Wednesday, April 29, 2009


"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."
~ Mark Twain.

Given that we have DTP guarding the Turkish border with Armenian in Iğdır after throwing off the stranglehold of the MHP on 29 March, here are some excerpts from an article written by a young, ethnic Kurd political scientist, Bilgin Ayata, that should provide some food for thought, from The Armenian Weekly [Note: All emphasis is mine. Mizgîn]:

In my contribution to last year’s special issue, I had argued that an intensified Armenian-Kurdish dialogue carries the promising potential to become an alternative approach to the ongoing Armenian-Turkish discourse on reconciliation, which has traversed dialogue into a form of domination and containment. [1] I also argued that the compartmentalization of the Armenian and Kurdish issues into separate discussions represents a continuation of a divide-and-rule mentality that only serves the interests of the Turkish state and weakens the position of Armenian and Kurdish intellectuals in these isolated debates. In order to overcome this compartmentalization, I called for an intensified Armenian-Kurdish dialogue, and the cultivation of an empowering alliance to confront the atrocities of the past and engage with them as a challenge of and for the present. One year after that last issue, I believe that such an Armenian-Kurdish dialogue is ever more important, especially in light of the following three developments: At the intergovernmental level, the diplomatic traffic regarding Armenian-Turkish relations has intensified with the election of President Obama who had pledged during his campaign to address the Armenian Genocide as a genocide.

Second, at the domestic level, the recent municipal elections in Turkey on March 29 paved the way for a new political beginning in Armenian-Kurdish relations that I will discuss at the end of this article. Third, at the societal level, I believe that the general trend in the activities of some Turkish intellectuals and members of civil society has further degraded the reconciliation process from “reconciliation without recognition’ to an agenda of “reconciliation instead of recognition.” The “We apologize” petition initiated online in December 2008 illustrates such an attempt in its timing and content, and the subsequent statements made by the initiators of the campaign. [2] As other articles in this issue already critically engage with aspects of the campaign, it shall suffice to state here that the use of the term “Great Catastrophe” (or Medz Yeghern, in Armenian) in the apology statement allows one to talk about the genocide without acknowledging responsibility for it. I argue that this shows a striking resemblance with the Turkish state’s strategy to deal with those issues that can no longer be denied.


News reports in early March 2009 suggested that the Armenian-Turkish border that was closed upon Turkey’s initiative in 1993 may be reopened in April of this year. While this has not been officially confirmed, the possibility of reopening the border gained a different dimension with the recent regional elections on March 29, in which the Pro-Kurdish Party DTP firmly established itself as the key regional party in the Kurdish-populated areas in southeast Turkey, and took over the municipality of Igdir that had been governed by the ultra-nationalist party MHP for the past decade. Igdir is the province that borders Armenia, with Yerevan only 40 kilometers away from the province capital, where the population consists of mainly Kurds and Azeris. The political atmosphere there until recently had been extremely nationalistic and hostile toward its Armenian neighbor, which is sadly symbolized in the 45 meter-high Igdir “Genocide Memorial”—the highest monument in Turkey—that was opened in the attendance of then-president Suleyman Demirel, chief of staff Kivrikoglu, and other high-ranking officials in 1999, with its stated aim to commemorate the Armenian massacres against the Turks in Igdir. The monument replicates five large swords, with their ends meeting at the top and forming the star of the Turkish national flag when seen from above. The sharp edges of the swords are turned outwards, to symbolize the readiness against any intrusions from the outside. It is an aggressive, nationalistic, and outright hostile monument that is strategically located on the road from Igdir to the Armenian border. In light of this political atmosphere, it will certainly not be easy for the new mayor Mehmet Nuri Gunes of the DTP to make a new beginning in the region. However, irrespective of whether or not the border reopens, the DTP’s victory in Igdir is a positive and hopeful development for better neighbor relations.

It is time to replace the disgraceful monument with peaceful visions for the future.

I couldn't agree more. Take the time to read through Bilgin Ayata's excellent piece.

In other news, There's more TSK dead near Lice in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan today. The LA Times was concerned enough about dead Turks to write something about the blast, which killed nine enemy troops. One other enemy troop was killed in another area as well. Our friends have issued a statement indicating that this was a retaliatory operation against the Ankara regime for it's latest abuses of the Kurdish people, and they will issue a more complete statement on the operation later (Source:

What's interesting about the LA Times article is what it doesn't say and what the LA Times has not said at all in the last few weeks. It has made no mention of the arrests of more than 400 DTP politicians and political workers. Nor has it mentioned the Ankara regime's murders of Kurds at Amara, or of Kurdish children being abused and murdered by the regime. It hasn't mentioned anything about "voided" DTP votes in Ağır, the demonstrations against the election corruption in Ağır which led to the demonstrations. It hasn't mentioned the violence of the police against DTP parliamentarians. Much of this activity happened immediately before or after Obama's visit to Turkey and it's impossible to imagine that the LA Times was not on hand to cover the visit.

The question is, why were none of these abuses mentioned, even to give context to events that have transpired in The Southeast since the 29 March elections? I think the answer should be quite obvious: The American regime gave its approval for these attacks against the Kurdish people. This fact becomes more clear if you realize that the LA Times was among those mainstream media outlets that sat on the Ralston conflict of interest back in 2006.

I guess the LA Times is in denial, too.

A blog check reveals that Hevallo has a post on how the AKP failed to brainwash Kurds in the 29 March elections, which would be all that information that the LA Times has so conveniently ignored. He's also got a post on our friends and how they're ready for peace--another little fact that the LA Times has not bothered to investigate.

If the Ankara regime can't kill every Kurdish kid in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, it might as well imprison them all. As an example, there's something on the recent convictions of kids in Adana, from Children of the Sun. It should come as no shock to anyone that the LA Times omitted this information from its article, too.

Azadîxwaz weighs in on the Lice operation and mentions the deaths of 11 Iranian police in Iranian-occupied Kurdistan.

Now I think I'll go raise a glass of tea to a job well done!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


"Until this very day, when a Kurd asks for his identity, culture, language he is declared as a PKK member. Kurdish people’s demand for its identity, culture and language was considered as treason, as ethno-nationalism, as a movement to divide the country. Actually the state is telling us this: 'Either you will shut up, or I will see you as PKK members and treat you as PKK members as well.'"
~ Ahmet Türk.

My friend over at Azadîxwaz has done us all a big favor. He did a favor for me by taking somethign off my to-do list; he did a favor for all of you by translating Ahmet Türk's recent interview with Neşe Düzel at Taraf.

Here are a few highlights:

ND: Are you saying that the operation against the DTP officials is just a result of the local elections?

AT: That is the first reason. The second reason is PKK’s statement after the elections. PKK stated this: “Kurdish people supported DTP in the elections. We value this support. To open the road for the peaceful solution we will silence (Ceasefire) the weapons until June 1st”. They also hinted that if there was any positive development that they will extend the ceasefire. This is it. The ones are getting richer from this… the warlords got worried. Because they know that if the Kurdish Question is resolved by democratic means, Turkey’s EU process will accelerate and they will lose power. The ones opposing to the peaceful solution of the problem, stepped in. The third reason for the operation against DTP is …

ND: Yes, what is it?

AT: The possibility of peace in the Kurdish region. The Kurds live in four countries Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria in the Middle East. Kurdish politicians of all four parts are in search for reaching a common decision of what the demands of the Kurdish people are, and to start the peace period in this region. This also disturbed the state. To stop all of these peaceful developments it attacked the DTP.

ND: PKK ended its ceasefire because of this operation; do you think it is the right decision to end the ceasefire?

AT: PKK did not end the ceasefire. They made a statement on last Thursday saying, “ It is obvious that the state does not want solve the Kurdish Question. But we will honor our decision as we stated before until June 1st”.

[ . . . ]

ND: Have you held any kind of meetings with the AKP government or the prime minister as DTP?

AT: We cannot see the government when we look for it. We have asked them to have talks but this did not come to fruition.

[ . . . ]

ND: It is alleged that the DTP officials that were arrested have links to the PKK. Do you know anything about these allegations?

