Tuesday, January 31, 2006


"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." ~ Voltaire

I like to stop over at Viking-Observer every so often to see what is going on with Denmark, because Denmark has been in the crosshairs lately for its strong freedom of expression stand. Denmark has been particularly strong in standing against one of the Middle East's biggest and most brutal bullies, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, or Turkish republic, or just TC, for brevity.

The TC would be the same brutal bully who is currently presiding over a pack of brutal bullies, collectively known as the OIC, who are now all engaged in attacking Denmark.

Henrik, at Viking Observer, has posted a list of some recent developments:

* Hungary sides with Denmark. Says the Hungarian foreign minister: "To us, freedom of speech is a cornerstone of a functioning democracy". The arab reaction is "unfitting".

* In the arab parts of Palestine, the Danish representative office in Ramallah was fired on yesterday, and today demonstrations burned pictures of, among others, prime minister Fogh, US president Bush and Israeli prime minister Olmert.

* In Iraq, a terrorist has issued a fatwa against the Danish battalion stationed there.

* In Sudan, the foreign minister has urged "all sudanese companies and institutions to stop the omport of Danish products".

* In Bahrain, the parliament has passed a resolution calling for boycott of Danish goods, and demanding apologies from the Danish government and the Danish queen.

* A like resolution from the Egyptian parliament has brought EU trade commisioner Peter Mandelson to threaten opening an investigation into it, since government-sponsored boycotts are a breach of WTO-rules.

* At the same time the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior representing 17 arab ministers has demanded the Danish government punish those responsible for the 12 drawings.

* Suicide bombers are threatening attacks on Denmark.

More information is available at Zaman. Thanks to one of my hevals for the heads-up on that. See if you can detect the spin in that one. Let me give you a hint: Zaman is a Fethullahci rag sheet.

Here's a quote:

Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik stated after the EU General Affairs Council gathering yesterday, "With the help of freedom of expression and the press, some basic religious values should not be humiliated in order to find a solution."

The EU High Representative, Javier Solana, stressed “religious values should be respected and no religion should be humiliated."

We already know which side the UN and the US are on, and it ain't Denmark's, and with these quotes we see where the EU's flunkeys are going with this.

Everyone is angry with Denmark for its position on free expression, over some Prophet cartoons and illustrations, as well as for its defense of free expression for Kurds--if you can imagine--which goes, in this case, by the name of Roj TV. Turkey has harnassed the OIC, through its Turkish secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, in order to gang up against Denmark and thereby bully their way to what they consider to be a victory.

Of course, Turkey hopes to kill two birds with one stone. It hopes to get Denmark to break over the Prophet issue and then will come in for the kill over Roj TV, just as I hinted here.

But the problem is that if you want to choose to support Denmark on one aspect of this battle--Roj or cartoons--and condemn Denmark on the other, you are not a supporter of freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is not the freedom to hear what you want to hear. Freedom of expression, in all its proper glory, is most perfectly at work in the world when you also get to hear what you don't want to hear, or when you get to hear what is hateful to you, and the only valid censorship against this is that of the individual freely choosing not to listen or read or look.

Kurdistan must stand with Denmark. Kurdistan must do this because Denmark has stood with Kurdistan over the attempts by Turkey to silence Roj TV. Kurdistan must also do this because, for far too long, Kurdistan has been the victim of censorship and every Kurd knows this. Finally, Kurdistan must stand with Denmark because one day, Kurdistan hopes to become a democracy.

If we can't walk the walk with Prime Minister Rasmussen and the Danish people, then we have no business talking the talk.

Serkeftin, Denmark!

Monday, January 30, 2006


"I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them." ~ Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952

What has happened with the Şemzîn (Semdinli) investigation?

Initially, four persons were captured by an angry crowd of local residents who had witnessed the bombing. Those persons were:

1. Veysel Ates, a Kurdish informant, working for the government.

2. Tanju Cavus, a Turkish army sergeant who fired into the crowd of locals, killing one and wounding five others.

3. Ali Kaya, a JIT agent (JIT=Turkish Gendarmerie Intelligence)

4. Ozcan Ildeniz, a JIT agent.

Ali Kaya was, in fact, praised by none other than General Buyukanit himself:

Commander of the Turkish Army, General Yasar Buyukanit praised the JIT-agent Ali Kaya.

"A valuable soldier in northern Iraq that knows Kurdish. He was under my command during my duty [in Northern Iraq]," Buyukanit said implying that Kaya was still active in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

Buyukanit is the guy who's going to be replacing Ozkok soon. Won't that be fun?

When the angered residents of Şemzîn captured these criminals, they also managed to capture their vehicle and its contents. It might be worth reviewing all that:

3 each AK-47s

11 magazines

2 hand grenades

A military ID (Ali Kaya's)

Assault vests

Souvenirs with the symbols of the Iraqi Turkmen Front

Turkish military leave documents

Detailed sketches of Seferi Yilmaz' bookstore and home

Another interesting detail is the car itself. It was registered to JIT.

If you have been paying attention so far, you will have noticed something extremely interesting. These guys are coming from Iraq. There is indication of some association with the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) which is a very ülkücü organization. There is still Turkish military in South Kurdistan. I know because I saw them and took photos of them when I was there last. They are VERY touchy about having their photos taken, but I managed to do it. Hehehe. . .

The Turkish state, in conjunction with the ITF, has been working since the fall of the Saddam regime to destabilize South Kurdistan. Some of you may remember the Turkish special operations guys who were caught by US forces on the July 4th weekend in 2003. They had been accompanying "aid" into Kerkuk. Funny, though, the "aid" consisted of arms. They were arrested and bagged--literally, with burlap bags over the head--by the Americans. There were problems in Tuz Khurmatu later that summer.

Then, despite the outrageous claims of the Turkish government, the ITF bombed--figuratively, not literally--in recent Iraqi elections. We might also take a moment to recall all the Turkmen that were tortured and murdered under Saddam. Let's also take a moment to recall that Turkey had absolutely nothing to say about all those Turkmen murders.

Anyway, on with our story.

As the protests in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan began to die down, this little blip appeared on the radar screen:

Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 11:47 PM CST

NEWSDESK, Nov 21 (DozaMe.org) - Two bombs went off at close intervals around 21:50 (9:50 p.m. EET) on Nov. 20 outside the Turkish police headquarters in the city of Silopi in northern Kurdistan (southeastern Turkey).

Windows of surrounding homes and shops shattered but there were no human casualties in the explosion, the Kurdish news agency ANF reports.

A few days later, 24 November, to be exact, we heard this:

A second Turkish military black-op intelligence (JITEM) unit has been unveiled and six people have been arrested by police for carrying out bomb attacks on a Turkish prosecutor's car, a Turkish police station and a clothing warehouse, all in the city of Silopi in northern Kurdistan (southeastern Turkey) between Nov. 10 and Nov. 22.

If you follow the link to that quote, you will see that there were a number of bombings that took place in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan in November, 2005. We might as well blame the usual suspects, right? All together now: "PKK!"

Not so fast. The prosecutor in Silopî revealed the names of the people involved with the bombings against Turkish government targets:

The Silopi District State Prosecutor declared the names of the six-man Turkish JITEM* unit that was captured by Turkish police for carrying out attacks on Turkish governmental targets in the city of Silopi.

The names of the captured were the paramilitary Village Guards Cevher Bodur, Sabri Binzat, Murat Kumak, Ata Kaçar and Osman Arslan and a person with an undisclosed affiliation named Mehmet Özmen. The five Village Guards were later arrested while the person named Mehmet Özmen was released.

It is believed that Mehmet Özmen may be a Turkish military personnel and therefore released.

Yeah, baby! They released that TSK personnel but kept the five stooges! A little while after that, and there was a report of a JITEM agent arrested in Kerkuk, something which the Turkish military establishment, naturally, denied with its usual vehemence. Kerkuk, in spite of being Dilê Kurdistan, has also become infected with the plague of the ITF, along with Tuz Khurmatu and Tel Afar. Hmmm. . . Tel Afar? Does that ring a bell with anyone?

In the meantime, what has happened to our criminals who perpetrated the Şemzîn bombing?

Veytel Ates, the Kurdish informant working for the government, was never questioned by the Security Directorate. Is he still in detention? Then why hasn't the Security Directorate questioned him? Instead, he seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Now, that Zaman article at the link blames PKK for all this mess, and accuses it of having "1.5 tons of C–4 explosives. Indicating these explosives mainly remain from Saddam's period of rule in Northern Iraq. . ." But the guys with the C-4 were working for the government.

OOPS! The Iraq connection again!

Ali Kaya and Ozcan Ildiniz are, apparently, in Wan undergoing trial. A very quiet trial, being secretly moved back and forth from prison through a back door. A trial like this should not be secret because, for one thing, it makes me very suspicious.

