Thursday, February 26, 2009


"Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it."
~ Rosa Parks.

Here he is, the Defiant One:

At about 2:03, Türk begins speaking in the "unknown language" and at 2:10 he's cut off. The Meclis TV/TRT 3 talking head explains that they cut the broadcast because the Turkish constitution and political parties law only permit Turkish to be used in the TBMM. TRT 3 apologizes to their viewers.

On the other hand, there are those who disagree with TRT 3's interpretation of the constitution:

[B]ianet spoke to Prof. Dr. Mithat Sancar, a lawyer at Ankara University. Sancar was of the opinion that Türk speaking Kurdish in a party group meeting did not violate either the constitution or the Law on Political Parties. He argued that on the contrary, those trying to widen the ban expressed in the law were violating the principle of legislative responsibility in the constitution.

The constitutional article, so Sancar, did not mean that languages apart from the official language were forbidden. If that were the case, then neither could the Prime Minister say anything in Kurdish, nor could the recently set up state TRT 6 channel broadcast in Kurdish.

He added that the speech in a party group meeting could not be counted as a formal procedure.

Taraf's interview with Mithat Sancar was published here in December, although it includes no mention of RTÜK laws which severely limit Kurdish language broadcasts.

The wider question here is not a matter of whether or not the constitution or political parties law allows the use of Kurdish. The wider question has to do with morality and ethics, not legality; because many times laws are written and instituted by scoundrels to protect their own interests. At one time in the US, it was illegal for African Americans to sit in the front seats of buses. Was Rosa Parks, therefore, a criminal for refusing to move to the back of the bus? No. Like Ahmet Türk, she was a Defiant One. The law loses all its meaning when it is devoid of ethics and morality

Bianet has a copy of Ahmet Türk's speech at the DTP group meeting. It includes the following:

“21 February is International Mother Language Day. Language is very important in Kurdish history. Because the Kurds who did not know any languages apart from their own were put under a lot of pressure. During the military coup, the state arrested many people and put them in prison. I was also arrested. Our families came for visits, and they wanted to talk Kurdish, because they spoke no other language. But because they knew that if they spoke Kurdish it would create problems for us and them, and that we were beaten for it, they could not speak. Sometimes we defied the ban and said ‘how are you mother?’ because we wanted them to go home without their hearts broken. Later we paid for it and were beaten. At that time I promised myself that one day, I would speak my mother tongue at an official meeting.”

“The Prime Minister is praising his party and their projects on TRT 6 (the newly set up state channel broadcasting in Kurdish). But when members of the DTP greet others in their own language, they are taken to court. They are investigated. When a mayor speaks to his people in his own language, he is taken to court. But when the Prime Minister speaks Kurdish, no one says anything. We find this wrong, hypocritical. What has the Prime Minister done to make the language free, we wonder.

You go, boyfriend!

In other news, DTP's Gülten Kışanak has proposed a bill that will make the FORBIDDEN LETTERS helal for use in Turkey. If it passes, not only will this bill make it possible for Kurdish parents to give their children Kurdish names, but it will also make it possible for BMW to be known in Turkey as "BMW", instead of simply as "BM".

And an interesting obit--The chief of the National Police Special Operations Unit blew his brains out in his car. BOOOO-HOOOO-HOOOOOOO.

Right. Suicide. Just like that JITEM scumbag, Abdülkerim Kırca.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


"All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue."
~ The UN

Ahmet Türk speaks Kurdish in Parliament for UNESCO's International Mother Language Day and Meclis TV/TRT 3 (Turkey's version of CSPAN) cuts its live broadcast of the DTP leader.

According to Hürriyet, Türk was cut off "because using a language other than Turkish in speeches in Parliamentary is forbidden under the Constitution of the Republic."

Well, so the hell what? Let's remember that TRT 6, aka TRT CEHŞ aka KORUCU TV, Turkey's first channel broadcasting in the "unknown language"--is completely in violation of broadcasting laws and Katil Erdoğan is allowed to speak the "unknowwn language". Şerafettın Elçi goes around making political speeches in the "unknown language". But nothing happens to Turks or fake Kurds who use the "unknown language", does it?

Yet the "unknown language"--oh, by the way they use this term of stupidity of "unknown language" because they're so freakin' racist that to say the words "Kurd" or "Kurdish" would absolutely choke them to death--yet the "unknown language" is forbidden in prisons--especially if you're an "unknown language" person prisoner and you have visitors who speak nothing but the "unknown language"; it's forbidden for use by political parties for political purposes; it's forbidden for use in correspondence by associations; it's forbidden for use in sermons; and it's forbidden for use in naming "unknown language" persons if said "unknown language" persons have a name in the "unknown language" that contains one of the FORBIDDEN LETTERS! For more on that see IHD General President Öztürk Türkdoğan's speech at the EUTCC's 5th International Conference on the EU, Turkey, and the "Unknown Language" Persons (copy-and-paste: )

And if you happen to be an "unknown language" person infant with the FORBIDDEN LETTERS in your name, you will be refused medical treatment!

Why is it that when Katil Erdoğan invites Shimon Peres to speak in the TBMM, and Peres makes his speech in another "unknown language", Katil Erdoğan and Peres are not investigated?

Moreover, why is it when I have to write about stuff about this, I feel like I'm writing from the Twilight Zone?

Ahmet Türk and the DTP are following in the honorable steps of Leyla Zana and the DEP parliamentarians so let us see just how far the investigation will go. For the time being, just as in Leyla Zana's time, Kurdish is still forbidden for Kurds.

Happy Freakin' Belated International Mother Language Day, Kurdistan!

Monday, February 23, 2009


"The pressure that has been brought to bear upon the native people, since the cessation of armed conflict, in the attempt to force conformity of custom and habit has caused a reaction more destructive than war."
~ Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux.

It's confirmed. The attack against students at Salahaddin University was an operation approved at the highest levels of the KRG. From Nêçîrvan Barzanî:

"We are not going to allow this land to be used against Turkey. Therefore, we stopped the protest held in Erbil [Hewlêr] for the anniversary of Ocalan's capture."

There is nothing here that indicates the students were rioting or otherwise acting in a threatening manner. The only violence came from the regime, something that has been standard operating procedure for protest in South Kurdistan since at least the time of Şîrvan Qaderî's murder by the mullah regime to the east.

More from Nêçîrvan, who responds to the journalist's question about what kind of message the KRG is sending to PKK by allowing the Abant Platform conference to be held in Hewlêr on 15 and 16 February:

"This conference doesn't have anything to do with PKK. Here we are talking about how to solve the problems peacefully. As long as the issue is peace, we accept everything. Besides, we do not care as much about PKK as you think."

If you google Abant Platform, you'll hit a link that directs you to--tah-dah!--Fethullah Gülen's website. Surprise, surprise, surprise! Or maybe not, considering that Hewlêr is also home to one of Fethullah Gülen's colleges. For more on the Fethullahçı invasion of South Kurdistan, check this from a year ago.

Nêçîrvan is also asked if he called any Kurdish artists to "ask" them to appear on TRT 6. Here's what he said:

"Yes. I called Rojîn and told her how important that step was and I encouraged her. I also called some other artists. For instance, Ciwan Haco. I encouraged him as well."

Ciwan Haco did not comply.

It doesn't matter if all the Barzanîs and all the Talabanîs lined up on their knees before Erdoğan, Gül, Gülen, or Başbuğ to play the role of servants to the Ankara regime. They will never accept Kurds as Kurds until a very serious scenario plays out in Turkey. No amount of Turkish propaganda in Kurdish will change that either.

However, as long as the Fethullahçı run the show in South Kurdistan, assimilation will be the fate of Kurds there--at least among the Southern Kurdish elites. Clearly this option is already well underway.

NOTE: There's a new link under the blog roll in the right margin. Welcome Serhat Daran, a member of the Swedish crowd. He writes in Swedish, but English users can visit Google's language tools to get a decent translation. Serkeftin!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


"Our tradition is one of protest and revolt, and it is stultifying to celebrate the rebels of the past while we silence the rebels of the present."
~ Henry Steel Commager.

More on protests against Öcalan's capture, from Özgür Gündem:

"Peşmerge raided us for several minutes"

Selahattin University students said peşmerge raided them for several minutes and beat them to death when the students wanted to protest the tenth anniversary of the capture of the Kurdish people's leader, Abdullah Öcalan, by Turkey in the KRG's capital city Hewlêr on 13 February.

Among the Selahattin University students, Esmer Ahmet said they wanted to conduct a democratic protest for the condemnation of the tenth anniversary of the Kurdish people's leader, Abdullah Öcalan, by Turkey. However, peşmerge forces tried to stop them. During their intervention, Ahmet said peşmerge cursed the students horribly, "They hit us with the butt of their weapons. Then the sound of gun shots came from all around. They raided us for ten minutes. Because of blows by weapon butts, several of our friends were wounded on various parts of their bodies and I was wounded on my hand" said Ahmet.

