"The German citizens under detention will not be released until the German state issues a statement [indicating] that it has given up its hostile policies against the Kurdish people and PKK."
~ HPG Statement, 10 July 2008.
~ HPG Statement, 10 July 2008.
HPG issued a statement today regarding the detention of three German citizens (Helmut Johann, Martin Georpe, and Lars Holper Reime) on Mt. Ararat. What follows is a translation of HPG's statement as carried on Fırat News Agency. The first three paragraphs of the Fırat article are a repetition HPG's statement and, for that reason, they are not included here. HPG's statement is the last paragraph in the Fırat article and is in quotes:
"Three German citizens were detained by our forces on 9 July. They are in good health. However, for their security and protection, the operations that are ongoing by the Turkish state must be halted immediately. We have neither any enmity toward the German people nor have we engaged in any bad treatment against the German citizens that are under detention. The German citizens under detention will not be released until the German state issues a statement [indicating] that it has given up its hostile policies against the Kurdish people and PKK."
"9 Temmuz günü Ağrı dağında 3 Alman vatandaşı güçlerimiz tarafımızdan gözaltına alınmıştır. Sağlık durumları iyidir. Ancak can güvenliklerinin sağlanması ve korunması için Türk devleti tarafından alanda yürütülmekte olan operasyonların durdurulması gerekmektedir. Alman halkına karşı bir düşmanlığımız olmadığı gibi şu an gözaltında bulunan Alman vatandaşlarına karşı her hangi bir kötü müdahale veya uygulama olmamıştır. Alman devletinin Kürt halkına ve PKK’ye karşı yürütmekte olduğu düşmanca politikalarından vazgeçtiğine dair bir açıklama yapmadığı sürece, gözaltında bulunan Alman vatandaşları bırakılmayacaktır."
Meanwhile, according to Deutsche-Welle, some "specialists" have been sent to Turkey in order to obtain the release of the detainees:
A team of German diplomats who specialize in solving abduction cases have been assigned to seek the release of three Germans seized by Kurdish guerrillas in eastern Turkey, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said late Wednesday on German TV.
HA! Good luck with that. I mean, first you have to find them, right? Deutsche-Welle does admit its crimes, however:
Germany has in recent years upped cooperation with the Turkish government in attempts to stop PKK activities inside Germany. Just last month, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble banned broadcasts of the Copenhagen-based Roj television, a station that Turkey accuses of being a PKK propaganda channel.
Germany has also been active in extraditing to Turkey suspected PKK members. Last year, two PKK members wanted in relation to attacks in Turkey were extradited after Turkey abolished the death penalty.
The problem is that Turkey has not actually abolished the death penalty. The culture of impunity that is rampant in Turkey among the security forces is the guarantee that the death penalty survives. The reality is that people can be tortured to death in Turkey, which itself is a death penalty, and it doesn't matter that some little piece of paper says that the death penalty is rescinded.
The German foreign minister also had the chance to use the very worn cliche, saying that "Germany 'will not let itself be blackmailed.'" Oh, but Germany did allow itself to be blackmailed when Black September whacked a bunch of Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics. From TIME, November 1972:
FOR weeks, West Germany's government had been uneasily aware that the Black September movement, which struck so viciously in Munich two months ago, would almost certainly strike again. The Arab terrorists' objective this time: freedom for the three young fedayeen who had been confined in separate Bavarian prisons since they were captured during the Olympic massacre of Israeli athletes and coaches. Last week Black September acted—and took the Germans by surprise. In one of the boldest skyjackings so far, two Palestinian terrorists commandeered a Lufthansa 727 with eleven other passengers aboard and forced the release of their three captured brethren.
Not only does Germany allow itself to be blackmailed, it's also a state sponsor of terror. The Mezopotamian Development Society (MESOP) has just released the findings of the Council Of Representatives of the Iraqi Parliament, in which the evidence is presented of German-supplied weapons being used against Kurdish civilians in South Kurdistan:
"Call upon the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs to summon the German Ambassador in Iraq to demand clarifications about the German highly sophisticated weapons in the Turkish bases inside Iraq, that are not supposed to be used against the Kurdish people –according to the terms of the sale-agreement - . The Iraqi Ambassador in Germany is to present a protesting letter about using these weapons."
Part 1 and Part 2 are available at KurdishMedia.
It may be a long summer, and maybe an even longer winter, for those three Germans, but they will be well cared for by their hosts.
Again, Hevallo has a warning about tourism in Turkey:
If every democratic offer of negotiation is ignored and answered with bombs, lies and psychological misinformation then a pressure cooker is building up. If the anger, humiliation and frustration that is building up cannot find expression and is kept out of the so called democratic process, then the outlook is looking increasingly grim.
I am very afraid that the time is very close when Kurdish patience, understandably, will run out. And if I am right, I am picking up signals from different places that that time has very nearly come.
So, I would again urge, if you read this post, DO NOT GO TO TURKEY FOR YOUR HOLIDAYS THIS SUMMER!!!
Turkey brings in $18 Billion from tourism, and is the biggest earner in the Turkish economy. It is also used in the psychological war to promote Turkey as a 'paradise preserved' and cover up the atrocities and suppression being committed against the Kurds.
Very well said, Heval.