AT: Until this very day, when a Kurd asks for his identity, culture, language he is declared as a PKK member. Kurdish people’s demand for its identity, culture and language was considered as treason, as ethno-nationalism, as a movement to divide the country. Actually the state is telling us this: “Either you will shut up, or I will see you as PKK members and treat you as PKK members as well”.

[ . . . ]

ND: Once you stated, “ We have the same support base as the PKK”. Is it possible that there are some links between the DTP officials and the PKK other than this common support base?

AT: We need understand the developments in the world well. Say, some steps are taken for peace and we as the DTP had talks with the government and the state. At the end of these talks, will the state not ask us “OK, so if I do these, will the PKK lay down the arms”? Yes, it will. So then, the PKK is a reality and has a role in all these. If you consider identification of this role as having link with the PKK you cannot get any results. You have to take into account whether the PKK will accept the policies and projects for the peace.

ND: An armed group, whatever this group is, is a criminal against the laws. This is so in the world as well. Do you, as a parliamentarian, accept the fact that every armed group is criminal?

AT: We need to clarify the term “terror”. We need to understand Al-Qaida or Hamas correctly. We need to understand the PKK, Mandela’s party, and old Palestinian Liberation Organization correctly.

[ . . . ]

ND: What should be done to solve the Kurdish Question within a peaceful framework?

AT: We are very clear and open about this subject. The (identity) rights of the Kurdish people should be guaranteed and put in the constitution. A new constitution should be prepared and this constitution should be written in a manner that accepts the differences as richness. We also are citizens of the Republic of Turkey. The Kurdish citizens should be granted whatever rights the Turkish citizens have. Within the framework of the Democratic Autonomy Project, regional governments should be strengthened/supported and regions based on their needs should be able to make decisions about their economic, social and educational matter. The schools that teach in Kurdish should be opened. For instance they show TRT6 (Şeş) as a development.

ND: Is it not a development?

AT: But the Kurds cannot determine the programs of TRT6. I actually asked in England. There are three million Welsh people. They have to learn Welsh in Wales and it is obligatory. They told me that: “ We are so much assimilated that only 5% of our population could speak Welsh. But now it is 20%. And among the young generation it is 40%”. English government distributes 120 million pounds every year to private television channels to support the improvement of the Welsh culture. This is a recognition and protection of a right. TRT6 is, on the other hand, abuse of a right. These are what we want…

ND: If these conditions are prepared will the PKK lay down its arms?

AT: There is not a difference between what we say and what they say. The demands are almost the same. These are Kurdish people’s general demands. I have to abide by the demands of the Kurdish people. So does the PKK.

Read the whole thing at Azadîxwaz because Ahmet Türk makes a lot of important points.

I find it interesting that Neşe Düzel says, "An armed group, whatever this group is, is a criminal against the laws. This is so in the world as well. . . " Of course she's right. Look at the armed group of the Ankara regime, the TSK, and the criminal behavior it has inflicted on the Kurdish people. Look at the armed group of the Washington regime, the US military, and the criminal behavior it has inflicted on people in Central America, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, to name a few. Look at the armed group of the Israeli regime, the IDF, and the criminal behavior it has inflicted on the Palestinians. And I could go on and on and on . . . Britain, France, Russia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka . . .

Of course, then we have the question of "laws", which Düzel brings up in her statement. There is a problem with "law" and that is that it is meaningless unless it is also moral and ethical. Just because something is defined as "legal" doesn't mean it is moral or ethical. In fact, it can be quite the contrary. Check out some of the eugenics or racial laws of Nazi Germany or some of the eugenics laws of the US--or the Jim Crow laws. Or even the whitewashing of torture as "harsh interrogation techniques". They might have been approved but they are still torture and torture is, of it's very nature, immoral.

And at the end of the interview, Ahmet Türk replies to this question of the violence of the state, and it seems to me that he agrees with my assessment of the armed groups of nation-states. Again, this is consistent with PKK's stance on the matter.

Monday, April 27, 2009


"No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand."
~ J. Michael Straczynski.

As if it weren't enough that Turkish Special Operations police weren't cracking the heads of Kurdish kids in Hakkari, you should check out the recent post at Children of the Sun:

In Wan (Van) an armored police vehicle hit a seven year old Kurdish girl. The girl, named Maziye Aslan, died at the scene. Maybe one day people who are not Kurdish will understand that the song Mihemedo is there for a reason...

Below is translation of the article by Hasan Bildirici published in Kurdistan Post on 26 April 2009 in response to the recent brutality of special forces who caused death of a child and smashed skull of another child with butt of a rifle (check the posts at Zerkesorg or Hevallo for details):

"We don't expect justice from you; we are just warning you:

"Don't hit our children! We want to remind you that hitting children is a sick behaviour.

"It's not your women who gave birth to the children of Kurdistan, a country you have invaded; you haven't fed those children. You didn't caress their head in sickness and hunger.

"Your crap-faced officers have melted those kids' fathers in acid wells; dragged mother and grandmothers of those children at the gates of Diyarbakir [Amed] prisons, just because a word in Kurdish slipped out their mouth...

"All those bravery tales you tell your women and children are lies. It's true that you try your bravery on our women, who throw their scarfs aside and march on the streets and our dark-eyed children who circle around your vehicles..."

And there's more there on state atrocities against Kurdish children, so don't miss this one, either.

Now, let me see . . . what was it that son-of-a-bitch Erdoğan said at Davos?

"When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill. I know well how you hit and kill children on beaches."

It looks like the shoe fits and the Murderer Erdoğan has been walking around in the shoe since, at least, March 2006, from HRW:

On March 29, members of the public—and in particular male youths—attending the funerals of the PKK militants, clashed violently with police, throwing stones and petrol bombs. In street battles that took place in Diyarbakır over the next days, the police fired bullets, gas grenades, and stones at the rioters, killing eight civilians. Ten people died in all and some, such as 78-year-old Halit Söğüt, beaten to death, were clearly bystanders. Three of the dead were children: nine-year-old Abdullah Duran, eight-year-old Ismail Erkek and six-year-old Enes Ata. (A bullet fired by police during similar disturbances in Batman also killed three-year-old Fatih Tekin on March 31.)

[ . . . ]

. . . [Y]our government has repeatedly failed to confront the security forces’ reckless use of violence and hold accountable those who are responsible through administrative and criminal penalties. Not only has the government failed to penalize those who commit such violations, you have not even condemned the sudden increase in the use of lethal force. Instead your statement in the days following the deaths that “[t]he security forces will intervene against the pawns of terrorism, no matter if they are children or women" appeared to excuse the security forces from any responsibility even for the four children they had killed. Your government’s failure to do condemn the use of excessive force and hold accountable those who have violated international policing standards contributes to the atmosphere of impunity for law enforcement that prevails in Turkey and increases the likelihood that there will be further such violations.

Obviously this evil regime has committed "further such violations" and it continues to do so. After the Amed Serhildan, the HRW letter goes on to discuss the number of those arrested, including 199 Kurdish children, and Murderer Erdoğan's security forces did the same things they have continued to do, even until today:

The Diyarbakır branch of the Human Rights Association interviewed A.T., a fourteen-year old boy, on April 3, 2006. He said: “I was detained on March 29. About fifteen police beat me with truncheons. My right arm was broken, but they dragged me in that condition for about 100 metres, and then took me to the sports hall of the Security Directorate... They beat me with truncheons, refused permission for me to use the toilet, and made me constantly stand and sit... In the morning at 3:00 am they made me go to sleep, and then woke me up at 5:00 and beat me with truncheons again.

Behold, the Fethullahçı's Kurdish policy!

Yes, Murderer Erdoğan, you know very well how to hit children and kill them, whether they are in your prison, in a wide open rural area, in the streets of Wan or Hakkari, or drowning in rivers while fleeing your filthy thugs.

And you do the same to Kurdish women, again from HRW:

F.K., a forty-six year old woman, gave the following account on April 5, 2006: “On March 28 I went to collect my daughter from school. While going to the Koşuyolu district, police stopped me, insisting that I had been throwing stones. Giving me no opportunity to respond, they beat me and detained me. They first took me to the sports hall at the Security Directorate, and then to the Anti-Terror Branch. They constantly beat, cursed and insulted me ... They hit me, struck me with truncheons on every part of my body (my back, my arm, my legs, but especially my head). I felt constantly nauseous from the blows I received... they gave me one meal in three days but I could not eat it... a policewoman pulled my hair.” She also described perfunctory medical examinations at which police insisted on being present.

