"You should know well, all the world should know well, the people of Diyarbakir should know well. The wish of my heart, the wish in my heart is: “IF ONLY I WOULD BE IN THEIR PLACE. IF ONLY THEY HAD NOT DIED TODAY”. Friends, my dear people, my honorable people, we have to listen to each other. The wish of my heart, of the friends and allies around me, is only if the poison in the bomb would come into my eyes, not into those of my people. I wish no stone would touch your nails, but they come to my head."
~ Osman Baydemir, during the Amed Serhildan.
~ Osman Baydemir, during the Amed Serhildan.
Amed's (Diyarbakır) wildly popular mayor, Osman Baydemir, has been convicted of "'praising crime and criminals' following remarks he made during deadly unrest in the "city in March last year," according to Hürriyet.
Of course, it was not in March of last year (2007) that the Ankara regime unleashed violence on Amed, but the year before, in March 2006. Here's a list of those murdered by the Ankara regime during the Amed Serhildan.
To see what it was that Baydemir said, check his press release and a transcript that was entered into evidence by the public prosecutor.
Defense minister Vecdi Gönül dropped another $7 billion into the pockets of the American corporate welfare defense industry at the ATC conference this week.
However, some people are missing from the conference:
Turkey's four-star generals, including Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun, have reportedly declined to participate in the annual four-day American-Turkish Council (ATC) meeting, which started in Washington yesterday, in reaction to US criticism of the Turkish military's ground offensive into northern Iraq in late February.
[ . . . ]
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will also not be taking part in the meetings, during which US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will make the keynote speech on April 15.
This is the first time a US secretary of state will deliver a speech to an ATC meeting. During these meetings, Turkish-US relations on military, economic and political issues are discussed with the aim of furthering cooperation between the two NATO allies, the same sources said.
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan should have attended the meeting with Rice delivering a speech, said a government source.
The missing are the result of the embarassment felt by the Turkish general staff when it ordered "retrograde operations" to remove its land forces from South Kurdistan in February. But this doesn't mean that diplomatic types haven't been dispatched to assuage tender Turkish ego:
The Turkish military's February ground offensive into neighboring northern Iraq to fight outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists based there showed Iraqi Kurds the value of staying inside a united Iraq, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad said Tuesday.
Oh, sure it did! That's why the Southern Kurdish leadership has made it clear since at least 2005 that South Kurdistan would remain part of Iraq because an independent Kurdish state would not be viable. Nice try, Mr. Crocker, but that dog won't hunt. Imbecile.
"Up to 2,000 Turkish elite commandos and special forces attacked PKK positions inside a 10-mile zone on the Iraqi side of the border between Feb. 21 and 29. Turkish and U.S. officials qualified the move as a military success. . . "
And those "elite commandos and special forces" could only stand a few days' worth of combat in Kurdistan's mountains, whereas PKK guerrillas have spent many, many winters in those very same mountains. That doesn't sound like a "military success" to me. Instead, the word "limp" comes to mind.
Let us hope that one day those "elite commandos and special forces" will be roasting in hell with their brother Bolus.
Gordon Taylor has dug into the Özgür Gündem interview with Cüneyt Ertuş and his father:
. . . "On March 22," said Cuneyt, "I went down to the market. I didn't know that Newroz events were going on, and I found myself in all this confusion. The police came right to me and collared me. Three policemen. Then they started manhandling me. First they twisted my arm. My arm went out of place [dislocated]. Then they took me to the Emniyet headquarters in a police vehicle. In the van they continued beating me; 3 or 4 of us were riding together. Inside the vehicle they called us "kufur" [infidels: an insult] and continued to hit us." At the station, Cuneyt recounts, the beating continued with kicks and truncheons aimed at the genitals.
And so it continued. At the station, for hours, the detainees were all kicked, beaten, and insulted. "Apo's [Abdullah Ocalan's] bastards" was one of the more choice insults, along with the opinion that they were no better than "filthy infidels." After the first day's interrogation Cuneyt was let go. "I couldn't sleep," he said, "from the pain in my arm."
To read the rest of Cüneyt's misadventure, check Gordon's new post at Progressive Historians.