Tuesday, November 29, 2005

SUSURLUK. . . REVISITED



Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand. ~ Simone Weil



Anyone who knows anything about Turkish politics knows about Susurluk. If you don't know about it, you can check out this link and educate yourself because what we have here is a case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

On November, 9 of this year, a bomb was thrown into a bookstore in a little place called Şemdinli (Şemzîn in Kurdish), at the southeasten edge of the Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, where three infamous borders meet, Turkish border, Iranian border and Iraqi border . One person, with PKK sympathies, was killed in the bookstore and another wounded. The criminals, or should I say, terrorists, who threw the bomb were stopped by an angry crowd of Kurds. The terrorists fired at the crowd killing another person and wounding a few others. Eventually the crowd managed to apprehend the terrorists and, now here's where it gets really interesting, two of the terrorists were recognized by the populace as being members of Turkish military intelligence (JITEM) .

Residents of Şemdinli even found a number of weapons and documents in the car used in the attack.

One might reasonably think that catching the terrorists moments after the attack, an attack that had been witnessed by residents, would guarantee that the terrorists would be taken into custody and kept there. Not so! By the 12th of November, two of the criminals were free. Guess which two they were? Exactly. . . the two from military intelligence.

Photos of protests here, courtesy of the BBC .

Outraged over the attack and the release of the guilty, Kurds began protests in Şemdinli, protests which quickly spread to other cities in the region. Finally, the unrest was felt as far away as Istanbul, a place far more removed from Şemdinli and the rest of "The Southeast" in atmosphere than it is geographically. It was not long after the release of the JITEM agents, indeed, it was during the protests, that the first whisperings of "Susurluk" began to be heard.

No sooner whispered than done. It appears that a Susurluk type of cover-up is in the works:


A two-hour summit held by several top Turkish Ministers and military Generals to evaluate the unrest in the provinces of northern Kurdistan (southeastern Turkey) came to an end with the attendees deciding that "illegal separatist demonstrations must absolutely not be tolerated".

The meeting named 'The Semdinli Summit' was held at the office of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. The summit was attended by the Turkish Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Vice PM Abdullah Gül, Chief of the Turkish General Staff General Hilmi Özkök, Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek, Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu, Chief of the Turkish Land Forces General Yasar Büyükanit, Chief of the Gendarmerie Forces General Fevzi Türkeri.

The summit was held to evaluate the unrest in the Kurdish provinces which started after the leaders of a Turkish black-operations intelligence (JITEM) unit, which was exposed after it had carried out a bomb attack on a Kurdish bookstore in the city of Semdinli on Nov. 9, were released by Turkish authorities.

Kurdish civilians in Semdinli who witnessed the attack, chased and captured the unit. Weapons, bombs and other military material, together with documents such as death lists, list of informers and maps over former and future Kurdish targets were captured in the unit's car by the citizens. Two Turkish military personnel have been arrested while two others, believed to be the commanders of that particular cell, were released.

Chief of the Turkish Land Forces General Yasar Büyükanit praised Ali Kaya, the leader of the cell, and called him an "excellent soldier that knew Kurdish and worked in my staff as my intelligence officer and communicator with the KDP and PUK in the 1995 joint military operations against PKK in northern Iraq". Ali Kaya was among the released.


Thanks to DozaMe for carrying this news .

There was one voice of reason that made its way into print even as the protestors were making their way into the streets and that voice of reason came from Mehmet Ali Birand :


The perception of the Þemdinli incidents by a majority of the public is clear. They believe these bombings were planned by people working for the gendarmerie (in other words, the military) and the police and were aimed at provoking the people.

No matter what officials say, dismissing such claims and trying to prove their arguments, the public will not believe them.

The general belief is that some individuals who wear the state's uniform are going around bombing places, blaming the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and then using the PKK as an excuse to violently suppress such incidents.

There were already some suspicions about such incidents happening in the Southeast. There were rumors about certain state officials and those who benefited from the escalation of violence committing provocative acts to incite the PKK. However, there was no solid proof backing such claims. Some of the public believed the rumors and some didn't.

However, the situation is very different today.

Now it is openly said that state officials were involved in such provocative acts. No one can keep a lid on the information coming from the region.

This is a huge opportunity the state would be well advised not to squander.

The Republic of Turkey needs to utilize this opportunity and wipe away its past sins.

The public knows that the Susurluk affair was covered up. No one's hands are clean, including those of the military, the police, the National Intelligence Organization (MÝT), the Gendarmerie Intelligence and Anti-terrorism Service (JÝTEM) and even some nongovernmental organizations.

This time, everything needs to be totally cleansed.


As Birand says, the situation is very different today. The situation was in the process of becoming very different this year, as I could not help but notice on my recent trip back to Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. The atmosphere has been in a state of change for months now. The PKK called a unilateral ceasefire in 1999 and, from that time until they called off the ceasefire and began to stir in 2004, nothing was done by the Turkish state to repair the damage inflicted on the Kurdish people. The evidence is everywhere. Cities in the region are crowded with the displaced. Unemployment stands at 60% (at least) as an average throughout Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. The few factories I saw were closed. There is little hope that the Turkish state is willing to offer any solution to the problems.

Among a young population that is out of work and out of hope, PKK can offer what the Turkish state has always been unwilling to offer. PKK can offer work and food to this population of young Kurds that has been uprooted from their villages, has witnessed the humiliations and atrocities heaped upon their families and upon themselves for the crime of being Kurd. Perhaps even more importantly, PKK can offer a means to fight back, to reclaim the honor and the dignity of Kurdistan that the Turkish state has tried to destroy for almost a century. Such a reclamation of dignity for the Kurds of the North has been PKKs biggest and most lasting influence for many Kurds.

