Tuesday, March 31, 2009


"The question is not what you look at but what you see!"
~ Henry David Thoreau

Here are some recent photos of the comrades and you'll find more at Fırat News (See: http://www.firatnews.com/gallery/index.php?rupel=galeri&gid=148&rupel2=1 ). Enjoy!

Monday, March 30, 2009


"The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off."
~ Gloria Steinem.

The only Southern Kurdish politician who has consistently spoken the truth, speaks again, from KurdishAspect:

Kurdish Aspect: One of the other issues in the region is Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which seems that eventually KRG has been dragged to get involved in it. What do you think the problems are?

Dr. Osman: The solution for PKK problem is in Ankara. Where did PKK come from? The solution is in Ankara and when Turkey changes its policy then gradually this issue will be resolved very easily and Kurdistan Region would help it. But the problem is PKK is the result of state-terrorism policy of Turkey against Kurds which doesn’t recognize Kurdish identity and rights and it has resulted in armed conflict. When the government fights Kurds, then it is a fact that Kurds or PPK will fight back.Turkey insists on its aggressive policy and insists that Kurdistan Region is involved in the issue and expel PKK from Kurdistan Region. This might result in Kurdish infighting. This is a huge problem. What is important to us is that there are 20 million Kurds in Turkey which are entitled to rights. Read the Turkish Constitution and you will see that it says anyone who lives on this land (Turkey) is considered a Turk. There are many suppressive acts. There is no solution for PKK neither in Hawler nor in Baghdad. The solutions are in Ankara. But Turkey doesn’t want to resolve it peacefully and this is the core of the problem. Turkey, Americans, and Maliki’s government all are putting pressure on KRG to expel PKK in its areas. Expelling PKK would result in fighting. It is complicated.

Kurdish Aspect: Do you think that all the sides that you mentioned have been successful in dragging KRG into the PKK issue? As you know it seems that KRG is getting more and more involved in this issue, for example some leaders even call PKK a terrorist group.

Dr. Osman: Yes that is right. But PKK is not a terrorist group and whoever says that is making a mistake. I believe that Turkish state-terrorism and PKK is a reaction to that. Even if PKK is considered a terrorist group, then the big terrorist is Ankara and PKK is just a small one. I believe that this is a political issue, but the problem is Turkey considers it a security issue. If Turkey decides that it will deal with it as a political issue then it can be resolved. But as long as it considers it a security issue and believes that fighting it on the both sides of the border (inside Turkey and inside Iraq) then I don’t see any solution ever. We should ask why PKK is in Iraqi Kurdistan. The answer is that people have been fleeing the Turkish government led fights. If Turkey decides not to fight and grants a general amnesty, I believe that majority of these people (PKK) would return to their country. But the problem is Turkey doesn’t even want to grant a general amnesty. Unfortunately because of the support from the U.S. and the Iraqi government Turkey has been encouraged to continue its policy. The solution is not just by labeling (PKK) a terrorist group and call for expulsion. But I think we have right which is we can demand PKK not to use Iraqi Kurdistan as a base to attack Turkey. That is our right. There is a problem inside Turkey and they have to solve it, because fighting is not the answer for these problems. They (Turkey and PKK) have been fighting each other for a quarter of a century without any decisive results.

On a related note, Heval Cemal recently released a statement over the weekend:

"Our weapons are necessary because we are not dealing with a state that believes in democracy," Karayilan said in the tape. "We are dealing with a state ruled by military generals. To abandon our arms without a political solution to our issues means suicide."

Karayilan spoke in response to written questions submitted by the journalists, who are familiar with the Kurdish rebel leader's voice.

He urged the Turkish government to begin a dialogue with the PKK to resolve Kurdish issues.

"If the Turkish government wants to solve our issue seriously, they should release 4,000 of our leaders who are in the Turkish custody," he said. "They should be freed as a goodwill gesture, then a cease-fire, sit down for negotiations to spell out our national rights within the Turkish state."

This is a brief reiteration of the Declaration for a Democratic Resolution of the Kurdish Question (see: http://www.kurdish-info.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3467 ) from 2006, which the great democratic states of Turkey and the US refused during the Ralston-Lockheed Martin conflict of interest.

