Saturday, April 29, 2006


"Good fathers make good sons."

I have just learned that John Kenneth Galbraith has passed away in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the age of 97.

John Kenneth Galbraith was the father of that great American champion of Kurds and the Kurdish cause, Ambassador Peter Galbraith.

Peter Galbraith was the first American official to take serious notice of the Anfal campaign, during a fact-finding trip to Iraq as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He returned to South Kurdistan during the 1991 uprising, made a video record of his short trip, including images of Kurds fleeing the Iraqi army--a trip which he made without Senate approval. He escaped through Syria to alert the US government, and the world, to the crisis.

It was after the 1991 trip that Peter Galbraith was accused by official Washington of having become "too emotionally attached" to the Kurdish issue.

He also helped to negotiate the move of some fourteen tons of captured Ba'ath party documents to the National Archives in Washington DC for safekeeping, documents which helped to prove the veracity of Kurdish claims of genocide.

He wrote the "Prevention of Genocide Act," which imposed harsher sanctions against Iraq than similar American laws imposed on South Africa, to include the barring of Iraqi oil imports, instructions for the US to vote against Iraqi loans at the IMF and World Bank, eliminated credits for Iraqi purchases of American food and eliminated similar credits to purchase American manufactured goods, and prohibited exports of all goods requiring export licenses. Additionally, the bill required the American president to certify that Iraq was not using chemical weapons against Kurds and not engaging in genocide of Kurds.

(For all of this information, and more, see Samantha Power's "A Problem from Hell" America and the Age of Genocide and Jonathan Randal's After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?. For online information, a good intro is One Man's Battle to Stop Iraq from CBC news.)

"Good fathers make good sons," is the adage, but in the case of John Kenneth Galbraith, I would amend that adage to say, "Great fathers make great sons." Peter Galbraith, friend of Kurds, is the kind legacy that John Kenneth Galbraith has bequeathed to the world, and to Kurdistan in particular. May his memory forever be revered.

To this friend of Kurds, and to the entire Galbraith family, I offer my deepest condolences on the loss of a great father.

"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.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


"Just look carefully, I only want you to look carefully. Do not repeat the lies of liars. Do not become like them. Once again, I blame al-Jazeera before it ascertains what takes place. Please, make sure of what you say and do not play such a role." ~ Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Information Minister.

Okay, a couple of items today from the I-Told-You-So Department.

First of all, I love it when I find out I'm not alone, that there exists, somewhere out there in the blogosphere, someone else who can speak Rastî. I came across this opinion piece at a place called It's an opinion article about the Iraqi blog, IraqPundit, and our IraqiPundit is of the distinct impression that the Lunatic Fringe is, well, lunatic. He even thinks the Nutty Professor from U of M (Juan Cole, for those of you who are not aware) doesn't know what in the hell he's talking about! Bijît IraqiPundit!

I could not believe my eyes as I read Dave Nalle about IraqPundit. I was thoroughly dumfounded and then I almost fell out of my chair, I was laughing so hard. Check this out:

In analyzing a comment by Juan Cole he says:

Speaking of morally challenged hectoring, the inimitable Juan Cole has this to say about Iraqi support for the insurgents:

"Too many Sunni Iraqis support them by now, and hate the US and its Iraqi allies. And, the new Iraqi military is too listless and sectarianized to make something like this work over the long term."

Izzatso? Where did Prof. Cole get these insights? Do they show up along with his bill at his Ann Arbor kabob house? The central issue about insurgents is this: The terrorists kill Iraqi civilians. They kill Sunnis. They kill Shiites. They kill Christians. They kill Sabeans. They kill Kurds. They kill everybody. Bombs and bullets don't check lineage. If Iraqis who know of terrorist hideouts aren't telling the authorities, it's because they are afraid. Fear ruled us for decades and it's hard to recover from that mind-set. So my informed comment is that no, most Sunnis don't support the killing of their fellow Iraqis. And most Shiites don't support the killing of their fellow Iraqis. Most Iraqi civilians want to live normal lives without the imminent threat of random slaughter.

No kidding.

Apparently, IraqPundit goes after other members of the Lunatic Fringe as well, proving, once again, that none of these little emperors have any clothes on at all, and he does so neither from the right nor from the left. A guy after my own heart.

My second item for your perusal is in the same vein. I discovered another member of the Lunatic Fringe, this one in the UK, proving that American Lunatic Fringers have not yet cornered the market on stupidity. Allow me to introduce Steph. Steph is a Kurd-hater. Steph is also blond, which probably explains a lot about what she has to say. She's also got that diffuse-lens thingy going, which probably means that her best years were the ten between 28 and 29.

Steph is upset that the American and British media put a good spin on Jalal Talabanî and the Kurds. Can anyone tell me when was the last time they saw or heard any video or mention of Kurds in the American media? Mam Jelal does not count, because he is the Iraqi president. The last time I saw any Kurds on American news was at the end of January, 2005, during the elections. Other than that, I saw Mohammed Ihsan on the PBS Frontline production of Saddam's Road to Hell. Do they have Kurds crawling all over the British media, or what? We count ourselves lucky if the media on this side of the pond even mentions the dreaded K-word, or if some talking head says "Sulêmanî" instead of "As-Suleiymaniya," and I would have a heart attack if I heard any of them say "Hewlêr" instead of Arbil/Irbil/Erbil. So what the hell is going on in the British media that has Steph's panties tied up in knots?

Steph believes the Turkish and Arab propaganda which says that the pêşmerge committed genocide. This is news to me. Would Steph have any evidence of that? Evidence as in the kind of stuff that Mohammed Ihsan brought back to Kurdistan from the southern desert? Evidence as in the kind of stuff brought against Turkey in the ECHR? Evidence as in what journalists and a few brave Kurds managed to smuggle out of Mullahland last summer? Or out of Syrian-occupied Kurdistan in March, 2004.

Steph never heard about Arabization either, or she wouldn't be so upset at the whole question of Dilê Kurdistan. On the other hand, Steph is a good Turk/Arab/Persian wannabe, because she says there's no such thing as Kurdistan. Steph thinks PKK murdered 40,000 Kurds in Bakur and that KDPI and PJAK murdered thousands in Iranian-occupied Kurdistan. Steph thinks Kurdistan will be a second Israel. Steph thinks Ja'afari got screwed for going to Ankara when the fact is that Ja'afari screwed himself by going to Ankara. After all, he wasn't the prime minister at the time, was he?

Steph thinks that Kurds are responsible for many genocides and that all Kurds are "terrorists." Steph says that Kurds aren't secular because they are majority Muslim. By Steph's twisted thinking, this means that the US and the UK are not secular either, especially not the US. Neither is Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq or any of hundreds of other countries on the planet.

Steph thinks there is a sizeable Jewish population. Now, since Steph is obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I wonder where this sizeable Jewish population is located, because she doesn't say specifically. Is it in New York City? Israel? The planet Neptune? Or does Steph really mean to say that there is a sizeable Jewish population in Kurdistan? But Kurdistan doesn't exist according to Steph, so does she really mean to say that there's a sizeable Jewish population in Iraq? Syria? Turkey? Iran? Strange, isn't it, that I didn't see any Jews in Kurdistan Bakur or Başur when I was there last year.

