Sunday, July 20, 2008


"After this the soldiers stopped distinguishing between the male and the female fighters. I think they are now more afraid of the women because the women are more disciplined and they will never surrender. We will either kill or be killed. For me it is freedom, success or death. It is simple."
~ Heval Surbuz, YJA-STAR.

On 10 July there was a significant news item on Özgür Gündem which described a recent joint operation between YJA-STAR women guerrillas and the women guerrillas of the TKPML-TİKKO (Türkiye Komünist Partisi/Marksist-Leninist-Türk İşci ve Köylü Kurtuluş Ordusu; Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist-Turkish Workers' and Peasants' Liberation Army). I call it significant because I cannot recall a time in the past where PKK has conducted joint military operations with other groups inside Turkey, particularly with TKPML-TİKKO. Here's the link and a translation:

Joint operation with YJA-STAR and TİKKO women guerrillas

HPG announced that an operation that was implemented with heavy weapons against Çemişgezek (Dersim) police station was a joint operation of YJA-STAR and TKPML-TİKKO women guerrillas. In this joint operation, three police and eight Turkish soldiers were killed.

Mentioning the women guerrillas implemented three different operations, HPG said that on 8 - 9 July, three police and eight soldiers were killed around Çemişgezek's downtown. In the operations in Malazgirt and Savur, five Turkish soldiers were killed.

HPG-BİM revealed the details of the operation: "On 8 July YJA-STAR and TKPML-TİKKO women guerrillas carried out an operation from three directions toward Çemişgezek's downtown police guard shack, police station, and the hill where the military garrison is located," BİM also said that the guard shack was fired at by rockets at 22:40 hours; thus two police were killed and several soldiers suffered injuries.

In the operation, which lasted 45 minutes, the police station, police housing areas, and military garrison came under heavy weapons fire. One police was killed and an unknown number of police were wounded.

A military convoy that wanted to intervene in the operation was ambushed by the guerrillas. One panzer suffered major destruction; two troops in the panzer were killed and three wounded. BİM stated that after this operation the entrance and exit to Çemişgezek was blocked and a counter-operation began.

On 9 July an operation was executed by guerrillas against the hill where the Turkish forces were located. The operation lasted 20 intense minutes. BİM said, "After the clash, four soldiers were killed; our guerrillas suffered no casualties."

Special unit under surveillance

On the same day near Dersim downtown, a mobile TSK special unit was put under surveillance by YJA-STAR forces, said HPG BİM. HPG-BİM continued,"In the operation carried out against the special unit, which wanted to position itself at night, two troops were killed and three were wounded."

4 soldiers killed in Malazgirt

BİM stated that YJA-STAR forces also implemented an operation against Malazgirt's Muğidi regional garrison, located on a hill. The hill came under heavy weapons fire. One military emplacement was hit, which resulted in four soldiers killed. The counter-operation begun after this clash is still ongoing.

Clash in Savur

BİM stated that there was a clash with TSK, during an operation implemented by TSK in an area that included the villages of Günde Belizan, Avina, Darman, and Kunive. After an operation that was carried out by guerrillas in Tepe Şere, where TSK troops were positioned, one soldier was killed and three were wounded in this clash.

German detainees have also been released and more information is due out tomorrow. In the meantime, here's the HPG statement:

In its statement, HPG Serhat State Command said that the German hostages were released completely within HPG's will.

The Serhat State Command said, "As a result of the calls and attempts primarily from KCK, and international and democratic institutions and associations, the three German citizens that were detained were released today at noon after insuring their security. A detailed information will be shared with the public tomorrow about the release which occured with the cooperation of institutions and associations, and with our complete initiative."

In other news, maybe this is why the US is suddenly making nice with the mullahs, from RIA Novosti:

Foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will decide on whether to lift a moratorium on bringing in new states at a meeting in Tajikistan on July 25, a Russian diplomat said on Friday.

"The moratorium has lasted for two years. We have now decided to consider the possibility of the SCO's enlargement," a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Iran and Pakistan, observer states at the SCO since 2005, have sought full membership in the regional bloc comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan and widely seen as a counterweight to NATO's influence in Eurasia.

The group primarily addresses security issues, but has recently moved to embrace various economic and energy projects.

That also may be why there have been reports in Iraqi media describing the possible construction of a US military base near Helebçe. If the SCO accepts Iran's request to be admitted to the organization as a full member, a US military airport near Helebçe could be a continuation of the American plan to expand NATO to the east, right alongside the border of the largest country in the SCO--Russia. And so the Cold War v.2 grinds on.

