HOT PURSUIT AND A STUPID SYSTEM


Two girlfriends were speeding down the highway at well over a 100 miles per hour. “Hey,” asked the brunette at the wheel, “see any cops following us?” The blonde turned around for a long look. “As a matter of fact, I do.” “Oh, NOOOO!” yelled the brunette. “Are his flashers on?” The blonde turned around again. “Yup…nope…yup…nope…yup…”

The analogies keep coming. . . incorrectly, of course.

Recep Guvelioglu is the most recent to come up with the wrong analogies, this time with the question of hot pursuit and Israel. First, a little comment on hot pursuit as a point of international law from “Fundamental Perspectives on International Law”:

As stated in a major treatise on this point: “hot pursuit in land or ground may continue only into no man’s land or into the territory of another State following an explicit agreement … permitting the exercise of hot pursuit in its own territory.”

The major treatise cited is The Right of Hot Pursuit in International Law by N. Poulantzas. As the Iraqi President, Celal Talabanî stated last week, all previous agreements that Turkey had with Saddam on cross-border operations are no longer valid. In other words, there is no explicit agreement permitting Turkey to engage in any so-called hot pursuit.

Let’s say that Turkey decides to ignore international law and its neighbor, something for which Turkey has condemned Israel, and it goes ahead and behaves like Israel anyway. Then it should be consistent in behaving like Israel, meaning that it will have to give a few days’ notice before violating the territorial integrity of its neighbor. It will have to drop leaflets, notifying the residents of South Kurdistan that it is coming, and it will have to do this in Kurdish language. It will also need all these efforts broadcast on international media.

However, if Turkey did all this, then there is no hot pursuit anyway, because hot pursuit begins in the territorial space of the pursuing state. It’s an act of immediacy, not one that is broadcast several days in advance. Here’s the Department of Defense definition of hot pursuit as an example:

Pursuit commenced within the territory, internal waters, the archipelagic waters, the territorial sea, or territorial airspace of the pursuing state and continued without interruption beyond the territory, territorial sea, or airspace. Hot pursuit also exists if pursuit commences within the contiguous or exclusive economic zones or on the continental shelf of the pursuing state, continues without interruption, and is undertaken based on a violation of the rights for the protection of which the zone was established. The right of hot pursuit ceases as soon as the ship or hostile force pursued enters the territory or territorial sea of its own state or of a third state. This definition does not imply that force may or may not be used in connection with hot pursuit. NOTE: This term applies only to law enforcement activities.

Let’s review: For hot pursuit to commence, you have to see the gerîlas in your territory and you have to start chasing them. If they run across the border, then you can go after them . . . if they run into a no-man’s land or if you have an explicit agreement with the government of the other territory.

So, does Turkey really want to take Israel’s example and go through all the hassle of notifying the villagers of South Kurdistan that they are going to invade? Of course, if it wants to go that far, it might as well go all the way and spring Saddam from prison, reinstall him as dictator, and renew all those old agreements–little more than winks and nods anyway–and invade at will.

Then we come to a point that’s redundant, since everybody knows:

Turkey’s desire to conduct a cross-border operation is legitimate of course, since the PKK has many camps inside Iraq. [ . . . ] Everybody knows that the PKK has as many terrorist combat groups inside Turkey as in Iraq. It might be necessary to stop the terrorist flow to Turkey in order to halt their hit-and-run system.

Really? Everybody knows? How can we be sure that everybody knows?

I have an idea, the Turkish government needs to present its evidence publicly. . . say at the UN, so that we can all be certain that everybody knows. After all, they presented “evidence” to the Danish government of Roj TV as “terrorist propaganda organ,” so why not share all the info about all of PKK’s camps and combat groups? Besides, if they share all this info at the UN, not only will they be like Israel on hot pursuit, but they’ll also be like the US on WMDs.

This statement about everybody knowing about PKK combat groups inside Turkey reminds me of what the HPG Headquarters commander, Dr. Bahoz Erdal, said last week, from KurdishInfo:

“To compare the developments in Lebanon to that of the developments in Kurdistan is a false comparison. Hizbullah is a force of Lebanon and it has positioned itself there. Hizbullah has not one fighter in the soil of Israel. Hizbullah positions itself near the border of Israel and from there organises attacks against Israel. Our area of struggle is in North Kurdistan and Turkey. We have not one military action beyond the border. The majority of our forces are in North Kurdistan, therefore positioned in Turkey, our activities are there. Our forces are in Gumushane, Diyarbakir (Amed), Tunceli (Dersim), Amanos and Sirnak. The military operations and conflict is concentrated in these areas… To target South Kurdistan is an excuse. We will show them the necessary respons[e] if they do decide to enter South Kurdistan.”

There was one little thing I left out of Recep’s quote about the camps in Iraq. It was this:

However, many PKK terrorist attacks have occurred deep inside Turkey; for example, Bingol.

Okay. . . does this guy know how far it is from Çewlik (Bingol) to the border of South Kurdistan? Better yet, does he have any idea how far it is from Çewlik to Qandîl? Everybody knows it’s one hell of a long way to both places from Çewlik, but Turkish media and commentators make it sound like the gerîlas take a leisurely stroll down from Qandîl–or one of the many bases that everybody knows is in Iraq–and then takes a leisurely stroll back up Qandîl, passing through a couple of hundred thousand Mehmetciks, Ozel Timler, and JITEM besides. Well, we know how bright those Turkish security force guys are anyway. After all, even the USMC can bag them.

The reality is that Turkey is in a deep state of denial about the problem it created for itself by its brutal repression of the Kurdish people, something that Recep refers to as “the swamps of terror.” He mentions Turkish judicial and traditional administrative “errors” and how some of these things are forms of discrimination. He says that this “stupid” system has caused “bitter resentment” among Kurds. Okay, he doesn’t actually say “Kurds.” He even takes a swipe at Turkey’s “friends” in the EU for not telling Turkey to change the stupid system, but if the system is so stupid (and I agree, it is stupid), then why does some outsider have to tell you to change it? Can’t you figure that out for yourself? Which is more stupid then, the system or those who maintain the system?

It’s very simple to change the system. But who’s going to do that and actually, who cares?

If it’s so simple to change the stupid system, then why hasn’t it been changed? You’d think that if Turkey had enough dead Mehmetciks on their hands, somebody would get it through their fat heads that the stupid system has to be changed. Even better, they’d demand the stupid system be changed. I guess we haven’t reached critical mass on the dead Mehmetcik thing yet.

Who is going to change the stupid system and who cares? Kurds. On both counts.

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