Sunday, March 04, 2007


"If this [the poisoning] is true, then that would mean the state is committing a well-planned and systematic murder. We, as the DTP, believe that such an attack against Öcalan would be an attack on the domestic peace of our country. If Öcalan is really under attack by the insertion of chemical or radioactive elements into his food - something that is backed by scientific data -- we feel the consequences of this would be unimaginably heavy."
~Aysel Tugluk, DTP Co-Chair.

Developing news on the Ocalan poisoning scandal . . .

On Friday, DTP co-chairman Aysel Tugluk warned of the obvious:

“If there is a chemical attack against Ocalan, the results would be as severe as no one could guess,” Tugluk said.

As reported Saturday, Aysel Tugluk held a press conference together with IHD, TIHV, the Turkish Bar Association, and Turkish Doctor's Association on the question of Ocalan's poisoning. She called for an independent team of health professionals to investigate the poisoning claims, to compare their results to the European results, and to make the matter transparent to the public.

In Europe, Kurdish organizations are united in their protest against the poisoning, with condemnations of the Turkish civil government and military as the responsible parties for the poisoning. There are universal calls for an independent medical investigation of Ocalan and publication of the results of such an investigation. Many organizations echo Tugluk's earlier warning about severe results in the event of Ocalan's death.

YEK-KOM noted that military attacks against the Kurdish people continued in spite of the ceasefire and implied that the resort to a campaign of poisoning was a result of the Turkish government's inability to engage the Kurdish situation with anything but annihilation. The poisoning of Ocalan was an act of poisoning the entire Kurdish people.

Kurdish singers called for all people to be sensitive to the poisoning issue, called for a cure of Ocalan's health, and demanded the poisoning stop immediately.

The Kurdish Women's Peace Bureau noted that the death sentence originally imposed on Ocalan was being carried out slowly over time, and Kurdish organizations in the UK consider the poisoning to be a provocation. They also call for an independent medical team to investigate the situation at Imrali and to inform the public of all findings.

The EU's only Kurdish parliamentarian had her own comments:

EU Parliamentarian Uca: Europe must take action.
EU parliamentarian Feleknas Uca released a written statement calling upon EU states to take action: "Europe must send an independent doctors' committee to Imrali, and this is urgent." Having said that, Uca stressed that the cause of the poisoning might be revealed at the location in which it ocurred. At the same time, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) must visit Ocalan with Uca noting the following: "European states that criticize Guantanamo risk credibility by closing their eyes to Ocalan, who is deprived of his legal rights in isolation at Imrali Island. The date of the prison's closing passed a while ago, anyway."

Uca urged the Turkish government to clear up this matter in order to prevent chaos.

Uca's comparison with Guantanamo is right on target and I would suggest another comparison, that of EU criticism of extraordinary renditions by the US. Last month, an EU Parliament report admitted that over 1200 extraordinary rendition flights had taken place in the EU--particularly in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal--all with EU acquiescence, naturally. HRW suggests that sanctions should be applied to those countries that have violated human rights and compensation should be made to innocent victims of illegal American renditions. Whether the EU is serious about this, or whether this is just another public relations event remains to be seen.

The comparison with Ocalan's case is that he, too, was extraordinarily rendered by the US, Israel, and Turkey, in 1999, with the same wink-and-nod complicity of the EU. The difference is that certain EU countries are now considering legal action against certain US and EU agents.

While the EU plays along with human rights issues for the sake of appearances, the Ankara regime frankly admits that prisoners serving life sentences have don't have the same rights as other prisoners:

"Ocalan, as a prisoner serving a life sentence, does not have all rights normally extended to prisoners. He has not had any serious health problems up until today."

Which rights are denied? Since the statement is in response to a request for a proper medical evaluation, is that one of the rights denied to prisoners serving life sentences? No proper medical care? In the prison paradise of Turkey, prisoners never have any health problems--not even as a result of torture--but in Ocalan's case there have been health complaints for at least three years, since 2004. Health complaints began to resurface at the beginning of 2006.

In a statement by Murat Karayilan, KKK holds Yasar Buyukanit primarily responsible for the poisoning of Ocalan, since Imrali Island is under the control of the Turkish military. Aiding and abetting the military is the civilian political structure of Turkey, represented by Sezer, along with Erdogan's AKP and Baykal's opposition CHP. KKK also calls for demonstrations of protest in Kurdistan and Diaspora.

Demonstrations against Ocalan's poisoning took place in Europe last Thursday and Friday, especially throughout Germany, at Strassbourg and in Switzerland.

It should be an interesting election year, with the extreme level of nationalism throughout the ordinary Turkish population, with the recent crackdown on DTP politicians, with murderers like Kenan Evren and others whining about "brotherhood" or similar stupid and condescending ideas, now we have the evidence that the likes of Evren, Buyukanit, Sezer, Erdogan, and Baykal have slowly been carrying out the original sentence against Ocalan. So much for the cosmetic change to Turkish law that abolished the death penalty. Just as the bright boys in Ankara thought the 1999 capture of Ocalan was the end of Kurdish resistance, so they must think that their application of the death penalty now will be the final blow to Kurds. They are wrong twice.

Poisoning-related or not? TAK has issued a travel advisory for the 2007 tourism season.

This might be a good year to visit The Bahamas instead of Turkey.

No comments: