Monday, July 31, 2006


Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friend

~ John Lennon & Paul McCartney.

The question of Turkey's compensation for its Gulf War losses brings us to the Baybasins and Turkey's heroin trade. According to a 1996 interview with the consumately corrupt, and then Prime Minister, Tansu Ciller, Turkey's losses for the five years following the Gulf War amounted to some $27 billion. According to Kendal Nezan, in an article on Turkey's heroin-trafficking, Turkey brought in $25 billion in 1995 and $37 billion in 1996. Even figuring in the cost of Turkey's dirty war against the Kurdish people, estimated at upwards of $12.5 billion, Turkey turns a tidy profit on its business, more than enough to cover its Gulf War losses.The state has been involved with the heroin business since the 1950s, working closely with its own intelligence service, MIT.

That article also refers to Huseyin Baybasin's public statements that he (and other traffickers) operated with the blessing of the Turkish state. In the mid-1980's, Baybasin was caught with a load of heroin in Britain, sentenced to 12 years, and sent back to Turkey a few years into his sentence. Upon arrival in Turkey, he was released--something that doesn't happen to just anyone. He became persona non grata with his state bosses when Ciller decided that Turks should be the only ones handling heroin. That was during her term as PM in the mid-1990's. It was during that time that stories of drug-traffickers' links to PKK began to be spread by the Turkish state, links that not even Western scholars who study Kurdish issues and the PKK confirm (in English, check Paul White's Primitive Rebels or Revolutionary Modernizers? for that) . When Baybasin fled to Europe, he needed a safety net to help protect him from Turkish reprisals, so he tried to make cozy with the PKK. In spite of his protestations to the contrary, especially through his book, Trial by Silence, our cause was never Baybasin's cause. Baybasin always had only one cause: his gang.

A little trivia on Tansu Ciller: She was an economics professor before becoming PM, having obtained her doctorate in the US, where she also obtained US citizenship. As the "face of modern Turkey," she was the darling of the Americans and Europeans--even as she drenched Kurdistan with Kurdish blood and armed Turkish Hezbollah with weapons from TSK installations in "The Southeast."

The money flowing into Turkey through its very lucrative drug- and weapons-trafficking industries may have been flowing into congressional and government officials' pockets for some time, but it is only now that this dirty business is coming to light. Last year, right before legislation on the Armenian Genocide was due to hit a House of Representatives panel, Brent Scowcroft sent a panicked and threatening letter to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert:

Only days before Armenian Genocide legislation is set to come before a key U.S. House panel, American Turkish Council (ATC) Chairman Brent Scowcroft has warned Speaker Dennis Hastert that even the discussion of the Armenian Genocide on the floor of the U.S. House would be "counter-productive to the interests of the United States," reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In his September 12th letter, Scowcroft, speaking on behalf of the corporate members of the ATC, accused Congressional supporters of Armenian Genocide legislation (H.Res.316 and H.Con.Res.195) of trying to "pull Turkey away from the West. He stressed that: "The careless use of genocide language provides and excuse to do so, delivering a direct blow to American interests in the region."

The statement goes on to quote the ANCA executive director as saying that the Armenian community is "outraged that Brent Scowcroft appears to have so compromised his own integrity in pursuit of personal business interests that he finds himself enlisted by the Turkish government in its desperate and patently immoral genocide denial effort." While it's true that the efforts of Scowcroft, and the fascist Turkish regime he represents, to silence acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide is outrageous, no one really feels any outrage over Scowcroft's compromise of his own integrity; He'd have to have integrity in order for anyone to be outraged. Just as outrageous as this is the fact that the Turkish state regularly works to pervert justice. It's outrageous too that the same names keep popping up in connection with it all.

In 2004, the Honorable Frank Pallone of New Jersey had this to say to say, on the floor of the House, about Dennis Hastert's work for the Turkish state in Congress:

I'm also puzzled by your insistence that Turkey is a reliable ally of the United States. As a supporter of the Iraq War, I'm sure you recall Turkey's continued demands in the months leading up to the war in which Turkey asked for billions of dollars in financial assistance. When the U.S. government refused, Turkey said it would not help the U.S. in the war against Iraq. Turkey's decision forced the U.S. government to amend its war plan, and yet you characterize them as a "reliable ally."

Furthermore, past experiences have shown that Turkey's threats about repercussions to the United States or any country that defies them is nothing more than elaborate bluffs. Yet, we in the United States government, continue to buy into their threats and abide by their requests.

[ . . . ]

We as a nation cannot allow the government of Turkey to undermine our democratic process and usurp our principles. To do so is to stand against the will of the people of the United States. Mr. Speaker, last night Mr. Schiff introduced a sound amendment that approved by the House of Representatives. Yet your statement today, undercuts that vote and asserts that the people's voice can be silenced.

Who does Hastert represent in Congress? The American people or the Turkish government? Follow the money trail. According to the FBI wiretaps that Sibel Edmonds translated, Turkish callers gloated about Hastert accepting bribes. Later independent examination showed that Hastert received (and accepted) some $483,000 in unitemized campaign contributions from 1996 to 2002, a large amount of such contributions when compared to other Republican lawmakers. Only one other congressman had more unitemized contributions, but he didn't have any wiretaps of Turkish-speaking "constituents."

All of this bribery and underhanded lobbying efforts on the part of the Turkish state cannot be confined to American shores alone. There must be similar efforts long underway among European lawmakers as well, particularly in connection with EU accession efforts. The link to Ambassador Joe Wilson's involvement in the Corporate and Public Strategy Advisory Group may be the tip of that iceburg.

From the ANCA press release on the Armenian Genocide legislation:

The ATAA warns its members: "Inaction on the part of the Turkish American Community will compromise U.S.-Turkish relations, encourage more acts of harassment, violence and terrorism against people of Turkish and Turkic descent, and could potentially lead to territorial and compensations claims against the Republic of Turkey."

This would be hilarious if it weren't so pathetic. When have there been acts of harassment, violence and terrorism against Turks in the US? I want to see the police reports. This is typical of Turkish propaganda and Turkish racism. While they shriek about alleged "terror" attacks against them, or are concerned about territorial or compensations claims against them, they continue in their occupation of the largest part of Kurdistan, play the victim when the ECHR rules against them, and renew their terrorist Dirty War against the Kurdish people in Turkey and Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

Not only does Turkey continue its terrorist brutality against Kurds under occupation, it threatens to expand that terrorism to the people of South Kurdistan, somewhat similar to the way that the Nazis expanded their sphere of terrorism throughout Europe almost 70 years ago. In doing so, Turkey uses weapons systems purchased from the West, through Deep State ties to the web of players exposed by the Sibel Edmonds case. That this same web also incorporates various think tanks, institutes and consulting services headed, staffed or advised by the same repetitive cast of players should raise suspicions and calls for an examination into their sources of funding. Who provides the funding that permits people like Douglas Feith, for example, to rake in $60,000 annually from International Advisors, Inc., not to mention what he earns as an attorney for one of the ATC's Golden Horn corporate members, Northrup Grumman?

How much drug money and weapons money, in addition to corporate money, keeps these individuals and organizations running?

As the new cold war continues to unfold in the Middle East, the struggle of the Kurdish people remains one of the horrific consequences of Turkish Deep State machinations in the region and on American shores. We're waiting to see whether the European documentary will be aired in America. If it isn't aired here, we'll know that the government of Turkey has undermined and usurped American principles, to paraphrase Representative Pallone. The American people will have become subject to Turkey's own anti-free expression laws, in violation of the First Amendment and enforced by the Turkish lobby . . . with a little help from their friends.

By the way, a couple of things. First, check DozaMe's newly translated dispatches on TAK operations in the last few days.

Second, if anyone's heard the news about Mel Gibson's latest binge, then dude, you have to check out this blog post titled Mel Gibson + Saddam Hussein: Separated at Birth.

"What’s really weird is that Mel actually looks crazier than Saddam."

Read the whole thing. Mel is totally dissed. Hilarious!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


“A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies which they dare not admit in public”
~ Mark Twain.

It looks like a TV documentary will be aired this fall in Europe about the possible connections between the Turkish Deep State and American lawmakers. . . connections wide-ranging enough to bring together such disparate characters as Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert and Deep State drug lord Huseyin Baybasin?