Erdoğan's police did the very same thing in Van during Newroz 2008:

And this is the evil regime that the entire world supports--this evil regime that refuses to admit it's role in the first genocide of the twentieth century as well as its ongoing occupation and genocide of the Kurdish people.

And when the Murderer Erdoğan fails in legitimate elections, when his washing machines and refrigerators and bribes fail to buy The Southeast, he rounds up and arrests members of the only opposition party in Turkey, the pro-Kurdish DTP. But this also goes back to March 2006 because that was when the Murderer Erdoğan first refused to talk to DTP. For three years, Murderer Erdoğan has refused to speak to DTP.

Yes, Katil Erdoğan, when it comes to murder, you know very well how to murder. I know how well you hit and murder Kurdish children in the land you occupy, the land whose true name terrifies you.

There is only one answer and it stretches from İmralı to the mountains, and beyond.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
~ The Declaration of Independence.

First let me ask if you've seen it? The latest video from Hakkari? Here it is:

Okay. That was a Special Operations police beating a fourteen-year-old Kurdish boy last week.

Do you remember last year, during Newroz, what the police did to another fourteen-year-old from Hakkari? Here's a refresher:

Both were violent actions of Turkish police, which has enjoyed impunity for such actions--and worse--in North Kurdistan for decades.

Now, here's Ahmet Altan channeling what most of us have been saying for decades:

It's Easy to Say "PKK Is a Terrorist Organization"

Have you watched it?

In a wide, rural area fifty or sixty kids were "demonstrating", so they say they were throwing stones at Special Operation police with heavy weapons.

What will happen if the police never go there?

The kids will shout for a while, then disperse.

These are kids, aged thirteen or fourteen, the place where they "demonstrate" is a huge rural area.

Oh, no! Kurdish kids cannot demonstrate; they cannot shout in rural areas.

The police, with weapons in hand, are attacking the kids with pressurized water.

One of the police is capturing a skinny fourteen-year-old boy and knocking him on the ground. . .

And is starting to hit the boy's head with the butt of his weapon.

He is hitting to kill.

There is no reason to hit the boy, however.

Since the police cannot control his own anger, he is hitting the boy violently with the butt of his weapon.

Then another police is congratulating the police who beat the boy.

This is not the violence of one or two police.

In the Southeast the entire state is like this.

How can a state rule there while having such hatred and abhorrence toward a people?

Besides, why should it rule there?

Why should Turkey resist ruling a people that it hates so much?

If you see them and their small children as "enemies" that much, to knock them on the ground and crack their skulls with the butt of your weapon, then you cannot stay there.

Whoever watched those scenes remembered the Israeli troop who smashed and broke a Palestinian's arm with a rock.

They remembered the English who coldly raked demonstrators with machine guns in India.

This state does not see the Kurds as its own.

For that reason, it behaves like an "occupying force" there.

It is killing and throwing them into wells, burning the villages, and filling jails with [Kurdish] children.

In the "calm" times when we are closest to peace, it is knocking them down on the ground and trying to smash their heads with the butt of a gun.

We saw these scenes because there were cameras there. They are behaving like this in front of the cameras.

You can imagine what they are doing in the mountain villages, towns, streets in the middle of nowhere, where they don't have cameras.

If they act like this to you, they hit your children's heads with the butts of their weapons, what would you do?

Who is going to protect those people?

Do you understand why this war continues for twenty-five years?

Do you understand why those Kurdish children go to the mountains knowing consciously that they will die?

They do go.

What can they do?

If you do not give them the opportunity to protect their lives, their honor, and their children, what are they going to do? Who are they going to trust? Where are they going to shelter?

They go to the mountains.

The newspapers write, "PKK is a terrorist organization" and politicians say so.

Many people, including me, say "PKK should finish the war".

It is easy to say "PKK is a terrorist organization".

Then what is JİTEM that shoots people in the back of the head?

Then what is Special Operations [police] that smash children's heads with the butt of a weapon?

Isn't what they're doing "terrorism"?

If you terrorize a people, without discriminating children or anyone, what is that people going to do?

How will these people defend themselves?

You tell me . . .

Tell me how this people will protect their children.

If you label a people as an enemy, you burn their villages, you insult their women, you imprison their men, you hit the children's head with the butt of a gun, that people will go to the mountains.

In fact, they did go . . .

Then you will fight for years and be the cause of the death of more people.

After watching those scenes on TV, that horrible violence, the satisfaction those police derived from that violence, I thought that the state cannot rule there and also I thought that it does not have a right to rule there either.

You are going there, saying "I am your state"; is this the way to be their state?

Is making armed soldiers walk in the provinces that are 90% Kurdish, stressing "Turkishness" and giving the message that "We will smash you with weapons," the way to be their state?

What does this state want?

War? Peace?

By torturing an entire people, you cannot win a war. Throughout history, no one won.

It is possible to win wars against armies, but it is impossible to win against people.

Do you want peace?

There cannot be any "peace" by hitting children's heads with the butt of a weapon.

Savages can win neither war nor peace.

I saw how they hit that boy's head with the butt of their weapon . . .

What difference is it if that land belongs to you or not?

That land might be yours but that people is not.

The people, that you hit their child with the butt of your gun, neither will be yours nor will be with you.

That land will belong to the one who can provide them an environment where their children can run without being shot, without being beaten, without being hit with the butt of a gun, and where they can laugh and can play.

Then you will not be afraid of saying that land's name, which is known for centuries; you will say Kurdistan with great comfort. You will sit with those children and sing a song, and read a poem from Ahmet Arif.

The breaking of an arm, the smashing of a skull, the "voiding" of votes, the mass arrest of DTP politicians and political workers . . . these are the actions that send new recruits to the mountains in streams.

And let me remind you that the state bears the greater responsibility because it has failed miserably to live up to its responsibilities as a state. Here is the principle:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Furthermore, from UN Resolution 3103 of 1973, the UN:

Solemnly proclaims the following basic principles of the legal status of the combatants struggling against colonial and alien domination and racist régimes without prejudice to their elaboration in future within the framework of the development of the international law applying to the protection of the human rights in armed conflicts:

1. The struggle of peoples under colonial and alien domination and racist régimes for the implementation of their right to self-determination and independence is legitimate and in full accordance with the principles of international law.

2. Any attempt to suppress the struggle against colonial and alien domination and racist régimes is incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples21 and constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

3. The armed conflicts involving the struggle of peoples against colonial and alien domination and racist régimes are to be regarded as international armed conflicts in the sense of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and the legal status envisaged to apply to the combatants in the 1949 Geneva Conventions and other international instruments is to apply to the persons engaged in armed struggle against colonial and alien domination and racist régimes.

4. The combatants struggling against colonial and alien domination and racist régimes captured as prisoners are to be accorded the status of prisoners of war and their treatment should be in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, of 12 August 1949.

5. The use of mercenaries by colonial and racist régimes against national liberation movements struggling for their freedom and independence from the yoke of colonialism and alien domination is considered to be a criminal act and the mercenaries should accordingly be punished as criminals.

6. The violation of the legal status of the combatants struggling against colonial and alien domination and racist régimes in the course of armed conflicts entails full responsibility in accordance with the norms of international law.

So when Ahmet Altan says, "I thought that the state cannot rule there and also I thought that it does not have a right to rule there either," he is right. And when HPG fights a defensive war from the mountains, it is not only right, it is obligated.

Friday, April 24, 2009


"Many Americans, due to the effective propaganda and spin machine of Turkey’s agents in the U.S., and relentless efforts by high-level officials and lobbying groups on Turkish networks’ payroll, do not know much about Turkey; its position and importance in the areas of terrorism, money laundering, illegal arms sales, industrial and military espionage, and the nuclear black-market."
~ Sibel Edmonds.

Luke Ryland has posted a partial transcript of Sibel Edmonds' interview on Electric Politics on 10 April. His partial transcript covers heroin, the Turkish-Israeli lobby in the US, the US Deep State, state secrets privilege and Susurluk, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the worthless US media.