A student named Nalin Tunç also said, "February is a black month for any honorable Kurd" and that is why they came together to protest the tenth anniversary of Öcalan's capture and were stopped by the peşmerge. She said "We told them that our protest was not against them but it was to condemn the international conspiracy forces by a democratic protest". But then peşmerge intervened and Tunç was wounded on her head by a blow from a weapon butt. "During the intervention, we were exposed to horrible cursing. They started beating us as if they were beating their enemies, with weapon butts, kicking, stoning, whatever they could find. They told us 'What are you guys doing here? Go to the mountains!" said Tunç.

Refused treatment by hospital for having attended the protest

Xezal İke also mentioned that they were attacked by the security forces, by whom they were hoping to be protected. "Almost fifteen women were wounded from blows by weapon butts to their waists, heads, and chests. They didn't stop at this point but also they raided us for more than ten minutes. All of us went on the floor," said İke. Pointing out the refusal of five hospitals [to treat] the student named Hüsne, who was wounded during the peşmerge intervention, because she attended the protest, İke said, "The hospitals said "We are not going to start treatment unless you get a permission paper from peşmerge forces.' The doctor, rather than treating her, started questioning her like a police."

Mesut Ali said that the peşmerge wanted to take the flyers and Öcalan posters that the students had in their hands and the attack was due to that. "The thing I hated most was that they were hitting women and they wanted to take away Öcalan's posters from us."

"They beat to death"

Mentioning that the peşmerge attacked them as if they were the enemies of the peşmerge, Bedretin Ok said, "However, they are also Kurds. I think this is a game of the enemy and a continuation of the conspiracy. They were particularly going after the person who was carrying the leadership's poster in the march. They were shooting, not hitting us with nightsticks. There is a remarkable thing as well here, [that] they especially attacked the women and hit them more." Because of the blows he received on his body, Ok passed out and he said, "They beat me to death."

So much for democratic expression. But at least we can say that security forces in South Kurdistan are becoming more and more like security forces in North Kurdistan.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


"If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics."
~ Unknown.

A friend in Amed (Diyarbakır) sent a link from Yüksekova Haber which says that Katil Erdoğan is planning a trip to Amed on 21 February in support of the AKP mayoral candidate Kutbettin Arzu. According to Yüksekova Haber, Katil Erdoğan may reveal a "new incentive package" for the region.

Everyone take a trip in the time machine with me back to almost one year ago when Katil Erdoğan was talking the same BS in the NYTimes:

Turkey’s government is planning a broad series of investments worth as much as $12 billion in the country’s largely Kurdish southeast, in a new economic effort intended to create jobs and draw young men away from militancy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

The program is intended to drain support for the militant Kurdish group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, by improving the lives of Turkey’s impoverished Kurdish minority, Mr. Erdogan said in an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday.

[ . . . ]

Mr. Erdogan is still identifying funds for the economic effort, which was started years ago by a previous administration but languished. The state will invest between $11 billion and $12 billion over five years to build two large dams and a system of water canals, complete paved roads and remove land mines from the fields along the Syrian border, he said.

Plans for the project will be completed within two months, he said, at which point construction on the two dams will begin. He said he had dedicated one of his deputy prime ministers to visit cities across the largely Kurdish southeast to work on it.

“Everything we can see in the western part of the country we can see in the east,” he said.

Yeah, right. Tell me another one.

As I mentioned at the time, not even the extremely pro-status quo, pro-terrorist Jamestown Foundation was fooled by Katil Erdoğan's hot air:

It is unclear whether, in his interview with the New York Times, Erdogan was being disingenuous in presenting the promised $12 billion as a new initiative or whether the reporters were unaware of the project’s background and thus assumed it was a new initiative. In fact, the dams, water canals, and roads form part of what is known as the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP), which was first formulated in the 1970s and began to be implemented in the early 1980s.

[ . . . ]

One only has to fly over the region to see the effect of GAP on agriculture in the Tigris and Euphrates basins, transforming large tracts of what was previously semi-arid land into cultivated fields. In areas such as the Harran plain, annual yields of cotton, wheat, barley, and lentils have tripled. However, GAP has had a greater impact on agricultural productivity than on employment. Even though it has undoubtedly created jobs in local service industries, GAP’s overall impact on employment in southeast Turkey has been minor.

As well as being the poorest region in Turkey, the southeast also has the highest rate of population increase. Even in some of the richest areas in the GAP region, the pace of job creation has lagged behind the growth in available workforce. In most of the cities of southeast Turkey the unemployment rate is double or triple the 9.9% average in the country as a whole. Among young people in the cities of southeastern Turkey, unemployment often reaches 50-60%. There is no reason to suppose that, even if they can be completed, the Ilisu and Silvan dams and their associated irrigation systems will have a major impact on employment in the region.

[ . . . ]

Many Kurds already resent not only the displacements resulting from GAP, but also what they regard as the resulting destruction of their heritage through the filling of the dams, which are also used to produce electricity for the rest of the country.

It is also difficult to see how the completion of a project that was originally formulated in the 1970s will be interpreted as demonstrating the AKP’s commitment to the region. Perhaps more significant, although it is impossible to be sure of the precise impact of the two-thirds of GAP that has been completed to date on recruitment to the PKK, what is certain is that it has not prevented it. Whatever else the PKK and other militant organizations in southeast Turkey – which is also the main recruiting ground for violent Islamist groups – may be short of, it is not recruits.

We didn't buy it then; we don't buy it now. If Katil Erdoğan unveils a "new incentive package" in Amed on the weekend, it will be the same, old, warmed-over crap.

In other news, it looks like the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has had complaints filed against it by some ethics "watchdog" in DC:

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate urging an investigation into whether the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) and the ANCA Endowment Fund violated their status as charitable organizations, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and the Lobbying Disclosure Act.

Both ANCA-WR and the ANCA Endowment Fund, which share offices and a common website, have participated in political campaigns in violation of federal tax law, which specifically bars groups organized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code from participating in political campaigns. Nevertheless, on October 24, 2008, ANCA announced its endorsements of 15 candidates for the United States Senate and 211 candidates for the United States House of Representatives and published these endorsements on its shared website with ANCA-WR: ANCA also endorsed the Obama-Biden ticket for the presidency.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) requires agents of foreign political parties to register with the Department of Justice, periodically report and describe their activities aimed at influencing policies of the United States and to disclose the dissemination of information, including testimony before Congress.

Just a few short weeks ago, Turkish parliamentarians scrambled in the wake of Katil Erdoğan's Davos temper tantrum in order to contain the fallout with Jewish lobby groups . . . and the Armenians:

The Ruling Justice and Development Party's, or AKP’s, Cüneyt Yüksel and Suat Kınıklıoğlu, and the Nationalist Movement Party's, or MHP, Mithat Melen, were in the United States between Jan. 29 and Feb. 6 to lobby against any genocide resolutions.

Following their talks with U.S. officials, as well as a roundtable meeting with representatives from 10 Jewish organizations, the AKP deputies drafted a report emphasizing the "Jewish lobby-Armenian alliance" and submitted it to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The report included a host of other topics relating to Turkey, ranging from Turkish-Armenian relations to the Israeli offensive in Gaza and the Davos summit, as well as Turkey's bid to join the European Union, and further reaching topics such as terrorism and international security.

The deputies warned that the heated panel debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Davos, which ended when Erdoğan walked off stage after being interrupted by the moderator, drew the Jewish lobby in the United States closer to Armenian lobby groups.

[ . . . ]

The deputies highlighted a campaign prepared to be launched by four congressmen in the U.S. House of Representative in support of the Armenian thesis and warned, "Armenians believe an opportunity to pass the draft resolution has emerged after Davos."

The report called for lobbying activities and encouraged deputies to visit Washington more frequently.

The four congressmen are named elsewhere:

In a message to fellow members of Congress, Reps. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), George Radanovich (R.-Calif.), Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.) are urging them "to re-affirm the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide by cosponsoring a bipartisan resolution" on the subject, according to a February 10 electronic letter made available to the Armenian Reporter.

Not to worry, though; an agreement appears to have been reached between the Turks and the American pro-Israel lobby:

Last week, two members of the Turkish parliament from the ruling party, Suat Kiniklioglu and Cuneyt Yuskel, were in the United States to lobby against the resolution. According to the Jamestown Foundation's translation, the two, having met U.S. officials and Jewish-American leaders, told Zaman newspaper that the "pro-Israel lobby will stay neutral if a genocide resolution is brought to the Congress; in case a resolution passed, Turkey should not hold Israel responsible as such a policy would make the Congress upset; and in order to prevent such genocide resolution, Turkey should open its Armenian border."

