Tuesday, October 07, 2008


"Resistance to oppression is often based on a love that leads us to value ourselves, and leads us to hope for more than the established cultural system is willing to grant ... such love is far more energizing than guilt, duty, or self-sacrifice."
~ Sharon Welch.

CNN and the truth; you're doing it right (and many thanks to all the hevals who sent me reminders of this):

From the article:

The women line the mountainside, locked hand in hand in their green battle fatigues, and begin dancing. It's a victory dance, they say, that is routine after raids across the border on Turkish troops.

"We want a natural life, a society that revolves around women -- one where women and men are equal, a society without pressure, without inequality, where all differences between people are eliminated," says Rengin, the head of a female battalion of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

[ . . . ]

Much of the outside world views the PKK with suspicion. It's been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States, Iraq, Turkey and NATO. The PKK has fought Turkey for decades to establish a Kurdish state. Tens of thousands have been killed in the conflict.

The most recent spate of fighting broke out over the weekend. The Turkish military bombed PKK positions on Saturday in response to clashes on Friday that killed at least 15 Turkish troops and 23 PKK fighters, according to the Turkish military. The PKK gives a different assessment: It says more than 60 Turkish troops were killed, and that it lost nine fighters.

[ . . . ]

Back in 1998, the fighters say, their now-jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan declared the group "a women's party." It was initially difficult to accept, says Karim, a 42-year-old male member of the PKK.

"There was an intense discussion about the role of women," says Karim.

"We didn't want to accept it at first. Women by nature are physically weaker, and in war that hits you like a boomerang. You need to watch the way you fight, the way you move. So we were against this. We didn't want the women with us because it makes combat tougher on us. But Ocalan said in his book, if we are really trying to create a new society, we have to develop women. If women are enslaved, then so are men."

[ . . . ]

Bahoz Erdal, the military leader of PKK, told CNN, "We are ready for a political solution."

"We do not expect to find a final solution immediately, but we want to take the first steps towards that solution," he said. "And that first step could be Turkey changing its attitude towards our jailed leader, stopping military sweeps and attacks against our forces, and ending its policy of oppression."

He said these can be initial steps to a solution that gives Kurds equal rights with Turkish citizens within Turkey, not a separate Kurdish state.

For its part, Turkey has said that it will not negotiate with terrorists.

[ . . . ]

The fighters may seem cut off from the outside world, but they have a regular supply of arms and food brought in on mule convoys. They say they stay well funded by Kurdish expatriates all over the world.

Western defense analysts estimate their numbers based in Iraq's mountains are in the few thousands. The PKK won't tell us how large their fighting force is. But they say that it was because they are driven by passion that they have survived this long.

Read the whole thing.

HPG has released the identities of our şehîds who fell at Bezele:

Özkan Tepe
Code Name: Akıf Ulaş
1984, Varto-Muş

Tahir Yara
Code Name: Aras Dersim
1979, Bokan-Urmiye

Kemal Bor
Code Name: Berxwedan Ozan
1986, Van

Mehmet Şah Gegin
Code Name: Delil Besta
1988, Beşiri-Batman

Recep Dorak
Code Name: Harun Munzur
1983, Ceyhan-Adana

Ekber Nebizade
Code Name: Kawa Selmas
1985, Selmas

Ümit Azizi
Code Name: Leşker Ciwanro
1981, Ciwanro-Kermanşah

Zakir Yıldız
Code Name: Rüstem Agit
1987, Başkale-Van

Ciwan Hüseyin
Code Name: Serhat Ciwan
1982, Derik

"Our people are going to get what is rightfully theirs. I am proud to have died for this. Tell everyone we will succeed."



hamo said...

Turkish Media organisations treating their readers like stupid morons (I am not saying they are not). According to hurriyet report below every single news agencies in the world calling Kurdish Freedom Fighters as terrorists. I have never come across any independant news agency ever calling PKK as terrorist despite Turkish Islamic PM's threats to world agencies when he was in USA. Worst I come accross was calling Freedom Fighters as Rebels mostly Islamic Arab Media uses that term but usually freedom fighters or simply PKK the Kurdish Fighters.



Renegade Eye said...

Very good videos.

PKK is not terrorist:
1) It controls territory
3) It has a military command structure.

Anonymous said...

you forgot #2: It's acted as strictly a defensive force that attacks military targets.

Mizgîn said...

