DENIAL

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”
~ Mark Twain.

Given that we have DTP guarding the Turkish border with Armenian in Iğdır after throwing off the stranglehold of the MHP on 29 March, here are some excerpts from an article written by a young, ethnic Kurd political scientist, Bilgin Ayata, that should provide some food for thought, from The Armenian Weekly [Note: All emphasis is mine. Mizgîn]:

In my contribution to last year’s special issue, I had argued that an intensified Armenian-Kurdish dialogue carries the promising potential to become an alternative approach to the ongoing Armenian-Turkish discourse on reconciliation, which has traversed dialogue into a form of domination and containment. [1] I also argued that the compartmentalization of the Armenian and Kurdish issues into separate discussions represents a continuation of a divide-and-rule mentality that only serves the interests of the Turkish state and weakens the position of Armenian and Kurdish intellectuals in these isolated debates. In order to overcome this compartmentalization, I called for an intensified Armenian-Kurdish dialogue, and the cultivation of an empowering alliance to confront the atrocities of the past and engage with them as a challenge of and for the present. One year after that last issue, I believe that such an Armenian-Kurdish dialogue is ever more important, especially in light of the following three developments: At the intergovernmental level, the diplomatic traffic regarding Armenian-Turkish relations has intensified with the election of President Obama who had pledged during his campaign to address the Armenian Genocide as a genocide.

Second, at the domestic level, the recent municipal elections in Turkey on March 29 paved the way for a new political beginning in Armenian-Kurdish relations that I will discuss at the end of this article. Third, at the societal level, I believe that the general trend in the activities of some Turkish intellectuals and members of civil society has further degraded the reconciliation process from “reconciliation without recognition’ to an agenda of “reconciliation instead of recognition.” The “We apologize” petition initiated online in December 2008 illustrates such an attempt in its timing and content, and the subsequent statements made by the initiators of the campaign. [2] As other articles in this issue already critically engage with aspects of the campaign, it shall suffice to state here that the use of the term “Great Catastrophe” (or Medz Yeghern, in Armenian) in the apology statement allows one to talk about the genocide without acknowledging responsibility for it. I argue that this shows a striking resemblance with the Turkish state’s strategy to deal with those issues that can no longer be denied.

Ouch!!

News reports in early March 2009 suggested that the Armenian-Turkish border that was closed upon Turkey’s initiative in 1993 may be reopened in April of this year. While this has not been officially confirmed, the possibility of reopening the border gained a different dimension with the recent regional elections on March 29, in which the Pro-Kurdish Party DTP firmly established itself as the key regional party in the Kurdish-populated areas in southeast Turkey, and took over the municipality of Igdir that had been governed by the ultra-nationalist party MHP for the past decade. Igdir is the province that borders Armenia, with Yerevan only 40 kilometers away from the province capital, where the population consists of mainly Kurds and Azeris. The political atmosphere there until recently had been extremely nationalistic and hostile toward its Armenian neighbor, which is sadly symbolized in the 45 meter-high Igdir “Genocide Memorial”—the highest monument in Turkey—that was opened in the attendance of then-president Suleyman Demirel, chief of staff Kivrikoglu, and other high-ranking officials in 1999, with its stated aim to commemorate the Armenian massacres against the Turks in Igdir. The monument replicates five large swords, with their ends meeting at the top and forming the star of the Turkish national flag when seen from above. The sharp edges of the swords are turned outwards, to symbolize the readiness against any intrusions from the outside. It is an aggressive, nationalistic, and outright hostile monument that is strategically located on the road from Igdir to the Armenian border. In light of this political atmosphere, it will certainly not be easy for the new mayor Mehmet Nuri Gunes of the DTP to make a new beginning in the region. However, irrespective of whether or not the border reopens, the DTP’s victory in Igdir is a positive and hopeful development for better neighbor relations.

It is time to replace the disgraceful monument with peaceful visions for the future.

I couldn’t agree more. Take the time to read through Bilgin Ayata’s excellent piece.

In other news, There’s more TSK dead near Lice in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan today. The LA Times was concerned enough about dead Turks to write something about the blast, which killed nine enemy troops. One other enemy troop was killed in another area as well. Our friends have issued a statement indicating that this was a retaliatory operation against the Ankara regime for it’s latest abuses of the Kurdish people, and they will issue a more complete statement on the operation later (Source: http://www.hpg-online.com/tr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=197&Itemid=155).

What’s interesting about the LA Times article is what it doesn’t say and what the LA Times has not said at all in the last few weeks. It has made no mention of the arrests of more than 400 DTP politicians and political workers. Nor has it mentioned the Ankara regime’s murders of Kurds at Amara, or of Kurdish children being abused and murdered by the regime. It hasn’t mentioned anything about “voided” DTP votes in Ağır, the demonstrations against the election corruption in Ağır which led to the demonstrations. It hasn’t mentioned the violence of the police against DTP parliamentarians. Much of this activity happened immediately before or after Obama’s visit to Turkey and it’s impossible to imagine that the LA Times was not on hand to cover the visit.

The question is, why were none of these abuses mentioned, even to give context to events that have transpired in The Southeast since the 29 March elections? I think the answer should be quite obvious: The American regime gave its approval for these attacks against the Kurdish people. This fact becomes more clear if you realize that the LA Times was among those mainstream media outlets that sat on the Ralston conflict of interest back in 2006.

I guess the LA Times is in denial, too.

A blog check reveals that Hevallo has a post on how the AKP failed to brainwash Kurds in the 29 March elections, which would be all that information that the LA Times has so conveniently ignored. He’s also got a post on our friends and how they’re ready for peace–another little fact that the LA Times has not bothered to investigate.

If the Ankara regime can’t kill every Kurdish kid in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, it might as well imprison them all. As an example, there’s something on the recent convictions of kids in Adana, from Children of the Sun. It should come as no shock to anyone that the LA Times omitted this information from its article, too.

Azadîxwaz weighs in on the Lice operation and mentions the deaths of 11 Iranian police in Iranian-occupied Kurdistan.

Now I think I’ll go raise a glass of tea to a job well done!

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