Monday, March 31, 2008


"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule--and both commonly succeed, and are right..."
~ H.L. Mencken.

Brilliant news, from Reuters:

Turkey's top court agreed on Monday to hear a case to shut down the ruling AK Party and bar the prime minister from office, sharply escalating a long and destabilizing dispute over the role of Islam in secular Turkey.

The Constitutional Court's decision heralds months of uncertainty for the EU candidate country, which is embroiled in a feud between the Islamist-rooted AK Party and a powerful secular elite, including army generals, that accuses AK of plotting to turn Turkey into an Iran-style theocracy.

The AK Party, which has presided over strong economic growth and democratic political reforms since sweeping to power in 2002, denies the charges it has an Islamist agenda and says the lawsuit is an attack on Turkish democracy.

The petition, drawn up by the chief prosecutor of the Court of Appeals, calls for 71 AK Party officials including Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul to be banned from politics for five years.

After a lengthy meeting, the Constitutional Court's 11 judges decided in a rare unanimous ruling to take up the case for closing the AK Party and for barring Erdogan and dozens of other lawmakers from politics for engaging in Islamist activities aimed at weakening the secular state.

And the EU is encouraging the AKP to re-rig the consitution to save the AKP--and the EU didn't encourage this for DTP' sake:

European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said he would brief the full European Commission on the case on Wednesday, saying it exposed a "systemic error" in Turkey's constitution that may require an amendment.

"The prohibition or dissolution of political parties is a far-reaching measure which should be used with the utmost restraint," Rehn said in a statement. "I do not see any such justification for this case."

Rehn knows damned well that rigging the constitution for its own benefit is a hallmark of the AKP, which always manages to benefit from "systematic errors":

The AKP scored a remarkable landslide victory in the November 2002 parliamentary elections, garnering 34% of the national vote and capturing a commanding 363-seat majority.

[ . . . ]

Because Erdogan had been banned from political office in 1998, his deputy, Abdullah Gul, initially assumed the premiership. But it was clear from the beginning that Erdogan was calling the shots. In December 2002, US President George W. Bush stunned the Turkish political establishment in Ankara by inviting Erdogan to the White House. "You believe in the Almighty, and I believe in the Almighty. That's why we'll be great partners," the American president is said to have told his counterpart.[6] Proceeding on to Europe, Erdogan received assurances that the EU would commence accession negotiations with Ankara in December 2004 if Turkey undertook sufficient political and economic reforms.

In part because of American and European de facto recognition of Erdogan's authority, the Turkish military accepted the new administration's amendment of the constitution to lift the ban on Erdogan's political activity and holding of a by-election to allow for his entry into parliament (a requirement to be prime minister). In March 2004, Erdogan formally assumed the premiership.

Nor is it anything new that Katil Erdoğan is, in fact, pursuing an Islamist agenda:

In contrast to Erbakan, he [Erdoğan] developed a keen understanding of when not to push his agenda. He banned alcohol from municipal establishments, but wisely took no steps to ban drinking in restaurants (as a number of other Welfare mayors attempted to do). After initially endorsing a project to build a large Mosque complex in the heart of the city, he quickly abandoned the idea when his constituents organized protests.

[ . . . ]

Erdogan nevertheless got into trouble in 1997 by publicly reading a passage from a well-known poem written by Ziya Gokalp (1876-1924), sociologist, writer, and theoretician of Turkish nationalism: "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers."[4] Charged with crimes against laiklik, Erdogan was jailed for 10 months and banned from politics for the rest of his life - an experience which led him to appreciate the futility of confronting Kemalist political traditions head on.

It appears that his initial experience didn't create enough appreciation.

What confrontation with Kemalist political traditions has Katil Erdoğan been focusing on for months now? Head scarves. But AKP's deputy prime minister, Cemil Çiçek now claims that AKP is going to focus on more important issues . . . for real and for true, from CNN:

Cicek, however, downplayed the importance of the legal challenge, saying: "We are focusing on economic issues and reforms to progress the country's membership bid to join the European Union."

The only reason Çiçek is talking like this is because Katil Erdoğan "swiftly ordered his party’s members not to comment to the press on the case, initial reports said on Monday," according to Islamist Zaman. That's just like banning any media reporting of the Ergenekon case, which Erdoğan also ordered. Zaman listed another priority of Çiçek:

Speaking shortly after Ergün, government spokesperson and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek said after a Cabinet meeting yesterday evening that the court process would not affect the government’s functioning. He said the government would continue to concentrate on its priorities such as the economy and the European Union accession process.

[ . . . ]

He said the process ahead concerning the closure of the AK Party was the business of the court. “Our priority right now is İzmir’s EXPO 2015. Our priorities are economic balances and seeing success in our negotiations with the EU.

CHP's Deniz Baykal is going to help Çiçek out:

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal in his initial remarks on the decision said he would not be commenting, “'The only issue I have on my agenda is İzmir,' he said, referring to the vote of an international body on İzmir’s bid to host the EXPO world fair in 2015."

Oh, little Flower! Oh, little Sea! You are both SO screwed:

Izmir was shocked by the final results of the voting held on the location of EXPO 2015 after having spent 15 million Euros on publicity. Turkey received only 65 votes out of 152 countries, losing out to Milan on the opportunity to host Expo 2015.

Time to focus on something else, guys, like maybe how your goons are murdering Kurds in The Southeast?

Of course, we should be absolutely clear as to the exact reason that the EU--good old economic club that it is--is concerned about the upcoming trial against the AKP, from Market Watch:

Turkey's stocks and currency fell sharply on Monday, battered by a much weaker-than-expected report on GDP growth in the fourth quarter as well as heightened political concerns.

[ . . . ]

The index has tumbled 30% year-to-date, making it one of the worst performers among major emerging markets indexes. The underperformance of Turkish stocks this year is in stark contrast to their outperformance in 2007.

The Turkish currency, the lira, was also battered on Monday. The lira tumbled 2.6% against the euro and 2% against the U.S. dollar.

"This morning, the sell-off in the Turkish markets continues on the back of the weak GDP numbers, increased political tensions in Turkey and renewed jitters in the global credit markets," said Lars Christensen, chief analyst at Denmark's Danske Bank, in a research note.

"The lira looks very fragile in the global environment," he said.


Monday's decline in the Turkish lira reflects a broad weakness in the currency this year. The lira has tumbled about 12% against the U.S. dollar year-to-date.

Well, we all know that the value of the dollar has been dropping like a rock, but it sounds like an even bigger rock dropping in Ankara. Compare that with something a friend sent in email last week, from Britain's Telegraph:

Turkey is first in line for any stress test, said Neil Schering, an East Europe expert at Capital Economics.

