Monday, April 30, 2007


"Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda."
~ Hannah Arendt.

Okay, now it's time to get serious. The domestic battle between AKP and the Turkish military is now scraping the bottom line, threatening to wreak havoc on Turkey's economy, so Erdogan had to make an evening appeal to "unity," from the TimesOnline:

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, has appealed for national unity in a television address tonight. The speech was recorded on Saturday, a day after the army threatened to intervene in the presidential poll process.

The Turkish stock market plunged 8 per cent this morning and the Turkish lira lost 4 per cent of its value in response to the political tensions gripping the country.

[ . . . ]

In his televised address to the nation, Mr Erdogan said: “Unity, togetherness, solidarity, these are the things we need most. We can overcome many problems so long as we treat each other with love”. He made no direct reference to the political standoff, but said: “Turkey is growing and developing very fast ... We must protect this atmosphere of stability and tranquility,” . . .

A few points . . . First of all, to speak of "friends" or "friendship" in the context of politics is to display one's naivete because there are no "friends" or "friendship" in politics. Secondly, to speak of "love" in the context of politics is to show just what a genuine jackass you truly are.

Here's looking at you, Kerdogan.

Thirdly, what "atmosphere of stability and tranquility" could Erdogan possibly be refering to? In Turkey, both stability and tranquility resemble democracy in the fact that neither exist. I can't help but think that this hyper-emotional appeal on Erdogan's part is a sign of the level of desperation to which he's succumbed. After all, it's got to be pretty scary when the Turkish General Staff is able to muster hundreds of thousands of demonstrators against your candidate . . . and that's what this is really all about, isn't it? It has as much to do with democracy as a tapeworm has to do with democracy.

The NY Times wants to pin the blame for all this on the lifestyles of the poor and religious, which is interesting because the AKP does enjoy the support of most people in Anatolia. Remember the 2003 parliamentary decision which kept the US from entering Iraq along a northern front? That was probably the first time that anything resembling a democratic decision was ever made in Turkey, and the US administration, great democracy that it is, certainly didn't like that, did it?

Britain's The Independent has a pretty good rundown on the situation. The European Parliament is issuing yet another warning to Turkey in the face of the crisis. HO-HUM. This is all the EP is good for; why am I not surprised? Der Speigel is engaged in hand-wringing over the fact that Turkey may be blowing it's EU chance with the threat of another coup, and they give a rundown of the opinions of the major German papers. I don't quite get Der Speigel's angle, though; I mean stuff like this never bothered anyone in the past.

Funny, the US appears to be staying out of things for the moment.

Over at Xymphora, via Lukery's place there are a couple of posts related to the situation in Turkey. On today's post, I agree with Xymphora's statement that the recent demonstrations in Turkey are "purported" pro-democracy demonstrations. Remember, there is no democracy in Turkey. But it's correct, too, that these demonstrations are pro-Paşa and nothing more.

In fact, I would not be surprised if the Paşas encouraged these demonstrations, just as they encouraged the pro-democracy, pro-secular demonstrations in the wake of the Council of State attack last may. Does anyone remember Hilmi Ozkok calling for those demonstrations? It's ridiculous; I mean, here's the Turkish military which pretends to be the sole defender of the Turkish state, and they're calling on the people to defend them.

I guess that goes along with the fact that the current constitution is a legal fraud in which the state is protected from the people. It's also a legal fraud because the writing of said constitution was overseen by Paşas.

However, there is a murky area that Xymphora fails to realize here, as well as in the Saturday post, and that is the implied, simple, black-and-white implication that the Paşas are actually secularist. Who was it that brought about Turkish-Islamic Synthesis? That synthesis never would have come about without the permission of the military and, in fact, it didn't.

The Paşas have an attitude that's best expressed as follows: "If there will be Communism in Turkey, WE will bring the Communism." Same thing with Islamism. Same thing with anarchism. Same thing with Presbyterianism. It doesn't matter; it's all about internal political control of Turkey itself. And that is where it comes to the real point, protection of the ruling (military--always) elite.

It seems that Xymphora makes a contradiction between this post and Saturday's, by the fact that the Saturday post states: "The 1996 Susurluk car crash is ancient history," whereas in today's post there is the following statement:

". . . but the real point is to protect the establishment/military/"deep state"/Zionist/organized crime interests that have been running Turkey for so many years."

Okay, so for how many years exactly? Since 1996? Then how is Susurluk ancient history? Also, since Mehmet Agar is running as a DYP candidate and has been shooting off his mouth right and left for the last several months, AND since he was the Interior Minister (in charge of the national police at the time of Susurluk), AND since very few have spoken, or written, about the fact that his gû still stinks from Susurluk, how is Susurluk ancient history?

Since, after the Council of State attack last May, the head of the parliamentary commission that investigated Susurluk--Fikri Saglar--as well as former IHD head Akin Birdal both stated that the Susurluk scandal needed to be cleared up, brought out into the open and, basically, exorcised, if anyone ever hoped to see democracy in Turkey? See Bianet for more.

(Trivia: Akin Birdal (ethnic Turk) underwent a very serious assassination attempt by a member of the Susurluk clique, the notorious assassin "Yeşil" for his work with IHD. So when Birdal says stuff about the Susurluk clique, he knows what kind of danger he faces.)

Notice that the Bianet article references Veli Kucuk? Name ring a bell? He was named as making threats to Hrant Dink during one of Dink's trials and Dink's whole family knew what that meant. Then Kucuk was linked to Alparslan Arslan--the shooter at the Council of State--as well as to the handlers of Dink's murderer, Ogun Samast.

In other words, Susurluk is far from ancient history.

AKP itself is far from clean, and in the Kurdish context, it's not much better than the Turkish General Staff. AKP has it's own people in the ATC, the most interesting of which is Cuneyt Zapsu, someone very close to Erdogan. Erdogan got himself in a bit of trouble a number of years ago, for reciting an inflammatory Islamist poem in public, and he went to prison for it. Then he comes out of nowhere and becomes the prime minister? Interesting? Well, there's someone behind that too, someone with a worldwide network of his own--Fethullah Gulen.

It would appear that Gulen has his own moles in the Turkish general staff, as well as people in the US that are involved in the battle.

As to Xymphora's mention of the "Kurdish problem in Iraq," is that the same as the "Kurdish problem in Turkey," as in "the problem of Kurdish existence?" To my knowledge, there is no Kurdish problem anywhere; rather, there are Iraqi problems, Turkish problems, American problems, Israeli problems, etc., but no "Kurdish problems."

On the whole, however, it's good to see that a non-Kurd is trying to take a serious look at a serious situation, instead of simply regurgitating the "official" story.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


"Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's 'St. Matthew's Passion' on a ukulele."
~ Ben Bagdikian.

For your Sunday evening reading, I'm going to point out a few items I've noticed from the past week and have not had the chance to write about due to the death of my hard drive. The good news about that is that it finally prodded me into changing operating systems. I'm now using the Linux Kubuntu OS and it is sweet.

I figured that since the nice people at Ubuntu went all the way to Turkish-occupied Kurdistan to do a demo of the Kurdish-language version of their distro for Abdullah Demirbas, then it had to be the only distro for me. There's even a Kurdish-language Ubuntu page. Cool. For information on the very friendly, and now very feisty, Kubuntu, see this page.

Please note that there's a new blog out about human rights in Turkey, Hasankeyf, Kurdish rights, and American involvement in the whole mess, at Insulting Turkishness, a name that seems to target the stupidity of the infamous Article 301 of the Turkish penal code.

There's also a not-to-be-missed discussion of the Ilisu Dam fiasco by Goran at Zanetî.

Early last week, The Guardian published an article by Naomi Wolf in which she described how America was turning into a fascist state. The PATRIOT Act and the Military Commissions Act are two of the more well-known pieces of legislation that serve as signposts to the place America is headed. There was another piece of legislation that kinda slipped under the radar, called the Defense Authorization Act. There's something on that at The American Conservative. The bottom line on the DFA is that the president can declare martial law at any time he takes a fancy to do so.

While Naomi Wolf does a pretty good job of outlining the ten steps of the slippery slope into fascism on which we're all sliding, Lenin, over at Lenin's Tomb notes something that I've been trying to point out for some time: The Democrats are no different than the Republicans. As Lenin says:

Naomi Wolf, a Clintonite feminist, on Bush's ten steps toward fascism. I don't doubt the existence of fascist potencies in the United States, but to speak of it as a clear and present danger is misleading, to put it blandly. If you ask me, it's part of this 'Anyone But Bush' politics that is destroying the American left and drawing the antiwar movement into the frigid Democratic Party graveyard. The politics of, Howard Dean's fan club, and such alignments, are to divert mass disaffection with Bush's wars into the mainstream of the Democratic Party. Wolf rightly criticises Bush's openly repressive measures, including the Patriot Act. However, there is no mention Democratic complicity.

Well said, comrade. In a related item, you can read how illegal immigration to the US is being used to reinforce the Department of Homeland Security police state:

The programs described above, combined with two recent changes in US law, make the reality of a full police-state in the US increasingly more feasible. The Military Commissions Act, signed in October of 2006, suspends habeas corpus rights for any person deemed by the president to be an enemy combatant. Persons so designated could be imprisoned indefinitely without rights to legal counsel or a trial. And the Defense Authorization Act of 2007 allows the president to station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities. By revising the two-century-old Insurrection Act, the law, in effect, repeals the Posse Comitatus Act and gives the US government the legal authority to order the military onto the streets anywhere in America.

Threats of terrorism and illegal immigrants are being used to justify the implementation of police-state programs. But once started, enforcement can be rapidly deployed to any group of people in the US, and we all become endangered. Mass arrests, big brother in the sky and the loss of civil rights for everyone does not bode well for those who believe in democracy, free speech and the right to critically challenge our government without fear of reprisals.

