Wednesday, March 14, 2007


"Censorship is advertising paid by the government."
~ Federico Fellini.

A lot of stuff is going on, so where should I start?

First of all, Sibel Edmonds has a new interview, which you can read at Lukery's WotIsItGood4, the venerable center around which Left Blogistan revolves. That would be Lukery's newly coined phrase. I like it. It rhymes with "Kurdistan."

If you don't feel like reading, you can listen to the interview here. Sibel talks about her gag order, summarizes the main areas that she blew the whistle on, discusses the current campaign to get an open hearing for her, and touches on Deep Staters in the US.

Also the We Want Freedom Campaign (Ozgurluk istiyoruz) has a new newsletter out--not on the website yet, but I have it in email--and here are a few items of interest:

Wave of attacks on Kurdish people and their institutions from the Turkish state

It has come out that the state which can not execute Abdullah Öcalan, tries to kill him poisoning slowly. Turkish state also increased its attacks on Kurdish people and their institutions. In many cities of Kurdistan, DTP (Democratic Society Party) buildings were raided by the police and many DTP members, including DTP representatives of Diyarbakir, Van and Siirt were arrested and jailed.
Following a stone-attack, glasses of the building of DTP Izmir city organisation were broken.

ESP: Kurdish people are not alone

On 9 March, Socialist Platform of the Oppressed (ESP) made a demonstration in front of the Galatasaray High School in Istanbul against the oppression over the Kurdish people and the poisoning of Abdullah Öcalan. Tekstil-Sen members also supported the action. ESP members made solidarity visits to DTP in Istanbul and Ankara and gave the message: 'We're together with DTP against oppressions and attacks.'

Human-Rights Defender and Lawyer Eren Keskin taken under police custody in Van.

Human-Rights Defender and Lawyer Eren Keskin was taken under custody in her hotel room at about 04:00 am in Van where she went for a panel discussion on the occasion of 8 March International Labouring Women’s Day. It has been heard that the claim was her missing examination at a court case about Newroz celebrations in Istanbul in 2002. She was released by the Van Court.

Istanbul branch of Human Rights Society and Limter-Is union protested the arrestment of Eren Keskin.

8 students who were taken under custody in Van are arrested.

In Van, 32 students were taken under custody within the ongoing operations. After their examination by the public prosecutor, 21 students were sent to the court, of which 8 were arrested with the claim that they are 'members of an organisation'.

A heval pointed out a Hurriyet article which reports that the records of one of Ocalan's lawyers, Mahmut Sakar, has been invalidated, effectively barring him from the practice of law. This is another fallout from the news of Ocalan's poisoning and it's highly reminiscent of what happened to Ferhat Sarikaya, the Wan prosecutor who was fired for connecting Buyukanit's name with the Deep State bombing in Semdinli in November, 2005. In Turkey, if you don't like what the lawyer says, you forbid them from practicing law. Every democracy does it that way, right?

In a related item, other lawyers for Ocalan are rightly dissatisfied with the bullshit that's is passing for the so-called Justice Ministry's examination of Ocalan, from the hevals at KurdishInfo:

Regrettably, our request has been ignored. We do not know the details of the investigation conducted by the Senior State Prosecutor and we do not know whether or not the authorities for forensic medicine have the necessary technical facilities to determine the facts of an intoxication.

To conclude the discussions and to establish the truth it is necessary for an independent delegation of experts to takes samples of Mr Ocalan's hair, tissues and blood, examine the environment such as walls, paint, food and articles which he uses daily and analyze them in a laboratory equipped with the necessary technical facilities.