Steph thinks that most Kurds love being Turks, Syrians, Iraqis and Iranians. Steph thinks that the pêşmerge "sold" oil contracts that they don't own--whatever that means. Steph thinks the Americans are launching terrorist attacks against Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Basra. . . Basra? I guess she got that info from Iran Daily or the Islamic Republic News Agency, but I'm only guessing, since Steph doesn't bother to quote a single source for anything she says. She must pull all of this stuff out of her ear, just like good old Juan does. I'd also like to know when Steph was last in Kurdistan, or Iraq, or Syria, or Turkey, or Iran.

I am sure that all of you have had enough of Steph. Besides, it's time that Steph the Kurd-hater is off to the salon, to get a little touch up on her roots.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


"The efficiency of the truly national leader consists primarily in preventing the division of the attention of a people, and always in concentrating it on a single enemy." ~ Adolf Hitler.

Reuters is reporting that Turkey denies any of its troops had crossed the border into South Kurdistan. The report goes on to mention that Ozkok Pasha stated that Turkey has every "right under international law to carry out cross-border operations." I guess that must have been the same kind of reasoning the pashas used when they invaded Cyprus, a little Turkish intervention so reminiscent of the Nazi invasion of the Sudetenland, and with the same response by the world community.

It is ridiculous to believe anything the pashas might say publicly about cross-border operations because Turkey has crossed the border into South Kurdistan many times in the past, and there is nothing to indicate it will not do so now. If they weren't crossing the border, why tens of thousands of troops deployed there, with a total of almost 300,000 terrorizing the Kurdish population under Turkish occupation? Why has the entire border been closed, if the TSK is not conducting operations?

Bianet is carrying a similar report and, again, Ozkok Pasha is stressing Turkish "sovereignty," a sovereignty that apparently stretches well beyond Turkey's own "territorial integrity," and includes invasion of any country it chooses. I don't understand why he's so sensitive to Turkish media reports on troop deployment though. All he has to do is throw the journalists in prison. Maybe he should get those Special Security Courts up and running again so that he could avoid having to deal with that facade of democracy. See items #4 and #7 of the characteristics of a fascist state to understand that.

Given the level of propaganda in the Turkish media, designed specifically to justify all actions of the Turkish government in the phony crisis it has created, I am fairly certain it is engaging in cross border operations in an unconventional warfare mode and that it is planning to engage conventional forces at any time. All the propaganda is merely the set up, the softening of the target of world opinion to con everyone into continuing to believe that Turkey is simply attempting to protect its "territorial integrity." You won't hear any dissent from the US, the EU (who have become amazingly silent in the last couple of weeks), or the UN. All of these groups are members of the club, and to voice dissent with Turkey's actions will place their own sovereignty and territorial integrity in a possible line of fire. This club exists to protect their own turf and for no other reason, not for human rights, not for "democracy," not for justice.

Plan on watching their media lap dogs barking on cue and to the only tune the club permits.

Iran, of course, is the same kind of fascist state as Turkey but it is not likely to discuss anything with Condoleeza Rice. But there is one little coincidence that should come to mind, especially given the tightening of tensions in Kerkuk recently, and that little coincidence was Ja'afari's visit, at the end of February, to Ankara:

. . . Jaafari's visit to Turkey will be followed within days by a visit from radical Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr. Jaafari and al-Sadr are widely perceived by Kurdish leaders as the Shiite leaders least friendly to the Kurds in the government-formation talks. Jaafari's trip to Turkey has jabbed a sharp thorn into these negotiations, providing an opportunity for the Sunnis and Shia to serve their mutual interest by using the talks to contain the Kurds.

[ . . . ]

The Turkish government will primarily address the Kurdish question in its talks with the Iraqi Shiite leaders. Turkey's concerns are clear. Like Iran, it does not want Iraq's reinvigorated Kurdish population to encourage Kurdish separatist movements within Turkish territory. Ankara also wishes to keep the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk out of Kurdish hands to deprive Iraqi Kurds of a key asset that would help finance their long-term goal of independence. Ankara also wishes to safeguard the interests of Kirkuk's Turkoman population. Also on Turkey's wish list is a guarantee that the peshmerga, or Iraqi Kurdish militia, will be disbanded under the new government.

Ja'afari's visit created such a barrage of criticism that the scheduled visit of Moqtada al-Sadr was cancelled, but both of these men are links to Iran, and no doubt the increased presence of al-Sadr's militia in Kerkuk has been coordinated with the build up of Turkish and Iranian troops on the border.

Was Talabanî's defence of pêşmerge forces this last weekend a result of Turkish interference in Iraqi politics, interference the pashas would never tolerate (see Ozkok's comments in the Bianet article, above), especially over its own military matters? Is Khalilzad Turkey's tool to help dismantle the pêşmerge, for the sake of Turkey's Shi'a (Iranian) brothers? The US, Turkey and the Shi'a (Iran) can forget about that little pipedream because the pêşmerge are here to stay.

Let's not forget Turkey's warm relationship with Russia, a relationship Turkey encouraged during the Cold War, while it was a good NATO ally. Russia has been ingratiating itself into the Middle East lately, and it's recent activity shadows Turkish activity. Is it any coincidence then, that Russia obtained observer status in the OIC at a time when the organization is headed by a Turk?

While all of this goes on, one of Erdogan's propaganda advisors insists that Turkish anti-Americanism can be "reversed overnight" if only the Americans will arrest Kurdish leaders and murder Kurds for the Turkish state. The propaganda advisor even goes so far as to hearken back to that old Cold War chestnut of Turkey being a NATO ally, a little something for old time's sake, no doubt. But the fact is that the reversal of anti-Americanism is a ploy, a carrot dangling in front of the American nose, while the massing of Turkish and Iranian troops is the proverbial stick.

In all of this, there are a few things that America should remember. The first is that PKK has never targeted Americans. The second is that not a single American has received so much as a hangnail while serving duty in South Kurdistan. The third is that the Kurds of the South willingly committed every pêşmerge to liberate Iraq alongside the US, without engaging in bickering or camel-bargaining and without asking for anything in return, unlike the Turks, who, thinking the question of war was akin to a deal to be haggled in the Kapalı Çarşı, tried to get as much as they could, even while the Turkish Parliament was voting against the Americans.

The fourth thing to remember are the words of Masud Barzanî, recently from Hurriyet:

. . . [S]ince the war, everything here has changed. Syrian and Iranian Kurds are also here. There is a coming together. Which is why, even if I were to give orders, Kurds will not fire on other Kurds.

It is not, therefore, the place of the US to go against the wishes of its Kurdish allies in such a fundamental Kurdish matter. But if the Americans would like to come to the mountains to fight Kurds for Turkey, well, this is something Kurds have done for a very long time and something they can continue to do for a very long time.

It might be easier for the US, in the long run, to begin demanding that Turkey end its racist and fascist policies against the Kurdish people. Not only would it be easier, it also would be the right thing to do.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


The powers that be
That force us to live like we do
Bring me to my knees
When I see what they’ve done to you

~ The Pretenders, Back on the Chain Gang

Amed's newest chain gang will be composed of Kurdish children. As Bianet points out, these Kurdish children got to spend their Children's Day (April 23), in the Diyarbakir E-type prison:

The children are being held in prison for approximately on a month facing possible life time imprisonment, indicted with "damaging the sovereignty of the state", "inciting and provoking the people to uprising, hatred and enmity" and "aiding and abetting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) organization".

Since there are no prison compounds for minors in Diyarbakir, all of the children are being held at an annex building of the E-type prison in the province.

[ . . . ]

Children aged 12 to 18 are being held at a building block generally referred to as "Annex Building" in the E-type prison compound of Diyarbakir in the lack of any correctional institution for children in the province. The Center has stated that youth aged 18 are being held in their own dormitory in the same building.

