"But do those at the helm of the US backed ‘War on Terror’ in Turkey really want such an end to hostilities? Do they even want to explore the possibilities for peace? As Ralston, Bush and the neo-cons well know, even the current $2.9 billion deal they are brokering for Lockheed is chicken-feed compared to the other mega-deals that are seemingly already in place – as long as there is no resolution to the ‘Kurdish question’ or ‘negotiated end’ to the ‘terrorist’ conflict."
~ Desmond Fernandes.
~ Desmond Fernandes.
The article has been reproduced, with permission, from the October 2006 electronic edition of Variant: Cross Currents in Culture, No. 27, Winter 2006 and from Chapter 5 of the book by Desmond Fernandes and Iskender Ozden (2006) US, UK, German and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations Against The Kurdish ‘Communist’ Threat in Turkey and Northern Iraq (Apec Press, Stockholm)".
Further concerns over the manner in which the US backed ‘War on Terror’ is being prosecuted in Turkey have been voiced by Turkey’s Human Rights Association (Incidentally, the following ‘concerns’ have hardly been reported in the mainstream press in the UK or the US):
Turkish police have detained 114 suspects including journalists and radio workers in what has turned out to be a counter-terrorism operation that involves not only the organization it targets, but a number of legitimate unions that were recently involved in industrial disputes, a women’s rights association, a leftwing newspaper and a popular liberal radio station based in Istanbul.
Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) reflected on the “concerning developments” taking place throughout the country and in a joint statement made with representatives of other rights groups has said “the practices enforced are worrying. Raids and detentions are seen by us as obstacles placed in front of the forces of democracy”.
According to a report issued by Ozgur Radyo [Free Radio] that was searched by 30 policemen extensively last week after entries and exits to its street were placed under control, a total of 14 people have so far been arrested as part of the operation in the cities of Izmir, Ankara, Adana, Sivas, Mugla and Manisa, where they have been sent to prison. While 82 suspects are still believed to be held in detention across the country, 31 of the suspects including Ozgur Radyo’s news editor Halil Dinc and radio executive Sinan Gercek were detained in metropolitan Istanbul. The radio’s Broadcast Coordinator Fusun Erdogan had been previously detained and placed under arrest. She is being kept at Gebze prison where she has refused to give any statement on [the] grounds that she has not been informed of any charges levelled against her.
Ozgur Radyo and a leftwing newspaper are the worst to suffer from the recent roundup. At core of the operation is the underground Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) which was formed in 1994 as a unification of two leftist groups known as the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist Leninist Movement (TKP/ML Hareketi) and the Communist Workers Movement of Turkey (TKIH). The operation follows a recent hack and takeover of the organization’s web site by a group of extreme nationalist hackers. Targeted in the operation in addition to the radio, though, is what some experts regard as a substitute to an organizational voice, the Atilim (Leap) newspaper, also known as the voice of the Socialist Platform of the Oppressed (ESP). Banned for 15 days from print with a previous court order, Atilim said in its English language report online that its Chief Editor, Chief Coordinator and writers “were among … [those] imprisoned recently” in reference to the initial roundup. It claimed the banning order was taken due to its “reporting on the recent detentions and imprisonments” ...
During last week’s raids in Istanbul, other places subject to search were the central and Kartal offices of Atilim newspaper as well as Gunes Agency where its technical work is carried out, the Socialist Platform of the Oppressed (ESP) building itself and the Gulsuyu Art and Life Magazine premises. What has come as most worrying for Turkish human rights groups were the new search warrants enforced late last week on a number of establishments, including the offices of leading Turkish unions. Police teams not only conducted searches in the offices of Ozgur Radyo and Atilim, but also entered and searched the Labour Women’s Association, the Science Education Aesthetic Culture Research Foundation (BEKSAV), Dockyard Ship Building-Repairs Workers Union (Limter-Is) and Tekstil-Sen’s offices … A number of documents and communications were seized alongside computers used in the radio station. The searches, it was reported, were conducted alongside a representative of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce as well as officials from the Security Branch and Financial Branch of the police.