Does anyone remember the Harrisonburg Kurds? Well, I finally figured out what they're called; they're called "terror trophies," and it looks like another US Attorney has been collecting his own "terror trophies" in New York state, but he's starting to come under attack for his poaching:

A small but increasingly vocal group of protesters is charging that a United States attorney in northern New York has pursued a series of terror-related "political prosecutions" to enhance his reputation as "a loyal Bushie" and thus avoid the fate of eight of his colleagues recently fired by Alberto Gonzales's Department of Justice.

[ . . . ]

Citizen pushback against overzealous prosecutors appears to be on the rise. It comes at a time when the controversy over the firings of US attorneys has become a contentious political issue that threatens to trigger the early departure of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The DOJ's credibility has been further damaged by accounts of increasing departures of DOJ lawyers.

Maybe people are starting to wake up to the fact that they are sliding fast down that slippery slope . . . but I won't hold my breathe.

By coincidence, another Naomi left a free comment, also at The Guardian, but this Naomi is the Klein variety and her beef is with the World Bank and Wolfowitz:

The more serious lie at the centre of the [Wolfowitz-Riza] controversy is the implication that the World Bank was an institution that had impeccable ethical credentials - until, according to 42 former World Bank executives, its credibility was "fatally compromised" by Wolfowitz. (Many American liberals have seized on this fairytale, addicted to the fleeting rush that comes from forcing neocons to resign.)

The truth is that the bank's credibility was fatally compromised when it forced school fees on students in Ghana in exchange for a loan; when it demanded that Tanzania privatise its water system; when it made telecom privatisation a condition of aid for Hurricane Mitch; when it demanded labour "flexibility" in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami; when it pushed for eliminating food subsidies in post-invasion Iraq. Ecuadoreans care little about Wolfowitz's girlfriend; more pressing is that in 2005 the World Bank withheld a promised $100m after the country dared to spend a portion of its oil revenues on health and education. Some anti-poverty organisation.

[ . . . ]

Perhaps we should all laugh at the World Bank. What we should absolutely not do, however, is participate in the effort to cleanse the bank's ruinous history by repeating the absurd narrative that the reputation of an otherwise laudable anti-poverty organisation has been sullied by one man. The bank understandably wants to throw Wolfowitz overboard. I say: let the ship go down with the captain.

You go, girl.

Last Thursday, I posted something about the media and democracy, from an interview with American journalist Bill Moyers. It seems like the topic is suddenly sprouting up all over the Internet since then. The LA Times has an op/ed on the subject by another American journalist, this one working in the UK:

Again and again, I see this pattern repeated. Until there is some official investigation or allegation made by a politician, there is no story.

Or sometimes the media like to cover the controversy, not the substance, preferring an ambiguous and unsatisfying "he said, she said" report. Safe reporting, but not investigative.

I know some of the reasons why investigative reporting is on the decline. To begin with, investigations take time and money. A producer from "60 Minutes," watching my team's work on another voter purge list, said: "My God! You'd have to make hundreds of calls to make this case." In America's cash-short, instant-deadline world, there's not much room for that.

[ . . . ]

One of the biggest disincentives to doing investigative journalism is that it jeopardizes future access to politicians and corporate elite. During the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby trial, the testimony of Judith Miller and other U.S. journalists about the confidences they were willing to keep in order to maintain access seemed to me sadly illuminating.

Expose the critters and the door is slammed. That's not a price many American journalists are willing to pay.

Exactly what I found out while pushing the Ralston conflict of interest facts, and something that people like Sibel Edmonds have found out, too.

Another item from the Journalism Department comes from Yahoo News describes how international journalists are becoming more anti-American--and this at a State Department conference on journalism:

The audience then asked questions of the panel. Many were hostile in tone. One journalist from Dubai asked, "Is it not a scandal for one country to invade another country?" Woodward answered that it was a legal war approved by Congress.

A young reporter from a former Soviet state asked, "How can the United States support authoritarian regimes who forbid any form of free press or democracy in their country." The panelists agreed that American foreign policy since 9/11 has become very hypocritical.

[ . . . ]

At lunch, I sat with several Moslem journalists from Pakistan, Sudan, Sri Lanka and India. They were all critical of the US and told me that they had great respect for Voice of America and the BBC but can't stand America's foreign policy and they no longer respect the American press. They favor Obama for President because he studied in a Moslem school and understands their culture. They all dislike President George Bush.

[ . . . ]

The audience was very angry with the American government policy toward the Middle East and toward foreign journalists. The audience criticized US reporters living abroad, not getting the real story and digging enough. Seib made an impassioned defense of American foreign correspondents and the risks they take to get a story and mentioned his close friend, Daniel Pearl.

[ . . . ]

It was an interesting day and there has clearly been a shift in attitude toward the United States and the American journalists by the foreign press. It's not just the Bush White House that overseas reporters are critical of but the whole American press corps for not being tougher and more critical of the Administration. We must remember these 187 young journalists were nominated for the Edward R. Murrow Fellowships by the local US Ambassador. I would assume that they are more pro-American than some other local reporters who were not nominated.

Last Wednesday, Blogian had a very interesting post about how a mass grave of some 200 Armenians had been tampered with by Turkish authorities. Apparently, the grave had been discovered by local Kurds in a village near Nisêbin in 2006. I won't spoil the rest of the story; go ahead and read the whole thing at Blogian.

Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that the latest round of harassment against DTP mayors has to do with their call for independent medical examinations of Abdullah Ocalan, in the wake of the hair sample analyses that were conducted in Europe:

A Turkish prosecutor is investigating whether 54 Kurdish mayors broke the law by claiming last month that rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan was being poisoned in his prison cell, the government-run Anatolia news agency reported Saturday.

Last month, mayors belonging to the Kurdish Democratic Society Party asked for an independent group of doctors to examine Ocalan to establish whether he was being poisoned. Turkish authorities said tests on Ocalan showed no signs that he was being poisoned and called the allegations "complete lies."

Of course, the "tests" referred to were conducted by the Turkish government and not by an independent medical team, so we can take the state-sponsored "tests" to be more state-sponsored bullshit. That, along with the continued harassment of DTP politicians, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And remember--these same 54 DTP mayors are still on trial for sending a letter to Danish PM Rasmussen on behalf of RojTV.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


"Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
Ill be watching you"
~ The Police, Every Breathe You Take.

Below is a link to a shortened version of the video, Kill The Messenger, about the Sibel Edmonds case. This is a short version, running 52 minutes . . . BUT until we see this aired in the US, we will content ourselves with that which is available on the Internet.

Get something to drink, get a snack, click on the video, sit back and enjoy.

One part of the video makes me think of something though, when it mentions that Turkey used Israeli supporters in the US to gain $12 billion in military hardware during the 1990s, and then Turkey opened Turkish airspace to Israeli military aircraft . . . I wonder how many Israelis were actually bombing Kurds instead of Turks bombing Kurds? I wonder how many Israelis were actually bombing South Kurdistan under the "safe haven?"

After all, what's a few thousand dead Kurds among friends?

For more on KTM, check Lukery's other blog and, of course, more backgrounder on the video from Sibel's site.

There's something on the Islamist government of Turkey attempting to strike back at their rulers, the Paşas, from the Financial Times:

Senior ministers held an unplanned meeting hours after an unusually tough statement by the Turkish general staff that has thrown the constitutional process of choosing a new president into disarray.

The statement suggested the military was ready to intervene more directly in the political process to “defend secularism”, stirring memories of the ousting of an Islamist government in 1997.

[ . . ]

Cemil Cicek, justice minister and spokesman for the government, said the military’s announcement was an attempt to influence a constitutional court hearing on the vote in the coming days.

Once again, inquiring minds wanna know if the Paşas are going to be charged under Article 288 for their attempt to influence the court. If you ask me Cicek is full of hot air; the Paşas have more battalions than Cicek does.

For those of you who missed what the Turkish military had to say, the following should sum it up:

“The problem that has recently stood out in the presidential election process has focused on the issue of questioning secularism. The Turkish armed forces are following this with concern,” the general staff said in a statement late in the evening.

[ . . . ]

“It should not be forgotten that the Turkish armed forces are a side in this debate and are a staunch defender of secularism.

“The Turkish armed forces are against those debates... and will display their position and attitudes when it becomes necessary. No one should doubt that,” the statement said.

Don't you just love election years?

Thursday, April 26, 2007


"What encourages me is the Internet. Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it's time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself."
~ Bill Moyers.

There's a fabulous, must-read interview with the American journalist, Bill Moyers, with The Christian Century, carried on Truthout, on the media and democracy.

Here's a teaser, on Moyers' assessment of the state of the media in the US today:

Unfortunately, a few huge corporations now dominate the media landscape. And the news business is at war with journalism. Virtually everything the average person sees or hears outside of her own personal communications is determined by the interests of private, unaccountable executives and investors whose primary goal is increasing profits and raising the company's share price. One of the best newspaper groups, Knight Ridder - whose reporters were on to the truth about Iraq early on - was recently sold and broken up because a tiny handful of investors wanted more per share than they were getting.

Almost all the networks carried by most cable systems are owned by one of the major media conglomerates. Two-thirds of today's newspaper markets are monopolies, and they're dumbing down. As ownership gets more and more concentrated, fewer and fewer independent sources of information have survived in the marketplace. And those few significant alternatives that do survive, such as PBS and NPR, are under growing financial and political pressure to reduce critical news content.

Just the other day the major morning broadcast devoted long segments to analyzing why Britney Spears shaved her head, and the death of Anna Nicole Smith got more attention than the Americans or Iraqis killed in Baghdad that week. The next time you're at a newsstand, look at the celebrities staring back at you. In-depth coverage on anything, let alone the bleak facts of power and powerlessness that shape the lives of ordinary people, is as scarce as sex, violence and voyeurism are pervasive.

At the same time we have seen the rise of an ideological partisan press that is contemptuous of reality, serves up right-wing propaganda as fact, and attempts to demonize anyone who says otherwise. Its embodiment is Rush Limbaugh. Millions heard him take journalists to task for their reporting on the torture at Abu Ghraib, which he attempted to dismiss as a little necessary sport for soldiers under stress. He said: "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation. . . . You ever heard of people [who] need to blow some steam off?"

