The Europeans are talking again, backing up the position of Joost Lagendijk and Cem Ozdemir. This time, 130 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) are demanding that HPG lay down its arms. Peace activists in Turkey are calling for the same as a first step in finding a peaceful solution to the “Kurdish problem” that Ankara has created.

But there is something seriously wrong here, something seriously lacking in sincerity. PKK called for a number of ceasefires throughout the years, notably in 1993, 1995 and 1998. A significant ceasefire was called in 1999, one which lasted until 2004. More recently, HPG called a one-month ceasefire last August after Erdogan’s photo-op in Amed. What came of all these ceasefires? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Given this history, are we really expected to believe any call, demand, request, invitation, or whatever, for “PKK” to lay down its arms as a prerequisite for a peaceful solution? This is a joke! Neither the Turkish government nor the EU bothered to avail themselves of PKK’s laying down of arms in the past, why should anyone believe them now?

Just as with the Lagendijk/Ozdemir statement, so this statement from PACE makes no mention of DTP. At least the peace activists in Turkey recognize the existence of DTP and they recognize that DTP is in no position “to urge PKK to ‘lay down its arms.'” Of course, they appear disingenous too, when they reiterate the IRA and ETA examples, “stating that nowhere in the world had armed parties ever sat around a table before laying down arms.” The Turkish state is also armed, more dangerously so than HPG, so why are there no demands for TSK to withdraw? Why are there no demands for all of the state security apparatus to cease and desist in their operations against the Kurdish people, operations which have continued to include attacks against lawyers, human rights workers, children, excessive use of force? In short, operations which clearly indicate the government’s intention of reinforcing its dirty war from the 1990s.

Then there are others who attempt to pass themselves off as “democrats,” while at the same time placing all the blame for the serhildan on DTP. These others clearly indicate that they are happy in turning back the calendar to the 1990’s because their attacks against DTP, all made with the Voice of Reason, naturally, are signs that they are complicit with the government in preparing the way to close DTP, just as the government has done to all Kurdish parties in the past.

Not only are the Europeans, the Turks, and peace activists attempting to remove the legitimate right of the Kurdish people to self-defence, they are also atttempting to bury every avenue of political recourse. In this, they are siding with the AKP and the Pashas. If anyone has any doubts about this, if anyone still thinks that democracy in Turkey is anything more than a facade, consider Erdogan’s response in Sabah over the question of general amnesty for HPG. This is a man who is running scared of the Pashas. At least there were indications that Turgut Ozal was considering a phased amnesty plan for PKK, as reported by Jonathan Randal in his book, After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness? Whether or not Ozal’s plan would have come to anything is something that is now buried in history, but at least he considered the idea at one point.

Erdogan, on the other hand, is too scared to even meet with DTP. In fact, he’s become a regular mouthpiece of the Pashas recently. Not only has he approved all Kurds as legitimate targets of security force aggression, he has also stated that there will be no end to the government’s terrorist operations in Kurdistan:

“So, the operations should be stopped. Can the operations be stopped? What does this mean now? Security forces receiving intelligence on terrorism will conduct operations whether in the cities or in rural areas. This is their primary duty. We will do them, we have to do them. There is no stopping. The operations will definitely continue. Look at this man. He is a Mayor but he says lay down the arms. Just look at that remark! Before anything you do your job as Mayor. Security force members will carry their arms, what is that to you. “

That little tirade was Erdogan’s attempt to berate Osman Baydemir for his request to end security operations in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. I guess Osman feels the same way I do about all this laying-down-of-arms business, recognizing that it is not only HPG who bears arms in “The Region.”

My skepticism is growing about the Europeans’ “efforts” on behalf of the Kurdish people. I mean, Europe can’t even get a grip on the reality of their own situation inside Europe, as unrest in the last few years there proves. They can’t contain the violence of their own immigrant “problems” practically speaking–remember all the burned property during the riots in France last November? Nor can the Europeans get a grip on this situation ideologically, so what makes them or anyone else think that they are going to be able to do anything for Kurds, even IF Turkey gains EU accession? If Europe is unable or unwilling to integrate immigrants living in Europe, how is EU membership going to ensure any kind of rights for Kurds in faraway places like Amed, Hekarî or Wan?

I came across one indication of what the Americans may be starting to think about, and it is yet another “rescue” of Europe:

By leaving Iraq, the Americans will free up time and mental space for considering the islamization of Europe and what it means for European foreign policy, for the advanced weaponry including nuclear weapons in France and England, and for the continued survival of Western civilization. Not exactly small questions, but questions have been ignored.

Hilarious! They need mental space to figure out how to rescue Europe from itself, since it isn’t able to sort out its own problems! If America starts thinking this way, why should Kurds put their hopes in the EU, especially with all the insincerity surrounding calls for Kurds to disarm themselves?

I came across that article because it mentions an independent Kurdistan, in the second paragraph from the last. But everyone can bet that the independent Kurdistan written about there, which is supposed to become a model for everyone else in the region, is that little part of Kurdistan in the South, which the Americans,and everyone else, can swallow without choking, and has nothing to do with the question of independence, federalism, autonomy or even “political and cultural rights,” for Kurds in Greater Kurdistan.