There's a little more from Heval Cemal, via AFP:

"Talabani wants to please the Turkish generals, and we have lost all hope of seeing him play a positive role in a solution to the Kurdish problem . . . No one can eject us from our mountain stronghold here, and recent battles are proof of this. We recommend rapprochement between Kurds instead of submitting to pressure exerted by neighbouring countries. . . . What is strange, to say the least, is that Ankara arms 90,000 Kurdish mercenaries and at the same time wants to disarm us. We will never accept talks if preconditional on us disarming."

Of course, whoever wants to go up there and try to remove PKK from the mountains . . . Turkey's tried this how many times now? It was the American general Patton who said, "You don't win a war by dying for your country. You win a war by making the other son-of-a-bitch die for his." Amin.

With respect to the upcoming "Kurdish" summit, it will be more difficult now for the Southern leadership to follow the AKP's lead--like cows with rings in their noses--and propagandize AKP's claim to represent everyone in Turkey, including the Kurdish people. DTP should be able to go into the conference, if invited, with confidence that it is the representative of the Kurdish people in North Kurdistan and then we'll see what all the "democrats" will do.

Most likely AKP will attempt to claim that it's the representative of the Kurdish people but it has very little on which to base this claim. Even the pundits on Turkish TV overwhelmingly say that this election was a major setback for AKP throughout Turkey. If the economic crisis continues, the next general election in Turkey, slated for 2011, will see AKP continue to hemorrhage votes.

DTP now holds 99 cities in The Southeast (complete list here with DTP and AKP voting percentages given at the bottom according to province. DTP's women mayors have increased since yesterday by one, coming to a grand total of 14 women mayors in North Kurdistan and if they're all like Doğubeyazit's Mukaddes Kubilay, they have harder head than the men and can run circles around them all day and all night. And this gender equality has been brought to you courtesy of Abdullah Öcalan and the big, bad PKK.

Finally, unofficial results are in for HAK=PAR (See: http://www.firatnews.com/index.php?rupel=nuce&nuceID=5315 ), which received 1,331 votes in Amed (Diyarbakır); 756 in Adana; 546 in Mersin; 467 in Agirî (Ağrı); 447 in Nisêbîn (Nusaybin); 209 in Êlih (Batman); 66 in Çewlik (Bingöl); 66 in Tetwan (Tatvan); 62 in Dersim (Tunceli); 50 in Riha (Urfa); and 2 in Şirnex (Sırnak).

Bijî DTP!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


"If you cry tomorrow, it will be in vain."
~ R. Tayyip Erdoğan.

Leyla Zana votes for the first time in 18 years, 29 March 2009. Photo: Fırat News.

Most of the counting is done in the local Turkish elections and AKP has lost ground. Literally.

DTP took Sêrt (Siirt--49% DTP; 46% AKP; 2% CHP) and Wan (Van--52% DTP; 41% AKP; 3.6% SP) from DTP; it also took Îdir (Iğdır--40% DTP; 31% AKP; 27% MHP) from MHP. In spite of bribes of washing machines, refrigerators, and the like, DTP took Dersim (Tunceli--30% DTP; 25% Independent; 22% AKP).

"The Castle", aka Amed aka Diyarbakır, broke Katil Erdoğan's heart by handing DTP a 65% win, compared to AKP's 32%. I would guess that much of the support DTP has in the Kurdish capital is as much a result of Osman Baydemir's wild popularity as it is DTP's campaigning. In Colemêrg (Hakkari), DTP won by an overwhelming 79% over AKP's 16%. For more details on numbers, check Milliyet's interactive map. Hürriyet also has lots of election data.

Other significant wins for DTP include Êlih (Batman), Sîlopî (Silopi), Tetwan (Tatvan) and many others. DTP now has 13 women mayors and Fırat news reports that unofficial results show DTP owning eight provinces and 50 districts as a result of the 29 March election.

There have been some problems in connection with the elections. For example, as DTP supporters celebrated the DTP win in Elkê (Beytuşşebap), police attacked the DTP office with tear gas bombs while village guards threw stones. There are problems with election results in Erzîrom's (Erzurum) Tekman town, where AKP won by four votes while 30 votes were purposely cancelled. Apparently fingerprint voting for AKP was accepted but not for DTP. DTP filed objections and the election judge is currently being held by the TSK (local brigade commander) and the governor (qeymeqem/kaymakam) of the town. For what purpose the election judge is being held is unclear but I suspect it may be that he's being held until he okays the shady goings-on.

