Wednesday, June 07, 2006


"No matter how cynical you are, you can't keep up." ~ Woody Allen.

We've got some more DTP bad boys in the news today.

The first is Amed Sur municipality mayor Abdullah Demirbas, whose trial began yesterday. What's he accused of? Well, this bad boy has been spreading "terrorist" propaganda--you know, PKK propaganda. He spread PKK propaganda in Vienna and then he posted PKK propaganda on the municipality's website.

What was the nature of this PKK propaganda? You can get a little idea of it from The New Anatolian:

In a paper he presented at the European Social Forum in Vienna, Austria in January, Demirbas argued that the "single nation, single language" perspective should be abandoned in Turkey and that municipalities should be granted more autonomy and be able to function in different languages.

[ . . . ]

Stating that he rejects the indictment's accusations, Demirbas said that the aim of the paper wasn't to spread propaganda for a terrorist group. "I don't think saying Turkey is a country with multiple identities, multiple cultures and multiple languages constitutes separatism," said the mayor.

The claimants said that the arguments advanced by the suspect in his paper are similar to the views of the PKK.

Aha! How many more PKK propagandists do we have out there, spreading separatism like that, saying things like there is more than one language spoken in the TC, or that there are multiple "identities." Frankly, I think the use of that term, "identities," is ridiculous. Why not just use "ethnicities" instead? This is what we all mean by that, but "ethnicities" are a threat to the "indivisible unity" of the state, so Newspeak rules supreme.

Where is the EU on this, by the way? All I hear in that direction is the sound of crickets.

It's no secret that DTP wants Kurdish to be recognized as another official language of the TC, so it should be no surprise that Abdullah Demirbas wants to use Kurdish to conduct municipal business. Abdullah was one of the 56 DTP mayors who signed the petition for Roj TV back in December, a petition which was sent to Danish PM Rasmussen. A teacher by training, once upon a time, Abdullah had been the head of the Amed branch of Egitim-Sen, the teacher's union. He was fired from that job for speaking in support of mother-language education. Abdullah also got himself into trouble for setting up a statue to commemorate the murder of two other infamous PKK "terrorists," Ahmet and Ugur Kaymaz.

Bijî heval Abdullah, û serkeftin!

Today's second Kurdish bad boy, also DTP, is Mahmut Alinak and, believe me, this guy has some real cojones. Check this out, again from The New Anatolian:

Pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) Kars branch head Mahmut Alinak said yesterday that the strategy of dialogue and peace followed since 1990 for a resolution of the Kurdish problem should be abandoned.

Speaking at a conference entitled "Primary Problems of Democracy" organized by the Kafkas University student association, Alinak said that Kurdish politicians have been unable to generate any solutions to their problems.

Underlining that the major problem of democracy in Turkey is the Kurdish problem, Alinak said that they've complained about the police and the state for years but have yet to suggest anything, adding that the only person to have come up with a project about the Kurdish problem is Abdullah Ocalan (inmate leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK).

Charging that Kurdish should be accepted as an official language, Alinak accused all state officials, including the prime minister and deputies, of committing war crimes.

"People in Turkey voted for the government and the main opposition so that they would solve problems," said Alinak, charging that all officials who can't prevent violence are responsible for it. Alinak referred to PKK members as "guerillas," a term which led to probes into a number of DTP members in the past.

During Alinak's speech, tension rose between the police and students in the conference hall.

I bet that last line is a bit of an understatement and I bet that they've already got the indictment written up. Back in January, Mahmut Alinak called for a referendum among Kurds for Roj TV. He was also one of those originally arrested with the DEP deputies back in March, 1994. He was eventually tried and sentenced under Article 8 of the old anti-terror law, an article which made making "propaganda" against the "indivisible unity of the state" a crime, regardless of the intent--sort of like the PATRIOT Act.

I can't complain about the things Alinak said, because the strategy of dialog and peace has been totally one-sided. Apo's PKK was the only thing to have forced an admittance of the existence of Kurds under the TC. Kurdish should be accepted as an official language in Turkey. The people did vote for the government in order to address their needs and nothing happened. The government has never been a negotiating partner. It is returning to the dirty war and increased repression. Since the serhildan, it refuses to even communicate with DTP. Meanwhile, the EU, the great facilitators of dialog and peace, seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.

There is really no point in dragging out the farce of dialog.

We'll have to watch to see what the fallout will be as a result of his statements but, in the meantime, bijî heval Mahmut, û serkeftin!

Finally, there's another kind of bad boy to consider. It appears that an envelope containing some brown powder was sent to the Istanbul IHD, causing some concern about the possibility of the powder being anthrax. The envelope was apparently sent by the Turkish Revenge Brigade, Turkcu Intikam Tugayi--or TIT for short.