Information reaching the Centre reveals there are 55 more minors in addition to the 60 children arrested for the Diyarbakir incidents and bar officials regard the total of 115 minors being held in a single building as "a fearsome number".

According to the Bar Association, children held in the compound started their imprisonment injured through torture and mistreatment and that while law number 5395 on the Protection of Minors should have been imposed, authorities had preferred to place the children in prison.

That's a completely new take on Children's Day, especially in the country that makes a huge pretence of adoring children. Any children besides Kurdish children, that is. These Kurdish child prisoners had been tortured, and, according to Bianet's report, an ECHR case will be prepared if the children are not released. This whole situation begs the question: Where is the world's media on this?

Think about it. What if the Americans had done something like this to Iraqi children in Abu Ghraib? What if the Israelis were doing something like this to Palestinian children in some Israeli prison? You'd have every journalist on the planet, every human rights organization, every government tripping over themselves to make condemnations, to get the video on the evening news, and every blog on the Internet would be pounding the keyboards about it.

Where are all the do-gooders now? Where is the Lunatic Fringe on this? Where's the EU with all its stupid little Green Parties? Where are the hypocrites from the UN, who like to waste everyone's money writing a lot of fine-sounding, utterly meaningless words, even on children in prison.

Right, I forgot. . . these are Kurdish children, not Iraqi or Palestinian children. Kurdish children don't count. Besides, they are terrorists, and Erdogan has declared open season on them, so never mind that Kurds top the list of "at risk" groups in Turkish prisons.

By the way, there were children at Abu Ghraib and the media was all over it, so I'm right to call all of these hypocrites to account for ignoring what is happening to Kurds under Turkish occupation. They don't really care about any children; they only want to catch the Americans with their pants down.

TDN has an interesting viewpoint, interesting for what it doesn't say:

Three of the dead were children, one aged only three, while most of the injured were security forces, in the clashes officials blamed on the PKK, which has waged an armed battle against the central government since 1984.

The brunt of the violence was in the city of Diyarbakır, with lesser incidents shaking the nearby city of Batman.

Let's not forget Kiziltepe.

TDN completely avoided any mention of the rest of the Kurds murdered at the time, which Bianet first published back on 10 April. Instead of focusing on the dead, who don't matter because they are Kurds, TDN cries for injured security forces, the same courageous security forces who murder Kurdish children or detain them. TDN conveniently forgot about all of it in this article too, but they are using Erdogan's words to kill Kurdish women and children as a shield, in an attempt to justify the actions of the fascist Turkish state.

And they haven't even passed the new anti-terror law yet. Although I like the way KurdistanObserver puts it, calling it the Anti-Kurdish Law, because that's exactly what the old one was and that's exactly what the new one will be, sort of a Turkish version of the Nuremburg Laws or Jim Crow Laws.

With all this in mind, it's time to consider items #2, #3, #4, #7, and #12 from our list of the characteristics of a fascist state. I put that in a sidebar for your convenience. It seems like we're going to have to refer to that quite a bit.

Monday, April 24, 2006


"This is one time when television fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather." ~ Bill Murray as Phil, Groundhog Day.

Sometimes, news reports sound so old, and you hear them so many times, that they become boring. Really boring. It's kind of like reading the same news over and over again, every single day.

What are we reading for the umpteenth time today, you ask? Well, an article in The New Anatolian about Roj TV. It's boring because it's the same thing, with the same air, a blend of the same self-righteous self-assurance and the same vague proofs, and, in general, all the same nonsense that every Turkish article about Roj TV has had for one full year. It was, after all, last April, that the Turkish government began its campaign against Roj.

Just like happened last year, the Turkish government has sent a DVD with Roj TV footage--that The New Anatolian positively guarantees us, will sound the death knell for Roj TV--to the Danish government, notwithstanding the fact that the Turkish media sounded the same death knell prematurely last April, and during the November frenzy. The Turkish media always accompany such statements with the phrase, "it [Roj TV] has proven links with the PKK," which always makes me wonder, if the links are so totally proven, why did nothing happen last April? Why did nothing happen last November? Obviously, the links are not quite as proven as the liars at The New Anatolian, and every other Turkish media outlet for that matter, would have everyone believe.

So what is the alleged proof this time? Take a look:

A DVD was included also in the file sent to Copenhagen to prove that Roj-TV is supporting and inciting PKK activities in Turkey. Images of news reports calling on Kurdish people living in Turkey to "close shops" and "boycott schools" took up the bulk of the DVD. In the same news reports, Roj-TV also showed the names and photos of PKK militants who were killed during clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces in demonstrations in Turkish cities, along with a call to the audience to take part in the "funeral ceremonies of these heroes."

[. . . ]

Another DVD containing messages from Murat Karayilan, an influential figure in the terrorist organization, was also sent to Copenhagen as part of the evidence of links between Roj-TV and the PKK.

What, exactly, are "PKK activities" that the Turkish government is so uptight about? Calling for a general strike, like closing shops and not going to school--because that's what "the bulk of the video" contained. In other words, civil disobedience is a PKK activity. PKK activity is also defined by the Turkish state as showing the names and photos the civilian demonstrators that the Turkish security forces murdered. Everywhere else in the world, this type of reporting is called "NEWS."

The messages from Murat Karayilan are news, and I guarantee you, that if Murat Karayilan had said anything to incite violence--as in what the definition of "incitement to violence" means in the normal world, and not what it means in Turkey, because anything a Kurd does or says in Turkey can be, and usually is, interpreted by the state as "inciting violence" (or, my personal favorite: "inciting hatred")--the government would have passed out courtesy copies of the transcripts of Karayilan's words to every single journalist in Turkey. And they probably would have arrested any journalist for "inciting violence" if they didn't accept such transcripts.

Not only that, the Turkish government would have overwhelmed the Internet by repeatedly spamming the verbatim transcripts to every single news organization and journalist on the planet.

In the meantime, airing messages from Murat Karayilan proves Roj TV's connection to PKK in the same way that printing messages from Bin Laden proves the Washington Post's connection to al-Qaeda.

Airing messages from Murat Karayilan or Bin Laden is not quite the same thing as your foreign ministry actually inviting the head of a terrorist organization to visit you in your capital city. . . Is it?

The New Anatolian pulls out another dead horse, in order to beat it again, and the horse has a name: Abdullah Hicab. The charge was made by the Turkish government last year and still has no merit. The problem with Abdullah Hicab is that he's a Kurdish writer who supports any Kurdish political party that is working for the rights of Kurds, according to his own statement from last November. But I did mention at the beginning that all this was boring, because all the same stuff is being replayed over and over again, sort of a Kurdish version of Groundhog Day.

Finally, reference is made, yet again, to Med TV and Medya TV, which were shut down by the British and the French, respectively. The British shut down Med TV because of irate callers after Ocalan's capture, not because of ties to PKK, proven or otherwise. Besides, it looked so bad for Turkey that Med was broadcasting NEWS about the Turkish invasion of South Kurdistan, among other things.

Medya TV was closed by the French government just before the anniversary of Ocalan's capture. Coincidentally, it was right before Turkish elections as well. Even more coincidentally, the closure happened a few months before Chirac paid a visit to Ankara, in order to facilitate business between France and Turkey.

It would appear that Medya TV was, in fact, a victim of the legendary French fighting spirit.