Here's some analysis on DTP's Amed victory from Hürriyet:

This is a very strong comeback for the DTP, which some observers see as the political wing of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. In the general elections of July 2007, in it was overshadowed by AKP’s phenomenal success in Kurdish areas.

At least 10,000 people gathered in front the DTP headquarters last night to celebrate this victory. There were men and women, the young and the old, the modern and the conservative. Women in headscarves were chanting around fires along with girls in blue jeans.

There was a notably high number of youth who were all cheerful about not just the DTP, but also the PKK. Its leader, Abdullah Öcalan, who has been in a Turkish jail since 1999, was frequently praised. When his posters were shown, enthusiastic supporters chanted his nickname, “Apo, Apo, Apo.” At some point a slogan filled the air: “The PKK is the people! And the people are here!” It was followed by another one: “Hey Turko, go home, Amed is not yours.” Amed is the ancient name given to Diyarbakir in the Kurdish language.

No mention was made in the article about AKP-sponsored violence against the people of Amed, particularly during the Amed Serhildan exactly three years ago, in which Katil Erdoğan gave a green light to security forces to murder Kurdish women and children if they got in the way. Security forces did, indeed, murder a number of Kurdish children throughout the region at the time. No mention was made of Kurdish opposition to TSK's cross-border invasion of South Kurdistan last year, which was a massive failure and embarrassment for the TSK, as well as the government. Nor was there any mention of last year's Newroz violence.

Hürriyet also offered some analysis on why AKP lost ground throughout Turkey, including:

* Since 2002, only two major political parties, the AKP and the CHP, were competing in the political arena. The AKP was leading the polls, increasing its votes in the last three consecutive elections. In the fourth, CHP managed to curb this trend and started to close the gap, thanks to its reputable candidates in many cities.

* MHP has increased its votes in many Anatolian cities, becoming a more visible contender appealing to center-right voters.

* In the southeast Anatolia, where the AKP was pushing hard to get the municipalities from DTP, it failed to succeed. On the contrary, the DTP seems to have increased its political visibility in the region where the AKP distributed social aid to the poor just before the elections. In addition, neither the government’s initiative of the start of Kurdish broadcasting on state TV (TRT-6) nor its recent attempts to extend an olive branch to Iraqi Kurds for cooperation produced sufficient results for the AKP.

* Support for the AKP in leading industrial cities, like Kayseri, Denizli and Bursa, decreased mostly because of the economic crisis. Although the AKP is less likely to lose the municipalities in these towns, the decrease in the votes would have tangible results over the general outlook on the results.

Now let's see how bold the paşas become. Let's see if AKP will cut the budgets for those provinces that are in DTP's hands. Let's see if AKP intensifies repression in those provinces. In the meantime, hearty congratulations to DTP for its victories!

Bijî DTP û Serkeftin!

DTP's Women Mayors: http://www.firatnews.com/index.php?rupel=nuce&nuceID=5302
DTP has 50 districts: http://www.firatnews.com/index.php?rupel=nuce&nuceID=5308
DTP attacked in Beytuşşebap: http://www.firatnews.com/index.php?rupel=nuce&nuceID=5292
Controversy in Tekman, Erzurum: http://www.firatnews.com/index.php?rupel=nuce&nuceID=5304

Thursday, March 26, 2009


"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."
~ Paulo Freire.

There was actually a fairly decent report on the Ergenekon fiasco from PRI's The World. You can listen here. They do, however, fail to mention that Mustafa Akyol is an Islamist or that Yaşar Nuri Öztürk was recently caught in a sex scandal but, overall, it presents a pretty good minor intro into the Ergenekon show.

Speaking of Ergenekon, recently a piddly little TSK colonel was arrested in connection with JİTEM's acid wells. Please, I thought, a colonel? What was he back in the 90's, an even more piddly little captain? Sure enough. Now who was it that took the fall for Susurluk? Three were eventually convicted and served time for Susurluk but they, too, were nobodies,just like this acid well colonel. The big fish in the Susurluk scandal not only were not arrested, they were later promoted within The System. The same will happen with JİTEM's acid well murders.