So we can't make the case today that the dominant institutions of the press are guardians of democracy. They actually work to keep reality from us, whether it's the truth of money in politics, the social costs of "free trade," growing inequality, the resegregation of our public schools, or the devastating onward march of environmental deregulation. It's as if we are living on a huge plantation in a story told by the boss man.

What encourages me is the Internet. Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it's time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself. The greatest challenge to the conglomeration of the media giants and the malevolent mentality of the partisan press is the innovation and expression made possible by the digital revolution. I'm also buoyed by the beginnings of a movement across the country of people who are fighting to keep mammoth corporations from controlling access to the Internet as they managed to control radio, then television, then cable. To find out more about this, go to or

Exactly. Brilliant. Sayonara, goat-smelling, egg-sucking mainstream media; you're history.

Read the rest.

For those of you who are concerned about the situation of Kurdish women in Kurdistan, check out the article from the hevals at KurdishInfo on the recent stoning of a teenaged Êzidî girl in Mûsil. Video of this atrocity is available at, while another video is on Youtube.

That's just one more reason to hope for the spread of the women's activist work that PKK is engaged in.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


"I am deeply concerned about the devastating impact the controversial Ilisu dam would have on the lives of tens of thousands of people and about the irreversible loss of an invaluable cultural heritage in the Tigris valley. Allowing the Ilisu dam to go ahead will be a crime against the fundamental human rights of the people in this region and against our common cultural heritage."
~ Bianca Jagger.

Last Monday, I mentioned the following:

Hey, do you think if the US coughed up those Iranians it kidnapped in Hewlêr that Iran might cough up the American ex-FBI guy that went missing from Kish Island?

Surprise, surprise, surprise! There was an interesting development today, from McClatchy Newspapers:

The United States has quietly increased its back-channel diplomatic contacts with Iran, a sign that those who favor engagement have strengthened their hand in the administration, U.S. officials say.

Using Switzerland as an intermediary, American and Iranian officials have exchanged diplomatic messages on a variety of nuts-and-bolts subjects, including the fate of an American citizen missing in Iran, the future of five Iranian operatives whom American forces seized in Iraq, and old financial and property disputes.

I wonder . . . given the administration's rhetoric, could this exchange of diplomatic messages be construed as negotiating with terrorists? As we all know, the US never negotiates with terrorists, right?

I don't suppose that point about "property disputes" has anything to do with offshore boundaries that the UK may have been in violation of?

There was something else on this, on Tuesday:

Diplomats fear the case could mark a new twist in apparent tit-for-tat detentions involving the US, Britain and Iran, which began with the detention by US forces in Iraq of five Iranians in January and the capture of 15 British sailors by Iran who were freed earlier this month.

The US had to realize that when it seized those Iranians in Hewlêr in January, that it was provoking a reaction because there was no other purpose for the seizure. Additionally, the seizure created a difficult climate between Iraq and Iran, as if Iraq had no other problems to deal with right now. Bottom line? It was a stupid thing to do.

Speaking of Iraq, there's a new press release on Ilisu from KHRP:

Iraq's Minister of Water, Dr Latif Rashid, has strenuously denied giving Iraq's blessing to the controversial Ilisu Dam, which Turkey plans to build on the Tigris River [1].

The Minister's denial contradicts previous assurances by Turkey and the Governments of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, whose Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) approved funding for the dam in March 2007 [2], on the basis that Iraq had no objections to the dam.

If built, the dam could severely impact on downstream flows of the Tigris, which could be reduced to a trickle in summer months [3]. Turkey has failed to guarantee a minimum downstream flow to Iraq and Syria [4].

Although the ECAs made funding conditional on Turkey first supplying Iraq with the information it sought on the project, the Minister told a joint Kurdish Human Rights Project - Corner House fact-finding mission [5] that key information had still to be provided.

"The ECAs have breached their own conditions", says Nicholas Hildyard, who interviewed Iraq's Minister of Water. "Iraq made known its objections at the highest level. The ECAs appear to have ignored them."

How typical of greedmongers.

Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria have lied about the conditions required to move forward on the Ilisu Dam project, which is nothing more than an exploitation scheme that will result in further state-sponsored destruction of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan and the indigenous culture of the region. Moreover, this is another indication of the regard with which the EU holds the Kurdish people, Kurdish culture, and Kurdish rights, as well as those of the other ethnic groups of the area and those in Iraq.

The entire KHRP-Corner House report on this latest development and its downstream impact on Iraq can be accessed in this .pdf document.

More backgrounder on the Ilisu issue can be read on Rastî from last August and October.

In other news, the UN has released a report today which criticizes the KRG for lack of public services, government corruption, honor murders, detention of prisoners, and arrests and harassment against journalists.

I have no idea what Dindar Zebarî means when he says that "legal procedures are followed against some who overstep the standards of the journalism profession." How did the journalists in question "overstep the standards of the journalism profession?" Did they publish "state secrets?" Or is Zebarî more likely referring to the fact that the journalists simply wrote articles critical of the problems in South Kurdistan? Or maybe the KRG subscribes to the argument that since journalists are not elected, they have no business speaking at all, such as what happened in Sweden recently:

A Kurdistan Democratic Party official attacked a speaker of CHAK in the Swedish city of The Gothenburg, reported Awene, a Kurdish online Monday.

While Rafat Halabajayy, according to Awene, was giving his speech on behalf of the organisation on the anniversary of gassing Kurdish population of Halaja, the representative of KDP, led by Massud Barzani, interfered and disturbed the meeting, telling Mr Halabjayy that he does not represent the people; hence he has no right to talk.

Attacks on Kurdish intellectuals and scholars aboard by the PUK and KDP are not unusual. Two years ago Dr Burhan Yasin, a Kurdish scholar and thinker, was verbally abused by a number of KDP representatives in Germany while he was giving his assessment of the situation of Kurdistan. He was told by the KDP members that he is not allowed to talk. Dr Yasin is a well-respected scholar and he was invited by the organiser to give a paper in the conference.

CHAK is very critical of the corruption of the Kurdish administration of the PUK and KDP. CHAK is an international Kurdish organisation pursing the rights of victims of Anfal and fights corruption in Kurdistan.

While the KDP and PUK can control independent organisations in Kurdistan, diaspora organisations have become a challenged for them.

It's time for the KRG to grow up and get over the fascist inclination. Otherwise, the only thing we'll have in South Kurdistan is Turkey v.2.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


"During interviews Landmine Monitor conducted with people living in the Diyarbakır and Mardin provinces of the region of southeastern Anatolia, they said they had the impression that security forces sometimes purposefully leave unexploded debris in areas endangering civilians."
~ Landmine Monitor, 2006 Report, Turkey.

Abdullah Gul has been selected by AKP to compete for the Turkish presidency this year, and to hear the NYTimes tell it, you'd think the biggest problems facing the TC were non-segregated swimming pools. But what a fantastic legacy for AKP, eh?

Then there's Reuters, which tries to sell an Islamist as a "reformist." Well, at least it's an original idea.

Unexploded TSK ordnance in Şirnex killed one child and injured three others (two of which were also children). Bianet notes that local media failed to mention Turkey's status as signatory to the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty, its obligations under the treaty, as well as local media's failure to take a critical approach in covering the incident in Şirnex.

What a shock.

There's more on that subject from Landmine Monitor's 2006 report on Turkey. Back in 2005, AKP cooked up a rather unconventional scheme to demine "The Southeast," as described by Reuters last month:

To clear explosives in heavily mined areas of the South and Southeast, Turkey's Finance Ministry has opened two tenders since 2005. Both were part of an effort to conform to the Ottowa Convention which gave signatories like Turkey 10 years to de-mine its interiors.

But both tenders were called off.

While most de-mining contracts are based on cash payments for land cleared, the Turkish ones were set up so the winning bidder would win the right to establish an organic farm on the cleaned land for 49 years after clearing it, in a kind of 'rehabilitate and operate' system.

"The government is trying to get the land cleared without spending any money," said de-mining consultant Ali Koknar, who heads Washington-based AMK Risk Management.

"The winning bid has to agree to farm the land for 49 years. That's not the way the de-mining industry works," he said.

No kidding.

But there were also problems with the real ruling elite, the Paşas:

In 2003, Turkey pledged to clear the land of mines, in a process to be completed by 2014. However the mine clearance business has turned into another controversial issue, since the question of how the land will be used after being cleared led to fierce debate between the government and the opposition. The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party government launched a tender, but then it was canceled since the TSK said it has both capacity and means to clear the border of mines.

TSK may have the "capacity and means" to clear mines from the "border," but it doesn't have the will. And if it doesn't have the will to clear mines from the border, it certainly doesn't have the will to clear them from Kurdish lands. Although a 1998 directive from the Turkish General Staff forbade the use of landmines, there was a report from FIDH that as late as 2003, TSK was laying more landmines along the border with South Kurdistan. Naturally the TSK failed to inform the local population of these new minefields because they weren't supposed to be laying them, according to the Genelkurmay Baskanligi.

So much for reform; so much for substance. It's all about image. For the sake of the image of the TC, Kurdish kids will continue to be blown to bits.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


"We do not need U.S. presidents to tell us where our homeland is. And even if they try to do so, we should not subordinate our better judgement to their economic, strategic or political agenda."
~ Monte Melkonian, Armenian freedom-fighter.

Okay, there's a lot of ground to cover today, so let's get to it.

First, there's a post at DozaMe about the US Treasury Deparment, Office of Foreign Asset Control's (OFAC) expansion into the censorship business.

What is interesting is the fact that the US Treasury Department's OFAC is supposed to do just that--control assets, i.e. money, finances, trade sanctions. Here's their mission statement (Note: I'm not going to link to the site, but whoever wants to, can google "OFAC" and it should come up as the first return, then check their mission statement):

Our Mission

The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. OFAC acts under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze foreign assets under US jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments.