So, is the news today about the ANCA complaints a coincidence or a conspiracy? Remember, the lobbying "problem" wasn't a problem when Lockheed Martin lobbyist--registered with the Senate under the Lobbying Disclosure Act--Joseph Ralston was appointed as "special envoy to coordinate the PKK for Turkey".

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


"Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class."
~ Al Capone.

What? The financial "elites" siphoning money out of the US? Illegally sucking capital out of the US? Using "privatization" to steal assets? Why, those dirty parasites wouldn't kill their own host like that, would they?

I described a meeting that had occurred in April 1997 . . . I had given a presentation to a distinguished group of U.S. pension fund leaders on the extraordinary opportunity to reengineer the U.S. federal budget. I presented our estimate that the prior year’s federal investment in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area had a negative return on investment.

We presented that it was possible to finance places with private equity and reengineer the government investment to a positive return and, as a result, generate significant capital gains. Hence, it was possible to use U.S. pension funds to significantly increase retirees’ retirement security by successfully investing in American communities, small business and farms — all in a manner that would reduce debt, improve skills, and create jobs.

The response from the pension fund investors to this analysis was quite positive until the President of the CalPERS pension fund — the largest in the country — said, “You don’t understand. It’s too late. They have given up on the country. They are moving all the money out in the fall [of 1997]. They are moving it to Asia.”

Sure enough, that fall, significant amounts of moneys started leaving the US, including illegally. Over $4 trillion went missing from the US government. No one seemed to notice. Misled into thinking we were in a boom economy by a fraudulent debt bubble engineered with force and intention from the highest levels of the financial system, Americans were engaging in an orgy of consumption that was liquidating the real financial equity we needed urgently to reposition ourselves for the times ahead.

Read the whole thing.

Engels was right. Capitalism is eating itself. I guess that's why his associate was on the cover of the European edition of TIME magazine this month. I guess that's also why copies of Das Kapital began to fly off German bookstore shelves last October.

Blackwater, the infamous mercenary company who murdered a bunch of civilians in Nisoor Square, Baghdad, two years ago has changed its name to Xe and beefed up its aviation "support" in order to assist with global narcotics trafficking. Now that the global financial parasites have sucked legitimate capital dry, they need to kick the infusion of illegal capital into high gear in order to save their own asses.

Oh, by the way, in case you were wondering if Sibel Edmonds might have a chance at justice with the new administration . . .

Members of the US Congress re-introduced bipartisan "state secrets" legislation on Wednesday, aimed at protecting executive privilege while ensuring judicial review.

The introduction of the bill comes as Obama administration lawyers on Monday urged a federal appeals court in San Francisco to continue the policy of the previous White House and invoke state secrets privilege in a case about CIA clandestine detentions and rendition.

"The State Secrets Protection Act will help guide the courts to balance the government's interests in secrecy with accountability and the rights of citizens to seek judicial redress," Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.

And let me remind you that, once upon a time, that worthless Leahy was one of those senators who "publicly support[ed] Edmonds and [ . . . ] pushed the Justice Department to declassify at least some of its investigation into her dismissal."

Now that's all change you can believe in!

Let me also add that Gordon Taylor has an updated post on Noah's ark and Cudi Dağı that makes for very interesting reading, so go have a look.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


"You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig."
~ Barack Obama.


Kurdish National Congress of North America
P.O. Box 90823, Nashville, TN 37209

President Barack Obama,
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

February 3, 2009

Honorable President Obama:

In your inauguration speech, you stated that America will have a better approach with the rest of the world in terms of cooperation, mutual understanding and respect. You also appeared to promise that you would review and correct America’s unsuccessful policies especially in regard to the Middle East.

A received wisdom of various US administrations is that Turkey plays a vital role in the Middle Eastern stability and promoting America’s agenda in the region. Indeed Turkey is poised to become a prominent nation not only for the region but also to play a larger role in Asia and Europe. But this can only happen if Turkey bases its stability on the premise of democracy and a guarantee of human rights for its citizens. It appears that this can only happen if, with the encouragement of the US, the Turks amend their constitution where every citizen of Turkey is guaranteed respect and equality before the law. Turkey cannot remain prosperous and use slogans of democracy as a lapel pin rather than adhering to democracy’s deepest principles -- principles that should be reflected in the conduct of the Turkish state.

It’s inconceivable for a nation to proclaim its democratic image while it callously engages in the oppression of more than 20 million Kurds. It appears that Turkish authorities think they can continue this policy since they have been supported by America’s “Good Kurds - Bad Kurds” policies for the last few decades. This policy of demonizing the Kurds is possible because the US has accepted a Faustian bargain in which they allow the suppression of a people in exchange for geopolitical gains – and this by a nation that calls itself the ‘beacon of democracy.’

Because Turkey finds inconvenient the desire of the ethnic Kurds to speak their language and sustain their culture, they have used the PKK as a pretext to suppress this ancient people. Even the ‘new’ Kurdish TV station that has been allowed in response to pressure from the EU only broadcast state-approved propaganda – it just happens to be in Kurdish – and do not reflect the true political claims of Kurds who are living under the Turkish flag. As long as Turkey can sense the compliance of the Western world, particularly of America, they will continue to press chauvinistic claims that Turkish society is monoethnic and deny basic human rights to all other non-Turks who live in Turkey. We call upon you Mr. President to end this exclusionary, divisive and cruel policy.

The Kurdish people, as one of the world’s largest ethnic groups, have always been a scapegoat of the Western colonial policies in the region. The division of Kurdistan could not have happened without callous Western policies. As a result, the Kurds found themselves in four merciless nation states in which each of the governments tried to force assimilation in their own national melting pots. When assimilation was not possible, suppression and genocide followed.

It is hard to conceive that the Kurds are treated in such a harsh way as a result of America’s compliance in their suppression where history can testify to their loyalty to the west and particularly to America. This is especially true in countries such as Turkey where America can influence democratic changes.

However, every time after superficial promises to the Kurds (beginning with Woodrow Wilson’s promise for the Kurds and Armenians to have their own homelands in the Treaty of Sevres) the West has turned its back on them. The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, which bowed to Turkish nationalist policies supplanted the guarantees of the Treaty of Sevres in 1920, and consigned Kurds to the yoke of a proto nationalist Turkish state. America and the West were indifferent when the Turks called the Kurds “mountain Turks” and even the words “Kurd” and “Kurdistan” were abolished and the act of speaking Kurdish in public became an offense to Turkish honor, punishable by a prison sentence.

It’s ironic that America would support regimes or governments that oppress their citizens in the name of protecting its interests, not thinking of consequences that jeopardize America’s interest, image and ability to claim itself as an advocate of democracy in the long run. Therefore, we encourage you to end this morally bankrupt policy of “Good Kurds - Bad Kurds” and pressure the Turks to end their suppression against the Kurds, acknowledge and respect their cultural and democratic rights.

Sincerely yours,

Kirmanj Gundi

Monday, February 16, 2009


"Photography to me is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true."
~ Jacques-Henri Lartigue.

Here's a selection of photos from protests against the international conspiracy that led to Öcalan's capture ten years ago. One photo comes from the AP and the rest from Özgür Gündem (more here) and Fırat News (more here: ).

This is an AP photo (Murad Sezer), seized from Yahoo News, of Kurdish youth in İstanbul. The caption also described them as throwing "missiles" at a police armored vehicle. I don't know . . . they look more like bricks than missiles to me.

The Kurdish capital, Amed (Diyarbakır)

Amed, in front of the mayor's office.




Cizîr (Cizre)


Êlih (Batman).






Farqîn (Silvan).


Wan (Van).






According to Özgür Gündem, 394 people, including women and children, were taken into custody during the weekend protests and 70 people, including police, were injured.

In Êlih, 80 people were taken into custody (including 40 children) and dozens were injured.

In Şirnex (Şırnak) and its district, 49 people were detained and four arrested. A 16-year-old in Hezex (İdil) lost an eye due to a police tear gas cannister (the left eye, while the boy was working in the garden of his family's house). Four police and more than eight people were injured.

In Mêrdîn (Mardin) district, 69 people were taken into custody. Six police were injured as were more than eight other people.

In Amed, 38 people, including children, were taken into custody. Three police and 23 other people were injured.

In Sêrt (Siirt), 12 people were taken into custody and more than 10 people were injured, including police.

In Mersîn (Mersin) district, 17 people were taken into custody and one woman was injured.

In Adana district, 35 people were taken into custody.

In Wan, 20 people were taken into custody and six people, including three children, are still in detention. Three people were hurt during the protests.

In Colemêrg (Hakkari), seven people were taken into custody and 17 people were injured, including nine police.

In Gewer (Yüksekova), 23 people were taken into custody, with 11 released. Twelve people remain in custody. Two children were injured during the protests.

