Monday, April 10, 2006


"Old men are like that, you know. It makes them feel important to think they are in love with somebody." ~ Willa Cather.

Bianet is running a number of articles on life in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan after serhildan, and I urge everyone to go over there and take a look. I am going to focus here on two in particular.

The first is a report on the fact that there has been no investigation yet of the deaths in Amed. It looks like everything is back to business as usual with the only ones attempting to make an investigation into the deaths being one of Osman Baydemir's successors at the Amed office of the IHD. In viewing videos of the attacks by Turkish security forces, including video from Roj TV that showed attacks in Istanbul, I noticed that security forces were beating people on their heads. The indications from Amed seem to bear out my observations, with these highlights from IHD as reported on Bianet:

* It has particularly attracted attention that bullets from firearms and blows delivered by objects hit fatal areas such as chests and heads.

* Security forces have used gas bombs, pressurised water and firearms while intervening in the protestors. They opened fire using short and long range firearms not into the air - but targeting the demonstrating crowds.

* While gas bombs used to disperse the crowd should have been fired into the air, firing it directly on the crowd has revealed a deliberate action to violate the right to life.

Here are a few descriptions gathered from autopsy reports:

Halit Sogut (78): "Halit Sogut, who was heavily injured due to a blow delivered to his head by security forces with a hard object at around 14.30 on 28 March 2006, lost his life on 2 April 2006 at the State Hospital where he was placed under treatment."

Tarik Ataykaya (22): "Furniture worker. On 29 March 2006 between 13:30 and 14:00 he was wounded when security forces opened fire near Hayat 2 apartment on Baglar Medine Boulevard (beside the Metin Furniture facility behind the Rice Factory) and died the same day at the State hospital. According to the autopsy report, he died as result of brain damage and haemorrhage related to injury by firearm bullet (gas cartridge).

Mehmet Isikci (19): "Furniture builder. He was taken to the State Hospital after receiving a concussion from a blow with a hard object used by security forces . . . According to the autopsy report, he died as result of head, chest and inner trauma, fracture of skull, brain hemorrhage, internal hemorrhage due to right lung and liver rupture and shock from hemorrhage."

Emrah Fidan (17): "High school 3rd grade student. As result of injury due to security forces opening fire in the provincial center on the afternoon of 29.03.2006, he was placed under treatment at the intensive care unit of the Dicle University Faculty of Medicine and lost his life at around 08:00 on 03.04.2006. According to the autopsy report, he died as result of firearm pellets and brain hemorrhage."

These people died as a result of blows or gunshot wounds to the head, which means that security forces were beating and shooting to kill the demonstrators. That, in turn, means that security forces were not using any kind of restraint at all, contrary to all the statements and protestations of the Turkish government. A further indication of this comes from the fact that some of the dead suffered wounds to their bodies from the blows of riot-control agent canisters. In other words, these canisters were fired at the crowds. The intent of this shows one thing: Turkish security forces meant to kill the demonstrators.

The descriptions of the causes of death of the children indicate that they died of gunshot wounds.

One father, in looking for his missing son, relates how he went to the Security Directorate and was told by police, "F--- off and ask Osman Baydemir about your son."

As Reyhan Yalcindag, current head of the Amed branch of the IHD, points out, no criminal complaint was necessary to initiate investigations into these crimes of the state. An investigation should have been automatic. What this means is that the Turkish government has no intention to get to the bottom of these incidents. Once again, dead Kurds are an acceptable reality for Ankara.

The second article of note is one discussing the fact that 57 children are still under arrest in Amed and the organization gathering this information is the Amed Bar Association Children's Rights Center.

* The children are being held in the adult, Amed E-Type Prison.

* Estimates are that 95% of the children are in danger of torture and mistreatment.

* The children have been charged with life-imprisonment charges, including "violating the integrity of the state" and "inciting and provoking the people to rebellion, resentment and hostility (charges which, in my opinion, should justly be leveled against the state).

The charge of "inciting and provoking the people to rebellion, resentment and hostility" is a charge which should justly be applied to the state and not to the Kurdish people, the children in particular.

Other, miscellaneous charges include the following:

* Aiding and abetting the terrorist PKK organization,

* Inciting and provoking the people to rebellion, resentment and hostility,

* Conducting attacks on security forces with arms, firebombs, knives, stones, sticks,

* Inciting the people to looting,

* Conducting stone, stick, firebomb attacks on public establishments and institutions, political party buildings, public housing, official patrol vehicles, police panzers, business places kept open,

* Setting fire to banks after occupying them by force,

* Violating Act 2911 on Meetings and Demonstration Marches.

How is it that a state which claims to be a democracy, which has aspirations of joining with that part of the world that is normally taken to be civilized, can make charges like these against children? How can they be placed in detention in an adult prison? These are the actions of a fascist state.

And where is the rest of the world on these gross violations of human rights and of children's rights? I guarantee everyone that if these children, or the dead, had been Palestinians and the perpetrators had been Israelis--because we know the "civilized world" doesn't give a damn if Arabs violate the rights of Arabs--the entire world media would be present and would be whipping up an anti-Israel media frenzy, sparing no words in their denunciations of "atrocities" or "violations of rights." What would Erdogan have to say, if it were Palestinian children in the place of these Kurdish children?

But Erdogan and the entire Turkish state is closer to Palestinians than they are to the Kurdish people they enslave under the pretext of the infinite sanctity of "territorial integrity."

There is one last piece of blackness to complete the joke. Reuters reports that Head Pasha Ozkok has made a rare appearance in "The Region" to tell Kurds that he loves them. Well, actually, that's the title of the report and it's a big lie, false advertising. We will search in vain for any hint of the word "Kurd" passing Ozkok's lips.

Can you imagine? Here's the guy in ultimate command of the security forces who murdered Kurds, and he's the same guy who's prepared to back up Erdogan's promise of security forces using Kurdish women and children for a live-fire target practice, and this Pasha comes to "The Region" with the pretense of desire to lay a big, fat wet one on every Kurd he can locate.

I am sick!

Actually, given that the Pashas are the ones with the only real power in Turkey, the order to live-fire on every Kurdish woman and child had to come from Ozkok, or had to meet with his approval. Erdogan just came out and said it for the pretence of "democracy."

Ozkok Pasha came to "The Region" on a propaganda mission to say that the demonstrators did not represent the real feelings of the people and that the omnipotent PKK was using children as human shields. Go back and read the Bianet article on the dead in Amed and tell me where anyone says that the children were being used as shields. Go back and read, and tell me where Ozkok's "lions" were using any kind of restraint.

Ozkok is confirming everything his "lions" have done, he has no regret for his murders, and he is telling Kurds that we are going back to the 90s.

Nothing has changed.

Take your army and your love, and go back to Türkiye, Ozkok. There is no love in Kurdistan to reciprocate.

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