I don't see anything in that mission statement that has anything whatsoever to do with First Amendment rights meddling. For those who don't know, here's the First Amendment to the US Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Specifically, free speech and free press rights are central to the mission of the sites listed at DozaMe as targeted by the OFAC. OFAC is, therefore, going outside of its mandate by meddling in questions of First Amendment rights, but I guess that acting "under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers," i.e. DICTATORIAL powers is consistent with the problem of rising global fascism.

Since Yahoo is now being sued by a court in San Francisco for handing over information to China that led to the arrest, torture, and imprisonment of cyber-dissidents there, it looks like the civil rights types are the only ones left to mount a defense of free expression. The organization bringing that suit is The World Organization for Human Rights USA. Then there is the Center for Consitutional Rights which brought the lawsuit against the PATRIOT Act on behalf of LTTE and PKK.

Until the legal machinery can get a handle on these violations of civil rights, I would expect more of the same from the fascist elites, particularly in the US and in Turkey, as well as from their wimpy, limp-wristed, panty-waisted proxy, the EU.

Then, there were several articles in American media this last week that focused on Kurds, the first of which is Justin Raimondo's critique of Christopher Hitchins' recent propaganda. Who would have thought that Raimondo would take the ultra-neoconservative point of view, aligning himself with the swill from the AEI's uberfascist, Michael Rubin? But this is what Raimondo does, in between hand-wringing over the "horrific persecution of Kamal Said Qadir" and the recent KDP attacks against journalist Nabaz Goran.

Now, I personally know of very few Kurds who supported KDP in its stupidity over the Qadir Affair, but was it "horrific persecution?" Yesterday I posted a number of examples from Peace in Kurdistan Campaign on the situation of Ragip Zarakoglu, Belge Publishing House, and Ozgur Gundem, and as we all know, these examples are a miniscule drop in the bucket compared to the truly horrific attacks against free expression rights for which America's ally, Turkey, is extremely well-known for. And on this score, I rush to point out that Michael Rubin has never, in his entire career as a professional propagandist, ever pointed out even the slightest minutiae of the slightest repression of Kurds by the Ankara regime. And that's a characteristic that Raimondo shares.

Aside from the fact that Raimondo ignores the plight of the ordinary Kurd in South Kurdistan who is struggling simply to survive, the lack of basic services in the face of "Dream Cities" and the construction of shopping malls for the elites, the huge number of Arab families that have fled the violence of Arab Iraq and have found a relative haven in South Kurdistan, or the numbers of Kurdish youth that are attempting to flee South Kurdistan because they feel they have no future there . . . aside from the fact that Raimondo ignores these examples and others, he conveniently leaves out the fact that there is great discontent among the general population and, because he prefers to view Kurds as two-dimensional, non-human, extras in a Hollywood-style fiasco manufactured by the American war industry, he overlooks one central fact of Kurdish history--Serhildan.

As an aside, but only because it's such bullshit--Raimondo sheds crocodile tears for Arabs leaving Kerkuk as Kurds "swarm" into the city, but he conveniently ignores the fact that thousands of Kurdish families were forced out by America's former best ally in the region, Saddam Hussein. By the way, if you'd like to hear a fabulous discussion of Donald Rumsfeld and how well he got along with Saddam and the Ba'athi regime, check out the two-part interview with Andrew Cockburn at Stress. Part 1 is almost an hour and Part 2 is slightly over 40 minutes.

Keeping in character with his apparent doppelganger at AEI, Raimondo characterizes PKK and the legitimate Kurdish armed struggle in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan as "terrorism." Let's cut to the chase, shall we? If Americans had to suffer forced evacuations of their small towns and the destruction of their homes; if they had to suffer real violations of their freedom of expression or freedom of association; if they had to suffer routine torture and impunity at the hands of security forces; if their mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces, and other female relatives were routinely raped and otherwise sexually assaulted, do you think they'd fight back? Or do you think they'd "acquiesce" in their treatment like their good sidekick Tony Blair would counsel?

If Americans armed themselves and conducted a legitimate armed resistance against such state-sponsored atrocities, then Americans themselves would be classified as terrorists, by their own definition, just as PKK is classified as "terrorist." Oh, did I forget to mention that all of the atrocities perpetrated against the so-called terrorists of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan were backed by the US?

So that brings me to Raimondo's claim that "One of Kurdistan's chief exports is terrorism." Wrong. This is America's chief export. The US has exported terrorism to Indonesia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, Vietnam, Colombia, Afghanistan, now Iraq, and, of course, Kurdistan, as brilliantly documented by Desmond Fernandes as far back as 2001 and more recently. This is on top of the tons of documents on Turkey's brutal repression of Kurds by human rights organizations, or Ismet Imset's analysis of PKK's legitimacy vis-a-vis armed struggle, or even John Tirman's book Spoils of War, to mention a few sources.

Should I even mention Raimondo's reference to Seymour Hersh's unsubstantiated claims about US support for PJAK? Whoever wants more on that can search Rastî for "PJAK."

At the end of Raimondo's self-serving rant is the mention of "romanticization" of Kurds (from Hitchens), which goes back to the whole two-dimensional, non-human view of Kurds and what is ironic about that characterization is that when a Kurd steps out of Western-imposed two-dimensionality and faces the enemies of Kurdistan on his or her feet with AK-47 in hand, that real-life, warm-blooded, very human Kurd becomes a "terrorist."

The second article from last week comes from David Ignatius on Lebanon's Daily Star. Bearing in mind that all the previous argument for legitimate armed resistance applies here, too, at least Ignatius makes the statement that Turkey "denounce[s] the PKK as a terrorist group . . . "

But . . . then he goes on to mention the role of that great humanitarian of our time, Lockheed Martin's Joseph Ralston, and how he's struggling to "defuse the crisis, clear[ing] a Kurdish refugee camp of suspected PKK members and talk[ing] regularly with both sides."

If Lockheed Martin's director was really so hot to "defuse the crisis," why didn't he take advantage of the PKK's offer of a democratic solution last August (when Ralston was appointed) or why did he reject PKK's fifth unilateral ceasefire out of hand and remove any kind of political negotiation from the solution table? Why? Well, because Ralston has been too busy reinforcing the business agenda of Lockheed Martin to keep all that blood money rolling in to Lockheed's management. This is Ralston's real job, since he is a vice-chairman of The Cohen Group, a lobbyist for Lockheed Martin, and Ralston himself was registered with the US Senate last year as a lobbyist for The Cohen Group to specifically export tactical fighter aircraft, something which Turkey has since agreed to, to the tune of $13 billion.

What about this reference to Maxmur Camp as needing to be cleared of "PKK members?" I guess Ignatius missed the fact that the US military and the UN established the civilian nature of the camp, not even finding weapons suitable for PKK's legitimate armed resistance against the US-backed terrorist regime in Ankara. I guess Ignatius also missed that Ralston presented himself to Congress and proceeded to lie out of his ass to Congress. I guess Ignatius further missed the fact that the Turkish media wondered why Ralston was lying out of his ass.

Ignatius must subscribe to the American saying: If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit.

Finally, there was an article by Hersh-wannabe, Reese Erlich, on PJAK. Erlich was mentioned here earlier this month, but now he tries to be amusing by pointing out the fact that PJAK's armed female gerîlas like American actors like girly-faced Brad Pitt and Mr. Alcoholics Anonymous himself, Mel Gibson. While I cannot account for the personal tastes of the gerîlas, I do wonder why this is an issue? Then my mind goes back to the two-dimensionality that gets applied to the Kurdish people and the extreme parochialism of Westerners. If movies are stories translated to the big screen, then why should Kurds not be familiar with movies or watch them? Why shouldn't Kurdish gerîlas watch them? After all, Kurds love a good story and story-telling done well.

By the way, Erlich acknowledges that the Washington regime permits Komala and KDPI "to operate openly in northern Iraq," while admitting of no American influence in PKK's/PJAK's camps. He also mentions that both Komala and KDPI have been to Washington last year for meetings. Neither PKK, nor its sister organization, PJAK, has done so.

In addition, the Erlich article brings up another subject that all the enemies of Kurdistan love to talk about, and that's the celibacy of PKK's gerîlas. What do all these enemies prefer, that PKK's gerîlas behave in the barbarous manner of American forces? Would they prefer that the crime of rape be a usual feature of gerîla life as it is for the lives of American soldiers? That fact of American military life was noted here on Rastî last Monday.

In this case, I will presume to speak for the gerîlas and say "No, thank you." The enemies of Kurdistan and their allies can behave in despicable ways with their own, in their own militaries; I prefer the honor of the gerîlas--Brad Pitt and all.

In contrast, if you'd prefer to read a much more thoughtful discussion of the Kurdish situation than you can find anywhere in American media, check out this post at the Shiraz Socialist blog.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


"The Security organs of the State are buttressing the Gray Wolves and through the tolerance of the government, army and bureaucracy, fascism has been growing in Turkey in the last thirty years. Otherwise, how could in our days three million Kurds be uprooted with such ease from their homes and villages and be deported? We have to learn from history and avoid denying the past tragedies, which should cause shame in us. Otherwise, history is bound to repeat itself."
~ Ragip Zarakolu, Ulkede Gundem, 1997.

The recent murders of Christian publishers in Malatya are examples of the extreme forms of censorship to which the Turkish state has had recourse throughout its history, particularly since the September 12 coup. In light of this tradition of extreme censorship, it might be appropriate to discuss another publisher and his battles with the Ankara regime.

Ragip Zarakolu is one of those brave and noble Turks who has stood for justice since 1968 when he began writing. With the military coup of 1971, he began his long history of persecution by the Turkish state. At that time, he was tried and imprisoned for having "secret" relations with that well-known subversive organization, Amnesty International.