The connections are coming to light as a result of FBI whisteblower, Sibel Edmonds, who was fired by the FBI for raising serious concerns about the possible espionage activities of another FBI Turkish-language translator, Melek Can Dickerson. A little preview on that, from "The Secrets Behind 'State Secrets'" by Mike Mejia:

According to what we know so far from Sibel Edmonds’ many interviews and from the groundbreaking story on her case from Vanity Fair, “An Inconvenient Patriot,” Edmonds found that within the U.S. a nest of Turkish spies, some working at the Turkish embassy, others affiliated with namely the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), the American Turkish Associations (ATA) and the American Turkish Council (ATC), were involved in espionage, bribery, illegal lobbying, drug trafficking and the infiltration of U.S nuclear research labs. Separately, from a former CIA Counterterrorism official, Phillip Giraldi, who himself was once based in Turkey, we know that some arms sales meant for Turkey and Israel were actually meant for resale to countries like China and India- and perhaps even to international terrorists- using fake end-user certificates. So we have Turkish nationals at the Embassy and NGOs stealing U.S. secrets for sale to the highest bidder, re-selling arms meant for Turkey, bringing in drugs from Europe, and pouring money into bribes and lobbying activities.

In January, 2005, the Office of the Inspector General (part of the US Department of Justice) issued a declassified version of its review of the FBI's investigation of Sibel Edmonds' allegations. The review substantiates them:

We found that many of Edmonds’ core allegations relating to the co-worker [Melek Can Dickerson] were supported by either documentary evidence or witnesses other than Edmonds. Moreover, we concluded that, had the FBI performed a more careful investigation of Edmonds’ allegations, it would have discovered evidence of significant omissions and inaccuracies by the co-worker related to these allegations. These omissions and inaccuracies, in turn, should have led to further investigation by the FBI. [ . . . ] We also found that Edmonds was justified in raising a number of these concerns to her supervisors. For example, with respect to an allegation that focused on the co-worker’s performance, which Edmonds believed to be an indication of a security problem, the evidence clearly corroborated Edmonds’ allegations.

. . . However, Edmonds’ assertions regarding the co-worker, when viewed as a whole, raised substantial questions and were supported by various pieces of evidence. While there are potentially innocuous explanations for the co-worker’s conduct, other explanations were not innocuous. Although the exact nature and extent of the co-worker’s security issues are disputed, it is clear from the OIG’s investigation that the facts giving rise to Edmonds’ concerns could have been uncovered had the FBI investigated Edmonds’ allegations further. We believe that the FBI should have investigated the allegations more thoroughly. We also believe the FBI’s handling of these allegations reflected an unwarranted reluctance to vigorously investigate these serious allegations or to conduct a thorough examination of Edmonds’ allegations. As will be discussed in the next section, the FBI did not, and still has not, conducted such an investigation.

According to the Vanity Fair article, Melek Can Dickerson lied on her application to the FBI; she stated she had never worked before in the US when, in fact, she had interned for the ATC for two years. Melek's US Air Force husband was a big supporter of the ATC, apparently because it could help him and his wife retire early and live well. Obviously both stood to gain from the ATC and they knew it. Did they also know that ATC was under investigation by the FBI? Did they know that ATC phones were being wiretapped? Is that why, when she applied for a job to translate some of those wiretaps, Melek Can lied on her application?

A lot of other names come up in connection with Sibel Edmonds' allegations, two of which were mentioned in the previous Rastî post--Douglas Feith (former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy at the DoD) and Richard Perle (Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration)--both former Defense Department officials. Interestingly enough, both departed DoD leaving a wake of investigations into their activities.

In 1989, Richard Perle set up a consulting business "as a foreign agent representing the government of Turkey to "promote the objective of U.S.-Turkey defense industrial cooperation." Is this all a bunch of fancy talk to cover up the facilitation of weapons-trafficking, including the transfer of nuclear technology and materials? If some arms sales to Turkey are ending up in China and India, can't the same things end up in Iran, too? It's funny that now we have Iran wagging its own tail in Lebanon at precisely the time they were supposed to have the spotlight shined on them for their nuclear program. A few months ago, there was a little item from the AP on FOX News that never made headlines, although it should have.

ANKARA, Turkey — An Iranian-owned company, based in Turkey, has illegally shipped alleged guided missile parts as well as "dual use" nuclear-related material to Iran, including high-strength aluminum tubes, according to a recent Turkish government report obtained by The Associated Press on Friday.

The company imported the material to Turkey, the supposed end-user, from dozens of firms around the world, including the United States, and then shipped them to Iran apparently after falsifying documents to hide the nature of the material, customs inspectors said in the report dated May 12.

Turkish authorities would not comment on the report, which was first published by Cumhuriyet and Milliyet newspapers Friday. A government official provided a copy of the report to the AP.

Was that a good-will gesture on Turkey's part, in preparation for their hosting of joint military exercises as part of the Proliferation Security Initiative? How many other companies in Turkey are shipping dual use materials to Iran? More importantly, in light of Iran's face off with the international community over its nuclear weapons aims, why was this information not widely reported? Who made the decision to quash this news?

Another interesting guy is mentioned in connection with the Turkish lobby and Edmonds' allegations: Mark Grossman. Following the link at the Deep State article, we find the following from Grossman's bio:

In 1994, President Clinton appointed Ambassador Grossman U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. In Turkey, he promoted security cooperation, human rights and democracy and forged a vibrant U.S.-Turkish economic relationship. Ambassador Grossman had previously served as the embassy''s Deputy Chief of Mission from 1989 to 1992.

He worked in the US Embassy in Ankara for eight years during the height of the Dirty War against the Kurdish people and he failed in promoting everything except "security cooperation." He left in 1997, the year after Susurluk; the year of the soft coup. Imagine how much Kurdish blood is on his hands? Or on the hands of his friend, Ambassador Joe Wilson, who served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Baghdad from 1988 to 1991? What did he know about the Anfal operations? Old Joe has also been working for Turkey, at least through 2003, through a consultancy called Corporate and Public Strategy Advisory Group. Check out their "Press Coverage" page. Do any of the names of the newspapers and magazines look familiar?

Coincidentally, or maybe not, Wilson is married to Valerie Plame, supposedly a CIA operative whose identity was leaked to the public as political retaliation against Wilson. Wilson was the first to publicly criticize the Bush Administration's claims of Iraq's possession of WMD's. There's more on the Plame connection, by Mike Mejia, here.

Again, coincidentally, or maybe not, Brent Scowcroft, chairman of the ATC, also opposed the war, providing a number of reasons against it. The weird thing is that Scowcroft never mentioned Turkish reasons for opposition to the war: fear of Kurds and disruption of trade, especially petroleum. Turkey has the habit of crying about not receiving compensation for its economic losses during the Gulf War. Why didn't Scowcroft bring up these subjects? By focusing on other concerns, was he hiding the fact that he was pushing the Turkish government's agenda?

To be continued . . .

Saturday, July 29, 2006


"Resistance does not start with big words

but with small deeds [...]
asking yourself a question
and then asking that question to others
that is how resistance starts."

~ Remco Campert.

Like I was saying, I see a lot of ridiculous stuff and today was no different. In an article about Iran's and Syria's potential moves against Israel in Lebanon, take a look at what one idiot in NYC has to say about Kurds:

In Damascus, the Assad regime has prepared itself for an epochal war that will transform the Syrian culture into a martial cult such as was achieved under the current president's father, the late Hafez al-Assad. [ . . . ] The Assads recall 1967 and 1973 not as strategic defeats but as spiritually liberating events that empowered the Assad regime in the ummah. Syria is resolved, well armed, fatalistic, and inspired by the wealth of Iran, the allegiance of the Iraqi Baathists, the strategic support of Kurdistan, Turkey, Lebanon.

What?? Syria has the strategic support of Kurdistan? Yeah, when pigs fly! But there's more:

The Kurds have made a deal with Tehran that looks to the future and the establishment of an independent, oil-rich Kurdistan.

The Kurds aim to drive out or massacre the minority Turkmen in their territory, and they know this will be a casus belli for Turkey. The Kurds will need Iran for an ally and also for a transportation route to get their oil to market.

The Russians must certainly know that Iran is using Turkey and Kurdistan in their war effort, and the Russians have presumably made a decision not to interfere in any fashion with their Caspian Sea neighbor and commercial partner Iran.

So who, exactly, is this jackass anyway? John Batchelor. Never heard of him? Neither had I, so I had to do some checking. Apparently he's got a radio talk show that airs in NYC in the wee hours. I guess his big claim to fame, and the thing that really makes him such an expert on all things Middle Eastern, especially Kurds, is the fact that he's a writer:

John is a veteran novelist, author of seven political romances as well as a short history of the Republican Party.

