Wednesday, May 17, 2006


"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. " ~ Samuel Adams.

From the Great-Minds-Think-Alike Department:

flash bulletin has posted an interview with Cemil Bayik of the Kurdistan Democratic Confederation's (Koma Komalên Kurdistan-KKK) Executive Council. The interview touches on such subjects as the EU reaction to the new dirty war, pressures against DTP, Semdinli, and what the rest of the year may bring.

On the subject of the EU, including Joost Lagendijk's recent comments, it appears to Cemil that the EU is not concerned with finding a solution to the situation of Kurds under Turkish-occupation because the EU has no Kurdish policy per se. We are reminded not only of EU inaction, but of actions which assisted the Turkish state to capture Abdullah Ocalan in 1999.

It is my suspicion that the reason we have seen no EU Kurdish policy is that the nature of the relationship that binds EU countries together is strictly economic. This relationship has nothing whatsoever to do with human rights, political rights, cultural rights--all the rights that Western peoples take for granted. I am willing to bet that if Europeans were questioned enough on the matter, we would find that the reluctance some EU countries have expressed over Turkey's accession has much more to do with the economic situation in "The Southeast," than any fears of being overrun by Islam or Turks, or whatever the hell excuse the EU is using today. We might consider the potential economic situation of "The Southeast" as a factor that would encourage the EU to engage in an effective policy to bring relief to the Kurdish people. However, Turkey's resumption of war is not conducive to investment on the scale that Kurdistan would need. In fact, there was another report today on TDN that told us about another drop for the Turkish lira:

The lira slid almost 8 percent on Monday to its weakest level since 2004 as capital flight gained momentum among investors spooked by Turkey's economic prospects and political jitters, and unease about emerging markets.

"Capital flight" means that people aren't walking, but they are running, away with their investment monies, investment monies that they were going to put into Turkey proper, and not "The Southeast." Somehow, the phrase "shooting oneself in the foot" comes to mind here, because that's exactly what the Turkish government and its renewed repression has done. This is not the way to make friends and influence people.

Cemil Bayik had this to say about the EU's attitude toward Kurds:

The EU is now calling on the Kurds to renounce their support for the PKK and Ocalan by talking about a solution "without the PKK and Ocalan". The EU knows very well that the Kurdish Question in Turkey can not be resolved without the involvement of the PKK and Ocalan. Thus through these statements the EU is strengthening Turkey's policy of denial and annihilation. The EU's attitude is feeding Turkey's violence and the continuation of war. If the EU wanted to resolve the Question it would not have supported Turkey, then Turkey would have been forced to take steps to resolve the Question.

The idea of renouncing the PKK or Ocalan is not likely to happen, and there was a post about that on Rastî back in December, 2005. The PKK and Ocalan have been a very strong influence in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. That influence, and the ideas it has created, are not likely to be removed from the situation because nothing happens in a vacuum. Everything has a context, and all that went before influences what happens now. There is no getting rid of the influence or the organization because both will adapt and survive, as both have done so for thirty years. I agree with Cemil that to ride roughshod over Kurdish wishes in this matter is "smearing the Kurds based on biased information he [Lagendijk] receives from Turkish circles."

"Smearing Kurds" in this way is antithetical to the idea of democracy, a point which Cemil makes in the interview, and it's a point that was made on Rastî shortly after the serhildan in response to some of Lagendijk's remarks:

Well, well, well. . . the EU speaks out again. To be specific, the AKP's representative in the European Parliament, Joost Lagendijk, has spoken out against the right of the Kurdish people to back their own political parties. Shame, shame, Mr. Lagendijk, the right of the people to choose their own political parties and to support them is one of the bases of democracy.

[ . . . ]

Thousands of people turned out to accompany HPG gerîlas to their final rest. With which political organization does Mr. Lagendijk think the sympathies of these Kurds lie? If their preference is with PKK, then Mr. Lagendijk and Mr. Ozdemir, you have no place to deny them their political preference.

What does Cemil have to say about it?

We expect Lagendijk and the EU to respect the choice and the will of the Kurdish people. On 15 February (the anniversary of the abduction of Ocalan), 8 March (International Women's Day) and during Newroz people demonstrated their support for the PKK and Ocalan by chanting "PKK is the people". The Kurds carried posters of Ocalan everywhere and stated that Ocalan is the representative of their political will. Mr Lagendijk who talks about democracy does not recognize that and insists to the people that "Ocalan does not represent you". I do not think that this attitude reflects a commitment to democracy.