With his wife Aysenur Zarakolu, he founded Belge Publishing House in 1977. Together with Aysenur, through Belge, he published writings that other publishing houses would not have touched with the proverbial ten-foot pole, especially after the September 12 coup, writings about minorities in Turkey, the Armenian Genocide, the Kurdish situation, and the impunity of the state in its terrorism against the people. In 1986, he joined with others as one of the founding members of the Human Rights Association (IHD), which has had a number of incredibly courageous human beings associated with it such as Akin Birdal, Eren Keskin, and Osman Baydemir.

[Note: Sadly, Aysenur Zarakolu, a lion in her own right for justice and freedom, passed away in early 2002 from cancer. She should be remembered as the freedom-fighter she was.]

For more on Ragip's life, check American PEN, English PEN, and Wikipedia, at least for the moment.

Ragip has also been closely associated with Ozgur Gundem for many years. In this regard, Ragip has the following to say (from Peace in Kurdistan Campaign):

Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 13:02:35 -0400

Subject: my newspaper were closed

Dear Friends,

Kurdish and oposition press went under the pressures of militarism in Turkey. Newspapers were closed, editors were arrested.

I am writing for 16 years for Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem (Free Agenda) for human and minority rights, Armenian Genocide, inpunity of the state and freedom of expression.

I could not write any more during last 2 months because of bannings and closures. It is sad, because I could write there under the de facto war conditions after 1991.

Ozgur Gundem is the first newspaper, which dared to speak about Armenian Genocide, every 24th April, during last 10 years.

This year I prepared a serie "Armenian Genocide in German Documents, around Trabizond Region" for Ozgur Gundem, in memoriam Hirant Dink. Now I don't know where I can give it.

Now I lost my newspaper. And I am at the black list of Turkish main stream media, because I wrote on minorities, Armenian Genocide and Kurdish question.


Ragip Zarakolu

An attachment to the email describes the situation of Ozgur Gundem, and other newspapers in Turkey, today:

Newspapers' Situation in Turkey

It is known that freedom of press, which is one of the indispensable indications of democracy, has a close relationship with freedom of thought/expression as well as right to get news. It is an undeniable reality that implementation level of freedom of press, which has formed its universal principles through years, represents level of freedom in a country. In this context, policies within "security" perspectives, prohibitions (embargo) of publications, pressures/interventions within different levels, legal arrangements that make these interventions, which have been implemented during recent months, easier against newspapers in Turkey should be discussed. All of these interventions cause anti-democratic results. Indeed, serious violations against freedom of press and thought still continue in Turkey.

Number of publications, which subjected to decisions that restrict thought/expression and violate right to get news-information, are higher than past. Such a panorama is the Turkey's shame for democracy. In this respect implementations against Gündem (Agenda) Newspaper, during the last, month are enough to describe to the situation of newspapers in Turkey.

In its fifth day our newspaper, which started on 17th January 2007, was suspended for one month. There are 10 court cases and against the newspaper. Moreover; there are investigations against its 30 issues. After one month suspension, the newspaper restarted to publish, however; just after two days the newspaper was suspended once again for one month. All of these incidents are little samples of serious situation of newspaper in Turkey. Violation of freedom of press, which is sine qua non condition of sustainability of democratic life, through these open and absolute censorships implementations is shelving the projects in democracy process. Political character of legal grounds harms independent law mentality that based on rights and freedoms.

The summary table, which represents censorships-pressures even suspensions against Gündem and other newspapers have similar publishing policy, is enough to realize the situation clearly. Other newspapers, which subjected to pressures and censorships in recent months are the following; Yaşamda Gündem (Agenda in the Life), Güncel (The Temporary) and Azadiya Welat (Free Country).

Gündem Newspaper is suspended for one month


Gündem Newspaper is suspended for one month by two separate decisions by the 13th Heavy Penal Court of Istanbul. The court reviews the application by Deputy-President of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office and decides for one month suspension in accordance with Law on Press numbered 5287 and its article 25. The court shows the news, on 2nd March 2007, about poisoning of Ocalan as reason of the sentence. In its second decision of sentence; the court decides sentence to suspension, once again, for one month in accordance with Law on Press numbered 5287 and its article 25. The court shows the newspaper's issue dated 5th March 2007 as reason for sentence. Therefore; the same court gives two separate suspension sentences by showing the same law as reason in one day. In its decision statement, the court makes a political comment as the following: "in order to keep sustainability of democratic life in the society, intervention becomes necessary".

Gündem Newspaper is closed once again

09th April 2007

Gündem Newspaper, which was closed by 13th Heavy Penal Court of Istanbul for one month by its decision dated 6th March 2007, restarted to publishing on 7th April 2007. However, Gündem Newspaper was closed, at this time by 11th Heavy Penal Court of Istanbul, just after two days for 15 days. The Court shows almost every news, some advertisements and articles, which published on the issues dated 7th and 8th April 2007, as reasons for the closure decision. Advertisements, which published by Gündem Newspaper in the issued date 07th April 2007, on commemoration and marching to Amara (village of Abdullah Ocalan), to celebrate the birthday of Abdullah Ocalan, are some of the reasons for closure that given by 11th Heavy Penal Court of Istanbul. Moreover; the news (again in the same issue 7th April 2007), which is statements by Ocalan, who made them in the meeting with his lawyer in Imrali Prison, are considered as "propaganda of PKK/Kongra Gel". Another reason for closure decision belongs to the news, of Newspaper's issue dated 8th April 2007, which is the continuation of Ocalan's statement. In the same issue Ali Haydar Kaytan's article, whose title is "barışa götürecek yol" (path that will bring peace), is showed another reason for closure. The court shows also commemoration advertisements as reasons for closure. The court, in accordance with numbered 5187 Press Law and its article 25/2, decides to confiscation and prohibition of selling/distribution of Gündem Newspaper's issued dated 7th-8th April 2007. Moreover; the court, in accordance with numbered 3713 The Prevention of Terrorism Act and its article 6/the last one, decided to suspension of Gündem Newspaper for 15 days, which begins at the 08.04.2007.

Immediate Censorship against Yaşamda Gündem (Agenda in the Life)

Mr. Zekeriya Ay, Public Prosecutor of Istanbul, orders confiscation for Yaşamda Gündem, which starts on 9th March 2007, issue dated 9th March 2007 (the day when it starts) to Istanbul Security Directorate on Security Unit (İstanbul Emniyeti Güvenlik Şube Müdürlüğü). Prosecutor Mr. Ay violates law by making decision to confiscation even the unpublished issues of the newspaper. The prosecutor makes decision arguing that Yaşamda Gündem Newspaper is the continuation Gündem Newspaper, which was suspended for one month at the 6th March 2007. Mr. Özcan Kılıç, lawyer of the newspaper, considers the implementation that based on arbitrary interpretation-thoughts as an "open censorship" and appeals the decision. Mr. Ahmet Abakay, President of Contemporary Journalists' Association (Çağdaş Gazeteciler Derneği) underlines the decision is contrary to national and international arrangements. Mr. Abakay states "the decision is shame of Turkey".

Distribution Censorship against Güncel (the Temporary) Newspaper by Merkez Distribution Company


Merkez Distribution Company, which is one of the big newspaper distribution companies, announces that it will not distribute the Güncel Newspaper, which starts on 19th March 2007, and Azadiya Welat the only Kurdish daily Newspaper in Turkey. Merkez Distribution Company stops the distribution, which continues for 7 months, on 21st March 20007 and requests information from Security General Directorate about distribution of Güncel Newspaper. The Company authorities announce that they will not distribute the newspaper till they get response from the Security General Directorate. It is argued that Security General Directorate orders not to distribute newspapers, which publish news related with Kurds. Çağdaş Gazeteciler Derneği (Contemporary Journalists' Association) considers 'censorship of distribution', which implemented by Merkez Distribution, as "an indication of police state mentality's placement into institutions".

15 Days Suspension against Güncel (Temporary) Newspaper


Güncel Newspaper, which started on 19th March 2007 and was not distributed by the distribution company, published just during 12 days. The 13th Heavy Penal Court of Istanbul sentenced to Güncel (Temporary) Newspaper for 15 days suspension that started at the 30th March 20007. The sentence is given in accordance with TCK (Turkish Penal Code) 215 and 3713 articles. "Propaganda of organization" is showed as the reason of the sentence.

Azadiya Welat is sentenced to suspension for 20 days


Azadiya Welat Newspaper, which is the only Kurdish daily newspaper in Turkey, is sentenced to suspension after its distribution was blocked. The 5th Heavy Penal Court of Diyarbakir sentences Azadiya Welat Newspaper to suspension for 20 days. The sentence is given in accordance with the Prevention of Terrorism Act numbered 3713 and its article 6. and the paragraph 5; "making propaganda of organization".

Attachment 2: General brief about implementations of censorships-pressures that Gündem Newspaper and other similar newspapers have faced during the 17 years and also samples of double standards against these newspapers.


Tradition of Gundem Newspaper, which decides/adopts its publishing policy as opposition and free newspaper process, has established 17 newspapers for 17 years. This tradition gives voice to an important witness through openly publishing realities of Turkey and in terms of freedom of the press/expression; represents an important historical period because of the pressures that faced. All of the 17 newspapers has faced suspensions, seize, confiscations, censorships and some similar pressures and also many of its employees have been killed during this 17 years period. Such practises are often seen during 1990s, however; we can argue the circumstances are same in the March of 2007. Actually; there is no during these long years. From 1st to 31st March the publications of Gündem (Agenda), Yaşamda Gündem (Agenda in the Life), Güncel (the Contemporary) and Azadiya Welat (Free Country) were suspended, many court cases opened against them and their distribution were blocked.

As Apê Musa, who is one of the veterans of the tradition and killed in this difficult struggle, says that Gundem tradition continues to become witness and accused of Turkey.

Tradition of Gundem starts with Halk Gerçeği (Truth of People) and Yeni Ülke (New Country), which are weekly magazines, in 1990s that armed conflict also on the increase. Publishing policy of Gundem is built up to decipher of pressures by the Turkish State, extrajudicial killings, burning of villages, similar human rights violations and to defend the democratic solution of Kurdish problem. Actually, in 1990s anybody could not dare to reveal these pressures by the State.