This latest insult, this new Susurluk proves that the more things appear to change, the more, in reality, they stay the same, and Mehmet Ali Birand comments on that too, in his more recent article, "A Dangerous Increase In The Kurdish Problem."

Dara Sor recently commented on this blog that "so many are sleepless, like you and I . . ." The Kurds are sleepless, the PKK no longer slumbers, the Deep State is wide awake and terrorizing Kurdistan. It is time for the rest of the world to wake up and see the truth.

9 comments:

Dara Sor said...

Absolutly cunning...

Yes - once we wake up - we won't sleep...

We are sleepless - and we will be, untill our honor is reclaimed!

Vladimir said...

It's a nice post. But I don't get it why you say the PKK can offer the Kurdish villagers food and work?

Never heard about such a thing.

Philip said...

Is it really possible that such a baked-in-the-cake national security provocation can be effectively swept under the rug? I mean, those photos and documents are there on the Net for everyone on earth to see, including people in Turkey. SOMEONE is going to be fired and/or prosecuted, and it will be someone at a high level in the Turkish govt. How can it be otherwise?

Mehmet Ali Birand is 100% correct, the Turkish state NEEDS to act to CLEANSE ITSELF. Like a gangrenous finger, it needs to be cut off before it poisons the whole body. Of course, it will be better for the Kurds if they continue this preposterous "I see nothing amiss here, except for those dangerous Kurdish protests!" pose...as Lenin said, "Tant pire, tant mieux."

Mizgîn said...

vladimir, at the end of october, 2005, HGP announced a sharp increase in the number of recruits it was getting. It graduated 1,000 recruits from Mahsum Korkmaz in 2005.

It expected the numbers to double or triple by the end of next year.

Add to this the fact of vast human rights abuses that have been committed against the Northern Kurds since the Şex Seîd rebellion, which spills over into the economic realm with the forced deportations, destruction of villages and property, including livestock.

The two, human rights abuses and economy have gone together. The economy has been made worse by the Turkish regime failing to repair any damage or assist the victims in any way.

This leaves us with the situation today, in which Kurds are impoverished, living below subsistence level and are turning to various forms of crime simply to survive. Given the very conservative nature of Kurdish society, the situation is one of extreme seriousness, in which the policies of the Turkish regime are aimed specifically at shredding all remaining Kurdish culture and traditional institutions.

It is not a far leap of logic to realize that if HPG has so many recruits, it is because those who join can find work as gerîlas, are clothed and fed, without resorting to prostitution, drug dealing and assorted other crimes, in addition to being given the power to engage in armed resistance against the very regime that wishes to destroy all traces of Kurdishness.

And philip, it is precisely because the regime refuses to clean itself that the region is returning to war.

Vladimir said...

1000 recruits is nothing to the millions of Kurds living in the slums...neither PKK nor the Turkish government does anything to improve the situation.

Vladimir said...

I think currently South-Kurdistan offers more help (jobs)for the Kurds of North-Kurdistan then the Turkish government.

Mizgîn said...

No one does anything to improve the situation in Bakûr, Vladimir. The question of jobs for Bakûrî in the South is limited. Only so many are able to go where the jobs are. Even if the entire population of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan were to migrate to the South, and if all of them were able to find employment, it would be an abandonment of Kurdish land in the North. Neither would migration address the violations of human rights of Kurds by the Turkish state nor restitution.

The entire status quo in the North must change.

Turkish E.T. said...

it is interesting that you use the term "Turkish-occupied Kurdistan"

was there ever a Kurdistan or a Turkish-Kurdish wars in the history before? Did we occupy a land that was actually Kurdistan?

"Kurds were first promised an independent nation-state in the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres"

and since that never happened it is very invalid for you to say that Turkey occupies Kurdistan.


doesn't this sound like a very odd very complex situation?? considering the details, the bombing of a bookstore by Turkish intelligent officers does not sound -intelligent- at all. Throwing a bomb and later on being stopped on the street???

It almost sounds Israel-Palestine type of act, where as in Turkey the turkish authority would have the means, and would rather choose to walk in the bookstore and prosecute the guys!

"The atmosphere has been in a state of change for months now. The PKK called a unilateral ceasefire in 1999 and, from that time until they called off the ceasefire and began to stir in 2004, nothing was done by the Turkish state to repair the damage inflicted on the Kurdish people."

repair the region? you are talking about a 3rd world country. There really isn't much Turkey could have done or that Turkey hasn't actually done.

and I cannot believe you are such a blunt supporter of PKK. A terrorist organization? it sounds as if PKK and honor go in hand in hand, where does honor stand in an organization that plants bombs in shopping malls and touristic destinations?

Mizgîn said...

It is interesting that I use the term "Turkish-occupied Kurdistan" only because it is the truth, something which the Kemalists cannot comprehend, and the fact is that since the Treaty of Sèvres does mention Kurdistan, reinforces the truth.

The bombing of a bookstore by JITEM is not intelligent sounding at all, but that is totally consistent with the contradiction in the term "Turkish intelligence officers."

As for the Israel-Palestine reference, you apparently missed my discussion of Turkish hypocrisy on that subject here: http://rastibini.blogspot.com/2005/11/turkey-palestine-hypocrisy-hypocrites.html

Yeah, I agree, Turkey is a third world country, a result of Turkish fascism, which says in practice--Better to be a third world country than a true, full-fledged secular democracy.

I always find it so amusing when Kemalists speak of honor, since the concept is foreign to them.