This leads into the interviewer's next question, and if you have a perverse sense of humor--similar to mine--you can find it somewhat amusing that the EU regards the Kurdish movement as "not being democratic." Let's go with Cemil Bayik's proposition that Joost Lagendijk, as chairman of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, gets told lies and propaganda about the Kurdish movement from "Turkish circles." Since when does a country that is run by its military get off making decisions about who or what is democratic, and what kind of idiot is going to pay any attention to that country's information? We might as well listen to Pol Pot expound on the virtues of democracy, if that's the case.

Certainly the opinions of "Turkish circles" are not based on experience in the matter of democracy, and therein lies the amusement. As for the answer to which is anti-democratic, the EU or the Kurdish movement, Cemil answers well, citing the facts of the situation which Kurds have faced under Turkish occupation, as well as recent events and those that are scheduled to take place in the near future. These clearly tell us there is a difficult year ahead.

By the way, pay attention to what Cemil says about homeless children in Amed.

Cemil's comments about Turkey's interaction, or lack thereof, with legal Kurdish parties in Turkey, i.e. the DTP, are on target and are in agreement with comments made on Rastî last week. It may only be a matter of time before DTP goes the way of every other legal, pro-Kurdish political party in Turkey. At the same time we are subjected to the commentary of Turkish propagandists, like Ilnur Cevik, by which they publicly moan about how Kurdish politicians in Turkey are "confused." It is the pashas and their lapdogs, the Turkish politicians, who are confused because they cannot comprehend the persistence of the Kurdish people in the matter of identity and basic human rights. They cannot comprehend the Kurdish willingness to continue the struggle.

The Turkish state does not want any Kurdish leadership whatsoever, so that it can avoid having to make the hard decisions it must make to solve the Kurdish problem it has created by means of severe repression. The state is using every fascist means to destroy pro-Kurdish political parties, to include imprisonment, death threats, harassment, and murder. Then they proclaim loudly that the Kurds are "confused," and that there is no one to talk to on the Kurdish side.


The dissolution of the PKK is not a call the EU is in any position to make. Neither Turkey nor the US is in that position. No one but the Kurdish people can make that decision. Such a call for dissolution, in concert with Turkey's attempts to destroy Kurdish political efforts in "The Southeast," is a two-pronged attack designed to pacify the Kurdish people and their movement. This is as dangerous to the Kurdish people as the demand that they abandon legitimate armed resistance. This is what Cemil Bayik makes clear toward the end of the interview, and he refers to these kinds of efforts as a "game." Absolutely, it is a game, a very old game with the very old name of Divide and Conquer. The danger here, as Cemil notes, is the object of the game: "[T]o break the willpower of the Kurdish people." This is something that cannot and must not happen--ever. Hence the awesome value of Kurdish stubborness.

Instead of demanding that that Kurds submit to oppression, why does no one hold the Turkish state responsible for its own actions? What responsibility does a state have to those over whom it exercises control? The question is a moral one, calling for a moral judgement and leading to moral action. The fact is that neither the broader Kurdish movement nor the PKK are fighting, whether politically or militarily, for any privilege. The fight is for the most basic of human rights, and the right to wage a war of resistance against oppressors, is the very heart and soul of those rights:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufference of this people.

Everyone say, "Inshallah!"


philip said...


Mizgin, you really hit about a dozen nails on the head with this--fantastically lucid and succinct:

**The Turkish state does not want any Kurdish leadership whatsoever, so that it can avoid having to make the hard decisions it must make to solve the Kurdish problem it has created by means of severe repression. The state is using every fascist means to destroy pro-Kurdish political parties, to include imprisonment, death threats, harassment, and murder. Then they proclaim loudly that the Kurds are "confused," and that there is no one to talk to on the Kurdish side.**


Mizgîn said...

Thanks, Philip, but you know it's true because I have been watching DTP and how the government (and the EU) have acted toward DTP--even before the serhildan--and I can come to no other conclusion. They are purposely being disenfranchised and I'm afraid it's the first step toward illegalization of the party, something that has happened to all pro-Kurdish parties in the history of the TC.

I wish the rest of the world would pay attention.