“Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.”
~ Anonymous.

The Turkish state is trying to take aim at one of our friends in Amed again. Osman Baydemir, along with three other officials, was indicted on Tuesday for having sent a city ambulance to pick up the body of an HPG şehîd, in order to transport him to his family’s home in Antep back on March 25, according to Reuters.

As with so many things in life, this appears to boil down to a question of cold, hard cash. The prosecutor’s indictment seeks to imprison Osman for “incurred losses of 16.8 lira ($11).” Whoa! Did we read that right? Eleven dollars? Yeah, Osman’s a seriously financially irresponsible guy. What a spendthrift! The prosecutor should be indicted for the same thing, because I’ll bet anyone that it’s going to waste billions more, at least, just to screw around with this penny ante charge in the court system. I’ll bet anyone the prosecutor has already wasted hundreds of times the cost of the ambulance just to type up the indictment.

The prosecutor should be more concerned about the cost of the gas for the trip, if he’s seriously concerned about municipal funds. Or maybe even the hours that would have to be paid to driver and and attendant, if there was one–or more–could have been added to the piddly eleven bucks in order to make this ridiculous charge slightly less embarrassing for the prosecutor. But we know that this isn’t really about small change; it’s all about how to get rid of a popular Kurdish mayor and senior member of a Kurdish-dominated political party.

Let’s remember something else, too. This gerîla became a şehîd right before the serhildan, but it was shortly after the serhildan that the Ankara regime announced it would henceforth require a burial-in-place whenever a gerîla fell, thus avoiding having to conduct proper autopsy. This practice will lead to all sorts of abuses by hiding all evidence of torture, post-mortem mutilation. Since the Turkish state has such an atrocious record on extrajudicial murder, torture and impunity of security forces, no one will ever trust them to conduct covert, in-the-field autopsies. Besides, such autopsies are illegal. See Bianet and this Rastî post for a review of this point.

How does Osman defend himself?

“It is not our job to investigate the identity of the person who has died. This is a duty of humanity,” he said.

“God willing we won’t, but if we do face such a request again we will fulfil our legal, humane and moral responsibility.”

Think about it, now: this Kurdish mayor has to defend himself over something like this, over a question that is far more indicative of the moral depravity of the Ankara regime than it is of anything else. Even the ruling party’s leaning toward religion proves that Turkish Muslims do not consider Kurdish Muslims as equals. The new official attitude in Ankara may be that Kurds are no longer “Mountain Turks,” but the regime has a long way to go before it finally admits that Kurds are human beings.

This judicial farce is expected to come to trial in a month.

A charge was also filed today against Osman for corruption, from TDN:

Mayor Osman Baydemir of Diyarbakır, the largest city in the Southeast, was charged with corruption in a 2004 city modernization tender.

The state prosecutor asked that Baydemir be sentenced to three years in prison, saying his rejection of one firm’s bid to modernize Diyarbakır’s water system in favor of another had cost the city YTL 976,356 — more than $600,000.

No reason is given as to why Osman chose one bid over another–way to go TDN and AP! There’s nothing like remembering the five “W’s,” even if “W” is forbidden in Turkey, check out the “W” trial of the DTP Sêrt Province chairman from KurdishInfo. I mean, the stupidity just doesn’t stop. Could it be that the more expensive bid was actually a better bid for the city of Amed? Given the constant harassment of DTP politicians in general, and of Osman in particular, as well as the Ankara regime’s lack of enthusiasm for improving the infrastructure of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, I have no doubt that the corruption charge is yet more legal harassment.

Another DTP mayor, who is also no shavetail to regime-sponsored trouble, is Êlih’s Huseyin Kalkan, as the LATimes discovered:

Huseyin Kalkan, the mayor of Êlih (Batman) [Mizgîn’s edit], pointed to the bullet holes in the pale-yellow wall of his office, little indentations just above the framed photograph of a lavender cactus blossom.

“I’m always a target, especially when something goes wrong,” Kalkan said.

[ . . . ]

Kalkan, 42, is seen by many Kurds as a champion of their rights, and by many Turks as a dangerous provocateur. That is precisely the kind of precarious position in which Kurdish politicians in this region frequently find themselves.

Unabashedly sympathetic to Kurdish nationalists, he has been shot at — by Turkish police, he contends — and faces a dozen criminal complaints filed by Turkish state prosecutors.

It’s great that Huseyin made it into the LATimes, so make sure to read the whole article. What’s Huseyin’s forecast?

Kalkan acknowledges that there has been progress but warns of more bloodshed, greater agitation for independence and a new crop of PKK recruits if the government does not entertain additional Kurdish demands.

“Most Kurds are looking to Turkey and Europe,” he said. “But if the status quo persists, they will start looking more and more to northern Iraq and will want to separate and unite with the Kurds of northern Iraq.”

What a prescient guy! As a matter of fact, Ahmet Turk and Aysel Tugluk went to South Kurdistan last week to visit with the PÇDK people, from TDN:

Türk and Tuğluk went to northern Iraq last week to attend a meeting of a Socialist International working group in Arbil. They met with Faik Gulpi, the chairman of Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PGDK), the agency said without elaborating on the date of the meeting and citing a report from the Fırat News Agency, known for its close links to the PKK.

Gulpi expressed his pleasure over the visit by the DTP delegation, the agency said.

There have been very important developments in Kurdistan in recent years. Important advantages can be provided under the light of these developments. Current ruling parties are not able to respond to people’s expectations, Gulpi was quoted by Doğan as saying, in an apparent reference to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and president of the Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region Massoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

During the meeting, Türk reportedly voiced the importance attributed by the DTP to developments experienced in northern Iraq, saying that these developments also meant something to Kurds living in other regions. He expressed the DTP’s will for improving its relationship with the PGDK, the agency said.

[Note: The correct acronym for PÇDK is, well, PÇDK, not PGDK.]

PÇDK ran as a legal party in the January Iraqi elections, something which probably made Turkey and the US wish for a swift de-democratization of Iraq, since the inclusion of a KONGRA-GEL-affiliated party in these elections should have made the US feel a bit uncomfortable. How do you keep a straight face about The List® when one of your so-called FTO’s is taking part in democratic elections? Why is it that HAMAS is coming to mind suddenly?

Come to think of it, the Ankara regime’s closure of all avenues of communication with Northern Kurdish politicians may turn out to be a big blessing in disguise. The DTP, as a representative of Northern Kurds, is beginning to look South, and it would appear that it is starting to do so in a serious way. Let it be another step on the long road to liberation.


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