Tanju Cavus has been released from detention, pending trial. Apparently they think he's not a flight risk.

A recent statement by Seferi Yilmaz, owner of the bombed bookstore, sums up the attitude of the people:

The dirty relations emerged in Semdinli is a part of this game. The relations emerged here is a part of the chain. Our expectation is to connect all the chains. Otherwise to reveal the chain of Semdinli will not solve the problem. The incidence of deep state within the state preserves its formation. If we look at the confessions of the Member of the JITEM Abdulkadir Aygan it will emerge clearly that how this was a system and what kind of working is carried out. Our expectation from public prosecutors is to reveal the event in this context. Otherwise convicting of two people will not solve the problem. After the closing of the incidence again explosions and taking lives will begin. We live this worry every time, he said.

The people want to know, because they already know this is not PKK. This is Susurluk. Will the truth be unravelled and exposed, or will the four criminals from the Şemzîn bombing merely become the fall guys?

In addition to any questions of "Deep State" or Gladio, there is the Iraq connection. For a number of years now, the Turkish state has made the accusation that PKK gerîlas use South Kurdistan as a base for their operations. But now we have the strong suspicion that the truth of the matter is that Turkey is using South Kurdistan as a base for their own operations, in conjunction with the ITF. They are importing terror, and applying it to the Kurds under Turkish occupation.

There are two things that must be done to solve this problem, and I hope Kak Masûd and Mam Celal are reading. The Southern Kurdish leadership needs to stop screwing around with imprisoning Kurdish critics and, instead, they need to round up every single member of ITF, and anyone even vaguely associated with ITF, and put them in prison. Then, the Iraqi president needs to tell TSK to get the hell out of liberated Kurdistan, and to take all of their intelligence types with them. Otherwise, they should all join their ITF brothers in Kurdish prisons.

Don't you just love the real Middle East? I can't imagine why anyone pays attention to anything else.

State Terror Acquitted in Semdinli

On 9 November 2005 the Turkish "Gladio", popularly known as the "deep state" of Turkey, was caught red-handed by the people of Semdinli. Despite the Turkish military and some other people at first endeavoring to cover up the incident, the demonstrations by the people of Semdinli were then decisive in establishing a majority view in Turkey that the culprits should be taken to court.

But Tanju CAVUS, who was responsible for the death of one person and for the wounding of many others in the same incident, was released at his first court hearing. This shows that the deep state has a strong hold on the justice system in Turkey. As a matter of fact the Vice-General Staff of the Turkish Military, Yasar BUYUKANIT, supported the killers by stating on the day of the incident that he knew them and that they were "good kids" . The fact that the Semdinli incidents on 9 November 2005 have still not been fully investigated and cleared up and that the culprits are being released one by one or are not being punished has seriously disappointed the expectations of the people. It is deepening the insecurity they feel with regard to the justice system.

In the 1990s thousands of extra-judicial killings were perpetrated against Kurdish intellectuals and prominent people, and to this day the killers are yet to be found let alone prosecuted. These killings were perpetrated by units connected with the deep state, and indeed a year ago Abdulkadir Aygan, a former member of JITEM (a secret Gendarme Intelligence Organisation), confessed to the murders he had committed including the murder of journalist and writer Musa ANTER.

This person announced to the public, through the media, in a very open manner, the names of the people he had killed, the place where he had committed the crimes and who he had committed them with. The Turkish politicians and justice system should have taken these confessions as notice of a criminal offence and initiated the necessary proceedings, yet till today no legal action has been taken. Moreover, the person named in the confessions relating to the murder of Musa Anter, Hamit Yildirim, a village guard, is still moving around freely and actively continuing his dirty work for JITEM in the region. So the "deep state", Gladio, is still on duty. It is still committing murders to horrify and intimidate the people. The only way that these killings can keep happening is to keep the previous murders in the dark and not to punish the perpetrators. On the contrary, they see these criminals as patriots and support them with any means, so they continue to commit new murders.

This is what happened in the Kurdish city of Semdinli on 9 November. It was not an isolated incident any more than the Tanju CAVUS case was. It is just a part of the chain that can be seen throughout Kurdistan. The trust and hope of the people that reforms to the Turkish justice system are going to be implemented has suffered a serious blow.

Indeed the increasingly open and extensive violence of the state against the people's requests for peace and democracy shows that in the near future there will be a bloody attack against the Kurdish people, because Gladio is at work.

To prevent these very dangerous developments we call on the EU, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, and all related institutions, organizations and parliaments, to pay proper attention and to take the appropriate action.

GLADIO was exposed and dissolved in other NATO member countries, yet in Turkey it is still to be exposed, though until it becomes inoperative the necessary democratic changes and transitions of Turkey for EU accession are not possible.

Effective pressure must be put on the government of Turkey, whose ineffectiveness against GLADIO has allowed it to carry out special war tactics on the Kurdish people and on other forces for democracy.

Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)


Gelek sipas, KurdishInfo.com.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


"Various statements have been made from within certain official circles in Turkey to the effect that nothing can be achieved with weapons and bombs. I am convinced that these friends and these other people either do not understand our reality or they have no respect for us." ~ Murat Karayilan.

Excellent news came out of Zaxo, liberated Kurdistan, on Friday, 27 January. But first, let's take a little stroll down memory lane to remember how this excellent news came to pass.

Turkish police officer, Hakan Açil, was captured by Kurdish People's Defence Force (HPG) gerîlas on 9 October, 2005, as he and his companions were on their way to Cizre. By his own account, in an interview made during his captivity, he was treated well by the big, bad Kurdish gerîlas. It must have been a bit of a shock to him, since he initially expected to be murdered in cold blood by HPG. He indicated that he wished for the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) to secure his release, just as a similar human rights delegation had secured the release of a Turkish soldier, Coskun Kirandi, captured by HPG gerîlas in July, 2005.

TSK had combed the mountains in the area of Coskun Kirandi's disappearance to search for him but, it is interesting to note that no effort was made by Turkey to locate Hakan Açil, even though the location of his capture was well-known. It is also interesting to note that the members of the delegation who obtained the safe release of Kirandi, were arrested en masse and charged with "collaboration,"--with "terrorists" I presume--and that they were further charged with "making propaganda" for the Kurdish cause, as reported by Reporters Without Borders.

Ferhat Tunç, a famous Kurdish singer and one of those charged in the Kirandi affair, also received death threats for his part in the negotiations:

Ferhat Tunç has published a statement on the issue in which he writes:

“...After Tunceli Republic Prosecutor’s indictment defined us as ‘alleged human rights defenders’ and charged us with ‘propagandating for an illegal organisation’, I have begun receiving death threats through phone calls, mails and on various internet websites. I regret to say that something I did for humanitarian purposes to save someone’s life was turned into a lynching campaign against me...”

Question: Will the same happen to those who managed to negotiate the release of Hakan Açil? It will be something to watch for, that's for sure, especially since the case of Hakan Açil is another proof against the Big Lie that Kurdish gerîlas are brutal "terrorists."

Hehehe. . . It must be killing Ankara that these events cause so much damage to carefully laid Turkish propaganda against Kurds. We know that the Fethullahci AKP supports Palestinian "freedom fighters," but can anyone give me an example of any time that a Palestinian terrorist group ever returned an Israeli alive and well to his or her family? Or when any branch of Turkish security forces ever did the same for a Kurdish family?

Tell me, in all honesty then, who are the real terrorists?

The account of Hakan Açil's release near Zaxo, liberated Kurdistan, can be read at Kurdish Info. There is a another short report, also from my hevals at Kurdish Info, describing the situation at Îbrahîm Xalîl border, in preparation for Hakan Açil's crossing. It sounds like they called out all the Turkish police from the Silopî district to secure the customs area of the border crossing. Sounds like a bit of overkill to me, and to anyone else who has seen the TSK presence at this border crossing, but maybe they were afraid some big, bad Kurdish gerîlas would capture one of them as well, and treat them according to human standards, standards that no one has ever accused the TSK of using.

Why is the release of a Turkish police by Kurdish gerîlas in South Kurdistan excellent news? Well, anyone who knows anything about Zaxo, knows that no one in this area of liberated Kurdistan so much as even passes gas without KDP knowledge and approval. It means that KDP worked with HPG in negotiating the release of Hakan Açil. It indicates that there is dialog and cooperation between the leaderships of North and South.

Check out this little piece of news, from November, 2005:

Barzani’s recent meeting with top officials from the Turkish national Intelligence Organizations (MIT), held at his Seriraj headquarters in Salahaddin, was mainly aimed at bridging the gap and further strengthening military cooperation between the Iraqi Kurdish leadership and Ankara. Rapport between PDK and Ankara deteriorated after Turkey called off high-level diplomatic approaches with Barzani, alleges PDK not to cooperate suitably to dislocate PKK rebels in North of Iraq, and blames his provocative remarks about the legitimate and innate right of independence for Kurdish people.