Pressures against Gundem Newspaper, which is the voice of opposite groups, also occurs just after the a few issues of the first newspaper of Gundem tradition. It can be said that murder of Cengiz Altun, correspondent of Yeni Ülke (New Country), is the starting point of pressures. Yeni Ülke is one of the important components (newspaper) of Gundem tradition. 26 correspondents, journalists and distributors, who work for the newspapers of Gundem tradition, are murdered in the period of 1990-1995.

Bomb attack to the Newspaper

Pressure policy against Gundem tradition becomes serious, intense between 1992 and 1995. During this period newspapers and magazines are seized, offices are raided; employees are taken into custody, subjected to torture and arrested. According to indefinite numbers just during this period; DGMs (State Security Court) make decisions to seize 443 publishing issues and to close down of 67 publications. Some of the newspapers, which are closed down by DGM, are; Özgür Gündem (Free Agenda), Özgür Ülke (Free Country), Yeni Politika (New Politics), Demokrasi (Democracy) and Ülkede Gündem (Agenda in the Country). Moreover; the main centre in Istanbul and two offices of Özgür Ülke, which is subjected to the most serious pressures are bombed, on 4th December 1994, by the command of Ms. Tansu Çiller that is the Prime Minister of the period.

Censorships of Page(s) in 1995

The publishing of the Newspapers cannot be blocked despite the all of pressures. Then censorship is applied to newspapers, subsequently; the newspapers are published with censored pages. Yeni Politika, which starts on 13th April 1995, has to publish its news, articles, photos, advertisements and caricatures with writing "It is censored" because of the censorships by public prosecutors of DGM.

Daily censorships starts

Ülkede Gündem, which starts on 7th July 1997, is also subjected to censorships applications. During the period, on which the newspaper is published its 57 correspondents and 10 distributors are taken into custody and subjected to torture. 278 court cases are opened against the newspaper and sentenced to suspension for 302 days. The newspaper's 125 news, 63 articles, 9 photos and 14 advertisements are censored. At the end, Ülkede Gündem is closed down by DGM decision on 23rd October 1998.

Prohibition of OHAL (Emergency State Governorship)

As its predecessors; entrance of Özgür Bakış (Free View), which starts on 18th April 1999, to OHAL region is prohibited. Confiscation decision is made against 22 issues of total 93 issues of Özgür Bakış newspaper. There are also many court cases against the newspaper. Moreover; arrest decision is given against the newspaper's editor, whose name is Hasan Deniz, on 4th June 1999. The editor is charged with the article 169 that is about "assisting and supporting an organization". Tradition of free newspaper continues with Yeni Gündem (New Agenda) in 2000. As a result of pressures, confiscations and OHAL prohibitions; this newspaper is closed down in 2001.

List of the newspapers, which established after Yeni Gündem, are in the following:

Yedinci Gündem (Seventh Agenda): Yedinci Gündem is published weekly between 23rd June 2001 and 30th August 2002. Newspaper's entrance to OHAL region is prohibited. It has 60 issues. The newspaper is sentenced to suspension for 15 days and its responsible editor is sentenced to money penalty whose amount is over 6 billions TL in total.

Yeniden Özgür Gündem (Free Agenda once Again): It starts on 2nd September 2002 and ends 28th February 2004. The newspaper is sentenced to suspension for 4 days during its 545 days period. Its editor is sentenced to imprisonment for 25 months and its license holder is sentenced to money penalty whose amount is 478 billions TL. There are 315 court cases against the newspaper.

Record numbers of court files

Ülkede Özgür Gündem (Free Agenda in the Country): The newspaper starts on 1st March 2004 and ends 16th November 2006. There are over 600 court cases against its responsible editor, some journalists and correspondents grounding different reasons. In total 102 resulted court cases that resulted in sentence; totally 344.964 YTL money penalty is given and Hasan Bayar, who is responsible editor, is sentenced to 15 years-11 months-10 days imprisonment. It is interesting that the second suspension decision, against Ülkede Özgür Gündem, is made 6 days later after Staff of General Yaşar Büyükanıt's statement: "its publications should not be permitted". Lastly, 120.000 YTL money penalties are given against Ülkede Özgür Gündem and Toplumsal Demokrasi (Social Democracy) under the 4 different courts of files. Moreover; Özlem Aktan, who is the responsible editor of Ülkede Özgür Gündem, is sentenced to one year imprisonment.

Toplumsal Demokrasi: the newspaper starts after Ülkede Özgür Gündem, which is sentenced to suspension, on 8th August 2006. After a short period Toplumsal Demokrasi stops its publication and restarts on 16th November 2007. At this time, Toplumsal Demokrasi is published for two months and during this short period there are many court cases against the newspaper. Toplumsal Demokrasi closes down itself on 5th January 2007.

Gündem (Agenda): It starts on 17th January 2007 and is published for 50 days. Gündem is suspended for a month on 6th March 2007. The suspension decision is given grounding news on poisoning Ocalan. Court give two different decisions for one month suspension in the same day. Actually, the two decisions on the same issue by the same court is considered as law scandal. There are also many investigations and court cases against the newspapers.
Yaşamda Gündem (Agenda in the life): It starts on 9th March 2007 but is published only for 3 days. Yaşamda Gündem is confiscated grounding that it is the continuation of Gündem newspaper. Actually, the confiscation decision is the one that has never seen. In accordance with censorship; it is decided that Yaşamda Gündem's probable forthcoming issues also will be confiscated.

Güncel (Contemporary): It starts on 19th March 2007 and is published for 12 days. Güncel is sentenced to suspension for 15 days. There is a new point in this suspension sentence. In the context of suspension the statement "Leader of Kurdish People" is regarded as crime however it is not regarded as crime until that time.


The newspapers, which are the successors of Gundem tradition that starts in 1990s, break grounds in the field of news. All methods are practiced to stop these newspapers. The newspapers, which are targeted by the army or the government authorities, are subjected to double standards as well as censorships.

* In a panel; Umur Talu, who is the journalist of Sabah Newspaper, states that his articles might be reason for closing down if he writes in Gündem, but; it is not problem since he writes in Sabah newspaper.

* In 19th July 2005; İlker Başbuğ, Vice-president of General Staff, targeted Ülkede Özgür Gündem Newspaper in a 3 hours briefing to the journalists that shape Turkish media.

* 10th November; Yaşar Büyükanıt, President of General Staff, implying with Ülkede Özgür Gündem states that "PKK's Daily Newpapers are being published. These should not be permitted". After the 6 days; the newspaper is sentenced to suspension for 15 days.

* 11th June 2006; In his speech at the General Assembly of Gazeteciler Cemiyeti (Union of Journalists) Cemil Çiçek, Minister of Justice, targeted openly Ülkede Özgür Gündem. Cemil Çiçek says "This newspaper should be stopped" with identifying the newspaper as "paper rag".

* There is decision, which states publishing statements of Murat Karayılan Executive Committee President of KKK (Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan) as news is not a crime, by ECHR and there is a sentence against Turkey regarding with this issue. On the other hand; courts continue practises that are contrary to the decision ECHR. In the court cases, which opened because of the statements by Murat Karayılan, license holder and editor of Ülkede Özgür Gündem and Toplumsal Demokrasi is sentenced to money penalties whose amounts are 120.000 YTL. In this context; the responsible editor is sentenced to one year heavy imprisonment.

* Ülkede Özgür Gündem newspaper makes speech of Mehmet Ağar Leader of DYP (True Path Party) headlines of the newspaper. Mehmet Ağar makes his speech at Habertürk TV on 13th November 2006. Although there is not any process against the TV Channel, the speech is used as reason for 15 days suspension of Ülkede Özgür Gündem.

* 30 October 2006; Ülkede Özgür Gündem newspaper publishes news, whose title is "Life story of a Swiss guerrilla is being recorded as documentary". The same news is published with the same photo under the title of "A Swiss in the PKK's Camps". Ülkede Özgür Gündem newspaper is sentenced to suspension for 15 days grounding the news, though there is not any court cases against the Hürriyet newspaper.

* Nokta, a weekly magazine, publishes news about newspapers that belong to Gündem tradition. After Güncel newspaper uses the news, an investigation is opened against the newspaper.

* In 1995 ANKA news agency makes news the interview of Ocalan to Med TV. Yeni Politika (New Politics) newspaper is subjected to censorship since it publishes the mentioned news by ANKA. The newspaper reveals the double standard with the title of "Special Censor against our Newspaper" in its issue of 23rd April 1995.

* Cumhuriyet (Republic) Newspaper publishes news under the title "Kurdistan Parliament Condemns" in its issue of 15th April 1995 and there is no process against the newspaper. After one day; Yeni Politika publishes the same news as Cumhuriyet publishes, but the former is confiscated. The newspaper reveals this situation under the headline "Scandal".

* A confiscation decision is made against Yeni Politika newspaper since it publishes news under the title "Pope said dialogue" in 18th April 1995. On the other hand; there are no process against Hürriyet (Freedom) and Milliyet (Nationality) newspapers, which publish the same news under the title "Pray for Kurds by Pope" (Hürriyet) and "Call for Kurds by Pope" (Milliyet).

* Yeni Politika newspaper is confiscated because of its news that is taken from BBC and whose title is "Complete Support for Kurds by Kaddafi". The same news are used also by many other newspapers.

* Yeni Politika newspaper is confiscated since the newspaper publishes an article by Ahmet Altan. The title of the article is "Atakürt" and published by Milliyet a few days ago.

* Yeni Politika newspaper is confiscated since it publishes news, which is done by Reuters, under the title "Call for interview by PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan to Germany".