A veteran novelist of political romances? I didn't even know there was such a genre, but it looks like this is what passes for Middle East experts in America these days. No wonder everything is so screwed up. Fiction is his specialty, and that's exactly what his speculation on the Iran situation is: Fiction.

How else could some one come up with the fantasy that Kurdistan gives strategic support to the dirty Syrian Ba'athi? And what does he mean by "Kurdistan?" Like most Americans, I'm sure he figures Kurdistan is just that little piece of Kurdistan located in Northern Iraq. This veteran novelist has no clue that Kurdistan is divided by four tyrants and that this division is supported by the entire international community, especially the United States.

Kurds making a deal with Iran? Okay, maybe Mam Celal is up to his old tricks again, but ask an ordinary Kurd--the only kind that really matters as far as I'm concerned--and you'll find that Kurds hate Iran, and I suspect that in his heart of hearts, old Mam Celal hates Iran just as much as the next gundî. Why would Kurds need Iran to ship oil anyway? If we're talking all-out war here, get rid of Syria and Kurds can build a pipeline all the way across Kurdish land to get it to a seaport. If we're talking Kurds making peace with some of the neighbors, then we might be talking Kerkuk-Haifa pipeline once again. This guy also fails to consider that all the enemies of Kurdistan would never allow Kurds to profit from their own resources. Why else do they bother with the trouble of occupation?

Kurds aim to ethnically cleanse all the Turkmen in their territory? Sounds like our veteran novelist is barking at the moon like a Gray Wolf. Probably was a Gray Wolf who passed this juicy lie to him. After all, our fiction writer is an American, and America is Turkey's best ally. But where is demographics most crucial for Southern Kurds? Kerkuk, right? Where would be the best place to wipe out Turkmen then? Kerkuk, right? This is what Turkey and the Iraqi Turkmen Front would like fiction writers like John Batchelor to believe. I guess they all missed this news, from South Kurdistan:

“Those Turkmen who live in Kirkuk do not fall under KRG jurisdiction, so they cannot vote. Kurdistan includes three provinces and Kirkuk is not included, so they do not have the right to participate in elections in Kurdistan,” he says. “If Kirkuk were restored to Kurdistan, we might have 20 MPs in the Kurdistan parliament instead of four. And instead of two ministers, we would have five ministers, or maybe even a deputy prime minister.”

According to Noureddin, the Turkmen population in Erbil alone numbers 250,000 Turkmen. In greater Kurdistan, he guesstimates there to be about a million, with about 350,000 in Kirkuk. In Iraq, there are probably 2.5 million Turkmen, he claims. The Movement claims to have 4,500 members, and receives funding from the KRG.

That's from an interview on Soma Digest with the Turkmen Democratic Front head, Kalkhi Najmaddin Noureddin in Hewlêr. He was a founding member of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF), but eventually left the movement. Here's why:

But after realizing that the party would not achieve their intended goals, “because foreign interference does not serve the interests of Turkmens in Kurdistan”, some members, including Noureddin, decided to splinter in 2004.

The foreign interference he's talking about is Turkey. The ITF is true to its name; It is very much a front for Turkish interests and has been involved with JITEM activity in South Kurdistan and Kerkuk. It seems to be losing credibility lately, "losing members everyday," as Noureddin remarks at the end of the Soma interview. Obviously there is no reason to slaughter Turkmen in KRG-administered areas and no reason to slaughter them in Kerkuk. With the exception of the ITF, there is no reason for Kurds to harm Turkmen at all, but Turkey stands everything to gain by pushing this lie. Just as Iran has been interfering with the Shi'a, so Turkey has been interfering with Kurds. ITF is a proper target because it's the proxy of Turkey, just as Hezbollah is the proxy of Iran.

The bottom line here is that I have never heard a single mention of slaughtering Turkmen from any Kurd--not in Diaspora and not in Kurdistan. Kurds aren't that way. If our veteran novelist had ever met Kurds or bothered to listen to Kurds, he'd know that.

Pretty interesting those demographic figures on Turkmen from Noureddi, eh?

Our veteran novelist tries to explain how Iran is going to move armaments through "tribal routes"--whatever those are--through Turkey and Kurdistan to Syria. The problem here is that it is impossible for Iran to move armaments through Turkey unless they go through Armenia and parts of Georgia. On the other hand, Iran could move armaments through Turkish-occupied Kurdistan with the connivance of Iran's good ally, Turkey. Wouldn't it be really great if those transport convoys became fat little targets for a few of PKK's remote-controlled bombs? Imagine the secondary explosions from that! Otherwise, I seriously doubt that the KRG is going to permit any such movements through South Kurdistan. After all, they don't even want to get involved with mere talks between the CIA and the PKK, as the article from yesterday's post shows.

Ask yourself where this guy gets his information. Where does it sound like it's coming from? Maybe from another of Turkey's allies . . . like Israel? John Batchelor has been to Israel 9 times in the last 3 years.

Israel has never said anything about Turkey's atrocities against Kurds. In that respect, Kurds are sort of like Armenians in Israel's eyes, because Israel has never acknowledged the Armenian genocide. You'd think that a people that had been decimated by the Europeans some 60 years ago would be more sensitive when similar things happen to others. Maybe not. The historic relationship that Israel had with the Southern Kurds (and with Barzanî Nemirî in particular) is something else to remember, and it was not a one-way street, either. In 1971, Barzanî Nemirî and his pêşmerge risked their lives to save 3,000 Iraqi Jews, leading them through the Zagros Mountains to the safety of Iran. From there they departed for Israel and other destinations further west.

But why would Israel spread around a dangerous scenario about Kurds such as that written up by our intrepid author of political romance novels? Why bother to antagonize the largest non-Arab ethnic group in the Middle East, a nation of potential allies? Could profits be the reason? From The Nation:

Indeed, there are some in military and intelligence circles who have taken to using "axis of evil" in reference to JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) and CSP (Center for Security Policy), along with venerable repositories of hawkish thinking like the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute, as well as defense contractors, conservative foundations and public relations entities underwritten by far-right American Zionists (all of which help to underwrite JINSA and CSP). It's a milieu where ideology and money seamlessly blend: "Whenever you see someone identified in print or on TV as being with the Center for Security Policy or JINSA championing a position on the grounds of ideology or principle--which they are unquestionably doing with conviction--you are, nonetheless, not informed that they're also providing a sort of cover for other ideologues who just happen to stand to profit from hewing to the Likudnik and Pax Americana lines," says a veteran intelligence officer. He notes that while the United States has begun a phaseout of civilian aid to Israel that will end by 2007, government policy is to increase military aid by half the amount of civilian aid that's cut each year--which is not only a boon to both the US and Israeli weapons industries but is also crucial to realizing the far right's vision for missile defense and the Middle East.

Who's been affiliated with JINSA past and present? Dick Cheney, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Eugene Rostow, and Michael Ledeen. Of the retired US military officers affiliated with JINSA, either as supporters or advisors, almost all have worked with military contractors who do business with the Pentagon and Israel. The contractors are heavy-hitters too, including Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics. Boeing has a presence in the CSP. Also deep into CSP are Lockheed Martin, TRW, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, and Hewlett-Packard.

All of these icons of the American military-industrial complex are well represented with the ATC (American Turkish Council), too, which makes for a lot of mutual special interests. When the Cold War ended, the threat was that blood money might become scarce. What to do with such a crisis looming? According to a paper penned by Perle, Feith, and a few others, in 1996, the answer was obvious: create a new cold war:

. . . [B]eyond economics, the paper essentially reads like a blueprint for a mini-cold war in the Middle East, advocating the use of proxy armies for regime changes, destabilization and containment.

Although The Nation article dates from August, 2002, given the expanding events in the Middle East, it looks prophetic in hindsight. Given the work of fiction by our veteran novelist of political romances, someone is trying to align Kurds with the very evildoers that Kurds, themselves, oppose.

Resistance continues to be life.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


“The name of the game is taking care of yourself, because you're going to live long enough to wish you had.”
~ Grace Mirabella.

There's a pretty good article at Macleans giving a breakdown of some of the ethnic-based organizations in and around Iran who would like to see the mullahs take a hard fall. The gist of the article is that the US is covertly talking to these groups in order to instigate regime change.

