Sunday, February 19, 2006


PWD's 13 February statement contains the following:

After the incident, the PUK Asayish (security) and bomb expert team formally informed the PWD following their investigation and enquiries that the bombing had been carried out by remote control. In response to this certain circles and government officials failed to report the truth for political reasons and claimed it was "related to a technical malfunction".

"Certain circles and government officials failed to report the truth for political reasons." What political reasons would those be? Everyone knows there is no free and independent press in South Kurdistan, but here PWD has found a means of its own free expression, through its own statements, and it fails to elaborate on the "political reasons." But let us ask the simple question: Who stands to gain from this political assassination?

The PKK certainly does not stand to gain, and as Murat Karayilan stated, there has been a separation of two years between the former PKK members of PWD and the PKK. Intelligence information is time sensitive. Any knowledge that Kani Yilmaz still had of PKK would have become irrelevant now, two years later, and interesting only to historians. PKK itself has other concerns at this point, not the least of which is the renewed special warfare operations in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan and South Kurdistan by JITEM/JIT and MIT, operations which have resulted in recent months with the arrest and obliteration of a good number of PKK members in South Kurdistan.

The Semdinli bombing was the event which brought the black operations to light in the media, but there were other black operation bombings in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan in the month of November that were not covered extensively by the media. The visits in December, 2005, of the CIA and FBI, as well as the ATC, to Ankara, should be seen in light of the renewal of black operations by the Turkish government. All media reports of the visits mentioned PKK as a subject of discussion between Turkey and the US. Since 2003, Turkey has threatened that an autonomous South Kurdistan would lead to regional instability. The problem is that now Turkey is actively engaged in creating the very same instability in order to further its own interests and to prevent gains by the Kurdish people.

What is most illuminating about PWD Europe's 14 February statement is who PWD holds responsible for the murder of Kani Yilmaz. The statement reads like an MIT wish list:

PKK Presidency Council Members Cemil Bayik and Murat Karayilan

PKK's Legal Party in Iraq PCKD.

Roj TV based in Brussels

PKK’s European Representative/Authority Zubeyr Aydar.

PKK’s legal Party in Turkey DTP

PWD has so far failed to prove any PKK relationship to the murder of Kani Yilmaz because all of PWD's claims regarding "evidence" raise too many questions, which result in the establishment of reasonable doubt.

From the 13 February statement:

The PWD stated that the incontrovertible evidence obtained shows that the PÇDK is being used as a base for the PKK's murders, and for it to be able to continue to operate as legal party in "free Kurdistan" is an unacceptable affront. In this sense, they called upon the Kurdistan government to fulfil their obligations and treat this party as a terrorist organisation.

Who is it that consistently maintains that anything even vaguely associated with PKK is "terrorist?" The Turkish government.

PÇDK is flying the Koma Komalên Kurdistan flag in Kerkuk, and was doing so before the December elections, in which it ran as List 779. The leader of the PÇDK is a former PUK guy, Dr. Faiq Gulphi. The PÇDK ran on a platform of anti-corruption, with Dr. Gulphi holding a seminar in Hewlêr before the December elections, in which he urged Kurds to vote for national interests rather than tribal interests. Ankara protested the fact of PÇDK's existence, as a legal political party in Iraq, to the Iraqi Electoral Commission (IEC). According to Turkish media, the IEC ignored the US State Department's Coordinator for Iraq, Robert Deutsch, who Ankara claimed had pressed the IEC to remove PÇDK as a legal party eligible to run in the Iraqi elections. According to the IEC, no one in Baghdad had received any request from the State Department.

PÇDK did receive votes in the election, but not on any scale that would be a threat to anyone. What was significant about the PÇDK's participation in the Iraqi elections, was that it was the first legal party of the PKK's confederation to ever run in democratic elections. It marked the beginning of the end of the propagandistic accusations that PKK isolates itself from political participation. This is not good news for Ankara nor, apparently, for PWD.

PWD makes the wild claim that Roj TV is another organization responsible for the murder of Kani Yilmaz. This is an organization that has a legal broadcast license issued by Denmark, whom the Danish broadcast authorities have examined for the content of their programming, at the request of the Turkish government. Danish broadcast authorities found that Roj TV was completely innocent of "incitement to hatred," the accusation the Turkish government made against Roj. Questions of Roj TV's finances have been under the investigation of the Danish police and prosecutor's office for almost a year. Nothing so far has been discovered to indicate that Roj TV has any connection to PKK. The Turkish government continues to beat this dead horse and, apparently, PWD has taken up Ankara's cause.

PWD Europe makes the claim that DTP is PKK's legal party in Turkey. Isn't that a bit of a contradiction, given the Turkish position on PKK? Since Turkey is the only country that obsesses over the existence of the big, bad PKK, how is it that Turkey permits PKK to have a legal party in Turkey? While we wait for the answer to that puzzle, we will also wait for PWD's "incontrovertible proof" that DTP is responsible for Kani Yilmaz' murder. There is one government that has, over the years, labeled successive pro-Kurdish parties in Turkey "illegal" and shut them down. It looks like PWD has also accepted that government's position and would also like to see the latest legal, pro-Kurdish party in Turkey shut down.

From the 14 February statement:

Previously PKK also murdered Sipan, Kemale Sor and Hikmet Fidan for leaving PKK

It's unusual that PWD goes on about Sipan, when he was never a PWD member. Sipan maintained his ties with KONGRA-GEL and with PWD, even though he was critical of both. Sipan had his own group, which wanted to focus solely on working for East Kurdistan. If PWD were so certain of the existence of a PKK hit list, which included Sipan's name, why, for his last journey, did Sipan choose to travel from Kerkuk to Hewlêr through Mexmur?