An article from Maclean's confirms the reality of the situation in liberated Kurdistan, which I know from personal experience:

In the area of Iraq controlled by Masoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) -- which, united with another Kurd party, won 75 of 275 assembly seats in the recent Iraqi election -- there is sympathy for the PKK. In fact, for many former fighters from the Turkish side of the border, the KDP has become a second family. Before the Iraq war, guerrillas coming down out of the mountains were encouraged to join the KDP peshmerga, the Iraqi militia that fought on behalf of Kurdish interests during Saddam's rule. Although the practice was reportedly stopped after the invasion, a close affiliation between the two groups still exists. "We welcome any PKK who decide they want to leave the movement," said one KDP official in Dohuk, a town straddling the Turkish border. "They are fellow Kurds and we will do what we can to help them reintegrate into normal society."

This close relationship is worrying for Turkish authorities. The U.S. has promised it will eventually root out PKK guerrillas hiding in Iraq. But with the current situation still out of control, U.S. commanders say they are stretched too thin to do anything for the time being. In a Jan. 3 meeting with Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul, former U.S. deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage proposed three-way talks between the U.S., Turkey and Iraq to work out a plan to deal with the more than 5,000 fighters ensconced in mountain camps on both sides of the border. But will Iraqi Kurds support a U.S. offensive against fellow Kurds? In the mountains around Dohuk, Iraqi border guards, all former peshmerga fighters, admit they often come across PKK camps while on patrol. "We sometimes have tea together," one guard said.

Dr. Mahmoud Othman has nailed the question directly, in comments made in al-Hayat, and carried by Juan Cole

He [Othman] added that Turkey had wanted to strike at the oppositional “Kurdistani Workers Party” (PKK) in the Iraqi-Turkish border area, but US forces in Iraq objected to that: “Iraqi Kurdish leaders called on Turkey to stop the violence against its Kurds, issue an amnesty for the PKK, and recognize the national and political rights of the Kurds in order to avoid further bloodshed, but it was to no avail.”

Othman asserted that Turkey tries also indirectly to foster crises with the two (Iraqi) Kurdish parties (the National Union led by Jalal Talabani and the Democratic Party led by Masoud Barzani), this having led previously to clashes between (Iraqi) Kurdish peshmerga forces and the PKK in the 1990’s.

He said that “present Kurdish leaders” do not see any problem in the presence of oppositionists to the government of Turkey near its territory “even if they are Kurds,” adding that the province of Kurdistan is convinced that they are political refugees and displaced persons and that their presence on the border is due to the repressive Turkish policies.

As Dr. Othman makes clear, Turkey uses the existence of HPG gerîlas to meddle in the affairs of liberated Kurdistan because of its frustration with the entire idea of a free Kurdish people. This has nothing to do with any alleged provocations by the Kurdish people, but is a reflection of Turkey's own problems with identity and it's aggressiveness toward a people who are fiercely independent and refush to bow to oppression. In other words, a people who know well their own identity.

I would also add there is probably a big element of lust for Kerkuk on the part of Ankara as another strong motivation for meddling within the "territorial integrity" of another state's affairs, especially since the Iraqi Turkmen Front totally bombed--uh, figuratively, not literally--in recent Iraqi elections, laying bare another Big Lie, the one that claims there are millions of Turkmen in Iraq.

More indications of KDP/PUK/PKK cooperation, from World War 4 Report:

Jalal Talabani and Masoud Barzani, the two long-ruling rival strongmen of the Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Iraq, have arrived at a power-sharing deal at the behest of the US occupation. With the formation of an ostensibly independent Iraqi government earlier this year, Talabani became Iraq's president while Barzani was elected president of Kurdistan Regional Government, the newly-unified northern autonomous zone. The Kurdish militia armies controlled by these two strongmen, the peshmerga, openly collaborated with US Special Forces units in the campaign against Saddam's regime in 2003.

Yet these two apparent clients of US imperialism appear to have forged at least a de-facto alliance with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Kurdish separatist guerilla organization which for over 20 years has been fighting for the liberation of Eastern Anatolia from the rule of Turkey. The PKK is officially recognized as a "terrorist organization" by the US State Department. The war which ensued after it took up arms in 1984, espousing a Maoist-influenced radical Kurdish nationalism, cost over 30,000 lives. The PKK was thought to be in decline since the arrest of its leader, Abdullah Ocalan (code name "Apo"), in 1999. But it now shows signs of a resurgence--and activity in Iran and Syria as well as Turkey and Iran.

The release of Hakan Açil in Zaxo, by HPG gerîlas, with the approval and support of the KDP, is excellent news because it indicates a spirit of cooperation between North and South. It is a sign of a new sense of solidarity between them, supported by the people, who recognize and accept their brothers and sisters across the border in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

It is a message to outsiders: Let there be no mistake! There is one Kurdish people and one Kurdistan.


BY THE WAY. . . check out some information on Networked Tribes and neo-tribalism, from Global Guerrillas.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


"Torture is used systematically against political detainees in Iraqi prisons and detention centres. The scale and severity of torture in Iraq can only result from the acceptance of its use at the highest level. There are no attempts to curtail or prevent such violations or punish those responsible." ~ Amnesty International, 15 August, 2001, Iraq: Systematic Torture of Political Prisoners.

From Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, there are a few must-see videos from the Saddam regime. That site will give you plenty of warning about "GRAPHIC VIDEO MATERIAL" and all that.

However, I recommend that you force yourself to watch, especially if you are one of the following types of fatheads (of course I have a different F-word in mind for all of those who fall into one of the following categories, but I'm trying to be polite):

1. Fathead who opposed the war (i.e. a Saddam supporter).

2. Fathead who thinks Americans know how to torture (Most likely a Saddam supporter).

3. Fathead American isolationist (You're not in Kansas anymore, Toto).

4. Fathead who just doesn't care (You are already dead, you just don't know it. Go ahead and kill youself now).

5. Fathead who thinks Western lives are more valuable than other lives (You're a racist).

I think I object to all the warnings about graphic material and not letting children see these videos. There were no graphic warnings for Kurdish or Iraqi schoolchildren who were hustled out of the classroom to line up on the playground in time to watch their teachers and school administrators get tortured or executed. There were no graphic warnings for Kurdish or Iraqi children who were rounded up in their villages to watch their relatives, friends and neighbors get tortured and/or executed. There were no graphic warnings for Kurdish or Iraqi children just before they were lined up in front of the ditch that would become their mass grave.

I think Westerners are way too sensitive about things like protecting their children from all the graphics of life. I think they are way too overprotective. Especially if they fall into any of the fathead categories listed above. Either that, or Westerners think that the kind of treatment in the videos is perfectly acceptable for non-Westerners to engage in with each other, especially when this treatment is encouraged, reinforced and supported by the West.

And, yes, if you don't give a damn, if you are simply feckless, if you love wallowing in your own ignorance, if you deny or ignore . . . you are as guilty as Saddam.

Am I angry? Do you really need to ask?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Şengê û Pengê ew jî bawer dikin ku we diya wan e.
Derî vedikin, oyyy çi bibînin! Gur e!
Gur hema vekser wan dixwe û dice. ~ from a Kurdish fairy tale.

In my last post, I mentioned a man named Fethullah Gulen, saying that Erdogan was his boy, as well as Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turkish Secretary-General of the OIC. If anyone cares to understand anything that is going on in Turkey, one needs to know about Fethullah Gulen and his gang because they are extensive and very influential. If you are a Kurd, or are concerned about Kurds under Turkish occupation, knowledge of Fethullah Gulen is necessary for survival. Everything you need to know about Fethullah Gulen has already been said, and by better minds than mine. I'm just going to put it all together for you, because you probably missed it.

Do I need to add that all this is from a Kurdish frame of reference?

To set the stage, we need a little backgrounder. Here's what Amed Demirhan had to say about Fethullah Gulen, by way of introduction. This article appeared in KurdistanObserver a year ago:

Mr. Fethullah Gulen is a very interesting and powerful personality in Turkey. He has about five-six million followers and commands billions of dollars in Turkey and abroad. His followers’ control major news media, as well as schools and universities in many countries, including in the USA. However, in last few years the Turkish military has become uncomfortable with his growing power especially with his influence in the police force and police intelligence organizations, therefore he had to move to the USA in unofficial exile. Mr. Gulen has been presented as a tolerant, moderate, enlightened religious leader and involved in interfaith dialog, and a peaceful person.

