SISTER CITIES AND EXCAVATIONS

“The wells date back 15 to 20 years. It is possible that there is some remnant if the amount of acid used was not too much. An exhaustive forensic examination could yield some results.”
~ Ali Çerkezoğlu, Forensic Medical Council.

Three years ago DTP’s Amed (Diyarbakır) mayor Osman Baydemir made a visit to the US which included a stop in Nashville. This week we see some of the fruits of that visit. Yesterday there was a cultural event in Nashville which introduced Amed as a prospective sister city of Nashville. Here’s something from the press release:

SISTER CITIES OF NASHVILLE TO HOST DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY CULTURAL EVENT AT TSU

NASHVILLE (Feb. 27, 2009)…Mayor Karl Dean will be the special guest speaker at a free cultural event to showcase the city of Diyarbakir, the largest city in southeastern Turkey, on Wednesday, March 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. at TSU’s Avon Williams downtown campus, 330 10th Ave. N. The event, which also will feature authentic music, food and cultural presentations, is presented by Tennessee State University (Dept. of ??) and Sister Cities of Nashville. The cultural showcase is free and open to the public.

Situated on the banks of the Tigris River, Diyarbakir is a historic city, encircled by walls typical of the military architecture of medieval times. At 5.5 kilometers, they are the second largest and best preserved walls in the world after the renowned Great Wall of China. “Diyarbakir: The Mystery of the Stones” is a special video about the city that will be presented at the event, which is being organized by Dr. Kirmanj Gundi, a professor of XXX at TSU and a member of the Sister Cities of Nashville board of directors. Diyarbakir is a prospective sister city for Nashville.

Sister Cities of Nashville, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1990, is an active volunteer organization promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation among citizens of Nashville and other international communities through educational, cultural, professional, commercial and municipal exchange programs. It is a chapter of Sister Cities International which developed from a program begun in 1956 by President Dwight Eisenhower to promote international goodwill through citizen diplomacy.

Nashville’s official sister cities are Belfast, Northern Ireland; Caen, France; Edmonton, Canada; Madgeburg, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina, and Taiyuan, China.

You can also check the Sister Cities of Nashville website.

Meanwhile, closer to Amed than to Nashville, more bones have been unearthed in the JITEM acid well excavations in Silopî:

The excavation of wells located in Silopi, Şırnak province, continued yesterday in search of the remains of victims who were allegedly killed in the 1990s by an illegal group inside the gendarmerie, with more bone fragments unearthed.

Heavy diggers and workers using picks and shovels continued digging a site near the Sinan facility of the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) yesterday. Bone fragments, pieces of hair, remains of a sack and clothing were found during excavation on Wednesday. They were sent to a forensic lab for analysis to determine if the remains were human.

The excavations in BOTAŞ facilities for around a week now have resulted in the discovery of several bone fragments and clothing. The families of dozens of missing people residing in the Kurdish-populated Southeast believe the excavation will give significant clues about the whereabouts of their loved ones.

There’s a little more from Eurasianet.org:

There are no reliable figures for the number of civilians murdered or disappeared by state-backed paramilitary groups amid the conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a war that has claimed more than 40,000 lives since it started in 1984. Official statistics put unsolved murders between 1991 and 1995 at 1,412. Human rights groups reckon that at least 5,000 died, including over 1,000 missing persons who are presumed dead.

Getting convictions for murders committed by security personnel remains nearly impossible, says Tahir Elci, a prominent human rights lawyer. He says he can remember only one case – that of a sergeant sentenced to life in 2007 for ordering the 1994 murder of a Kurdish businessman. Turkey’s system, he adds, “protects its murderers.”

Which means, of course, don’t get your hopes up. Digging for evidence has not been a completely smooth operation. Last week, the state attempted to stop the digs before they got started, citing “security reasons”. If the state were truly concerned with the security problem in The Southeast, it would remove the biggest terrorists of all, the TSK. I mean, you seriously have to wonder about the security situation when at least some of JITEM’s acid wells are located on a military installation.

Yeah. Security issues. Does TSK guard every military installation as well as it guarded Bezele? Or is this an admission that TSK really is the cause of security problems in The Southeast?

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