"One faces the future with one's past."
~ Pearl S. Buck.
~ Pearl S. Buck.
One year ago, at the end of March 2006, began the Amed Serhildan. After attending the funerals of four HPG gerîlas buried in Amed--out of 14 killed by chemical weapons utilized by the Turkish state--the state began provocations against the crowd of mourners. The serhildan quickly spread throughout Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, "including Batman, Siirt, Mardin, Kiziltepe, Nusaybin, Hakkari, Agri, Van, Ergani, Kars," and even to the large Kurdish population of Istanbul.
Fatih Tas reported the events:
The clashes started with the killing of 14 HPG (People’s Defensive Forces of Kurdish Liberation Movement (KLM)) guerrilla fighters. The HPG claimed that chemical weapons had been used against the guerrillas and demanded that NGOs should investigate the incidence. The families of the guerrillas said that they saw burns and other signs of chemical weapons on their corpses. This information triggered large-scale demonstrations in Diyarbakir during the funeral. The police attacked the funeral using firearms. The demonstrations to protest the attack and the use of chemical weapons spread to other cities. During the demonstrations 13 people, including three children aged three to six, were killed by bullets and several people were hospitalised. Hundreds were arrested and tortured.
[ . . . ]
The mainstream media were in harmony with the government and gave full support to the state policy of demonising the Kurdish people. The broken glass of some shops was the main issue on mainstream TV channels while people were losing their lives to the bullets fired by security forces. The mainstream media was actually provoking an ethnic civil war.
By 12th of Apri, 18 guerrillas, 34 soldiers and 1 policeman had lost their lives. The Turkish state tried every possible means to “solve” the Kurdish problem, the origins of which can be dated back to 1978: dirty war, paramilitary forces, death squads, forced evictions, torture, economic sanctions, summary executions, chemical weapons etc. There is only one approach which has not yet been tried: peaceful dialog. The key to peaceful dialog is the model tried in South Africa: “Truth and Reconciliation Commissions”. That model is proposed by the leader of the KLM, Abdullah Öcalan and it seems to be the only possible way to uncover the human rights violations for which both parties are responsible and to heal the suffering from the prolonged civil war.
As of 20th April 250,000 Turkish troops are said will be deployed in southeastern Kurdish region of Turkey to organize operations against Kurdish guerillas and according to mainstream media the operation could include a cross-border attack to the Northern Iraq where there are guerilla bases.
Those forces are still deployed in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan and the Ankara regime still threatens an invasion of South Kurdistan.
What follows are the fourth and fifth appendices to the "Report on Local Government and Local Democracy Dynamics concerning the DTP Municipalities in Turkey," specifically in reference to the Amed Serhildan. All emphasis is in the original translation.
The original speech transcriptions submitted as evidence by the Public Prosecutor in the Indictment (literally transcribed)
Transcription of the CD of the Kurdish and Turkish speeches of the mayor of Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality Osman Baydemir to the Crowd in the Baglar District on the 29th and 30th of March, 2006
02: 28 minute of the CD-- BAYDEMIR (Speaking in Turkish): Friends! The pain that our city went through is very big. We are aware of this. The mayors, our province organization (meaning the Democratic Society Party-DTP), our province chair (of the DTP), our executives, friends, all of us! We share your pain deep in heart. From now on, from this minute on, the continuation of tension will harm our people, our city. That is why we demand you please disperse and go back to your home from now on. Please you all go back to your homes. All security forces will retreat to their stations. And all our people will go back to their homes easily and safely. Any activity you will involve in from now on will harm our city, your demands for democracy and freedom.
03: 26 minute of the CD—A person who is not seen on the screen is speaking in Turkish: My Mayor, everybody wants them to retreat, driving the panzers fast towards the citizens…
03: 31 minute of the CD--BAYDEMIR (Speaking in Turkish): We had the necessary meetings. We had the necessary meetings. We talked with the Governorship, with other institutions, we talked with the Vice Governor, there will be no intervention in any sense, we received guarantee. No intervention will happen. My request from you is that please go back to your homes in a peaceful way, thank you.
03: 31 minute of the CD—BAYDEMIR (Speaking in Kurdish): Friends, friends, kids do not come with us; go back to your homes. Listen to me, our heart pain was 14, today it became 17. No more, let not it be 18. Let not it be 18. I beg you please go back to your homes, go back, go back.
04: 42 minute of the CD—Slogan Shouted by the Crowd: Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo.
05: 49 minute of the CD--BAYDEMIR (Speaking in Kurdish): Friends, please be quiet. Please be quiet and listen to me, friends please listen to me, I beg from you. I beg from you, please sit down, please sit down and be quiet, be quiet, be quiet, be quiet, be quiet, friends.
06: 27 minute of the CD—The mayor of Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality Osman Baydemir is talking to the crowd under a piece of garment named as the flag of the so-called confederalism, the flag being tied to the edge of a wooden stick, as seen on the upper-left corner of the screen.
06: 30 minute of the CD –Slogan Shouted by the Crowd: Teeth to Teeth, Blood to Blood, We are with you OCALAN!
06: 38 minute of the CD-- BAYDEMIR (Speaking in Kurdish): Friends, please listen to me for two minutes, please listen for two minutes. If we do not listen to each other, we will not have progress. Please…Today we had a meeting with all our civil society organizations, our party, our mayors. We very much thank you for your demands and courage so far.