Notice that Gulen has millions of followers, which are called Fethullahci and they have a particular ideology, formulated, of course, by Gulen. They are part of what is known as the Nurcu movement, a religious community, whose ideology was originally proposed by one Said Nursi. The funny thing is that Said Nursi was a Kurd. His contribution to Islamic thought consists in presenting Islam in a way that didn't clash with the modern world or science. Fethullah Gulen, on the other hand, twists the teaching of Said Nursi to his own purposes, political purposes and they can be expressed as follows:

Basically, Fethullah Gülen's ideas serve to accomplish three intellectual goals: the islamization of the Turkish nationalist ideology; the turkification of Islam; and the Islamization of modernity. And therefore, he wishes to revive the link between the state, religion and society.

How does Gulen's ideology apply to Kurds? Check out this article, originally carried by KurdishMedia.com and written by Aland Mizell, but now found archived at flash-bulletin.de [Note: the paragraph breaks are mine, to make for easier reading]:

Muhammad said, “An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.” Writing in an article entitled “A Comparative Approach Islam and Democracy, Gülen pronounces, “The Prophet says that all people are as equal as the teeth of a comb. Islam does not discriminate based on race, color, age, nationality, or physical traits. The Prophet declared: ‘You are all from Adam, and Adam is from earth. O servants of God, be brothers [and sisters].’ Those who are born earlier, have more wealth and power than others, or belong to certain families or ethnic groups have no inherent right to rule others” (Gülen 2001).

However, Fethullah goes further to claim that Islam can be best represented only by the Turks, thus claiming the superiority of the Turks. When a Kurd says, “I am a Kurd and a Muslim,” then it seems he is insulting his hearer. The Kurd will be chastised for establishing his identity in terms of his ethnicity and be challenged to think of himself as a Muslim only, united with his Islamic brotherhood as the Qur’an requires. If he claims a shared allegiance to his ethnic heritage, he will be asked, “Why are you prejudiced?” and be told, “We are all brothers,” a tranquilizer numbing his followers into submission. Yet, this same examiner will never stand for the rights of this “brother.” Instead, as always, Kurds will be oppressed while the religious demagogies keep silent with the same tactics.

When it comes to the Kurdish question, when it comes to many questions about the Kurds, the examiner will note that they are caught in the fire and continue to burn — illiteracy is high, the mortality rate is high, and unemployment is high. Many Kurds are living with their cattle in the winter because they cannot afford to buy enough coal or wood to provide heat for their children during the freezing winter. When the military served as the major police force in that impoverished region, they raped many Kurdish women and killed children and older people as well. These advocates of homogeneity and opponents of racism tried to turn attention to their Muslim brotherhood, pointing to the injustice in Chechnya, Bosnia, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Algeria.

Mizell's article is excellent because it traces the background information, the latest events, and connects everything to the political players in Turkey. Mizell mentions all of Gulen's emotional distress for Azerbaijanis and Bosnians and all his other Muslim brothers (and his followers, Erdogan and Ihsanoglu, cry for Palestinians or condemn Israel as a "terrorist" state), yet he remains an agnostic even now, one year after Mizell's article, when it comes to the Turkish state allowing Kurdish children to die of bird flu, or of Kurdish parents taking their sick children to the hospital on sleds because the Turkish state does not clear the roads of the heavy snow. Fethullah Gulen and all his followers have no comment to make on the 4,000 Kurdish villages destroyed by TSK, or the 4 million Kurds forcibly displaced from their homes. They are at a loss for words in discussing the 70%+ unemployment in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan or the poverty suffered by those Kurds who live in shanty towns in and around Turkey's largest cities.

But knowledge of Fethullah Gulen puts a completely new spin on the bombing at Şemzîn. Consider this, from Demirhan's article:

In November 18, 2004 Mr. Gulen warned Turkey that "some foreign Intelligence organizations are preparing to turn Turkey in to a bloodbath. 'From now on mystery killings could occur.'"[1] This so called "mystery killing in Turkey", in 1990s about 20,000 citizens of Turkey, predominantly Kurds and some high ranking Turks and well known intellectuals, lost their lives and the murderer went free. Mr. Gulen went on claiming, “In last 300 years some secret organizations have been controlling this nation." This is clearly a reference to "Shabbetai sect." The followers of Shabbetai Zevi (1625 - 1676) who were converted to Islam, by force of Sultan, from Judaism in late 1600s. However, some anti-Semitic groups claim this sect still practices Judaism in secret and never became Turk and Muslim and they are controlling the Turkish state and they have been the source of Turkish problem in last 300 years. In last two years Shabbetains become the target of many political groups in Turkey from old school Marxist to variety of Islamist, because of their Jewish ancestry.

Mr. Gulen not only warned the nation against foreign conspiracy and their fifth column in Turkey; he claimed: "If Turkish Intelligent Service (MIT), Police Force, and JITEM (Turkish Gendarmeries Intelligence Service) collaborates together they will over come these plots against Turkey." (HaberX 11/18/2004). It is very interesting that he names Gendarmeries Intelligence Service (JITEM) because this organization had been premier responsible for not so mysterious "mystery killing" in Turkey and protector and trainer of the Turkish Hizbullah which had been responsible for major terrorist attacks against Kurds, bombing Jewish and British targets in Istanbul, and many more.

It was JITEM and TSK who did Şemzîn, but who got the blame? The Kurds, especially, PKK. And I am willing to bet that the guys who actually carried out the operation were Fethullahci, since Gulen has managed to gain some influence even over those state organizations. That's why he had to exile himself to the US, right? I wonder if Brent Scowcroft ever stops by for a glass of tea?

Another person to read, in order to follow how far the Fethullahci are going, is Michael Rubin. Now I don't like Michael Rubin, mainly because the guy has a lot to say against PKK but, like the Fethullahci--or the Kemalists--he is absolutely speechless when it comes to any mention of Turkish atrocities against Kurds. The guy has never written one word about any atrocity committed against Kurds under Turkish occupation. Not one. He is not a Fethullahci, though; he is a Kemalist. Through and through. So when he writes about Turkey, and complains about AKP (Okay, you should get it now: AKP = Fethullahci), we get to see what the hard-core Kemalists, i.e. the Turkish military, are thinking. Mizell cites Rubin's Green Money, but you should also read Rubin's more recent Turkish Turn Back? and Turkey's No Casual Dining and The Same War.

You also might want to notice the slogan of The Middle East Forum, where those Rubin articles are located. It is, "Promoting American Interests." Keep that in mind.

By the way, Fethullah Gulen has a website. You might want to start with this article, from Milliyet: Identity, Kurd Issue and Central Asia. Keep in mind everything I've told you here when you read that and notice Gulen's remarks about Leyla Zana and Co. Notice his claim of how many Kurds in "The Southeast" are supporting PKK, and ask yourself these questions:

1. How out of touch with reality is this guy?

2. Is this guy a great propagandist, or what?

3. How much hash does he have stashed in his nargîle?

When you read the news from Turkey now, you can keep all of this information in mind. Besides, there may be a test later. Class is over for today.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


There is an interesting little timeline, with some equally interesting undercurrents, connected with the Turkish state's efforts to close Roj TV, and unless one traces all the threads, one is bound to miss it. To my knowledge, there is no one article which collects all the threads and undercurrents together. I should also say that it helps to have a couple of hevals to help with collecting the threads.

On 12 January, 2005, the Turkish Embassy in Denmark lodged a complaint with the Danish Radio and Television Board against Roj TV. The DRTB was only able to rule on one count of the complaint, that of incitement to hatred, and the Board found that Roj TV had not violated Danish broadcasting laws on that count. The other two counts of the complaint had to do with matters concerning the criminal code and EU terrorist list. Since DRTB does not have any expertise or jurisdiction over such matters, they forwarded those complaints to the Danish police.

In September 2005, the Turkish government made another request of the Danish government to revoke Roj TVs broadcasting license. Clandestine Radio Watch carries a report from Turkish NTV, with a date of 21 September, 2005, which states that the Danish government turned down the complaint because Roj TV had not violated Danish broadcasting laws. What is interesting is that the next entry on the Clandestine Radio Watch page, is one in which Saudi authorities agree to investigate a request, no doubt made to them by the Turkish government, to investigate Roj TV as it was being broadcast in the Middle East on Arabsat.

The next date in our timeline is mid-November, 2005, when Erdogan refused to attend a press conference at which a Roj reporter was present. From that date onward, the Turkish media engaged in its usual feeding-frenzy over all things alleged to be PKK.

But something else happened in between the time that Denmark refused to revoke Roj TVs license in mid-September, and Erdogan's mid-November dramatics at the press conference. On 30 September, 2005, the Danish Daily, Jyllands-Posten, published twelve cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. How does this concern Roj TV, you ask? Well, it doesn't directly concern Roj TV, but, if anyone can read between the lines or feel the undercurrents, the cartoon incident is being used as a pretext to bargain over Roj TV's existence.