İstanbul saw ongoing demonstrations for two days. 44 people were taken into custody and 38 people released. Six people remain in custody and one person was injured.

From the Not-To-Be-Missed Department: Hevallo has a video post of the ever-courageous Eren Keskin and her work in defense of, not only Kurdish, but all women of Turkey. Trust me; if it's Eren Keskin, it's going to be great.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


"Besides, to solve the Kurdish question, Öcalan must be contacted, must be talked with. There is no one in Turkey, with the exception of him [Öcalan] to solve this problem. There is no one with the exception of him that can contribute as much as him to solve this problem."
~ Avni Özgürel.

50,000 Kurds demonstrate for Apo in Strasbourg:

Protests in Batman, but since this video is linked to Reuters--discount the propaganda mantra. Note that RojTV showed much of the same footage this weekend:

Roj TV also reported this weekend that 10,000 people showed up for protests in Cizîr (Cizre), with other protests in all the major cities of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan and in Turkish cities with sizeable Kurdish populations.

In Êlih (Batman) the people battled police all weekend in spite of a severe response by security forces. Stores and businesses closed in protest, which happened throughout the region. Video footage showed Kurdish youths in Êlih picking up tear gas cannisters and throwing them back at police.

There were clashes between protestors and police in Colemêrg (Hakkari) and Gewer (Yüksekova). Roj TV reported that one youth was run over by a panzer in Colemêrg and four houses were set on fire by police tear gas cannisters. Kurdish youths managed to set one panzer on fire.

The good Şirnexîs (Şırnak) managed to send four police to the hospital. Silopî (Silopi) saw similar protests action, with thousands taking to the streets who were greeted with tear gas and water cannons. The same happened in Riha (Urfa), Mêrdîn (Mardin), Agirî (Ağrı), Wan (Van), and Bazîd (Doğubeyazit).

For an idea of what happened in Amed (Diyarbakır), check this video.

Throughout Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, businesses were closed, people dressed in black, only police vehicles were visible on the streets, and hunger strikes were begun.

Protests were seen in Turkish cities,too, including Adana, Mersin, İstanbul, Ankara, and Konya. Turkish police attacked a number of DTP offices in Istanbul. Meanwhile, protestors targeted AKP businesses, particularly BİM which was co-owned by one of Katil Erdgoğan's former advisors and ATC member, Cüneyt Zapsu, and Saudi "businessman"--and CIA asset--Yassin al-Qadi.

In South Kurdistan there were protests in the Qendîl region, Kerkûk, Mexmûr,and Hewlêr. Mexmûr residents dressed all in black. Students at Salahaddin University staged a sit-in protest and a PÇDK member set himself on fire and died. A note left by him indicated that he wanted his death to serve as a reminder to the Southern Kurdish leadership to struggle against Turkey . . . instead of, you know, caving.

Kurds in Little South Kurdistan (Syrian-occupied Kurdistan) protested in Damascus, Hemko, and Qamişlo. Video footage of the Syrian army taking away protestors was aired on Roj TV. Kurds in Syria are also observing hunger strikes.

Kurds in Russia and Armenia protested as well, with Kurdish groups in Russia accepting Öcalan as the representative of their rights.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


"These enemies of humanity who believe that the state authority has weakened and turned their guns on our innocent citizens will definitely drown in the hole that they have fallen into. Such attacks which are against the existence of the Turkish Republic prove how just we are in the struggle against terrorism."
~ Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Çiller on the Güçlükonak Massacre.

Well, we all know Ergenekon goes east of the Fırat. Now they are finding out. From Özgür Gündem:

Ekmen confessed it: The Güçlükonak massacre was conducted by the state

The former state minister responsible for human rights, Adnan Ekmen, had important statements about the Güçlükonak massacre. These statements shed light on the reasons for leaving the Kurdish question unresolved and point out the who provoked, and why, the declared ceasefire.

The confession came after 13 years

The minister responsible for human rights in the 52nd government, in which Tansu Çiller was prime minister and Deniz Baykal was foreign minister, Adnan Ekmen made statements to Yeni Aktüel magazine by saying, "My conscience makes me uncomfortable": "Although we knew the background of the event, unfortunately we could not explain it to the public. According to the hearings from the region and from the relatives of the people who were killed, we realized that the situation was not the same as the security forces were talking about. The event that took place was in a location where the security forces had full control anyway; It was impossible for PKK to conduct an operation. Yet the ID cards of the murdered were in the hands of the security forces, people were burned; however, somehow, their ID cards were never damaged. Apparently the people who burned them took their ID cards before burning them. To me, this was the point that exposed them.

"We sat and talked about what we could do together with the ministry's bureaucrats. I called a village guard chief and tribal leader who I trusted, and told him what I had heard. He said to me, 'I cannot lie to you; whatever you heard is true. The official statement ofthe security forces does not reflect the truth.' I asked him whether he would be willing to tell us the truth if we went to Güçlükonak; 'This is not possible. If we tell the truth we cannot protect ourselves, and neither can you,' he said. After he said that we changed our minds about going to Güçlükonak.

"I offered Deniz Baykal the things that I knew, to tell Prime Minister Çiller. When he said 'It is up to you, but the Prime Minister is very busy nowadays,' I changed my mind."

"I told the event to the chairman of CHP, of which I was a member, and I told him that I wanted to share what I heard with the public. He asked me why they were putting the blame on PKK. In Europe there would be a very important vote about the Kurds. By blaming this incident on PKK, I said to him that they might want it to give a message to the association which would hold the election."

First ceasefire, first provocation

Özal wanted it, a ceasefire was declared.

President Turgut Özal conveyed his ceasefire demand to PKK through the PUK leader Celal Talabani. The Kurdish people's leader, Abdullah Öcalan, responded to Özal's demand positively. On 17 March 1993 in Lebanon's Bar Eliyas town, Öcalan and PUK leader Celal Talabani, as mediator, came out in front of the press and declared a 25-day ceasefire.

Özal expressed his satisfaction to Talabani, who visited him after the ceasefire, by saying: "For ten years it is the very first time I slept peacefully." After Özal's positive reaction, one day after the limited ceasefire, on 16 April, in Bar Eliyas, Öcalan came out in front of the press one more time and declared that they had extended the unilateral ceasefire indefinitely.

Özal's suspicious death and the 33 soldiers incident

Özal, who had sympathy for most of the demands that were mentioned in the ceasefire, including a general amnesty, died suddenly, one day after the indefinite ceasefire, on 17 April 1993. It was stated that Özal suffered a heart attack. However, many people, primarily his family, and including Öcalan, said "Özal was murdered". On 24 May 1993, the news of the massacre came. Şemdin Sakık, who blocked the Bingöl-Elazığ highway and killed 33 unarmed soldiers, declared the end of the first ceasefire. Öcalan said that incident of the murder of 33 soldiers was not related to them [PKK] and he refused to take responsibility. Öcalan mentioned this truth many times on İmralı and he called for the enlightenment of this incident.

Second ceasefire, second provocation

This time Çiller wanted it

After Özal's death, Süleyman Demirel became president and Tansu Çiller became prime minister. Çiller sent a letter to Öcalan, again through Talabani, and wanted Öcalan to declare a ceasefire. After that, PKK declared the second unilateral ceasefire on 15 December 1995.

11 villagers were raked with gunfire and burned

One month after the ceasefire, on 16 January 1996, this time the news came from Şırnak's town, Güçlükonak. The Koçyurdu minibus, which contained 11 villagers, was raked with gunfire and the corpses were then burned. The general staff and government officials declared the operation was conducted by PKK. PKK, on the other hand, defined the incident as "provocation through state-related contra groups" and despite this incident, declared the "continuation of the ceasefire". However, for the very first time the general staff took journalists, including foreign journalists, to the scene and made anti-PKK statements. However, the general staff did not let the journalists talk to the villagers.

Intellectuals blamed the state

The Together for Peace Working Group members, intellectuals, and journalists, went to the scene twice and found clues. They focused on the fact that the incident was related to the state. They sued, however not only did they receive no result, but also they were countersued by the charge of "insulting the army" and were convicted to ten years in prison.

Two days after the massacre, the EU parliament would assemble for a ceasefire

During the Güçlükonak incident, the European parliament had assembled for an important agenda. Turkey conducted its military operation despite the PKK's unilateral ceasefire. However, the ceasefire issue became a hot debate in the international arena. The European parliament called PKK and Turkey for a democratic solution to the Kurdish question on 13 December 1995. The ceasefire decision was given as a response to this call. In fact, a proposition related to Turkey was accepted unanimously during the 18 January 1996 session. One of the articles in the proposal was about the ceasefire: "The European parliament greets the unilateral ceasefire declared by Öcalan and accepts this initiative as a positive response to the European parliament's decision on 13 December 1995. At the same time it [the European parliament] hopes Turkey considers this gesture as a step towards a peaceful solution and accepts it as an opportunity to initiate a national-level dialog to overcome the problem in the Eastern Anatolian Region." Just two days before the meeting at which this decision was made, the Güçlükonak massacre took place.