Not content with terrorizing Kurds under its occupation, not content with arresting Kurdish political leaders, not content with maintaining almost 300,000 troops in "The Region," the Turkish government must also be ever vigilant to stamp out every Kurdish voice in Diaspora lest, naturally, the truth be told. This falls under item 6 on our list of characteristics of a fascist state.

The truth is the only thing that can shatter the facade of democracy that is the Turkish Republic, and that is why it insists that Roj TV be silenced.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


"The forces of a powerful ally can be useful and good to those who have recourse to them... but are perilous to those who become dependent on them." ~ Niccolo Machiavelli.

The Washington Times has an editorial today that sounds like paid propaganda from the Turkish Embassy. It has the usual whiny sound of the Turkish prime minister's office and the Turkish foreign ministry, combined with the usual predictions of worldwide catastrophe, plus an appeal to the longstanding Turkish-American relationship. The propaganda is designed to support this thesis: "Losing Turkish support would be a difficult setback for the United States."

This thesis makes the mistaken assumption that the US has always had Turkish support, something that is not true except in the minds of those who continue to spin these fantasies and present them as gospel, such as The Washington Times.

Last Thursday, Gene Rossides, of the American Hellenic Institute, reminded all of us why Turkey is no ally to the US. He made the following points:

* In 1973, Turkey refused US military overflights to ressuply Israel, while permitting the Soviets overland military convoy rights, as well as military overflights, to resupply the Arabs.

* In 1977-78, Turkey permitted Soviet military overflights to support the pro-Soviets in Ethiopia.

* In 1976, 1978, and 1983, Turkey permitted passage rights to Soviet ships into the Mediterranean, against NATO objections and in violation of the Montreux Convention of 1936.

* In 2003, Turkey refused the US permission to use US bases in Turkey in connection with Operation Iraqi Freedom. This delayed the critical deployment of the 4th Infantry Division by weeks, weeks that would have otherwise allowed this division to secure the Iraqi border with Syria.

What a great NATO ally! What a great US ally! What the hell, what a great Israeli ally, for that matter! Yet the editor at The Washington Times expects anyone with a brain to believe the constant flow of chicken manure from the Turkish government about what a great ally it is?

There is something else that no one seems to remember, and that was that Turkey controlled all sorties of Operation Northern Watch, which meant that while Turkey was busy bombing Kurdish civilians in South Kurdistan, the very same civilians that the US and Britain were ostensibly making sorties to protect, all the US and British sorties were called off by the Turkish general staff. It was far too important for Turkey to dump loads of munitions to dump on Kurds, and American and British aircraft would simply get in the way, or be witness to these acts of genocide by Turkey. Here's a little ancient history from 2001:

While British government ministers have repeatedly described the no-fly-zones as "humanitarian cover" for the Kurds, the pilots' unease has become an open secret in the United States. Last October, the Washington Post reported: "On more than one occasion [US pilots who fly in tandem with the British] have received a radio message that 'there is a TSM inbound' - that is, a 'Turkish Special Mission' heading into Iraq. Following standard orders, the Americans turned their planes around and flew back to Turkey. 'You'd see Turkish F-14s and F-16s inbound, loaded to the gills with munitions,' [pilot Mike Horn] said. 'Then they'd come out half an hour later with their munitions expended.' When the Americans flew back into Iraqi air space, he recalled, they would see 'burning villages, lots of smoke and fire'."

Last December, more than 10,000 Turkish troops invaded northern Iraq, killing untold numbers of civilians and fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK. British and American aircraft "protecting" the Kurds did nothing to prevent the invasion; indeed, most patrols were suspended to allow the Turks to get on with the killing. Inside Turkey, the Ankara regime has destroyed 3,000 Kurdish villages, displaced more than three million people and killed tens of thousands. Racist laws prevent Turkish Kurds from speaking their language; parliamentarians and journalists who speak out end up in prison, or assassinated.

The only ones perturbed about this situation were the American and British aircrews, and the Kurds. All of the perpetrators of the Kurdish genocide in the Turkish foreign ministry, the British foreign ministry and the American Department of State had absolutely nothing to say about it. It appears that the perpetrators of Kurdish genocide at The Washington Times have nothing to say about it either. Neither has The Washington Times bothered to express any opinion on more complicit American activity in genociding Kurds through its so-called "psychological operations" against the "Communist threat" (read: "Kurds") in Turkey, and that is probably because The Washington Times is in agreement with the genocide.

The editor of The Washington Times can't seem to get it through his fat head that Turkey has its own insecurity about its own identity, which is why it has engaged in a campaign of genocide against Kurds for 83 years. It is the same insecurity that prompted a completely insincere and spineless Erdogan to raise the question of super- and sub-identity shortly after the state-sponsored Semdinli bombing. This identity insecurity is the same thing that prompted the insincere and spineless Erdogan to state that Kurdish women and children were fine targets for Turkish security forces more recently.

Who, then, are the real terrorists? Who is the real state-sponsor of terror? Who is part and parcel of this Axis of Evil?

This editor needs a reality check if he so readily swallows Erdogan's lies about providing more services and more democracy to Kurds under Turkish occupation, because if there were any genuine interest in the Turkish regime doing so, they would have begun providing these services 83 years ago, instead of beginning the forumlation of their fascist ideology which has been the fundamental driving force behind their genocide. But the editor of The Washingnton Times, gives his approval of the use of any methods for Turkey to operate against so-called Kurdish terrorists, a phrase which, by the Turkish definition, includes every single living Kurd who insists on maintaining a Kurdish identity. Assimilate, forget you are a Kurd, and you can be accepted. Insist on your unique identity, cling to your language, your traditions, your culture, your refusal to bow to the insistence of the Master Turkish Race, and you are a "terrorist."

But if the US, the EU, indeed the entire rest of the world, The Washington Times included, wants to continue to be screwed over by a fascist country that engages in two-faced politics to do whatever the hell it wants, if the US, the EU, and the rest of the world want to continue to perpetuate the myth of "alliance" or "democracy" or "bridge between East and West," then it is their business. Personally, I am surprised that the rest of the world is run by such ignorant, immoral jackasses.

In the meantime, these same ignorant, immoral jackasses apparently have not noticed that the Turkish state has increased its military presence in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan to almost 300,000, under the pretext of battling a few thousand terrorists. This means that either the vastly overrated Turkish military and associated security forces are so incompetent, that they have to have a military presence twice the size of the American military presence in Iraq, in order to control a few thousand lightly armed gerîlas.

Or it means that both Turkey and Iran are preparing to invade "Iraq" under the pretext of "fighting Kurdish terrorism." Pretty ironic that two of the biggest sponsors of state terror pretend to be fighting any kind of terrorism, much less "terrorism" of the very people they have been murdering for the last century. Pretty ironic, too, that everyone is more worried about what an independent Kurdistan would mean for the region, or how an independent Kurdistan would upset a status quo created by imperialists and dictatorial regimes, when South Kurdistan has already proven its intention to become a secular democracy. But everyone remains virtually silent about two terror states massing troops.

Oh well, no one cared about Czechoslovakia, did they?

Of course, since Turkey has pulled troops from "The West," it is only proper to take the war to "The West," and since there is plenty of water in "The West" already, the fish will have no problem swimming through it.

UPDATE: By the way, as a little reminder of the Kurdish reality, the PBS Frontline program, Saddam's Road to Hell, is now available in its entirety at the KRG Ministry of Human Rights website. It has a 31-minute run time.

