"We are deeply rooted in the mountains and hearts of the people of Kurdistan. We are able to live another 50 years like this."
~ Murat Karayılan.
~ Murat Karayılan.
I remember that last spring and summer two Turkish journalists pushed for a dialog on the Kurdish situation. Hasan Cemal wrote a series of articles from Kandil which were published in Milliyet. Later, both Hasan Cemal and Cengiz Çandar hosted a discussion live on Turkish TV from Diyarbakır, in which they spoke to Kurdish leaders and--surprisingly--actually seemed to listen. Until I find out otherwise, at this point I have to give them credit for trying to open a public dialog on the situation.
Of course, at the time, DTP members were being rounded up by the AKP government for two simple reasons: 1. They were Kurds; 2. The DTP had badly beaten the AKP in the March 2009 local elections . . . in spite of all the bribes AKP had dispensed to villagers in the preceeding months and in spite of Katil Erdoğan's hypocritical show at Davos.
Now Cengiz Çandar has called out Beşir Atalay, the Interior Minister (the ministry responsible for Turkey's domestic "security" affairs), on this whole "democratic initiative" farce, stating correctly that "[t]he democratic initiative is not going anywhere." I would add the fact that the "democratic initiative" was stillborn.
Çandar describes the signs of the times:
First of all, the military concentration continues at the Şemdinli border line. The Kurdish administration in Iraq is pressurized. Fighter jets bomb northern Iraq. In the presence of the United States and Arbil, efforts are being made for the handing over of 248 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, militants over to Turkey. The pre-1990 conditions settle in the Southeast again. We are going back to a state in which people are fed up with check points and barricades.
If these are called “efforts,” there were more of them in the 1980s and the 1990s. The point we have reached is crystal-clear.
Yes, indeed, I agree. The point that we are at is excruciatingly crystalline.
And then Çandar quotes a recent editorial by Radikal's Oral Çalışlar:
“Here is a letter for you: ‘I am sending photos and information. They belong to guerillas who died in the clashes that took place in Şemdinli. They were handed over to the Şemdinli Municipality as they were. People are washing the bodies in the river.’ I couldn’t look at the photos, burned young bodies in pieces… the Günlük daily has been publishing the photos for a few days. In another letter, an article published in Günlük daily was sent. It is on the same topic. ‘…The images the cameraman recorded are detailed. The cameramen who recorded every single detail of the corpses of the guerillas will leave their mark in the history. That’s for sure. Or rather, the cameramen record acts of violence the state is involved in against Kurds, Kurdish bodies, corpses in the 21st century… I cannot look at the photos. My eyes are shut. Yes, we are at the end… where humanity ends. In the 21st century such acts are flat violence. Their goal is to destroy the willpower of the Kurdish people, scare away Kurdish women and the Kurdish youth.’ For days, funeral ceremonies are being held for the PKK members in Hakkâri, Şemdinli, Diyarbakır, Van and in many other southeastern cities. Groups to pick up the bodies are waving placards writing ‘Welcome our martyrs’ on them. The corpses are not being returned to the families. They are buried at the scenes of encounters. For this reasons, demonstrations are held, people fight against police officers. The PKK members who are killed in the regions mostly driven by a political trend advocating the Kurdish identity are welcomed not as ‘terrorists’ but as ‘martyrs.’ They are treated like martyrs. This is the latest picture in the Southeast… In other words, a completely different psychology and public opinion is settling in the region…”
The daily Günlük has a photo of one of our guerrillas who's body was mutilated and had something to say about the situation:
HPG member Özgür Dağhan's family was shocked when they went to the morgue to identify their son, who was killed in a clash in Gümüşhane. Özgür Dağhan's head had been completely deformed. The things remaining from his head were some hair and his teeth.
[ . . . ]
The family saw that inhumane act not only against their son but in two more HPG members' bodies. There weren't any deformations on the other parts of Dağhan's body, which indicates he was caught alive and was tortured after he was killed.
The article goes on to say that the bodies of Hamit Ulaş and Bayram Dün, HPG fighters who were killed in Karadeniz and Diyarbakır Silvan on 23 June, had also been tortured. Their heads were also smashed and the bodies tortured.
At Dağhan's funeral, which saw a turnout of thousands of mourners, BDP Diyarbakır Provincial Chairman Nijad Yaruk asked, "What kind of fire is that in your heart to make you attack the bodies of dead people?"
In addition to these recent mutilations, Selahattin Demirtaş also forwarded information to Katil Erdoğan on the TSK's mutilation of Rojhelati guerrilla, Abbas Emani, from Zaman:
BDP leader Nurettin Demirtaş [sic. Note: It's not Nurettin Demirtaş but Selahattın Demirtaş who is the BDP co-chair referred to here--Mizgîn] earlier this week sent a CD to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan filled with images of Özgür Dağhan, who was recently killed in Gümüşhane, and Abbas Emani, an Iranian militant who was allegedly killed when he was captured in Batman five years ago. According to the BDP’s claims, PKK member Emani was captured by the Special Forces. He was interrogated and then executed near a vehicle parked in front of a gendarmerie post. Later, his body was dragged to the site of a clash between the military and PKK terrorists, where it was mutilated by Turkish soldiers.
Demirtaş also enclosed a note to the prime minister that said: “These incidents [corpse defilement] are common, to our knowledge. Are you thinking of apologizing to the people and the families and punishing those responsible?” He said many witnesses in the area had confirmed the truth of these acts of disrespect for the dead.