Of those ethnic-based groups posing a threat to the evil Teheran regime, who are the baddest? The Kurds, naturally. Who tops the list as the baddest of the bad? The PKK. The CIA seem very interested in our bad boys and girls:

For the moment, it's the Kurdish groups, with their camps lined up along the Iranian border in Iraq, that pose the greatest threat to Iran. That's a fact the U.S. hasn't missed. The militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting a bloody insurgency against Turkey since the mid-1980s in the hopes of establishing a Kurdish homeland, has been using the slopes of Qandil mountain, approximately 130 km north of Sulaymaniyah, as a home base from which to launch attacks against both Turkey and Iran. The PKK is a threat to the region's territorial integrity, as it hopes to carve a Kurdish homeland out of sections of Iran, Turkey and Iraq. And the PKK has apparently been recruited by the U.S.

Rustam Joudy, one of the group's senior leaders, initially denied that. "We have nothing to do with the Americans," he said. But locals living alongside the PKK contradicted him. "The Americans were coming here regularly six months ago," said one villager. "We don't know why. The PKK leadership never talked to us about it." When confronted with such allegations, the PKK leadership drastically modified its earlier comments, admitting that they not only met U.S. representatives in the past, but that these meetings continue. "They have stopped in Qandil," a spokesman told Maclean's, "but these meetings continue in other places. As for their purpose, that's strategic. I cannot tell you why."

After repeated requests for a comment, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued a terse denial: "The report that U.S. government officials are meeting with PKK representatives is false." But the mere fact that the PKK and others continue to operate in Iraq shows they are of use to the U.S., says a former PKK member who would identify himself only as Raoof. "The Kurdish revolutionaries are a threat to Iraqi Kurdistan's stability as well," he says. "And yet, they are still here. If the Americans didn't have a use for these groups, they would not let them remain in Iraq."

I see the CIA uses PKK "confessors," too. Did they learn that from the Turks or teach it to the Turks?

It's no secret that the CIA was making regular trips to Qandîl in 2003 and early 2004. Several articles appeared in Western media as testimony to that, at the time. A short time after the stream of trips and articles ended, PWD appeared on the scene. Come to think of it, there was a CIA "expert" on hand to take a look at the car in which Kani Yilmaz and Sabri Tori died.

The KRG is trying to take a hands-off approach to any business the CIA might have with the PKK over regime change in Iran, but believes that US State Department involvement with a group they consider to be "terrorist" is acceptable.

On the other hand, there have been a number of articles recently on PJAK, which is also a member of KONGRA-GEL. PJAK therefore falls under the umbrella of Koma Komalên Kurdistan which, in turn, is headed by Murat Karayilan. In short, and for those who don't understand the hierarchy, PJAK is a member of "PKK." According to one of those articles, the Americans have not been in contact with them:

Unlike most other rebel groups in the Middle East, PEJAK is secular and Western-oriented. When the group's members talk, their Kurdish is peppered with such Western words as "freedom," "human rights" and "ecology."

Iran has denounced it as a terrorist group and accused the United States of funding it. But at PEJAK's camp, there is no obvious evidence of American equipment or money. The only weapons on show are AK-47 assault rifles and grenades, and the funding is clearly limited.

Each recruit has a single pair of khaki fatigues, and even its leaders subsist on simple meals of bread, cheese and fresh vegetables at communal outdoor tables.

The group's leaders say that they have had no contact with the United States, but that they would be willing to work with Europe or America against the Tehran government.

"We demand democratic change in Iran," Mr. Zagros said. "And if the U.S. government wants to help us, we are happy to accept their support.

"The U.S. talks about bringing democracy to the region," he added. "But for 200 years, the Kurds have struggled against dictatorship and oppression and in defense of our human rights. And so far the West has not helped us. Why?"

Why? That's the big question, isn't it?

Another article of interest on PJAK can be found at Mother Jones. Another one, from last year, can be found at Caucaz.

Is the CIA really talking to PKK? Are they really trying to use the back door to take down the evil Teheran regime? Who really knows? Only one thing is important: Any deals cut with the Americans (and anyone else, for that matter) must be cut, first and foremost, with Kurdish interests at heart.

Other interests are unacceptable.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


“In modern America, anyone who attempts to write satirically about the events of the day finds it difficult to concoct a situation so bizarre that it may not actually come to pass while the article is still on the presses”
~ Calvin Trillin.

I check a lot of search engines during the day for regular news and to see what the chatter is in the blogosphere about things that affect Kurds and Kurdistan. This means that I see a lot of ridiculous stuff.

For example, I have noticed in the last few days that people were talking about Saddam's hunger strike. This makes me wonder: Who the hell cares? It got me thinking about the trial too. Who the hell cares? I mean, we all know what he did and we all know that the trials are for the sake of all the self-righteous scumbags who brought Saddam to power and kept him there for all those years. To top it off, today during the closing arguments in his trial, Saddam makes the grand pronouncement--after kicking and screaming, "I don't wanna go to court!"--that he wants to be executed by firing squad because he's a "soldier." A soldier, my ass. He doesn't want to be executed by hanging because that's for common criminals.

There's only one way for Saddam to be executed. Set him loose in downtown Helebçe and let all the residents cut him up for fishbait. End of discussion and nix the debate about shooting or hanging.

Second ridiculous thing is that the Democrats are pissed off because they claim al-Maliki supports Hezbollah, with that Dean guy calling al-Maliki an anti-semite. Welcome to the Middle East . . . or I guess that could be Europe or certain groups in the US as well. CNN has a report on this, and greater idiots, like Arianna Huffington--Don't ask! She's a freak!--are all worked up over it. If these people are serious in their indignation, then I continue to be amazed at how stupid Americans can be. Al-Maliki is a Shi'a who wants closer ties with Iran, but it comes as a huge shock to everyone that he isn't condemning Hezbollah. Morons. They're going to lead all kinds of lesser idiots into taking all this at their face value.

If you read the CNN article, you get a better idea of how things are really working, thanks to Hoshyar Zebarî:

But comments by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebary earlier Wednesday at a congressional breakfast may have done much to ease the controversy, according to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nevada.

Following the event, Reid quoted Zebary. "The foreign minister said, 'I was at the meeting of the Arab League last week, I was directed by the prime minister to join with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to condemn Hezbollah and we do that.'"

As for himself, Reid said he "felt [the Iraqi delegation] did a decent job of trying to temp that down so, you know, I feel better having gone to the breakfast," Reid said.

Reid said he's "not going to push the issue anymore" and the "point has been made" that al-Maliki "needs to be more guarded in what he says."

Several Democrats critical of al-Maliki attended and participated in standing ovations as the Iraqi leader spoke, according to The Associated Press. At least one member of Congress, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, boycotted the address.

See? The Democrats are lying.

Now, none of this has anything whatsoever to do with the Middle East, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Hezbollah, etc. All of this farce is a show to prepare for upcoming Congressional elections and the Democrats are trying to swing it their way. Believe me, there is no difference between a Republican and a Democrat when it comes to the Middle East. The last presidential elections proved that; George Bush and John Kerry had memorized the same script on the Middle East.

By the way, there was even a war protestor there, who began heckling al-Maliki during his speech. Her pass into the Congress was provided by a Democrat representative from Brooklyn, even though she's from San Francisco. Medea Benjamin, age 54, the bellowing cow removed from Congress, has something in common with her pal, Saddam. She's on a hunger strike too. Who knew that a hunger strike would cause similar behavior, as exhibited by Saddam at trial or pink cow in Congress? I wonder if this is the next trend?


From the Behind-the-Power-Curve Department (always a bit ridiculous) . . . lots of people are talking about old news, like the KDC (Kurdistan Development Corporation) TV ads that came out last year. There's something on the Washington Post, at a Republican blog (They like the "good" Kurds. . . for the moment), at a Democrat blog (Notice the name of the blog? See Freak Huffington, above. Dems don't like the ads because they distract from Democrat efforts to make Republicans look bad), and from a milblog.

Last ridiculous item: The phony uproar by Kofi and Company out of New York. It seems they're a bit upset that Israel blasted their "peacekeepers" to hell. The TimesOnline article is headed by this: "UN observers begged Israelis to stop shelling their position."

Awwww, booo-hooooo.

Hmmmm. . . . Come to think of it, I wonder if that was anything like the way Muslim Bosnians begged UN peacekeepers not to abandon them to the stinking Serbs at Srebrenica? Everyone remembers that, don't they? Or has Srebrenica gone the way of Armenia . . . and the way of Kurdistan?

There's a refresher on Srebrenica here and here, but basically the UN, its "peacekeepers," and the murdering Serbs were all working together. When the stuff started to hit the fan, the "peacekeepers" were far more concerned with saving their own skins than protecting the people they were supposed to protect. Note, too, that the commander of the "peacekeepers" was a French general--proof that the entire operation was doomed to failure and that whoever appointed command and control was totally incompetent.