Ufuk Uras, leader of the Turkish ÖDP and member of DTP's parliamentary group, shows us why the Ergenekon investigation is bullshit:

"Turkey's recent history is full of coup plotters, politicians and public servants who were responsible for illegal operations and who have not been tried but walk around as 'gallants,'" he said in Parliament yesterday. Uras said failed coup plots named "Sarıkız" (Blonde Girl) and "Ayışığı" (Moonlight) against the government came to the agenda of Parliament's Human Rights Commission in April of last year but that most of the deputies were against investigating the alleged plots.

Uras, who started a signature campaign in May in Parliament, presented a motion to Parliament yesterday with the aim of opening an investigation into Sarıkız and Ayışığı. His initiative received the support of 20 deputies from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) and Hakkari independent deputy Hamit Geylani. Deputies from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP) refused to sign the motion in the 550-seat Parliament.

DTP parliamentarian Emine Ayna has been blazing the trail on the same subject for DTP. Her position, and that of the party has been quite clear and consistent:

[Ayna] underlined that the success of the Ergenekon investigation depends on its enlargement east of the Euphrates River.

Ayna criticized the government and claimed that when dark forces attacked Kurds, Christians and Alevis, the AK Party did nothing -- but when these same forces turned against the AK Party, it was spurred into action.

"Our stand is very clear: We think that the investigations should go to the very end. Actions against the government and all murders by unknown assailants should be investigated. The government is dictating the idea of 'either you are with me or you are Ergenekon.' We are saying that we are not pro AK Party, we are not pro coups and we are not pro Ergenekon," she said.

There is no serious investigation into Ergenekon and no one should expect that there will be. If the Turkish ruling elites were serious about dismantling the Deep State that Ergenekon represents, they would have reopened the Susurluk investigation and people like Mehmet Ağar would not be walking free. Mehmet Eymür would be extradited from the US. Tansu Çiller would be detained, and all that just for a start.

As Fikri Sağlar, the chairman for the parliamentary committee that investigated the Susurluk Affair, noted after the Council of State attack in May 2006:

"To open the Susurluk file means challenging the system. Neither Erdogan nor Baykal have such a concern."

At the time, Sağlar further noted that CHP head Deniz Baykal dismissed the Susurluk Affair as "nonsense", which is exactly Baykal's characterization of the Ergenekon investigation.

Some things never change, do they?

For more on the insanity that is Turkish politics, make sure you stop by The Pasha and the Gypsy for Gordon Taylor's latest summation of the situation.


Anonymous said...

I was really surprised about that attack wich the YJA-Star carried out with Tikko Guerillas.This the first time i hear about them doing something together.

The way to go *thumbs up*

Mizgîn said...

You're not the only one who was really surprised at this news, Anonymous. I had to do a double-take when I first saw it at the MLKP site. I have never heard of, nor come across in reading, any information regarding joint operations of PKK with anyone else. Although it's not surprising to me that this occured in the Dersim area.

Since it would appear that both groups working together were able to maximize the amount of damage they did, I think it would behoove them to consider more such operations in the future.

Janice said...

Mizgin, Janice here...
I thought that TIKKO (MLKP's armed wing?) did not like the PKK? (and vice versa.) I am still learning about the geography/cultures of the area, so I am still quite ignorant of it all. Actually, I am surprised that there has not been more of this type of activity? Aren't both groups fighting for an independent Kurdistan? (Or am I just confusing the many different groups...there seem to be so many!).

Oh... that just gave me a thought. Are the different groups capable of aligning under one leader? A single banner, if you will? I hate to always bother you but you have such extensive knowledge!

Mizgîn said...

Janice, this is also the first time I've ever heard of a PKK unit conducting a joint operation with anyone, including TIKKO. There was a cooperation agreement signed between PKK and DHKP-Cin 1996, but nothing ever came of it.

The problem with the Turkish left is that historically it has had other concerns before Kurdish concerns and this is why Ocalan broke with the Turkish left in the 1970s to form the PKK.

Today, the Turkish left, including the socialists, look to PKK because PKK is strong. What would happen if they came to power instead? Would they be as concerned for Kurdistan then? Maybe. Maybe not.

As for uniting under one strong leader, well, the Turkish left doesn't have one strong leader. They would have to unite under one strong ethnic Kurd leader, or under KCK's umbrella, and I doubt that they are prepared to do that.

Are they fighting for Kurdistan now? Call me a skeptic. Of course, organizations and people can change, but there is a lot here at stake. If operations are mutually beneficial now, fine. When they cease to be mutually beneficial, then I say it's time to end them. I imagine that the friends have the same attitude.

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