Friday, April 21, 2006


"One is forced to speak not of what is held in common between the cultures, but what is held in common between the myths, and that in its simplest archetypal forms." ~ Carl Gustav Jung.

I have located an excellent video from Australia's SBS TV which discusses the serious problem of torture inflicted on the Basque people by the Spanish government. On the surface, this may not seem related to the Kurdish situation, but if you watch the video and you know anything about the manner in which the Turkish government (or the Iranian or Syrian, for that matter) has handled its Kurdish problem, you will understand exactly why I am writing about this subject.

To get you set up, you can find the video here. It is a long one, almost 26 minutes, and it is definitely worth every minute of your attention. There is a partial transcript of the program provided at Istanbul Indymedia, which also contains a link to the video.

As I mentioned, this video focuses on torture as used by the Spanish government on any and every Basque they suspect, correctly or not, of being an ETA member, sympathizer or simply having any connection at all to ETA, including journalists who have interviewed ETA members. There are a number of other aspects of the Basque situation that are also familiar subjects to Kurds, but are peripheral to the discussion of torture as presented in the video, such as the Dirty War conducted against the Basques, efforts of Spain to create intra-Basque fighting and disunity, extrajudicial killings, deaths in prison and in custody, impunity of security forces, the whole propagandized "terrorist" question, and extraditions of Basques.

More on all those other aspects of Spanish repression can be found at EHJ-Navarre. Note, too, that it appears Spain and France had a little relationship going similar to the one between Turkey and Iran as regards extraditions.

I suppose the most striking thing to me is the attitude of the Spanish government toward the Basques and their longing for independence. Here is a country, Spain, that behaves in ways very similar to Turkey. It denies that torture takes place or, when cornered, attempts a tu quoque argument, as one government offical does in the video. He attempts to downplay the Spanish government's guilt by asking, "Which country in the European Union hasn't had cases of torture reported?" When the interviewer quotes the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture as saying that today, most claims of torture are leveled against Spain, the official demands that the camera be turned off so that the "terms of the interview" can be discussed.

That same Special Rapporteur, Theo van Boven, found that Spanish authorities were obsessed with the Basques, and that sounds so much like Turkey and its obsession with Kurds. All this obsession turns every Basque and every Kurd into "terrorists" by the respective, obsessed governments. Naturally, all of this obsession justifies torture committed against both peoples, as well as justifying all of the other dirty government tactics. Yet in spite of all this obsession, there appears to be a need to hide the atrocities well from outside eyes and to play the denial game when confronted with them.

A related point is one made by the interviewer, who states:

Outside of the Basque Country, the allegations of torture haven't gained much traction. Anyone with a connection to Basque nationalism tends to be dismissed as a "terrorist" sympathizer by the national government and media.

Just as with Kurds, such sympathizers are beyond the legal pale and are permitted to suffer from impunity of security forces. All of those outside of the country in question simply believe the official media version of events. It helps that these governments have friendly relations with other, powerful governments, all of whom perpetuate the official myth worldwide and cooperate with extradition or deportation proceedings, in spite of well-founded fears of torture or danger to life itself.

The experience of Martxelo Otamendi, is a familiar one to Kurds. This editor of the Basque-language newspaper, Egunkaria, was detained incommunicado and tortured for published interviews with ETA members and the newspaper was shut down by the government. The Spanish government maintained that the paper was funded and directed by ETA, although to this day, no evidence to support that claim has ever been presented.

Compare that to the current situation of Roj TV, and there is no difference except that the Basque example was a newspaper and the Kurdish example is a TV channel. Both employ languages that have been restricted or banned by their respective obsessed governments, and both are accused of "terrorist" backing with no proof forthcoming. Unless, of course, we are going to permit a lot of governmental hot air and hysterics to be entered as evidence.

Otamendi was tortured while detained and when he continued to speak about his experience after release, he was slapped with additional charges by the government. The charges stated that he was a "collaborator" with "terrorists," and that he was, in effect, defaming the very government that had tortured him. To top it off the government made the following ludicrous statement:

“[I]f there was a credible complaint of torture it would be discussed publicly; however in counter-terrorism cases it was standard for a person who has been detained systematically to allege that he/she has been tortured. Consequently, most press agencies did not report the case as they knew the claim to be false, except for those newspapers linked to terrorism” (p. 5 of link)

This is nonsense. In fascist-inspired states, nothing like this can be discussed publicly. There is a double-standard at work here, as well. In the video, the government official states that journalistic investigations are not credible for states that "uphold the rule of law," but the statement I quote here, from the former Spanish Interior Minister, very obviously considers journalistic investigations to be valid. It is not the argument for or against journalistic investigations that is relevant; it is the fact that the Spanish government, like the Turkish government, will twist everything in any possible way in order to justify its own vile actions.

Is it any wonder then, that Spain and Turkey, together, are heading up the "Alliance of Civilizations" program? Exactly what kind of alliance of civilizations will that be?

At the beginning of the video, the presenter asks the question:

This disturbing story actually comes at an interesting time in the decades-long Basque conflict. Two weeks ago, ETA - responsible for hundreds of deaths over the years, announced a permanent cease-fire, the best chance yet for a resolution of the conflict. But could the torture allegations derail the peace negotiations?

If my Kurdish sense is correct, and I answer this question from my Kurdish sense, I would have to say that the public discussion of Spanish atrocities against the Basques--to include others besides torture--can only derail the peace negotiations if the Spanish government continues in its denial. As I see it, genuine peace negotiations and resulting settlement will have to take into account the government's atrocities against the Basque people. The Spanish government is going to have to ask itself why the Basques felt compelled to engage in their right to legitimate armed resistance and it's going to have to find honest answers, because there is no such thing as spontaneous generation. In other words, shit doesn't just happen.

Turkey will have to face up to the same thing as regards the Kurds.

The video report ends by summing up the situation precisely:

After decades of violent struggle, it will not be easy to bridge the gulf of trust between the Basques and the Spanish Government.

Double dittos for the Kurds and the Turkish government.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


The land of tears gave forth a blast of wind,
And fulminated a vermilion light,
Which overmastered in me every sense,
And as a man whom sleep hath seized I fell.
~ Dante Alleghieri, The Inferno, Canto III

Turkish Kurdish demonstrators display a banner with the pictures of PKK guerillas who were killed by Turkish troops during a demonstration in the town of Birecik, near the southeastern Turkish city of Urfa, in this Tuesday, April 4, 2006 file photo. Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a radical militant group, is calling on Turkish Kurds to bring 'fear and chaos' to Turkey and has posted do-it-yourself instructions for homemade bombs and detonators on its Web site, along with praise for suicide bombers. The Freedom Falcons is a splinter group of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, the main militant group in southeastern Turkey that is looking to step up violence against the Turkish state. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture came with a few but I will add a few more.

First order of business is that part of the caption discussing TAK (Têyrbazên Azadîya Kurdistan--Kurdistan Freedom Falcons). In yesterday's post I remarked that the Turkish state, as well as Onder Aytac and Emre Uslu of The New Anatolian, were trying to make connections between TAK and PKK because there is no distinction made in the Turkish media. It is only now that journalists are beginning to say things like "splinter group of PKK."

TAK made its debut last summer with a attacks in tourist areas, with their primary goal being one of disrupting the Turkish state's lucrative tourism industry. During the recent serhildan, TAK indicated it would increase the violence as a result of security forces' brutality against the Kurdish people:

"From now on, every attack against our people will be met immediately by even more violent acts, " TAK said in an e-mail sent out to news agencies.