Check this picture:

The guy on the left is the NATO commander, the guy on the right is the UN (French) commander, and look who's in the middle--Mr. Oil-for-Food himself! Isn't that special? All at the Sarajevo airport on 20 December, 1995. Janvier, the UN commander, is fixing to high-tail it out of there.

The UN was supposed to help Lebanon get rid of Hezbollah but it is clear that, once again, the impotent UN did absolutely nothing. I would love to know what kind of racket they've been running in southern Lebanon with Hezbollah, Syria and Iran for all these years. The US State Department reports that UNIFIL costs for FY2003 were $94.06 million a year. I wonder how much of that actually goes to "peacekeeping" and how much goes into the pockets of those farther up the food chain? I wonder, too, how many deals on the side continue to enrich these international blood suckers?

As for the freshly dead peacekeepers, payback's a bitch, ain't it Kofi? Such a pity Hezbollah's Iranian-supplied long-range rockets aren't long-range enough to reach the UN headquarters in New York.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann'd:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rosetti.

How will we be able to forget Soraya Serajeddini? You were a lioness for Kurdistan, Soraya, a true activist and a model for all the young Kurdish women in the American community who were coming up in the ranks behind you.

Forgive us our sorrow, Soraya; we cannot help it now. It is a sign of your honor and our respect. Perhaps even more than that, it is the pain we feel at the sudden void in our midst and in our hearts. It is the pain of shock that a treasure has been snatched from us far too early.

You should have lived a long life.

In place of longevity, you lived a life of selflessness, a life of devotion to the Kurdish people. You lived a life of richness because you never closed your eyes to, nor turned your back on, the suffering of Kurdistan.

One day, when the pain is easier to bear, we will be able to remember you and smile because you had been among us.

To Soraya's family, my deepest condolences.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Two girlfriends were speeding down the highway at well over a 100 miles per hour. "Hey," asked the brunette at the wheel, "see any cops following us?" The blonde turned around for a long look. "As a matter of fact, I do." "Oh, NOOOO!" yelled the brunette. "Are his flashers on?" The blonde turned around again. "Yup...nope...yup...nope...yup..."

The analogies keep coming. . . incorrectly, of course.

Recep Guvelioglu is the most recent to come up with the wrong analogies, this time with the question of hot pursuit and Israel. First, a little comment on hot pursuit as a point of international law from "Fundamental Perspectives on International Law":

As stated in a major treatise on this point: “hot pursuit in land or ground may continue only into no man’s land or into the territory of another State following an explicit agreement … permitting the exercise of hot pursuit in its own territory.”

The major treatise cited is The Right of Hot Pursuit in International Law by N. Poulantzas. As the Iraqi President, Celal Talabanî stated last week, all previous agreements that Turkey had with Saddam on cross-border operations are no longer valid. In other words, there is no explicit agreement permitting Turkey to engage in any so-called hot pursuit.

Let's say that Turkey decides to ignore international law and its neighbor, something for which Turkey has condemned Israel, and it goes ahead and behaves like Israel anyway. Then it should be consistent in behaving like Israel, meaning that it will have to give a few days' notice before violating the territorial integrity of its neighbor. It will have to drop leaflets, notifying the residents of South Kurdistan that it is coming, and it will have to do this in Kurdish language. It will also need all these efforts broadcast on international media.

However, if Turkey did all this, then there is no hot pursuit anyway, because hot pursuit begins in the territorial space of the pursuing state. It's an act of immediacy, not one that is broadcast several days in advance. Here's the Department of Defense definition of hot pursuit as an example:

Pursuit commenced within the territory, internal waters, the archipelagic waters, the territorial sea, or territorial airspace of the pursuing state and continued without interruption beyond the territory, territorial sea, or airspace. Hot pursuit also exists if pursuit commences within the contiguous or exclusive economic zones or on the continental shelf of the pursuing state, continues without interruption, and is undertaken based on a violation of the rights for the protection of which the zone was established. The right of hot pursuit ceases as soon as the ship or hostile force pursued enters the territory or territorial sea of its own state or of a third state. This definition does not imply that force may or may not be used in connection with hot pursuit. NOTE: This term applies only to law enforcement activities.

Let's review: For hot pursuit to commence, you have to see the gerîlas in your territory and you have to start chasing them. If they run across the border, then you can go after them . . . if they run into a no-man's land or if you have an explicit agreement with the government of the other territory.

So, does Turkey really want to take Israel's example and go through all the hassle of notifying the villagers of South Kurdistan that they are going to invade? Of course, if it wants to go that far, it might as well go all the way and spring Saddam from prison, reinstall him as dictator, and renew all those old agreements--little more than winks and nods anyway--and invade at will.

Then we come to a point that's redundant, since everybody knows:

Turkey's desire to conduct a cross-border operation is legitimate of course, since the PKK has many camps inside Iraq. [ . . . ] Everybody knows that the PKK has as many terrorist combat groups inside Turkey as in Iraq. It might be necessary to stop the terrorist flow to Turkey in order to halt their hit-and-run system.

Really? Everybody knows? How can we be sure that everybody knows?

I have an idea, the Turkish government needs to present its evidence publicly. . . say at the UN, so that we can all be certain that everybody knows. After all, they presented "evidence" to the Danish government of Roj TV as "terrorist propaganda organ," so why not share all the info about all of PKK's camps and combat groups? Besides, if they share all this info at the UN, not only will they be like Israel on hot pursuit, but they'll also be like the US on WMDs.

This statement about everybody knowing about PKK combat groups inside Turkey reminds me of what the HPG Headquarters commander, Dr. Bahoz Erdal, said last week, from KurdishInfo:

“To compare the developments in Lebanon to that of the developments in Kurdistan is a false comparison. Hizbullah is a force of Lebanon and it has positioned itself there. Hizbullah has not one fighter in the soil of Israel. Hizbullah positions itself near the border of Israel and from there organises attacks against Israel. Our area of struggle is in North Kurdistan and Turkey. We have not one military action beyond the border. The majority of our forces are in North Kurdistan, therefore positioned in Turkey, our activities are there. Our forces are in Gumushane, Diyarbakir (Amed), Tunceli (Dersim), Amanos and Sirnak. The military operations and conflict is concentrated in these areas… To target South Kurdistan is an excuse. We will show them the necessary respons[e] if they do decide to enter South Kurdistan.”

There was one little thing I left out of Recep's quote about the camps in Iraq. It was this:

However, many PKK terrorist attacks have occurred deep inside Turkey; for example, Bingol.

Okay. . . does this guy know how far it is from Çewlik (Bingol) to the border of South Kurdistan? Better yet, does he have any idea how far it is from Çewlik to Qandîl? Everybody knows it's one hell of a long way to both places from Çewlik, but Turkish media and commentators make it sound like the gerîlas take a leisurely stroll down from Qandîl--or one of the many bases that everybody knows is in Iraq--and then takes a leisurely stroll back up Qandîl, passing through a couple of hundred thousand Mehmetciks, Ozel Timler, and JITEM besides. Well, we know how bright those Turkish security force guys are anyway. After all, even the USMC can bag them.

The reality is that Turkey is in a deep state of denial about the problem it created for itself by its brutal repression of the Kurdish people, something that Recep refers to as "the swamps of terror." He mentions Turkish judicial and traditional administrative "errors" and how some of these things are forms of discrimination. He says that this "stupid" system has caused "bitter resentment" among Kurds. Okay, he doesn't actually say "Kurds." He even takes a swipe at Turkey's "friends" in the EU for not telling Turkey to change the stupid system, but if the system is so stupid (and I agree, it is stupid), then why does some outsider have to tell you to change it? Can't you figure that out for yourself? Which is more stupid then, the system or those who maintain the system?

It's very simple to change the system. But who's going to do that and actually, who cares?

If it's so simple to change the stupid system, then why hasn't it been changed? You'd think that if Turkey had enough dead Mehmetciks on their hands, somebody would get it through their fat heads that the stupid system has to be changed. Even better, they'd demand the stupid system be changed. I guess we haven't reached critical mass on the dead Mehmetcik thing yet.

Who is going to change the stupid system and who cares? Kurds. On both counts.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


"The dinosaurs disappeared because they could not adapt to their changing environment."
~ Arthur C. Clarke.

