Monday, September 11, 2006


“It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that no one has heard before”
~ Anonymous.

I was talking to a friend the other night, and he said to me that the end of the ceasefire and the renewal of clashes in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan had come as a shock to the Turkish people. They believed their government, and the government-controlled media, that told them the Kurdish freedom movement died with the capture of Apo, and when the unilateral ceasefire began, lasting for five years, they mistook it for The End, for peace.

My friend is right.

Now, the Turkish people are angry and confused because they were lied to by their government; they have no idea why their children are dying. The Turkish people have no idea of the atrocities committed by their government against the Kurdish people. In this respect, their government lies to them by omission. This ignorance of the reasons why one fights is something that doesn't affect Kurds, because Kurds know why they fight. Kurdish gerîlas know very well why they fight. Kurdish parents know very well what their children fight for.

It would seem that Mr. Erdogan doesn't get it. Last week, Erdogan told a crowd in Balikesir that military service was not a time to relax, that it was dangerous and was no vacation. Strangely enough, a vacation in Turkey is dangerous too, but I suppose the irony of this is lost on someone as dense as Erdogan.

Later, in an opinion piece on TDN, criticized the fact that no child of the Turkish elites has ever done military service in "The Region," even though all are required to do military service. This is true. Those who end up on the wrong end of an HPG weapon are never from the elites, but are always from those who don't have the money or the influence to avoid serving as occupation troops in North Kurdistan.

By Friday, those attending a funeral of a dead Mehmetcik protested in Bergama, indicating that they had caught on to this discrepancy between the privileged and the ordinary people. They began to call for Erdogan to send his own son to "The Region," and what an honor it would truly be for the religious prime minister to have a martyr for a son. Still, fat chance that such a thing will happen. Meanwhile, it looks like ordinary Turks are less and less willing to send their children to Lebanon, even though pundits like Ilnur Cevik believe Lebanon will be much safer than Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

On that, I'll agree with Ilnur, for a change, even while I wonder if his son served in the occupied territory.

The truly unfortunate thing is that all of this could end in a matter of days if the Ankara regime were willing to meet the conditions set forth by Koma Komalên Kurdistan at the end of August. It could end in a matter of days if the racist Ankara regime were willing to engage the Kurdish people with the justice that is due them by virtue of their humanity.

Sadly, it appears that the stench of Turkish dead has not reached the elites yet, even while the ordinary Turk is reeling from it. Instead, the regime cries to the US for help in coordinating a war that has a very cheap price fo those elites. After all, it's only the unprivileged of Turkish society that pay for the stupidity and pig-headedness of their own rulers.

On the other hand, the ruling elite doesn't even treat the Turkish people with the justice that is due them by virtue of their humanity.

In spite of all this, no one should expect that the Kurdish people must remain passive for the sake of the stupidity and pig-headedness of the Ankara regime. Like every other people on earth, the Kurdish people have the obligation to defend themselves from vicious aggressors.

The truth of the matter is that, in a just world, these elites would not only be concerned with saving their children from death as part of a brutal, military occupation force, but they would also be worried about saving their own necks from the wrath of the Turkish people.


madtom said...

the conditions set forth by Koma Komalên Kurdistan

You do a good job I think of outlining most of the problems I have with this even if you did not see it.

I read a version of those conditions, posted on a link here in the comments a few post back. I was going to respond there, but got busy. Anyway the problem I see is that it's all about the kurds, like if they were the only one suffering under the Turkish regime. Similar I think to the Kurds in Iraq that don't like the flag, because they suffered under it. Lot's of Iraqis are rejecting that claim, because they say they suffered too, not just the Kurds. I think you guys are doing something similar. Maybe your feeling the brunt of the abuse, but if the regime abuses, then chances are they abuse everyone.

Don't you think that if your tried to include more of the Turkish population in your quest for equality that your message might reach a broader public. Maybe there are others, minorities like the Kurds that also feel isolated, and abused. Maybe if your demands were more inclusive, you could bring more people to your cause?

Mizgîn said...

Well, if lots of Iraqis are rejecting the flag claim because they suffered so badly too, then why do they cling to Saddam's flag? If they suffered so much, why don't they change it?

Now, Madtom, go find out about the relationship between the Turkish leftists and the Kurdish leftists way back in the 1970's and tell my why "includ[ing] more of the Turkish population" in any quest for anything that might remotely benefit Kurds is a losing proposition. Really, we've been there, done that. If you do this, as an added bonus, you will understand one of the reasons why PKK was founded.