Now, I know you're wondering, "What's TIT?" Well, TIT is a Gray Wolf organization that sent threatening letters to the Istanbul IHD last year, as reported on page 51 of this KHRP report:

Dayanan and three of his colleagues (Eren Keskin, a prominent human rights defender and head of İstanbul branch, Dogan Genç and Kiraz Biçici, both board members) received intimidatory letters all posted on 13 April 2005, from the same post office at Bakırköy, İstanbul. His letter and that of one of his colleague’s were sent to the İHD İstanbul office, while the other two were sent to the recipients’ home addresses.

The identical, printed letters accused the human rights defenders of being agents, spies and pro-Kurdish traitors. It accused them of defending those who were responsible for the deaths of “40,000 sons of the Motherland” in the Kurdish conflict. It referred to the alleged flag-burning incident at Mersin and to the İHD’s defence of “traitors like Orhan Pamuk” who had made comments earlier that Turkey should face up to unpleasant aspects of its recent past such as acknowledging the Armenian genocide.

The letters were signed by an organisation calling itself TİT (Türk İntikam Tugayı- Turkish Revenge Brigade).

Dayanan believes TİT to be a very dangerous organisation. It was formed in the late 1970s to “save the Turks from enslavement”. According to the interviewee, the group organised assassinations of intellectuals in the 1980s and 1990s and maintains links with the army. He cites evidence gathered relating to one attempted assassination. The individual who planned the assassination was a low-ranking officer while financing for the operation was provided by a retired colonel. Dayanan believes that TİT’s interest in the İstanbul branch of İHD is proof that elements within the army wish to silence them.

TIT has been active in Turkish-occupied Cyprus, claiming responsibility for the murder of Kutlu Adali, as well as the murder of Ozgur Gundem's Ferhad Tepe. TIT was also involved with the attempted murder of Akin Birdal:

Shortly after midday on 12 May 1998 two men entered the headquarters of the HRA in Ankara and asked to speak to Akin Birdal. Once in Birdal's office they shot him repeatedly before fleeing the building. He was wounded six times in the chest, shoulder and legs. After surgery and long hospitalization Akin Birdal has been slowly recovering. However, the effects of ten broken bones in his foot and extensive nerve damage to his shoulder continue to require medical attention.

There was immediate worldwide condemnation of the assassination attempt. However, in the immediate aftermath of the attempted murder the then Prime Minister claimed that the shooting was an ''internal settling of accounts'', linking the HRA to the PKK. In fact, investigations led to the indictment of members from an ultra-nationalist group, the ''Turkish Revenge Brigade'' (TIT), including a retired army officer and a serving gendarmerie officer. On 29 December 1999 nine men were sentenced to prison terms from one to 19 years in relation with this crime.

Notice the army and gendarmerie connection there? Sound familiar? It should, because TIT has been linked to the Council of State attack, and it wouldn't surprise me if those recently arrested in the PM assassination plot were also linked to TIT.

As my Armenian friend said: "What do you expect from a bunch of guys who call themselves TIT?"


Wladimir van Wilgenburg said...

What about this:

Anonymous said...

Point 1--

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this one...Let me see...

Say I'm a Turkish citizen, visiting Amsterdam, where hashish is perfectly legal. I go into one of the fine smoke shops there, light up a hashish cig,get nice and stoned. Then I continue on my happy trip thru Holland, return to Turkey...and there I get charged with the crime of smoking hashish in Holland??!!

As absurd as that is, how much worse is it that the Turkish government feels free to prosecute someone for legally uttering a legal speech in Vienna! Someone needs to tell the Turks that Turkish law does not extend into Europe. Yet.

Point 2--

"I don't think saying Turkey is a country with multiple identities, multiple cultures and multiple languages constitutes separatism," said the mayor.

Come on, Mr. Mayor, YOU FORGOT THE MAGIC WORD!! The word that would make your comments 100% kosher [hehehe] in Turkey...You remember the magic word, don't you? Allow me to edit the mayor's comments to render them legal:

"I don't think saying Turkey is a country with multiple sub-identities, multiple sub-cultures and multiple sub-languages constitutes separatism," said the mayor.

See how easy it is to use the magic word? NOW DON'T FORGET IT!!

Mizgîn said...

Vladimir, it is more of the same, so let us not say that Kurds enjoy equality because it is not the case. Nothing has changed.

Okay, Philip, I see you are not used to the practice of fascist law.

Where is the world on this? I think that what Orhan Pamuk said was much stronger than what Abdullah Demirbas said, but we see no mention of Abdullah Demirbas anywhere. Where are the literati? where are the human rights organizations? Where are the EU commissions? Where is the media?

Here we have a little Kurdish teacher-turned-mayor, speaking about the right to use Kurdish language, and all we hear is the sound of crickets.

Let's remind ourselves that saying things like this outside of Turkey carries a harsher penalty than if you say these things within Turkey, and Turkish law has always carried with it the idea that if you are a Turkish citizen--second-class or otherwise, it doesnt' matter--you are still subject to Turkish law outside of Turkey, at least on matters that reflect on "denigrating 'Turkishness,'" "insulting the army," "separatism," "making propaganda for a terrorist organization," etc.