Tuesday, July 17, 2007

WE SHALL OVERCOME

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We shall overcome some day.
~ Pete Seeger.


This coming Sunday will be election day in Turkey. Many remember that the Ankara regime, and both the AKP and CHP in particular, has done what it can since the Amed Serhildan to marginalize the pro-Kurdish DTP. The regime has refused to engage in a dialog with DTP politicians. It has sent army officers to register soldiers to vote in "The Southeast." It continues to support the racist 10% threshold. It's even attempted to prevent illiterate Kurds from voting for the independent candidates--and all of DTP's candidates are running as independents--by changing the ballot at the last minute:


As regards independent candidates, on the other hand, no one can defend that either the ruling AKP or the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) performed in any manner compatible with democracy when they legislated in haste to include names on independents in the joint ballot sheets rather than letting them run on separate voting papers. They did that hoping that the practice will lead to confusion among the mostly illiterate voters of the southeast "where many pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) people are running as independent candidates" and thus the number of "unwanted DTP people" in Parliament would be limited.


And that's aside from the fact that no one seems to be asking why a regime which has expressed a desire to enter the EU has not invested in a part of its own territory, a part which it treats as an internal colony and not as an equal region of the nation. There is no discussion of why the Ankara regime maintains its internal Kurdish colony in extreme poverty, why it destroyed what little economy existed there after the destruction it wrought in the days following the founding of the modern state, why there is no investment in jobs, infrastructure, services, housing, or education. Things, you know, that are taken for granted in civilized nations.

But DTP has been working to overcome the obstacles placed in its path by those in power who keep Kurds out of the political process. Specifically, it's been educating its voter base on the new ballots and how to find DTP candidates on the ballots. This is no small task given that Amed"s (Diyarbakır) ballot is some two meters long. DTP has hit upon the idea of creating and passing out templates for the ballots, that have a hole in the place where the independent DTP candidate's name is located. Another plan is to use pieces of string to measure the distance to the independent's name. Failing these helps, DTP is encouraging voters to take underage children with them, who can read the ballot for them, a rule that is applied throughout Turkey.

All of these methods have been designed to help the illiterate voter find the DTP candidate on the ballot. It's important to remember that not only is this a racial issue, but it's also a women's issue, because many poor women in "The Southeast" are illiterate. More can be read about DTP's efforts at voter education at TDN.

In order to see what I mean, check out this video from Youtube, prepared for Şirnax's independent DTP candidate, Hasip Kaplan:





Another video on the matter, showing templates and strings can be seen at CNN Türk. Although it's all in Turkish, you can still see what DTP's election activists have been up to.

Özgür Gündem has a list of the parliamentary candidates running under the banner of One Thousand Hopes. Check the homepage and the pink box in the right-hand margin, labeled "Seçim Gündemi." Do not be alarmed if you see a black page come up at first at the link. Özgür Gündem was shut down by the Ankara regime last Thursday (12 July) for a period of 15 days, in another attempt to keep election news from ÖG's readers, and the physical papers were confiscated. Hevallo has more.

The website is still up and running and you will be redirected to the ÖG homepage or, if you're the impatient type, click on the link at the bottom of the black page.

DozaMe has a great music video posted.

Finally, one of the MHP candidates has decided to emigrate from Turkey because he refuses to sit under the same roof with DTP.

Good riddance, pal.

Finally, Akşam reports on a secret agreement between PKK and the KDP, in which 1,000 PKK gerîlas may become part of the KRG's pêşmerge forces under Aziz Weysî. Weysî, at one time a PKK gerîla himself, established the KDP's special forces. According to intelligence information obtained by the Turkish general staff, the PKK forces which join the KDP's special forces will be deployed to protect the border between South Kurdistan and Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

Last May, Cemil Bayık stated, "If the Kurds go to war with the Arabs over Kirkuk we will help them. We don’t just fight for ourselves."

One thing is for certain: If true, this secret agreement is just the beginning of the Paşas' worst nightmare.

SERKEFTIN!


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