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.


Anonymous said...

This is great news, let us hope this new policy of Kurdish solidarity will expand and stengthen far into the future!

South Kurdistan is beautifully situated to serve as ahem, "al-qaeda" ["the base"] of the new Kurdistan as it crystallizes in its other portions...Gawd, it must KILL those Kemalists to have to sit there while the Kurds share hot tea and lamb-kebabs just over the border, heheheheheheheh...

Anonymous said...

What is not noted here is a real sense of solidarity between kurdish masses in the South and in the North.
Kurds from both side have dire experience from the past, general; feeling is that those atrocities was the most blow on kurdish potential,
that is why the possibly for Turkey
to use Kurds against Kurds at the present juncture of time seems minimal.
Then the kurdish leadership, and Iraqi leadership should be a little more firm in their position.
Dr.Mehmoud Osman's stance in defence of Kurdish struggle in the North is widely supported by the people there,
the other two must follow suit.

Mizgîn said...

Yes, Philip, I hope the solidarity does strengthen and expand too. Man, why do you ALWAYS have to remind me of grilled lamb??!

Hejar, I didn't mention the solidarity between the Kurdish people of North and South because, in this context, I was focused on the political side of things. However, you are correct, there is much solidarity among the people themselves and the liberation of the South has drawn the attention of the people of all parts of Kurdistan.

Dr. Mehmûd is great. If only the others would walk the walk of Dr. Mehmûd's talk.