CHALLENGING DEMOCRACY

“Democracy is on trial in the world, on a more colossal scale than ever before.”
~ Charles Fletcher Dole.

Roj TV’s Sunday evening news showed scenes of anger at Turkish state terror that was directed against those holding birthday celebrations in Öcalan’s hometown of Amara as well as video footage of Turkish state terror directed against DTP supporters in Ağır, where the democratic Ankara regime voided 3,000 DTP ballots so that AKP could insert itself as the winner of the election.

Sounds like Florida in 2000.

Roj TV aired disturbing video footage of Mustafa Dağ, who was targeted by the jandarma and deliberately shot in the head with a riot control gas canister. Dağ later died of this wound at a local state hospital. Last month, an American was severely wounded by the IDF when he was shot in the head by a high-velocity tear gas canister initially deployed by the IDF in December 2008. So far, the American remains in better condition than Mustafa Dağ. Roj TV stated that the other young Kurd murdered by the jandarma, Mahsum Karaoğlan, was in his third year at Dicle University and would have graduated next year.

People did not gather at Amara in protest but in celebration and had been planting trees, which is what Öcalan requested as a fitting celebration for his sixtieth birthday. Those gathered at Amara had been there for two days when the jandarma forces of the fascist Ankara regime intervened violently. This fact was brought up in a press conference held by DTP’s Urfa provincial chairman İbrahim Ayhan, DTP’s Urfa parliamentarian İbrahim Binici, and DTP’s Batman parliamentarian, Ayla Akat Ata. The bottom line? AKP is now expressing its intolerance of DTP’s success.

What struck me as I listened to the DTP politicians during the press conference was that their remarks would never be covered in Turkish media, not even on that highly-vaunted, regime-controlled TRT 6. The only broadcast media organization to freely air the remarks of DTP or KCK on these matters is Roj TV. And that’s the only reason that the Ankara regime is currently pressuring NATO to close the channel.

Protests against state terrorism in both Ağır and Amara broke out in İstanbul, Mersin, Adana and İzmir. Masked demonstrators threw stones and molotov cocktails.

On a happier note, there were birthday celebrations for the Kurdish people’s leader in Qendil, Maxmur, and Aleppo. The Kurds of Aleppo even had proper birthday cakes at their celebrations which were cut by children.

In the meantime, Obama has arrived in Turkey for his visit, and since it is already the morning of 6 April as I write this, the show should be getting on the road at any time now. Obama is scheduled to address the TBMM Monday afternoon and most of the Turkish media early last week announced that he would speak for approximately 45 minutes–in an “unknown language”, of course. Naturally, Turkish media didn’t say that he would speak in the TBMM in an “unknown language”, but since the guy doesn’t speak a lick of Turkish, I know he’s going to speak in an “unknown language”. I wonder if Meclis TV is going to cut him off? I’ll be waiting to see Ankara’s chief prosecutor initiate an investigation.

Obama is scheduled to begin his tour of Turkey with a moment of worship at Anıtkabir, the temple of modern Islamist Turkey’s founder. Obama is also scheduled to meet with opposition party leaders, but since there is only one opposition party in Turkey, the only meeting that will really count will be Obama’s meeting with Ahmet Türk.

By tomorrow morning, US time, we should have some indication of the contents of the meeting with Türk and his sense of how it went. I hope Türk brings up the subject of Ağrı, which should be an intro to the wider issue of democracy–or the lack thereof–in Turkey, and that he brings up the matter of the “Kurdish” summit.

I don’t hold out much hope for change we can believe in because Obama’s administration is heavily Clintonite and the previous Clinton administration murdered at least as many Kurds as the Turks did at Dersim. AKP are America’s “boys”, and the Americans–along with the Israelis–are giving the Turks the targets for their bombing campaign against Kurdish villages in South Kurdistan.

And so it goes.

Until then, make sure to check out a couple of timely posts at Zerkesorg, the first being an argument against Abdullah Gül and the second being a discussion of how Kurds have no right to protest against election corruption. Azadixwaz has a long-awaited post in which he helps to spread the DTP joy. And Hevallo wonders if hope is melting with the snow.

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