Tuesday, January 15, 2008

AMED, US BASES, AND TORTURE

"While scads of bases were being built -- including four huge ones whose geographic placement correlated fairly strikingly with the four mentioned in the Times article -- reports about U.S. bases in Iraq, or any Pentagon planning in relation to them, largely disappeared from the American media."
~ Tom Engelhardt


Here are some comments from Murat Karayılan on the Amed (Diyarbakır) bombing, taken from an interview at Yeni Özgür Politika:


What is the exact relationship between your movement and the explosion that occured in Amed on 3 January against a military vehicle?

There is no relationship between our movement and that incident. Since the incident happened, we are investigating in several ways in order to get correct information. However, we have not gotten clear and concrete information yet. It seems like it is an incident that has been done by a regional unit on its own initiative. However, due to the method, the location, and the timing of this operation, it is an unacceptable attempt. Therefore our movement's headquarters is not claiming responsibility for this attempt.

It is still debatable who perpetrated this incident. We have opened an investigation already. Let me say this: we have not yet ordered our forces to use all possibilities and methods against the Turkish government and army. Had we given such an order, neither Erdogan nor Buyukanit would have gone to Amed so comfortably. We have that power; let no one deceive himself. We, as the movement, have not given such an order yet. We have hundreds of "immortals" company members and forces that are waiting for suicide operations. If this attack policy continues and the Turkish government's full mobilization against the Kurdish freedom movement keeps going as it is, a big war will occur. We adopted a limited defensive war and we are behaving according to the calls for a solution that we made.

For that reason, everyone must know this very well, that currently we are not even using ten percent of our military potential. Had we really pushed the button with all means, had we said, "Everyone must do what he or she can," then very different consequences would have occured. But we have not made such a decision yet.

AKP wanted to use this incident in a very opportunistic way, for preparing the ground to get Amed in the next regional election. We see this underhanded attempt as very atrocious. We are accepting the share of responsibility that belongs to us. We should have better control and inspection from our side. However, the main responsibility of this incident--and similar incidents--lies with Turkey and the AKP government.


There was also something about two US military bases being constructed, one in North Kurdistan and one in South Kurdistan, and the focus of these bases will be Iran. From Firat News (Note: see the link for photos):


Blood Price For The US Support To Turkey’s PKK Operation: A Military Base Against Iran

by Mehmet Yaman (source: ANF Fırat News Agency)
Monday, January 14, 2008

Editor's note: This was translated from Turkish by Cem Ertür from CASMII.

Having given no support to Turkey’s struggle against the PKK for a long time, the US supported the Turkish army’s recent bombing of the Qandil Mountain.

The reason behind this support is becoming clear now: An agreement made between the US, Turkey and the Federal Administration of South Kurdistan for the construction in South and North Kurdistan [i.e. Northern Iraq and Southeastern Turkey respectively] of two strategic US military bases targeting Iran.

According to a military specialist who trained Kurdish Special Security Forces in Salahaddin, a military base has already been established on the strategically important Korek Mountain in the Diyana (Soran) district of South Kurdistan. A specialist team consisting of seven US and Israeli staff members set up the connection of new satellite systems and powerful radar receptors and dealt with technical organisation.

The US dispatched the equipment for this base via Turkish territory. Entry to and exit from the Korek mountain area was banned before the launch of the construction work, with the exception of US and Israeli specialists and the special teams that support them. A US-trained 1,500-strong red beret Peshmerga force was deployed in the area surrounding the high-security base.

Before the US intervention on Iraq, the Turkish intelligence agency MIT was operating in the region to collect intelligence by intercepting communication between guerillas. An Israeli newspaper has previously reported that the US was establishing a military base a few kilometers from the Iraq- Iran border.

The Wall Street Journal came up with a similar news item on September 11, 2007. Images of the base are being published for the first time by the ANF Fırat News Agency. A second team reportedly began its activities for setting up, with Turkey’s approval, a similar military base in the Yüksekova district (province of Hakkari, Turkey) near the Iranian border. Although the technical devices aren’t installed yet, similar work is being carried out there as well. Sepelke region is also being used for the two bases. According to the political analysts in the region, if the ongoing US-Israeli intelligence and reconnaissance work on the PKK will be successful, then this will also be applied to Iran in different ways. For that reason, the phase that began with the provision to Turkey of intelligence on PKK seeks to achieve strategically important results in the medium- and long-term. The first step in that direction was made during a meeting at the Khanzad Hotel which is located between Hewler [Arbil] and Salahaddin. In that meeting, it was agreed that in return for receiving intelligence on the Qandil area, Turkey would refrain from harsh statements and threats against the Kurdish administration and provide support for the construction of the military bases targeting Iran and Syria.


And, in case you missed it:


London (KurdishMedia.com) 15 January 2008: About 60 percent of those who are tortured in the Turkish prisons are of Kurdish ethnicity while the rest of the other ethnicities in the courty, including Turks, are only constitute about 40 percent, reported in Kurdish website sbeiy.com on 13 January 2008.

On 13 January 2008, the Centre of Social and Investigation of Rights (Tuhav) in Turkey reported that 60 percent of the torture cases are carried out in Turkish prisons are detainees of Kurdish ethnicity. A member of the centre Selimoglu stated that "there are 70 to 80 thousand prisoners in Turkey and they are chiefly ill-treated"


No surprise there except for the ignorant.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found Murat Karayilan's explanation transparent and incredibly honest.

Berit@n said...

I would second "anonymous'" comments but would highlight what I found to be very obvious (I can't understand why people don't open their eyes) "Had we really pushed the button with all means, had we said, "Everyone must do what he or she can," then very different consequences would have occured."

Anyone who thinks that the PKK isn't capable of racheting it up is either stupid or very dillusional. It is so obvious that they do have the power to really make things BAD in Turkey. And, if they needed to, they would use that power. The fact that they haven't says LOADS!

The fact that they are taking responsibility ONLY in the sense that they recognize the possibility of an unauthorized attack in Amed says loads about other events that they have been blamed for such as the Ulus 22 May bombing, the September 2006 Amed bombing, and the attempt to blame them for the Semdinli bombing.

Some think the PKK are trying to use these claims to "gain forgiveness" from the Kurds. I don't think I have seen any of the Kurds blaming the PKK? So statements like "they made a mistake" are misleading.

Sorry to be so long...just gets my goat when people blindly follow the establishment without thinking. The theory Occam's razor comes to mind: all other things being equal, the simplest solution is most likely the correct one.

1. It makes no sense for Murat Karayilan to order a bombing that would kill civilians. It would just make the Turks more mad (although interesting that the Turks didn't immediately launch a retaliatory strike, could it have anything to do with only KURDS being killed???)
2. PKK is quite capable of successfully hitting their military targets (which apparently cannot be said for their opponent). If they wanted to kill soldiers they would have killed soldiers, plain and simple.
3. Turkey already has egg on its face from the air strikes and causing damage to civilians in Iraq (as if they don't do enough to civilians in their own country). Why would PKK do something that they KNOW would be used by the State against them? (They wouldn't, they aren't stupid.)

Okay, I'm done...

Mizgîn said...

Well, one thing about the Amed bombing is that it seems to have taken care of a number of the Turkish pilots who were bombing South Kurdistan.

Reading between the lines in Turkish media, some of us are guessing that half the passengers of the bus (i.e. the pilots) that was the target are dead. The other half are in the hospital.