"I wouldn't want to keep any money in the Turkish lira: the puzzle is how it has stayed so high for so long. There are huge imbalances in the economy. The current account deficit is nearly 8pc of GDP, and the chief prosecutor is trying to shut down the government," he said, referring to last week's court move to ban the ruling Islamic AKP party, as well as the president and prime minister, for alleged breach of the country's secular laws.

Turkey has a foreign debt of $276bn. The Istanbul bank YapiKredi says Turkish companies may have great difficulty raising some $48bn of fresh loans needed this year to stay afloat.

Neil must be having kittens over the Turkish economy today, but someone needs to fill him in on Turkey's use of black and green money to keep its economy going. An example, from Dissident Voice:

According to London’s Letter written by a Member of Parliament, “The war against drugs and drug trafficking in Britain is huge. Turkish heroin in particular is a top priority for the MI6 and the Foreign Ministry. During his visit to the British Embassy in Ankara, the head of the Foreign Office’s Turkey Department was clear about this. He reassured an English journalist that the heroin trade was more important than billions of pounds worth of trade capacity and weapons selling. When the journalist in question told me about this, I was reminded of my teacher’s words at university in Ankara ten years ago. He was also working for the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The topic of a lecture discussion was about Turkey’s Economy and I still remember his words today,

50 billion dollars worth of foreign debt is nothing, it is two lorry loads of heroin...

Kendal Nezan has also written about one source for the Ankara regime's black money--its drug trafficking. Green money includes such businesses as Ülker, İhlas Holding, and Gülen's empire, from TDN:

One inevitable part of the picture is Muslim spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen, who now resides in the United States. Today the Gulen community controls a nationwide media empire that includes a television station (Samanyolu), a radio station (Burc FM), a daily newspaper (Zaman) and a weekly magazine (Aksiyon) and several other periodicals. It also owns an Islamic (interest-free) bank (Asya Finans) and is linked to a number of business groups and prosperous entrepreneurs who help fund many of his endeavors especially in the field of education, a network of 150 schools in Turkey and possibly more abroad.

As the BBC reports, "The AKP argues the case against it is an attack on democracy," and this is certainly what they'd like everyone to believe so that they can go on playing the victim of the big, bad secularists. But in the wake of the Ergenekon busts, there are rumors that AKP is working to establish its own Deep State.

Any argument that claims the AKP closure case is merely a matter of "democracy" is an argument from hypocrisy. As correctly noted by Ilter Turan of Istanbul's Bilgi University, in the CNN article:

"The ruling party had no reaction when the chief prosecutor sought to disband a pro-Kurdish party," Turan said, referring to a case against the Democratic Society Party on charges of ties to Kurdish rebels.

Even Yusuf Kanlı, of TDN, asked: "Who had opposed and criticized the closure case filed against the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP)?" Certainly Katil Erdoğan didn't oppose or criticize that closure case. Neither did Olli Rehn and the EU.

To paraphrase Katil Erdoğan during the Amed Serhildan: Whoever cries for AKP now, let's hope they will cry in vain.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


"We are prepared and we are stronger than ever."
~ Bozan Tekin, PKK spokesman.

First, there's a new Kurdish blog that I've added to the blog list in the right margin, and it's called Kurdish Review so you may want to check that one and bookmark it. It's a group blog with a number of authors, so a variety of opinions should be available.

Second, Gordon Taylor has more information on Cüneyt Ertuş, the 15-year-old who had his arm broken by Turkish security forces:

Cuneyt's father related his own story to DIHA, the Dicle Haber Ajansi (Tigris News Agency), a pro-Kurdish outlet which publishes in Turkish from Europe. Zubeyir Ertuş told DIHA that his son went on a shopping trip to the center of Hakkari (formerly Julamerk, or Colemerg), the capital city of Hakkari province, on March 22. After the events of that day he didn't hear from his son, and he thought that Cuneyt had been detained. "At last," he said, after two days of searching, "I found him on Roj-TV." If only he hadn't. Zubeyir: "The police were breaking my son's arm right in front of the representatives of the press. I looked away in horror. I didn't want to believe my eyes."

[ . . . ]

In the meantime, we have Zubeyir Ertuş and his son Cuneyt, who because of a satellite channel and the sharing of photos on the Internet, are suddenly not alone. In a past posting about the Turks' recent invasion of northern Iraq, I talked about another pro-PKK news outlet, Firat News, and the dozens of reports that they constantly get in detailing the movements of Turkish government forces. Here we see the same thing, as the Kurds have constructed their own "virtual Kurdistan" from the reports, videos, and digital photos of their own people.

Read the rest.

Also check out Hevallo's point of irony on the situation of Cüneyt.

Now on to some PKK news from Özgür Gündem . . .

There have been reports in Western media in the last couple of days, claiming that TSK had killed 15 guerrillas, but HPG denies the story:

HPG refutes Turkish media

HPG refuted news in Turkish media which claimed 15 HPG guerrillas were killed in the Turkish army's bombardment.

According to a statement by HPG's media center, HPG refuted the claim that 15 guerrillas were killed in attacks carried out against the Medya Defense Zones on 28 March 2008, in the Zagros region of the Medya Defense Zones.

HPG mentioned in its statement that general staff officials manufactured this kind of war scenario. "This and similar claims are ones manufactured by the special warfare desk; they are a part of psychological warfare and they are lies," HPG explained in the statement.

In Turkish-occupied Kurdistan over the weekend, HPG inflicted some casualties on the TSK. In the Amed (Diyarbakır) region, HPG guerrillas killed 4 Turkish soldiers and wounded 3 on 29 March 2008 around 0500 hours. While the Turkish army conducted operations on Mt. Cudî, HPG infiltrated TSK's area of operations around 0130 hours. During this infiltration, 2 Turkish troops were killed and one day after this infiltration, the TSK was forced to retreat.

In Şemzinan, also on 29 March, according to a regional source, 10 military support vehicles deployed to Rûbarok to reinforce TSK forces operating there

PKK spokesman Bozan Tekin recently spoke on upcoming spring operations, saying that TSK's operations will intensify. "We are prepared and we are stronger than ever," Tekin said. To emphasize the fact, Tekin stated that PKK has 8 to 10 thousand fighters today.

In his statement to AFP, Bozan Tekin said, "The Turkish state must hear the message of freedom of the Kurdish people, and immediately it must end its violence against civilians." He warned, "Uncontrollable reactions may occur. The Turkish state and the ruling party will be responsible for such incidents."

"Despite ongoing progress, if the Turkish state does not stop its attacks against civilians," Tekin continued, "PKK will retaliate."