You have a point, Hamo. But other news organizations--at least in most of their articles--ALWAYS include the mantra: "The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the US and EU and is responsible for the deaths of 30,000 during the 1990s" or something to that effect. Bullshit, of course, but still included with no explanation . . . like an article of faith.

I noticed in some article from the last few days that one of the Turkish politicians said that after Bezele, the whole world knows that PKK is a terrorist organization, and I'm thinking, "Dude, the whole world doesn't even know Bezele exists."

It's their usual histrionics. It's the only thing they're good at.

RE and Anomymous: Yes. It controls territory. I know for a fact that it has a command structure. And it attacks military/police targets. That business about legitimate targets goes way back to the beginning of 1995, when PKK issued a statement to the UN:

Dear members of the press,

May I greet you all on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Before the eyes of the world there is a war of annihilation being conducted in our homeland, Kurdistan. The Turkish Republic, since its foundation, has denied the existence of our people with systematic state policies. The Turkish state, which has forbidden the culture, language, and the identity of the Kurdish people, is conducting a war of genocide and mobilising every possible military means and all its forces.

The PKK, honouring the universal values of humanity, is fighting for the national and democratic rights of our people. The war is a consequence of Turkish state policy. In this filthy and bloody adventure, Turkey has declared the Kurdish people as the prime legitimate military target.

The Turkish state has depopulated Kurdistan: 3,000 villages have been burned down and millions of people have been forced to flee. The state's military force, unable to vanquish the guerrilla army, is revenging itself on the civilians with unprecedented severity. 15,000 members of our party are now facing the death penalty in prisons.

Turkey, as well as disregarding the international conventions that it is signatory to, also prevents the press, the OSCE, and international human rights observers from visiting Kurdistan and monitoring the situation for themselves. The state has refused the ICRC's humanitarian endeavour to visit Kurdistan. Turkey, even though it is a signatory, has never complied with the August 12, 1949 Geneva Convention and has refused to sign the First Protocol of 1977.

The 10-year war has claimed the lives of 34,000 people. The war has never been the choice of our party. It was imposed on our people. We state categorically: We want this war to end and we are in favour of a democratic, equitable, and legal solution. This demand was demonstrated by the declaration of a unilateral ceasefire in 1993 which lasted for 83 days.

Turkey continues to persist in its dirty war.

We will continue to fight until we compel Turkey to seek a political solution. We call on Turkey to comply with international laws and to cease its attacks on civilians. The PKK, as a party in this conflict, has always observed the conventions on war. The relevant application denoting such acceptance was submitted to the ICRC and other concerned bodies on January 23, 1995 on behalf of PKK Genaral Secretary Abdullah Ocalan.

The declaration, moreover, also contains the following points:

1. In its conflict with the Turkish state forces, the PKK undertakes to respect the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the First Protocol of 1977 regarding the conduct of hostilities and the protection of the victims of war and to treat those obligations as having the force of law within its own forces and the areas within its control.

2. To end any doubt, the PKK regards the following groups as part of the Turkish security forces and, therefore, as legitimate targets of attack:

* a - members of the Turkish armed forces;
* b - members of the Turkish contra-guerrilla forces;
* c - members of the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT);
* d - members of the Turkish gendarmerie;
* e - village guards.

The PKK does not regard civil servants as members of the security forces, unless they come within one of the above categories.

3. The PKK will treat captured members of the Turkish security forces as prisoners of war.

4. The PKK will disseminate this statement and the rules of the Geneva Convention of 1949 and First Protocol of 1977 to its forces and asks for the assistance of the ICRC. It has adopted a system of discipline to ensure respect for these rules and the punishment of those who break them. It accepts the principle of command responsibility.

The PKK would accept an offer of services from the ICRC.

5. The PKK calls upon the Turkish government to give the same undertakings and to accept an offer for services from the ICRC.

Finally, the PKK calls upon all parties to the Geneva Convention, the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the ICEC to take the necessary steps to end the war or ensure that the Turkish state and the PKK respect their obligations under international law.

On behalf of PKK General Secretary Abdullah Ocalan. January 24, 1995

Notice, too, that the statement contains a call for a democratic solution--and that was in 1995.

I think one of the things I liked best about Arwa Damon's presentation was that she described PKK as an organization that has evolved over time, a point that I have tried to explain to anti-apocular countless times because it happens to be the truth.

But it's always difficult to attempt to reason with people who are locked in time warps.

Anonymous said...

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