An interview with Murat Karayilan is being carried over on KurdishInfo. As a veteran of PKK, Chairman of the Executive Council of Koma Komalên Kurdistan, and a long-time observer of the Turkish system, he has some interesting comments on that system. The gist of what he says is that the Turkish system is a dinosaur and, since it's based on fascism, he's right. Where all the European fascist systems were brought to an end by World War 2, Turkey still lumbers along pretending to be a modern, democratic, secular state while passing an anti-terror law that violates the most basic freedoms and rights that people in the West take for granted on a daily basis. As Karayilan says, this law "criminalise[s] Kurdish people in all spectrums." Exactly so; this law is aimed directly at the Kurdish people.

Karayilan observes that AKP, the Islamists, have been working to "take over" the system. If anyone followed Turkish politics, even months before the Amed Serhildan, this goal was was apparent. It was far more subtle before the serhildan, and you still had to wade through a load of garbage in Turkish media to see it, but it was there. In its attempt to take over the system, AKP has run up against the pashas, so it has had to adjust his methods to cater to them, since they are the only real power in Turkey. They always have been the only real power in Turkey and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Even though AKP made a lot of promises during the last elections, it has done nothing but attempt to jockey into a position of greater power. Think back to last August, when Erdogan visited Amed and said the word "Kurd." I will never understand why everyone got so excited over the fact that he can pronounce the word. Everyone should realize that talk is cheap, especially with Turkish politicians. The same thing happened again after the Semdinli bombing, with Erdogan promising to get to the bottom of the affair, and we all know what happened with that. The Parliamentary committee doing the investigation blamed the whole thing on PKK; the prosecutor in charge of the investigation was sacked from his job because he wanted to dig in Buyukanit's dirt and, finally, Seferi Yilmaz, the owner of the bombed bookstore and target of the state's attack, was arrested last month on allegations made by a "PKK confessor."

See yesterday's post for more on "PKK confessors."

Seven months after Erdogan's heroism in pronouncing the word "Kurd" publicly in Amed, he gave security forces the green light to murder any Kurd, including women and children. Keep in mind that he gave this order to a NATO army, one that presumably is supposed to obey the Geneva Conventions and its protocols. In reality, it appears that the Geneva Conventions are more window-dressing for Turkey. Erdogan played the democracy card with Kurds in order to secure AKP's position in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. He played the Kurd card with the pashas in order to secure his position for the presidency.

Take another example, an example that is not organically Kurdish or Turkish. We know that Michael Rubin is no friend of Kurds, particularly Bakurî Kurds. He's written a lot about Turkey but in all the words he's expended in defense of Turkish secular democracy, he's never expended one word on Turkey's atrocities against Kurds. In fact, Rubin is more Kemalist than the pashas. But you can learn from your enemies. One of Rubin's articles that gives food for thought on how AKP has worked to take over the system is "Green Money: Islamist Politics in Turkey", from last year. Rubin dismisses the influence of the Deep State in his conclusions, something that was a huge miscalculation on his part, but the rest of the article is an indication of the ways in which AKP has been working toward a takeover of the system.

Another indication of AKP's working to "intensify its power," as Murat Karayilan puts it, is Erdogan's burning desire for the presidency. He must have the approval of the pashas for this. To gain that approval, he sounds like he's turning idealist (ulkucu). Not only do the pashas require this, but all of the Turkish political parties are demanding it, too. Each one makes more extreme nationalist statements than the other, especially after the Council of State attack and Ozkok Baba's personal plea for extreme nationalist sentiment to be displayed by the people. It was then that Erdogan found out he didn't like being called "murderer" by the mobs, even though the attack was the work of the pashas.

Along with all this is the extreme discomfort the pashas feel by EU accession and the requirements of that process. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They still want to genocide Kurds but they have to do it in a way that no one notices. So they permit paper reforms and carry on with the pretence that Turkey really is the great secular democracy--and Muslim too!--that every liar on Earth loves to proclaim. No one seems to notice, however, that the avoidance of establishing a western-style democratic system is the exact opposite of pure Kemalism. We can argue then, that the pashas themselves have abandoned pure Kemalism in its aspects of secularism, modernization, and democracy. That, in turn, could lead us to argue that the pashas themselves are traitors to the glorious memory of their beloved Ataturk.

From the interview:

At times, rather than gaining power by owning up to Turkey’s problems and attempting to solve them, it negotiated, agreed, and at times fought with the forces within the system to stay in power. It envisioned placing itself within the system. Therefore Turkey’s problems were abandoned.

Turkey's single biggest problem are all the problems it has willfully created for the Kurdish people. By addressing those problems, the Ankara regime would improve life for everyone in Turkey, but never in Turkey's history has the regime ever listened to the Kurdish people. During numerous ceasefires, the Ankara regime failed to negotiate a settlement and yet recently we have heard many calls for Kurds to lay down their arms and take up a political path. Since there was no effort during ceasefires to listen to the Kurdish people, much less engage them politically. All these calls for peace are insincere and any chance at peace can only come from genuine and complete reform of the system, starting with the end of the military occupation.

There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Any real opposition, like the human rights people or the Turkish left or the "intellectuals," are simply too weak and have no real popular base. If they had some strength, we would see more from them and there would be a group with which Kurds could work. The Turkish media is geared to manipulate emotion and to spread propaganda, something that has been very apparent in the last few months. Add to that an educational system that incorporates the teaching of fascism at all levels. There is also the situation of DTP and its continual harassment by the regime. It is clear that it's going to take a long time for any kind of real reform.

Since the problems of Turkey have been abandoned by the regime, these domestic political power struggles are the real dynamics behind all of Turkey's actions now, including its threats to invade South Kurdistan in order to attack PKK. Will Turkey really invade? They will not invade until late August or thereafter, something I have said for some time and something with which Deutsche Bank agrees:

It is probable that the operation in northern Iraq will take place following the annual routine changes at the top of the chain of command in the Turkish Armed Forces in August. The operation is expected to cover both domestic and cross-border terrorist targets, the Deutsche Bank said in its analysis.

I have not been able to track down the Deutsche Bank report.

Regarding the question of invasion, the other thing to consider is the greater regional dynamics, dynamics which are moving very quickly at the moment. I did mention that the only thing that brought down European fascism was war, didn't I?

Seems to me it will take a warrior culture to bring down Turkish fascism. Good thing Kurds have a warrior culture.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


"Thought I heard a rumblin
Callin to my name,
Two hundred million guns are loaded
Satan cries, take aim!"

~ Credence Clearwater Revival, Run Through the Jungle.

On a cold November evening nearly two years ago, the Turkish state murdered a Kurdish father and son outside their home in Qoser (Kiziltepe). Their crime? They were Kurds.

The state's murders of Ahmet and Ugur Kaymaz came at a very inopportune time for both Turkey and the EU. Within a month after the murders, on 17 December, 2004, to be exact, the EU was due to make the decision to open accession negotiations with Turkey. This had been the projected date for two years, since December, 2002, when the EU said that if Turkey met the Copenhagen political criteria (including criteria on democracy, rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities) by December, 2004, negotiations would be opened.

Seen in this light, the Turkish media's uproar over the murders was more a reaction to the potential jeopardization of the EU's decision on accession negotiations, than a reaction to yet another injustice committed against the Kurdish people by the Ankara regime. With its economic future thus threatened, there was no choice but to make the requisite statements about getting to the bottom of the crime and calls for "justice" made all around, but judging from the speed with which the initial media uproar died down, it's obvious that the indignation was strictly a matter of appearances. Ahmet and Ugur Kaymaz' names were just two more on the long roster of names of those Kurds who had been murdered with impunity by the state.

The Interior Ministry conducted the investigation for the state, something that should have clued everyone that a cover-up was in the offing. The murders were committed by an Ozel Tim (Special Team) and, although the organizational structure of these teams is shrouded by the Deep State apparatus, there have been reported connections to the Interior Ministry, at least in the case of the police special teams (Ozel Hareket Timler). In its 1995 report on violations of the laws of warfare by the Turkish state, Human Rights Watch documented information given to them by former Turkish officers and soldiers. This evidence gives a description of the nature of the Ozel Timler/Ozel Hareket Timler:

According to V.A. [former TSK officer], the A Teams, like many of the Özel Tim, are recruited from the ranks of Turkey's extreme, right-wing nationalist movement. "They are well-educated and extremely nationalistic," V.A. explained, "and really hate Kurds and the PKK. Their primary motivation in life is to kill the PKK." V.A. said that the A Teams are "so scary that even we Army officers were frightened of them. We never get in their way, and always try and remove ourselves if they are in the area."

B Teams are comprised primarily of police as well as some ex-Army and Jandarma soldiers. The difference between A and B Teams, to the best of Human Rights Watch's knowledge, appears to be in their designated targets. A Teams, which contain higher-status and better paid troops, are instructed to pursue more important PKK members than the B Teams.