As for the conditions posted earlier, here they are in their entirety, courtesy of DozaMe, whose private motto is, "We learn Turkish so you don't have to." By the way, if you read this whole declaration carefully, you will learn a lot about the Kurdish struggle in the North:

KKK: Declaration for the Democratic Resolution of the Kurdish Question

The Middle East as a geographical region where there is heightened conflict continues to dominate the world’s agenda. Although this could be due to it being a place where the world system was formed, the main reason is due to the region not having democratizing. When a democratic culture is not fully developed, society and political forces are not respecting of the rights of each other, hence the results are conflicts. The reason and basis for the intervention of foreign forces is due to the fact that the political systems in the region are not democratic.

One of the fundamental reasons why the Middle East cannot democratize is the fact that the Kurdish question remains left unresolved. This question is not resolved at the fundamental level, hence all the efforts to solve other issues in the region are ineffective and cannot bring stability.

The responsibility for the question being left unresolved lies with both the international and regional forces. As a consequence, the Kurdish people have suffered grievously. However, the forces that are dominant over Kurdistan have not attained peace.

Without democratization, peace will not develop in the Middle East and the suspicions and anxiety felt by Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Persians, Assyrians, and Jewishs against each other will go on. The tension that has developed through this will inevitably lead to future conflict.

The regional states, who have maintained policies according to a world shaped by the Lausanne Treaty, which denies the rights of the Kurdish people, have thus never acknowledged the Kurds as a people and shown the Kurds only force. These states do not have any positive policy towards the Kurds. They have only one policy and that is when Kurds seek their freedom, as is their right, they are suppressed with violence. Today this same mentality manifests itself in an anti-Kurdish alliance of Turkey, Iran and Syria. Throughout history the Kurds have resisted the same policy of annihilation and we have now reached a point of impasse. The pioneer of this mentality is the Turkish state with its policy of violence against the Kurdish people, which has resulted in much conflict and tension.

The new period in the world and in the Middle East and the achievements gained by the Kurdish Freedom Movement has put the states of Turkey and Iran into a mood of panic. They are both experiencing difficulties in continuing with their denial and annihilation policies. It is because of this that they have initiated a series of attacks against our movement since the spring. While Turkey is forming alliances with both Iran and Syria, it is also putting effort into strengthening alliances with the USA and the Iraqi state in order to develop this policy of confrontation. When it cannot achieve its aims it puts on the agenda cross border military operations.

Many groups of prominent people in Turkey and internationally, including many intellectuals, writers, civil society institutions and the South Kurdistan Federal Government, have issued proposals and calls on both sides for a ceasefire. Recently the USA Foreign Ministry Spokesman also made a call on our movement for a unilateral ceasefire and disarmament. Unfortunately, calls for unilateral efforts to resolve the conflict are not adequate. If this were the case, we would have put all our effort into doing unilaterally whatever was necessary to solve the issue. However, the history of our struggle has shown that unilateral actions are not enough to solve the issue.

Public opinion also knows full well that the Leadership of our Movement has made numerous unilateral ceasefires during the years of 1993, 1995, and 1998 all in attempt to open the path to a democratic resolution. However, these did not bring a solution. In fact, the Turkish state used it as an opportunity to seek to liquidate our movement by increasing its attacks. When it became clear that all these efforts were inconclusive and with the call of our Leadership Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali on 2 August 1999 our movement abandoned the armed struggle strategy. Thus the guerrilla forces withdrew beyond the border of Turkey and positioned themselves in a line of self-defense. In this way our movement gave another opportunity to Turkey to freely find the will to resolve the issue without putting on any pressure. Turkey, which had no reason not to take step to resolve the issue, still did not show any will to adopt this course. Turkey, despite pressures both internally and internationally, continued the denial and annihilation policies under new political conditions. They adopted measures, which could only be regarded as an insult to the Kurdish people, such as the permission for one hour weekly Kurdish television broadcasts and private Kurdish courses which opened under enormous restrictions. They openly declared their real intentions by repeating many times statements such as the following, “we have done what was necessary, so no-one should ask from us any other steps”.

We made several calls to the state of Turkey to stop the delay and annihilation by putting off into future policy. Nevertheless, on March 2003 in response to the creation of the Kurdish federation in Iraq Kurdistan following the intervention of the USA in Iraq, the Turkish state formed an alliance with Iran and Syria in fear of a larger Kurdistan. To put a stop to the growth in Kurdish freedom they re-initiated extensive military operations and pressure policies.

Against these attacks on 1 June 2004 the period of self-defense was forced on us. In our new struggle strategy the HPG (People’s Self-Defence Forces) is not a force pursuing struggle as an armed struggle but is engaged in armed self-defense against armed attacks on our people. In the face of attacks launched on us the new period began with the retaliatory actions of the HPG.