"We will start to harm not just property but lives too. With our actions we will turn Turkey into hell," it said.

Since the biggest bogeyman of the TC is PKK, and since they can milk a lot of sympathy by blaming everything on PKK, that is where they have lain the blame for TAK operations. Last July, HPG denied ties to TAK:

The Kurdish People's Defence Forces (HPG) issued a statement yesterday denying claims made by the Turkish state and media that their forces have ties to the militant organisation TAK (Kurdistan's Freedom Falcons).

In the statement issued by the HPG Commandership Headquarters the guerrillas accused the Turkish government of deliberately smearing HPG's legitimate struggle of self-defence.

"The Turkish government officials and media are in their statements trying to tie us to the attack in the city of Kusadasi. Their accusations are totally groundless and unfounded. We have nothing to do with the attack in Kusadasi. As we don't have any ties to this attack, we also don't have any ties at all with TAK and such organisations", the HPG statement said.

So what we have here is more looniness over PKK that turns out to be false, just as happened in the commentary I discussed yesterday, but the problem is that the guys who wrote yesterday's article were spinning propaganda. Compare what Reuters reported about who is encouraging "fear and chaos," to the BS of the Ondar and Emre show:

A radical militant group is calling on Turkish Kurds to foment "fear and chaos" and has posted do-it-yourself instructions for homemade bombs and detonators on its Web site, The Associated Press reported from Diyarbakir, Turkey.

In the past three months, the Marxist-inspired Kurdistan Freedom Falcons have claimed responsibility for at least eight bomb attacks in Istanbul and elsewhere that have left two people dead and 47 people wounded.

I said that the statement Ondar and Emre were "analyzing" didn't sound like PKK.

By the way, read that entire Reuters report to see who just got the axe. None other than the Wan prosecutor himself, Ferhat Sarikaya. He fought the pashas and the pashas won--no surprise there. It will be no surprise either when the pashas tell the parliamentary Semdinli Commission what their findings are, even though their draft report is already very pasha-friendly.

Second order of business inspired by that AP photo: gerîla funerals.

During the serhildan, the Turkish state made the statement that they were no longer going to turn over the bodies of gerîlas to their families for proper burials, but they were going to bury them where they fell, after doing some kind of half-assed autopsy on them. You know, they have to go through the the formality of even half-assed autopsies so they can continue to fool the EU. DozaMe posted more details on this.

This is an atrocity against every Kurd, because it means Kurdish dead are worth nothing. I wonder what has happened to the bodies of those gerîlas who have died since the serhildan? I also wonder how the terrorist pashas will bellydance their way out of this one:

Professor Doctor Sebnem Korur Fincanci who previously headed the Istanbul University Forensic Medicine Department told Bianet in an interview that the practice itself was a violation of international human rights and that Turkey could be convicted at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for it.

[ . . . ]

She argued that bodies of the dead could not be buried where they were killed and added "an autopsy must certainly be carried out at a center, by forensic medicine experts."

She referred to the international Mennesota Autopsy Protocol covering the effective investigation of extrajudicial killings saying, "the conditions of an autopsy are clearly stated in this protocol accepted by the United Nations. Because these conditions are not being met, Turkey could be sentenced at the ECHR for failing to conduct an effective investigation".

Fincanci added that according to the Turkish Penal Code, no matter who the deceased was, respect had to be shown to their funerals and the bodies had to be surrendered over to their families.

For reference, everyone can check the Minnesota Autopsy Protocol at this site. It's part of the United Nations Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions. You would think, by now, with all the extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions that the Turkish state has committed against the Kurdish people, that the Turkish authorities would be able to recite this manual in their sleep. No such luck. Just ask the Kaymaz family.

In the Bianet article, the IHD Chairman Alatas comments on the fact that the Turkish state will use this refusal-of-burial practice to hide its own atrocities, something that was my initial reaction when I first read the news. He goes on to say that this practice is also in violation "of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which governs respect towards family and private life."

Alatas concluded, "in essence this is a practice to punish the Kurdish people. . ."

We should all be as mad as hell and not willing to take it anymore.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


"The biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy. Nobody's out to get you. Nobody gives a shit whether you live or die. There, you feel better now?" ~ Dennis Miller.

Man. . . you can read some really funny stuff on the Internet. I guess that's one of the reasons I like it so much. You have your satirical sites like ScrappleFace or The Onion, or one that I recently stumbled across, called The EcoEnquirer. Hilarious! Then you have your conspiracy theory sites, like The Black Vault, which can be kind of scary, or the Global Gulag, which is just plain nuts.

Somewhere in between these two, on the spectrum of that part of the Internet that is home to the weird, you will find the Turkish media.

I have been watching Onder Aytac and Emre Uslu in their column at The New Anatolian for some time, but tonight they have broken the barrier and have formally entered The Weird. Although, I suppose I can't blame them after watching the paranoia in the Turkish press lately, but I felt like their 19 April commentary deserves a pause and a little examination.

Onder and Emre are claiming that the PKK is having a power struggle with DTP, and that PKK is "lord[ing] over the DTP." DTP cannot, therefore, in Onder and Emre's analysis, do anything about this. It is too helpless in the face of the awesome military might of the big, bad PKK.

It [PKK statement] maintains that "while the Turkish military is launching operations against 'our people,' demanding peace would mean annihilation. Under current circumstances neither the Kurdistan People's Congress (Kongra-gel), the new name of the PKK, nor its military wing, the People's Resistance Force (HPG), demands peace; demanding peace means accepting defeat. If carefully reviewed, in our latest calls we asked [the people] to intensify the resistance continuously. Therefore, if anyone, be it a political party [implying the Democratic Society Party, DTP] or any individual [implying Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir], urges a halt to resistance, our people should not listen to them. On this matter you should follow our, the HPG's, statements."

According to Onder and Emre, this is a quote from the PKK statement--notice the quotation marks? First of all, why are they quoting an alleged PKK statement that refers to KONGRA-GEL as the new name of the PKK? Why would PKK say something like that? Why would it have to explain who and what it is if it is addressing Bakurî Kurds? Secondly, why would it refer to it's "new" name by an old name? Why is the name of HPG rendered as "People's Resistance Force," when that is not how the Kurdish is rendered? And why would PKK not simply use the acronym, "HPG?" Everyone knows what that means.

Secondly, what proof is there of the implications that Onder and Emre draw, namely, that DTP is the party, or Osman Baydemir is the man, being "threatened?" I can imply that the party that is being threatened is AKP, and the man, Erdogan. I can imply any European party or, for example, Joost Lagendijk. If either of those insist that resistance be halted then no one should listen to them. Yet I cannot, for the life of me, remember a moment in the last couple of weeks when DTP as a party, or any individual within the DTP called for a halt to "resistance." DTP members have called for an end to violence on the part of demonstrators as well as on the part of the fascist Turkish state. They have also expressed their empathy with the demonstrators because, after all, DTP members are also Kurds, subjected to the same circumstances that forced the demonstrators to rise up in the first place. Of course, they are rightly empathetic.

Thirdly, what is wrong with resistance? What resistance is referred to in the statement? Civil disobedience is resistance, boycotting is resistance, general strikes are resistance, just as blowing up infrastructure is resistance. So which resistance is referred to here? Can acts of resistance by the people be carried out in such a way that solidarity is created with the gerîlas? Absolutely. In fact, coordinated acts of resistance by the people are great morale boosters to the gerîlas and reinforce the concept of total gerîla warfare. Should it be this way? Yes. Is this powerful? Again, absolutely. Solidarity is always powerful.