[ . . . ]

All the persons interviewed for this report agreed that the police special forces are the gravest abusers of human rights among security forces in the southeast. According to a senior U.S. official in the Embassy in Ankara, for example, the "police special forces are brutal thugs."125 Former Turkish officer V.A. said the Özel Hareket Tim were "abnormal elements" responsible for most of the torture, extrajudicial executions and other human rights abuses in the southeast. Former Turkish infantryman B.G. agreed with V.A.'s assessment, saying the Özel Hareket Tim were "independent of anyone and anything, and almost crazy with nationalism." International Defense Review wrote that A teams are responsible for the final stages of "spot-to-kill" operations, in which suspected PKK guerrillas are killed on sight.126

Even the US has known for a very long time that these Ozel Tim creatures are "brutal thugs." Still, the US goes on supporting them in full knowledge of the fact.

The report mentions that these teams belong to the Turkish general staff's Special Warfare Department (OHD). How much the OHAL affected the command and control structure of the Ozel Timler is something we cannot tell. However, it's reasonable to assume that the Turkish general staff would exercise more control under OHAL. Since, at the time of the Kaymaz murders, no OHAL existed, it may be that the Interior Ministry exercised greater control.

With this information about the Ozel Timler in mind, it should be no shock that Ahmet Kaymaz was described as a PKK member in the response to the the UN's Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions. A complete report on the correspondence of the murder is carried by the New York University School of Law. The claim of PKK membership is typical of the Turkish state whenever it deals with Kurds or has to cover its filthy work of murdering them, and the case of Ahmet Kaymaz is no different. He had been accused of PKK membership on several previous occasions, but investigations by journalists for Britain's The Independent and the WRMEA contradict this claim. From The Independent:

Kiziltepe’s [Qoser's] mainly Kurdish residents have been traumatised after years of armed conflict. The Kaymaz family had to leave their own village because of the fighting. Ugur’s father, Ahmet, had been detained at least twice on suspicion of supporting the militants. He had no proven links to the PKK.

From the WRMEA:

Yet for many, the Kiziltepe [Qoser] incident was nothing particularly unusual. Ahmet was a member of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party (DEHAP) and had turned down an offer some years before to become a Village Guard-the pro-government Kurdish militia hired by Ankara to patrol settlements in the region. He may have had no connection to the armed Kurdish militants of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), or to its more recent incarnation as Kongra-Gel-or to one of its multiplying factions. Yet he would almost certainly have been on the list of "suspect" locals down at the local police post.
DEHAP supporters and human rights advocates claim that hundreds of similar incidents have occurred over the last two decades in southeastern Turkey.

So Ahmet Kaymaz was a Kurd, an IDP, a DEHAP member, and had refused to become a village guard. Each one of those characteristics alone is enough to put him in the Turkish state's crosshairs.

Ugur Kaymaz is in a more interesting position vis-a-vis the state's claims. Here is a boy of eleven years, who manages to attend school every day, help his father around the house, and, presumably, engages in normal eleven-year-old behavior with other children in the neighborhood. In spite of all of this, we are expected to believe that Ugur had a second life as a PKK gerîla who was involved in masterminding an attack against security forces in his own town. He must have been doing all this after finishing his homework.

In spite of the state's claims of a shoot-out, the autopsies and examinations of bullet wounds in the bodies of Ahmet and Ugur indicate that a shoot-out was impossible [See the document at NYU School of Law]. Ugur Kaymaz had 13 bullets in his body, four in the hands and nine in the back. There were also gunpowder marks on him, indicating that the shooting happened at very close range. Ahmet Kaymaz had 8 gunshots in his body. 17 of the total 21 gunshot wounds were fired at a distance of within 50 centimeters (approx. 20 inches--less than 2 ft). Since when do you have a shoot out when you are less than two feet from someone? The autopsies also indicated that the bullets were fired from the same direction, another indication of no shoot-out.

As is usual with state murders, the murderers planted evidence near the bodies of Ahmet and Ugur, including Kalishnikov's, Russian-made hand grenades, and magazines. This is similar to a murder committed by the state in November, 2003, in Istanbul, photos of which can be seen here.

Another claim of the state, that they had information that the PKK was planning an attack against security forces, was conveniently confirmed by a PKK "confessor," who conveniently turned himself in to the state the day after the murders. The state widely uses "confessors" to verify its own claims, which is a sort of circular reasoning because "confessors" are virtual employees of the state. Many have agreed to become "confessors" under threat of torture while in detention. Since every Kurd under Turkish occupation is seen as a member of PKK by the state, every Kurd has the potential to become a PKK "confessor." The fact is that the use of these "confessors" is an easy way out of having to establish proper evidence. They are part of the system of impunity created by the state. Unfortunately for the state, there is no proof that any of their PKK "confessors" have any connection whatsoever to the PKK.

Coincidentally, one week after the Kaymaz murders, another Kurd was murdered by security forces under similar circumstances. Fevzi Can, a shepherd living in a partially destroyed village near Semdinli (Şemzînan), was shot and killed by jandarma. They claimed that Fevzi was a terrorist who failed to stop after given the order, and the state would not release his body to his family unless they signed a statement to that effect. The state also attempted to characterize Fevzi as a smuggler who ran from security forces, abandoning the sheep he was allegedly smuggling. If true, the security forces failed to uphold the law, which states that smuggled goods, in this case the sheep, were to be confiscated. Instead the 448 sheep were returned without delay to their owner.

The Turkish media managed to overlook the state's murder of Fevzi Can, but his is another name added to the long roster of Kurds murdered with impunity for the glory of the Turkish nation.

Why bring all this up now, almost two years after the murders? An update on the trial was published on TDN a couple of days ago. It appears that the most of the murderers are able to fit the trial into their busy, daily schedules. In other words, the murderers still walk free and they're sticking to their story. They don't appear too happy that foreigners are observing their trial and complain that foreigners never observe the trials of security forces killed by PKK. Absurd accusation, given that there are no trials for PKK gerîlas. PKK gerîlas are executed in the field by security forces in violation of laws of war.

But then, bullies are always crybabies.

Earlier in the week, I had to ask the question that the people of Amed were asking, which questioned the value of a Kurdish life. If the murderers of Ahmet and Ugur Kaymaz are convicted, we will know that two Kurdish lives are worth four years. Do the math; that's two years for each.

Such a deal.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


"In recent years, it [PKK] has made numerous offers to negotiate federal status, self-government, or a democratic process securing basic rights for the Kurds. It has even declared unilateral truces, but on each occasion its efforts have been ignored or presented as a trap."

~ Eric Rouleau, "Turkey's Modern Pashas", Le Monde Diplomatique.

Bulent Arinc, the Turkish Parliament Speaker, told his Lebanese counterpart that "Israel's actions in Lebanon and Palestinian territories were unacceptable." I wonder why he considers Israel's actions unacceptable? Is it simply for the sake of the "territorial integrity" of Lebanon or Palestine? Or is it because Arinc is concerned about the people in Lebanon or Palestine?

It appears that his concerns run in the following order:

1. Concern that civilians, including children, are being killed.
2. Concern that bridges and roads are being destroyed.
3. Concern for Israel's lack of respect for international law.
4. Concern for Israel's use of excessive force.
5. Concern for Israel responding to the smallest incident with such ferocity.

Erdogan also claims to be concerned about Israel's miltary actions and accuses "the international actors of failing to step in to end the ongoing violence."

Yet the Ankara regime has never acknowledged its own use of excessive military force against Kurdish civilians, nor has it ever been concerned that those Kurdish civilians, including children, were killed by its own excessive use of force. It has never had a care for its own flagrant disrespect for international law, especially for those international laws that have to do with human rights. It has never lost a night's sleep over the thousands and thousands of Kurdish villages it has destroyed, the vast tracts of land it has mined, or the vast forests it has burned.

During the first Palestinian intifada, from 1987 to 2000 (13 years), 1,491 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces and Israeli civilians. That averages out to approximately 115 deaths per year. Compare that with the number of Kurdish deaths by Turkish security forces during the first dirty war. Let's use the much touted refrain of 37,000 Kurds killed from 1984 to 1999 (15 years) and we shall see that the math tells us that Turkish security forces killed approximately 2,467 Kurds every year. Children were included. Who is it that is the master of the use of excessive force? Israel or Turkey?