On 12th of August 2005 our movement began a 1 month no action period as a friendly gesture to Prime Minister Erdogan’s speech in Diyarbakir and in response to peace efforts of a group of intellectuals to give a chance to peace and democratic solution. In reply, however, the Turkish military increased its attacks and as a result during the 1 month no action period the HPG forces losses multiplied fourfold. Prime Minister Erdogan by not following through his word supported the violence perpetrated by the military. The attempts at a peaceful political resolution and the actions of the Kurdish people were judged as weakness and desperation by the political tradition that is used to seeing everything in terms of force in arms and violence.

While the world has entered a period of dialogue in these types of issues as a solution, there is only one reason for the closing of all routes to dialogue with the Kurdish Freedom Movement and opting for annihilation. That is, the fact that the Turkish state is determined to follow its denial and annihilation policies because it depends on its military and political strength.

The Kurdish Freedom Movement is not the party which is running away from a peaceful solution to the question nor is it the one that is insistent on violence. We do not see violence as a method to solving the issue. On the contrary, we have made great sacrifices, unilaterally, for a democratic resolution and peace. If the interlocutors show the necessary will for a resolution there will be no obstacle preventing it. Like our Leadership declared years ago, we are searching for an interlocutor. If Turkey shows the will for a solution there will be a ceasefire in one day and the issue will move towards a solution. We have many times declared several proposals for a resolution and issued projects that could be rejected before public opinion. However, no serious proposals for a solution have been put in front of us. For this reason we are not responsible for the current crisis and the continuing conflict. Despite all this, our movement has acted responsibly, demonstrated every possible effort and sensitivity so as not to escalate the conflict and exceed the limits of self-defense.

We believe that the current crisis and conflict brings harm to the Turkish, Kurdish and indeed all the peoples of the Middle East. For this reason and having taken into account the calls and desire for peace of some international forces, international institutions, and various circles, and in the framework of Leadership’s latest peace calls, we have decided to take a new step.

With this objective, we as the Kurdish Freedom Movement of Koma Komalen Kurdistan (KKK, Confederalism of Kurdistan) Executive Council came together during 7-9 August 2006, discussed the situation and decided that for peace and democracy a new period must be initiated.

To this end the Turkish state must issue a statement to show the will for dialogue and solution, cease its attacks and end the heavy isolation conditions on our Leadership. These are not conditions; these are steps that any side needs to take in order to make a good gesture.

If these positive steps are taken by the Turkish state, Koma Komalên Kurdistan Executive Council will make all necessary efforts for the development of a ceasefire by the HPG. 1st September World Peace Day is an important opportunity to start such a process. Our people and movement will do whatever necessary from this day on to voice every opportunity for peace and democratic solution and we will increase our democratic actions on 1st September. The Turkish state, from its side, can follow its democratic will in the development of this process by showing peaceful efforts.

The two sides can develop a basis, with these steps to cease the conflict, and then the possibility of the second phase can come onto the agenda. The second phase will be the start of the democratic solution of the Kurdish question. A perspective of democratic autonomy within the borders of Turkey, which enables the freedom of the Kurdish question, can be a pivotal for a permanent solution.

The framework for the steps that need to be developed mutually in the second phase for a permanent solution:

1- The acknowledgement of the Kurdish identity and the constitutional guarantee of all identities under the identity of a Citizen of Turkey as the main identity,

2- The lifting of obstacles on the development of the Kurdish language and culture, the acknowledgement of education in the mother tongue and Kurdish acknowledged as the official second language alongside Turkish in the Kurdistan region, and with this to show respect to other minority cultures,

3- The acknowledgement, on the basis of freely practicing politics and organizing, of the right to thought, belief and freedom of expression, the lifting of all social inequalities in the constitution and laws, firstly being those of gender discrimination,

4- A social reconciliation project with the aim of mutual forgiveness of both people’s for the development of a peace and freedom union, on this basis the release of political prisoners including the PKK Leadership, and no obstacles to them participating in politics and social life,

5- The removal of forces in Kurdistan there for the purposes of special war, the abolition of the village guard system and the necessary social and political projects to be developed for the return of displaced villagers,

6- In parallel to the realization of the above articles, the initiation, with a timetable determined by both parties, of the gradual disarmament and legal participation into the democratic social life.

The permanent solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey can be developed with the carrying out of these fundamental issues. This also means that Turkey will become a fully democratic country. The resolution of the Kurdish question in Turkey will also mean the democratic resolution of the Kurdish question, within the current borders, in Iran and Syria. The resolution of the Kurdish question within these countries will mean the democratization of the Middle East. When suspicion and anxiety is eradicated in such a condition a period will develop for solutions to all the outstanding issues of the region.