If you follow the 30 September link, you will go to a Turkish Daily News article and you will see the photo of a man. You should know who he is. He's Erdogan's boy at the OIC, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. Or, rather, I should say Ihsanoglu is Fethullah Gulen's boy at the OIC, because Erdogan is Gulen's boy too, only at the AKP. Here's what the Lebanese al-Nahar had to say about Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu:

The new Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, belongs to what used to be known in Turkey in the 1980s and 1990s as the Islamic nationalists – that group of nationalist Turks with (non-radical) Islamic inclinations, known for their association with the general structure of the Turkish state. Or to put the matter in more political terms, Dr Ekmeleddin is an Islamic personality who is directly associated with the Kemalist establishment.

The Turkish Islamists of the Gulen variety, sometimes called Fethullahci, are extremely protective of Turkish territorial integrity and prefer to see their Kurdish "problem" assimilate. They have a global network of schools which helps them to collaborate with those who can be persuaded to work against Kurdish interests, or those who are already known to work against Kurdish interests. For example, since the Iraq war, Erdogan has revived the Turkish relationship with Syria and Iran to counteract the de facto Kurdish state in South Kurdistan. What better way to ensure the silencing of Roj TV than to engage allies in the OIC against Denmark with the cartoon fiasco, while also questioning Denmark's committment to the War on Terror™?

And that is just where the cartoons and Roj TV come together, in an opinion piece by Semih Idiz in Turkish Daily News:

Some time ago I wrote in this column that Denmark was walking on thin ice, and the reference was not only to its lenient, almost protective, attitude towards Roj-TV, which Turkish authorities, and some EU countries, say is an extension of the PKK.

It was also a reference to the fact that Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen refused to meet ambassadors from Islamic or predominantly Islamic countries -- including Turkey, of course -- who were protesting the depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper's cartoons.

Idiz goes on to cry about the cartoons, accuse Danes of increasing Islamophobia, and mention how scandalized the UN is over this grave offense--more of which in a moment--and concludes with this:

How Denmark -- apparently a proud member of the war against terrorism -- resolves the PKK/Roj-TV file, which we understand is with the prosecutor now, or extricates itself from the cartoon debacle, which clearly shows insensitivity to others' beliefs and merely stokes the growing "civilizational conflict" that we are witnessing, will be interesting to watch.

As I mentioned before, Turkey's complaints against Roj TV began in January 2005. To this date, Danish authorities find no violation of broadcasting laws. Questions of Roj TV's finances were given to the police, who investigated and handed the file to the state prosecutor, where it sits to this day. In the meantime, a small group of former Danish ambassadors urges caution to avoid offending Muslim sensitivities but I ask, how much of that caution is really meant to avoid offending Turkish sensitivities? The Islamists do not give one damn whether Roj TV is closed, nor will they raise their voices to defend the Kurdish voice because they have not done so yet. The OIC is certainly not going to defend Kurdish interests, not with Ihsanoglu running the show. On the contrary, the OIC is firmly backing the Turkish state all the way. . . for their own anti-cartoon agenda.

And now to the UN. When has the UN ever defended Kurdish rights? Never, but at least it is consistent because it has made no statement about Turkey's attempts to violate the Kurdish right to free expression, even when the violation in question is also a violation of another country's "territorial integrity." Although the UN is incapable of understanding Kurdish concerns about this issue, it is only too capable of understanding the OIC's concerns:

The leader of the UN's work on human rights is saying in plain words that she is concerned over the drawings that Jyllands-Posten printed in September, expressing "apologies" for statements and actions demonstrating a lack of respect for the religion of other people. In a letter to the 56 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), she states: "I understand your concerns and would like to emphasize that I regret any statement or act that could express a lack of respect for the religion of others". In a complaint to the High Commissioner, the 56 Islamic governments have asked Louise Arbour to raise the matter with the Danish government "to help contain this encroachment on Islam, so the situation won't get out of control." Two UN experts, on religous freedom and on racism and xenophobia, are said to be working on the case. The Islamic governments have expressed satisfaction with the reply from Louise Arbour.

[. . . . ]

According to the director of the Danish Center for Human Rights, Morten Kjærum, the attitude of the High Commissioner is "by the book.""The concern of the High Commissioner reflects that the ban on discrimination is one of the most important and general within human rights law, because we know how disastrous it is when different groups are pitted against one another," says Morten Kjærum.

In an attempt at one-upmanship, Turkey, through Ihsanoglu and the OIC, manage to engage the UN to take that key terrain known as "moral high ground," to counter Denmark's moral high ground, the right of free expression. Despite the facade they all love to maintain, whether it be over questions of human rights or "terrorism," Turkey, the OIC and the UN are trying to bargain away the Kurdish voice, in the form of Roj TV, as an act of appeasement to the greater Islamic world. With Roj TV silenced, the Ankara regime would then be able to substitute translated TRT programming and broadcast it to the Kurdish world.

TRT programming, even though in Kurdish language, would still be a weapon of assimilation because the information would be from Ankara's perspective, not Amed's, and that is not acceptable.

To my hevals, many thanks. You know who you are.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


“Whose needs do you statisfy?” ~ Loesje.

Politics is a disgusting business. It is so full of filth, deceit and hypocrisy that I understand why some people are attracted to anarchy, and, at times, it seems that there is no answer but anarchy.

This week, I noticed a little entry on Dragons Teeth that reminded me of the hypocrisy of the West in general and the US in particular, and the hypocrisy I mean is one that is directed at The List, the US State Department's official list of FTO's--that's Foreign Terrorist Organizations, for those of you with your eyes wide shut. The entry on Dragons Teeth should make everyone question the legitimacy of The List, what it really means and whom it really serves.

First of all, what does it take to get your organization placed on The List? Well, your organization has to be foreign, it has to engage in terrorism or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorism or terrorist activity according to section 140 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989, and this activity must threaten the security of US nationals or the national security of the US. National security is further defined as including national defense, foreign relations or economic interests. More information is located on the US DOS website, here

The DOS page also includes The List. Item number 27 is Mujahedin-e Khalq, which brings us back to the information from Dragons Teeth and the mention of one Ali Reza Jafarzadeh as a political analyst of, get this: FOX News. If you don't realize it, FOX News has a huge reputation as a voice of the American neocon administration, so it becomes very interesting to read about Jafarzadeh's political pedigree and his lifelong devotion to MEK. A little research revealed that Jafarzadeh has created a seemingly legitimate face for himself at a place called Strategic Policy Consulting, Inc.

SPC has a page listing their 2005 media presence. There are 30 listings for FOX News, compared to 6 listings for other TV media. SPC (read: MEK) is also all over the radio broadcast waves, including ABC, PRI, and BBC. MEK's presence in print media can also be browsed from this page. You can also read Jafarzadeh's bio, but any information on him prior to his work as president of SPC and his designation as an official foreign affairs analyst for FOX is skimpy. But skimpy is too generous a word. . . Jafarzadeh's bio is nonexistent. To fill in the picture on Jafarzadeh, let me quote from Dragons Teeth:

Jafarzadeh quickly became a devoted member of the MKO and on the order of the organization's Ideological (or cult) Leader, Massoud Rajavi, married Robabeh Sadeghi of Babol, Iran, after she fled her country in 1986. In 1990, Massoud Rajavi ordered all MKO members to divorce for ideological reasons. Jafarzadeh and Sadeghi, were divorced on his command.

Jafarzadeh was such a committed member that he repeatedly volunteered for suicide operations. In the MKO publication No. 127, he is quoted as saying that he is ready to burn himself in front of the UN's New York office whenever it is needed for the MKO's cause.

In 1988, together with 15 other MKO members in the US, Jafarzadeh left for Iraq to participate in the Eternal Light military operation. He served in Hossein Abrishamchi's military unit in Iraq and undertook terrorist training in an Iraqi camp called Zaboli Camp. After the MKO's disastrous defeat in this operation, he was sent back to the US.

Jafarzadeh has something in common with Ahmedinejad; he is a murderer of Kurds:

In a press conference on 24 March 1991, Jafarzadeh explained the details of one particular MKO operation in Iraqi Kurdistan (Operation Morvarid). This was soon exposed, by Human Rights Watch among others, as the deliberate massacre of Kurdish civilians by the MKO on the direct orders of Saddam Hussein.

But he did it on the "direct orders of Saddam Hussein," so that's okay with the US and FOX News because that was back at the beginning of the 1990s, before the Gulf War, when Saddam was everyone's favorite butcher. Jafarzadeh even acted as a sort of ambassador for Saddam's mukhabarat.

