Saturday, April 12, 2008


"Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses."
~ H.L. Mencken.

There has been an identification of two bodies from a mass grave of Kurds extra-judicially murdered by Turkey's Bolu commandos in the Kulp district, from Yeni Özgür Politika:

The identities of two of the eight people who had been taken by Bolu Brigade from their homes under the pretext of showing them an address, and then returning them, have been revealed. These people were Hasan Örhan and his brother, Mehmet Selim Örhan. In 1994, during a Bolu Command Brigade operation, these eight people were raided and their bodies were burned. Recent DNA results revealed the identity of the two, out of eight. IHD Diyarbakir branch held a press conference in order to declare the results of the DNA test.

As the deputy chief of IHD, Reyhan Yalçındağ, gave a brief background of the incident: "14 years ago, on 24 May 1994, the soldiers who held an operation in Diyarbakır Kulp district, Çağlayan village, Deveboyu region, detained Mehmet Selim Örhan, Hasan Örhan, and Cezair Örhan. Despite their family members' resistance, who are today among us, a high-ranking soldier mentioned that he would take them in order to show them an address and then he would release them. However, no one heard from them since."

According to Yalçındağ, regional departments and prosecutors conclude that there are approximately 5,000 similar cases. Since IHD could not find any resolution for these cases because of [Turkey's] internal law, it has applied to the European Court of Human Rights. Regarding these issues, ECHR found Turkey guilty.

In 2004, the Örhan family found eight unidentified bodies. After the DNA testing of these bodies, it became clear that two of these bodies were Hasan and Mehmet Selim Örhan.

IHD revealed the results of the DNA tests in a press conference at which the Örhan family was present without knowing the results. When the results were announced, indicating that the bones of Hasan and Mehmet Selim Örhan were found, many family members suffered breakdowns. Thus, IHD had to cut short the press conference.

So there we have yet another example of why the Bolus are particularly hated in Kurdistan and why the TSK should be brought before an international tribunal on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Human Rights Association (TIHV) suffered a highly suspicious robbery on 24 March:

Thieves who broke into the TIHV center stole 18-years worth of archives of torture victims. Without touching anything else in the center, the thieves escaped.

Even though there is an alarm system in every room, some unidentified people stole the server which contained torture and human rights violations reports. Without stealing anything else, valuable or without value, it was revealed that the thieves had attempted to commit this robbery three days' prior--an attempt that failed.

TIHV General Secretary Metin Bakkalci said it was no coincidence that the server was stolen. Metin Bakkalci says: "Despite the security precautions, three days' after the first attempt, they succeeded in getting into the building. Here, there were applications regarding human rights violations and some related information dating from 1990." He indicated that the archive that was stolen was Turkey's human rights violations and torture "memory".

Thus, the thieves stole Turkey's human rights violations and torture reports "memory".

The biggest question here is who were the thieves working for? The Kemalist Deep State or the Islamist Deep State? Both would benefit by wiping out the records of Turkey's dirty history.

In some good news, it looks like Russia is shutting down Fethullah Gülen:

Russian constitutional court banned Fethullah Gülen's "Nurcu cemaat" and their activities as the court considered them an "illegal Islamic movement". According to BBC news, the case that has been brought by the chief prosecutor, resulted in the banning Fethullah Gülen's activities in Russia. According to the Russians, the Nurcu houses turn into illegal madrassas that teach an extreme religious ideology. In additon, many Gulen schools, mainly in St. Petersburg, have been considered illegal also by this court, by saying their activities are illegal.

A check of BBC English and BBC Türkçe revealed no report as quoted here. However, the news has been fairly prominent in Turkish media, such as this example from Hürriyet. According to Hürriyet, the Russians had previously closed down Gülen schools. Were the Fethullahcı attempting to bypass the previous Russian ban by referring to themselves as Nurcular? This would not be unusual since Gülen, the bawling village idiot, stole the writings of Seîd Kurdî (aka Said Nursi by Kurd-haters) to sucker people into his cult.

It's too bad the Americans won't follow in Russia's footsteps and ban the wildly out-of-control Fethullahcı in the US. Perhaps the Russians really banned the Fethullahcı because the US is using them as a fifth column against Russia, just as it did with the mujaheddin in Afghanistan in the 1980's. And we all know how well that turned out.

Please note that Amnesty International (AI) has issued a statement about Cüneyt Ertuş. Also available in German, if you're so inclined.

AI also has something on Eren Keskin's recent conviction:

Human rights activist Eren Keskin has been sentenced to six months and 20 days in prison after being convicted of “denigrating the Turkish army”.

The conviction comes under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which Amnesty International has long campaigned against.

Eren Keskin's sentence can be converted into a fine of 4,000 Turkish Liras (US$3,250) but she has refused to pay it. Instead, she is appealing the verdict. Should she be imprisoned, Amnesty International would consider her to be a prisoner of conscience.

Okay, so how does one actually "denigrate the Turkish army"? I mean, they do that well enough on their own. Fittingly enough, Eren Keskin has a page at Heroes for a Better World. If you need to know more about Eren--and you probably do--check this.

Finally, the word has gotten around that Leyla Zana has been convicted for her remarks at Newroz last year. Some feckless articles have claimed in headlines that she's been jailed already, but do not mention jailing at all in their text. So far I have not seen anything at all in Turkish-language media that says Zana has been imprisoned or jailed yet, so I am not certain about it. The question is whether an appeal is filed automatically and whether or not she remains free pending the results of an appeal. I will continue to watch for further news on this issue.

What I have noticed, however, is that the Turkish media has been unusually silent over Zana's conviction. Would this have anything to do with the fact that her conviction was announced on the same day that those two great defenders of democracy, Olli Rehn and Manuel Barroso, arrived in Turkey? Barroso even went to the TBMM to bleat about political and social "reforms", and went so far as to praise efforts to "reform" the excruciatingly vague new version of the excruciatingly vague old version of Article 301.

At this point, I suspect that Zana will once again be sacrificed on the altar of "democracy".

Since I have mentioned two courageous Kurdish women in this post, let me also point out that a new website is in the works that will focus on Kurdish women. You can take a look at Kurdistan's Women.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. We've taken the excerpt and credited your site:

Mizgîn said...

No problem, KR.

Anonymous said...

Shêr shêre çi jine çi mêre.
(Kurdish proverb)
Lion is lion, would it be woman or man.

Proud of Kurdish women,