Before the week was wrapped up and as concern over the operation mounted, the IHD Istanbul Branch hosted a press conference on September 22nd  with the participation of other rights groups and representatives of the establishments subject to police search. Arguing that with the passing of the recent amendments to Turkey’s controversial Anti-Terror Law pressure on the democratic society had increased dramatically, the groups expressed concern and anxiety that the recent operation was part of the restrictions imposed on democratic forces. International PEN Turkey Centre representative Ragip Zarakolu, Democratic Society Party (DTP) Provincial Chairman Dogan Erbas, Socialist Democracy Pary (SDP) and Party of Labor (EMEP) provincial organization representatives were among those present of support IHD’s public concerns. (142)
The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) has also voiced its deep concern at what is happening. In its ‘Freedom of Expression and Recent Developments in Turkey’ report, for instance, it “revealed” the fact “that from January till September 18yh 2006, a total of 96 authors, publishers, journalists and intellectuals had been prosecuted and appeared before courts in the country only for what they had written in books or in the media. Foundation Chairman Yavuz Onen said that other than the 14 articles that needed to be changed” in the Turkish Penal Code, to address this problem relating to a lack of democracy, “various laws such as the Anti-Terror Law, the Law to Protect Ataturk, the Press Law and the RTUK Code restricted the freedom of expression. Onen said that in order for freedom of expression to settle in Turkey, the soul and essence of all of these laws needed to be changed … ‘Unless this happens’, he said, ‘there will be no meaning in the amendments [being suggested]. And whether or not the cases opened and heard under these articles lead to an acquittal, they still mean intimidation through justice’ …Noting that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government continued its attitude of ‘let’s see what happens’ - despite tens of people being put on trial for their verbal or written expression of opinions since Turkey’s new Penal Code had been passed - Onen said: ‘The enforcement has been waited for and it has been seen, altogether, that barriers in front of freedom of expression continue’ … The TIHV report also referred to attempts made by [a certain] ‘nationalist’ attorney … and those around him to intervene in freedom of expression [cases] and said the [Turkish] nationalist groups had openly threatened defendants at [these] courts, going to the extent of physically punching people outside of courtrooms”. (143)
It is clear that, as this US backed ‘War on Terror’ continues, journalists who have sought to critically analyse issues of related interest by interviewing members of the PKK or Kongra-Gel have been subjected to forms of criminalisation that are eerily reminiscent of the ‘dark’ times of the 1990’s: “Journalists”, notes the BIA News Centre, are questionably being “charged with ‘propaganda’ for their interviews conducted with PKK leaders” and are due to be “tried at recently formed ‘Specialized High Criminal Courts’ reminiscent of the abolished State Security Courts of the repressive past”.(144) To be a relative of a Turkish soldier - who has died in the conflict - who seeks to question the manner in which the current ‘War on Terror’ is being prosecuted, or to merely adopt an ‘anti-war’ position is to risk being labelled ‘a terrorist’ - i.e. one who ‘advances terror’ or who ‘acts’ as an ‘instrument’ of ‘terror’. As Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) Chairman, Yavuz Onen, has noted, even leading mainstream media organs are now, once again, being used [or, should one say, abused] - intentionally, as part of the state’s psychological warfare strategy - to target people in the ‘War on Terror’:
Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) Chairman Yavuz Onen has said that the September 12th 1980 military coup [mentality and system of repression] was still intact in Turkey but [was now] renewing itself and using sophisticated methods [to pursue its aims]. A most recent example of which could be seen in Monday’s mass circulation Turkish daily … in an article … that accused, on behalf of officials, relatives of Turkish soldiers killed in action in the Southeast for reacting to the deaths, and branded their verbal frustration as an instrument of terror.
Onen said the so-called “democracy with muscle” [that was] created after the 1980 coup era had, in today’s Turkey, “declared seeking [cultural, political and human] rights an offence and made it illegal”. He said “it create[d] a situation where it appears as if the state of Turkey cannot be in harmony with international values on human rights”.
