Saturday, February 02, 2008


"lap·dog: 1: a small dog that may be held in the lap 2: a servile dependent or follower."
~ Merriam-Webster.

About the only distraction--and I do mean distraction--in the Turkish media lately is the headscarf question. I was wondering, if Turkey approves the wearing of the headscarf for women, will it reinstate the wearing of the fes for men? Will more intensified feudalism follow?

When the US-Turkey-Israel aerial bombing of South Kurdistan began, there was talk in the DTP about organizing human shields to stay in Kurdish villages in an attempt to deter the bombings. Although I haven't seen anything about this lately, it may be that the KRG, acting on the orders of the Americans, has forbidden DTP's plan. Here's why I think so:

Our team met with a number of Kurdish NGO's to see how we might work together to protect and aid the villagers. We had learned that the attacks by Turkey were aided by US military intelligence and with US permission to fly within Iraq's airspace. Our group decided to start by writing a denouncement of US military involvement which resulted in civilian deaths and extensive property damage to villagers. Additionally we requested that the US use diplomatic tactics to help bring the warring parties to the table.

We heard this was published in both Kurdistan and Turkey. We tried to publish it in the US but encountered difficulties.

CPT learned that many families wanted to return to their homes but were afraid because of the continuous flyovers by Turkish air force. These flyovers and cross border attacks continue to this day. We submitted a proposal to accompany villagers home and hope that we could offer some protection by having an international presence there. The proposal was met with much enthusiasm and appreciation. Most of our efforts were focused on making this proposal a reality.

That's when CPT began to encounter obstacles. Necessary paperwork was delayed. Difficulties with registering as an NGO and extending visas appeared. By the end of January we were told we had one month to work out the NGO registration or we would have to leave the country.

[ . . . ]

Little by little, hints were dropped that the snag was with our government. Some hints were subtle, others more blatant.

On January 30, we were called to the passport office in Suleimaniya. Our one month extension visa was taken from us and we were given one week to leave the country. The residency officer expressed deep sympathy. "We love you, we want you to work here, it is not us who want you to leave, look to your embassy," he pleaded.

[ . . . ]

Was someone from our government upset by the work we had begun with the villagers in the mountain villages of Kurdistan? Was it the exposure of civilian deaths resulting from US military intelligence sharing?

So, there you have it. It may very well be that the US wants no more bad publicity as a result of its brutal and barbaric foreign policy. I'm willing to bet that's also the reason that there's been a stand-off between journalists and peşmêrge in the South. Journalists have been protesting the KRG's censorship of PKK. The stand-off culminated this week in an attack against the journalists by peşmêrge, who used night sticks and rifle butts against the journalists. Five journalists were detained after the attack: Rahman Xelil, Kerwan Salar, Selam Abdullah, Bayiz Muhammed, and Muhammed Çawşin.

A couple of items from Özgür Gündem. The first is a warning issued by the PKK to Israel:

The KCK mentioned the technical support by the US and Israel to Turkey for the air strikes against the regions under the control of the guerrillas. KCK had the following statement:

"The US is giving technological support and permits the attacks in the Medya Defense Zones and intensified attacks implemented in the North (Northern Kurdistan). These two actions, carried out simultaneously, mean the annihilation of the Kurdish people, which is permitted and supported by the US. In addition to the US, the Iraq government also permitted and is a partner to these attacks. Israel, on the other hand, is supplying technical and tactical support in order help Turkey kill more Kurds. Israel sent technical staff even to Batman and is supporting Turkey technically and tactically. This is Kurdish enmity. Israel must stop its Kurdish enmity. There is nothing that it can gain by this. Otherwise, the Kurdish freedom movement will have to reexamine its policies regarding Israel. While the international forces try to push Turkey into Iraq one more time, they are sacrificing the Kurdish people for their own benefit.

In other news, don't be surprised by a cross-border land forces operation in the spring:

The Turkish army had two cross-border operations, one in December and one in January. These two attacks were the largest in Turkish history and were permitted by the US, and indicated the level of the war. However, according to PKK sources, they had only five martyrs.

As a result, the attacks that aimed to annihilate the enemy did not succeed. Even though the Turkish general staff had proclaimed that all targets had been hit successfully, and that about 300 "terrorists" had been killed, they stressed the psychological superiority of the war, that they acquired it after these attacks. Thus it becomes a case of psychological war superiority.

Nowadays there is an urgency in the general staff and the people who are very close to the general staff are commenting that this urgency is the preparation of a land cross-border operation. If it is the case, the general staff is admitting the failure of their aerial strikes.

The urgency in the general staff thus stresses the necessity of a land cross-border operation. The general staff vice chairman, Ergin Saygun, was in Baghdad during the second air strike and he was coordinating the operation with his American colleagues from there. Afterwards, he mentioned that he would go to the US for more comprehensive plans. Then the chief of general staff, Yaşar Büyükanıt, went to England. Therefore the Turkish general staff is searching for options.

If one closely looks at these ongoing incidents, one can easily get the idea that the general staff had decided for a land cross-border operation into South Kurdistan, which means the war will be heightened in this way.

For the cross-border operation, firstly, there must be new preparations. There must be available political support. The season must be right and military preparation must be increased. All the urgency that we observe in the Turkish general staff is an indicator of the preparation for such an operation.

In the near future, this will not be a possibility anymore but will become reality because there is no other point to which AKP and general staff policies can go.

At first glance, with the coalition between AKP and the general staff, one may say Turkey is the decision-maker. However, we think the contrary. The forces that want Turkey to have a military operation against South Kurdistan are the American and British governments. For this reason, operations against PKK is not Turkey's decision, but the decision of the US and the UK.

Now Turkey is being pushed into the war in the Middle East as a main actor and, undoubtedly, the US, the UK, and Israel want this. The AKP and the current general staff are only the executors, not the decision-makers, of this policy. Thus, with such an operation, Turkey is going to be included in the Greater Middle East Project. The period which started as "war against PKK" will change to war against the Kurds. Turkey, which has been pushed into the Iraq war, will then be directed against Iran or wars against others. A Turkey, which is dragged from one war to another will be in a position in which it unconditionally obeys the US.

This is the game. Turkey is being dragged into this game. What a pity, isn't it?

Can everyone say "puppet"? "Lapdog"? "Putz"?

And is the reason why the KRG prevents journalists from going to Qendil and NGO's from protecting Kurdish villagers against Turkish aggression?

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