Meanwhile there have been more than 250 unsolved extrajudicial murders since the 1990s in Şirnex (Şirnak) province alone. KurdishInfo has more on that here: http://www.kurdish-info.net/News-sid-Deep-Stateund-8217-s-balance-in-rnak-more-than-250-unresolved-assassinations-12795.html

Bloomberg has a piece on how Kurds are spurning Erdoğan, in spite of handouts:

Kurdish tea seller Muharrem Ogur wasn’t impressed when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan built irrigation systems for the fields near his home and ordered the state-run television company to open a Kurdish channel.

What mattered to Ogur was that his favorite politician was reprimanded by Turkey’s parliament for speaking in Kurdish, and that police set upon youths in his neighborhood in Diyarbakir last year for waving the Kurdish flag.

Erdogan, who has made wooing Turkey’s 15 million Kurds a key part of his campaign for local elections on March 29, is finding that political favors don’t overcome decades of tension. Even as he pursues reconciliation, his government is battling Kurdish militants and denying Kurds some rights enjoyed by ethnic Turks.

The net result may be that Diyarbakir and four other cities under Kurdish political control will reject Erdogan’s party.

And so we ardently hope.

Murat Karakas, who grows cotton and wheat on his 30 acres outside the village of Oyali, 30 kilometers west of Diyarbakir, says his vote will go to Baydemir even after Erdogan built an irrigation channel through his fields from a nearby dam.

“Blood is thicker than water round here,” said Karakas, 38. “Water might help us grow more crops, but my vote goes to our Kurdish brothers because of the situation we face in Diyarbakir as Kurds.”

There. That guy has the correct attitude. Too bad he's not running the KRG.

At the same time, police abuse in the region is rising, said Muharrem Erbay, chief of the Diyarbakir branch of the Human Rights Association, Turkey’s biggest human-rights group.

There were 798 reported incidents of torture and mistreatment in the east and southeast of Turkey last year, more than three times the figure for 2007, Erbay said.

Aysu Uraz, a spokeswoman for the human-rights department of Erdogan’s office, declined to comment on the figures, saying data for 2008 will be published in the next two weeks.

I suppose police abuse has been on the rise because 80% of the police are Fethullahçı. For a similar piece that was carried in the Financial Times, see Hevallo's place.

Finally, DTP speaks out some more on the upcoming US-Turkey orchestrated "Kurdish" summit:

"As the DTP, we are disturbed by the agenda of the conference. Thus, we have doubts about the conference. If it will only focus on the liquidation of the PKK, this will cause chaos, and we do not want to take part in this chaos," Selahattin Demirtaş, the DTP’s group vice president to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

Criticizing Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s approach, which urges the PKK either to lay down their guns or leave Iraq, Demirtaş stated that the organization could not be constrained between these two options. "If you present two options, a third one appears: The PKK rejects and resists. This means clashes," Demirtaş said, adding that the DTP cannot accept such an offer.

"If democratic solutions are developed, the PKK will spontaneously lay down their guns," he argued. He said the solutions included issuing a general pardon in Turkey, putting different cultures and identities under the protection of a constitution, and actualizing democratic autonomy.

Demirtaş also drew attention to the purpose of the conference, which was a need to determine and find solutions to the problems of Kurdish people living in different countries of the Middle East region. According to Demirtaş, the DTP will support a conference that aims to solve problems, but rejects the current one, which is known as a U.S. plan and aims only to liquidate the PKK.

Read the rest, and if you haven't read our position on the "Kurdish" summit, check this post.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


"Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke."
~ Will Rogers.

This sums up the Turkish media frenzy about whether or not Gül said the "K" word:

Photo and captions, Hürriyet.

itself is a contradiction. First:

President Abdullah Gül's first official uttering of the word ’Kurdistan’ in relation to the regional administration in northern Iraq sends shockwaves through the opposition, which fears this could encourage calls for more concessions and reveals foreign meddling. The only party supporting Gül’s move is the DTP, saying it is a sign of willingness for closer ties.

Gül's use of the word Kurdistan during his visit to Iraq has caused a flurry of criticism yesterday from the opposition back in Turkey.