Villagers were detained

It was revealed that some of the villagers who were murdered were detained and were held in the Taşkonak Jandarma Battalion, and some of them were taken from their homes on the day of the incident. Among the people who were killed, Halit Kaya's daughter from Yatağankaya village, Ramazan Oruç's son, and Ali Nas's nephew from Çevrimli village had previously joined the PKK guerrillas.

Third ceasefire, third provocation

Everyone wanted a ceasefire

Prime minister Erdoğan made moderate statements related to the Kurdish question in 2005 and showed attempts to make PKK declare a ceasefire. Many parties, including the US, the EU, KDP, PUK, AKP and DTP, made various attempts toward this issue. On 1 October 2006, PKK declared a ceasefire. However no improvement was made after the ceasefire.

Massacre in the first year of the ceasefire

One year passed and the ceasefire was still in effect. On 29 September 2007, the news of the massacre came from Şırnak's Beytüşşebap. Twelve people in a minibus going to Beşağaç (Hemkan) village were ambushed. The general staff and the government made a statement that "PKK did it" about the massacre, which resembled the Guclukonak incident. PKK on the other hand declared that "the massacre was committed by JITEM, which is linked to the army". Villagers also said that the incident was conducted by village guards and JITEM; the information received confirmed this claim. After this date, not only did the hope for a solution to the Kurdish question weaken but it was also the start of the cross-border operations. Thus the policies of violence entered a new stage.

Kaplan: The state prosecutor must act

DTP's Şırnak parliamentarian Hasip Kaplan expressed his views regarding the statements made by the former minister responsible for human rights at that time, Adnan Ekmen, and wanted the state prosecutor to take action. Kaplan said, "The investigation and evidence previously found by the intellectuals and the NGOs is today confirmed one more time by the statements of someone who has been at the ministry level. The prosecutor must immediately begin an investigation, listen to Minister Ekmen, the intellectuals, and the NGOs who have previously made such investigations. Because this is a massacre case, a case of provocation, the case must be reopened." Mentioning that they would take this issue to the parliament's attention, Kaplan said: "Previously we had given question and investigation proposals to the parliament regarding extrajudicial murders and massacres. We are going to keep a close eye on these. We will bring up this incident too."

Now tell me again, who are the real terrorists? Who are the real "enemies of humanity", as Çiller so boldly put it? What is this bullshit "struggle against terrorism" really all about?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


"A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to."
~ Granville Hicks

The other day I posted the complete text of Adem Uzun's speech which he gave at the 5th EUTCC Conference on the EU, Turkey, and the Kurds. The speech was originally posted on KurdishInfo and I have since confirmed that it is the complete speech.

However, a truncated version has apparently been making the rounds through MESOP's (Mesopotamische Gesellschaft--Mesopotamian Development Society) email newsletter. About the last half of Heval Adem's speech was missing from the newsletter version. That's particularly interesting given that the editor of MESOP was present during Heval Adem's presentation.

The cut version of the speech was picked up by KurdishMedia, and that version ended with these words:

There is a strong possibility for its mask to fall especially regarding its approach to the Kurdish Question. It cannot possibly fight for long by hitting beneath the belt. Consequently, the AKP has no peaceful project regarding the policy on the Kurds. Although enthusiastic about harmonising with the West, it is not strong enough to determine a policy, let alone exercising it. Its entire hope depends on external forces having their turns to attack the PKK. Progressively it is becoming obvious that they wish to achieve certain goals by being semi-covert and not showing their true colours.

I wonder why MESOP did not carry all of Heval Adem's words? Why was the speech cut off at that point?

There's an interesting article on Istanbul's Tarlabaşı coming out of an Indian community:

Strolling through the beautiful streets of Istanbul's Beyoglu quarter on the European side of the ancient city, few would know that just a few hundred metres away lies a district where prostitution and the drug trade flower.

Somewhat conveniently separated by the multi-laned Tarlabasi Boulevard is the Beyoglu that foreign tourists rarely see, a district where live many Kurdish people forced to flee there homes in south-east Turkey, either because of poverty or because they left their villages through direct force or out of fear for their lives.

Estimates vary, but around 4,000 villages in south-east Turkey were "emptied" in the 1980s and 1990s, with around one million people forced to leave their homes and farms during fighting between the Turkish armed forces and the separatist Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

If you decide to go to South Kurdistan and enter through Turkey, you better make sure you stay in South Kurdistan:

Foreigners who enter Iraq through the Kurdish north of the country without a visa issued by the authorities in Baghdad will face arrest and legal charges, the interior ministry warned on Monday.

The announcement came after an Italian national was detained in the former rebel stronghold of Fallujah, in western Iraq, after having been issued with a 10-day visa in the autonomous Kurdish north of the country.

"Any foreigner entering Iraq through the border posts of Kurdistan without a visa from the Baghdad government will be arrested," under a new directive issued by the interior ministry, spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf said.

It looks like the Zionists are a bit peeved with PJAK being put on The List. Now why is that?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


"More importantly, people in the region feel abandoned to the forces of underdevelopment and abjection, and consequently find it difficult to see themselves as equal citizens of a just society and to feel a connection of trust to the state."
~ Executive Summary, "Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia: Socio-Economic Problems & Recommended Solutions".

The hevals at KurdishInfo posted a socio-economic analysis of Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, which was put together by the southeastern municipalities with the backing of Amed's (Diyarbakır) DTP mayor, Osman Baydemir. The results are really nothing new. The region is depressed and things are getting worse. Here's the executive summary:

Despite longstanding discussions on regional underdevelopment, the fact remains that the East and Southeast Anatolia are still the least developed regions of Turkey, and almost no progress has been achieved to alter this situation. This 'ill fate' renders Turkey the most regionally unequal country among OECD and European Union members. It is particularly a great obstacle to Turkey's membership to the EU.

More importantly, people in the region feel abandoned to the forces of underdevelopment and abjection, and consequently find it difficult to see themselves as equal citizens of a just society and to feel a connection of trust to the state. This feeds an increasing social tension and polarisation. The way to overcome these collective feelings of abandonment and distrust is to introduce remedial economic and social policies as soon as possible.

Underdevelopment is not endemic to the East and Southeast. It is also present in the Eastern Black Sea, Central Anatolia, and even some Aegean and Mediterranean provinces. Nevertheless, in almost all socioeconomic indicators, Eastern and Southeastern provinces occupy the lowest 21 ranks among all of Turkey’s 81 provinces, and this shows that underdevelopment is uniquely widespread and dominant in these provinces. Therefore, underdevelopment of the Regions (of East and the Southeast) takes precedence over all other regional issues in Turkey.

The international expansion -or 'exposure', so to say- of the country after the 1980s drastically affected the East and Southeast, which, until then, were simply trying to survive with the help of social state support. Unconditional surrender to the IMF and World Bank demands to downsize the state and suspend public investments cut public investments and social support to the region, accelerating the deterioration of the regional economy. Having continuously struggled with structural issues and underdevelopment because of macroeconomic measures taken after the Republic, the region suffered an even deeper recession because of expansion and export-based growth strategy. The region's contribution to national income was dwarfed due to privatisation, the closure of public enterprises, and the decrease in subsidies for agriculture and animal husbandry. Receding agriculture and animal husbandry, together with the climate of violence, started a massive outflow. Labour force, wealth-capital continued bleeding at increasing rates, while urban centres and metropolises were left to face grave issues of social concord.

However, in the results of the 2007 census, we see a stop in this outflow, especially in the Southeast, and this despite growing security and poverty issues. Moreover, some migrants re-migrated and found shelter in urban centres of the region. This decision to return was taken both because of the lack of possibilities of subsistence in the Western metropolises, as well as an increasing atmosphere of intolerance, amounting to mob violence and extralegal killings.

More than half of the region's population is below the poverty level. As of 2008, Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia shelters 46 percent of the 9.4 million green card owners in Turkey, an indicator of poverty.

The non-agricultural unemployment rate is much higher than other regions of Turkey, as is the consumer price index.

The introduction of state development incentives had little effect in the region, mostly because the list of 50 development priority regions also included a number of cities that had much higher levels of social and economic development. The 21 cities of the Region could attract only 4.4% of subsidised investments between 2002 and 2006, whilst Bursa alone attracted the same amount.

Bulk of the resource transfer to the Region has been allocated to 'defence and security',which does not respond to the livelihood and employment expectations of the Region's population. The already limited public spending pivots mostly on the energy sector, which does not respond to the public demand for employment and enterprise prospects. Further, environmental degradation and destruction of cultural assets caused by these investments are wilfully ignored.