* Censorships against the newspapers are practiced also in distribution. Distribution companies that are not willing to distribute newspapers, which belong to Gundem tradition, are lastly seen in their attitudes against Güncel newspaper that starts on 19th March 2007. Merkez Dağıtım, which belongs to Sabah Group, states that it will distribute Günceş newspaper in accordance with the permission, which it gets from General Directorate of Security, otherwise it will not distribute the newspaper. Actually such a decision does not have any legal grounds. Then, the distribution decides not to distribute Güncel Newspaper.

So, now you know which newspapers have a history of speaking the truth. You might want to think about that the next time you go searching for news.

By the way, Ozgur Gundem has a list and photos of HPG's şehîds from this past week during TSK's operations in Dersim and Şirnex.

Şehîd namirin!


Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Press Statement

17 April 2007

Ragip Zarakoglu and Freedom of Expression in Turkey

We are profoundly concerned about the intolerable restrictions on the press in Turkey which have worsened considerably under the impact of the new anti-terrorism law; in particular an effective ban on the reporting of taboo subjects such as the Armenian Genocide, the Kurdish question and the treatment of minorities. Newspapers are being closed, editors arrested and a blacklist of awkward voices is preventing journalists with long and distinguished records from working in Turkey today. An atmosphere of coercion and intimidation of journalists is prevailing in the country and we need only refer to the assassination on 19 January of Hrant Dink, whose circumstances still await a full investigation.

In this respect, we wish to draw your attention to the plight of Ragip Zarakoglu, writer and owner of Belge Publishing House, one such victim of the new repression: he has been writing for 16 years for the newspaper Ozgur Gundem (Free Agenda) on human and minority rights, but finds himself today unable to express his views in print freely under the new restrictions.

This lamentable situation is surely not what should be expected of a country that is allegedly attempting to democratise itself and abide by European and international conventions pertaining to human rights and rights of free expression and association.

We call on the British Government and the EU to urgently take this matter up with the Turkish authorities during the EU accession process and to insist that the Turkish authorities comply fully with European standards and conventions ratified by Turkey.

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
For information contact:
Tel 020 7586 5892



Ragıp Zarakolu

Chair of Freedom to Publish Committee of Turkish Publishers Association. Executive member of International PEN’s Turkish Section

In Memoriam Hrant Dink, the courageous defender of freedom of expression

2006 was one of the least succesful years for freedom of expression and publishing and unfortunately things are continuing into 2007. Perhaps the most disheartening of these developments is the level of violence that has crept into the system and the fact that these groups that are bringing about this violence have also started affecting the Judiciary. The murder of Hrant Dink this year proved only tragically to the government, the judiciary and the press that it has to be very cautious about allowing those who express different thoughts and supports different view to be targeted. January started with cases filed against Taner Akcam and Aydin Ergin and the government has refused to alter article 301 of the penal code and all of these early developments in are indicators that 2007 is going to problematic in terms of freedon of expression and publishing.

Although things had seemed to be getting better during the previous 2 years concerning the question of the freedom to publish, the current year has seen an aggravation. The reason behind the earlier improvement was, of course, the willingness of the government to comply with EU demands. But unfortunately it did not continue.

According to data provided by the Ministry of the Interior, 290 books were confiscated between 2000-2006. In the aftermath of the recent amendments in the law, the ban on 49 of these have been lifted, while 241 continue to be banned.

According to the data of Independent Communication Network BIA, last year 293 writers, journalists, publishers, intellectuals, translators and human rights activists had to face the Courts because of their expressions. Last year this number was 157.

According to the data of Initiative for Freedom of Expression, there were 59 acquittals for 172 trials of last year; 15 convictions and the other files were at the Appeal Court. On the base of Article 301 of TPC, there were 72 trials; and there were 20 acquittals, 8 convictions. On the base of Article 312 of TPC, 35 trials were going on and there were 21 acquittals, 3 convictions.

According to the data of Platform for Journalists in Prison, editors and correspondent of opposition press are prison during 2006.

During last year, 25 publishing houses, 42 writers, 5 translators and 45 books were prosecuted. 10 of these court cases ended in acquittals, another 13 in convictions, while 5 were dismissed. The trials for the remaining 17 are pending.

Bans on books have become rare since October 2004. However, books, writers and publishers are still prosecuted on grounds of “defamation”, “denigration”, “obscenity”, “separatism”, “subversion”, “fundamentalism” and “blasphemy”. In addition, a negative development is that translators will be held responsible for the books they have translated. However, publishers’ legal liability continues regarding only the books whose author lives abroad.

Unfortunately, the new Turkish Criminal Code, which has received the seal of approval of the EU, has provided new avenues for the prosecution of writers and publishers. Warnings to this end by the Publishers Union, as well associations of writers and of journalists, before the passing of the law went unheeded. The greatest damage was done to the democratic reforms, which were geared to the process of harmonization with the EU. One of the tragic developments during this past year is undoubtedly the trying of translators. During this past year writers, reporters and publishers were faced with violence from ultra nationalist groups in addition to their trials. [emphasis of this paragraph: Mizgîn's]

Certain developments this year are also of a novel nature. The Publishers Union’s right to represent Turkey at the Frankfurt Book fair was taken away and handed over to a group with political and ideological biases.


The most striking feature of this new period is an explosion in the number of cases started against writers, journalists and publishers as a result of complaints filed by ideologically motivated circles. These cases were based on the grounds of “defaming Turkishness, the Turkish Armed Forces, the Republic, the memory of Ataturk etc.” Many convictions were handed down in these cases.

More serious still, Orhan Pamuk, Perihan Magden, Murat Belge, Ismet Berkan, Hasan Cemal, Elif Safak and other writers and journalists were attacked physically before or after the hearings. Elif Safak, along with her publisher Semih Sokmen of Metis Yayinlari, has recently been added to the list of writers of international fame prosecuted as a result of such ideologically motivated complaints for “defaming Turkishness”. (Elif Safak was acquitted, but violence again accompanied during the hearings.) On the basis of these complaints, the courts are being transformed into a platform for a chauvinistic ideological group. Concerning these cases, it must be said that the Ministry of Justice has not risen to the task of guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary. This situation should be compared to the fact that a plethora of complaints regarding violations of human rights have constantly gone unheeded by public prosecutors. Had public prosecutors not taken these ideologically motivated complaints seriously and not prosecuted the writers in question, the impact of this small but cantankerous group would have dwindled to insignificance. ( And more tragically, at the end of the hate speeches of ultra-nationalist groups, which based on these provocative trials, the courageous defender of civil rights, Hrant Dink was killed 19th January.)

On the other hand, many writers who criticized these cases were themselves prosecuted for “attempting to influence the course of trials pending”. Some of the cases on such charges were thrown out, while Hirant Dink, editor-in-chief of Armenian language weekly Agos, his son Arat Dink, Serkis Seropyan and Aydin Engin were prosecuted on these grounds. They had to face attempted violence and insult from a chauvinistic group during the hearings.

Altogether 12 journalist were accused “to intervene in justice”, as a result of complaints fired by ultra-nationalist groups. But nearly all of them were acquitted. But there is a conviction for Ilhan Selcuk, of Cumhuriyet daily, because of a news about the torture.


The current year has seen an increase in the number of cases against the press. Bans were imposed once again after a respite on the dailies Birgun, Evrensel and Ozgur Gundem. Lastly Kaos GL,review of gays and lesbians, was banned.

A total of 530 cases have been filed against Ozgur Gundem and its editors. Of these 104 resulted in convictions and 22 in acquittals. The owner of the daily was sentenced to an overall fine of 192,755 new Turkish lira (approximately 125 thousand US dollars). The editor legally responsible was sentenced to a prison term of over 15 years, and was also fined a total of 134 thousand New Turkish Liras (around 90 thousand US dollars).

ıEditors and correspondents of the daily Cumhuriyet, including Ilhan Selcuk, owner of the newspaper and famous columnist, were convicted for a news article titled “Acquittal for Torture”. Journalists of establishment daily Hurriyet are being tried on charges of violating article 7 of the Anti-Terror Law. Huseyin Aykol, of Ozgur Gundem and Memik Horuz, of Isci-Koylu were tried with the same reason, “to interview the Kurdish guerillas." Mehmet Ali Birand, a famous anchor and show host, is in court under the same charges for having interviewed the attorneys of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the PKK. The same charges were levelled against Nese Duzel of the daily Radikal for her interview with former Kurdish MP Orhan Dogan. Ahmet Kahraman, a journalist in exile was accused also, because of his book, ‘Kurdish Rebelions” with editor of Evrensel Publishing, Ms. Songul Ozkan.

Writer Emin Karaca was convicted for defaming the army in an article on the military coup of 1971. A writ of arrest in absentia was aimed at co-author Dogan Ozguden, an old hand of Turkish journalism for the same article. A journalist of Turkish Daily News, an Istanbul English-language daily, was convicted for contempt of court.

The new Anti-Terror Law, with its extremely lax definition of offences and the authority to be accorded to public prosecutors to stop the publication of periodicals indefinitely, poses a potential threat to the freedom of expression, freedo of the press and the freedom to publish. Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem was closed for two months and the editors of Atilim weekly and Free Radio were arrested after new Anti-Terror Law passed. They were placed in isolation wards in Type-F Prisons. As a negative trand, the Criminal Courts began to trail again the books about socialist theory and practice in 2007, with the example of Ms. Songul Ozkan’s trial, editor of Evrensel Publishing House. She was accused under new Anti-Terror Law, because of the memories of a socialist worker, named Imran. It was the third edition of the book. And 2 earlier prints of the book were not accused.


A trend that had started earlier continued into the current year: the abuse of civil law for the purpose of restricting the freedoms of expression and of the press. When it is not a question of defaming a certain institution, the road chosen is to claim defamation of persons. Politicians are deemed above criticism. A series of professions (ranging from medical doctors to superintendents of buildings) have claimed to be insulted by works of fiction or TV shows. Many publishers were sentenced to heavy compensation and at least one of them had to close down his publishing house. There have been cases of writers being taken to court with a demand for compensation because of their criticism of another writer or journalist’s ideas.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself has resorted to the same methods against many criticisms. He took cartoonist Musa Kart of the daily Cumhuriyet to court for having depicted him as a cat entangled in a web of yarn. Another case filed against the very popular humoristic magazine Penguen for having depicted him in the form of various animals was rejected by the court. Overall 59 cases were filed on the grounds of defamation against the Prime Minister, of which 28 are still pending. Among the 31 cases already decided 21 rulings were in favor and 10 against Erdogan.

Michael Dickinson, a British cartoonist and lecturer was arrested and deported, because of his cartoon about Prime Minister Erdogan, which depicted the Prime Minister as President Bush’s dog.

The editor of Pencere Publishing House, Muzaffer Erdoğdu have been taken to court with a demand for compensation, because of the introduction written by Taner Akcam in the turkish edition of Blue Book concerning the Armenian Deportation in 1915, which was published by Erdogdu. Senator Sukru Ekedag accused Profesor Taner Akcam and the editor, for defaming his personality as deputy of Turkish Parliament.


Last year during the deliberations on the new Turkish Criminal Code, the Publishers’ Union drew attention to Article 301. Thi article stipulates up to three years of imprisonment for denigration of “Turkishness, the Republic, parliament the government, the judiciary, the armed forces or the police”.

Because of Article 301, 72 persons were tried last year.

For last ten years, books on the Armenian question had not been subjected to legal persecution, but within the current year new prosecutions have been started on this issue, connected with Article 301. To define Armenian deportation in 1915 as “genocide” may be viewed as “defaming Turkishness”. The first conviction on these grounds was handed down recently. Erhan Akay of the review Cagri was convicted to five months of prison for his article entitled “Time to Confront the Armenian Question After 90 Years”.


The moral integrity of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish republic, is protected through a special law. Many cases have been fined during the current pastyear on the grounds of defaming of Ataturk. Even an Istanbul City Guide, prepared by Master Card, was prosecuted on theses grounds.

This is in fact in article 301 of the TPC, and the special law regarding the “defamation of Ataturk”, which formed the foundation for cases lanched against many writers, academics and publishers were prosecuted, including novelist Orhan Pamuk, the Armenian journalist Hirant Dink, Ibrahim Kaboglu and Baskin Oran, two professors who, as members of the Advisory Board of Human Rights at the Prime Minister’s Office, proposed reforms in the state’s attitude to the Kurdish question and minority rights, Halil Altindere, one of the curators of the Istanbul Biennial, Murat Pabuc, a retired army officer, Eren Keskin, vice-president of the Human Rights Association, Ragip Zarakolu, of Belge International Publishing House, Ahmet Onal, of Peri Publishing House, Fatih Tas, of Aram Publishing House, Rahmi Yildirim, a journalist, Erol Ozkoray, a journalist and author of Totalitarian Farm of Turkey, Fatih Tas, editor at Aram Publishing House, researcher Osman Tiftikci and his publisher Sirri Ozturk of Sorun Publishing House, Osman Pamukoğlu, a retired-General, the Iraq kurdish leader Mesut Barzani, EU commissioner and dutch MP Joost Lagendjik, sociologist Ismail Besikci, who received a great deal of attention for his researches on Kurdish situation , Karekin II, the Pope of Armenian Apostical Church, Michael Dickinson, a british cartoonist and lecturer, Ipek Calislar, author of Ataturk’s wife Latife Hanim, Abdullah Dilipak and Mehmet Sevki Eygi, both islamist journalists, Yalçın Ergündoğan and Ibrahim Cesmecioglu, editors of Birgun daily, Professor Attila Yayla, director of Liberal Thought Association, Belma Akçura, Cuneyt Arcayurek and Tuncay Ozkan, mainstream journalists, Perihan Magden and Elif Safak, novelists and essayists, Taner Akcam from Minnesota University ( in January 2007) and translator Attila Tuygan. A Greek novel by author Mara Meimaridis, “The Witches Of Smyrna” was also indicted under article 301. And editor Mehmet Ali Varış, of Tohum Publishing House was also convicted two times and sentenced 1 and half year to prison under article 301 and Defamation of Ataturk Law, like another Kurdish Publisher Ahmet Onal of Peri Publishing House.


In closing, we must stress even further the comment made in last year’s report. The new Turkish Criminal Code creates a potential threat to the freedoms of thought, expression, of the press and to the freedom to publish. The increase in the number of cases filed on the grounds of denigration of Turkishness, “public denigration of the armed forces”, and ”defamation of Ataturk” can be viewed as an indicator of this. Many articles of the Criminal Code must undergo comlete revision. Now, to this threat is added the dangers created by the new Anti-Terror Law. The ıprotection and enhancement of the freedom of expression is the duty of not only for the legislative branch of the political system, but also of the judiciary and executive branches.


Publishers Author Book

Aram Timur Şahan “İtirafçı/ Bir Jitemci Anlattı” (An Informer) …………

Aram Kayhan Adnut “Tufanda 33 Gün” / 33 Days in Deluge (Acquitted)

Aram Fatih Taş “Kayıpsın Diyorlar” (Convicted)
(They Told You are Missing)

Aram John Tirman “Savaş Ganimetleri”/Spoils of War (Acquitted)

Aram Noam Chomsky “ Kitle Medyasının Ekonomi Politiği” (Acquitted)
(Political Economy of Mass Media)

Aykırı Seyfi Öngider “İki Şehrin Hikayesi/ İstanbul-Ankara” (dismissed)
(Story of Two Cities / Istanbul and Ankara)

Belge George Jerjian “Gerçek Bizi Özgür Kılacak” …………
(Will Free All of Us)

Belge Dora Sakayan “Bir Ermeni Doktorun Yaşadıkları” …………
(Armenian Doctor in Turkey)

Belge Peter Balakian “Kaderin Kara Köpeği” (dismissed)
(Black Dog of the Fate)

Belge Zülküf Kışanak “Yitik Köyler” (Convicted)
(Lost Villages)

Bilge Karınca Cemal Anadol “İsrail ve Siyonizm Kıskacında Türkiye” (Acquitted)
(Turkey under the Yoke of Israel and Zionism)

Bora Derleme “Tecritte Yaşayanlar Anlatıyor” ………
(Testimonies from the Cells in Isolation)

Bora Senay Dönmez “Yaşatmak İçin Öldüler” ……….
(They Died to Keep Alive)

Doz Mesut Barzani “Barzani ve Özgürlük Hareketi” …………
(Barzani and Freedom)

Doz Mustafa Balbal “Ararat’taki Esir General” (Convicted)
(General Captived in Ararat)

Evrensel Ahmet Kahraman “Kürt İsyanları” …………
(Kurdish Rebelions)

Evrensel Zeynep Ozge “Imran, Bir Isyan Andi” …………
(Imran, A for the Rebelion)

Güncel Ersin Kalkan “Katille Buluşmak / Musa Anter Cinayeti” …………
(Appoinment with the Killer)

Güncel Belma Akçura “Derin Devlet Oldu Devlet” (Convicted)
(Deep State Became State)

İnkılap Osman Pamukoğlu “Unutulanlar Dışında Yeni Bir Şey Yok” …….
(There is Nothing to Tell, only the Fogottens)

İstanbul Bienali Halil Altıntepe “9. Bienal Kataloğu” ……………
(Catalog of Istanbul 9th Art Bienal)

Kaynak Muazzez İlmiye Çığ “Vatandaşlık Tepkilerim” (Acquitted)
(My Reactions as Citizen)

Literatür Mara Meimaradi “İzmir Büyücüleri / Witches Of Smyrna (Acquitted)

Mastercard Özlem İmece “İstanbul Şehir Rehberi/Istanbul’s City Guide” …….

Mektup Emine Şenlikoğlu “Burası Cezaevi /You are in Prison” (Convicted)

Merkez Yay. Perihan Mağden “Hangimiz Uğramadık ki Haksızlıklara” (Acquitted)
(None of Us were Free From Injustice)

Metis Elif Şafak “Baba ve Piç/Father and Bastard” (Acquitted)

Pencere Toynbee “Mavi Kitap / Blue Book” …………

Peri M. Erol Coşkun “Acının Dili Kadın” (Convicted)
(Woman as Tongue of Grief)

Peri Evin Çiçek “Tutkular ve Tutsaklar ” (Convicted)
(Passions and Captives)

ıPeri Hejare Şamil “Diaspora Kürtleri” …………
(Kurds in Diaspora)

Peri Munzur Cem “Dersim’de Alevilik” (Convicted)
(Alewi Belief in Dersim Region)

Peri Mahmut Baksi “Teyre Baz / Hüseyin Baybaşin” (Convicted)
(A Kurdish Businessman)

Peri Hejare Şamil “Öcalan’ın Moskova Güleri” (dismissed)
(Ocalan’s Days in Moskow)

Say Yalçın Pekşen “The Türkler” (dismissed)
(The Turks)

Sel Metin Üstündağ “Pazar Sevişgenleri” (Acquitted)
(Making Love Sundays)

Sel Enis Batur “Elma / Apple” (Acquitted)

Sol Murat Pabuç “Boyalı Bank Nöbetini Terk Etmek” (Dismissed)
(To Leave Guarding Painted Bench)

Sorun Osman Tiftikçi "Osmanlı'dan Günümüze Ordunun Evrimi" ………..
(Evolution of Turkish Army)

Sorun Talat Turan “Mehmet Eymur, Bir MIT’cinin Portresi” (Convicted)
(Portrait of an MIT Agent)

Tohum Mehmet Ali Varış “Kuzey Batı Dersim: Koçgiri” (Convicted)
(North West of Kurdish Region Dersim)

Tohum Mehmet Ali Varış “Kemalizm” (Convicted)

Tohum Aytekin Yılmaz “Çok Kültürlülükten Tek Kültürlülüğe Anadolu” ……..
(Anatolia from Multiculturalism to Mono Cultur)

Sweden Publ. Astid Lingrens “Pippi” (Kurdish edition) (Confiscated at Post)