"We constantly read that terrorism is the weapon of the weak. That is totally false, the exact opposite of truth. Like any other weapon, terrorism is used much more effectively by the strong, and in particular by more powerful states which are the leaders in terrorism throughout the world, except that they call it "counter-terrorism."
~ Noam Chomsky, addressing the Kurds in Amed.
~ Noam Chomsky, addressing the Kurds in Amed.
The European Court of First Instance has overturned the ruling which placed PKK on the EU's "terror" list, from IHT:
A European Union court on Thursday overturned the bloc's decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the EU terror list.
The Luxembourg-based EU Court of First Instance said that decisions made by EU governments in 2002 and 2004 to blacklist the two groups and freeze their assets violated the bloc's law.
It is the latest of several court decisions overturning similar EU decisions on the grounds that the groups added to the terror list were not properly informed of the decision to blacklist them nor given a right to appeal the decision.
[ . . . ]
Europe's human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, has said the EU's anti-terror rules violated democratic principles.
EU nations decided in April 2007 to inform groups and individuals when they are placed on the terror list. Those listed will now be able to ask why they were put on the list and why their assets are frozen. But there are still no procedures for an independent review and for compensation for possible human rights breaches.
The article mentions a similar ruling which annuled MEK's place on The List, and it's important to note that Hamas, which has been invited to Ankara by the Turkish government for warm discussions, is also on The List.
This new ruling overturns the EU's placement of PKK on the "terror" list on the basis of a technicality. Hevallo has a link to the text of the ruling and he's picked out two points from the text that he considers revealing:
40 As part of its outline of the material facts in the application, the applicant invites the Court to make certain general findings of fact in support of the applicant’s claim. These facts concern the status of the Kurds, the policy and objectives pursued by the PKK, and the relationship between the Turkish State and the Kurds.
41 The Council submits that this request is inadmissible. It observes that in the context of an application pursuant to Article 230 EC the Court is not obliged to make such general findings of fact and is entitled to concentrate on those which are directly relevant to the contested acts, which is a matter for the Court’s appreciation.
To me, this appears to mean that the lawyers for PKK attempted to present the facts of Turkey's brutal repression of Kurds and they asked for a ruling on those facts. The court then says that it isn't there to make a determination of the facts in the case that we all know as Kurds v. Turkey. Instead, they are making a determination based on whether or not the act of listing PKK was legal under EU law.
It seems to me that this is similar to what the US Supreme Court is supposed to do: It's supposed to examine federal and state statutes and executive actions to determine whether they conform to the U.S. Constitution.
This determination by the European Court of First Instance is a good first step. However, there should definitely be an open and impartial examination of the situation of the Kurdish people in Turkey by a judicial organization such as the European Court of Human Rights, and the findings must be made public. This is what Öcalan was attempting to accomplish at the time of his betrayal and capture, and it's something that is greatly needed. Therefore, this ruling is not an end; it's only a beginning.
I do agree with Hevallo's analysis that the EU doesn't want to have to admit the "facts concern[ing] the status of the Kurds, the policy and objectives pursued by the PKK, and the relationship between the Turkish State and the Kurds," because to do so would be an admittance of the legitimacy of the freedom struggle of the PKK. At such a point, it would be clear to all that UN Resolution 3103 ("Basic principles of the legal status of the combatants struggling against colonial and alien domination and racist regimes") is wholly applicable to the PKK.
In addition, it would be embarassing for the EU to admit that it's been highly supportive of the Ankara regime and its brutal repression of the Kurdish people.
Yeni Özgür Politika and Özgür Gündem are both carrying the Firat News report on the EU court's decision, and the information is basically the same as found in the IHT report. Firat did note, however, that this ruling came down in time for Öcalan's birthday (4 April).
Yeni Özgür Politika has a report on Erdoğan's visit to Sweden. Apparently he was greeted in front of the Swedish parliament by a crowd of about 300 Kurds, Armenians, and Assyrians, who welcomed Erdoğan by throwing eggs and rotten tomatoes at him. Those who launched the groceries were detained by Swedish police.
From the photo, we see that the series of photos of Cüneyt Ertuş getting his arm broken by Turkish police are prominent. The slogans chanted during the gathering included "Murderer Erdoğan!" "Terrorist Turkey!" "The PKK is the people; the people is here!" The Kurds carried signs that pointed out Turkish state terror in Kurdistan, the beating of Kurdish women by Turkish police on Newroz, and the breaking of the arms of Kurdish children for the cameras--a sure sign of the impunity that the fascist security forces continue to enjoy. The Assyrians and the Armenians made sure that Erdoğan would not forget their genocides of 1915.
Swedish Folk Party parliamentarian Friedrik Malm, recalling Erdoğan's claim in Germany that "assimilation is a crime against humanity," told Erdoğan, "Don't even say this in Sweden because you are carrying out a great assimilation." He went on to mention DTP parliamentarian Hasip Kaplan's punishment for saying, "Newroz Pîroz be," and how traffic lights are problematic because they are the Kurdish colors: yellow, red, and green.
Personally, I'm very happy to know that Erdoğan received such a warm welcome in Sweden. After all, we wouldn't want him to feel ignored.