Saturday, April 29, 2006


"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly." ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Once again, it looks as though apologists for the Turkish state are blaming PKK for the pounding of Turkish war drums at the phony border with South Kurdistan, as if the PKK bore any responsibility for the fact that official Turkish ideology has always promoted racism against everyone not Turkish, and especially with regard to Kurds. Long before PKK was ever imagined, Kurdish desire for independence, complete with full Kurdish cultural and political rights, was the target of Kemalism. Yet, for the apologist, it is PKK alone that has provoked racism on the part of the Turkish state, never mind that the apologist pays lip service to the remote possibility of Turkish atrocities against the Kurdish people for the last 83 years.

One of the latest of these apologetic works proves that the same old formula, of inaccuracies, irrelevancies and plain, outright lies, still works for some. Unfortunately, by now, the attempt at obfuscation sounds more and more like a statement from the Turkish prime ministry or foreign ministry, and given the mass production of this kind of nonsense, I wouldn't be surprised if it did, in fact, come from the Turkish government.

This overused formula always contains several mentions of the PKK's alleged Stalinism. In spite of the fact that our apologist attempts to presume to be the ultimate know-it-all regarding PKK, he doesn't seem to know that the PKK's 5th Congress confirmed the rejection of Stalinism, which means that for eleven years now, there has been no Stalinism connected with PKK. Our apologist is so blind that he doesn't notice what even an illiterate can notice, and that is the absence of the hammer and sickle in any PKK or PKK-related symbology. Furthermore, this willful ignorance appears to be an attitude derived from his absorption of Turkish state propaganda, specifically that propaganda which refuses to acknowledge that there has been any change, or evolution, in PKK ideology over time. This willful ignorance is most spectacular in every comment, statement, or phrase uttered about "PKK" in the Turkish media. For the apologist, along with his Turkish masters, PKK is everything, when, in reality, PKK is not everything. The refusal to acknowledge change is a convenient one for the apologist anyway, as it allows the apologist to live in the past and avoid the reality of today.

It is interesting that the apologist ignores this year's Newroz events in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. In every single photo from every place in the North, where large Newroz celebrations were held, the flags and banners used in the celebrations were overwhelmingly DTP- or PKK-related, the latter being obvious by the ubiquitous display of the KKK flag, or of flags with the image of Apo. The DTP itself acknowledges the reality of the effect of PKK and Apo on Kurdish political discourse in the North. Individual DTP members and politicians have expressed their sympathies with, if not outright support of, the PKK. The Turkish state also, covertly, acknowledges this reality, and that is why so many DTP politicians and members have been dogged recently by death threats, legal and police harassment, or arrests and threats of arrests, especially in the wake of the Amed serhildan.

The apologist does what so many commentators in the Turkish media do, and that is to pay a bit of lipservice to the fact that reform inspired by EU accession may be moving a bit slowly or may be a bit stingy, or maybe the frustration of 83 years of official state repression, caused a genuine popular uprising in Amed. Immediately, however, according to the apologist, the entire uprising was taken over, directed, and given increased momentum by PKK. Think about that for a moment and let the full dimension of the racism implied in such a suggestion sink in. What the apologist is actually saying is that ordinary Bakurî, by themselves, do not have enough human spirit, nor enough intelligence, to see the reality of their daily lives under Turkish occupation. Nor are they capable of creating a spontaneous, popular mass serhildan on their own, but like a flock of sheep, they must be directed, maneuvered, propagandized and manipulated by the PKK.

Never mind the fact that, as in one example, Osman Baydemir spoke to demonstrators at Dicle University of his empathy with their demonstration, of his personal understanding of the frustrations of the Kurdish people, while at the same time asking for an end to violence.

Never mind the fact that young Bakurî, after working peacefully for change over the course of years, after meeting only the inside of a police detention room, with the requisite beatings and torture that is meted out to them in such places, never mind that these young Bakurî now feel the futility of their efforts and see the only answer as one of legitimate recourse to arms against a terrorist state oppressor.

Never mind the fact that the gerîlas, for whose funeral thousands gathered and accompanied to their burial, are not, for the Kurdish people of North Kurdistan, PKK agitators or Stalinists, but are, instead, their brothers, uncles, sisters, aunts and cousins.