I might add that I personally know people who can confirm similar behavior from the 1990s. There's more at Zaman from Mehmet Dağhan, the father of Şehîd Özgür Dağhan, via Taraf:
The Taraf daily spoke to Mehmet Dağhan, father of Özgür Dağhan, who said: “When my son was killed I went to Trabzon to identify him. They showed me about 10 pictures. There was blood on his face in the picture, his hair had been neatly combed and he was vaguely smiling. I said it was my son. Then I went to the Council of Forensic Medicine’s (ATK) morgue to identify the corpse. They brought my son’s body. His skull had been smashed and burnt. His body was completely black. I said I was not able to identify him. I talked to the prosecutor who was following up on the autopsy. He was about the same age as my son, and he was very nice to me. He was very respectful. He showed me pictures. There was not a blemish on his body in those pictures. He was dead, but his body was intact. It is natural for him to die in a clash. But later, I don’t know if they charred his body with gasoline, chemicals or some kind of acid. You wouldn’t even do this to an animal.”
Of course, none of this is new behavior on the part of NATO's second largest army, nor of Turkish state officials charged with the remains of guerrillas. As Heval Selahattin said, "These incidents [corpse defilement] are common, to our knowledge." Earlier photos of atrocities carried out against guerrilla corpses were posted on Rastî in March 2008 and in August of the same year, I posted information that appeared in the daily Taraf on the same subject:
Terrifying confession of a sergeant
"They threw a PKK member from a helicopter . . . A police special operations member raped the dead body of a female PKK member . . ." Former sergeant Çakan wrote this, including the name, date, and place, in his book; however, he was the one prosecuted.
Former Sergeant Kasım Çakan assembled information in his book on murders he witnessed which were committed by unknown perpetrators while he was on duty in The Southeast. Demanding that Çakan's book be accepted as an informant's document, Çakan's publisher, Mehdi Tanrıkulu, made a criminal complaint against the soldiers and police named in the document.
Being a Soldier While a Sergeant
Kasım Çakan, who used to work in the East and Southeast as a sergeant, compiled information about incidents that happened to him just after he was discharged from the army, in a book called Being a Soldier While a Sergeant. While Cakan wanted the incidents mentioned in his book to be considered as an informant documentation, Istanbul's chief prosecutor charged Çakan and his publisher with the charge of "making terror propaganda" [Article 7/2 of the new and improved Anti-Terror Law]. The trial of Çakan and Tevn Publications owner, Mehdi Tanrıkulu, is still ongoing.
A criminal complaint
Publisher Mehdi Tanrıkulu made a complaint to the Istanbul chief prosecutor's office based on the writing in the book. Tanrıkulu did so with the rationale that starting an investigation about such incidents would reveal several murders by unknown perpetrators.
More on that is available here. Other photos documenting TSK atrocities can be found at this page at Yeni Özgür Politika. Atrocities committed by TSK have also been disclosed by TSK conscripts in Nadire Mater's book, Voices from the Front (Turkish title: Mehmedin Kitabı).
While Katil Erdoğan was, no doubt, crying his eyes out in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the victims of the Srebrenica massacre:
I remember all the martyrs of Srebrenica with great respect and hope that they are all in heaven, Erdogan said.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that the massacre of 1995 in Srebrenica dealt a heavy blow to human dignity.
[ . . . ]
The victims of the Srebrenica massacre lost lives for their homeland, honor and humanity. They were massacred in a bloody, ruthless, lawless, and wild war, Erdogan stressed.
[ . . . ]
Erdogan referred to the International Court of Justice in The Hague which ruled that what took place in Srebrenica was a genocide.
Now, this is the same son-of-a-bitch who has never bothered to shed a tear for Kurds but, in fact, was the one to authorize the murder of Kurdish women, children and elderly during the Amed Serhildan in 2006. This is the same son-of-a-bitch who refuses to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. This is the same son-of-a-bitch who replied to Heval Selahattin's letter and CD thusly:
"They have sent me a letter on [BDP] letterhead with a CD attached, stating that the situation of these corpses was a crime against humanity and asking what are we going to do about this. Is it left to you, BDP, to advocate for an organization that has been declared a terrorist organization by a majority of the world's countries? . . . Where are we going to put the armless, legless veterans in GATA [Gülhane Askeri Tıp Akademisi--TSK's hospital in Ankara] then?"
So this murdering son-of-a-bitch continues to ignore the incidents which are endemic to NATO's second largest army. He lies about PKK being a "terrorist" organization according to "a majority of the world's countries"--only state-sponsors of terror like the United States and Turkey and their little f***ing lapdogs in the EU think that PKK is a "terrorist" organization and these bottom-feeders are hardly "a majority of the world's countries". And then this son-of-a-bitch, Recep Tayyip Katil Erdoğan goes on to deflect any accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity by referring to some "armless, legless veterans in GATA". Oh, and I can guarantee you that the sons of Katil Erdoğan are never going to be found among those GATA unfortunates, nor will they ever be quoted in any future Mehmedin Kitabı, and you, dear reader, can easily guess the reason why.
Here's how Heval Selahattin responded to the Murderer's idiotic statement:
"This is an unfortunate statement. If a PM is thinking this way then he has lost his legitimacy. It is a confession that he is not the PM of a certain part of the country. . . . We do not distinguish the dead bodies, the pain. There is not your pain or my pain. There is our pain. Guerrillas are also the sons and daughters of this country. They are all our people. The parents of guerrillas are also citizens of this country. But if a PM is doing this then he will pass into history as the PM defending brutal treatment on dead bodies."
Well, all I can say is that Heval Selahattin is a much better man than I. As far as I'm concerned, what this comrade said.