Referring to [the aforementioned] report in [the mass circulation daily] that referred to anti-war protests [of this kind] as being part of a terror plot against Turkey, Onen said: “This news report regards being against war as an act of terror and related to terror organizations. I do not believe it is the product only of [the named journalist’s] pen or a ‘deep conversation’. This is the result of a psychological operation that has been planned since September 12th. This operation is a strategy to make all democratic leaps - the ‘act’ of using ‘democratic rights’ - an offence”. (145)
It should also be noted that, under the guise of this ‘War on Terror’, democratic constraints are such that even “a bilingual children’s book is banned from distribution because it includes Kurdish in it: ‘A children’s games book launched in both Turkish and Kurdish in Diyarbakir”, The New Anatolian reported on 7th October 2006, “has sowed friction between the city’s municipality and the local education authority. Some 5,000 copies were published by the southeastern Diyarbakir province’s Sur district’s municipality and [we]re to be distributed to teachers for use as source books in schools. However, the local education authority ruled out distributing them to schools”. (146)
Revelations by Mizgin, Mark Campbell and others further suggest that those at the helm of Turkey’s US backed ‘War on Terror’ are hardly likely to be committed towards pursuing negotiated peaceful non-military strategies and ‘solutions’ to the Kurdish ‘question’, even when such opportunities present themselves. General Joseph W. Ralston, the US government’s Special ‘Envoy’ who is responsible for countering the ‘terrorist’ Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and co-ordinating ‘actions’ and ‘eliminationist strategies’ with the Turkish and Iraqi states, for instance, just so happens to be “a member of the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin, the same corporation whose deal for the sale of 30 F-16’s [to Turkey] sits in the venerable halls of Congress at this very moment” in time. (147) F-16’s, it must be remembered, were needed during Turkey’s genocidal ‘War on Terror’ during the 1990’s because of their ‘usefulness’ in obliterating Kurdish settlements, killing civilians and terrifying Kurdish civilians:
It is widely known that the Turkish military … used Lockheed Martin F-16’s to assist with the obliteration of Kurdish villages in North Kurdistan during the 1990’s Dirty War, with the facts well-documented by human rights groups. In 1995, Human Right Watch documented arms sales to Turkey, along with related violations of the laws of war by that state. Included among the many gross abuses that Turkey … perpetrated against the Kurdish people, the F-16 fighter jet figure[d] prominently … (148)
Kevin McKiernan [also] recorded it for us, back in 1999:
… In a report ordered by Congress, the State Department admitted that the abuses included the use of US Cobra helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and F-16 fighter bombers. In some instances, critics say, entire Kurdish villages were obliterated from the air. (149)
“This proposed [new multi-billion dollar] sale” in 2006, the US Defence Agency has claimed, “will enhance the Turkish Air Force’s ability to defend Turkey” - no doubt against its ‘internal’ Kurdish ‘threat’ in its colony in the ‘south-east’, and its ‘external’ one in southern Kurdistan/northern Iraq, “while patrolling the nation’s extensive coastline and borders against future threats and to contribute to the Global War on Terrorism and NATO operations”.(150) As Mizgin has observed:
With this in mind, you should ask yourself what, exactly, General Ralston is coordinating. We all know the real deal, don’t we? We all know who have been the targets of those F-16’s in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. (151)
In this context, with Ralston on the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin and at the helm of the US co-ordinated ‘anti-PKK, War on Terror’ strategy, is it any wonder that the new October 2006 ceasefire initiative of the PKK - which so many peace groups, human rights organisations, analysts, civic organisations and community groups see as a window of opportunity to meaningfully explore possible ‘peace’ rather than ‘war’ options (152) – has been automatically rejected as being ‘out of hand?’ Without a US backed ‘War on Terror’ in this region against Kurds and the PKK, and with a meaningful PKK linked peace initiative making headway, as President Bush, the neo-cons and US arms traders and death dealers well know, billions of dollars worth of weapons deals with Turkey stand to be ‘lost’. And one couldn’t have that, could one?:
It looks like Lockheed Martin is going to guarantee the failure of the PKK ceasefire, from the Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
The Pentagon has notified Congress it plans to allow Turkey [within the context of its ‘defence’ needs] to buy 30 [more] F-16 fighter jets and related equipment, a $2.9 billion deal that would provide new work for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.’s Fort Worth assembly plant. (153)
An official of the Turkish Air Force, which already flies some 200 older model F-16’s, said recently that the country was looking to buy new F-16’s as replacements for even older planes in its arsenal.
Congress has 15 days to object to the sale. If it does not, the deal can be consummated without further consultation. (154)
Joe Stout, Lockheed spokesman said in a prepared statement that the company was pleased with the announcement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
“Turkey has been a valued customer for the F-16 and other Lockheed Martin products for many years, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to continue that relationship”, Stout said.