No, never mind any of that and more. The only thing of importance to remember, according to the apologist, is that PKK had to tell everyone what to do. The PKK was in control, and therefore, according to the apologist, the legitimacy of the serhildan is questionable.

In connection with this is the outright lie of the apologist, that PKK turned this uprising into its own media event. The apologist would not have us be confused by the fact that two days into the serhildan, KONGRA-GEL issued its statement on the protests, and nothing in the statement indicated that the serhildan was being used to further "PKK's" cause. On the other hand, if one read through the Turkish media and commentary at that time--and now, for that matter--one would have believed that PKK was running the entire show. The reason for this is because the Turkish state, through its controlled media, is in deep denial over the reality of life for Kurds under Turkish repression. The Turkish state cannot accept that the Kurdish people are fed up with the conditions the state forces on them and therefore, according to item #3 in our list of characteristics of fascist states, Turkey must create the image of a scapegoat upon which to lay all the blame for Turkish misrule, discrimination, and genocide of Kurds.

All of this rabid scapegoating serves to conceal a new, recently emerging, suspicion that has added fuel to the Kurdish fire--the suspicion that the Turkish state used chemical weapons against HPG gerîlas, those same gerîlas who are the brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, cousins, and fathers of the Kurdish people. It appears that the use of chemical weapons against HPG may go as far back as August, 2003.

Our apologist happily perpetuates the myth of the scapegoat by ignoring KONGRA-GEL's statement and the possible use of chemical weapons against HPG, and then tries to compound the scapegoating with hints of the Deep State. Once again, a reality check is in order, so let's think about who is really in cooperation with the Deep State.

Imagine, if you will, a Kurdish politician in Turkey who is able to go freely around the country, and to the media, speaking of federalism for Kurds under Turkish occupation. How is it that this one Kurd can speak of federalism within the confines of Turkish "territorial integrity," and he is not attacked by MHPers or assassinated by one of the state's Yesils? Any other Kurd, but this one, would meet a suspicious death or simply disappear off the face of the earth for so much as uttering the word "federalism" in relation to the Northern Kurdish situation.

On the other hand, the DTP, a legal, Kurdish-dominated political party, which has been working within the political limits established by the Turkish state, has seen many of its leadership arrested in the wake of the Amed serhildan. I have already mentioned that DTP is sympathetic to the PKK, yet it continues working within the framework of the Turkish political structure, and it has become the target? The EU also supports the Turkish government against DTP, so Who, then, is in cahoots with the Deep State? Who, then, is really being used by the pashas? Whose leash is loosened and tightened within the boundaries set by the pashas? Is it really DTP or PKK? Or is it that one Kurdish politician, who is permitted by the pashas to speak of "federalism" from every podium in Turkey, and who gives interviews to every news organization within Turkey? Why is it that our apologist sounds so much like him?

The apologist, along with his Turkish masters, blames PKK for the deployment of tens of thousands of Turkish troops at the "border," on the PKK. This is a theory also derived from the Turkish propaganda upon which the apologist feeds, but the facts do not support this nonsensical claim. In reality, the Turkish state needs no pretext for its warmongering against Kurds; Kemalism itself, the official ideology which saturates Turkish society, and is reinforced by state institutions, is the sole reason for Turkey's aggression. Of course, Turkish fascism in and of itself is not in keeping with the image Turkey wants to cultivate in the world. It wouldn't go over well with the Americans, whom Turkey has been two-timing ever since its entry into NATO. Nor will it go over well with the inventors of fascism, the Europeans, who like to pretend that they learned their lesson about fascism. Neither the US nor the EU are really concerned with Turkish fascism because both support it for the maintenance of the status quo. They are also only concerned with image.

As a result, Turkey has to invent pretexts to protect their image, while at the same time giving the nod and wink to the US and EU. The more popular pretexts include the threat that an independent Kurdish state will pose for Turkey's "territorial integrity," even though Turkey is the state which does not enjoy good relationships with any of its neighbors; the protection of the excruciatingly small Turkmen minority in Iraq, notwithstanding the fact that Turkey never gave a damn about its Turkmen "brothers" when Saddam was in power; and its insistence of the absolute necessity of sharing the oil revenue of Mûsil and Kerkuk among all Iraqis, oil revenue that Turkey itself desperately covets.