Turkish President Abdullah Gul denied the earlier media reports that he used the term "Kurdistan regional government" while describing the semi-autonomous administration in northern Iraq. (UPDATED)

"In fact, I did not use that term (Kurdistan) but as I said this is a reality. The country who attaches the biggest importance to Iraq's unity and integrity is Turkey. There is a regional Kurdish administration in the north of Iraq according to the Iraqi constitution. This is what I had said. I held a meeting with (the regional administration's) prime minister," Gul told reporters at a press conference in Ankara on Tuesday, the state-run Anatolian Agency reported. Gul returned to Ankara late on Tuesday after his two-day visit to Baghdad.

So typically presidential. "I did not have sex with that woman!" What a chickenshit piece of work Gül is.

A few months ago, comrades went from North Kurdistan to South Kurdistan to visit relatives. The report that came back from the South was that 85% of the population of South Kurdistan was seriously disappointed with the way things were going there. Well, now we can see what an accurate piece of intel this really was:

But as the rest of Iraq keeps growing more open and democratic, the enclave remains stuck in its old ways—and ordinary Kurds are noticing. Businessmen grumble at having to form partnerships with government cronies; voters are demanding more choice. One recent survey in the region found that 83 percent of respondents say the place needs to change. "We're fed up with a government that forgets about people," says Mousa Rasoul, 39, owner of a small business in the town of Sangasar. Those complaints are not to be ignored, a senior Kurdish official agrees. "If we don't respond, others will come and take over this place," he tells NEWSWEEK, asking not to be named on such a risky topic. "Whether it is the Islamists or someone else. We cannot count anymore on revolutionary rhetoric to justify our rule."

And maybe that's the real fear behind the summit that the two ruling clans of the South are pushing at the scheming of Turkey and the US . . . that someone else will come and take over the place. After all, Qendil isn't all that far from either Silêmanî or Hewlêr.

Monday, March 23, 2009


"Milk brothers or sisters are children breastfed by a woman other than their biological mother, a practice known as wetnursing and once widespread in the developed world, as it still is in parts of the developing world."
~ Siblings, Wikipedia.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner."
~ Nelson Mandela.

Newroz celebrations continue in North Kurdistan. And as DTP is pressing more and more for Öcalan's freedom in their Newroz speeches, and since DTP is making its position on the upcoming Kurdish summit well known, I thought it would be appropriate to include a translation of a recent piece by Ahmet Altan.

Apo and Mandela

The other day Hürriyet's general publication manager Ertuğrul Özkök wrote an interesting article. He mentioned that Apo could take a place in the peace process.

I don't know if I am doing an injustice to Özkök but I see such writings came out in Hürriyet as the state's forerunner for its preparations. I think they are written to prepare the public for what is planned or the plans are in the process of preparation.

If this is Özkök's own idea or if it's written by the order of the state, the result doesn't change. This is, I think, a positive step.

A couple of days before this article was published, I encountered another piece of news just as interesting.

It was mentioning that 12 more cells would be built on İmralı Island. I mean twelve more people would be taken to reside with Apo. When these two things are evaluated together the idea that something is changing gets stronger.

The name of Apo is like the god Janus, which has two different appearances. Most of the Turks hate this name. Furthermore some of the newspapers add descriptions like "terrorist leader" or "baby killer".

For the Kurds, however, this name has almost a holy meaning. For them, Apo is the leader who enabled the Kurdish Question to be discussed concretely in this country. He is an indivisible part of the Kurdish identity. Moreover, PKK members call him "the leadership", not Apo or Ocalan. His description has almost a mystical influence.

A couple of months ago I had watched a movie about South Africa's black leader, Nelson Mandela. Mandela's name was the same as Apo's in South Africa. A "murder" for the whites; a "holy" leader for the blacks. The movie was telling Mandela's imprisonment adventure through a white guard's perspective. Mandela first was kept in a cell. Then some of his friends from his own organization were put beside him. Then altogether they resided in a more comfortable "place". Later on, Mandela was provided a farmhouse with protection. Then he was released and joined the elections.

This was a "horrible" period for several whites. For the blacks, however, it was a period to be celebrated. The feeling of hatred or revenge is not sufficient to solve this kind of social problem, an ethnic clash. Even if you presume the non-existence of millions of people, their identity, language, and traditions, life imposes its reality.

There is a Kurdish reality in Turkey. Because this "reality" was not admitted it first turned into a problem then into a war. Thousands of people died. Hundreds of billions of dollars that were supposed to be spent for the welfare of this country's people, were spent on weapons. The problem has not been solved yet.