Luke has also posted his own commentary on the interview at his own blog, Against All Enemies. Luke's own comments are always insightful because they're based on his extensive knowledge of the Sibel Edmonds case.

Because I know that he's particularly knowledgeable about this case, I'm not surprised that he found a mistake in my earlier post about the interview. At that time, I had mentioned that Murat Demirel was the brother of Süleyman Demirel, which was incorrect. Murat was the nephew of Süleyman Demirel as Luke correctly points out.

However, I don't feel too badly about the mistake given that there were so many members of the vastly corrupt Demirel tribe that were involved with some very shady banking dealings that ultimately led to Turkey's banking collapse at the end of the 1990s.

Süleyman Demirel's brother, Şevket Demirel--the father of Murat--was involved with Murat in the collapse of Egebank as was Murat's sister Neslihan, his wife Aysenur, and 36 other employees. There's no mention if those other employees were also Demirel family members. The Demirel's pillaged at least $1.2 billion from Egebank and apparently farmed the cash out to a variety of "front [i.e. phony] companies and offshore banks in northern Cyprus and the Virgin Islands".

The night before Egebank was seized by the Ankara regime, Murat Demirel was caught on security camera video carrying out suitcases of cash from Egebank's vaults. His uncle, Süleyman, was still president at the time and no doubt had something to do with tipping of the rest of the tribe as to the state's pending seizure of the bank. More on that at WRMEA.

Later, Murat received credits from Halkbank through other "firms":

It has been found out that Murat Demirel, the former owner of Egebank and who was imprisoned, used credits worth of 96 million dollars, 12,5 million marks and 38.5 billion liras from Halbank's branch in Levent district of Istanbul. The illegal credits given by the bank to 20 separate firms will be closely examined.

The fall of the Turkish banks was precipitated by the Susurluk Scandal and the closing of Turkish casinos, as mentioned in Sibel's interview. It would appear that the Ankara regime wanted to move the money-laundering operation of it's heroin industry out of the country to Azerbaijan and Central Asia to give itself the ability to claim plausible denial regarding those operations.

As late as two years ago, the old drug-runners were gathering in Azerbaijan. But that was before most of them were picked up in the Ergenekon fiasco. Just as those old Deep Staters consolidated the heroin industry under Tansu Çiller, Süleyman Demirel, and the Islamist Necmettin Erbakan, so now the Fethullahçı, through the AKP, are consolidating the heroin industry under their control. Ergenekon is the Fethullahçı struggle for control of the Deep State.

We should consider that Fethullah Gülen is the most likely candidate to be heading the money-laundering of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of heroin money through Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and, from there, is funneling the laundered money out through his empire of holding companies, banks, and schools around the world, including Central Asia. Remember:

Gülen now helps set the political agenda in Turkey using his followers in the AKP as well as the movement's vast media empire, financial institutions and banks, business organizations, an international network of thousands of schools, universities, student residences (ışıkevis), and many associations and foundations. He is a financial heavyweight, controlling an unregulated and opaque budget estimated at $25 billion.[3] It is not clear whether the Fethullahist cemaat (community) supports the AKP or is the ruling force behind AKP. Either way, however, the effect is the same.

Oh, the AKP is the Fethullahçı; of that there is no doubt.

The ability to launder the vast sums of money that Turkey's heroin industry rakes in has become crucial to propping up the capitalist system, as the UN reported earlier this year:

The United Nations' crime and drug watchdog has indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat in the global financial crisis, its head was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year.

"In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital," Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. "In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor."

Luke Ryland wrote more on Turkey's role in the heroin industry and how this role is kept hushed by The System two years ago.

Just as the Gray Wolves were CIA assets in that organization's Gladio operation in Turkey, so now Gülen is most likely the CIA's most recent asset. He resides in the US, as does Mehmet Eymür, former chief of MİT's "counter-terror" department. He is a green card-holder, as was Abdullah Çatlı--at the time that he was on Interpol's "wanted list", no less. Gülen continues to be supportive of the MHP and BBP. the two Gray Wolf parties, and went so far as to give money, through Ergenekon's Tuncay Güney, to the recently dead Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu so that he could establish BBP. Thus the connections between Gülen and these Turkish-Islamist terrorists continue.

For more on the Deep State, including the role of that nasty old Harman bitch, whose corruption I first mentioned the other day, you need to check out the latest interview by Scott Horton, with Philip Giraldi [Run time slightly over 40 minutes]. Here's something to reflect on, since this is the 24th of April:

SH: . . . Jane Harman had done this major flip-flop and there's a link to a Youtube video of the Armenian lobby group, of a lot of young people protesting quite loudly calling hera a genocide denier. Apparently she was a co-sponsor of the Armenian Genocide recognition resolution, or whatever it was, while at the same time it was discovered that she had written a letter to Tom Lantos to scotch the thing . . . So that reminded me, of course, of Dennis Hastert because, I believe the story goes, according to Vanity Fair, and Daniel Ellsberg, and people familiar with the Sibel Edmonds case--which I know you've written about--that this was something that Hastert got a direct cash pay-off for--thousands of dollars, the former Speaker of the House--in order to thwart the Armenian Genocide resolution, in order to protect America and, apparently, Israel's relationship with Turkey. Can you expand on that?

PG: Yeah. I think you hit it right on the end there. Ithink that what she [Harman] was doing obviously--she's a congressman from Los Angeles . . . District 34 . . . She has apparently a strong constituency of Armenians who are wealthy and politically-motivated and, so, she was, indeed, one of the co-sponsors. But the Israel lobby and Israel decided they really didn't want this to go ahead for a couple of reasons--the relationship with Turkey being the most important one--and a lot of congressmen, as a result of a shift on the part of Israeli interests, also shifted their votes. So she was one of them. Tom Lantos, of course, was involved with this, too. Nancy Pelosi did a shift on it, as you know. So a lot of it goes back to Israel.


PG: Let's go back to our Turkish example. Why are the Turks so cosy with the Israelis? Do they have any real community of interests? You know, they have some common enemies in the area, and so on and so forth, but the big reason is that being chummy with the Israelis is a big plus for the Turks vis-a-vis the United States.

There's a lot more there about corruption, heroin, the military-industrial complex, the American Turkish Council, and all the rest of that good, old, Deep State criminality stuff.

If any of these Deep Staters had even the slightest nano-particle of honor, they'd blow their own brains out.

I'm just saying.


"On April 24, 1915, the decision of mass genocide and annihilation of the Assyrian-Syrian and the Armenian peoples was taken by the Ottoman Empire. The blueprints of and the logistics for this genocide being prepared ahead of time, they employed Hamidiye Alaylari from Kurdish tribes (Similar to the present day Village Guards system who kill our people) to commit history’s, until then unknown, Genocide. In this Genocide, millions of Armenians and Assyrian-Syrians were killed, and millions others were deported from their homes and land and scattered to the four corners of the world."
~ Zübeyir Aydar.

Discovering truth:

ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- Fethiye Cetin was 25 years old when she discovered her beloved grandmother's secret.

The little old lady in the white headscarf was Armenian. Her real name was not Seher, but Heranus Gadarian.

Cetin says at the age of nine, a Turkish gendarme captain ripped Heranus from the arms of her mother while they were on a brutal death march into the desert. A Turkish couple later adopted the Armenian girl, and gave her a Muslim name.

When Cetin first learned about her grandmother's Armenian origins, she was shocked.

"I felt deceived," she says. "I felt like going out into the street and screaming 'they are lying to us.'"