The reason I know that Lockheed Martin will guarantee the failure of the [PKK] ceasefire, even before it began, can be explained in three little words: Conflict of Interest. You see, Lockheed Martin has an insider on its board of directors, and that insider is none other than the new US PKK coordinator, Joseph Ralston, also of The Cohen Group (155) … The conflict of interest becomes more obscene by the fact that both Joseph Ralston and Lockheed Martin are closely tied to the Turkish lobby organization, the American Turkish Council (ATC). (156) Joseph Ralston is a member of the 2006 ATC Advisory Board, while a former Lockheed Martin executive, George Perlman, is a member of the 2006 ATC Officers and Board of Directors. Lockheed Martin Corporation is a Golden Horn member of the ATC, as is General Electric Company, Boeing Corporation, Raytheon, and BAE Systems, all of which stand to profit from the current sale. This conflict of interest makes it clear that neither the US nor Turkey has the intention of finding a just and peaceful solution to the great opportunity the PKK ceasefire affords them. On the contrary, both countries seek a return to the Dirty War, in order to reap the profits of repression. (157)
“The attitude of the[se] genociders in Corporate America, as well as those in Ankara”, in the past, as much as in the present, remains a cause for concern for analysts such as Mizgin: “I guess you could say that it isn’t much fun being the skunk at the garden party, but with all of this, and with all the statements we’ve heard from the Ankara regime, things don’t bode well for the future. On the positive side, it’s clear that failure will not be the result of a lack of effort from the Kurdish side. We have the statements and the demands available for worldwide consumption, and PKK’s demands for ceasefire (from August, 2006) are completely in line with Turkey's EU accession criteria”. (158) “‘The country needs this chance at peace’, Sirri Sakik, spokesman for the main Kurdish party, the Party for a Democratic Society (DTP) [has] said. ‘If this situation is handled well by all concerned - the politicians, the army and the PKK - we could obtain an end to the hostilities’”. (159)
But do those at the helm of the US backed ‘War on Terror’ in Turkey really want such an end to hostilities? Do they even want to explore the possibilities for peace? As Ralston, Bush and the neo-cons well know, even the current $2.9 billion deal they are brokering for Lockheed is chicken-feed compared to the other mega-deals that are seemingly already in place – as long as there is no resolution to the ‘Kurdish question’ or ‘negotiated end’ to the ‘terrorist’ conflict. All those hundreds of ‘now old’ F-16’s that were used in the genocidal conflict against Kurds during the 1990’s need to be ‘upgraded’ or replaced by new warplanes, ‘warbirds of prey’ required for the never ending ‘war’ - or ‘The Long War’ as it is now referred to in some circles - against ‘the terrorists’ in the south-east and in northern Iraq and against those ‘rogue’ states that the US may need ‘assistance’ with in future bombing campaigns. Consequently, “in April 2005, the Turkish government signed a LOA for the upgrade of 217 F-16s … totalling $3.9 billion if all options are exercised”.(160) Over and above this, behind the scenes and brokered by the US government, we discover that a “JSF … joint, multinational acquisition program for the [US] Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and eight cooperative international partners” - of which Turkey is a pivotal one - is “expected to be the largest military aircraft procurement ever. The stealth, supersonic F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF F-35) will replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft for the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied defense forces worldwide”. (161) Once in place, “procurement is planned to continue through [to] 2026 and possibly beyond … On 26 October 2001, the Pentagon announced that Lockheed-Martin”, which US ‘anti-PKK co-ordinator’ General Ralston is board director for, “had won the largest military contract ever, a possible $200 billion”. (162) “Lockheed Martin Corp. is developing the F-35 at its fighter aircraft plant in Fort Worth, where the new stealth warplane is expected to provide about 9,000 jobs over the next three to four decades. Northrop Grumman Corp. is to build the F-35’s center fuselage in California and BAE [British Aerospace] Systems the aft body in England”. (163)
But for the full initiative to be realised, ‘sales’ to Turkey are essential. And to facilitate these ‘sales’, there needs to be a demand for them: There has to be an ongoing ‘PKK threat’ to justify these astronomical costs to the Turkish and US public, (164) an ongoing ‘Long War on Terror’ (A key rationale for warplanes like the F-16 has been that they are often needed and “used in the conflict against the PKK. Mostly, they provide air cover for the ground forces” (165) – that is, when they are not involved in obliterating Kurdish villages and terrifying fleeing civilian Kurdish populations). The unilateral ceasefire ‘peace initiatives’ of the PKK, most recently formally confirmed in October 2006, just won’t do, for they threaten the whole basis of this system of contracts which US and British firms like Lockheed Martin and BAE depend upon. And pursuing these contracts remains in the ‘national interest’ of both countries who ‘lead’ the illustrious ‘War on Terror’.
