Monday, April 24, 2006


"This is one time when television fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather." ~ Bill Murray as Phil, Groundhog Day.

Sometimes, news reports sound so old, and you hear them so many times, that they become boring. Really boring. It's kind of like reading the same news over and over again, every single day.

What are we reading for the umpteenth time today, you ask? Well, an article in The New Anatolian about Roj TV. It's boring because it's the same thing, with the same air, a blend of the same self-righteous self-assurance and the same vague proofs, and, in general, all the same nonsense that every Turkish article about Roj TV has had for one full year. It was, after all, last April, that the Turkish government began its campaign against Roj.

Just like happened last year, the Turkish government has sent a DVD with Roj TV footage--that The New Anatolian positively guarantees us, will sound the death knell for Roj TV--to the Danish government, notwithstanding the fact that the Turkish media sounded the same death knell prematurely last April, and during the November frenzy. The Turkish media always accompany such statements with the phrase, "it [Roj TV] has proven links with the PKK," which always makes me wonder, if the links are so totally proven, why did nothing happen last April? Why did nothing happen last November? Obviously, the links are not quite as proven as the liars at The New Anatolian, and every other Turkish media outlet for that matter, would have everyone believe.

So what is the alleged proof this time? Take a look:

A DVD was included also in the file sent to Copenhagen to prove that Roj-TV is supporting and inciting PKK activities in Turkey. Images of news reports calling on Kurdish people living in Turkey to "close shops" and "boycott schools" took up the bulk of the DVD. In the same news reports, Roj-TV also showed the names and photos of PKK militants who were killed during clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces in demonstrations in Turkish cities, along with a call to the audience to take part in the "funeral ceremonies of these heroes."

[. . . ]

Another DVD containing messages from Murat Karayilan, an influential figure in the terrorist organization, was also sent to Copenhagen as part of the evidence of links between Roj-TV and the PKK.

What, exactly, are "PKK activities" that the Turkish government is so uptight about? Calling for a general strike, like closing shops and not going to school--because that's what "the bulk of the video" contained. In other words, civil disobedience is a PKK activity. PKK activity is also defined by the Turkish state as showing the names and photos the civilian demonstrators that the Turkish security forces murdered. Everywhere else in the world, this type of reporting is called "NEWS."

The messages from Murat Karayilan are news, and I guarantee you, that if Murat Karayilan had said anything to incite violence--as in what the definition of "incitement to violence" means in the normal world, and not what it means in Turkey, because anything a Kurd does or says in Turkey can be, and usually is, interpreted by the state as "inciting violence" (or, my personal favorite: "inciting hatred")--the government would have passed out courtesy copies of the transcripts of Karayilan's words to every single journalist in Turkey. And they probably would have arrested any journalist for "inciting violence" if they didn't accept such transcripts.

Not only that, the Turkish government would have overwhelmed the Internet by repeatedly spamming the verbatim transcripts to every single news organization and journalist on the planet.

In the meantime, airing messages from Murat Karayilan proves Roj TV's connection to PKK in the same way that printing messages from Bin Laden proves the Washington Post's connection to al-Qaeda.

Airing messages from Murat Karayilan or Bin Laden is not quite the same thing as your foreign ministry actually inviting the head of a terrorist organization to visit you in your capital city. . . Is it?

The New Anatolian pulls out another dead horse, in order to beat it again, and the horse has a name: Abdullah Hicab. The charge was made by the Turkish government last year and still has no merit. The problem with Abdullah Hicab is that he's a Kurdish writer who supports any Kurdish political party that is working for the rights of Kurds, according to his own statement from last November. But I did mention at the beginning that all this was boring, because all the same stuff is being replayed over and over again, sort of a Kurdish version of Groundhog Day.

Finally, reference is made, yet again, to Med TV and Medya TV, which were shut down by the British and the French, respectively. The British shut down Med TV because of irate callers after Ocalan's capture, not because of ties to PKK, proven or otherwise. Besides, it looked so bad for Turkey that Med was broadcasting NEWS about the Turkish invasion of South Kurdistan, among other things.

Medya TV was closed by the French government just before the anniversary of Ocalan's capture. Coincidentally, it was right before Turkish elections as well. Even more coincidentally, the closure happened a few months before Chirac paid a visit to Ankara, in order to facilitate business between France and Turkey.

It would appear that Medya TV was, in fact, a victim of the legendary French fighting spirit.

Not content with terrorizing Kurds under its occupation, not content with arresting Kurdish political leaders, not content with maintaining almost 300,000 troops in "The Region," the Turkish government must also be ever vigilant to stamp out every Kurdish voice in Diaspora lest, naturally, the truth be told. This falls under item 6 on our list of characteristics of a fascist state.

The truth is the only thing that can shatter the facade of democracy that is the Turkish Republic, and that is why it insists that Roj TV be silenced.

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