I was thinking . . . there are supposed to be some thousand Mehmetciks who guard Imrali and its one prisoner, and wouldn't it be interesting to have their hair samples analyzed to see what their strontium and chromium levels are? If this poisoning were something in the environment, wouldn't you think the Mehmetciks on duty would have elevated levels of strontium, too? But the Turkish government, the so-called Justice Ministry, and the Paşas don't seem to be the least bit concerned about Mehmetcik. Or if the Turkish government really wanted to prove that there was nothing wrong with Ocalan, it would fall all over itself to get an impartial medical team to make an examination. What better way to say, "I told you so?" But the government doesn't do this and Cicek comes off as the biggest liar in a government notorious for big liars.

Atta boy, Cemil!

The politics of repression makes its way to the world of film, with the UAE proving it's yet another government of losers by caving in to Turkish threats and banning Mano Khalil's film "David the Tolhildan," from KurdishMedia:

Mano Khalil, the director of the documentary "David the Tolhildan“, made a statement in which he said the suspension shows the oppressive face of the Turkish state. Khalil said that the film was to be shown on 12 of March at 10 pm however he has been told by the director of the festival in the morning at the same day that they cannot screen the film. Khalil’s said: „The festival director, Masoud Imrali Al Ali, told me that there was a pressure from the Turkish state on the United Arap Emirates (UAE) government and UAE goverment officials recommended in writing to the festival committee not to screen the documentary."

No big surprise, here. I mean, no one would ever mistake swishy Gulf Arabs for courageous lions. . . or HPG gerîlas. For more on Heval Tolhildan's story, check out a Rastî post from November, "Tolhildan of Lausanne".

In a round-about way, The Jamestown Foundation confirms that PJAK did, in fact, shoot down one of the mullah's military helicopters in February:

. . . on February 28, Brigadier-General Yahya Rahim Safavi, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, speaking at the funeral of the crash victims, promised that the military assault was open-ended and that the army had surrounded several Kurdish fighters. "The bandits and counter-revolutionaries should know that Iranian troops will deal with them strongly and will not stop the operation to uproot them," he said.

If the helicopter had been brought down by bad weather, as Iranian propaganda outlets claimed, why talk about PJAK at the funeral of the dirty pasdarans? OOPS! Thanks, PJAK! Bring down about a thousand more. The same report mentions that PJAK is beginning to come out of winter hibernation:

This latest fighting—apparently the heaviest in at least a year—comes after months of sporadic reports of PJAK activity in Iran. On September 28, 2006, for example, Iran said that two members of the PKK (which Iran regularly confuses with the closely affiliated PJAK) blew up a gas pipeline to Turkey near the town of Bazargan in West Azerbaijan province (Fars News Agency, September 31, 2006). The difficulty of obtaining information from Iran's Kurdish regions makes it difficult to interpret these scattered reports—particularly as only the very largest events are reported. Despite the paucity of information, however, these reports may indicate that PJAK is experimenting with different strategies and increasing its capabilities, while simultaneously abiding by its policy of only fighting if attacked in order to protect its civil activists (Terrorism Monitor, June 15, 2006).

At the same time, however, the reports suggest that PJAK can now deploy fighters in larger groups than before and is equipping them with more potent weaponry. The group may also be aiming to copy some of the tactics of Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgents—in particular by targeting Iran's oil industry and using rockets to attack helicopters. At the same time, Iran has clearly stepped up efforts to destroy PJAK, and it has had a measure of success, albeit at some cost to itself.

PKK blew up a gas line near Agri in August last year. As an effective harassment campaign, energy pipelines should definitely become prime targets in the future for both HRK and HPG.

Eric Edelman says that PKK is trying to destabilize "The Southeast" and "create civilian victims." Create civilian victims? Hmm . . . not really. It's the US itself which is trying to destablize "The Southeast" and "create civilian victims" by its billions of dollars of arms sales to a country that is well-known world-wide for its atrocious human rights record. It was all those American arms that helped to make the murder of 40,000 Kurds possible, and its sales of more of those arms that is the reason for the US rejection of the ceasefire.

What's in your portfolio, Mr. Edelman? Quite a bit of LMT? Hey, aren't you named in some of those wiretaps that Sibel translated?

Inquiring minds wanna know.

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