The facilitation of these ‘sales’ remain key strategic ‘initiatives’ of the Bush and Blair administrations. If the F-35 bid is successful (it is currently ‘competing’ with a rival Eurofighter bid), “the [Turkish] contract for new fighter jets could be worth up to $10 billion” according to some estimates (166) (more, if other sources are considered). And the F-35 bid is not the only one being considered - US firms hope to sell billions more of war-related equipment to Turkey during the next two decades. But there needs to be a ‘Kurdish/PKK conflict’ if many of these sales are to be realised. To those brokering these deals, who are the ‘Kurds’, human rights groups and ‘the PKK’ to stand in the way of all of this? As Mark Campbell notes: In all of this, “this F-16 deal is [actually] small fry compared to a bigger deal that Lockheed Martin is hoping to get in relation to the F-35. Apparently, there is quite close competition between Lockheed Martin and a European group, so Ralston’s arrival in Ankara looks like an attempt to clinch this F-35 deal and absolutely nothing to do with bringing peace to Turkey”.(167)
Bearing this in mind, should we, therefore, be at all surprised to discover the following?: “‘We already have an excellent, long-term working relationship with both the Turkish government and the aerospace industries of Turkey, thanks to our mutual work on the F-16 program’, said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 JSF program. ‘We’re excited to be able to continue that association with the F-35. It’s very inspiring to have Turkey on the team’”. (168) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has swiftly “rejected Ocalan’s ceasefire call”. (169) “‘A ceasefire is done between states. It is not something for the terrorist organisation [to do]’, Erdogan told the private Samanyolu television channel late Thursday, referring to Ocalan’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) … ‘The first and foremost principle is to entirely eradicate this terrorist group …’, Edip Baser, coordinator of the struggle against the PKK, said yesterday”.(170) “The Police Directorate-General also joined Erdogan … in dismissing Ocalan’s [ceasefire] call [and appeal for a peaceful negotiated settlement]. ‘The police department and other security forces have never given up on their struggle against terrorism, and they will not do so in the future’, said Ismail Calzskan, spokesman for the Police Directorate-General, at a weekly press conference … ‘We will continue the counter-terrorist fight in the most sensitive [sic] manner’. The prime minister said his talks with Bush [which were scheduled for October 2006] would cover every issue that relates to the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States, including ways to speed up the anti-PKK efforts as the group’s violence [note: at a time when it was known to be preparing to formally declare a ceasefire] can be tolerated no longer”. (171)
It has also become apparent that “days before the declaration of the [PKK] truce”, when it became known that such a ‘peace initiative’ was imminent, “the United States publicly said that a PKK cease-fire would have little value … ‘Cease-fire sort of implies an act that is taken between two states, two actors, to do that. And I don’t want to confer that kind of status on the PKK by saying a cease-fire’, Joseph Ralston, the newly appointed US special envoy for countering the PKK, said here last Wednesday”, (172) carefully echoing the words of the Turkish Prime Minister and Chief of Staff, General Buyukanit.(173) Buyukanit, Tolga Korkut reports, “also expressed distaste in the concept of a cease-fire as used by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in its recent declaration of halting violence and said it implied there were two countries at war. He referred to the period that led to the event and recalled that some members of the European Parliament and some countries even had made similar appeals to the organization [to act in this way]. These developments, he said, showed how widely the event had been concerted. [But] ‘the Turkish armed forces have declared that they will continue the fight against terror until there is not a single armed terrorist remaining’, he vouched. ‘There is no change in this attitude (174) … As soldiers, we have nothing to do with politics [sic]. But if there are those disturbed [by] our fundamental views on security and regime, this is their own problem”. (175)
TO BE CONTINUED . . .
142.Onderoglu, E. (2006) BIA News Center report, 25 September 2006, as reproduced in Info Turk, September 2006, No. 337 (http://www.info-turk.be/337.htm#Droits).