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


From MEP Vittorio AGNOLETTO and MEP Feleknas UCA

+ their assistants and advisers
+ Cabinet of the President

Dear Members, Dear Colleagues,

On Monday we sent you an important information about the very disturbing news coming from Turkey concerning the arrest of 300 members and activists of the legal, legitimate and parliamentary pro-Kurdish DTP party ("Democratic Society Party / DTP"), among them the three DTP vice-presidents! We received today a significant letter from the DTP representative for Europe, Mr Fayik Yagizay, that we think important to send to all EP Members, for a necessary political reaction: you can find it here below and -also- as attachment. How can a candidate country violate in such a manner the fundamental rights of its own population? [Emphasis Mizgîn]

We keep you informed about the situation, thank you for your attention,

MEP Vittorio AGNOLETTO and MEP Feleknas UCA



22nd of April, 2009

[Note: All emphasis original]

The police operation against our party DTP which started in 13 provinces on 14th of April 2009 has been escalated to a very serious stage. More than 300 members, executives and activists including three vice presidents of our party have been detained. 153 of them were sent to the court and put in to the prison and the others are still under detention. The operation is still going on and the police are arresting new people almost every hour! None of these people are members of an illegal organization, but they are all members, activists and executives of our legal, legitimate and parliamentary party.

Everybody agrees that we got a clear victory at last local elections on 29 of March 2009. Despite many violations, oppressions and tricks, we almost doubled the number of our municipalities (from 56 to 98); we were the first party in 10 provinces in the east and south-east of Turkey. We could win many more provinces if there were democratic and fair elections.

After these results, many people in Turkey started to discuss the Kurdish Question and they wanted the government to launch a dialogue with the DTP for a peaceful solution. When Mr. Obama had a visit to Turkey, he had a meeting with the leader of our party Mr. Ahmet Turk, and he said that there should be a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey.

On the other hand, we heard very dangerous statements from Prime minister, vice prime minister, The Chief of the General Staff and some other state officials stating how dangerous the success of our party is for the national security of the Turkish State.

After these statements, we can easily say that this operation is a political operation. The government and the army got very disappointed and nervous because of our success. While Mr. Erdogan expecting to win some of our provinces, we won many more and we almost doubled the number of our municipalities. So we can say that the main reason of this operation is our success, and it is a kind of revenge!

We fear that this oppression on our party will damage the belief of democratic struggle among our people and aggravate more the unstable situation in Turkey. We have committed ourselves to the democratic struggle for peace and freedom in our country! But we need the support of progressive international public opinion.

As a democratic party in Turkey we ask you to show your solidarity with our party and have a declaration against this dangerous operation. We expect that the European Parliament to react, as it had in the case of Mrs. Leyla Zana, 1995 Sakharov Prize for the Freedom of Thought.

Best regards,

Fayik YAGIZAY, DTP representative for Europe


Related: More on Ahmet Türk in London from Hevallo.


"Now the freaks are on television, the freaks are in the movies. And it's no longer the sideshow, it's the whole show. The colorful circus and the clowns and the elephants, for all intents and purposes, are gone, and we're dealing only with the freaks."
~ Jonathan Winters.

A few items from the front in the US that I'd like to submit for your consideration, dear Rastî readers.

First, what this guy said:

America is going from what used to be the major capitalistic country in the world of free market – a crusader – into what Mussolini would have called fascism: the merger of state and corporate powers. So it is not socialism as people believe, it is socialism’s egalitarianism. It’s not communism where the state controls monopolies – it’s fascism, plain and simple. The merger of corporate and government powers. State-controlled capitalism is called fascism, and fascism has come to America in broad daylight. But they’re feeding them it in little bits and pieces. First AIG was too big to fail. Mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were too big to fail. Banks too big to fail and auto companies. And now we give money to the people that make the auto parts. And now there’s talk about the technology companies, wanting their piece of the action. The merger of state and government is called fascism. Take it from Mussolini; he knew a thing or two about it.

And this:

The people don’t really have a choice, there is no ballot box. I’m of Italian descent and I’ve heard enough of mafia stories for the rest of my life. If you want to look at a mafia, you can call it a republican and democratic party. And if you want to look at the two families, the heads of the mafia, all you have to do is to look at the Bushes and the Clintons. They’ve been running the show now for some 24 years. We heard about Obama who is going to bring in ‘change’. A change you could believe in if he is dumb, stupid and blind. Look who he’s brought in as his chief policy makers. Retreads from the old Clinton administration. It’s a two-headed one-party system. So it’s very difficult for the people to vote in a new administration that isn’t part of the old one.

I first heard this guy on the radio about two years ago. While he was talking about a mortgage meltdown, the MSM was still in la-la land. He's been absolutely on target on the financial crisis each time I've heard him, so pay attention.

Second, the same neo-Nazi who served as the Bush administration's pit bull on warrantless wiretapping of Americans, and who sponsored the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" in Congress, has now been caught in an FBI wiretap as offering to help get a couple of AIPAC (i.e. Israelis or foreign agents for Israel) off the hook in their upcoming espionage trial. The best item on who that neo-Nazi is, and her reaction, can be found here. As for me, I'm enjoying a wonderful sense of schadenfreude.

Third, another congresswoman is caught diverting bailout funds to her husband's real estate company.

Fourth, Dennis "I-Took-Turkish-Drug-Money-To-Ditch-The-Armenian-Genocide-Resolution" Hastert has a son. And that son is eyeing his dad's old Congressional seat. For more on Hastert's Deep State crimes, see my latest on Sibel Edmonds.

Finally, if you remember this post, then you'll be interested to know that the reporter who worked the story won this year's Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism. The TV channels that used, and continue to use, paid Pentagon propagandists have still not discussed the story.

Isn't all this great news?! The US is becoming more and more like Turkey! Now if you could only get some decent poğaça around here . . .

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


"I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man's problem just to avoid violence."
~ Malcolm X.

Last week we were told by the propaganda organs of the Ankara regime that the operations conducted against DTP were not really conducted against DTP but against KCK. DTP maintained that the state terror operations were directed against them and the reason for the operations was DTP's success during the 29 March elections.

Now, it appears that the truth is beginning to surface. Here's something from the hevals at KurdishInfo (

Unlike the fabrications seen in the Turkish media, the DTP members are charged with the party's campaign being illegal. The court is claiming that DTP's Democratic, Ecologically Sensitive, and Gender Equality Based Local Administrations Project and DTP's Local Administrations Office have been accused of being illegal and DTP members were questioned on them.

[ . . . ]

The DTP Projects are reason for the operation

Election campaign programmes prepared by DTP was treated as if they were illegal and the part members faced questions such as "why did you do this program?". DTP's Democratic, Ecologically Sensitive, and Gender Equality Based Local Administrations Project was treated as an illegal action and the phone conversations among party members regarding this project were presented as evidence of crime (DTP's project appeared in the media many times before). Talking about who should appear on Roj TV was presented as a crime as well.

[ . . . ]

Since the operation is classified the defence attorneys cannot get any information on the charges or evidence to be presented at the court. Nobody knows when this open ended investigation will end. Meanwhile the politicians are in prison.

For more on DTP's Democratic Autonomy Project, see here, here, and here.

DTP's bylaws are also being treated as criminal (

Prosecutors named DTP's organizational model as KCK's Turkey structure and included it in the list of crimes. However, DTP has prepared a project titled Democratic Autonomy Creation Project and had it approved at its congress much later than 8 November 2007. This model was handled as "Creation of Democratic Autonomy". In this project, it's proposed that Turkey should be split into 25 executive regions such that every region is to have its own council/senate to handle each region's education, health, social security services, agriculture, cultural services, telecommunications, etc issues. The project's organization was formulated as "The councils shall be called 'regional councils' and the participants shall be called 'regional representatives'. The council elects the chair and the members of the executive board. The chair and executive board members are responsible from execution of council's decisions. This structure doesn't imply federalism or ethnicity-based autonomy, but it's a new democratic executive support structure to bind central administration to the city-level administrations. Every region is to be called with its proper name or by the name of the largest city within the administrative borders of the region."

Despite the secrecy mandate put by the court, some newspapers have been claiming that DTP candidates have been identified by the PKK. However, DTP formed a 27 person Candidate Identification Committee six month before the March 29 elections. People forming this committee included old DEP parliamentarians, DTP administrators, representatives from NGOs, and Women and Youth Assembly members. The committee conducted a meeting during its administration, means of identifying candidates, and candidate identification criteria were decided. In order to comply with the decisions made by committee and fairness to everyone, in every city, town, belde, and metropolis, independent election platforms were formed. These platforms were formed by representatives from NGOs, DTP party members, and individuals who have contributed to democratic struggle in Turkey. Every candidate has come before these platforms. The platforms elected 3 names among these candidates and notified these names to the Candidate Identification Committee and DTP Central Management. DTP Central Management Council and the Candidate Identification Committee, among those 3 names, have picked the candidate with most votes (with one or two exceptions). DTP had identified its candidates for parliamentarian elections using the same procedure.

