Tuesday, September 09, 2008


"Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
~ George Orwell.

Let's see, what have our "brothers" of the AKP done for Kurds after six years in power?

Well, TDN reports that "Bureaucracy hinders villager return", in which a commission set up in Mardin to pay compensation for the fascist TSK's forced displacement of villagers, has come up with every excuse under the sun to refuse to pay compensation. Remember that the "bureaucracy" is appointed by the AKP.

But none of this is news, folks. It was news back in 2002 when Human Rights Watch called on the Ankara regime to establish a means of return or compensation for forcibly displaced Kurdish villagers. At the time, HRW noted:

A displaced villager from Mardin working as a taxi-driver in Istanbul asked: "If the villagers go back now, what is the guarantee that they won't get turned out again in a year's time-and perhaps with violence? More than help in returning or permission to return, our villagers are looking for guarantees of safety."

The Turkish authorities appear intent on limiting villagers' recourse to courts to enforce their rights. In recent years, Turkey has faced a growing number of lawsuits before the European Court of Human Rights, which has ordered that the Turkish government compensate displaced villagers for their losses. Many villagers told Human Rights Watch that the authorities would give them permission to return only if they signed statements absolving the government of responsibility for their original displacement. Villagers also find it nearly impossible to get any official written statement from the authorities either granting or denying their right to return. Human Rights Watch said the authorities seem determined to avoid creating a paper trail that may end up in court.

Human Rights Watch said the government's much-heralded return programs are under-funded and ill conceived, falling far short of established international standards.

How does that report differ in the TDN article on the commission in Mardin now, in 2008? The AKP came into power in November 2002, almost six years ago and the situation of the return of villagers has not changed one iota. The AKP has done nothing.

In its 2002 report, HRW condemned the village guard system, quoting a TBMM report from 1995 which "confirmed that village guards were involved in a wide range of lawless activities, including killing and extortion, and called for abolition of the village guard system." In 2006, HRW called upon Abdullah Aksu, AKP's Interior Minister at the time, to abolish the village guard system. The letter to Aksu outlined cases of continued abuse by village guards, particularly against villagers who attempted to return to the homes and lands from which they were forcibly displaced by the regime.

As with failure of the AKP to grant compensation or permission of villagers to return home, so with the issue of the abolition of village guards: The AKP has done nothing.

Now we're expected to believe that the AKP is going to really, really, really provide some kind of economic stimulus for The Region through the completion of GAP. Katil Erdoğan has even sent his boy, İlker Başbuğ, to The Region to push this old nonsense but with some additional bells and whistles--"the construction of entertainment centers, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), techno-parks and the promotion of cultural tourism, renewable energy and agriculture." Katil Erdoğan allegedly has other bells and whistles to add to these.

But it's been six years and the AKP has done nothing yet but talk and talk and talk and talk. Like Katil Erdoğan talked in Amed (Diyarbakır) in August three years ago, when he talked about solving the Kurdish "problem" through democratization. Was that anything more than just talk?

Katil Erdoğan allegedly proposed a minimum monthly wage of YTL 250 for The Region, up from the current, below-subsitence-level average monthly wage of YTL 100. The unions want a minimum monthly wage of YTL 503 for adults, which is still extremely low, given the basic expenses of rent, food, medicine, and education costs for children that an average family in the region must pay. Katil Erdoğan wants his generous minimum wage to be "a temporary measure that will last 10 years".

Given that food costs alone have increased by a factor of three in the last three years, and show no signs of decrease globally, Katil Erdoğan is, once again, promising nothing.

To be fair, there was one time when Katil Erdoğan said something to Kurds and made good on his words:

"The events are under control... Security forces will intervene with every possible means indiscriminately, including against women and children."

That was during the Amed Serhildan in March 2006. That is the only thing the AKP has done for Kurds.

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