Mao said, "The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea." This is a true statement and it cannot be otherwise. It is especially true for the Kurdish people because the gerîlas come from the people, they are of the people. How then can they be separate from the people? And if anyone wants to say there is a separation, why is it that 10,000 or more people at a time turn out for the funerals of gerîlas? If the death of a gerîla, or a civilian resistor murdered by the state, has the power to draw thousands, if not tens of thousands--as we witnessed last November--then it is clear that the people is one and both participate in their appropriate forms of resistance, one by defence of arms and another by protest, boycott, general strike, or even simply a mental attitude of resistance.

It is also an act of resistance when Osman Baydemir calls for calm in his city, the great and beautiful Amed, and to comply with his call is also an act of resistance. In this case, both the call and the act of compliance nullifies the power of the state while, at the same time, empowers the Kurdish people. Therefore the alleged PKK statement cannot be implying any threat against DTP or Osman Baydemir.

I am deeply touched at the apparent concern by Onder and Emre for the DTP, but if their concern were sincere, why are they not then calling for Ankara to help DTP achieve "peace" and, at the same time, foil the evil plots of the PKK? But Onder and Emre are rather silent on that point, aren't they? Ankara and the EU are also silent on that point, even though some fifty DTP leaders have been arrested since the serhildan. On top of that, the DTP leadership is in the process of being judicially buried in a pile of investigations and charges that make a mockery of any pretence to "democracy" that the state might claim.

Let me also point out who it is that has been threatening Osman Baydemir. It is the Turkish state. I have to agree with the DTP statement about the results, if the state so much as touches Heval Osman. If the state thought it saw violence a couple of weeks ago in Amed, let it come and touch Heval Osman and it will learn what an Amedî serhildan really is.

In spite of all this, we can still occasionally read the moanings of Europeans, Americans or Turks about how there is no Kurdish leadership to deal with. Unbelievable! The Kurdish leadership has been arrested, tortured, extrajudicially murdered, forced into exile for decades, and are now being arrested and drowned in state-sponsored harassment known euphemistically as "investigations," and the stinking hypocrites in the West--yes, Ankara is in the West--shed crocodile tears over the lack of Kurdish leaders.

Let that fact of life sink in for a while.

In the meantime, back at the Onder and Emre show, they do seem concerned that the alleged PKK statement calls for resistance in urban centers:

. . . They [PKK] call on Kurdish youth to take up arms and carry out individual attacks. "The youths should establish full resistance units (armed action units) in every village, town, neighborhood, borough, city and metropolis. When there is a police/military operation, these units should kill the security forces. Under the current circumstances, this type of structuring became an obligation and an immediate duty." The terror organization urges Kurdish youth to "choose civilian targets, tourist destinations, factories." It says "you can set fire to these places… You can target police, military personnel, bureaucrats who advocate the military operations, as well as Justice and Development (AK) Party and Republican People's Party (CHP) offices in southeastern Turkey, and parties which are hateful toward the Kurdish people [implying Turkish nationalist parties]."

With the latest announcement, the organization changed its traditional strategy, according to which terrorists had to follow the chain of command to attack a target. In the latest announcement, the PKK asks youngsters to act individually: "The attacks mentioned aren't difficult to carry out; you can put gasoline on your target and set it on fire. Two or three youths could come together, and even if you lack arms you could stab the enemy when you find them in a quiet place; you could even choke them with wire. This type of new organization and action is an obligation. The only way for resistance against state forces is to organize full resistance units and attack our enemies."

Theoretically, what is wrong with anyone attacking the Turkish security forces? Nothing. They are a force of occupation which engages in atrocities against the Kurdish people and the Kurdish people has an inherent right of self-defence. After all, Erdogan himself has already declared total warfare against all Kurds and not even the peaceniks that make up the EU bothered to bat an eyelash over that little bombshell. Does the state really believe that the Kurdish people should sit and wait for the state to crush them? The state knows nothing about the Kurdish people, if that is the case, because if Kurds were a people that did nothing in the face of a terrorist machine bearing down on them, they would have ceased to exist long ago.

That isn't the case, though, is it? Kurds are still here and Kurds are still fighting back.

This section of the alleged PKK statement makes reference to civilian targets and even goes into an extremely anal description of the fact that it is possible to burn things. Okay, I think everyone has the burning thing figured out because it is common knowledge among all humankind that it is possible to set fires, yet we are expected to believe that the PKK has to tell people that you can set things on fire? Ditto on the stabbing and choking business.

Yeah, right, whatever. Only the Turkish state would write something that stupid.

Seriously, PKK is not going to go against its own policy, which it made in a statement to the UN in early 1995. Turkish security forces do not adhere to any laws of land warfare as known by civilized states, and complete ignorance of PKK's 1995 statement is something I would expect from the state. In fact, it confirms for me that the state is the organization who manufactured this alleged PKK statement. In this section of the alleged statement, the state is trying to make a connection between PKK and TAK. They make no distinction between the two in their media, which makes it easier for the gullible to swallow this red herring whole.

The most likely reason why the organization decided to implement such a tactic is that it is losing ground in urban centers and having difficulty recruiting in these centers. Instead of pushing people to join the organization actively and leave their homes, it would be much easier for them to push people into these types of actions; they can take part of the organization's subversive activities where they live.

Bullshit, plain and simple. The people are going to the mountains from everywhere, including urban centers. There is no need for recruitment because the Turkish state takes care of all PKK's recruitment needs. With every act of repression, every detention, every arrest, every lack of services, the Turkish state sends Kurds to the mountains, but Onder and Emre are living in fantasy land and are incapable of seeing reality.

Just as I was touched by all the concern gushing from the keyboard of these two "analysts," so I am touched by their extreme concern for the Kurdish people as a whole, at the end of all this drivel and nonsense which is passed off as "analysis." Their concern takes the form of chiding Kurds to "strongly oppose" this plot by "discouraging their children" (a little dig at all the Turkish media's recent lies that children were "used" by PKK in the demonstrations, when the only children to be murdered in cold blood by Turkish security forces were on a playground or watching from their home balconies) from joining the urban "units." Their concern also extends to a call for Kurds to oppose this plot by demonstrating against it in public.

Sure, so that Turkish security forces can murder more Kurds with impunity, right guys?

Onder Aytac and Emre Ulsu, from The New Anatolian. Satirists extraordinaire, conspiracy loons or Turkish state propagandists?

I report, you decide.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


"The three rules of journalism: make it juicy, make it brief, make it up." ~ Anonymous

The New Anatolian has a few interesting pieces up and running that I'd like to point out.

The funniest one is titled "Spies in tourists' clothing", in which TNA describes how the parliamentary Semdinli commission is finding "spies" going around as tourists in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. Apparently, the "spies" were using the cover of studying folklore research in Hekarî. A likely story.

One of these "spies" was allegedly French and the other Greek, but I'm sure the parliamentary Semdinli commission knows the real truth, that these "spies" must be JEWS. The PKK is so powerful that it controls the World Zionist Conspiracy®, which means the PKK controls all the world media, all financial institutions, all the arms industry, all governments, and it is through these means that PKK will come to dominate the entire world. The goal of all of this is, of course, to violate the territorial integrity of the sacred Turkish state and tear it into a thousand little pieces. Unless the spirit of Ataturk descends immediately, the entire globe will be lost in a vortex of evil!