Sheltering 16 percent of the country's population, the Region not only does not receive its fair share of public spending, but also is treated as an 'other' in terms of the budget distribution for local administrations. The Region's urbanisation rate is close to 60 percent, above the Turkish average in some cities. However, while urban issues get grimmer each day, the Region's share of the central budget attributions remains low. In spite of the 16 percent share of the population, the Region's local administration budget share is only 8.5 percent.

Having governed the country for the last seven years, AKP has turned the year 2008 too into a lost year regarding both the looming economic crisis and the Southeastern problem, one of the most important issues of the country. AKP does not address the question of underdevelopment, apart from keeping the political playground busy with minor actions to keep the agenda occupied. Since there is no other special reserve for the Southeast in the 2008 budget, it could be said that the projected GAP (Southeastern Anatolia Project) investments will be presented as new investment initiatives.

[GAP investments presented as new investment initiatives has already been promoted by the colossal ignoramuses known as Western journalists. As an example, see this NYTimes article--Mizgîn]

GAP investments have kept the agenda occupied for a long time, yet it can now be seen that GAP addresses not the particular problems of the Region, but the energy demands of the more developed regions. It has not lead to radical changes in the Region apart from some local development opportunities, and while energy investments are soon to be completed, agricultural components have come to a halt. It has come to surface that 'the GAP Magic' has primarily been designed to meet the energy requirements of the West. As of 2006 the Region's 21 cities had used only 6.8 percent of the country's energy produced, including hydraulic and other resources in the Region. Per capita electricity use is considered to be an indicator of development. Turkey's average per capita electricity use was 202 kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2006, but it was 78 kWh in the Region the same year, which is 38 percent of Turkey's average. Electricity use is dense particularly in Marmara and other Western regions, to an extent that 75 percent of electricity was used by 15 developed provinces in 2006. That year, İstanbul used 18 percent of the electricity produced, while it was followed by İzmir (9.5%), Kocaeli (6%), Bursa (5.4%) and Ankara (5.1%). 47.5 percent of the electricity produced is used in industrial activities, yet this percentage is down to 17 in the East and Southeast, deprived of industry.

Energy projects receive top priority within GAP; however, agricultural investments, which are of great interest to the Region's people, have low rates of implementation. Only 261,000 hectares of land, 14 percent of the target, could be opened up to irrigation as of 2006. The remaining 86 percent is still waiting for water.

Comparing the Region's and its provinces' social-economic data to provinces that have similar populations provides us with even more meaningful and striking results. According to the SPO research of 2003 entitled “Research on the Socio-Economic Development Ranking of Provinces and Regions”, among the cities that have approximately similar populations, Diyarbakır ranks 63th, while Samsun ranks 32nd, Mersin 17th and Kocaeli 4th. Despite its low rank, between 2002 and 2007 Diyarbakır received the lowest amount of public investment of the four cities: Diyarbakır with 766,585,000 TL, Samsun 954,991,000 TL, Mersin 1,173,544,000 TL and Kocaeli 1,588,333,000 TL. Given these budget shares, we can clearly see that with such a distribution pattern, development-level disparities between provinces/regions are not likely to decrease, but increase.

The same research reveals that Kars occupies the 67th rank in the development list, yet it receives less public investment than Bolu (14th on the list), Rize (37th) and Kastamonu (51st), cities that have approximately similar populations. This is an indication that the government tends to ignore the regional disparity factor in public investment plans, and does not have a policy concern to eliminate regional disparities.

The only apparent exception is Muş, a city that is at the bottom (81st) of the socio-economic development list. The city benefits from more public investment than cities with approximately similar populations, such as Giresun (50th), Isparta (28th) and Edirne (16th). However, appearances can be deceptive: 67 percent of the investments is actually one big energy investment (Alpaslan 1 Dam). It is worth recalling that energy investments -dams, hydro power plants- have no direct contribution to employment and income prospects in the region.

A similar analysis could be made for Batman. Assessing the sectoral distribution of public investment that Batman has received, the investment received by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) –another energy venture—constituted 25 percent of the investment made in the province.

It requires a long-term comprehensive regional development strategy to tackle the socio-economic problems that the East and Southeast Anatolia Regions face, and to reduce regional socio-economic disparities. This argument is also valid for EU accession and the Ninth National Development Programme. The EU accession process in particular introduces a great opportunity for removing these disparities by developing the under-developed regions, including the East and Southeast, which are the least developed. The solution to this problem is also a requirement for EU accession, and is one of the most important among the negotiation chapters. Therefore, treating the development process parallel to EU accession will increase the likelihood of achievement.

The success of the regional development process requires an integrated approach that tackles all sectors together. Relying on the region's resources, decreasing foreign-source dependency, providing an integrated approach among sectors and inner consistency of economic structure, preferring income maximisation instead of profit maximisation in order to provide better living conditions, developing an integrated approach based on participation and local mechanisms, will provide real social and economic development. This research recommends employment-oriented investment policies that a) focus on agriculture, tourism, trade, service and information technologies; b) include subsidies to private sector and financial support from the EU structural adjustment funds, and; c) are based on the leadership of the public sector. Also, investments for the improvement of the construction and industry sectors to be integrated into agriculture, tourism, trade, service and information technologies sectors. These, along with investments stimulating structural adjustments in the education and health sectors, will provide better living conditions and socio-economic development.

Solution of the socio-economic problems in the Region requires a proper development management, as well as a good development plan. 80 years of administrative experience, 40 years of SPO schemes and the 9 nine state development plans demonstrate very clearly that the development processes cannot be successfully governed through extremely centralist administration processes. Relevant world experience shows us that the success of a development process relies on a particular administrative perspective, which is based on the local and the local participation, therefore turning society into the main subject and actor of the development process. Enabling the proper diagnosis of the problems and priorities of the local, making sure that the local actors adopt and embrace the foreseen plans, and developing the capacities of the local actors are among the preconditions of a successful development process, and these all require a full emphasis on the local and the local participation.

Regional policies are among the main approaches of the EU administrative system. Through the perspective of a “Europe of Regions”, many regional policy steps are programmed as part of the EU integration process, such as the establishment of the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) regions and the Regional Development Agencies. This research recommends subsidiarity (administrative and financial localisation), regionalisation, multi-central structure and society-led development as the basic tenets of the development management for the elimination of disparities in the East and Southeast Anatolia Regions.

However, the extreme dimensions of impoverishment and poverty in the regions demand not only the development of proper medium and long term planning, but also urgent short term interventions and policies. In this research, ameliorating the levels of poverty, increasing the levels of income and consumption capacity and improving living conditions are recommended as the main targets of such short-term interventions and policies.

The entire report is in .pdf and is available here: It's quite extensive and offers policy recommendations ranging from investment policies to improvements that need to be made in educational, health, tourism, trade, agricultural, information technology and service, construction and industrial sectors. A .pdf slide presentation is also available:

The executive summary quoted above notes that AKP policies have neglected underdevelopment in the East and Southeast, referring to the fact that AKP has been "keeping the political playground busy with minor actions to keep the agenda occupied". This is consistent with other news having to do with the global economic failure and its effects in Turkey:

Other indicators of the seriousness of the crisis are data on unemployment, a decline in exports, a decrease in domestic demand, an increase in bad loans and firms closing down, as well as an increase in bounced cheques.

Meanwhile the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is pretending that nothing is wrong and diverting people’s attention to the Ergenekon investigation, Davos and Gaza, etc.. However, their diversions cannot hide the fact that the crisis is becoming more serious.

[ . . . ]

TÜSİAD applauded the post-2002 economic policies which have resulted in Turkey being buried under such a serious currency deficit and an obligation to repay external deficits, and it was TÜSİAD which filled its cups from the flowing fountains. The AKP was convinced that the global liquidity of 2002 would continue forever; it did not create any mechanisms of control or warn those who indebted themselves or constantly increased imports with cheap currencies and thus made the current accounts deficit worse. Trusting promises of high interest rates, it was believed that the huge currency deficit could be closed with hot money.

The global crisis has served as a reminder that this extravagance is now at an end. Those who boasted that “Thank goodness, our finance system is very stable”, did not foresee that the global crisis would hit the industry rather than the financial sector in countries that are not self-sufficient.

Compare that quote with the crisis facing Turkey's sixth largest export company.

Then we have the recent goings-on in Dersim (Tunceli):

Handing out goodies to voters before election day is a time-honoured tradition in politics, but critics say recent efforts by the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan have reached a new dimension with the distribution of thousands of washing machines in a poor eastern Anatolian province where the prime minister wants to win big in next month’s local elections.