It's unusual too, that PWD goes on about Hikmet Fidan, who willingly traveled to Amed for his last journey. If PWD or Hikmet Fidan truly believed in the existence of a PKK hit list, why would Fidan travel to the great capital of the Kurdish resistance movement, Amed? As it turns out Fidan's friends killed him. Coincidentally, they were all PWD members. Coincidentally, the murder took place as Turkish black operations began to gain momentum.

Then there is the mention of Kemale Sor, the third in PWD's trinity. He was the one who was involved with the murder of 5 PYD leaders in 2004 and the murder of 5 Turkish "police" a few weeks later. All of this took place near Mûsil.

For PWD, these deaths have no importance except insofar as they have a certain propaganda value among those who know absolutely nothing.

I am sure that everyone would like to see the evidence for all the claims that PWD has made in the last week, however, I have the feeling that the further we go in time from Kani Yilmaz' murder, the less will be the chances of any evidence making it to light. It would be better to have the evidence come from the KRG-Silêmanî, but given the internal problems of the PUK, it is unlikely that the murder of a Bakurî is of any importance to the PUK. They will not rush to publish any evidence. After all, they didn't seem too concerned with moving in and capturing Veli Çat and Serdar.

Kani Yilmaz had been a pawn once before, in late 1994. At the time, it served Turkey's purposes and not PKK's. Last week, Kani Yilmaz became a pawn once again and, this time, Kani's death has served the purposes of the Turkish state, purposes which fit so seamlessly with PWD's accusations. It appears that the Patriotic Democratic Party of Kurdistan is as democratic as the Turkish state.

What has not been answered yet, and what may never be publicly answered, is whether or not Kani's contacts with German intelligence services were betrayed by the Germans to the Turks, or whether or not the Germans were acting as "mediators".

In any event, once again, none of these purposes serve PKK.


arcan_dohuk said...

pops just got back. he said the only kind of build up he saw on the border was long lines of trucks trying to enter kurdistan. he said the turkish soldiers at the border crossing would say "vekka" and "supas" to him as they checked his back. not too long ago the kurdish language wasn't even allowed.

Mizgîn said...

I suspect that the tanks have moved on to Turkish military camps in the area.

Litmus said...

"Any knowledge that Kani Yilmaz still had of PKK would have become irrelevant now, two years later, and interesting only to historians."

I don't really see why, if someone leaves an organization (PKK, FBI, Jandarma etc) chances are there's still going to be a substantial amount of the same people working there two years later. Even if you don't know what they're doing, you know who they are. And if there are only a handful of names known to the outside, then a more extensive list is going to have its merits. I mean, do you really think that someone who was in Bin Laden's inner circle in 2003 and had since removed himself is going to have knowledge of only "historical importance"?

Nistiman said...

Litmus - I'll let anyone who has a deeper knowledge of how intelligence gathering works to answer your point but from my general knowledge of the PKK, I doubt that Kani Yilmaz personally posed a substantial threat to the PKK in terms of his potential to leak sensitive information. He began to lose the trust of the PKK soon after Abdullah Ocalan's capture, therefore, I would speculate that he had even less sensitive knowledge than one might initially suppose.

I also think that the PKK would have realized that any information Kani would have provided could have easily been obtained by any informant well placed within the PKK - of which there never seems to be a shortage of.

I think that as self-proclaimed opponents of the PKK the PWD did pose a general threat to the PKK but the threat was mitigated by two main factors:

(1) PWD was losing influence and credibility fast and in a way digging its own grave. Therefore, the PKK I think actually benefitted from the PWD exposing its weaknesses and contradictions in a natural course rather than being defeated thru any sort of military confrontation -- or extra-judicial killings -- by the PKK.
(2) the PKK, as pointed out by Cheryl and Berxwedan, have a lot to lose by engaging in assasinations in Iraq where they are in a precarious situation and where they are hoping to make a contribution democratically.

In light of these factors, I think any perceived benefit of killing PWD dissenters is outweighed by its negative effects.


Mizgin: Continuing along our court theme, if I were the trier of fact, I would have thought you were successful in creating 'reasonable doubt' in the claim that PKK was responsible for Kani Yilmaz's murder.

I think you were also quite right about comparing the initial remarks of some of the anti-PKKers with the drive-by shooter. Man, if I were them, I would've atleast posted one more one liner to dispel the idea that I was a drive-by shooter :)

Litmus said...

Re: the abundance of PKK informants

yes, this point makes much more sense than a generalized statement on intelligence gathering.

Mizgîn said...

So, Litmus, you are saying that the Turkish government doesn't know who the people in PKK are? They know already. They have big, fat dossiers on anyone who is anyone. It would not be people that Turkish intelligence is interested in, but activity, plans, locations. These are ancient history now, especially since March, 2005.

Nistiman, I agree with you on the lack of threat that Kani, or any of the others, posed for PKK. I never really saw what threat PWD posed to PKK. I mean, PKK has been so strong for so long. . . it is the only organization that keeps NATO's second-largest army in a perpetual state of panic.

As for reasonable doubt, there is one other point that I didn't mention because I thought about it later. The 11 February report on KM ( ) stated that Botan confirmed the identity of the victims (Yilmaz and Tori). It stated that the bodies were burned "beyond recognition" and that Kani was identified by his watch.

Overlooking the fact that Kani owned the world's only unique watch, which is the implication of the statement, how would one otherwise go about identifying a body that is burned "beyond recognition?" You can't look at the body and say, "Oh, yes. This is so-and-so." You can't use fingerprints. To have an absolutely certain ID of the body, you'd have to use DNA or dental records.

There was no mention of either type of ID, just as there was no mention of an autopsy.

Hey, I know drive-by's! I have been a target more than once and the funny thing is that the shooters are always anti-PKKer's :D