Human Rights Watch has a report on Turkish violations of laws of war from 1995, at the height of the first dirty war. Let's see what it says about forced displacements:

According to our findings, Turkish security forces regularly violate the international laws of war. The most frequent violation is that of forcible displacement, during which Turkish forces order villagers to leave their homes and then burn down their villages. In all of the cases investigated, the Turkish government made no attempt to care for the displaced civilians, again in violation of international law; the villagers were simply ordered out of their homes, told to leave their possessions behind, and then watched as their homes were burned. Following the destruction, the villagers were told to walk to the nearest town and to never return.133

In most of the forced dislocations investigated in this report, the Turkish troops behaved with extreme contempt for the dignity and physical well-being of civilians. Torture or other cruel and inhumane treatment appear to be a routine phenomenon during the displacement process, belying any Turkish arguments that the evacuations were carried out for the safety of the civilians. In many cases, troops engaged in village destructions beat male villagers, exposed men, women and children alike to extreme weather conditions, and humiliated civilians in a wide variety of ways.

The troops do not typically kill large numbers of civilians during the forced evacuations; short of killing the displaced villagers, however, Turkish security forces display blatant disregard for their well-being. In one case (Case 11 below) investigated for this report, for example, children died during the village destruction after being forcibly separated from their parents. The security forces turned down repeated requests by the parents to search for their children, who appear to have been burned alive when the troops set the village alight.

A little indiscriminate fire, anyone?

Although indiscriminate fire by Turkish security forces is not the most consistent violation of international law in Turkey's southeast, it remains a persistent problem. In some cases, the security forces have grossly overreacted to actual or suspected PKK attacks. In these incidents, which have occurred primarily in the towns and cities, security forces appear to have taken advantage of suspected or actual PKK activity to unleash a barrage of fire on civilian neighborhoods suspected of containing PKK sympathizers.

In some instances, the indiscriminate fire may have been due to negligence on the part of Turkish gunners seeking to hit PKK targets. But lack of intent to kill or cause destruction is no excuse for failing to care for the well-being of civilians.

In other cases, security forces have shelled, bombed or strafed villages, either as punishment for presumed PKK sympathies or as a method of intimidation aimed at forcing villagers from their homes. In the latter set of cases, the security forces appear to have relied on indiscriminate fire as a quick and easy way of evacuating villages in preparation for their later destruction. In some such attacks, civilians have been wounded or killed; in others, they fled their homes which were partially destroyed. Later, troops came and completed the destruction.

In a number of cases, Turkish security forces have targeted civilian settlements for serious attack with the intention of causing large numbers of civilian casualties. This is best exemplified by the March 1994 series of Air Force bombing raids on villages in the Şirnak area, in which dozens of civilians were killed and entire villages were destroyed. Other similar cases occurred in 1992 and 1993, however, suggesting that the March 1994 attacks, while remarkable in their scope and intensity, were not isolated events.

Much more information is available in that report, with specific case investigations that show clearly that the Turkish security forces engaged in gross human rights abuses for any variety of excuses, from villages refusing to participate in elections, to refusing to become Village Guards (Korucular), to supporting PKK and sometimes just for the hell of it. All of this is what is starting to happen again to 20 million Kurds under Turkish occupation.

Kurds who rise up against these atrocities are labeled as "terrorists" while the real terrorists walk free with the support of the international community. The real terrorists even have the support of some within the Kurdish community. Let's be honest here, too: If none of these atrocities had happened, and if Kurds had been accepted as equal citizens as Kurds, there would be no need of serhildan or of engaging in legitimate armed struggle. If the international community had used its collective power to end the atrocities and demand the acceptance of Kurds as equal citizens as Kurds, there would be no need for serhildan or armed struggle either.

Who is it that responds to the smallest incident with ferocity? Who are the terrorists?

Well, there's Iran's Hezbollah, for one. They targeted American Marines serving as part of a multi-national peacekeeping force back in 1983, in Beirut, killing over 200 of them. They carried out attacks against French and Italians serving in the same force. They carried out attacks in Argentina. They've kidnapped Westerners, murdering some of them. They hijacked at least one commercial airliner.

HAMAS has engaged in hundreds of suicide bombings in Israel, killing many civilians, for the purpose of completely destroying the "territorial integrity" of Israel--in other words, to wipe it off the map--a goal that HAMAS has in common with Hezbollah.

On the other hand, the big, bad PKK has not targeted Americans or other Westerners, nor does it have the goal of "wiping Turkey off the map," unlike Turkey, which has always had the goal of wiping Kurds off the map. It would be easy to suggest that Turkey got its idea of wiping Kurds off the map from its close and friendly association with organizations like Hezbollah and HAMAS, or its coziness with Syria and Iran, but that wouldn't be true.

Turkey has always had the goal of wiping Kurds off the map. It, and its enablers, are terrorists of the Kurdish people.

So when Mr. Arinc and Mr. Erdogan come along, at the bidding of their pashas, crying about double standards and feigning indignation at Israel's "lack of respect for international law" and "excessive use of military force," don't you believe it. It's just another case of Turkey's double standards.

By the way, check out Bianet's report on growing anti-Israel protests in Turkey. Then imagine if any of those people would even show their faces in a demonstration in support of Kurds in what is supposed to be their own country.

Also check the photo Bianet's running on its English page for this report. See the picture of the Palestinian with face covered? That's now illegal in Turkey under the new anti-terror law. No demonstrators can cover their faces--a law that targets Kurds in particular.

And that brings up another point, these demonstrations are encouraged, if not actually organized by the state, because this kind of activity is also a violation of the new anti-terror law.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


"Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Kurds. Many Victims, one Perpetrator: Turkey"
~ Unknown.

According to news just out on the Daily Times, the US says that Turkey has a right to defend itself:

“Turkey, like every country, has a right and an obligation to defend itself and its people,” the US said in a statement issued by its embassy in Ankara. It followed harsh remarks on Tuesday by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that US support for Israeli offensives against militants in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip while it opposed Turkish action in Kurdish-populated northern Iraq constituted double standards.

If Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself and its people, and if Turkey has the right and obligation to defend itself and its people, then Kurdistan has the right and obligation to defend itself and its people.

This is exactly what HPG does in North Kurdistan and what KDP and PUK do in South Kurdistan. It's very good to see that the US agrees with the Kurdish position. Naturally this agreement is a death warrant for Turkey because it will enter South Kurdistan to face a well-trained and hostile Kurdish gerîla force (HPG), a well-trained and hostile Kurdish conventional/gerîla force (pêşmerge), and a hostile civilian population that has a great familiarity with weapons, isn't afraid to use them, and will certainly volunteer its services to combined Kurdish military forces.

If Kurdish forces are really on the ball, the TSK will find all 1500 of their troops already in South Kurdistan slaughtered. There's nothing like a morale buster right at the very beginning.

Besides, as the Iraqi President, Celal Talabanî, recently reminded us:

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said late Thursday that previous agreements signed between Turkey and Iraq during the Saddam Hussein era on cross-border operations are no longer valid. Talabani, after his meeting with Iraqi Kurdistan region President Massoud Barzani on Thursday, said that the new Iraqi government would not uphold former agreements that allowed Turkey to carry out cross-border operations into Iraqi territory. "The Iraqi government has expressed its unease to the Turkish and Iranian embassies about the cross-border operations," Talabani told reporters.

I guess that means it's time for those Turkish troops deployed in South Kurdistan to go--one way or the other.

Again, from the Daily Times:

“Terrorism is terrorism everywhere,” Erdogan said.

So very true, even when it's invited to Ankara, as HAMAS was not long ago. That, of course, makes Turkey a state-sponsor of terror because it is widely known that HAMAS is listed as a terrorist organization by the US and the EU. A natural progression, I suppose, because the Ankara regime has been a domestic terrorist organization since 1923. With all that, maybe someone can explain the double-standard argument that Erdogan seems to be crying about.

Since the Ankara regime has no problem inviting terrorist leaders for visits, and since the Ankara regime has no problem engaging in terrorism against the Kurdish people within its borders, perhaps it should be seriously questioned on its relationship with Iran vis-a-vis the recent flare-up in Lebanon. Noted too is the Ankara regime's reluctance to pressure Syria to end its support to Hezbollah.

But then, Syria is home to Khaled Mashaal, isn't it?

Turkey disagreed with the US ambassador to Turkey when he said that an invasion of the South would be "unwise," but if the Turks are that eager to give their lives for the glorious Turkish nation, let them come. I would not be surprised if Iraqi National Guard units in South Kurdistan (mainly Kurdish) would be deployed against the Turkish aggressor as well.

TSK's last message to Ankara before it begins its pre-invasion radio silence should be a reminder to keep the body bags coming.