In Jafarzadeh's on bio on himself, as president of SPC, we are told, "The international concerns about Iran’s nuclear weapons program has largely arisen from Jafarzadeh’s stunning revelations about 7 major previously secret nuclear sites, including the sites in Natanz, Arak, Karaj, Ab-Ali, and Tehran."

Stunning revelations?!! Why should anyone believe the "stunning revelations" of former Kurd-murderer and Saddam flunky, Jafarzadeh? But the phrase, "stunning revelations," takes on a whole different perspective if we consider what the American Naval Post Graduate School has to say about MEK:

The group’s worldwide campaign against the Iranian Government stresses propaganda and occasionally uses terrorism.

Notice that the MEK "stresses propaganda," while we have a lifetime member of MEK, Jafarzadeh, spinning "stunning revelations" on FOX, among others. Also notice that MEK only occasionally uses terrorism. . . not only against Kurds, but also Americans, as the NPS source goes on to say:

During the 1970s, the MEK killed US military personnel and US civilians working on defense projects in Tehran and supported the takeover in 1979 of the US Embassy in Tehran.

FOX News would have us believe the manufactured lies of the terrorist Kurd-murderer, Jafarzadeh and for what purpose? Why isn't Jafarzadeh on the US Treasury's list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons? There is more information on SDN's at this Treasury Department page, for anyone who wants to research and learn more for themselves.

How far has the terrorist Kurd-murderer, Jafarzadeh, ingratiated himself with the ruling elites in Washington? Ever hear of The Intelligence Summit? No? Have a read:

Welcome to the International Intelligence Summit, a non-partisan, non-profit, neutral forum that uses private charitable funds to bring together for the first time the intelligence agencies of the free world and the emerging democracies. The purpose of The Summit is to provide an opportunity for the international intelligence community to listen to and learn from each other, and to share ideas in the common war against terrorism. The Summit's Advisory Council includes former Directors of CIA, Generals, a former senior officer of the Mossad, and the former Chair of British Joint Intelligence Committee.

The list of presenters at The Summit will include many of the top leaders of the intelligence, espionage, counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence agencies from around the free world. The Summit is intended to be the most prestigious world conference on international studies, intelligence policy, terrorism, and homeland security.

Who is involved with The Intelligence Summit? None other than our very own MEK propagandist, Jafarzadeh. What a coincidence! Once again, Jafarzadeh's MEK pedigree is left out of the bio. Of course, in this case, I don't believe in coincidences. While you browse this defective bio, take a look at the list of other speakers for the February, 2006, Intelligence Summit program. But, hey! These guys are neutral. That's what they said, right?

Yeah, baby, I know I believe them.

What's the point? The point is that The List is only mildly entertaining and utterly meaningless. You have to have big lobbying bucks to get someone put on The List. This entire farce of the US government's support for MEK and terrorist Kurd-murderers like Jafarzadeh, his pet status with the current administration, the endorsement of MEK propaganda by the likes of FOX News, among others, is proof, beyond any reasonable doubt, that The List is a lie.

It's possible to get off The List, but only when your FTO of choice, or your SDN, can serve your national interests. Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress were removed. I guess it would be embarrassing for the US government to have any relations with South Africa while Nelson and the ANC are running it, so the US must have made this change in order to make itself look good. The idea has already been raised to remove MEK from The List. Again, this is only to make the US look good and to give legitimacy to any future plans for Iran.

MEK and their fanatic members, people who have targeted and murdered Americans in the past, are free to come and go in Washington. They are free to spread their propaganda among others who are lulled into complacency by endless video and commentary on garbage, like hours of speculation about which Hollywood star is screwing whom or which superstar athlete is being charged with the crime of the week.

Meanwhile, back in Kurdistan, a few thousand gerîla fighters, who have never taken up arms against Americans and have never thought of bearing arms against Americans, who defend the honor of the Kurdish people under Turkish occupation, are labeled as "terrorists." Where were all the Americans and Europeans to defend these Kurds against the atrocities committed against them? The West is like a spectator at an ancient Roman game. Thumbs up--Kurds can live. Thumbs down--Kurds can die. All depends on the whim, the national security or economic interests of the spectator. Worse, it can all depend on the whim of self-absorbed, selfish idiots, like Ambassador Joe Wilson.

It is past the time of permitting others to determine the survival, or not, of the Kurdish people.

The fact is that no one is going to come to the help of Kurds so it does not pay to wait for help, nor does it pay to worry about the labels that others put on Kurds or Kurdistan in any part of its occupation. It is time to work for the interests of the Kurdish nation and, if the interests of others coincides, then there can be collaboration. If the interests of others conflicts, let there be no appeasement. Let us make sure that we serve our own needs first.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Tests confirm that 12-year-old Fatma Ozcan died of bird flu. She is the fourth Kurdish child to die from the disease. From AP:

Preliminary tests have confirmed that a 12-year-old girl who died was infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, raising Turkey's death toll to four, health officials said Monday.

Fatma Ozcan died Sunday in the eastern city of Van, but initial tests had been negative for H5N1. The Health Ministry ordered more tests after her 5-year-old brother, Muhammet, tested positive. Officials said those confirmed her infection, raising the number of human cases in the country to 20.

Five patients had been discharged from hospitals as of Monday afternoon, leaving only 11 still in treatment, the ministry said.

Authorities hastily buried Fatma on Sunday evening, wrapping her in a special body bag to contain any virus, following a quick prayer by torchlight at a snow-covered cemetery. She was from Dogubayazit — where three siblings died of bird flu 1 1/2 weeks earlier.

According to Reuters, Fatma's brother is still in critical condition in Wan. He had previously tested positive for bird flu. Reuters also reports that, although there are 20 other confirmed human bird flu cases in Turkey and Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, none of the others are in a life-threatening condition.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


And now, a little business to take care of.

1. Juanita at Neshumah posted an entry recently on Jews of Kurdstan and created a link to some Jewish Kurd music. I forgot to mention this earlier from following the bird flu developments, so I apologize to all, especially Juanita.

2. Vladimir at From Holland to Kurdistan has an extremely important entry on Roj TV's efforts to assist Kurds of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan with information in Kurdish language about bird flu. I have already seen what might be called public service announcements on Roj about bird flu. If there were ever a better argument for the continued existence of Roj TV, I don't know what it would be. It is already clear to those of us who support Roj, that the availability of Kurdish-language information presented from a Kurdish perspective is absolutely necessary.

3. More information comes out regarding the bird flu outbreak in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. From Bloomberg:

The current wave of lethal bird flu in Turkey that has infected at least 18 people began in mid November, more than three weeks before an initial report, the World Organization for Animal Health said.

Outbreaks of the H5N1 avian influenza virus affected birds as early as Nov. 21, Huseyin Sungur, a government veterinary official, said in a Jan. 12 report to the Paris-based organization. The report was posted on the organization's Web site yesterday. Turkey, in a statement on Dec. 27, said outbreaks began on Dec. 15 in Igdir province, bordering Iran.

The delay in reporting the outbreak highlights the need to improve early detection and reporting systems to help contain infections. Authorities are concerned outbreaks among birds create more opportunity for human infection and increase the risk of the virus changing into a form that is more contagious to people. Such a virus could touch off a pandemic similar to the one that killed as many as 50 million people in 1918.

So the Ankara regime knew of bird deaths on 21 November. Why the delay of well over a month? Why did the Ankara regime allow the Kocyigit children to serve as mine canaries? The answer comes from an earlier report by The Telegraph:

Ahmet Elnazik, 27, who has three relatives in hospital with the suspected virus, said: "If the media hadn't done their job the authorities might still be trying to fool us with talk of pneumonia. It's because we are poor and that we are Kurds that we are being treated like second-class beings."

4. More bird flu deaths among the Kurdish population are likely. A four-year-old girl admitted to the hospital in Amed with possible bird flu, died on Friday. Tests are being done to confirm whether or not she died of bird flu. The authorities are saying this death was due to bacterial infection, not virus, but since they have no credibility, I want to see what the test results confirm.

AFP is carrying a similar report.

In the meantime, another child from Dogubayazit is in the hospital in Wan with confirmed bird flu.

The boy's 12-year-old sister died today and it is suspected that she died of bird flu, as AP reports:

Turkish authorities sought to determine whether a 12-year-old girl who died Sunday was the country's latest victim in a bird flu outbreak among humans.

The girl had been in contact with sick birds and her 5-year-old brother, who is seriously ill, has tested positive for the deadly strain of the virus, the Health Ministry said.

Preliminary tests on the girl, Fatma Ozcan, came back negative for the deadly and virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu, the ministry said. But authorities suspected the virus caused her death and were conducting further tests.

The Turkish government still has not decided what to do about compensation either, and it looks like poor Kurds are going to become double victims, in this report, also from AP:

Because of the risk, Health Minister Recep Akdag has insisted raising birds in backyards must "history," and the sooner Turks learn that, the better.

