"The Turkish army could not capture any of our territory, could not get one of our bases, our weapons or even a scrap of nylon. The Turkish army didn't have any chance to rest. When they attacked, we hit them. When they made camp, we hit them. Even when they pulled back, we hit them."
~ HPG Headquarters Commander Bahoz Erdal.
~ HPG Headquarters Commander Bahoz Erdal.
Talabanî's message to Atatürk.
Iraq President Celal Talabanî wrote the following in Anıtkabir's memorial guestbook:
As the chief of the Iraqi delegates, it is a great honor to be in front of Turkey's great leader Mustafa Kemal Paşa Atatürk.
He is the founder of the Turkish Republic and a new life in Turkey.
We greatly respect him in Iraq. We respect the role that he played at the time when Turkey was under foreign interventions, and the role that he played in the recognition of a new Iraq, which used to be a part of the Ottoman Empire.
We pray to Allah for Atatürk to be in paradise.
Translation from Arabic to Turkish made by Şirvan al Vaili, Iraqi National Security Minister.
Photos of the event:
DTP was not present at any of the festivities. Selahattin Demirtaş summed it up well:
The DTP’s Group Leader Selahattin Demirtas said that Talabani’s visit to Ankara after the ground incursion was dishonorable.
Demirtas said “This visit is all about the discussion of interests and winnings as a result of turning a blind eye to the ground incursion. And these benefits are Talabani’s benefits, not the Kurdish people’s. therefore, we believe that for Talabani to visit Turkey in such a period is dishonorable for the Kurds.
Former DEP parliamentarian and political prisoner, Leyla Zana, had earlier disapproved of a visit at this time.
In the meantime, the Ankara regime continues to press to lift the immunity of a number of parliamentarians, most of whom are members of DTP:
45 reports requesting the lifting of the immunity of 27 MPs have been sent to the Office of the Speaker of Parliament by the Prime Ministerial Office. Most of the MPs concerned are from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP).
[ . . . ]
. . . [S]even are about DTP MP Sirri Sakik from Mus in eastern Turkey, and four about DTP MP Nezir Karabas from Bitlis, also in eastern Turkey. Another report concerns Sakik and Karabas together.
[ . . . ]
. . . there were reports prepared on many DTP MPs.
They are from Istanbul, as well as cities in the east and southeast of Turkey: Istanbul MP Sebahat Tuncel, Ahmet Türk and Emine Ayna from Mardin, Serafettin Halis from Tunceli, Fatma Kurtalan and Özdal Ücer from Van, Osman Özcelik from Siirt, Selahattin Demirtas, Gültan Kisanak and Aysel Tugluk from Diyarbakir, Nuri Yaman from Mus, Ibrahim Binici from Sanliurfa, and Sevahir Bayindir from Sirnak.
Including Sakik and Karabas, this adds up to 15 MPs.
This manuever would effectively destroy the DTP parliamentary group, which has been the goal of the Islamist-Paşa alliance since 22 July 2007.
In Van, a Kurdish protester died today of wounds he received from Turkish police on Wednesday:
A Kurdish demonstrator wounded in clashes with police in eastern Turkey has died of his injuries, local officials said Friday.
Mehmet Deniz, a farmer, died in a hospital in the town of Ercis on Thursday.
He was injured on Wednesday, when a festival to celebrate International Women's Day turned into a demonstration in support of the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.
During the confrontation, police fired shots in the air and Kurdish protesters threw stones, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The cause of the protester's injuries was disputed. Protesters said he was beaten by police. According to other accounts, he was struck in the head by a rock thrown during the melee.
It was the second death of a demonstrator in recent clashes with pro-Kurdish protesters. On Feb. 16, a youth died of injuries after hundreds of Kurdish protesters battled police in southeastern Turkey during annual demonstrations to demand the release of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who was captured and imprisoned nine years ago
Hürriyet noted DTP's protest of the death:
DTP protested the death of Deniz, claiming he was killed by police under custody. "Our citizen Mehmet Deniz, 58, was beaten to death by a group of police officers with batons and planks after the March 8 festival held in Van's Ercis town on Wednesday", DTP said in a statement. "We are facing a government which has a tradition of aggressively surpassing every legitimate demand for more rights", it added.
I have no doubt that this case will be referred to IHD for an investigation.
HPG has released photos of the nine şehîds guerrillas from the Zap battles of the recent Turkish invasion of South Kurdistan. From Özgür Gündem:
Hevallo has video showing the burial of the Zap şehîds, as well as a post on Southern Kurds who intend to join PKK in the event of more Turkish aggression.
The WaPo had a couple of people in the mountains during the recent Turkish invasion. Here's something of what they have to report:
The thrust of the ground battle targeted the Zap Valley, a crucial region in the western portion of the guerrillas' territory, home to their headquarters, training camps, underground storage rooms, burial plots and fighters manning their Russian-made antiaircraft Dushka machine-gun positions on the snowy peaks. Erdal, the high-strung, fast-talking guerrilla commander, abandoned his medical school studies in Damascus, Syria, two decades ago to join the PKK. Since then, he has fixated on fighting Turkey.
"It's not random that they are attacking this area," he said. "The army that they brought is enough to capture an area like Zap. But when you use a very big army, it's difficult to organize, and your movements will be slow."
In the end, Erdal said, his guerrillas drove Turkey back down from the mountains after killing more than 120 of its soldiers; Turkey claimed to have lost 24. The disparity was larger on the guerrilla side: Erdal and several others insisted that just 10 of their own were killed, while Turkey put the number at more than 230.
One of the corpses lashed to the branches on the day of the funeral belonged to Ayhan Eruh. During preparations for the funeral, the names of the dead were written on scraps of white paper tied to their chests. This was a scene Roshat Sarhat, a 30-year-old guerrilla who once was a journalist in Istanbul, had no interest in seeing. He stayed in an abandoned stone hut on a hillside far from the service. The bare single room was silent but for the crackle of his radio and the buzz of a surveillance drone high overhead.
"He was my best friend," Sarhat said. Eruh had died on the first day of the battle.
Read the rest and make sure to check out the photo gallery.