ERGENEKON, ELECTIONS, AND THE KURDISH SUMMIT

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”
~ Paulo Freire.

There was actually a fairly decent report on the Ergenekon fiasco from PRI’s The World. You can listen here. They do, however, fail to mention that Mustafa Akyol is an Islamist or that Yaşar Nuri Öztürk was recently caught in a sex scandal but, overall, it presents a pretty good minor intro into the Ergenekon show.

Speaking of Ergenekon, recently a piddly little TSK colonel was arrested in connection with JİTEM’s acid wells. Please, I thought, a colonel? What was he back in the 90’s, an even more piddly little captain? Sure enough. Now who was it that took the fall for Susurluk? Three were eventually convicted and served time for Susurluk but they, too, were nobodies,just like this acid well colonel. The big fish in the Susurluk scandal not only were not arrested, they were later promoted within The System. The same will happen with JİTEM’s acid well murders.

Meanwhile there have been more than 250 unsolved extrajudicial murders since the 1990s in Şirnex (Şirnak) province alone. KurdishInfo has more on that here: http://www.kurdish-info.net/News-sid-Deep-Stateund-8217-s-balance-in-rnak-more-than-250-unresolved-assassinations-12795.html

Bloomberg has a piece on how Kurds are spurning Erdoğan, in spite of handouts:

Kurdish tea seller Muharrem Ogur wasn’t impressed when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan built irrigation systems for the fields near his home and ordered the state-run television company to open a Kurdish channel.

What mattered to Ogur was that his favorite politician was reprimanded by Turkey’s parliament for speaking in Kurdish, and that police set upon youths in his neighborhood in Diyarbakir last year for waving the Kurdish flag.

Erdogan, who has made wooing Turkey’s 15 million Kurds a key part of his campaign for local elections on March 29, is finding that political favors don’t overcome decades of tension. Even as he pursues reconciliation, his government is battling Kurdish militants and denying Kurds some rights enjoyed by ethnic Turks.

The net result may be that Diyarbakir and four other cities under Kurdish political control will reject Erdogan’s party.

And so we ardently hope.

Murat Karakas, who grows cotton and wheat on his 30 acres outside the village of Oyali, 30 kilometers west of Diyarbakir, says his vote will go to Baydemir even after Erdogan built an irrigation channel through his fields from a nearby dam.

“Blood is thicker than water round here,” said Karakas, 38. “Water might help us grow more crops, but my vote goes to our Kurdish brothers because of the situation we face in Diyarbakir as Kurds.”

There. That guy has the correct attitude. Too bad he’s not running the KRG.

At the same time, police abuse in the region is rising, said Muharrem Erbay, chief of the Diyarbakir branch of the Human Rights Association, Turkey’s biggest human-rights group.

There were 798 reported incidents of torture and mistreatment in the east and southeast of Turkey last year, more than three times the figure for 2007, Erbay said.

Aysu Uraz, a spokeswoman for the human-rights department of Erdogan’s office, declined to comment on the figures, saying data for 2008 will be published in the next two weeks.

I suppose police abuse has been on the rise because 80% of the police are Fethullahçı. For a similar piece that was carried in the Financial Times, see Hevallo’s place.

Finally, DTP speaks out some more on the upcoming US-Turkey orchestrated “Kurdish” summit:

“As the DTP, we are disturbed by the agenda of the conference. Thus, we have doubts about the conference. If it will only focus on the liquidation of the PKK, this will cause chaos, and we do not want to take part in this chaos,” Selahattin Demirtaş, the DTP’s group vice president to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

Criticizing Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s approach, which urges the PKK either to lay down their guns or leave Iraq, Demirtaş stated that the organization could not be constrained between these two options. “If you present two options, a third one appears: The PKK rejects and resists. This means clashes,” Demirtaş said, adding that the DTP cannot accept such an offer.

“If democratic solutions are developed, the PKK will spontaneously lay down their guns,” he argued. He said the solutions included issuing a general pardon in Turkey, putting different cultures and identities under the protection of a constitution, and actualizing democratic autonomy.

Demirtaş also drew attention to the purpose of the conference, which was a need to determine and find solutions to the problems of Kurdish people living in different countries of the Middle East region. According to Demirtaş, the DTP will support a conference that aims to solve problems, but rejects the current one, which is known as a U.S. plan and aims only to liquidate the PKK.

Read the rest, and if you haven’t read our position on the “Kurdish” summit, check this post.

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