Today even the retired generals admit some mistakes were made in the Kurdish Question. Turkey is tired of the war. The world wants Turkey and the Middle East to arrive at peace.

A great Kurdish conference is being prepared. Apo, in Imrali, stated that he sees this initiative as positive. Although the Turks become uncomfortable by hearing this idea, still Apo is an important one for "peace".

Like Alev Er always says "Whoever you are fighting with, he is the one you make peace with". Apo started the war. Today he has the power to start peace. A peace without Apo and PKK is not possible.

Turks, being very angry at Apo or PKK, even hating them, does not change this reality. Today keeping Apo aside from the peace process, pretending the non-existence of PKK, does not fit reality. I know how several Turkish readers will be angry when they read this article. But how far can we disregard realities by being afraid of anger and reactions?

Today Apo is the Kurds' Mandela; he is their national hero. Now I want to ask my Turkish readers: Is taking revenge on Apo, or punishing him, important, or is it important for Turkey to arrive at a decent level of welfare; kids are not being killed anymore, and living in this country where everyone lives in peace together?

Revenge is not such a feeling that results in a positive outcome.

The two parties suffered in this war, the two parties were hurt, and the two parties cried for their children. What good is it going to do to maintain this?

Is it possible not to see the great profits that will be gained by including Apo in the peace process? Turkey is on the brink of peace. With a little bit of determination, we can pass over this line. Even a country like South Africa, which went through hatred and blood, succeeded in this. Why shouldn't we succeed?

Okay, you got it, we are good at fighting, however . . .

Doesn't being able to have peace have as much value as fighting?

From Taraf.

Note that I do not know what statement of Öcalan's that Altan is referring to when he says that Öcalan "sees this initiative as positive". It may be a statement that Öcalan made in reference to PKK's suggestion of a summit or it may be a statement referring to a more general suggestion of a summit. However, given DTP's current stance on the summit, as expressed by Talabanî during his visit to Turkey last week, it's highly unlikely that Öcalan sees as positive the hidden agendas that will be brought to the table when that summit occurs.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I would like to introduce a guest blogger who will be posting from time to time on Rastî. Rastî readers are already acquainted with him from Rastbêj. His first contribution to Rastî on this Newroz Day is extremely important and regards the upcoming Kurdish Summit, which is due to be held in South Kurdistan in April or May--no firm date is set yet--and will be an attempt to affect the struggle for Kurdish freedom in the North.

Some may recall that a few weeks ago, Abdullah Gül went to Iran. Before he went, he made a statement to the media that there would be "very good news" in a short time regarding the "Kurdish Question". But, as with everything else in Turkey, things are not what they appear. Mîr explains why:


Recently several news items have appeared in both Turkish and international media about a Kurdish summit to be held in Southern Kurdistan and including all the Kurdish parties from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. It is underscored that the main issue that will be discussed at this summit is going to be the future common policies of the Kurds which will be implemented due to the changes in the world. Surprisingly, Turkey, which cannot tolerate even a dozen Kurds coming together on the streets to discuss the Kurdish Question or tolerate any kind of protest, is supporting the idea of the summit. In addition to Turkey, the U.S and the EU supports this summit also. With this in mind, it would be too optimistic to think that the call made by the Southern leaders for a summit among all the Kurdish parties will be without a secret agenda. When we take a close look, the call for this summit consists of several traps that will cause the disunity, rather than the unity, of the Kurds.

The idea for the summit was brought by KRG leader Mesut Barzani and will be supervised by him or by someone who he approves. Several parties will join this summit. “The Kurdish political parties’ representatives from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria will attend this conference. For example, not only DTP but also Sertac Bucak’s HAKPAR and Serafettin Elci’s KADEP will also attend from Turkey. In addition, former Kurdish parliamentarians will be invited to this summit… We think to invite the PKK. They are going to decide by whom they will be represented.” says the KRG’s Turkey envoy Omar Merani.

One may wonder why this idea was voiced now and why voiced by Barzani. There are at least two explanations to these questions, international factors and Turkish domestic politics.

One of the most important decisions the Obama administration had was the removal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2010. To this date, the Southern leaders have always relied on American existence and support in the region. With the absence of the U.S military presence and its lack of political support, the Kurdish leaders in South Kurdistan know very well that they will be too weak in Iraq’s decision making process and too weak to maintain their private interests. Thus, the Southern leaders are heavily dependent on American support in order to keep their positions.