143.BIA News Center (2006) ‘TIHV: “Not only 301, Fourteen Articles Need Change”’, BIA News Center, 22 September 2006 (http://www.info-turk.be/337.htm#Droits).
144.BIA News Centre (2006) ‘Security Courts Relaunched For Journalists!’, BIA News Centre, 25 September 2006.
145.Korkut, O. (2006) ‘ TIHV: “September 12 Coup Intact: Seeking Rights Still a Crime”’, BIA News, 12 September 2006 (http://www.info-turk.be/337.htm#TIHV_).
146.The New Anatolian (2006) ‘Sparks fly over bilingual children’s book in Diyarbakir’, The New Anatolian, 7 October 2006, as reproduced in InfoTurk, October 2006, No. 338 (http://www.info-turk.be/338.htm#Sparks).
147.Yilmaz, M. (2006) ‘Lockheed Martin, Joseph Ralston, and the PKK’.
148.Yilmaz, M. (2006) ‘Lockheed Martin, Joseph Ralston, and the PKK’.
149. As cited by Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Co-Ordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (http://rastibini.blogspot.com/).
150.Market Watch (2006) ‘DoD OK’s $2.9 bln sale to Turkey of 30 F-16 fighters’, Market Watch, 29 September 2006
(http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?dist=newsfinder&siteid=google&guid=%7BF58DED41-F587-43F2-8F7B-FC2F889DBF0D%7D&keyword=). My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead.
151. Mizgin, in Rastbini, as cited in wotisitgood4.blogspot, 4 October 2006 (http://wotisitgood4.blogspot.com/2006/10/i-wonder-what-sibel-edmonds-would-say.html).
152. The BIA News Center reports, for example, that: “Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) has issued a statement welcoming the new unilateral and unconditional cease-fire declared by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), saying this was a historic opportunity to create the conditions of a democratic solution to the country's Kurdish problem. The Association said all sections of the society in favour of freedoms had to participate in the debate on a solution in this period and that the priority was to prevent the peace process from being obstructed” - BIA News Center (2006) ‘IHD: “Cease-Fire” is Historical Opportunity’, BIA News Center, 4 October 2006 (http://www.bianet.org/index_eng_root.htm). Ertugrul Kurkcu has also concluded that: “In this period of tension, the only positive development that has widened the area of maneuverability for labour is the PKK ending its armed attacks for an indefinite time” - Kurkcu, E. (2006) ‘Washington’s Preferences’, Siyasi gazette, 5 October 2006. The Association for Human Rights and Solidarity with the Oppressed’s (MAZLUMDER’s) Chairman, Ayhan Bilgen, made the following comments about the PKK’s ceasefire: “This is an opportunity for the clashes in the country to come to end, the guns to be silenced, all violence to come to an end” - BIA News Center (2006) ‘Tension Leads to Restricting Freedoms’, BIA News Center, 4 October 2006.
153.Market Watchhas detailed the manner in which “Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) makes the fighters, which will be Block 50 models, and General Electric Co. (GE) makes the engines. Other contractors [also] involved in the deal include Boeing Co. (BA), L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL), Raytheon Co. (RTN) and BAE Systems PLC (BA.LN)” - Market Watch (2006) ‘DoD OK’s $2.9 bln sale to Turkey of 30 F-16 fighters’, Market Watch, 29 September 2006 (http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?dist=newsfinder&siteid=google&guid=%7BF58DED41-F587-43F2-8F7B-FC2F889DBF0D%7D&keyword=). My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead.
154.According to Market Watch: “Congress has the power to block the deal but rarely steps in” - Market Watch (2006) ‘DoD OK’s $2.9 bln sale to Turkey of 30 F-16 fighters’, Market Watch, 29 September 2006 (http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?dist=newsfinder&siteid=google&guid=%7BF58DED41-F587-43F2-8F7B-FC2F889DBF0D%7D&keyword=).
155. Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Co-Ordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (http://rastibini.blogspot.com/).