Yet the state has not come up with a long-term plan to compensate people for what could be a painful upheaval, other than to pay a basic market rate of $3.70 for delivering a chicken or a duck to authorities, $11 for a goose and $15 for a turkey.

No rules have been drawn up for the post-crisis period, and it was unclear if people would be banned from raising poultry altogether or be allowed to keep birds in enclosed spaces like coops to keep poultry from mingling with wild fowl - a costly prospect for poor families.

In parts of the east, where raising birds in backyards is a way of life for nearly every family and a means of surviving for some, many scared residents have vowed off poultry, but don't seemed to have grasped the implications.

"We won't eat them, and we won't raise them," said Ahmet Inanc, 35, in the Seslitas village outside of Dogubayazit, where bird flu has claimed the lives of the three siblings. "If we don't raise chickens and don't die, it will be better for us."

Many believed Turkey would look after them.

"The state will take care of us," said Kahraman Duman, 56, who on Friday gave up seven geese, eight chickens and a turkey to men in white protective suits who would bag, bury and disinfect them. "It's OK if it's forever."

But one official rounding up poultry in Seslitas on Friday seemed to doubt the government would come through.

But the government is already thinking and planning what to do with the country's poultry industry, from TurkishPress.com:

Meanwhile Agriculture Ministry sent letters to four institutions asking that efforts should be exerted to ease problems of poultry sector which suffers from bird flu cases in Turkey.

The ministry also sent a letter to State Minister for economy Ali Babacan noting that long-term low interest credit should be granted to companies in the poultry sector.

In fact, the government has already set up a committee to save the poultry industry, and the deputy prime minister has given the committee a week to make recommendations to minimize loss to the industry:

Poultry sales in Turkey have dropped by 70 percent since bird flu was reported in humans earlier this month, according to Kemal Akman, head of the union of poultry producers. The industry is set to suffer losses amounting to $30 million per month, Akman told the Hurriyet newspaper before a meeting of government ministers on Saturday.

After the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Abdulatif Sener said the committee had a week in which to make the recommendations to minimize losses.

Nothing can be done to minimize the loss of life already suffered in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, but when will something be done to minimize the suffering that is going to continue? It's time to start grasping the implications of this problem of the private raising of poultry, particularly in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, before famine follows in the wake of plague.

Let no one be fooled either. The official who doubts the government's commitment to helping the people it occupies is correct. I hope Roj TV will take the lead in addressing this question among the people.

"You can travel fifty thousand miles in America without once tasting a piece of good bread."
Henry Miller, American writer (1891-1980)

Sometimes, my mind conjures memories of Kurdistan that are extremely vivid. This happens to me, most of the time, as a result of listening to Kurdish music, especially when, having lost track of my thoughts, I am suddenly reminded of particular people or places, and, in those moments, I am overwhelmed by the feel of the memory. I have read that the sense of smell is one that strongly evokes memories in the human mind, but for me, the music does this more often than anything else.

It happens at other times too. Yesterday, upon returning from an overnight trip, I had to stop for a few groceries. As I was going around the store, collecting the items I needed, the thought occured to me to examine the selection of breads. I hoped that maybe there would be something new, something that would be similar to the bread of Kurdistan. Nothing. The same things.

I looked at the pide. The makers of the pide may do their best, but, as I look at the packages, I already know that this pide more resembles cardboard than anything else. I remember the bread I would get from one of the bakeries in Ainkawa. I remember the size, shape, color, texture, smell, taste of that bread, and I pass over the imitation pide before me.

I see packages of flatbread. It's supposed to be an Armenian-style bread, but my skepticism tells me there is probably nothing like this in Armenia because I know there is nothing like this in Kurdistan. It is rectangular and thin with no texture and no taste. I remember the village nan of Kurdistan and, even as I reach to touch the package in the hope that, by some miracle, this bread will feel like village nan, I am again disappointed. It's not such a great disappointment because I know that there are no such things as miracles, but it is disappointment nonetheless.

No pide. No village nan. Nothing.

I remember the grilled bread at one of my favorite places to eat in Amed. The bread is flat, baked in long pieces, and cut into squares for serving. In this restaurant, the squares of bread are brushed with spicy oil, lightly grilled and brought to the table cut in little strips and placed in a basket as an offering to appease hunger until the kebabs or grilled chicken arrives. It is warm, crispy, spicy and delicious.

I remember the village nan served with a lunch prepared by a Berwarî tribeswoman, as well as the entire meal. Lamb kebabs, chicken and rice, two kinds of soup, salad, the nan, gallons of hot, sweet tea after, served in the room of her house reserved for receiving guests, with carpets stretching from wall to wall and cushions lining the walls. A pair of birds flit in and out of the room, chirping in perplexity because they seem to have lost their way. I am happy when she comes in to sit with us, and to chat and joke and laugh with us as we drink tea. I am happy that she has not only honored us with her food, but also with her presence.

In reality, there is nothing unusual about her meal; it is typically Kurdish. But she is an artist with food, and her home is the epitome of that indescribable ambience created by the entire culture of Kurdish hospitality. Thus the entire visit is as delicious as it is unforgettable.

I remember all the roadside restaurants in Kurdistan where nan is served with every meal. I remember my friend's sister kissing the piece of nan she had dropped on the floor as she picked up the remains of a meal. I wonder, if I dropped a piece of this packaged bread on the floor, would it be worthy of a kiss?

This is why, in the West, I rarely eat bread.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


"What is a health which merely makes people ripe to be damaged, abused, and shot at again?" ~ Ernst Bloch.

A report from Reuters carries the news that 11-year-old Hulya Kocyigit did, indeed, die of bird flu. The tests have been confirmed.

AP, via Forbes, reports that officials in Dogubayazit, namely, the Kurdish mayor, Mukkades Kubilay, continue to accuse the Turkish government of a slow response to the crisis in the city:

Local officials accused Turkey's government Thursday of moving too slowly to slaughter fowl when bird flu was still confined to birds, as the number of people infected with the deadly H5N1 strain climbed to 18.

Mukkades Kubilay, the mayor of Dogubayazit - where three siblings died a week ago - complained that Ankara had sent in only three doctors and that there were not enough workers to destroy poultry.

"It's an extraordinary situation," she told The Associated Press. "There aren't enough workers. We don't have enough technical people ... We're trying to do it on our own."

National health and agriculture authorities denied they did too little, too late, to contain the outbreak, which was discovered in poultry in December.

The poultry in question were discovered on 15 December, to be exact. However, one must search for the information and it is sparse when one does find it. For example, there are no indications of any report from Turkey, dated 15 December, at the bird flu news listing on Science.bio.org, nor is there any report at the Avian Flu - What we need to know blog.

However, there is a small report at the Poultry Information site during the month of December for the Kurdish region:

Quarantine in bird flu town

BIRD flu has been found in dead chickens in Turkey, authorities revealed today.

Officials said the chickens tested positive for an H5 variant of bird flu and placed parts of an eastern town under quarantine.

The virus was first detected on Monday following tests on samples taken from the town of Aralik, in the Igdir province bordering Armenia, where deaths of chickens have been reported in recent days, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Authorities have already culled 360 chickens to prevent it from spreading and said "all necessary measures were being taken".

The statement said samples would be sent to labs in Europe to see if the virus is H5N1, which is being tracked worldwide out of fear it could mutate into a form that is easily transmitted to humans.

Similar information carried on a chronology of the bird flu outbreaks in Turkey, from the Houston Chronicle. Under the 15 December date, we read the following information:

Dec 15: Possible outbreak of bird flu in chickens in town of Aralik is first reported to Health Ministry. Authorities order fowl culled.

If we read down a couple more lines, we read the response of the Turkish government to the earlier outbreak in the Turkish region:

Oct. 6: Turkish authorities report deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in poultry in northwestern town of Kiziksa, near Istanbul, impose quarantine, order tens of thousands of fowl culled.

In the Kurdish region, some 360 birds were culled, with "all necessary measures being taken. I suppose that should mean that Tamiflu was being sent and people were being warned. However, from later reports, we know that this was not the case at all. In the Turkish region, tens of thousands of birds were culled.

Since the government knew this disease had been present recently, and it knew that there was --and still is--a great possibility that there would be more outbreaks, why did "all necessary measures" not include culling of far more birds in the Kurdish region, warnings to the people and pre-positioning of medication in case of an outbreak of the disease among humans?

From a BBC report dated 13 October, it appears that Tamiflu was available in the Turkish region, because people flocked to pharmacies to buy it:

Turkish authorities have urged calm, amid reports of people flocking to pharmacies to buy Tamiflu, the anti-viral believed to be most effective against bird flu.