Even though TSK has 9 military bases in South Kurdistan, Tekin said that if Turkish troops had been able, they wanted to reach further inside South Kurdistan during the February land operations. Since they were not able to achieve this desire, it underlines their lack of success. He also stressed that American intelligence efforts on Turkey's behalf were not very effective.

Tekin criticized the embargo on Qendil, saying, "However, PKK has a huge reaction capacity. In fact, it was not affected and adopted itself to the situation." He also called on the KRG to see their real interests and wanted KRG to possess a better political approach.

Ahmet Turk made a good observation that AKP parliamentarians from Wan (Van), Gever (Yüksekova), and Culemêrg (Hakkâri) have not spoken up at all about the violent incidents perpetrated against the citizens of those cities by Turkish security forces. "People who cannot show the courage to speak up for their people's problems, to show the democratic reflex for a solution to the Kurdish question, cannot be the representatives of the Kurds."

So there you go, Kurdistan; your AKP parliamentarians aren't doing a damned thing for you, are they? Consider, too, that it would have been very easy for AKP parliamentarians to get permission from the AKP-appointed governors to celebrate Newroz. But did they do that? Of course not! They did nothing while DTP attempted to avert disaster with the worthless AKP governors and security chiefs.

No, your AKP parliamentarians sat back and did nothing for the sake of their own son-of-a-bitch Erdoğan. What's their political platform? Vote for AKP parliamentarians and get tortured for Newroz.

Well, then, we might as well include the fake Kurd AKP parliamentarians on the list of those responsible for Turkish state violence against the Kurdish people on Newroz.

Friday, March 28, 2008


"Security forces will intervene with every possible means indiscriminately, including against women and children."
~ R. Tayyip Erdoğan, during the Amed Serhildan.

Watch Turkish police break a 15-year-old Kurd's arm during the recent Newroz violence in Culemêrg (Hakkâri), Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, from Özgür Gündem:

Here are some photos of the same, to remember the faces of the security forces for identification purposes:

Gordon Taylor's description of the scene, at Progressive Historians:

But of course, you're not looking at the mountain, you're looking at a plainclothesman from the Turkish secret police giving us a demonstration of how to break a 15-year-old boy's arm. Let's not dwell on it. Every once in a while historians must confront everyday reality, and this is it. I am not one to use red-flag words idly; in fact, I despise the debasement of language that results when pejorative labels are endlessly purveyed in contexts that do not warrant them. This, however, is a case where the "F" word is fully justified. This is fascist thuggery, pure and simple.

It's always "fascist thuggery" with them.

Now, if that kid were a Palestinian Arab or a Tibetan instead of a Kurd in Turkey, or if those security forces were Israelis or Chinese instead of Turks, I can guarantee you that these photos and videos would be all over the international media, including the bullshit American media.

But because there's absolutely nothing here to excite the antisemite or the Hollywood Buddhist, and because these atrocities are taking place inside America's Model of Democracy for the Middle East, you haven't seen a damned thing of any of this anywhere on CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS, or in America's newspaper of record (the NYTimes), on Democracy Now!--so misnamed--or NPR.

Where's that AKP-Fethullacı bastard, Mustafa Akyol, to speak for his Muslim "brothers" in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan? Where is he to explain AKP's policy of crushing the arms of Kurdish 15-year-olds?

These photos and videos are the best explanation yet of AKP's Kurdish policy. And let's not forget, either, that it was the US who put AKP into power way back in 2002. AKP is America's gang.

But America is not the only one to support AKP:

A few weeks ago Iraqi president Jalal Talabani via the Turkish media had stated that AKP was a democratically elected party and it should be respected by Kurds. Similarly, Nechirvan Barzani, the Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government, stated in an interview that Turkey was Kurds’ elder brother.

Also last week a Kurdish journalist from Turkey, Mehmet Metiner in his interview with the southern Kurdistan based Kurdish Globe stated that “the AKP government, at least in discourse, differs from the militarist/bureaucratic elite in Turkey”.

Really, Mehmet??! Maybe you could explain exactly how the AKP fascists differ from the military fascists, especially after the May 2007 Dolmabahçe Palace Deal between Erdoğan and Büyükanıt. On the other hand, maybe Mehmet can't explain, since he's writing propaganda for the Southern Kurdish leadership.

According to the Özgür Gündem article at the beginning of the post, so far 900 people have been detained in the wake of Newroz, and at least 126 people have been arrested. Many of those detained and arrested are children. So this is exactly what happened during the Amed Serhildan exactly two years ago, at the end of March 2006. At the time, Erdoğan outlined AKP's Kurdish policy:

"Security forces will intervene with every possible means indiscriminately, including against women and children."


"The security forces will intervene against the pawns of terrorism, no matter if they are children or women. Everybody should realise that."

His government has praised the security forces for their handling of the situation, saying they have acted with restraint.

During and immediately after the Amed Serhildan, children were detained and tortured. There was no investigation of deaths caused by security forces and, to my knowledge, there has not been any investigation to this day.

All of this is the AKP's Kurdish policy.

Let me point out, too, that all of those responsible for "security" in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan--all the governors, the security chiefs, and the kaymakams--are all appointed by the AKP. They are AKP "men"; they are all responsible for the current brutality. They carry out the AKP's Kurdish policy at the frontline. These are the AKP officials who refused to allow DTP to conduct Newroz celebrations.

But, as Ahmet Türk said earlier this week, DTP has more video footage of the AKP government's atrocities in Wan, Gever, and Culemêrg (Van, Yüksekova, Hakkâri).

Remember the AKP's Kurdish policy, clearly inaugurated two years ago during the Amed Serhildan:


Support the 56 Kurdish Mayors fight for the Freedom of Expression and Right to Democracy:

56 Turkish-Kurdish Mayors have exercised their Right to Freedom of Expression, by writing a letter to the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

In the letter they urge the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, not to revoke the broadcast licence of the Kurdish language satellit tv-station, ROJ TV.

The Turkish State considers ROJ TV s broadcasts to be in support of the Kurdish Liberation Movement, PKK. For this reason, the Turkish State regards the letter to the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as an expression of support to the PKK.

The Danish Radio and TV Broadcasting Commission, Det Danske Radio og TV N vn , has investigated ROJ TV s broadcasts and exonerated the TV station, finding no legal infringements of the regulations. The Commission found the broadcasts to be of commonplace news and cultural content.

Up until now the City Mayors have appeared before the Court many times, the Prosecution is now insisting on a jail term of up to 2 years. They also run the risk of being barred from holding public office, including a mayoral position. This seems particularly unreasonable, and a threat to a Publicly Elected Official's ability to do their duty.

One of the accused, Chief Burgomaster (Chief Mayor) of the Kurdish major city of Diyarbakir, Osman Baydemir is one of many Kurdish politicians charged in not one, but in a series of cases. All in all, he is at risk of being sentenced to 280 years in prison. All the charges against him revolve around his use of the Kurdish language, and the Right to Freedom of Expression.

