HAMAS, DEMOCRACY, AND UTILITY
"Why does not Gul spend efforts to stop bloodshed in his own country? Is this not a contradiction?" ~ Murat Karayilan
Erdogan still appears to be in damage-control mode over the recent Hamas visit and it seems that the more he opens his mouth, the farther he inserts his own foot. From The New Anatolian:
Turkish PM strongly criticizes Israel's isolation policy and sanctions against Hamas, saying this will by no means help democracy in Palestine. 'If the intention is to discipline the new structure in Palestine through economic methods, this will not bring democracy,' Erdogan says. 'This will be a controlled democracy, and this stance disregards the Palestinians'
I wonder what Erdogan would say about Turkish policies in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, especially since 1980? After all, it was Turkish policies that destroyed Kurdistan, has forced the ethnic cleansing of somewhere between 3 and 4 million Kurds, the destruction of thousands of villages, and now accounts for an unemployment rate of 70%--maybe even more. The "state of emergency" that the region was under for some two decades was very convenient in keeping out nosy foreign journalists who might have wanted to write about the things they would have seen there. The presence of NGO's in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan is still strictly controlled although the "state of emergency" has been lifted, at least temporarily.
Erdogan, a total stranger to the concept and practice of democracy continues:
"I call on both the relevant parties and the international community to carefully interpret the situation after last month's democratic elections in Palestine and turn this situation into an opportunity for peace by acting responsibly," Erdogan said.
Yet what is Mr. Erdogan's government doing, at this moment, to a legal political party in Turkey? On 22 February, the DTP Provincial Chairman from Van was arrested. Death threats were sent by mail to former DEP leaders and to the two co-presidents of DTP. A DTP office in Adana was busted into by police, with a number of people attacked and arrested.
If these kinds of things were to happen to Hamas by Israelis, what would be Erdogan's reaction? But here it is happening in Erdogan's own backyard, to people who are supposed to be "citizens" of Turkey and the PM is totally silent on the matter. Since the darker forces of the Turkish state are behind all of this activity, at least Erdogan has the brains to know when to keep his mouth shut. Those great "forces of democracy," such as the US and the EU, who are only too happy to shovel billions into Palestinian coffers so that Palestinians can buy French real estate for Suha and weapons for Hamas, are also keeping their mouths shut about all this activity against the Kurds.
Next door, in the fabulous Islamic Republic of Iran, Kurds continue to be murdered, as can be read at Kurdistan Observer or Kurdish Info. The US, for one, would like to shovel money at its Iran problem too, but there are no takers. However, the beggar looks like it will end up being a chooser:
The past week has seen renewed violence in Iran’s Kurdish region. The governor of Maku, a town close to the Turkish border, told Associated Press two demonstrators were killed on Friday during protests marking the 7th anniversary of the imprisonment in Turkey of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran and Komaleh are soon to launch satellite television stations - probably broadcasting from Europe - that might attract US funding. But the rise of Pejak, a group linked to the PKK, may be less to Washington’s taste.
Of course, it is great news that there will be more Kurdish satellite television, but the issue of US funding is problematic from a Kurdish perspective. How much independence will be permitted to these new satellite channels? Will their independence be inversely proportional to the amount of greenbacks they choose to accept? In a related item, Turkey has apparently figured out another scheme in order to close Roj TV, and it looks like this one will send a lot of people in the TC to prison. I guess this means Denmark didn't cave like Turkey was hoping.
Thus the "Good Kurd/Bad Kurd" label continues to develop and Kurds continue to be useful for others' purposes. From Spiegel Online, there is also this piece of information to illustrate that usefulness:
According to DDP, during his trip to Turkey, CIA chief Goss reportedly handed over three dossiers to Turkish security officials that purportedly contained evidence that Tehran is cooperating with Islamic terror network al-Qaida. A further dossier is said to contain information about the current status of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. Sources in German security circles told the DDP reporter that Goss had ensured Ankara that the Turkish government would be informed of any possible air strikes against Iran a few hours before they happened. The Turkish government has also been given the "green light" to strike camps of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iran on the day in question.
I guess there's a lot to be said for utility and none of it is good.