During the serhildan, the majority of Kurds stood firm in support of Kurds under Turkish occupation. They placed the blame for the serhildan where it properly belonged, with the Turkish government. Now, at a moment in time when every Kurd should stand in solidarity against the massing of Turkish and Iranian troops within Kurdistan, when Kurds should proclaim the reality of these state sponsors of terror to the entire world and condemn the enablers of these states, we have, instead, an apologist who condemns Kurds themselves. This apologist is, therefore, a traitor to Kurdistan. Cicero spoke well when he said:

"For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear."


By the way, if you haven't seen it, go to the DozaMe blog and watch the video of the Amed serhildan. It is from The Amed Uprising 2006 site, which has more information about the serhildan, and it's excellent. DozaMe also has a post on the suspected use of chemical weapons. Convenient links to both are in the sidebar.


philip said...

Mizgin, I hate to commit even-handedness, but this apologist-artile argues:

[The PKK wants two things: first, to remain the centre piece in the Kurdish politics and second, to secure the release of Mr. Ocalan at any cost. The Turkish government wants to cling to the outdated and fascist Kemalist ideology while at the same time tries to fool the world and especially the EU with its cosmetic reforms which are nothing more than window dressing.

So, when the Kurdish problem transforms into a mass political movement rather than rebellion/security matters – as it is happening now, both PKK and the Turkish government/Kemalists become losers. To survive this epoch both the PKK and The Turkish military need to help each other. Don’t be fooled! This by no means prevents them from being the mortal enemies of each other at the same time. It’s a sick relationship with seemingly no logic behind it except for one thing and that is their coexistence as mutual enemies may ensure their survival at least transiently. A future liberal democratic Turkey in Europe will have no place for an outdated and racist Kemalist ideology nor will a free Kurdish nation want a Stalinist – cold-war era and authoritarian organization such as the PKK. Therefore, they will do their best to create chaos and conflict to ensure their mutual survival.

The Turkish military is using the PKK leadership as a controlled agitator right now by loosening the leash at times of their choosing to exert their prominence in Turkish political arena and tightening the noose when threatened beyond a certain limit.

To put the recent developments in perspective, the Turkish military wanted the PKK to create troubles to give the impression that Turkey is facing a major security problem from Northern Iraq (South Kurdistan). In their mind this justifies launching a cross boarder operation into southern Kurdistan to root out the source of that threat. The reality is that Turkey is not concerned so much about the PKK as she is about the inevitable formation of an independent Kurdish state in what was once called Northern Iraq.]

I have heard such arguments propounded many times by...YOU!

Don't tell me you've succumbed to EdKochitis??!!

Anonymous said...

The Turkish government is using the PKK, much as it did the Cyprus issue to cover up the fact that it is a staunch supporter of a facist stagnation on a highly subversive level. While life looks to be moving forward and democratic (you only need to watch the BBC to gather this train of thought), there has to be, as a friend put it so well this weekend, "A move from within the culture that does not allow the behaviour and mistreatment of others." An underlying desire to create citizens that will act for the greater good – the problem is a serious low-level of education on all fronts. Better to keep the population drugged on their own hang ups and/or others than allow it to create and think freely. There is a movement in Turkey who do talk about the issues and want to solve them, but they feel powerless, although I commend their efforts. These people are usually highly educated, doctors, or academics who have at one time in their lives lived abroad for a good amount of time and are able to see what life really is like in a democratic nation – when I say democratic I mean from the working man's perspective not of course from the political platform.

If one does not have a role model then one never learns, unless one suffers a lot, and with no one to guide the development of a people and culture, it will stay the same and be easily manipulated by others.

A Turkish doctor, who volunteers at an NGO, last night told me that there are at least 1 million torture victims in Turkey (on the record) – the heavy hand of the Turkish state is scarred in the minds of many. An amnesty as we all know was issued which simply dished out impunity to those involved. No compensation has ever been offered and is not discussed publicly – no admission at all costs.

Torture victims, if belonging to a hardline political party who behave as "tough men" do not seek any type of treatment, and if the "psychological will" needed to seek such treatment is not even present – the tough guy syndrome remains. Well, he told me that these people who have suffered such acts, while not processing what had happened to themselves, can and are able to inflict pain on others – a vicious cycle.

Role models are a necessary part of a social change, a moral contract of responsibility to others. Something that goes beyond the political aims, and something which is easily ignored when an environment is created where each person must fend or defend themselves.

