Sunday, April 08, 2007


"The mission of the Gestapo expanded steadily as, from 1933 onward, “political criminality” was given a much broader definition than ever before and most forms of dissent and criticism were gradually criminalized. The result was that more “laws” or lawlike measures were put on the books than ever."
~ Sheila Fitzpatrick.

Now here's something you'll never read from Michael Totten: the abduction and beating of a Kurdish journalist in Hewler, from RSF:

Reporters Without Borders today joined the Kurdistan Journalists Union in condemning the abduction yesterday of Nabaz Goran in the northern city of Erbil and the beating he received for several hours before being set free. Goran contributes to several media in Iraq’s Kurdish region.

[ . . . ]

A freelance contributor to the Media and Halati newspapers and the website, Goran was kidnapped outside the Hotel Dam Dam in Erbil at about 10 p.m. yesterday. His abductors, five men in military uniforms, drove him out of the city, beat him with clubs and hose-pipes and told him to “hold his tongue” before setting him free a few hours later.

Goran is known for being outspoken in his criticism of the authorities. Two lawsuits were brought against, but were withdrawn after mediation by the Kurdistan Journalists Union.

Photos at the link.

Nabaz Goran's experience is not the only report of intimidation and beating of Kurdish journalists in South Kurdistan. There was another, reported by KurdishAspect, which also took place in Hewlêr . . . And we know who owns Hewlêr, don't we? In the second case, it seems Asayish are targeting Rojhelatî activists as well as journalists.

From whom do the security forces in Hewlêr pick up these tricks, from the Turks, the mullahs, the Americans, or the Israelis? Why isn't everyone howling about this like they did with Kemal Seîd Qadir?

A round-up of news about DTP politicians from last week includes the arrest of Aydin Budak, mayor of Cizîr, for remarks he made during a Newroz speech. He'll be tried in a Turkish kangaroo court for "praising crime and criminals" and for "inciting hatred and emnity amongst the populace." Actually, most of the Turkish population should be arrested on the same charges. Notice, too, that the news at the link mentions another DTP politician, Medeni Kirici, who's been charged with "praising crime and criminals" for referring to Ocalan as "Sayin." Recently Ahmet Turk had been convicted of the same charge and for the same reason. However, last week also saw the exact same charges dropped against Erdogan. The charges were dropped in Erdogan's case because Erdogan is a Turk, while Kurds are found guilty.

See? It really pays to be a Turk in Turkey. You can get away with murder. Literally.

Anyway, Aydin Budak apparently sent greetings to Imrali during his Newroz speech and that appears to be the source of the arrest. Hurriyet reports thousands gathered in protest against the arrest, including Osman Baydemir, Osman Ozcelik, Orhan Dogan, and Selim Sadak.

The 56 DTP mayors in the Roj TV letter trial are being recommended to receive 15 years of imprisonment each. The letter to Danish PM Rasmussen can be read here, along with the names of the signatories, and the mayors' statement to the court can be read here, just so everyone can get an idea of what a bad bunch of dudes and dudettes these mayors are.

A number of DTP members in Dersim, including the party's provincial chief Hidir Aytac were convicted for "supporting a terrorist group." Funny . . . I didn't think they supported the Ankara regime. A number of DTP officials in Ankara have also been arrested for "organizing a demonstration for the PKK." Translation: they organized a Newroz celebration. A similar series of arrests took place in Izmir, but this time the DTP politicians were arrested for supporting Hilmi Aydogdu in his remarks about how the shit will hit the fan in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan if the Ankara regime sends its terrorist army to Kerkuk.

Eurasianet is carrying a decent article on the recent crackdown on DTP politicians as well as speculation on whether or not DTP will run as independents. There's a small discussion of the 10% threshold and the current "Kurds" in parliament:

But critics say that the Kurds currently in parliament are little more than window dressing, unable to promote Kurdish interests once they get to Ankara. "The Kurds want to have a party that will bring their needs to the national agenda," says Dilek Kurban, a researcher with the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, an Istanbul-based think tank. "The current system allows those who get very few votes to go to Ankara and ‘represent’ the Kurds, and that only widens the gulf between Ankara and the Kurds."

Adds Kurban: "It has a cost for Turkey’s democratization and pluralism and it serves to alienate a large segment of the population."

In the meantime, today, the hevals iced five Mehmetciks and one cehş in the Çewlik and Şirnex regions while a couple of Mehmetciks blew themselves up with landmines.

Everyone remembers when Turkey banned Youtube, right? A few days afterwards, the ban was revoked, most likely because the ban caused a global stir and wasn't good for Turkey's image. Meanwhile, working behind the scenes, a Turkish parliamentary commission is planning to block "insulting" websites:

A parliamentary commission approved a proposal Thursday allowing Turkey to block Web sites that are deemed insulting to the founder of modern Turkey, weeks after a Turkish court temporarily barred access to YouTube.

Parliament plans to vote on the proposal, though a date was not announced. The proposal indicates the discomfort that many Turks feel about Western-style freedom of expression, even though Turkey has been implementing widespread reforms in its bid to join the European Union.

On Thursday, lawmakers in the commission also debated whether the proposal should be widened to allow the Turkish Telecommunications Board to block access to any sites that question the principles of the Turkish secular system or the unity of the Turkish state -- a reference to Web sites with information on Kurdish rebels in Turkey.

How very Chinese of the Turkish regime and such a good example for Bush's "Model of Democracy" to follow. And that line referencing "widespread reforms" is pure BS. Good luck on the block, though; there are a lot of ways around that. But the reason the Turkish government is trying to do it quietly now is because it knows that it's fascist methods look bad. After all, image isn't everything; it's the only thing.

To round out your Sunday evening reading, I'd like to point out a blog written by a non-Kurd who's working in South Kurdistan for the time being. The most recent post is on the Maxmur Camp. There are some really nice photos there, too, so take a look. Here's a teaser with caption:

This is the guerilla Turkey is afraid of!

I really like the photo of the Maxmur kids learning Tae Kwon Do, too, but check out Kurdishwaves for all the photos. Count this witness as another one to verify the civilian nature of the camp and the reasons that the refugees fled their homes: Genocide and Turkish state terrorism.

No amount of propaganda from the Washington and Ankara regimes, nor the bold-faced lies of Lockheed Martin's Joseph Ralston, can change those facts.

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