It is quite clear that the resolution to the Kurdish question by this means will be for the benefit of the international forces and the people of the region, not the contrary. Stability and peace can only be developed within the democratic solution to the Kurdish question and from a perspective of democratizing the Middle East. Again friendship amongst peoples, mutual respect and a just system can only be sustained within such a project.

When the reality is clear to develop annihilation plans with violence against the Kurdish freedom movement only ends in conflict and instability that does not benefit any party.

It should be acknowledged today that the PKK and its Leadership is the fundamental reality of the Kurdish people. Today to try to separate them from one another, to pursue a no PKK and Ocalan solution search will only push the issue into an impasse and lead to the deepening of the conflict. This is a very important issue that needs to be seen by all forces for a lasting and right development of the solution. The solution projects of our leader Ocalan do not only concern the Kurds but represent a freedom and democracy project for the entire peoples of the Middle East. The just solution of the problems among the people including the Palestine and Israel conflict and the development of stability can only be developed through this perspective.

The named mechanism of representatives from USA, Turkey and Iraq, on the basis that it aims for the deep-rooted solution of the issue, dialogue, and democratic solution, we as the Kurdish side will show the necessary effort and commitment for the solution of the question. In such case a Kurdish representative should be represented in the mechanism, in which our people and movement can trust. However, in a contrary case, if it is on the basis of the violence policies that Turkey has pursued over the years the Kurdish people will not accept this, it is quite clear that this can only escalate conflicts and deepen the impasse.

It is understandable that Turkey, which has no other policy besides denial and annihilation, desires the USA to attack the Kurdish Freedom Movement. However, there is no logic and explanation in the USA attacking the PKK. It is against the interests of the USA and the allied forces who say that they are in lines of democratic mentality to confront the Kurdish Freedom Movement which is struggling for this. The democratic people’s reality that the movement developed can easily be seen in the stance of the people of Diyarbakir (Amed), which is the symbol of the Kurdish people. We also believe that the interest of the international forces passes through the acceptance and respect to the will shown by the people of Amed.

It is an undisputable reality that the liquidation of the Kurdish Freedom Movement is a loss for the people and organizations of South Kurdistan and all the Kurds. The forces that are insistent on the denial of the Kurds in the region want to weaken the hands of the Kurds by annihilating our movement and hence believe they can have the upper hand in the policies in the Middle East. By these means they foresee that the international forces will come to point of acceptance of their policy of denial. We believe that all Kurds are aware of this. In this framework we call on the South Kurdistan Federal Government and parties to adopt a stance against all annihilation policies, and to make every effort for the peaceful and democratic resolution of the Kurdish question. We indicate that we will be in a positive and participative position in any act of effort along these lines.

Although international forces and regional countries can play a facilitating role the place for solution of the question in North Kurdistan and its interlocutor is Turkey. Turkey must accept that the solution will be with the Kurds living in Turkey. Turkey must see that by urging the USA to join its alliance against our organization, establishing an anti-Kurdish alliance with Iran and Syria and attacking our forces, pressuring the KDP and PUK and by sending troops to Lebanon to show the international community a positive image, will not solve the problem.

The Turkish state instead of executing an anti Kurdish Freedom Movement diplomatic relations, and giving concessions after concessions, should listen to the calls of the Kurdish people and its Leadership, the issue is the condition where it can be resolved in a shorter period. Because the project that we have developed contains the most reasonable conditions, it expresses the interests of both sides. In reality if the denial, annihilation and chauvinistic outlook are put to one side it will be seen that this solution benefits the interests of Turkey.

On this basis within the framework of friendship among the Kurdish, Turkish, Arab and all regional peoples, we believe that all issues can be resolved through dialogue and peaceful methods in a just democratic system. We do not take the view that armed conflict is a method to resolve the issues. However, where human honour, dignity and fundamental human values are violated and no other means are left to defend them, we recognize as the UN has also accepted under international law that there is the right to armed resistance, within the framework of self-defence all resistance is legitimate and a legal right. All other armed violence apart from this we see as terror and we condemn them.

For the solution to the issues amongst peoples and for the development of a free democratic system we see this perspective as an important and contemporary one in the solution of such issues. We call on the international and regional media circles, intellectuals, writers, and all who are on the side of democracy to recognize our democratic and peaceful solution project and to take a stand against the annihilation policies on the basis of violence of the Turkish state.

We would like as a movement to emphasize once again that the right solution is a democratic autonomy within the borders of Turkey. We believe that a solution in the unity of Turkey will be for the benefit of firstly the Kurdish people and all the people of the region.

We call once again on all international and regional political forces and democratic circles to make an effort to start the democratic solution, to work for its success and to support the democratic resolution of the Kurdish question within the political borders of Turkey.

Koma Komalen Kurdistan
(KKK, Confederalism of Kurdistan)
Executive Council

20 August 2006