156. Which has itself become embroiled in controversy - See: Mejia, M. (2006) ‘The Secrets Behind “State Secrets”: How Turkey's Mafia-like “Deep State” (and its Neocon Friends) Penetrated US Government’, (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/13271) and Fernandes, D. (2006) ‘On The Nature of the US State’s Engagement in “Anti-Terrorist Initiatives” in Turkey and Northern Iraq: A Cause for Concern?’ Presented at the Time for Justice: The Case of Ocalan and the PKK. End the Criminalization of the Kurds in Turkey and Europe public meeting, Committee Room 20, The House of Commons, Westminster, 18th July 2006 and hosted by John Austin, MP. Mizgin notes that “The membership list of the ATC reads like a Who's Who of corporate America, with the defense industry prominently represented: Bechtel, Boeing, General Atomics, General Dynamics, GE, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, Textron, United Defense and United Technologies/Sikorsky. Those are the corporations that have filled their coffers by soaking Kurdistan with Kurdish blood. Other corporate members include: Archer Daniels MIdland, ChevronTexaco, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, Frito Lay, Hyatt, Pepsi, Pfizer and Shell” – Mizgin (2005) ‘Blood Money’, Rasti, 31 December 2005 (http://rastibini.blogspot.com/2005/12/blood-money-incestuous-relationship.html).
157.Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Co-Ordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (http://rastibini.blogspot.com/).
158. Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Co-Ordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (http://rastibini.blogspot.com/).
159.AFP (2006) ‘Turkey rejects Ocalan’s truce offer’, AFP, 30 September 2006.
160.F-16.net (2006) ‘Turkey - Turk Hava Kuvvetleri Turkish Air Force – TuAF: Introduction’, F-16.net: The Ultimate F-16 Reference website (http://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article21.html).
161. Global Security.Org (2006) ‘F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II’ (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-35.htm). My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead and reference.
162. Global Security.Org (2006) ‘F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II’ (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-35.htm). My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead and reference.
163. Global Security.Org (2006) ‘F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II’ (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-35.htm). My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead and reference.
164. ’‘’The US public, often, indeed, scandalously subsidises these ‘costs’ of ‘procurement’ by the Turkish military, something which many concerned US citizens remain unaware of. Mizgin cites a key report which has concluded that: “The vast majority of US arms transfers to Turkey have been subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. In many cases, these taxpayer funds are supporting military production and employment in Turkey, not in the United States. Of the $10.5 billion in U.S. weaponry delivered to Turkey since the outbreak of the war with the PKK in 1984, 77% of the value of those shipments - $8 billion in all - has been directly or indirectly financed by grants and subsidized loans provided by the US government. Many of the largest deals - as Lockheed Martin’s sale of 240 F-16’s to the Turkish air force and the FMC Corporation’s provision of 1,698 armored vehicles to the Turkish army - involve coproduction and offset provisions which steer investments, jobs, and production to Turkey as a condition of the sale. For example, Turkey’s F-16 assembly plant in Ankara - a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) - employs 2,000 production workers, almost entirely paid for with U.S. tax dollars” – Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Coordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (http://rastibini.blogspot.com/2006/10/us-pkk-coordinator-and-lockheed-martin.html).
165. As quoted in the F-16.net: The Ultimate F-16 Reference website article entitled ‘Turkey - Turk Hava Kuvvetleri Turkish Air Force - TuAF Introduction’ (http://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article21.html).
166. F-16.net(2006) ‘F-35 Lightning II News Turkey to buy 100 F-35 jets?’ (http://www.f-16.net/news_article1719.html).
167. Mark Campbell, personal communication, 30th September 2006.
168. Lieven Dewitte, writing in F-16.net on 11 July 2002, additionally clarified that “Turkey today (July 11th) became the seventh international partner to sign up for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, joining the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark and Norway. Australia also has announced its intention to participate” (http://www.f-16.net/news_article20.html).
169. BBC News (2006) ‘Kurdish rebels “announce truce”’, BBC News, 30 September 2006.
170. AFP (2006) ‘Turkey rejects Ocalan’s truce offer’, AFP, 30 September 2006.
171. Turkish Daily News(2006) ‘Erdogan rejects call from Ocalan, seeks US steps against PKK’, Turkish Daily News, 30 September 2006
173. As quoted by Yilmaz, M. (2006) in ‘Lockheed Martin, Joseph Ralston, and the PKK’ (citing a Turkish Daily News article: Accessed at: http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=55627).
174. Korkut, T. (2006) ‘Buyukanit: There is the threat of fundamentalism’, BIA News Center, October 2006.
175. Korkut, T. (2006) ‘The army’s role’, BIA News Center, October 2006.