White goods with a combined value of 4.8 million lira (Dh10.8m) are being distributed free of charge to 3,300 families in need, the office of Mustafa Yaman, governor of the province of Tunceli, said in a statement last week. Pictures in Turkish newspapers showed people carrying new washing machines and mattresses on their backs. Tunceli ranks among the poorest provinces in Turkey. The yearly per capita income is about US$4,000 (Dh14,700) according to purchase power parity, compared with nearly $10,000 nationwide, official statistics say.

“In accordance with the welfare state principles of our government, a project for those of our fellow citizens who find it hard to meet their daily needs is aiming to meet the need for goods like refrigerators, washing machines, television sets, carpets and sofas,” the governor’s office said. The aid is being delivered by a foundation linked to the provincial administration. Computers, electrical ovens and vacuum cleaners were also among the goods that were handed out, the statement said. A total of 3,020 goods were listed.

Oh, BOO-HOO-HOOOO! You stupid pig of an AKP governor! What Baydemir said: "Having governed the country for the last seven years, AKP has turned the year 2008 too into a lost year regarding both the looming economic crisis and the Southeastern problem . . . "

Turkey's Higher Election Board (YSK) has warned about AKP's actions in Dersim, but:

. . . newspapers reported yesterday that the distribution of white goods in Tunceli continued despite the YSK warning. Some washing machines ended up in villages that are not even connected to the water grid, reports said. The state prosecution in Tunceli said yesterday it had opened an investigation because of possible election fraud.

And I'm willing to bet a year's salary that all the appliances being handed out are from the Fethullahçı Arçelik A.Ş.

More on YSK's warning and the opening of an investigation.

It's clear, then, that AKP is quite capable of applying a band-aid when election time looms near.

Monday, February 09, 2009


"It is unfortunate that those profiting from the war in Turkey are being allowed to continue escalating it."
~ Adem Uzun.

Adem Uzun opines about the prospects for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish Question in Turkey, stolen from the hevals at KurdishInfo (Censored site:


We are now at a stage where the forces of democracy and international public opinion are pressing Turkey for a permanent solution to the Kurdish problem. As the facts are well known, for decades past, the Kurds and the Kurdish movement had been subjected to ever-intensifying practices of oppression, torture, military operations both inland and abroad, with use of tanks and heavy bombings. However, despite all of these assaults, the Kurdish movement could not be eliminated.

At this stage, a political change of direction has become inevitable for Turkey. Nevertheless, Turkey is still determined to continue with its liquidation policy. It is for this reason that instead of making constitutional reforms to acknowledge the Kurdish identity and rights, it is sufficing with some hollow, half hearted, fake steps in order to start a propaganda, claiming to have solved the Kurdish question.

In the continuance of this process, Turkey will claim “to have solved the Kurdish question, to have done everything that needed to be done, that there is nothing else to be done, and the rest is the problem of terrorism”. With this, and before the eyes of the domestic and international public opinion, there is an intention to complete the preparation for a massacre of the Kurdish movement. There are numerous examples in this direction that justify our concerns. For instance, in recent days public opinion has been dominated by an ongoing investigation called Ergenekon; in fact this is the “state within state” or as it is popularly known in Turkey, the “Deep State”. The investigation targeted a privileged section of the society, which has profited from all kinds of influence and which has been part of the existing regime for decades. However, this process resembles the reconstruction of the ‘deep state’ against the Kurds, because, instead of the Ergenekon investigation and trial turning into an Investigation of Truth Commission, in an exactly the opposite process, crimes committed in Kurdistan are not being investigated at all. For this reason, we are anxious that this investigation and debate are turned into a big deception. Consequently, only a short while ago, Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, confirmed how justified our concerns were when he addressed our people in Kurdistan by stating “Love it, or leave it!”

On the other hand, the popular official Turkish view still admits of no such thing as Kurds. If some progress has been made from the old Kart-Kurt to the present day where TRT, the state TV channel, is broadcasting in Kurdish, of course it is the result of the 30 years long struggle the Kurdish people fought. However, the Turkish state is using this situation to try to detach the Kurdish people from their struggle, to weaken their willpower and to suppress them. Other than this, and despite the Ottawa Treaty, Kurdish lands are being saturated with thousands of banned anti-personnel mines, while like the historic Hasankeyf, dozens of settlements are planned to be drowned by dams like Ilisu.

Non-stop air and ground bombardment of civilian areas of settlement are aiming to create military buffer zones against the Kurdish movement. Thus, a plan to develop a comprehensive military attack is afoot! Again, the Turkish Armed Forces are in preparation for a comprehensive cross-border war. In other words, it intends to shed more blood in Kurdistan. The intention is to adopt what is being practised in Palestine and to re-enact it in Kurdistan. To achieve this, the classic divide and rule, divide and suppress approach, is being tried to be employed. For this, relationships were established with Southern Kurdistan in order to step up these efforts to use Kurd against Kurd to ensure that one neutralises the other. Relations with Iraq and Iran should be set within this similar framework. The relationship with Syria is within the same framework. Within the same line, there is the fact of a strategic treaty and purchase of new armaments with Israel. Diplomatic efforts with the forces of Western capital are also within the same context.

This is all intended to make the world accept Turkey’s actions under the policy of “War against Terror”. Turkey’s government and army have tried this method before. Upon the call from the Kurdish People’s Leader, Mr Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK has accepted the call for a ceasefire and in 1998, declared it unilaterally. Following this, Mr Ocalan advanced the step even further in order to prevent the war from worsening as a result of the international conspiracy when he was taken hostage. And he called for the PKK to remove its military presence from Turkey. Despite having lost more than 300 guerrilla fighters in around 3-5 months, and the Turkish army not ceasing military operations, the PKK complied with this call and withdrew its forces. This meant a few years there as a long period of quiet. However, instead of the Turkish state seizing the opportunity to move towards a permanent peace, it fell into the misapprehension of “having won the war, having defeated the PKK!” So no steps were taken towards peace and a solution. Quite the contrary in the post 9/11 period, taking courage from “the war against terror” and the “you are either with me, or against me” doctrine, Turkey escalated the war yet again. Thus, the dissolution was deepened further. At present, despite stating that they wasted the opportunity, they are none the wiser in repeating the same mistake. This has only one explanation. It means that the Turkish government and army agree on elimination mentality and have found support from abroad.

However, someone has to tell Turkey that it has not won any war, indeed that it cannot win this war, and that Kurds are not a gullible or ignorant lot; on the contrary, Kurds have placed themselves amongst the honourable peoples through succeeding in re-creating themselves. The Turkish administration should understand well that it could no longer rule Kurds in the old fashion. They have to consider seriously the democratic solution and peace. A denied Kurd and Kurdistan means an ongoing problem, rebellion and external interference. It means the entire Turkish state and people’s material and moral resources are being exhausted and rolling from one crisis to another. It means loss of esteem and strength in Europe, the Middle East and the world!

It is unfortunate that those profiting from the war in Turkey are being allowed to continue escalating it. There is no limit and boundary for these actions. As much as 80% of incidents that are taking place in Kurdistan do not get reported in the press. There is bombardment in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) every day. Dust and smoke raised by US and Turkish planes reach the sky, where it joins with that raised by Iranian cannon fire. All civilian Kurdish people in the region are forced to live in fear and panic. What we have here is a grand-scale brutality and intra-state terrorism. Secret meetings to liquidate the Kurdish freedom movement are continuously being held. This approach will not only fail to solve the problem, but it will also shed more blood. Unfortunately, the EU countries do not act on this matter.

The EU Progress report on Turkey was published 2 months ago. The report criticises Turkey on some matters, but fails to address the conflict in depth. In other words, Turkey’s failure at democratisation, the army’s hegemony in politics, its disregard for human rights and freedoms are not considered from the perspective of the inability to solve the Kurdish question, which is essentially the most basic reason for the these failings. Also the recently published WEU report addressed the question in a similar logic, which is essentially concerned with listing the methods how to liquidate the Kurds. More and similar reports could well be quoted. What we essentially would like to point out is that the EU’s approach is prejudiced, more so, it regards the matter within the framework of the demands of the Turkish state. Let me explain: the EU reports portray the Kurds as bad, and uses all the Turkish Government’s sources as their data. Due to both the EU and Turkey not having any project, these reports are full of contradictions. As a result, the EU reports justify the state violence. So much so, that they justify aerial bombardments and land attacks on the Southern Kurdistan, i.e. Northern Iraq. The EU report also consents to extra-judicial executions of Kurds, because it does not base any of the accusations against Kurds, such as “List of Terror” on any concrete evidence. The EU report also shows that European states are being taken hostage by US and Turkish policies. The EU reports tend to impose [conditions] upon Kurds, even ignoring their democratic rights by telling Kurds what kind of leaders they should choose for themselves.