Again from the AP report:

"Whoever says that we've responded too slowly has ill intentions," Health Ministry spokeswoman Mine Tuncel said.

No, Ms. Tuncel. Whoever responded too slowly is the one with ill intentions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


"Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised." ~ Leo Tolstoy

NEWSFLASH: Justin Raimundo, Kurd-hater extraordinaire, fakes sympathy for Dr. Kamal as a means of pushing his American Left agenda.

That's right, folks, and you can see what I mean right here. I know there are a lot of Kurd-haters in the world, but let's chat about this one for now. After all, Justin Raimundo is no doubt jumping for joy that at least one Kurd is in prison with "rapidly deteriorating health."

Wouldn't you think that if Raimundo were really concerned about the health of Kurds, he would have written a few words about the outbreak of bird flu in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, an outbreak in which, so far, only Kurds have died? Wouldn't you think that if Raimundo were concerned about Kurds being wrongfully imprisoned, he would have written tons of pages on all the Kurds who have been wrongfully imprisoned all over Kurdistan in its occupation? Wouldn't you think that if Raimundo were righteously outraged over all the human rights violations Kurds have endured throughout the 20th Century alone, his writing would reach to the moon and back by now?

He claims that Kurds are "rounding up their internal political opponents," citing a Washington Post article that refers, in part, to an alleged "confidential" memo leaked to the Washington Post by the US State Department.

Let me think: This the same State Department that has used, ignored, allowed to be abused, Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan over the decades. This is the same State Department that labels Kurds as "terrorists" when they use armed force against a terrorist regime that just happens to be a big US/NATO ally. This is the same State Department that betrayed Kurds in 1975 and 1991. This is the same State Department that did nothing when Kurds were gassed in 1988. This is also the same State Department that has been begging the terrorists and former Ba'athi to engage politically in Iraq and which has attempted to undermine Iraqi authority to get the same pack of cold-blooded murderers a place in the political process, just as they supported Saddam for three decades. My, my, my. . . the Washington Post and Justin Raimundo have stumbled across a piece of evidence from an extremely credible source, after the same credible source conveniently laid the evidence in their path.

Raimundo also cites the highly credible Tom Lasseter from Knight-Ridder, another Kurd-hater who characterizes Kurdish pêşmerge as preparing to "swarm" and "invade" Kerkuk. But has Raimundo ever written about how the great hero of the Left, Saddam Hussein, ethnically cleansed Kerkuk in the first place? Not a word has been written by our Kurd-hater about the thousands of Kurds who were forcibly displaced from Kerkuk--nor from 4,000 villages in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan either--but you can read all about Raimundo's perversion of ethnically-cleansed Kerkuk here. He's upset that Kurds demand that those Arabs brought to Kerkuk by the great hero of the Left--Saddam Hussein--"be uprooted and sent back to wherever."

They should be uprooted and sent back to wherever. Get over it.

Actually, I advise everyone to pay attention to that second article to get the full exposure to Raimundo's Kurd-hating. Please notice the dramatic spin Raimundo puts on words uttered by Barham Salih. Raimundo quotes an article from KurdistanObserver, in which Barham Salih calls for a reversal of the ethnic cleansing of Kerkuk with these words:

"We insist on reversing the ethnic cleansing not through ethnic cleansing," said Saleh. "We are not going to condone any ethnic cleansing in any form or shape. But the terrible injustice that befell the people of Kirkuk, whether Kurds or Turkmens, must not stand."

But how does Raimundo put it? Like this: ". . .the goal of the two big Kurdish parties, the PUK and the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), has always been the creation of a "pure" Kurdish state. . ." and this is the line in which he links the remarks by Barham Salih. From this it is obvious that Raimundo is not only a Kurd-hater, but also a liar. I have never heard any Kurd speak of a "pure" Kurdish state, but I have heard many Kurds, like Dr. Barham, speak about undoing the injustices that Kurds have suffered for too long.

Imagine the nerve of those damned Kurds, insisting on justice like that? What is the world coming to?

In fact, Justin Raimundo is so critical of Kurds and alll things Kurdish, that it makes me ask him the $50,000 question: When was the last time you were in South Kurdistan, Justin, old boy? Or North Kurdistan? Or East Kurdistan? Or West Kurdistan?

As a finale, Raimundo asks all of his American Left friends (i.e. more Kurd-haters) to contact the PDK and the American congress to protest Dr. Kamal's imprisonment. Good boy, Justin. You all go ahead and do that. We will use you this time. Next time, we will make you sit and fetch and roll over.

The Raimundo articles I reference here are not the only ones in which he engages in Kurd-hating. There are others as well, but I use these two as examples to prove my point, which is that I don't want anyone to make the mistake of thinking that just because this guy mentions the word "Kurdistan," or just because he feigns concern for one Kurd, that he is any kind of ally or friend of Kurdistan. He uses Kurds for his own political agenda. and everything he writes has to be seen from that one fact. I'm willing to bet that this guy doesn't give a damn about Iraqi Arabs, Shi'a, Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, or anyone else, unless they prove useful to his agenda.

Justin Raimundo and all those like him, whether they are on the political left or political right, want nothing more than to see the continued destruction of Kurdistan and the Kurdish people.

I have already written my position on Dr. Kamal's situation. I follow the news of his situation and I believe that the only right thing for the PDK and Masûd Barzanî to do is to release Dr. Kamal from prison. I also hold this opinion as a result of a political agenda, that of democracy for all of Kurdistan.

Let no one make the mistaken assumption that I am on the right or on the left. These are irrelevant. I have only one side--the Kurdish side.

ITEM OF NOTE: For more on racism by the American Left and the use of Kurds for their personal political agendas, give Dr. Sabah Salih's recent commentary on KurdistanObserver a serious read. Who says it's all about justice?

Monday, January 09, 2006


From AFP via TODAYonline.com

Panic gives way to anger at home of Turkey's first bird flu deaths

Monday • January 9, 2006

Panic gave way to anger in the eastern town of Dogubeyazit, home of Turkey's first bird flu deaths, as residents accused the government of letting them down because they are Kurds.

"The authorities are not interested in us because we're Kurds," said Mehmet Gultekin, a local Kurdish leader.

He said they were receiving help only from municipal workers sympathetic to the Kurds in the town of around 56,000 inhabitants.

Gultekin pointed to a group of farmers who had gathered in front of the local agriculture building, clutching bags of chickens.

"Look, people are bringing their chickens here themselves," he said. They are working while the government workers sleep."

A team of experts from the World Health Organization was expected Monday in the mainly Kurdish town where two children died last week from bird flu. A third child from the same family also died but the cause of her death is yet to be established.

While street vendors picked up their trade in Dogubeyazit on Monday and farmers led sheep and cows to be sacrificed for a Muslim festival, around 40 people started to gather calmly at dawn at the local hospital.

"We have had quite a few dead chickens at our place, and now my son and daughter have a fever and they say they have pains in the chest," a local resident, Vayettin Bahrir, told AFP. "I brought them to be sure that it's not bird flu," he said, indicating 10-year-old Ali and six-year-old Ceylan, who walked with him to the hospital.

Dogubeyazit, in an isolated, mountainous region near Turkey's border with Iran, has little industry. Most people in make a living from raising cattle, a little agriculture and trading alcohol and cigarettes with Iran.

"I come from the village of Buyretti, near the Iranian border," said Mehmet Salih Demirhan. "We have 300 or 400 chickens and no official or vet has come to visit us. I learned about the disease on television and I started to slaughter my animals."

Many people waiting to see doctors said that they were not being treated in the same way as their western neighbours.

"This is the east. That's how it is," Demirhan said.

One man in the hospital queue said the hospital had only four doctors, and they were not all there at the moment.

"In the west (where the first Turkish case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu was detected in October), the birds were killed immediately. Here, we had to wait for people to die," he said.

Municipal teams struggling to collect the poultry said they were doing their best with limited means.

"We're doing what we can, but there aren't enough of us," said Ibrahim Giglal, a local employee dressed in the increasingly familiar white overall for protection from the deadly bird flu.

He said that 12 teams of three members each had collected 16,000 chickens in the town of Dogubeyazit, and confirmed that none of the 84 surrounding villages had been investigated yet.

"Each province has called up all its staff, so we cannot get reinforcements," he added.

Five more people have tested positive for the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu in Turkey, health officials said Monday, raising to 14 the number of people confirmed as infected with the disease. — AFP

Yep. That's "The East." That's the way it is.

The good news is that six-year-old Ali Hesen Kocyigit was released from the hospital today. Take a look at the Washington Post article for a photo of the boy and his parents, an update on the situation in "The East" and "The West," and links to more information about bird flu.

In the meantime, scientists in the UK are getting ready to open source the code for bird flu, at telegraph.co.uk