Everyone is going to have to work much harder in order to be convincing.

By the way, The New Anatolian has a report on the findings of the parliamentary Semdinli Commission. The only surprise here is that the commission hints that Masud Barzanî and the KDP may be responsible for the bombings of last November. Any port in a storm, I guess.

The draft “findings” include the following:

* The state is acquitted of involvement–big shock.

* The claim is that the bombings were “local,” thus contradicting Erdogan’s statement at the time.

* The notion that there are any “illegal formations” in the gendarmerie is rejected, along with all of DTP’s other concerns.

* There is no evidence that PKK was involved with the Semdinli bookstore bombing, but the commission wouldn’t be surprised if PKK was involved.

* There is no evidence that PKK was involved with a September bombing in Semdinli, but all other bombings in the region were carried out by PKK.

The proposed solution? Yet more anti-terror organizations to harass and murder Kurds.

Why am I not surprised that AKP is doing the usual song and dance?

THE MEDIA WAR

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2006 by Mizgîn
“All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgerize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.”
~ William Bembach.

There is one aspect of the serhildan that I haven’t commented on yet, mostly because I have been watching other aspects of it. The one aspect I have not mentioned yet, is that of Roj TV.

Those who follow Kurdish news may remember that, back in November of last year, the Turkish media went into a frenzy over Roj TV and Denmark, who issued a broadcasting license to Roj. And when I use the term “frenzy,” I mean exactly that. If you had googled “Roj TV” back then, you would have gotten hundreds of returns referring to Roj TV, and the vast majority of them were from Turkish media. All of these articles had catastrophic, end-of-the-world sounding titles like, “Roj TV to be closed by Denmark in five minutes,” or “US to use nukes on Denmark if Roj TV broadcasts continue.”

Okay, I’m exaggerating, but the titles did give the impression that the demise of Roj TV was imminent. Of course, all of this media frenzy was manufactured because the Turks had something to hide back in November. At that time, the Turkish government was stepping-up its black operations within Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. The Semdinli affair was the most notorious of these black operations, but there were several other suspicious bombings that took place as well, in the month of November. These bombings resulted in mass protests in Kurdish cities throughout “The Region,” and these protests made the Turkish government look bad. Very bad. That simply wouldn’t do, what with the EU watching and all, so they manufactured the Roj TV event, in which Erdogan walked out of a press conference with the Danish Prime Minister because a Roj TV reporter was in the audience.

The Turkish game did not work. Denmark stood firm on the right of free expression in general, and the right of free expression for Kurds in particular.

The Google search engine, or any other search engine for that matter, went dead on the subject of Roj TV. Until the end of March, 2006, that is.

If you google “Roj TV” now, you will find some 9 pages of returns. Again, the vast majority of these are from the Turkish media. Again, it appears that the Turkish government is in a frenzy to close Roj TV and, naturally, they are engaging in this manufacturing frenzy because it kills them that Kurds outside the “territorial integrity” of the Turkish state, enjoy free expression rights. . . just like other human beings. Again, we read similar apocalyptic titles, like “Roj TV can be a dangerous toy for Danish politicians,” or “Turkey insists on closure of Roj Tv,” or “US also wants Roj TV to be shut down.” The funniest titles come from the Journal of Turkish Weekly and Zaman, and I encourage everyone to do a Google search for “Roj TV” just to check out the hilarious titles from those two rag sheets.

No less paranoiac, but far more dangerous for its subtelty, is a piece titled “Preventing Turkey’s Popular Slide away from the West,” by Soner Cagaptay. Here is the so-called Voice of Reason, which is a nice way of saying that this is the fascist fist in the velvet glove. Soner Cagaptay is a Washington DC reptile posing as a Republican. The Turkish version of Michael Rubin, if you will.

Cagaptay remarks how Turkey has been “a traditional bastion of Western policies in the Middle East,” which is innocent-sounding enough on the surface. That is, unless you are familiar with Gladio and CIA/MIT psychological operations against Kurds since Turkey became a member of NATO. From this perspective, Cagaptay’s remarks take on a much darker color.

In other words, Turkey has been an active player in maintaining the status quo of brutal Middle Eastern social structures. Worse, Turkey has been an active creator of such structures. Cagaptay is admitting that Turkey has been an enthusiastic supporter of Kurdish genocide, and that this genocide dovetails perfectly with the strategic aims of the West. If you read carefully enough, you will clearly see that Soner Cagaptay also admits that it is the desire of the Turkish people to maintain this genocidal status quo, and all this in the first paragraph alone.

Cagaptay then turns his attention to the EU. He says that while it will take a minimum of ten years for Turkey to be ready for full EU membership–and not even that is guaranteed–he sees this as problematic, especially since other countries have spent less time preparing for EU membership while Turkey has been passed over. And, like the good Pashas’ boy that he is, blames it all on PKK. He never mentions the fact that Turkey has been an associate member of the EU since 1963, when it became an associate member of the old European Community. The bottom line is that Turkey has had 43 years to prepare itself to become a full member of the EU, and it continues to be put off because it is not a democracy. In fact, it hasn’t a clue as to what “democracy” means.