However, a more objective approach will not only open the way to a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question, but also pave the way to stability in the region. We think it is time to see that the Kurds, who are divided into four countries in the Middle East, are the key to democracy. But, as a result of approaching to the truths from wrong angles due to economic, military, diplomatic and political interests bring about greater instability, more clashes and wider breaches of human rights. Unfortunately, the outgoing EU commission’s practices bring about exactly that situation. Let us hope that the incoming EU commission due to take over in June will not repeat the same mistakes.

Esteemed Guests,

We are here today to acknowledge that this cannot go on as it is and a solution is to be found. A lot of debates are being held, a lot of reports are being published. We believe a permanent solution is possible. Starting from the obvious fact that a solution to the problem will have a direct impact on the peace and security in the region and the world, I will try to portray the Kurdish point of view. It will be observed that if the approach is the correct one, the Kurdish question is the key of democracy not only for Turkey, but also for the entire region. The opposite is to gain permanence to instability. In this context, whilst we have historic opportunities to solve the question, we also have the grave risks of new massacres and wars in failure. It is therefore beneficial to look into perspectives of Kurdish Solution in this context.

Three Alternatives for Middle East to choose

Due to the correlation and direct influence upon each other, if we were to look into the Middle East first; it is obvious that in the era of transition to democratic civilisation, the peoples of the Middle East have three main alternatives to choose from.

The first one is the continuation of the “established regime”, i.e. preserving the Status Quo. Thanks to the system of the established balance of the 20th century, this is the regime that has survived so far. But, both the hegemonic power of the system from above and the awakening of the peoples from below makes it impossible to maintain the Status Quo forever. The status quo, which tries to turn dissolution into a way of existence, when forced, applies a bit of make up on its face, and/or tries to extend its life expectancy through conspiracies, is in the process of deepening isolation.

The second alternative is the mixed democratic regime with limited application, with greater emphasis towards practical aspects. The era makes interdependence more and more prominent. The third stage of globalisation expedites this process. Also, the intra-national period leads the way to intra-corporatism. Nation state more and more becomes a corporate state. National capital is being replaced by intra-corporate capital. On the other hand, local cultures are getting more and more animated. Domesticity becoming the rising value. In brief, this alternative can be described as globalisation and domestication gaining prominence under the given influence of these elements. Whilst this is the worldwide ongoing process, seemingly it is gaining probability, more so for the countries of the Middle East. The inevitability to supersede the regimes of the old status quo renders this choice current and popular.

Our third alternative is the peoples’ democratic, ecological society based on freedom of the sexes, attaching great importance to morality and is not focused around the state. If the peoples and various free communities learn to live by developing the internal democracies, securing the social freedoms of the sexes, and meeting the ecological needs of the society, will enable us to get closer and closer to such a society and democracy.

If communal society and ethnic social arrangements, which are closer to equality, and which the peoples of the Middle East have lived through for a long time are amalgamated with the means of science and technology of the modern era, a more developed, democratic, ecological society, based on freedom of the sexes will be epitomised as the most noble value.

Three Paths for Turkey

Under the light of these alternatives, if we look at the reality of Turkey, we are faced with three paths and three tendencies. In the process of reform and transformation based on the Kurdish question, these three paths and three tendencies will try to remain permanent through the struggle between the relations and contradictions of the parties. The logical, moral and political education, organisation and action aspects of the struggle itself will determine which path and which tendency will remain permanent and dominant.

The first path and tendency is the pro-status quo, inward-looking, divisive and violence inducing nationalist paradigms and practices that had been exercised in the recent past. This tendency is charged with a racist nationalism on the Turkish side and by definition it is very hard-line statist old fashioned conservative without distinguishing between left and right. Armed with “a state of permanent paranoid perception, as a state, a nation, even a society they are under the impression that the last bastion of Turkishness is about to fall, the honour and true faith is at stake, and their schizophrenia is beyond salvaging. It does not neglect the requirements of Islam either, believing that this state of mind will sort out the situation anyhow. As opposed to a true conviction, a showpiece of Kemalism, is the widespread stance both within the state structure and the wider society. This tendency’s reflection upon the Kurdish politics is the form of rejectionism, “out of sight, out of mind” attitude, keeping Kurds excluded from the society and when rebelled, to suppress them with extreme prejudice.

The second tendency and path has emerged from the first one by means of an alienation process. It may also be called the weak liberal bourgeois path. The real emergence of it coincides with the globalisation boom of post-1980’s The ANAP experience, lead by Turgut Ozal was the first version of it. It aims at joining the supranational tendency for globalisation. By definition it is not anti-oligarchic. It is far from being fully open to democracy. Rather than being truly democratic, it satisfies itself by exploiting democracy as a means to its own interests. Its clash with the previous tendency is on the basis of which one would manage to be more dominant. AKP is seemingly on the path of becoming the second version of it.

There is a strong possibility for its mask to fall especially regarding its approach to the Kurdish Question. It cannot possibly fight for long by hitting beneath the belt. Consequently, the AKP has no peaceful project regarding the policy on the Kurds. Although enthusiastic about harmonising with the West, it is not strong enough to determine a policy, let alone exercising it. Its entire hope depends on external forces having their turns to attack the PKK. Progressively it is becoming obvious that they wish to achieve certain goals by being semi-covert and not showing their true colours.

The third path and tendency is focused on civil democratic society and its base is the peoples’ search for equality and freedom under conjoint democracies. By smashing the racist chauvinistic code of nationality, this can be the common denominator of all cultures. Instead of the race based nationhood, it relies upon the country based notion of nationhood. The learning of, and the use of all languages, their unbound use without any restraint is a modern and widespread practice across the entire world. The reform of the state is based upon liberating the state from the ideological role and to turn it into a technical means of service. The existence of cultures that are protected by international agreements, their free expression and continuing survival, the right to be free from being based from any ethnic entity, and not to press for any religious and sectarian segregation are the elements that need reforming.

Reforms that are not based on “Uniformed and Impoverishing Homogenous Equality” as opposed to “Equality in Difference, Wealth in Difference”, are being guaranteed by constitutional protections. It takes comprehensive precautions against mentalities and applications whereby women are treated as property. It adopts the mentality that a truly free society can only be possible by means of ecological. It also embraces so many but so much important elements. The materialisation of this is closely related to the solution of the Kurdish question. The reflection of this tendency to the Kurdish question will be the foundations of e peaceful and democratic solution.

Kurdish Phenomenon and the Kurdish Question

As I related above, in order to materialise each alternative in the realities of Turkey and the Middle East, a realistic approach to the Kurdish phenomenon, which plays a fundamental role to materialise those alternatives, has become imperative even more so then ever before. The truth that has been acknowledged by everybody is that we have entered into an era that Kurds can no longer be ruled in the old way. For this reason, there is a great unease in the region. None of the established regimes are confident any more. Nobody is sure as to what the near future will bring. Every single day will bring about elements that will affect the disintegration in the Kurdish phenomenon. As to how the solution will emerge, in which direction, will be determined by the qualities and the tempo of the forces intervening to the praxis. As to whether the process will reach a solution on the basis of the clash of two nationalisms, or whether it will reach a democratic compromise has entered into the agenda as the most burning two questions.

For the first time ever, The internal relations of Kurds and their relationships with the neighbouring ethnicities and states has become an issue that concerns the regional strategies. Kurdish-Arabic, Kurdish-Turkish, Kurdish- Farsi relationships have entered into an era that keeps so many minds busy.

Under the given conditions two possible developments may be the subject of a democratic solution. The first mode of solution is closely related to democratisation process hand in hand with Turkey. To ensure this, as we have briefly dealt with, a state reform is essential. There is a necessity to avoid putting visible or covert barriers in the path of democratisation process of the Kurds and the practice of turning laws into obstacles must be abandoned. Constitutional amendments must be made. Turkish and Kurdish peoples meeting on a common democratic platform necessitates some arrangements. The parties of the problems must be taken into account. Here, the position of Mr Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish people gains great importance. Compromise and dialogue must be developed with Mr. Ocalan. Also; to end the clashes and achieve lasting peace a mutual ceasefire must be maintained.

The second path to a democratic solution is for the Kurds to establish their own democracies. If the first path is blocked, the path to enter is to establish the rules and bodies of democracy on their own. The latest local and general elections clearly showed that despite Kurds elected their own candidates, undemocratic laws and obstacles prevent such elections and their results from being enforced. In the future if the prohibiting practices continue, the self-imposed democratic applications of the Kurds will be more expedient.

Other than these, the remaining avenues are denial and suppression on the one hand and rebellion against such policies and war. The history is full of lessons on the subject. Whilst the cries for democratization and democratic solutions are continually rising, they are yet to take their deserved places on the political agenda. Not so surprisingly, however, many European, countries, even some African, Asian and American countries too, have intensely applied the democratic model upon the problems regarding cultures and peoples. This is the path that the world has taken. The time has come and almost too late for those countries concerned with the Kurdish Question, perhaps Turkey first and foremost, to toe the line.