Many a Turk have called me selfish (just for not being Turkish), and many have appreciated my independence – those who have generally been out of the country and experienced the multi-cultural and multi-ethical modern world.

While I spent the weekend with a group of Turkish activists fighting against Turkey's nuclear ambitions, it was nice to see that there are some who can openly talk about the Kurdish plight and who are also petitioning their own government in a peacful and democratic manner. This is a small proportion of the country. I'm at a loss sometimes to know where to start and where to go next.

Scratch the surface and you'll find it's never ending. Admission is the key to reconcliation, oh where for art thou admission, admission.

Mizgîn said...

Philip, placing a truth within a pile of inaccuracies is like covering a piece of s**t with chocolate. It may look good and it may smell good, but it's still s**t. This is why I quoted Cicero.

Anonymous, yes, you are right, there are elements within Turkish society who really do want and work for a change of the system and, yes, they do tend to be educated. I also think diaspora communities, of both Turks and Kurds have had a big effect on this. Kurdish diaspora has had a huge effect on the development of Kurdish "nationalism" and the preservation of Kurdish culture.

If we look at the case of Orhan Pamuk, we can see that there are certain people for whom the West will go to bat, however, for every Orhan Pamuk there are dozens of not-so-famous people who face the same charge, for which no one speaks out. The same is true for many other charges. I think that role models are developing within the Kurdish milieu, especially in organizations like DTP and IHD, or even among musicians. Again, although these people are trying to work within the system, they are still harassed by security forces and the general political system.

The DTP leaders were being harassed, charged, and detained before the Amed serhildan, so the harassment doesn't really have anything to do with the serhildan. There was one DTP mayor, from a town over near the Iran border, I can't remember who it was now, but he has to travel from home to his office, and home again, carrying a weapon because he is harassed, while going to and from work, by security forces. Others are detained, others have received death threats from the government, others are arrested, they are charged under the TCK over stupid things, and they have threatened to arrest Osman Baydemir over the serhildan.

I suspect that much of this harassment has a lot to do with the fact that elections are coming and DTP has seemed very popular among Kurds, at least in Kurdistan, so why not get rid of the leadership before the elections? I hope that the DTP leadership will serve as role models and as a collective focus for solidarity among Kurds in the elections, and I hope DTP reminds everyone exactly what AKP has done for Kurds since the last elections.

Torture, and its lasting effects, both physical and psychological, is a huge problem.

I used to think that EU accession would be the answer, but now I am not so sure. After the Amed serhildan, Europe backed the Turkish government all the way, and I am beginning to suspect that, under the EU, Kurds would be fifth-class citizens. I consider also how Europe responded to the break up of the former Yugoslavia, especially over Bosnia, and I am beginning to suspect that a similar thing would happen to Kurds. The EP will reinforce any Turkish argument to behave as it wants domestically, leaving Kurds on their own, once again, while Kurdistan is open to economic exploitation. Check the destruction of Hasankeyf for that.

So, I think it is time to rethink the whole EU thing, especially from a Kurdish perspective.

philip said...

Mizgin, I must be eating my steak too rare again, because I thought the entire thrust of that article was consistent w/your view...the inaccuracies you pointed out were incidental to the argument, in any case.

I'd characterize it more as chocolate inside caramel...

That's what makes horse-racing, I guess.

philip said...

BTW, anyone who has observed WEurope since 1990 knows that they will bow before the biggest, most violent bully. Ergo, unless the Kurds plan an AlQaeda scale terror-campaign in WEurope, rest assured that those greedy, frightened geldings will bend down and grab their ankles when the pashas get angry at them.

Juanita said...


Mizgîn said...

Welcome to Kurdish politics, Philip.

Juanita, I assume you mean to point out the article about Iran, and the fact that there is an agreement between Iran and Turkey over PKK and MEK?

Yes, we know, although in the last three years, I cannot recall an instance in which Turkey turned over any MEK members to Iran. They have been exchanging their respective, enslaved Kurds though.

Turkey is going to stick with Iran because Iran isn't going anywhere. It is a permanent fixture in the neighborhood.

By the way, Iran is lying.

Juanita said...

Well I am happy to know that Iran is lying. I worry about my Kurdish friends in the area. I know they can take care of themselves, but still...