Thursday, October 22, 2009


“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.”
~ George Bernard Shaw.

The Federation of [Turkish] Martyrs' Families isn't happy that there may be a political solution to the Kurdish situation:

[President of the Federation of Martyrs' Families Hamit] Köse compared the reception of the PKK envoys to a funeral that made the martyrs turn in their graves. He said they were received with open arms, “without regretting the terror and the murders.”

Ayşe Çelik, the mother of a martyr, questioned the fairness of the amnesty. “Bring back our children like you are bringing them [PKK members] back from the mountains,” she said. “You can’t, because our children are buried in the ground.”

Aside from the fact that these ghouls would prefer to see more people on both sides die, let's consider a few things here. What is their real beef?

A conservative number of dead from the Dirty War in The Southeast is 40,000. Let's go along with the claim that 6,000 of those dead were TSK and, for the sake of argument, let's say that those 6,000 were all ethnic Turks--although we know they all weren't. That means that 34,000 of the dead in our conservative estimate were Kurds.

Again, let's review the math: 6,000 TSK "are buried in the ground", to quote Ayşe Çelik and 34,000 Kurds "are buried in the ground".

Who has suffered more?

Maybe the Federation of Martyrs' Families is upset about the forcible displacement of Turkish citizens? How many Turkish citizens were forcibly displaced by TSK in Western Turkey? None. How many Turkish citizens were forcibly displace by TSK in The Southeast? At least 2,000,000.

Who has suffered more?

On the other hand, it could be that the Federation of Martyrs' Families has a problem with economic disparities? Western Turkey has an unemployment rate of 25 - 30%. What's the rate in The Southeast? Sixty to seventy percent.

Who is suffering more? Who longs for peace more?

Of course, it's only fair to mention that not all martyrs' families associations are opposed to the idea of the Kurdish initiative or the PKK's peace groups sent from Kandil, Maxmur, or the one that will soon arrive from Europe.

The comparison here of the reactions of these organizations to the events of the last few days seems to be consistent with the initial reactions of the population. On the day the peace groups arrived from Kandil and Maxmur, Turkish TV news channels sought the reaction of the "man" on the street. It appeared that about half were supportive of the arrival of the peace groups while the other half opposed. I have seen no numbers on the matter so, at this point, these are my observations of what has gone on in Turkish media.

It would also appear that those who are braying the most against the arrival of the peace groups are the two "opposition" party jackasses--Baykal and Bahçeli.

What may be more significant, however, are two other things I've noticed about Turkish media in this last week:

1. At this point, the paşas have been absolutely silent on the matter. There has not even been so much as a hint of an e-coup; there have been no mysterious postings of opposition statements on the website of the Turkish general staff.

2. According to Milliyet, Emre Taner's position as the head of MİT has been extended again, this time until May 2010.

For those having difficulty reading between the lines, here's something from June 2009:

Avni Özgürel of daily Radikal writes that Gül's announcement is based on a report by Emre Taner, the Director of the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT), which proposes an administrative reform for partial devolution of power to the regional/local authorities, finding an appropriate way of accommodating the guerrillas coming down from the mountains, a formula for the PKK leadership's accommodation and an amendment in the conditions of imprisonment of Abdullah Öcalan. This proposal, Özgürel asserts, has been agreed upon in principle by all the participants of the National Security Council (MGK), including, most remarkably, the military's high command.

If this attempt at a solution actually goes through this time, given the silence of the paşas and the extension of Taner's tenure as MİT chief, the jackasses are screwed. But, seeing is believing, as they say, so let us see what will happen.


Annette said...

I must say that this is an amazing thing. I do not pretend to understand the depth of pain and suffering on both sides. It would be difficult to simply put aside that pain. I do admit that I was very surprised that the PKK would send its fighters. But then, that is what Abdullah Ocalan asked them to do. Why wouldn't they?

An end finally came for the Cold War, and peace was achieved between the IRA/Sinn Fein and Great Britain. Are Turkey AND PKK really ready for this next step? and all that is required?

Mizgin: What do you think? Really. Angst aside, have both Turkey (Turks, Kurds, Armenians, etc.) and the PKK (those in Turkey, Iraq, Europe, Middle east, etc.) both evolved enough to truly take this step? I hope so. It would be nice to see this conflict come to an end without more bloodshed on either side.

Anonymous said...

Annette, the Kurds have been asking for peace for quite sometime now (just count how many times they have declared unilateral cease fires). The reality on the ground is that 80+ years of brainwashing by the state has turned most Turks into robots when it comes to Turkishness. Kurds are the ones with a bit of common sense in this conflict. You don't see anyone getting attacked in Kurdistan because they are ethic Turk do you? But Kurds to get attacked in Turkey. Heck even a 13 year old girl will get killed and the military will blame those who question it with "conducting asymmetrical warfare." Have the fascist state evolved into a civil one? I have learned one thing: not to trust it. I will believe it ONLY when I SEE it with my own eyes.

Mizgin, the I can guarantee you that more than half of the 6,000 martyrs from the Turkish side are actually Kurds. Here is a hint for statistics:


Mizgîn said...

Annette, as Zerkes points out, the PKK and the Kurdish people evolved a while back since serious attempts to achieve a political solution date back to, at least, Turgut Ozal's time.

Therefore, on the Kurdish side, the will for peace has existed for some time but there has been a lack of a similar will from the other side.

Military officers (including Ilker Basbug) and MIT bureaucrats (including Emre Taner's predecessor, Senkal Atasagun) have repeatedly and publicly stated that a military solution is not going to solve the Kurdish "problem". They realize that there must be a political solution. Whether the atmosphere among these ruling elites prevails in the face of massive brainwashing of the general Turkish public is another issue altogether.

Of course, the Ankara regime is not known for carrying out the will of the Turkish people, but it will have to begin a public campaign of de-brainwashing the public. I think we have already seen signs that the media is trying to do that through opinion pieces and interviews by some of the better known journalists.

At this point, we have one little gesture made. It is still early in the process, if this is, indeed, a process. So again I have to agree with Zerkes and not trust the regime. This is also the position of PKK.

Zerkes, yes you are correct about the statistics. But even if we take the claim of 6,000 ethnic Turk TSK'ers dead, then there is still a huge imbalance in the numbers which clearly tells us which side has suffered more--and we haven't even mentioned village guard deaths.

Anonymous said...

Army spoke out last weekend. Who is behind those demos you think? MHP/CHP/BBP? Or 'the so-called deep state'