These last two years proved that Barzani and Talabani are very willing to compromise or sacrifice the general will of all the Kurds for the sake of their private interests and positions. For example, the Kerkuk referendum, which supposed to be held in November 2007, was deferred to December 2007; then, again, it was delayed six months later and should have been held in June 2008. Although this time has already passed, still no referendum has been held, nor have the Southern leaders mentioned any single word about it or pushed for its implementation. The fate of Kerkuk is not only deferred to an unknown date but, yet worse, it is not certain if the referendum will be held at all in the future. Thus, it would be a ridiculous idea to assume that the Southern leaders, who called for the summit, will not impose the will of the powers they rely on.

The U.S. is hoping to use Turkey as the route through which to pull out its troops from Iraq; it needs the consent of Turkey’s ruling party for the use of this route. Previously the U.S. had issues with Turkey when Turkey rejected the American demand for deployment of their troops at the onset of the Iraq War. This time, however, both parties are more sensitive and open to bargaining.

The opportunist Turkish state soon will hold the local elections on March 29, 2009, and these elections have vital importance for the ruling party. The current ruling party, the AKP, had received a remarkable turnout in Kurdish cities from the Kurdish voters in the general election held on July 22, 2007. A major cause for this turnout was the impression the AKP gave that it would solve the Kurdish Question by empty promises.

This success made the AKP to claim that they are not only the true representative of Turks but also of Kurds. This turnout gave it a big card to use against the military, which was the only group that de facto had a say in the Kurdish Question. For years and years, however, their policy left the Kurdish Question unsolvable; thus, the military has maintained its predominant position in Turkish politics to date.

On 5 May, 2007, the AKP chairman, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, called for a secret meeting with the then Chief of the Turkish General Staff Yasar Buyukanit in Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul. Contrary to his previous harsh denunciation against the AKP, Buyukanit suddenly ended his criticism of the AKP; furthermore, he started to support its policies after this meeting. Apparently, Erdogan and Buyukanit arrived at a deal. The policies implemented in the following days revealed the nature of their deal: the AKP would provide all the needs of the military, accept the predominance of the military, and close its eyes to their unlawful activities, including the massacre against the Kurds. In return, the military would keep quiet and allow the AKP to make some changes in the constitution for their hidden agenda, such as laws regarding headscarf, the appointment of pro-AKP governors to the Kurdish regions as well as to key positions in the government.

The AKP’s record is not good in terms of keeping its promises, which its leader made during the campaign. For this reason, in the coming local elections the AKP is trying to get at least the same voter turnout in Kurdish cities by pouring out tons of money, giving away free refrigerators, washing machines, and similar large appliances to the people in cities where it thinks the pro-Kurdish party, DTP is strong.

Erdogan knows very well that if the AKP loses against the pro-Kurdish party in Kurdish cities, their claim of being the representative of the Kurds will have no ground and this, the only link that enabled it to have a coalition with the Turkish military, will collapse. This means in every step the AKP takes, they will face military opposition against their policies afterwards. Given the fact that the AKP has already seriously angered the generals by blackmailing several of them or arresting them for being members of a pro-coup group called Ergenekon, the generals have been waiting for an available time to take their revenge against the AKP. For this reason, the success of the AKP in local elections in Kurdish cities has vital importance in its relationship with the military.

To sum up, on the one hand, the AKP fears the collapse of the coalition with the military; that is why it is giving tons of money to buy Kurdish votes. On the other hand, it uses Turkey’s territory as a bargaining chip against the U.S. in the process of the removal of its troops from Iraq. In addition to the AKP’s covert official relationship with the Southern leaders, it asks the U.S. to pressure the Southern leaders to take steps in ways that favor Turkey in the Kurdish Question. That is why the call for the summit comes from the Southern leaders. That is why Turkey and the US support this idea.