March 12th, 2008, Osman Baydemir is quoted in the Danish national newspaper Politiken as saying, "For New Years I sent a greetings card to Government and the Prosecution, where I wrote, 'Happy New Year' in Turkish, English and Kurdish. All the cards were returned to Sender except the one that I sent to the Prosecution. I was pleased, and thought that maybe they were softening up a little. But as it turned out, they used the card as evidence to charge me once again, not so much because I wrote the card in Kurdish, but because I used the letter 'w' that is used in the Kurdish language but not in the Turkish. "

The next trial date is set for April 15th, 2008, where a decision is expected.

By signing this petition, you are supporting the 56 Turkish-Kurdish Mayors fight for Freedom of Expression, as well as to protest the fact that Publicly Elected Officials using this Right, can risk such a serious sentence.

You can get further information on the case at:

Sign the petition.

More background:

The Deadliest Enemy of Tyranny

Democratization and DTP.

The Model of Democracy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


"Well behaved women rarely make history."
~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

YJA-STAR issued a statement in which its guerrillas promise revenge for the martyrs of 12 March, whose team leader was a member of YJA-STAR and for Newroz attacks in Qamishlo, Wan (Van), Gever (Yüksekova). YJA-STAR noted the combined resistance of Kurdish guerrilla forces in the Zap region and the Kurdish people's resistance during Newroz, remarking that this is an historic period in which guerrilla and the people's resistance had integrated and become stronger.

YJA-STAR commented on the outpouring of support for the leadership during Newroz, throughout Kurdistan as well as in Istanbul, and that this outpouring of support showed the Kurdish people's solidarity with the leadership.

In its statement, YJA-STAR greeted the Kurdish youths' resistance, "We greet the Kurdish youths' resistance; We celebrate them because of their determined struggle. For rising and maintaining the struggle in terms of integration with the guerrillas, we are calling all our youth in general, and young girls in particular, to our active struggle areas, which are our mountains."

"In this respect, we give our deep condolences to the people that have been murdered in Qamishlo, Van, and Gever; we hope the wounded get well as soon as possible and we declare that we share our people's grief." In addition to this, YJA-STAR said, "Indeed, everyone must know that the Kurdish people are not alone. YJA-STAR forces promised revenge against all the miscalculated attacks. We are declaring this promise to the whole world."

To Turkish and Syrian security forces: The women of the PKK are coming and they're going to show you just how weak your shit really is.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008


"Injustice boils in men's hearts as does steel in its cauldron, ready to pour forth, white hot, in the fullness of time."
~ Mother Jones.

Ahmet Türk had a few things to say today about the Ergenekon gang and the AKP closure case, from Zaman:

At a parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Türk pointed out that there have been many gangs in the history of Turkey. “We know that since the establishment of the Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa [an Ottoman intelligence agency] in 1915-1917, state assassins have been used in certain killings,” Türk said.

He added that the activities of gangs intensify when the Kurdish question is on the agenda.

“Ergenekon and similar gangs are holding the society like an octopus. We want these gangs to be uncovered completely, but the investigation is not going in this direction. We are seeing a power struggle, not a struggle for a transparent and democratic state,” he said.

This follows additional Ergenekon arrests over the last weekend, which included: Doğu Perinçek, chairman of Turkey's Worker's Party (İşçi Partisi--a hardline nationalist party); İlhan Selcuk, the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper; and Kemal Alemdaroğlu, former rector of Istanbul University. The main battle here appears to be between AKP and the secularists, particularly CHP, with CHP chairman Deniz Baykal accusing AKP of "trying to build its own 'deep state'" and Erdoğan responding with "If there is a deep state in this country, you (Baykal) would be one to know it best. You are the architecture of the deep state."

Thus the poo-flinging rages fast and furious in this power struggle. Of course, all of this leads people to suspect that the Ergenekon investigation has now become a tool for AKP to use against its enemies, who brought a closure case against it.

That brings us to Ahmet Türk's comments on AKP's closure:

"The government did not show any reaction when the court case opened against us, but today they are seeking formulas to save themselves. Bring the new constitution to Parliament and, if you don’t have a majority, submit it to the public. But you are only out to save yourself."

Certainly AKP is only out to save itself; it's not the "democratic" party that ignoramuses in the West would have us believe. On that, check the points of failure enumerated by Cengiz Çandar at TDN:

If you stop halfway and push the decision with some other calculations in mind to dig out anti-democratic structures within the state structure and seek reconciliation, then the "Ergenekon boomerang" will come back and hit you through the closure indictment.

If you do not adopt a decent and determined approach to the closure of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) and needlessly impose in parliamentary sessions and say "I will not speak with you until you name the PKK terrorists," then you suddenly share the same fate with it.

Instead of undertaking the responsibility to do your best as the executive party in the Dink murder investigation, but rather adopt a different attitude and say "the issue has been transferred to the judiciary," making excuses about Article 301 and any anti-democratic provisions in the legal system yet say "Let's see the implementations," you would be "transferred to the judiciary" all of a sudden.

How can the AKP have a right to object to the closure case, if there is inconsistency in its own acts?

The AKP's wrongdoings are innumerable. You name it; from putting the draft constitution on hold and focusing on the headscarf issue, which unnecessarily turned the political agenda upside down, to not touching the Political Parties Law as one of the by-products of the 1983 Constitution in its fifth year in the government.

The case against the AKP finds legal ground with the current Political Parties Law.

The Political Parties Law, forumlated by the MGK (National Security Council) in 1983, "which was intended to regulate the formation of political parties in advance of the November 1983 National Assembly elections, stipulates that political organizations cannot be based on class, religion, race, or language distinctions . . . Political parties are prohibited from criticizing the military intervention of September 1980 or the actions or decisions of the NSC. The Political Parties Law empowers the NSC and its successor, the Presidential Council, to investigate all party members and candidates for office and to declare any unsuitable."

Ahmet Türk had some words about state-sponsored Newroz violence:

Türk said that before Nevruz they had met with Interior Minister Beşir Atalay and asked him to give the DTP permission to hold celebrations at its own discretion. He said Atalay told them the decision had to be made by the individual governorates.

We warned them. If we had been allowed to celebrate as a party according to our own schedule, we would have been able to establish discipline. But we witnessed terrible events that we wish we hadn’t had to see,” Türk said.

Apparently, DTP has additional video of the violence which it will submit to Erdoğan and Gül. If no results come from that--and the real shocker would be if results did, in fact, come from the AKP--then DTP plans on releasing the video to the international public to "pass judgement on the videos."

But there's an easy explanation for the failure which is AKP, and that explanation is widely known and is not limited to the Ergenekon case:

But the “Justice and Development Party” is not concerned with justice, but with control, no matter which means, which compromises, which approval were needed for this control…The AKP’s control is guaranteed by the “mutual agreement in Dolmabahce Palace” which Prime Minister Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Büyükanit made, and it is thus naïve to think that justice will be handed out to anyone at a higher level than retired general Veli Kücük. The fact that the AKP has formed a single-party government has made it easy to remain committed to this agreement. On the other hand, this agreement gives the AKP a free hand to deal with the “extra-parliamentarian” pursuits which do not clash with the protected zones of the General Staff.

Ain't that the truth?

Monday, March 24, 2008


"I’ve been a friend of America, and I’ve been its enemy. America betrays its friends. It sets them up and betrays them. I’d rather be America’s enemy."
~ Ahmed Chalabi.

You're not going to believe this one, from the WaPo:

During his nearly four years as a translator for U.S. forces in Iraq, Saman Kareem Ahmad was known for his bravery and hard work. "Sam put his life on the line with, and for, Coalition Forces on a daily basis," wrote Marine Capt. Trent A. Gibson.

Gibson's letter was part of a thick file of support -- including commendations from the secretary of the Navy and from then-Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus -- that helped Ahmad migrate to the United States in 2006, among an initial group of 50 Iraqi and Afghan translators admitted under a special visa program.

Last month, however, the U.S. government turned down Ahmad's application for permanent residence, known as a green card. His offense: Ahmad had once been part of the Kurdish Democratic Party, which U.S. immigration officials deemed an "undesignated terrorist organization" for having sought to overthrow former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Ahmad, a Kurd, once served in the KDP's military force, which is part of the new Iraqi army. A U.S. ally, the KDP is now part of the elected government of the Kurdish region and holds seats in the Iraqi parliament. After consulting public Web sites, however, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services determined that KDP forces "conducted full-scale armed attacks and helped incite rebellions against Hussein's regime, most notably during the Iran-Iraq war, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom."

Ahmad's association with a group that had attempted to overthrow a government -- even as an ally in U.S.-led wars against Hussein -- rendered him "inadmissible," the agency concluded in a three-page letter dated Feb. 26.

[ . . . ]

Many of the thousands of Iraqis who have served as linguists for U.S. forces have been threatened in Iraq. Ahmad left the country after he was branded a "collaborator" from mosque pulpits in Anbar province and posters calling for his death began appearing there.

Under congressional pressure to allow such translators into the United States, the Bush administration in 2006 authorized 50 visas for them annually. That number was increased to 500 in fiscal 2008, and the quota will revert to 50 a year in fiscal 2009. In announcing the program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) emphasized that it allows translators "to gain admission to the United States, apply for permanent residency and eventually acquire U.S. citizenship."

[ . . . ]

The second youngest of five children, Ahmad was away at college when Saddam Hussein, striking at rebellious Kurds, launched a chemical gas attack against Ahmad's home town, Halabja, in 1988. The infamous assault, in which more than 5,000 died, was often cited by the Bush administration as part of its justification for invading Iraq. It left Ahmad without a single living relative, as he has recounted to Americans many times over the past six years.

[ . . . ]

According to Human Rights First, a nonprofit that handles similar immigration cases, groups such as the KDP do not appear on U.S. government lists of designated terrorists. Instead, determinations of "undesignated terrorist organizations" are made, case by case, by the USCIS, part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Using definitions in the Immigration and Nationality Act, the USA Patriot Act and other legislation adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, it is up to USCIS officials to research an applicant's background and make a decision. According to Ahmad's denial letter, the information in his case was obtained from the Web site of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, a DHS-funded nonprofit group.

The legislation contains waiver provisions -- by the secretary of state for foreign petitioners, and the secretary of homeland security for those who, like Ahmad, are already in this country. But there is no path for a denied individual to apply for a waiver.

Of course, I guess things could be worse; he could have gotten citizenship the hard way:

A young, ambitious immigrant from Guatemala who dreamed of becoming an architect. A Nigerian medic. A soldier from China who boasted he would one day become an American general. An Indian native whose headstone displays the first Khanda, emblem of the Sikh faith, to appear in Arlington National Cemetery.

These were among more than 100 foreign-born members of the U.S. military who earned American citizenship by dying in Iraq.

How's that for irony? . . . Talk about a nation of ingrates.


"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths."
~ Karl Marx.

Fuck the Street. Please, Ben Bernanke, just fuck them. Raise interest rates to fucking 10% for the month if you must, just to master cleanse all those fuckers of their liquidity addictions. And seriously, that $30 billion in cash you promised JP Morgan? Fuck that. Just text Jamie Dimon tomorrow afternoon and say you can't make it, maybe he can find some sovereign growth sugar daddies in one of the Emirates or maybe China? I mean, China's got all the jobs now anyway, they might as well control a few more multinational companies in the lead-up to the Olympics, right? They'll probably even overpay for them, what with all this Tibet noise. But really, how hard can it be to scrounge up $30 billion if Goldman managed to cough up $21 billion on Christmas bonuses? Anyway, like I said, not your concern; fuck them. I wouldn't say this if I hadn't thought about it at least as hard as the average overleveraged hedge fund short-seller when he pushed down on the panic button that got us into this mess, Ben Bernanke.

And by "us," I mean Bear Stearns, because I personally have weighed the odds and I'm pretty sure I personally have nothing at stake here, no matter what you do, Ben Bernanke. My balance sheet, while admittedly lacking much in the way of assets, is also blissfully insensitive to short-term market and/or interest rate fluctuations.

Thanks to my industry, indeed, my own financial situation has been governed by a recessionary state of constant layoffs and downsizing for years and years -- and I'm lucky enough to have one of those jobs they haven't figured out how to do better in Hyberabad. And I'll let you in on something, Ben Bernanke; my finances have zero correlation with those of the stock market. I'm not alone in this; most Americans are actually earning less than they were in real terms than they were in 1999. They can handle a few quarters of recession because they've been handling it.

Some of my morning commenters would have me believe bailing out JP Morgan is the only way to minimize "collateral damage on Wall Street and thus the economy," but really, whose economy are we talking about here? The buying power of the minimum wage employee is at a 51-year-low.

So fuck the Street, Ben Bernanke; just this once, just for, like, a quarter or something. You don't have to play rough; I'm not asking you to nationalize any industries or institute land reform or anything, just give them a little scare. They chose this path, you know. They chose to worship Ayn Rand and wear those Paul Smith shirts and pay zero money down on their Hamptons summer homes and obnoxiously, whenever confronted by someone like myself at a bar, claim that the Market Solves Everything. Let the market solve this one for them. People are eating dirt for dinner in Haiti, Ben Bernanke; you can let Bear Stearns go to bankruptcy court.

[ . . . ]

What if there were some sort of cascading ripple effect? everyone wants to know. What of all that IRRATIONAL FEAR? But you just tell them, Ben Bernanke, that they should maybe sit quietly in their illiquid asses and reflect on what the fuck made them think it was rational to buy into all this fancy housing market bullshit in the first place. Just ask them, Ben Bernanke, what they thought was rational about people in Southern California taking out mortgages with monthly payments equivalent to five months' rent?

Because the housing market never made much sense to me, Ben Bernanke. I mean, there we were a couple years ago, with a war on, a slowing economy, oil roaring up toward $100 a gallon or whatever, skyrocketing energy prices sending other commodity prices through the roof... just where were the buyers who were supposed to keep bidding up those houses so everyone could continue pumping the economy with home equity loans? I'll tell you where a lot of them are now: sitting at home, watching network TV and avoiding opening their mail. Sort of like Bear Stearns with that portfolio of mortgages, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities no one wants to put a value on just yet.

But you know? Eventually they'll open the envelopes, see what they've got, realize it's probably not the end of the world and start moving money around again. Assets are only "illiquid" till someone -- the market? -- figures out how to make them liquid again!

And if it is the end of the world, there's always the hope of an early death a la Ken Lay. Right?


Sunday, March 23, 2008


"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion."
~ Oscar Wilde.

Newroz in Wan (Van). Check out the cops beating the women with their batons. This all came about because Newroz celebrations were forbidden in Wan, Culemêrg (Hâkkari), Riha (Urfa), and Sêrt (Siirt).

It looks like someone lifted most, if not all, of Hürriyet's video and put it up on Youtube:

Some photos:

If you check the photos from Culemêrg (Hâkkari), note that the fascist police with ski masks are Özel Hareket Timler, and they are richly deserving of the same fate as the military Özel Timler ("special teams").

Özgür Gündem also has a Newroz photo gallery.

Here's another video from Wan:

And another:

Özgür Gündem reports that the Diyarbakir chief prosecutor wants Turkish translations of the speeches made on Newroz in Amed by Ahmet Türk, Osman Baydemir, Leyla Zana and Necdet Atalay, as well as a translation of the Newroz message Öcalan sent. The chief prosecutor also wants video of the celebrations in order to determine the identities of those who carried Öcalan flags, KCK flags, and PKK flags.

The biggest coup of the holiday came from Roj TV, which broadcast live for 5 hours from Amed. A while ago, Roj had begun broadcasting through two satellites in order the jamming of their transmissions by the Turkish state.

On Newroz, Roj TV began 24 hour broadcasting. "Good news for Roj TV's viewers: Roj TV is broadcasting 24 hours now".

Despite oppression and blocking, Roj TV has started broadcasting 24 hours on Newroz and onward.

[. . . ]

Thus viewers will be able to follow the news from Kurdistan and the whole world at any time during the day. In its statement, Roj TV said, "Roj TV's decision will accelerate the enhancement of Kurdish language and culture, and will preserve it."

In related news, Denmark is trying to get Roj TV listed with the UN as a terrorist organization, according to Danish ambassador to Ankara, Jesper Vahr. Vahr recently stated that Turkey's evidence against Roj TV is insufficient to support Turkey's claims. For this reason, Denmark is asking Turkey for more evidence against the channel.

"Besides Turkey and Denmark have cooperation against terrorism and if we look at the bigger picture this must not be reduced to an incident of Roj TV. Right now there is an ongoing investigation against Roj TV and we need all the evidence that Turkey will provide."

Three Rojavayî Kurds were murdered by the Syrian Arab regime during Newroz celebrations in Qamişlo, Syrian-occupied Kurdistan. The Jerusalem Post claims that 10,000 Syrian troops have been deployed to Syrian-occupied Kurdistan; however, the claim is not substantiated anywhere else, including Firat News. Given that Cihan News and DebkaFile reports about a Turkish invasion of South Kurdistan early last June were spectacular lies, there is no reason, at this point, to give any credence to the current claim.

Firat News has photos of those murdered by the Syrian regime:

The Syrian regime has so far refused to return the bodies of the victims to their families.

Şehîdên azadiyê nemirin!

Finally, check Gordon Taylor's recent musing on Newroz, Kurds, and the Dicle.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


"Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses."
~ Arthur C. Clarke.

Reason number 5,278 to hate religion and the people who practice it. Or, how a pack of sociopaths are actively seeking to push the world to nuclear war (Runtime: 1 hour, 41 mins).

Thursday, March 20, 2008




Wednesday, March 19, 2008


"In the context of war, a war crime is a punishable offense under international law, for violations of the laws of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. War crimes can be committed during international armed conflict or internal armed conflict."
~ War crime.

Some photos of Turkish atrocities against HPG guerrillas have surfaced on the web. KurdishMedia picked them up, but incorrectly gives the impression that these atrocities were committed during the "recent Turkish aggression on southern Kurdistan". That is clearly not what is said on the webpage where these photos are found. Instead, it is clearly stated that these are photos of HPG guerrillas captured alive in 2007 by the barbaric Turkish army.

A small sampling of the photos:

The photos can be found on the original site here, or on a .pdf at the KurdishMedia link. WARNING: photos are extremely graphic and disturbing. Don't come crying to me if you have nightmares because you didn't pay attention to the warning.

Here's a translation of the Turkish text that accompanies the photos:

You cannot avoid the responsibility of this genocide

As "reverence for the dead" the Turkish army continues to commit crimes against humanity by tearing apart the bodies of Kurds they have murdered!

They have a place for this violence in the AKP government's belief . . . . You monsters, is this your belief?

Here is the Turkish state's crimes against humanity! Can a state become as low as this?

Can the Turkish army refute this crime against humanity?

How are you going to render an account before history for these crimes against humanity?

HPG guerrillas that have been caught alive and murdered in 2007.

We are curious if, in Vietnam, which left a big scar in history, such violence occured . . .

NATO and the West, who gave you the most modern weapons and training to let you commit more crimes against humanity, are also as guilty as you!

Now, compare those photos with the photos of Turkish soldiers captured alive, held prisoner, and released by HPG. Do you see so much as a scratch on HPG's Turkish POWs?

We know exactly who the terrorist barbarians are, don't we? The terrorist barbarians know exactly who they are. And like it says at, NATO and the West are just as guilty.

Remember that fact if any European tourists get blown up this summer and don't expect any sympathy here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


"In November 2002, Turkey’s National Security Council – which groups Turkey’s top generals and government leaders – has agreed to lift the State of Emergency Rules (OHAL Act number 2935) in the last two remaining provinces of Diyarbakir and Sirnak – both provinces in the south-east of the country – after nearly 15 years of emergency rule and martial law. The lifting of the State of emergency rule was among the steps the EU asked the Turkish government to take as a condition for accession talks."
~ International Federation for Human Rights, 2003.

Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) has found that human rights violations have been on the rise in the last two years in those regions of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan that have been designated as new OHAL zones.

That's no surprise. The new OHAL was announced at the same time that a bogus invasion was announced. Later, Erdoğan the Liar tried to tell us there was no new OHAL. But some of us knew that everything would intensify black operations in the new OHAL regions. Then there was the assassination attempt against Beytüşşebap's mayor, aerial bombing in Şirnex, and a resurrection of the contra-guerrillas. The new OHAL enabled the state to interfere with free elections and to murder a Kurdish infant.

The new OHAL was extended once, the number of new OHAL regions was increased, and the new OHAL was extended a second time.

Now, here's what KHRP says:

A KHRP Fact-Finding Mission sent to investigate the impact of the declaration of ‘High Security Zones’ in the Kurdish regions of Turkey returned yesterday. Mission members Sara Capogna and Nazmi Gür visited Tunceli, Bingöl, Diyarbakir, Cizre and Şirnak, meeting with human rights lawyers, government and political party officials, and trade union and NGO representatives.

The mission observed that the most commonly violated rights were related to the freedoms of expression, thought and association. Worryingly, the mission also noted that there was a general consensus that the situation in these regions had deteriorated over the last two years, although it has not reached the same levels of oppression and human rights violations of the 1990s.

‘After several reports of unlawful detention; disproportionate use of force by authorities at peaceful demonstrations against military activity in the region; and complaints from rural dwellers about access to their lands and livestock, the KHRP sent a mission to determine the human rights impact on the day-to-day life of the average person living in the Kurdish regions. Unfortunately, the delegation has returned reporting a series of violations that are entirely incompatible with international human rights norms.'

A full report of the mission's findings and recommendations will be available in the coming weeks.

I, for one, can't wait to read the full report.

Monday, March 17, 2008


"One important question that needs to be resolved concerns the status of an alleged secret directive of the Turkish Army permitting the use of chemical and biological measures in counter-terrorist activities."
~ Country Study No. 3: Turkey, The Sunshine Project.

Over the weekend, the WaPo had a follow-up to their recent report (with photos and video) on the PKK.

Those you would expect to complain, have complained:

Burak Akcapar, deputy chief of mission at the Turkish Embassy, said the story "was sympathetic and glorified an infamous and deadly terrorist organization. The PKK was portrayed as humane fighters in an epic struggle despite the fact they have been engaging in brutal terrorism." [ . . . ] Akcapar and others criticized a picture of a guerrilla feeding an orphaned bear cub with a baby bottle. "I don't understand why a terrorist is carrying a baby milk bottle."

Yeah, that baby bottle and the feeding of an animal certainly go a long way to show the humanity of the freedom fighters of Kurdistan and of course Akçapar is incapable of understanding it.

As should be expected, the propagandist Akçapar failed to mention the confessions of certain Turkish military officers, such as Erdal Sarızeybek and Altay Tokat. He failed to mention Turkish military massacres, such as the one at Guçlukonak, Hantepe, or Beytüşşebap. Nor does he mention the Turkish military's massacres and destruction of cities, such as happened at Lice, or in the Şirnex (Şirnak) region.

As a reminder, Turkey's drug income or it's continuing pivotal role in the world's drug industry, and all the side industries that go along with it.

On the other hand, others, like Henri Barkey and Omer Taspinar liked the piece. From Barkey:

"Wow. Good for you guys for doing it. The reporter was describing what he sees. I took it as such." Barkey, who has lived in Turkey and visits every year, also said that the story didn't explain the origins of the PKK or its place among the Kurds. "There was no context. But not every piece is going to go through a litany of charges. For someone like me who is well versed, we don't get to see much about how these guys operate, how they bury their dead, why they're so difficult to defeat. . . . Purely for information that I hadn't seen for a long, long time, it was a very useful piece."

Note for Barkey: They're not only guys. And from Taspinar:

"I don't think the piece is biased. It obviously has some sympathy for the guerrillas but also gives background enough to balance."

Of course, this admission from the WaPo is a bit disappointing:

The story was shortened considerably; top editors wanted to hold the package to one inside page. A few more background paragraphs wouldn't have made a difference to the Turkish government, but Post readers would have had a fuller picture of the PKK.

Although I thought the WaPo article was one of the best pieces on the PKK in Western media in a long time, it would have been better to have a fuller picture of the PKK by giving more background as to why PKK arose in the first place.

In other news, there was an interesting analysis of the recent TSK fiasco against the PKK from some Turkish Marxists. Funny . . . they're calling the February operation a fiasco, too:

The incursion of the Turkish army into northern Iraq has ended in a terrible debacle for both US imperialism and Turkey. The two allies are now at loggerheads once again, after the thaw in their relations achieved at the White House talks between Bush and Turkish prime minister Erdogan on 5 November 2007. The Turkish government and the army are the object of unprecedented criticism by the bourgeois media but also by ordinary people.

"Unprecedented criticism" is right. I don't know of any time that there was so much criticism of both the government and the TSK in the history of Turkey. I mean, when both CHP and MHP are going after the Paşas, then you know it's bad. Of course, it's highly likely that they know all about the deal between Erdoğan and Büyükanıt.

The whole episode of the Turkish incursion was played out as a miserable mismanagement of a crisis situation by the two allies, the US and Turkey. Although the latter had been bombing the PKK bases in the north of Iraq since 16 December last year, an incursion into the region of Turkish combat troops on 21 February came as a surprise to the whole world, especially in the midst of winter, given the circumstances of the extremely rugged and mountainous terrain. The operation was greeted with unreserved support by the US, no lesser a figure than Condoleezza Rice in person immediately voicing “absolute solidarity” with the Turkish war effort. The US had already extended lavish support to the several rounds of Turkish bombing efforts by providing real time intelligence and clearance to enter Iraqi airspace, as well as clear diplomatic approval, but nothing that was said had been as strong as Rice's words. And yet only five days later, the support turned out to be relative!

Well, the invasion wasn't such a surprise to everyone, nor was the December bombing. It was only a surprise to those who don't pay attention.

The aims of the Turkish military incursion were never stated clearly. This led to exaggerated expectations on the part of Turkish public opinion that the PKK was going to be dealt a serious, if not final, blow. Jingoistic media discourse of the kind “Objective Kandil” further reinforced these unrealistic expectations. This explains the bitter disppointment felt by the Turkish public at large, poisoned as it has been by chauvinistic propaganda for years now. It would not be realistic to think that the Turkish army had really set its eyes on dealing the PKK a definitive blow. The top brass, after all, has repeatedly made clear over time that military incursion into Iraq will not finish off the PKK, which by most estimates has a total of around five thousand guerrillas inside Turkey and over the border in Iraq.

Whatever the targets originally set, the Turkish army cannot be said to have achieved any serious military results in this week-long incursion. Official army figures for PKK casualties stands at around 230, while admitted army casualties amount to a mere 27. The PKK, for its part, claims that Turkish casualties rise to 125 and its own loss is only nine. No matter where the truth lies regarding this aspect of the matter, the fact that the Turkish military totally failed in achieveing its own targets is clearly proved by the case of the Zab base of the PKK.

Actually, people may have gotten the idea that TSK was going to fight until PKK was annihilated because of Büyükanıt's own words last October:

On Saturday Buyukanit, in a speech to mark Monday's Republic Day, said the army would fight until it had destroyed the PKK.

"We feel the pain of our martyred heroes deeply. But that pain increases our determination to fight," the text of his speech read. "Those who make us suffer cannot even imagine the suffering we will inflict on them; on this we are determined."

The Marxists have a prediction:

2007 was marked by the serious tension in Turkey due to the prospect of the election of a major leader of the pro-Islamic government party as president, a process interrupted by a military pronunciamiento but finally consummated after the electoral victory of the government party. 2008 promises to be an explosive year, next to which the tensions of 2007 will look pale.

It's really a very interesting analysis, so make sure to take a look at the whole thing.

Meanwhile, for all those who stupidly claim that Kurds are equal and that Kurdish language is no longer illegal, Osman Baydemir is going to trial for having published a storybook in Kurdish and Turkish.

Others don't seem to be fooled by Katil Erdoğan's BS Kurdish reform package. From AFP via The Kurdish Globe:

For political analyst Dogu Ergil, the planned measures show Erdogan's unwillingness or inability to address the basic demand of Kurds to be accepted for their ethnic roots and be allowed to participate in Turkey's affairs as Kurds.

"Turkey has a system which is based on a Turkish ethnic identity and sees Kurds as a dependent component that has to suffice with what it is given and told to do," he said. "Unless Turkey addresses this issue, nothing can resolve the tensions between the state and society."

The measures are "an indication that the government does not want to or is unable to take a serious and bold step on the Kurdish issue" for fear of a nationalist backlash, Ergil said.

[ . . . ]

"Turkey is fighting a monster of its own creation, a Frankenstein, right now," Ergil said. "The government believes that it will be very difficult to deal with the nationalist masses and such an effort will not have any significant return for them."

And from DTP:

Turkey's main Kurdish party, the Democratic Society Party (DTP), which enjoys considerable support among the Kurds, was also unimpressed by Erdogan's plans.

"The essence of the Kurdish problem is creating a nation based on a single language, a single religion and a single ethnicity," the party's deputy parliamentary group chairman Selahattin Demirtas said.

"One cannot solve the Kurdish problem with factories and Kurdish broadcasts," he added.

Finally, there have been numerous reports in the past of TSK's use of chemical weapons against PKK. Now it appears that there is some suspicion of the use of chemical weapons against South Kurdistani civilians during the recent operations. From VOI, again via The Kurdish Globe:

Safia Al-Sehail told Voices of Iraq VOI, "There is a necessity for the Red Cross, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization - UN), and other organizations that care about nature to have a presence at the Iraqi side of the border with Turkey."

"Animals at the protected Merga-Sor reserve went extinct, because of the Turkish operation," Al-Sehail said.

As the head of a parliamentary committee that has been sent to the area to investigate the facts on the ground, Al-Sehail said that the committee's report, which will be submitted to the Iraqi parliament, government and Presidency Council, "will include recommendations for the government, international agencies, United Nations, and European Union (EU) to aid those areas that have been bombarded."

She added "We saw destroyed bridges, gardens, and farmers that have been attacked on their lands, and we met hundreds of displaced people due to the Turkish invasion to some villages at Erbil and Duhok provinces in Kurdistan region, the northern and northeastern parts of Iraq."

"We met people who now cannot breathe easily, with tearing up red-eyes, severe flu cases for children and the elderly, in addition to abortion cases, all because of the Turkish military operations," Al-Sehail asserted.

"Samples from the area have been gathered and sent to Iraqi laboratories for checking," Al-Sehail noted, asserting "a report in this respect will be issued within the coming days."

Reference this report, from The Sunshine Project:

On 23 July 1989, the Turkish newspaper Ikibine Dogru published an article on chemical weapons in which it reproduced parts of an alleged secret security directive (reproduced on the following page) of the Turkish Armed Forces permitting the use of chemical and biological weapons in the war against Kurdish fighters. The same parts of the directive were also reproduced in a book on chemical and biological weapons published in 1992 by the Kurdish author Celadet Celiker.

According to excerpts reproduced in Ikibine Dogru, the directive was issued on 25 February 1986 and was signed by Necdet Öztorun, at that time commander of the Turkish Army. In paragraph 5) it describes permitted methods to destroy tunnels, including:

(d) Can be filled with poison gas.

(e) Can be rendered unusable by breeding specially bred poisonous insects.”

In another section, the same document reads

c. Gas bombs and …

d. NBC Weapons: fog, fire making substances, tear and emetic gases are being used when necessary by friendly forces."

It is an open question whether or not the directive that was reproduced in Ikibine Dogru is indeed issued by the Turkish Armed Forces or whether it is a forgery. We located the alleged author of the directive, Necdet Öztorun, who is now working at Isik University. Öztorun did not respond to requests for further information. Considering that the Turkish government never explicitly denied the existence of this directive, it appears to be likely that the directive was indeed issued by the Turkish Armed Forces. Whether or not it is still in force remains unclear.

And from the introduction of the report:

One important question that needs to be resolved concerns the status of an alleged secret directive of the Turkish Army permitting the use of chemical and biological measures in counter-terrorist activities. Absent a clarification from the Turkish government it remains an open question if this document is a forgery or authentic and, if so, if remains in force. If this directive is genuine, the current Turkish government should initiate an independent investigation of this matter and must ensure that no offensive biological weapons activities are conducted, prepared or permitted in Turkey.

The Turkish Armed Forces used and likely still use so called ‘non-lethal’ chemical weapons such as tear gas in military combat. In at least one incident tear gas grenades were used in a military operation against armed Kurds that left twenty dead. This violates the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits explicitly “to use riot control agents as a method of warfare”.

Why am I not shocked?

More on Turkey's use of chemical weapons against Kurdish guerrillas at WMD Insights.