Turkey is still being forced by the EU to become a civilized state and it still balks at doing so. Much of the reluctance of allowing Turkey to become a full member has to do with its horrifying human rights record, a record consisting of atrocity after atrocity, perpetrated mainly against its Kurdish population.

It is a typical tactic of the Kemalist or the Fethullahci, pointing the finger at everyone else, refusing to take responsibility for one’s actions while bemoaning one’s own perpetual victimhood. All with the Voice of Reason. This is Washington, after all, and they simply don’t do histrionics inside the Beltway.

Cagaptay claims that neither DTP nor PKK represent the majority view of Kurds in “The Region.” This is pure denial by our propagandist. No doubt Cagaptay will love it if DTP is branded “illegal” before 2007 so that it won’t be eligible for running in the elections. That way he will be able to point to his article while appropriating for himself the mantle of prophet. Unfortunately, life in LaLa Land has the very bad habit of coming back to hit you in the teeth, Cagaptay. I hope you have dental insurance.

As for the US, Cagaptay begs the US to tell Turkey how “valued” it is. Cagaptay begs the US to take care of PKK. Cagaptay begs the US to handle Turkey’s Cyprus problem. Cagaptay begs the US to go to bat for Turkey with the EU. Cagaptay begs the US to realize how Turkey and the US share the same democratic values. In this context, I take it that “democratic values” means a shared experience of covert operations with the goal of genocide. Yeah, I’d love to hear Cagaptay lay that fact of history on the American people. As Senator George McGovern once declared:

“We were involved in assassinations, assassination attempts. We were operating paramilitary operations with mercenary forces hired in other people’s countries with no knowledge on the part of our own Congress, our press or the American people. All of these things are alien to a system of constitutional democracy.” (p.2)

That brings us back to Roj TV. According to our Beltway reptile, Roj TV makes Turkey’s situation with the EU worse, and the recent violence in “The Region” has been caused by Roj TV. However, Cagaptay fails to mention that Roj TV has been under investigation for one full year for the same old charges, and Danish authorities have found no credibility to previous Turkish claims that Roj has “incited hatred.” The Turkish government loves to use that expression, “incitement to hatred.” This is what is known as psychological projection on a national scale.

Cagaptay fails to mention that the Turkish government has done nothing to improve the situation of Kurds or that human rights violations against Kurds have been escalating since 2004. I suppose that Cagaptay would prefer that Turkish propaganda be spread among Kurds via RTUK laws, which guarantee “free expression” in Kurdish language, with no more than 45 minutes per day, of pre-recorded, Turkish-language subtitled television programs. But as long as Roj TV continues to broadcast freely, all of RTUK’s efforts at propagandizing the Kurdish people will be ignored.

However I have a newsflash for Cagaptay and for everyone else in LaLa Land: RTUK’s efforts at propagandizing the Kurdish people will be ignored, with or without Roj TV, because everyone in “The Region” knows that RTUK exists to protect the state from the spread of dangerous ideas–like democracy, free expression and human rights–and in this respect Roj TV is definitely the antithesis of any Turkish broadcasting law.

It would appear that the Danish government is not fooled by Turkish propaganda either.

In light of the renewed offensive against Roj TV, as well as the renewed offensive against the Kurdish people under Turkish occupation, I would like to point out something else that I noticed a while ago. The following organizations have not stood against the Turkish government’s attempts to silence Roj TV:

REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS

ARTICLE 19

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF JOURNALISTS

These organizations make all kinds of noble and false statements about how they exist strictly for free expression rights, and how the right of free expression cannot exist under regimes of fear and repression, or how they are engaged in global battles for free expression. They regularly feature journalists and news organizations that are under the gun in just about every patch of real estate that anyone can imagine, but they have not made any statement in support of Roj TV against the Turkish government’s propaganda campaign to silence the Kurdish voice. Their silence is a crime against the Kurdish people’s basic right of free expression and, by this very silence, these organizations lend support to the Ankara regime.

Therefore, these organizations are enemies of the Kurdish people.

Just as the Turkish government manufactured it’s anti-Roj TV media event in order to divert attention from its renewed black operations against Kurds under Turkish occupation, so it is now attempting to manufacture a new media event against Roj TV, to divert attention from its murder of Kurdish demonstrators, Kurdish children, the disappearance of Kurds, the detention of Kurds, the denial of detentions by the government, the harassment and acts of terror against Kurdish politicians, lawyers and human rights workers. It is attempting to divert attention from its use of chemical weapons against Kurdish gerîlas, and the inhumane refusal to allow proper burial to gerîlas. It is attempting to divert attention from the Turkish government’s declaration of war against all Kurds.

Once again, I refer everyone to the 14 characteristics of fascism.

Serkeftin, Roj!