"I greet you all from the bottom of my heart. This march is a march of honour. We march so that no mother has to cry for her children any more. We want an honourable life and we want the whole world to see it."
~ Osman Baydemir.
~ Osman Baydemir.
Hevallo has some photos of the DTP's march to the mountains, along with a report from Bianet on the march and its purpose.
TDN also has a report touching on events from Istanbul to Urfa, Kars to Batman to Şirnak, and they are facing the usual regime-enforced hassles:
The DTP's Istanbul deputy, Sebahat Tuncel, who was with the convoy, said at 11:00 p.m., "we are being searched for the fourth time. We left Istanbul at noon. We will go to Şırnak even if it takes a week." The police confiscated the placards on the buses before allowing the convoy to proceed.
The DTP's Şanlıurfa chief, İbrahim Ayhan, claimed the DTP's supporters from all around the country were being prevented from traveling to Şırnak, claiming that drivers of buses and vans were being fined. The DTP's Şanlıurfa deputy, İbrahim Binici, said their attempt was a last ditch effort to protect the brotherhood in the country, adding that they will call for peace in tents they erect at Kasrik.
The vans with which the DTP's convoy from Adana was traveling had to be replaced with buses because the police said the vans did not have the commercial license needed to travel outside the provincial borders.
[People attend a demonstration in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir against cross-border operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq by the Turkish Army February 5, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY)]
And so it went in Kars, Batman, Dersim.
Şırnak deputy, Hasip Kaplan, said if they are prevented from practicing their rights and freedoms, they will resort to civil disobedience. He said their choice for Karsik has a symbolic meaning, adding that the region was routinely used by the military for target practice.
The military has increased security around the Karsik region, which separates the Cudi and Küpeli mountains.
Of course, Fethullah Gülen's Zaman resembled Chicken Little, by attempting to blame DTP for "rais[ing] tension":
The first group, made up of 3,000 supporters including those coming from İstanbul, Mersin and Gaziantep, departed Diyarbakır for Şırnak despite the fact that the Interior Ministry did not issue permission for such an activity.
Before leaving for Diyarbakır one DTP group gathered in front of the DTP building on İstanbul’s Tepebaşı Street and marched towards Dolapdere Street, carrying a banner that said “We march against the [military] operations and in favor of a democratic solution.” DTP İstanbul deputy Sabahat Tuncel spoke to the press at the gathering and said that the group’s aim was to highlight the Kurdish problem and to put an end to tension in southeastern Anatolia.
“Turkey’s agenda is busy with other topics, but the Kurdish question is more urgent,” Tuncel said. However, she refused to comment further on what they will do in Diyarbakır and Şırnak. The group then departed in seven buses.
[Protesters hold portraits of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir February 5, 2008, during a demonstration against cross-border operations against the PKK in northern Iraq by the Turkish Army. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY)]
Yes, Turkey's agenda is busy with other topics like turban--the headscarf--a ridiculous distraction for a so-called secular society that is conducting a 30-year war against one-fourth of its own citizens and is bombing the citizens of a neighboring country.
The gathering of so many Kurds in one place increases the pucker factor of the Turkish military (and so it should given the institutionalized incompetence of the TSK):
The gendarmerie maintained a heightened level of security in the province of Şırnak yesterday as groups of pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) supporters began returning from Mt. Cudi, where they had gathered on Tuesday to protest Turkish military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Or maybe all those brave defenders of America's puppet are simply afraid of little, old Emine Ayna:
Speaking to the press before their departure, DTP Co-chairman Emine Ayna, who joined the march to the mountains, called for Parliament to put an end to the legislation that allows the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to conduct operations against the PKK in northern Iraq and for the PKK to lay down its arms.
Ayna noted, "We hope that our demands will be more meaningful and heard better from here since this is the location where most of the deaths occur."
Saying that the lack of action in dealing with the Kurdish issue had caused deaths, Ayna argued that the Turkish government needs to decide on a solution as soon as possible. She also argued that the PKK is an outcome of the Kurdish problem, adding that rooting the PKK out would not help solve the problem.
Ayna also said: "Each death provokes more hatred among the people. We can solve all the matters by discussion, without anyone dying. Turkey should seek the solution within itself. The US and Europe move only in accordance with their own interests. The permanent solution lies in the equal and free union of all the people of Turkey."
The whole purpose of the march to the mountains is to protest the joint US-Israel-Turkey bombing of South Kurdistan:
Turkish warplanes bombed more than 70 targets in northern Iraq on Monday as part of the government's ongoing battle with a militant Kurdish group that uses the area as a base for attacks in Turkey.
Villagers said they were unable to flee the bombing, which took place at about 3 a.m., because heavy snow had closed many roads.
The severe weather also made it impossible for local officials to determine whether the strikes caused casualties, said Brig. Gen. Omar Sharif of the Iraqi border forces.
[ . . . ]
Sharif said bombs hit the villages of Khou Kurki, Khunereh, Sheneeneh and Lolan in the Sidikan area of Irbil province. He said the bombing lasted at least three hours.
Again its the villagers who are unable to flee the bombing, not the guerrillas because the guerrillas aren't there. Turkey continues to bomb civilians, just like their allies, the Americans and Israelis, and the KRG supports Turkish operations by banning journalists from the region.
I guess it's true then, that the Americans really did bring democracy to South Kurdistan--the same democracy that the US has long supported in Turkey.