I mentioned above that the Ankara regime's propaganda organs had stated that the operations were not against DTP, but against KCK. It was Zaman that first came out with that lie, and both of the articles quoted above name Zaman and the Fethullahçı as the force behind the operation. Not surprisingly, MİT has been assisting (

Operation against DTP was decided at an Officer's Club

Firat News Agency (ANF), claimed that the operation against DTP was decided by the Turkish Secret Service (MIT). On April 12, a team of 7 MIT members went to Diyarbakır with 12 folders in their possession.

The MIT members met 5 prosecutors at Diyarbakir Army Officer's Club. 3 of the MIT members left Diyarbakır on a plane, on April 14, the day operations against DTP began.

The remaining 4 MIT members have directed the DTP members interrogations but didn't directly participate in the interrogations.

The articles may also be found at Özgür Gündem:

"DTP'nin faaliyetleri 'yasadışı' ilan edildi"

"İşte 'suç' sayılan DTP tüzüğü"

"Operasyona Ordu Evi'nde karar verildi iddiası"

Maybe someone can explain to me exactly what the point of democracy is, or where it has ever existed because, at this moment, I see democracy only as a propaganda tactic designed to reinforce repression and genocide.

Make sure to stop by Hevallo's place to read his report on Ahmet Türk's current visit to the UK and view some photos. Here's a sample:

“Turkey is now at a point where it has retreated farther into its own shell in comparison to the past,” Türk stated, refuting comments made by European politicians that the country now has a stronger democracy.

Türk’s remarks came on Sunday during a speech he delivered at the Kurdish Community Center in London.

Türk slammed the recent police operations against dozens of individuals suspected of ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which resulted in the arrest of several DTP members.

Officials said the raids and arrests were the culmination of a yearlong investigation into the PKK’s “urban extensions,” but the pro-Kurdish party said the police crackdown was the government’s revenge against the DTP because it defeated the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern cities in last month’s local elections.

“A public cannot live peacefully with another public unless it is set free. ... We are evaluating the issue in terms of the brotherhood of nations rather than of ethnic nationalism,” Türk stated.

The DTP leader also complained about discrimination against his party’s deputies in Parliament. “We have been struggling to solve our problems through democratic means since we entered Parliament, but the other parties represented in Parliament turn a blind eye to our existence,” he said.

See? What did I say about democracy?

Check Gordon Taylor's new post at The Pasha and The Gypsy on "PKK confessor" Abdülkadır Aygan. It may very well be, as Gordon suggests, that Aygan lives now only to bear witness but I consider him a typical "confessor". He joined PKK before PKK existed and then developed cold feet because he claimed he was tired of "executions" within PKK and attacks on villages. But then he goes to work for JİTEM throwing people into acid wells. How is that for consistency? Oh, yeah, he also spent some time in prison doing a little creative writing for the paşas, just like Şemdin Sakık.

At Zerkesorg, there's an opinion about passive resistance and its relation to so-called democracy:

Let's now bring the recent "operations" of the AKPasha Inc against Democratic Society Party (DTP) to put things in perspective a little better. Turkey says "lay down the guns, come down from the mountains, and be a part of the democratic political process". So, you will detain over 240 people because they work at or belong to a legitimate party which kicked your as* in the elections? You will then put them up in jail and call that a democracy? That's AKPasha Inc's current Political Process for you. The detained and arrested people are politicians, lawyers, and alike who didn't touch a gun. God forbid if these people even had a toy water gun in their possession or be part of any corruption (AKPasha Inc, hint hint), I am sure the magazinews channels would be running stories 24/7. Does this revenge-for-losing-elections-in-Kurdistan campaign presented by AKPasha Inc give you an idea of what they would do to PKK guerrillas if they laid their arms and came down to cities without democratization of the fascist system?

For more on the utter futility of passive resistance, let me recommend "Arms and the Movement" for your perusal. Among the conclusions there:

The Madrid bombings do not present an example for action, but rather, an important paradox: Do people who stick to nonviolent tactics that have not proved effective in ending the war against Iraq really care more for human life than the Madrid terrorists? From India to Birmingham, nonviolence has failed to sufficiently empower its practitioners, whereas the use of a diversity of tactics got results. Put simply, if a movement is not a threat, it cannot change a system that is based on centralized coercion and violence.

Time and again, people struggling not for some token reform but for complete liberation -- the reclamation of control over our own lives and the power to negotiate our own relationships with the people and the world around us -- will find that nonviolence does not work, that we face a self-perpetuating power structure that is immune to appeals to conscience and strong enough to plow over the disobedient and uncooperative.

Amen, brother.

Oh. We haven't heard much from that son-of-a-bitch Murderer Erdoğan lately, have we? Apparently some jackass somewhere decided that Murderer Erdoğan deserved a "tolerance" prize--be careful not to barf on your keyboard--and some German politicians are stunned by the suggestion. Stunned politicians belong to the German CDU, CSU, Greens, and SPD are still trying to recover from the shock. The best remark came from the CSU general secretary Alexander Dobrindt, who said that Erdoğan deserved an intolerance prize instead.

Monday, April 20, 2009


More from Europe:

From MEP Vittorio AGNOLETTO and MEP Feleknas UCA

+ their assistants and advisers
+ info Cabinet of the President


Dear Members and Colleagues,

We just need some minutes of your time to inform you about the seriousness of the political situation in Turkey (as far as the Kurdish question is concerned) and about facts recently registered in Turkey, where a totally unacceptable repression has been lunched by the security forces and the so-called Turkish justice system ...

1) ... against the pro-Kurdish DTP party ("Democratic Society Party"). As you know, the DTP is a fully recognised, legitimate and legal party with an important parliamentary group in the Turkish Grand National Assembly; after an important victory of the DTP candidates in the recent local / regional election, the Ankara's authorities launched a violent repression against Kurdish and DTP representatives; please note that until now, more than 300 DTP members, executives and activists, including the three DTP's Vice-presidents are detained or involved in police operations (which are still going on)!

Only the DTP leader, Mr Ahmet Turk, a politician very well-known and very appreciated here in the European Parliament and abroad, is not -for the moment- under arrest. This political move by the Turkish police follows the impressive results of the DTP in the local elections on 29 March 2009, in which the party almost doubled the number of municipalities it won (from 56 to 98). Immediately after these results, a number of statements were made by representatives of the Turkish government and the security forces, for example regarding the success of the DTP! Against this background, the police action can only be seen as politically motivated. We therefore call on the Turkish authorities to respect the will of the people, expressed in the recent local elections, and to guarantee citizens their rights, especially freedom of activity for political parties in Turkey, in this instance the DTP, of other regional organisations, such as the Union of South-East municipalities, and of the media. Please find attached the formal DTP-Ankara statement of the 14th of April, plus a DTP-Brussels note / information on the most recent situation.

2) ... against also (again and again) Mrs Leyla ZANA, European Parliament's 1995 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Let us underline that Leyla Zana has been sentenced in December 2008 to ten years of prison for speeches she gave (even) in the EU European Parliament and the UK House of Lords! This is an unacceptable violation of her fundamentals rights and political freedom, inspired and orchestrated by the Turkish government: please note, for example, that she's facing more than 35 investigations for simple declarations or speeches she made, she doesn't even know how many trials she has to face! On March 31st, 2009, took place -in Diyarbakir- the last session of one of those trials. Mrs Leyla Zana is officially invited to address the European Parliament's Conference of the Groups' Presidents on the 30th of April, 2009, in Brussels; she will have the opportunity to inform our Parliament about her situation.Please find attached an (incomplete) "list of trials" she has to face (in one of those, the Turkish Prosecutor, not satisfied for a condemnation to 10 years of prison, is now asking for 50 years of prison...). Please also find the speech she made during the trail on the 31st of March; an informal report of a relevant member of the UK Bar Human Rights Committee is also attached.

We invite you and your groups to show your solidarity with these people and organisations, such as Mrs Leyla Zana and the DTP, which are fully involved in the promotion of a political solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey. We'll keep you informed on the situation, as far as on possible initiatives.

Thank you for your attention,

MEP Vittorio AGNOLETTO and MEP Feleknas UCA

Leyla Zana's statement:

10 April 2008


Respectable Judges,

I would first like to point out that I consider it a disgrace for the democracy of Turkey that I am being tried because of my thoughts. The fact that expression of thought is being considered within the scope of the fight against terrorism underscores yet another topical and burning issue.

It is fact that to be able to express one’s thoughts is a guarantee for all other freedoms. Being deprived of the freedom of thought is synonymous with being deprived of the most basic human freedoms. In generally accepted terms, freedom of thought is borne out of the combination of three main elements: Freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom to disseminate one’s thoughts... The lack of one of these makes it impossible to talk about freedom of thought in any country. The said deficiency causes pluralism to be disregarded also. On the other hand, universal law has gone through an evolution whereby it has moved on from the idea of “the state comes first” to “man comes first”.

Whenever there is talk of the freedom of thought and its exercise, they always remind you that even in developed countries freedom of thought is not infinite and unrestricted. According to research done on this issue, “In almost all countries other than Turkey, the restriction brought on the expression of thought is based not on ‘the security of the state’ but on ‘social peace’ and the ‘security of the people’. Therefore, the claim that there are similar legal arrangements in other countries has no purpose other than distorting the issue.”

Respectable Chief Judge,

Kurdish people are one of the oldest indigenous settled peoples of the Middle East. Kurds living within the borders of Turkey-Iran-Iraq and Syria have been struggling for survival for the past 200 years. Kurds with a population of nearly 40 million, who have been subjected to many massacres during this time frame, have been deprived of all of their national and democratic rights. Despite the fact that some historians have observed that their population is larger than that, an objective census specifically for Kurds can not be carried out. Throughout one hundred year extending from Sheikh Mahmud Berzenci to Sheikh Said, from Seyid Riza to Melle Mustafa Barzani, from Mahabad uprising to the PKK, the Kurdish people have fought for their “status”.

Although Kurds, with a population of around 20 million within the borders of Turkey, who have remained ‘Turkish’ based on their legal description have tried all legal means in different periods, the democratic channels have never opened up at the desired level. The fact that Kurds’ democratic rights were not placed under constitutional safeguards when the Turkish Republic was founded and that they were not granted the right to express themselves in the legal domain, brought with it ‘resistance against oppression’.

The policy of “Divide-Fragment and Rule” and “Deny-Refuse and Destroy” brought about counter violence. The PKK emerged as a rebellion to the injustice entailing this dramatic pressure and destruction. The anti-democratic implementations developed with the justification that “throughout history Kurds rebelled 28 times, and PKK is the 29th rebellion and this rebellion will also be suppressed” were turned into a rigid official state policy. Changing times and various governments unfortunately could not change this policy. While those who were streamlined into the system became members of parliament, ministers, generals, high level bureaucrats, businessmen with money, property and wealth; those who denied assimilation and insisted on their national identity were victimised and considered as non-existent. They were pushed about, humiliated, and silenced by being confronted with an unchanging oppression.

While the shock of denial in the 1924 constitution was still not overcome, the injuries the democracy of Turkey suffered with regular military coups that took place every decade was felt most deeply among the Kurds. The inhuman treatment and severe human rights violations they suffered at the Diyarbakır Prison in particular became a milestone in the recent history of the Kurds. Probably because what they experienced was worse than fire, people placed their very bodies in fire.

Many things were tried: Kurdistan was turned into a place of exile, Kurds were turned into the “other”, state of emergency and martial law were imposed in the area for over 20 years, Kurdish was banned, the yellow-red-green colour combination was considered an offence, extra judicial killings were committed, villages were evacuated, village guard system was put in place. Even during civil disobedience actions entailing democratic demands, many of our people lost their lives for a life of freedom. While the perpetrators of these losses arising from uncontrolled use of force were not punished, Kurds were once again made targets through counter-guerrilla actions based on organisations of gangs and confessions. The feudal structure was strengthened by the support of state policy. Yet another method used for suppressing the demands of the people was to keep tribalism alive. Other important dimensions of this multifaceted problem include forced relocation from villages to urban areas, differences in regional development and inadequate provision of health and education services.

This wave of violence of course wasted many human, ecological and economic resources of the country. These implementations dating back to the beginning of the republic did not just result in numerical losses. Hearts that turned into places of devastation after fire, lives that were broken and lives without a trace slipped away from our hands.

As a result there is not a single Kurd that has not been offended in Turkey. Almost all started life with anxiety and prohibitions imposed on them. Even when they were still a baby, their name suffered prohibitions. During their childhood their language was banned and when they became young men and women their identity and their stance in life were placed under prohibitions. They were forced to think in a single language, express themselves through a single language and think from a single angle of perception. Lullabies their mothers sang to them, their fathers’ cultural characteristics and preferences were denigrated, their preferences ridiculed and they were pushed outside the society. This feeling of anxiety often forced them to speak their mother tongue secretly behind closed doors. They were moreover ridiculed for speaking the official state language with an accent. They were the brunt of jibes and ridicules. ‘Kurdishness’ which was revived due to political, sociological and psychological reasons, gradually turned into will power. The difficulties of being Kurdish in the public domain politicised each and every Kurdish youth ever more. Kurds who did not initially have this political awareness started questioning the reason for their suffering as time went on. From ‘individuals who were ashamed’ of their characteristics originating from their birth, a social awareness and demands that came along with that awareness were born. The burning fire that started off from a small ember started covering every place Kurds lived in without exception. Every prohibition, excluding behaviour or insult brought the mountains a little closer. In time, every Kurdish family started finding a piece of it in the mountains. Thus it became apparent that being “Kurdish” was nothing to be embarrassed about.

Respectable Judges,

Today, the reason for my being in this court has been described as praising crime and criminals and undertaking propaganda for an illegal organisation. I do not think we need to further analyse the legal aspect of this problem, which is in essence a constitutional problem. No democratic country can carry the burden of the 12th of September constitution developed by army generals and one which, let alone being the answer to the requisites of our age, exacerbates existing issues.

If the issue in hand is ‘crime’ and ‘praising criminals’, what is ‘crime’ and who is the ‘criminal’? I would like to state that I do not regard defending a people’s demands for respect, equality and freedom as a crime. My premise in this is not victimisation! In fact I have never adopted the policy of victimisation as a method for seeking rights. I have lived through experience showing that material force, power, and the might that comes with that power will never stand against the will of the people. The definitions of ‘crime’ and ‘criminal’ for those who approach the world on the basis of democracy, human rights and the will of the people are relative concepts. In fact the concepts of crime and criminal are delicate concepts on which universal agreement has not been reached throughout history. We all know that depending on periods, incidents and historical realities, the concepts of ‘crime’ and ‘criminal’ have undergone a process of update. The real crime is to meticulously distract attention from issues that need to be discussed in the democratic public opinion.

Reflecting reality and explaining it in a way different from what it really is, does not solve problems. It is not possible to explain and understand without talking. Then, we must open up ways and means of being able to discuss the issue. How much longer can one hide the truth or ignore it in an age when technology is advancing at a dizzying pace? The traditional ‘statist’ approach has gone bankrupt in the face of a world that has become much smaller. Social reality makes itself felt and compels one to accept it. It is amply clear that those who are regarded as ‘criminal’ in one part of society are regarded as a value in another part of that society.

The world becomes ever more divided and complex day by day. People fear uncertainty. Producing solutions for this division requires that faster decisions are taken against uncertainty. There is a growing need for contributions that underscore respect for differences.

Distinguished Judges,

In this context, developing societies need leaders that develop them. Leadership is a role. People need to be convinced about the leadership, creativity and problem solving power of the person who takes on that role. The leader must first convince people about the necessity of the cause that is being defended. It is difficult to strike a balance between yesterday, today and tomorrow. The leader is the one who builds bridges between the ‘today’ that we want to leave behind and the ‘tomorrow’ that we dream about. He also convinces us that we will be able to cross that bridge and encourages us to do so. That is why their leadership is approved by people.

In this framework I think it is a historic duty for me to express a reality one cannot avoid underlining. During the Newroz celebrations held last year, I said in front of millions that Kurds have three leaders and we are grateful to all of these three leaders. My intention here is neither to make propaganda for an organisation nor to praise it. In fact, I do not think the personalities in question need any praise anyway. I believe that my speech should only be perceived as an observation of a historical situation.

In the indictment, the prosecutor excluded Mr Barzani and Talabani from his evaluation due to their political position. I would like to remind the prosecutor that only yesterday Mr Talabani and Mr Barzani were blamed with the same accusations that Mr Öcalan is subject to today.

Although each of these has a different sphere of influence, all three leaders have an important place in the feelings and thoughts of the Kurdish people. None is an alternative to the other. And because they have demonstrated the skill to turn differences into unity, our people mention them with gratitude. Gratitude, in its simplest sense is the “expression of indebtedness, of a heartfelt debt, of pleasure for a ‘good deed’ that has been done”. In this framework, ‘good deed’ is the ability to prevent peoples from cutting each other’s throat. It is a voluntary reflection of the will to live together. This meeting on the axis of peace and freedom can be described as the greatest “good deed” done throughout history for the sake of Kurds.

The initiators of this effort that has reawakened a nation—a nation that even history itself had forgotten-- will certainly be mentioned with gratitude. Not to say that a great majority is impressed by the ideas of these leaders who, while seeking a future without frontiers, have embraced the culture of social peace and democracy and taken it to their people would be a travesty of truth. In this framework, it is inevitable and natural for Kurds to accept these three leaders as persons of value. What I wanted to voice in behalf of our people was giving unto those who deserved what they duly deserved.

“Leaders come on the stage of history with a call for social needs. The goal of the leader is victory. The struggle against evil, the inadequate, and the mediocre also aims for victory. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that great leaders emerge and show the way for solving problems in war or peace or during times of a drive for change, in other words during turning points in history.”

It should be known that if, despite decades of conflict, the Turkish and Kurdish people have not confronted each other, Mr Öcalan’s role in that is great. This role is also the guarantee for an honourable, just and lasting peace. Preparing society for the historical journey called change is possible when the right people become leaders at the right time. There are many people with great goals and who spend a great deal of effort to achieve them. But those who act in the name of their people and who accomplish their mission alongside their people are regarded as great leaders. It is because of these reasons that our people have repeatedly stated both in writing and verbally that he is accepted as the Kurdish People’s Leader. In the eyes of our people just as speaking Kurdish, saying Kurdistan and saying Mr Öcalan is not a crime, believing in this cause is not a crime either. Taking ownership of one’s leader is a human, conscientious, moral and political responsibility. In this context, the message distilled from the cries of millions of our citizens taking to the streets with the slogan, “PKK is the people, the people are here” should be understood correctly. Describing the Kurdish people’s demands for peace, freedom and equality as “terrorism” offends the Kurdish people.

One should not forget that at a place where there is war, one day there will definitely be peace. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’ reading the peace declaration with Mr Yasser Arafat whom he called a ‘terrorist’ for years, the courage of the South African President Mr De Klerk and Mr Mandela in ending the three hundred year white supremacy are still clear in our memories and remembered with respect. Peace, which will be a new life is not divisive, destructive and dislocative; on the contrary, it is unifying, bringing together and inclusive; because peace is the very act of building itself.

Respectable Judges,

As I conclude my presentation on this portion of the trial, I would also like to take this opportunity to announce an important decision of mine. From now on, whatever the ‘charge’ may be, I am thinking of not using my right to defend myself in trials. Since I started my struggle, irrespective of time and place, at squares or at trials I have always defended the same ideas. I was sometimes the witness and sometimes the defendant. I also stayed in prison for many years. The direction of my thoughts did not change either when I was a ‘prisoner’ or when I was ‘free’. You may not approve of my ideas; in fact we can defend conflicting and different ideas as well. But now I believe in the senselessness of repeating ourselves. I wish for a process where an evolution of thought has been completed in which our people will not be suspects, defendants or prisoners because of their thoughts.

Leyla Zana

Trial observer statement:



Margaret Owen. Member Bar Human Rights Committee.

Leyla Zana appeared in the Diyabakir Court on March 31st to answer charges that she is a terrorist, praises crime and undertakes propaganda for an illegal organisation (the PKK). She is indicted under the Anti-Terror Law and under certain articles of the Turkish Penal Code (TPC), as evidenced by her speeches made abroad between 2007 and 2008.

Over a hundred foreign observers many from Germany and Italy, and others from Sweden, the UK and representing the European Parliament and the Commission) had come to attend the trial, which was due to open at However, since only 2 days earlier the DTP had won a resounding victory against the AKP and other parties in the local elections in the South-East, and tensions were running high, which were thought might severely influence the judge and prosecutor in the case, the defence lawyers sought and obtained an adjournment to June 2nd. The judge accepted Leyla’s lawyers’ plea that they needed further time to formulate the defence. Nevertheless there was still a short hearing.

As always (to a UK observer) the physical geography of the court room both shocks and surprises, since it seems to reflect the Kafkaesque features of the Turkish judicial system. High up behind the platform sit 4 people in it seemed, identical judges’ robes; but the one sitting close to the central figure, the chief judge, is in fact the Prosecutor. On the other side are the two other judges who appear to take little part in any discussions on the bench, show little interest in what is said, while they twiddle with the mouse on the laptop. (Could they be playing solitaire?) Lower down in the court-room, to one side, sit the defence lawyers, Meral Bestos, Muharrum Erbey and another. Visually there is clear inequality between prosecution and defence, and the proximity of prosecutor to judge raises questions of course about the independence of the judiciary and the fairness of any trial given this scenario.

Although we had been told that an adjournment had been granted, there was still a short hearing in which Leyla Zana read out, in turkish, (or rather repeated) the speech she had made as her defence to her prosecution in April, 2008 for the speech she had made at the Newroz of 2007, defending her defence. She said “Respectable Judges, I would like first to point out that I consider it a disgrace for the democracy of Turkey that I am being tried because of my thoughts. The fact that expression of thought is being considered within the scope of the fight against terrorism underscores yet another topical and burning issue. It is a fact that to be able to express one’s thought is a guarantee of all other freedoms”. She spoke about fundamental rights of the Kurds to freedom of expression, assembly and of their language rights. Concluding she said “I would also like to take this opportunity to announce an important decision of mine. From now on, whatever the “charge” may be, I am thinking of not using my right to defend myself in trials. ….I believe in the senselessness of repeating ourselves. I wish for a process where an evolution of thought has been completed in which our people will not be suspects , defendant or prisoners because of their thoughts”.

After the adjournment the observers were invite to a lunch with her lawyers, and later on the day the UK delegation, and others had a further meeting with Muharrem Erbey. There we learnt more detail about the danger for Leyla Zana of the indictments under a combination of laws, under both the TPC and the Anti-Terror Law. Under the TPC, Article 304 para.2 and Article 220 para. 6 in particular. The latter spells out that even if a defendant is not an active member of an illegal (terrorist) organisation, and does no work on its behalf, if he or she “ acts like a member” the charge of terrorism can be sustained. TPC Article 222 para. 4 provides for the Prosecutor to appeal when he considers the court has given an inadequate and too lenient a sentence. Whilst the charges arising from the speeches made between 2007 and 2008 outside the jurisdiction but recorded and circulated in the country ( including one made at a meeting held at a House of Lords Committee room last summer, 2008), will be prosecuted on June 2nd, Leyla Zana also faces an appeal, by the Prosecutor, at the Court of Cassation in Ankara, against the sentence of 10 years imprisonment for other speeches and writings on the grounds that the sentence is “not enough” for a conviction on both providing propaganda for an illegal organisation and for being a member of a terrorist group. He is asking for a further 23 years. However, Leyla’s lawyers emphasized that the hearing on June 2nd. is the crucial one, rather than the Ankara appeal, for which no date is expected to be given for another 4 or 5 months. They earnestly request the presence of foreign lawyers to observe this hearing, and hope that the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) can be persuaded to send observers to report on the fairness of this coming trial.

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