Seriously, these people are paranoid, but I guess that is to be expected of fascists. I predict that it will soon be nearly impossible to visit Turkish-occupied Kurdistan with a tourist visa, and this particular article that I mock is the second indicator of my prediction. The first was the human rights worker who was to be deported last week. Jonathan Sugden is a long-time human rights worker for Human Rights Watch, working in Turkey, and he has always done this work on a tourist visa. If the Turkish government is deporting him, along with academics who are also using a tourist visa, I believe this is a trend that will continue. I suspect it will also extend to journalists soon as well.

By restricting access to Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, the Turkish government will create a total blackout of news and information coming from the area, a tactic that was used during the Armenian genocide, during the Dersim rebellion and during the 1990's Dirty War. It will permit the Turkish government to act with its usual cruel impunity against the Kurdish people.

You will notice in the last paragraph of the article, that there is a reference to drug-trafficking. Funny thing, I have been doing some background research on drug-trafficking in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan and the thing that I have noticed is that this industry flourishes with massive cooperation from the state. All one has to do is google "Susurluk," to get an idea of how important drug-trafficking is to the Turkish state. Then there was the example of Huseyin Baybasin, who gave TV interviews on Turkish television and blabbed about his great connections within the state. Tansu Çiller made a big show of cracking down on Kurdish traffickers back when she was pretending that she was running the show. The thing about Çiller was that she cracked down on Kurdish traffickers to open the market more completely to Turkish traffickers.

Now that the Central Asian states are no longer under Soviet control and Afghanistan is no longer under Taliban control, well, it makes things a lot smoother. Don't count Iran out of the equation either. Iran has a serious drug problem and they are pushing the goods among their own population as well as to the outside. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the recent cosy relationship between Turkey and Iran have facilitated trafficking. Both are also looking to become nuclear powers. . . but just for energy, right?

Another item of interest is a piece, again from our ever watchful Semdinli parliamentary commission, which probes PKK's weapons sources. For a commission that was established to "get to the bottom" of the bombing of a bookstore, which was witnessed by the populace, whose perpetrators were captured by the populace, the Semdinli commission has wasted a lot of time fishing for red herrings, and this article is another one of those.

No surprise from this one, at least if you have a brain, since the Semdinli commission concluded that PKK has weapons from all over the place and they can't figure out exactly where PKK got the weapons. However, this article should serve some propaganda value for the clueless. Let's bury this smelly red herring and move on.

They're still tooting the new anti-terror law horn like they've been doing for the last two weeks or so. This is definitely something to watch for, but for the moment, there was one funny line from the Interior Minister:

Asked whether the law would put any restrictions on basic rights and freedom in Turkey, Aksu replied that the fight against terrorism won't harm democracy.

Of course the new anti-terror law won't harm democracy because there is no democracy in Turkey to harm. Aksu is also reported to have said that the new anti-terror law will "strengthen the hands of security forces." What the hell? This is what the Turkish constitution is for, why bother with another law?

The last article on my agenda is related to my previous post on Rastî. It is a little report on Turkey's good friend, Jalal Talabanî, and how the PUK has finally taken it's first major action against "a PKK-affiliated group in the region." When they write "the region," they mean South Kurdistan, but they have to use a euphemism because for them to actually write or say "Kurdistan" would choke them to death.

This business about a "first major action" is, naturally, a lie. PUK most recently attacked and harassed PKK itself back in the year 2000. I have a link in my previous post to that information. As this article further notes, the PÇDK did run in the recent Iraqi elections and did not gain a large number of votes, so how big a threat is PÇDK to the PUK? Maybe a better question is, why does PUK have so much fear about another party, even a small one like PÇDK? Why does Turkey fear PÇDK?

I guess the old adage is true; politics really do make strange bedfellows.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


"The regional plots that pushed some Kurdish parties against other Kurdish parties are about to come to an end." ~ Jalal Talabanî.

There has been something strange going on with the PUK lately and it doesn't appear to be anything good. It is something of an open secret in Hewlêr that the PUK's internal struggles appear to be fracturing the organization into three factions, but I don't know how much those internal struggles are affecting what is going on, on the ground, in South Kurdistan, nor will I venture a guess as to how Talabanî's devotion to Baghdad affects these internal struggles. I can only guess from what I see happening.

I suppose it began with the PUK's attempts to suppress protests by Kurds in Silêmanî against the Iranian regime's brutalities against Kurds under Iranian occupation last July and August.

Then, in early September, reports began to be made of protests in the PUK's area--protests which were repressed with violence. The protestors were demonstrating for an improvement in water and electricity availability, but according to the PUK, the protest ended in violence due to the presence of KIU and KDP "provocateurs."

A much smaller crowd demonstrated to protest the lack of services later in the month, in Silêmanî as well as in Rania. I guess it wouldn't look good to fire up a crowd within Silêmanî proper.

In the middle of March of this year, right before the Helebce protest, there was a PUK crackdown at a demonstration of students at Koya University. Again, this was a protest against lack of services and, again, the result was violence on the part of the PUK security forces.

Immediately following the Koya protest, was the PUK's provocation of the residents of Helebce, a protest against their continued use by Southern Kurdish officials who continue to refuse basic services and proper medical treatment years after the Helebce tragedy.

The most recent action by the PUK against protestors took place on Thursday, in Silêmanî, in which members of the PÇDK were detained for attempting to demonstrate in support of Kurds under Turkish occupation, and it appears that the PUK used similar tactics on DIHA journalists that they had used against journalists who covered the Helebce protest. The journalists had their photographic equipment seized and they were beaten, while Kurds coming from Hewlêr to join the protest were also attacked, including women and children.

Is the PUK taking its orders from Erdogan now?

Earlier, supporters of the PKK's legal party in Iraq, the PÇDK, held a successful and peaceful demonstration in Hewlêr, in support of Amed. The Hewlêr Globe reports that the demonstrators marched from downtown Hewlêr to the Kurdistan Parliament, where they were met by officials of the Parliament. I guess the KDP doesn't have a problem with PÇDK that the PUK has, especially given Barzanî's recent interview with Hurriyet.

We should also remember that one of the PWD leadership, Kani Yilmaz, was murdered in PUK territory in February. How is it that PÇDK is not even permitted to demonstrate in PUK territory but, according to PWD statements, PÇDK had been behind the murder of Kani Yilmaz?

Something is wrong here and it makes me ask myself, why is that?

Before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Talabanî was doing his best to promote the presence of the Turkish troops in South Kurdistan. Later, October last year, to be exact, he was calling for a general amnesty for PKK. As a result, it is difficult to impossible to know where he stands, if one looks only to his statements. Since actions tend to speak louder than words, it is better to look at what has been going on in that part of South Kurdistan which is controlled by PUK to have a better idea of what his position really is.

The use of violence against those dissatisfied with Talabanî's administration, the repeated attempts to blame all dissatisfaction on other influences, such as other political parties, and the appearance of complicity with a political murder have less to do with the PKK and the situation of Northern Kurds than they have to do with maintaining some sort of leverage against the KDP, especially given the recent background of the internal political situation.

The fact that these things are happening now, when the future is open to the Southern Kurds, when all other Kurds look to the South for inspiration, and when Kurdish power is beginning to make itself felt in the region, is disturbing. Very disturbing.

Will Talabanî sell out the gerîlas, PÇDK, and the Bakurî for a short-term tactical advantage? Only time will tell.