Sunday, July 26, 2009


"Defeat is a school in which truth always grows strong."
~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Many thanks to the comrade who sent this along for your reading enjoyment--a translation of a recent opinion piece by Ahmet Altan at Taraf:

How Was the State Defeated?

This didn't happen with weapons.

Just the "existence" of the PKK was enough for the state to get defeated.

Actually, it wasn't possible for the PKK to defeat the state with weapons.

If the state could stand as a real state, such a defeat would not be the case.

But all the awkwardness of the state was revealed by the Kurdish war that PKK started.

This defeat has arrived as a result of the state seeing itself as "agha" and its people as "servants".

Our "agha" state, which takes every demand from a "servant" as "arrogant disrespectfulness", when faced with Kurds' demand, went into a state of complete "frustration".

These very rightful and just demands could be solved without getting guns involved.

But the disaster called 12 September [the 1980 coup] could not even tolerate Kurds' demands that were as weak as murmuring.

It attacked those people [the Kurds] like a death machine.

As if Diyarbakır prison was used intentionally to make Kurds go crazy because of "anger and pain".

In that prison it [the state] made people live such horrific pains, applied such horrific torture, and belittled people so badly that it did not leave any other way for for Kurds than "going to the mountains".

The state completely lost its mind when Kurds took up arms.

The state never thought about the reason for this uprising, neither did she look for a solution. It shut its ears to the people's complaints and turned down their demands.

It [the state] even denied that they were "Kurds".

It only chose one goal for itself: to supress the uprising at whatever cost.

It didn't even wonder "if there was another solution".

The PKK had a very strong support base among the people and it found external support too.

When the state couldn't annihilate the PKK with weapons, and could not suppress the uprising, it made the mistake that opened the way for its big defeat; the state, with all its institutions, was hurled outside the law.

Today, from almost every corner of The Southeast, bones of murdered people are surfacing.

The state's officers commited these horrific massacres.

The state turned its commissioned officers into "murderers" in those places.

It made the members of its legal system "co-conspirators"; it made its politicians into "inciters of murder"; and used its police as "torturers".

When the state, that should stand by and guard the law, stepped out of the law, then that huge organization [the state] turned into a gang.

Think about the Susurluk gangs, and Ergenekon.

Think about the cooperation with the mafia, murders, drug trafficking, and racketeering clashes.

The state, which was founded defectively anyway, lost its functionality as a "state".

"Criminal freedom" got larger and larger in the state's body, like a cancerous cell, and fed on all its establishment.

Then the state's flesh started falling off.

It turned into what it is today.

We are in a country in which the Constituional Court can violate the constitution.

Forensics medicine can do things bizarrely enough to get the attention of the president.

There is a murder organization named JITEM inside the state and its existence is constantly denied.

With its current structure, our state is not a state anymore.

And this is the big defeat that it experienced against PKK anyway; Not being a state anymore.

The state, in the name of destroying the PKK, destroyed itself, its legitimacy, and its very reason for existence.

PKK still stands.

But our state is vanished.

Now this state must be re-established.

We will re-establish a state which is respectful of people's demands, which serves its people, in which the Constitutional Court is respectful of the constitution, in which the soldiers will do what soldiers must do, and the police maintain law and order.

The state's "agha-hood" is finished. This people is not a "servant" anymore either.

The state's defeat, in fact, opened the road for transformation we should have lived long ago.

The state's and the peoples' roles are being redefined.

Of course there are still some who want to continue the old habits and act like a "agha" but their power is not enough anymore to make people accept this monstrosity as a "state".

To establish a new state, first, peace will be made with Kurds.

Then, the state will stop labeling the people, who are the true owners of this country, as "with--without head scarf", "left wing--right wing", and "Alevi--Sunni".

The sins of the past will be revealed one by one, the perpetrators will be put on trial, and the state and society will make a serious self-criticism.

Then we will have a new state and a new society.

We will establish a state which will not make any of its citizens to have to "take up arms" and which will not torture.

Defeat of a defective state will give birth to a healthy society.

I don't think anything else needs to be added given the context in which Altan writes. I really do like the part about making "a serious self-criticism". That's so very Apocu.

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