Now let’s come to the link between the Turkish local elections and the Kurdish summit. In different interviews, both Barzani and Talabani wanted the northern Kurds to vote for the AKP. Now wait a minute! The AKP is the party which cooperated with the military and let them bomb not only the Kurdish cities in Turkey, but also the villages of Southern Kurdistan. It is the party that passed the law for cross-border operations against the PKK in Southern Kurdistan. Isn’t Erdogan the one who ordered the murder of all Kurds during the Amed Serhildan by saying, “The police forces will shoot everyone, no matter children or women!” Regarding the Semdinli incident, wasn’t he the one who previously said “We will investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice, no matter where and with whom it ends.” but he later took no steps? Worse yet, wasn’t he the one who ordered the Interior Ministry to ban the state prosecutor, Ferhat Sarikaya from the practice of law? This would be the same Ferhat Sarikaya, who wrote the Semdinli indictment that mentioned Chief of General Staff Buyukanit as accountable for the incident. Then how come the Southern leaders, who claim to be Kurds, are asking the Kurds in Turkey to vote for their enemy? What kind of leader would allow a foreign country to come and bomb their territory? Let me remind to the ones who are wont to forget that in a conflict with Barzani, wasn’t Talabani the one who left his wife in Iraq in the hands of his then enemy and escaped to Iran? Wasn’t Barzani the one who kidnapped Talabani’s wife?

Now, let’s wait a minute and think about the call of these leaders for a summit to determine the national policies of all Kurds in all four parts of Kurdistan. Imagine two leaders, one who sacrifices his wife for the sake of his political position and the other who kidnaps a woman in order to deter his rival. Imagine two leaders who ask their people to vote for their enemies. What kind of leaders are these? To me, they seem like mafia leaders rather than political leaders. Now these two so-called leaders will hold a summit among all the Kurdish parties in Kurdistan and discuss the policies that should be implemented for future? Who will believe in them and their proposals? How sincere are their intentions? Can Barzani tell us what kind of plans or policies he has for Southern Kurdistan for the next six months? Indeed does he have any plan? How does he think to cope with the poverty of the Kurds in the South? What kind of investment and development plans does he have? Let me tell you the answer: NONE. A normal leader serves his people but both Barzani and Talabani see that their people serve them. They live in palaces and in luxury; where as the average Kurds makes their living through the aid provided by United Nations. So the leaders who do not have any single plan to enhance the living standards of their own people within their borders are claiming that they can find permanent solutions for the Kurdish Question which exists at least in four parts of Kurdistan. How credible are they?

In fact, although the summit was brought up as a platform to discuss national policies of the all Kurds, the true aim is to marginalize or disarm the PKK. Several KRG officials referred the summit as “the summit of disarming the PKK”. Let’s be clear here! Of course, as a Kurd, for a long time I wanted the armed clashes between the PKK and the Turkish military come to an end; however, the disarmament of the PKK must be simultaneously implemented by a general amnesty for all PKK members; a brand new constitution must be written and based on true democratic criteria; the political and cultural rights of the Kurdish people must be explicitly stated in this new Turkish constitution; and, finally, regional political administrations must be empowered and the right to elect governors must be granted. These are the basic principles of a normal democratic state.

Another clarification: On different occasions I have stressed the necessity of an international congress among all the Kurds from all parts of the Kurdistan. Such a congress, however, requires all attending parties to possess only one aim: the general will of the entire Kurdish people. The summit that the Southern leaders call, however, lacks the sincerity in that sense. As I mentioned above, a leader who champions his enemy will not suggest permanent solutions that are good for Kurds because they will bring the demands of the powers they are dependent on, be it Turkey or the U.S., to stay in power and seek their private interests.

Recently a couple of incidents occurred in a sequence that gives clues about the summit. Let’s briefly go through them.

This week, Talabani attended a conference in Ankara. As an answer to a journalist’s question regarding the coming summit, he explicitly said that they will call the PKK for disarmament and if it does not obey this call, they, the PKK, will be isolated. In other words, he is repeating the Turkish state’s rhetoric: “You will either obey my rules or else!”

Last week Turkish president Abdullah Gul, prior to his flight to Iran, said that soon there will be good news about Kurdish Question.

Again, last week Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said that there will be partial constitutional changes and he juxtaposed some of them, none of which were a remedy to the Kurdish demands.

Two weeks ago the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton made a visit to Turkey. After stressing that the PKK is the mutual enemy of Turkey and the U.S.---a position identical to the position of the Bush administration--she repeated a solution based on the cooperation of Turkey with southern leaders to annihilate the PKK.

By these statements, in the last four weeks alone, we see the cooperation of the powers who do not want the PKK’s presence in the region. