"He conquers who endures."
HPG downed two military helicopters since Friday, from Özgür Gündem:
HPG: Two Helicopters downed in Bingöl and Oramar
Two Sikorsky-type helicopters were downed by HPG guerrillas in Bingöl and Oramar. The helicopter downed in Bingöl was recorded by guerrillas while it exploded.
According to information received by HPG BIM (HPG Press and Information Center), after it was ambushed by guerrillas in Bingöl on 12 July, the Sikorsky-type helicopter made an emergency landing in the Heredan garrison. Then the helicopter caught fire and exploded. BIM said, "The helicopter's landing and its explosion was recorded by our guerrillas."
One more helicopter downed in Avinka village
In addition, on 11 July at 1230 hours, a Sikorsky-type helicopter which took off from the Oramar garrison was ambushed by guerrilla forces. BIM stated that the helicopter was shot by heavy weapons, then it caught fire after flying for a while. It was downed between Oramar and Avasin area, close to Avinka village. BIM said, "After the helicopter was downed, TSK casualties could not be clarified. The downed helicopter caused a fire in the region which lasted for two days."
If the video recording of the helicopter in Bingöl appears on Roj TV, I'll try to find a copy of it to post here. Meanwhile, there was more news about the German mountaineers, from Yeni Özgür Politika:
KCK: Red Cross must step in.
KCK executive council member Sozdar Avesta spoke to the French news agency AFP. Sozdar said they would release the German mountaineers, however [Turkish] operations must first stop.
Demanding the supervision of the release process by an international organization such as the Red Cross, Avesta said, "Their health is good. They've been taken as a reaction to the things Germany does. We demand of Germany a change its hostile attitude against the Kurds."
Germans are against the PKK ban
According to a poll conducted by German television channel SAT1, 77.5% of people criticized their government's policies against PKK. The PKK ban became a major issue in Germany while the unlawful ban of Roj TV by the Federal Internal Minister Wolfgang Schauble was still under debate. German television channel SAT1 conducted a poll on the morning of 13 July about this recent major issue. In the poll, conducted by phone, the channel asked: "The government is too harsh against PKK, is this a correct solution or not?" The people who participated in the poll overwhelmingly said "No" to the oppression of the German government against PKK and indicated this was not a solution. According to the results of the poll, 21.4% answered "Yes"; 1.2% said "I don't know"; 77.5% said "No" to this question.
The poll results also reveals that the German people are also against their government's ban against PKK and oppression against the Kurdish people and their institutions.
There was an interview with Zübeyir Aydar recently. Here are some excerpts:
Hawlati: In Kurdistan Region there are two main parties. Does the National Congress have any political or diplomatic relations with these two parties?
Zuber Aydar: We have relations with both. We wish to promote those relations. We further hope that the Kurdish-Kurdish relation will not be like that of two neighbouring forces, but rather, like one Kurdish force. And that will be boosted by adopting one national strategy. We suggested some time ago for both the two main parties - that is, the PUK and the KDP - that we should hold a national conference in which all the Kurdish sides would participate. We would set up a national strategy and would keep together because all of us are Kurds. We all share the same destiny. Kurdistan is the homeland of all of us. Wherever the Kurdish people are, they are all one nation. For if we stand single in front of our enemies, we will ourselves be weak.
To date, our relationship with the KDP and the PUK has not reached the level that the Kurdish people wish. It has not witnessed any progress. However, our efforts will continue. But, regrettably, our comrades in the south are not ready for a national conference. Therefore, once again, through you I call on all the sides in the south, particularly the KDP and the PUK to make efforts so that we will convene a national conference and draw up a national strategy so as to adopt it and work accordingly.
Hawlati: Do you think that there is external pressure behind the refusal of the KDP and PUK to hold a national conference?
Zuber Aydar: Yes, I think there is external pressure from Turkey, Iran, Syria, America and several Arab countries. They have relations with many countries. If the Kurds unite, those [countries] will be displeased.
Hawlati: The authorities in the south often accuse the PKK guerrillas of causing trouble and unrest for the experiment in the south. What should the guerrillas do to avoid agitating and troubling the experiment in the south?
Zuber Aydar: Those allegations are categorically unimportant, because the south is part of Kurdistan. Whatever role the peshmerga of Kurdistan play, the guerrillas play the same role for Kurdistan, even more. The guerrillas have a role. Their task is the protection of Kurdistan and not causing unrest and instability to the conditions in the south.
As you know, if at present anything bad happens to the guerrillas' movement, the Kurdish movement in the north will be in grievous trouble. It will have an effect on the Middle East and will create unrest in that region too. The extinction of the guerrillas will result in the increase in the sanctions on the south by Syria, Iran and Turkey and the south will grow very weak. Indeed, the role of the guerrillas is the protection of the whole of Kurdistan. That is why the south should know very well that the guerrillas are protecting them. The stand which the guerrillas made at Zab was also for the protection of Hawler and Slemani. So it is the duty of these two cities to support them and not to oppose them and become their enemies. This is our wish.
Read the rest because Aydar speaks common sense.
A friend sent a couple of items. First, Fethullah Gülen was featured on NPR yesterday. Gülen won a poll in Foreign Policy magazine as the world's leading intellectual. Yes, it's ridiculous but there's a reason why it's ridiculous, from NPR:
No. 1 on the list is Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim religious leader from Turkey. In fact, the top 10 of the leading 20 are all Muslim thinkers from countries with dominant Muslim populations.
That's not a coincidence, says Kate Palmer, a Foreign Policy editor. In addition to being highly subjective, the survey generated a competition fueled by legions of supporters and, in some cases, by the intellectuals themselves.
Gulen is closely associated with the Turkish daily newspaper, Zaman, which mentioned the poll on its front page in May. Within hours, his supporters were voting and waging a vigorous campaign online and through word of mouth. Foreign Policy notes that Gulen, who is considered by many to be a moderate Islamist, is controversial in Turkey because he's still seen as a threat to Turkish secularism.
Hmmm . . . his supporters waged "a vigorous campaign online and through word of mouth"? Now where have I heard something like that before? Oh, yeah! From court documents on Gülen's immigration case:
The record further shows that much of the "acclaim" that plaintiff claims to have achieved has been sponsored and financed by plaintiff's own movement. It is the government's position that the evidence of record permits only one conclusion: that plaintiff has failed to meet the requirements of an alien of extraordinary ability in the field of education.
[ . . .]
Plaintiff has never performed scholarly research in the field of education. He has never advised other academics in the field of education. And consulting on conferences about his own work is essentially continuing to promote himself and his movement by paying academics to write papers about him. None of this can be considered continuing to perform outstanding work in the field of education.
That's from Defendants' Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgement, filed 18 June 2008 with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. If you want a copy, send me an email. The point is that Gülen's own movement promotes him and just as he's no educator, so, too, he's no intellectual.
But, Hoca may have more troubles on the horizon, because the second item sent by a friend indicates that Gülen may be examined in connection with the AKP closure case. From Hürriyet:
Kilic demanded the file of the case against the religious sect leader, Fethullah Gulen, from the court concerned. The Gulen case would be taken into consideration in the closure case against the AKP, Hurriyet daily reported on Tuesday.
Gulen was tried on charges of "forming an illegal terrorist organization that aimed to introduce Sharia law using force and violence." A lower court ruled for the acquittal of Gulen, a verdict later upheld by a higher court.
Gulen, Turkey's most controversial religious leader has close relations with the ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and has a broad following; however, many in Turkey believe he is plotting to dismantle the secular state.
In the AKP case the top prosecutor had written in his indictment that President Abdullah Gul wanted Turkish embassies to cooperate with schools belonging to Gulen with a mandate issued during his term in the foreign ministry.
Oh, well. I guess that acquittal didn't help old Hoca after all.