07: 20 minute of the CD—Slogan Shouted by the Crowd: Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo.
07: 26 minute of the CD-- BAYDEMIR (Speaking in Kurdish): You claimed your identity; you claimed your people with burnt hearts, and your pain. We are also with you. Be sure of this. For the priority of peace, for the priority of your success, we have to listen to each other under the leadership of the Party. We fear that this mobilization from now on will harm our nation and our people. From now on, we all will go back to our home quietly. We had a meeting with them. According to our talks, nobody will intervene into the people. Nobody will intervene.
08: 42 minute of the CD—Slogan Shouted by the Crowd: Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge. Regards, regards, A thousand Regards to Imrali, Regards, Regards, A thousand Regards to Imrali, Regards, Regards, A thousand Regards to Imrali, Regards, Regards, A thousand Regards to Imrali, Regards, Regards, A thousand Regards to Imrali.
Transcription of the Turkish-Kurdish Speech of Osman Baydemir to the Crowd who Gathered in the Yenikoy Cemetery on 30th March, 2006.
00: 02 minute of the CD-- Slogan Shouted by the Crowd: Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo.
00: 17 minute of the CD—Slogan Shouted by the Crown in Turkish: Each and every Kurd is born as a guerilla, Each and every Kurd is born as a guerilla, Each and every Kurd is born as a guerilla, Each and every Kurd is born as a guerilla, Each and every Kurd is born as a guerilla, Each and every Kurd is born as a guerilla.
01: 01 minute of the CD-- Slogan Shouted by the Crowd: Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo.
02: 02 minute of the CD— The bus owned by the DTP is moving with the crowd. The 10 Nisan Police Station is attacked heavily with stones,
02: 15 minute of the CD-- Shouted by the Crowd: Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo, Long Live President Apo.
02: 25 minute of the CD—Slogan Shouted by the Crowd: Martyrs do not die, Martyrs do not die, Martyrs do not die, Martyrs do not die,
02: 32 minute of the CD—Osman BAYDEMIR (Speaking in Kurdish): Please wait for a moment. First of all, I bend respectfully in front of my friends. The night is evident to the owner of the daytime. My people have gone through great suffering for the last 3 days. We have to take this problem to the very end. Because of this we have to listen to our friends with avidity, with reason, with brain. We have to know each other’s thoughts. You should know well, all the world should know well, the people of Diyarbakir should know well. The wish of my heart, the wish in my heart is: “IF ONLY I WOULD BE IN THEIR PLACE. IF ONLY THEY HAD NOT DIED TODAY”. Friends, my dear people, my honorable people, we have to listen to each other. The wish of my heart, of the friends and allies around me, is only if the poison in the bomb would come into my eyes, not into those of my people. I wish no stone would touch your nails, but they come to my head.
04: 28 minute of the CD: Slogan shouted by the Crowd: Revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge,
That is why friends, brothers and sisters, my brothers and sisters. We are with you in all hardships. We are with you with all my friends and allies. We know that you, we know that you no matter… (not understood). The pain of our people, of our city is very big from this day on… (not understood). According to our beliefs, our point of view, in our religion there is mourning for 3 days. (A short interruption happened here.) Let’s share the pain of our families in this three-day mourning. They should also know that this pain is not their pain alone; this pain belongs to all the people.
29.03. 2006—Press Release by Mr. Osman Baydemir
Dear Press Members,
Dear People of Diyarbakir,
The incidents that has taken place in the region during the last week and in our city for the last two days reached to a point that would seriously harm both the future of democracy and the will and demand of our people to live together. The city is tense, and worries are high. In the current situation, a democratic and prudent approach is what we need urgently more than ever before.
We believe that all of these stem from the inability to find a sustainable and peaceful solution for the Kurdish problem. Unfortunately, the current oppressive approaches heavily marked with a security perspective are drawing the chance for democratization and peaceful solution of the Kurdish problem into a big politics of solution-less-ness. Many people were injured by fire-arms, and, as of now, two people lost their lives because of the intervention of security forces into the protests. There are some injured who still have death risk. Again, many offices, shops and public areas were destroyed. First and foremost the government, all should approach to the problem in a civilian and prudent manner, and take responsibility urgently in this regard.
It is necessary to carry out an inclusive, widespread and civilian democratic struggle against this politics of solution-less-ness that we are exposed to. However, the methods to be used in raising demands for democratic rights and freedoms and in struggling to frustrate the increasing oppressive wave should also be democratic. Each and every activity to be carried out in this regard should have the quality to contribute to the democratic and peaceful solution of the problems.
As the city our pain is big, and we are face in face with risks that may increase this pain every passing second. We understand the worries of our people and share their pain and suffering. In the current situation, we invite once again everybody to act with prudence and steadiness and contribute to the normalization of life in order to prevent further pain and destruction.
One year later and the repression has only intensified while those who feed the monster of Turkish fascism continue to do so with impunity. The only democracy in Turkey--perhaps the only democracy in the Middle East--exists among those like the DTP politicians and the individuals at the local level who work with them and stand fast with them, and with those who are real Turkish heroes, as Vahe Balabanian has posted at Hyelog.
The Ankara regime itself, all of its institutions, and all of its foreign backers are the enemies of democratization in the Middle East. I've said it before and I'll say it again: No more cooperation.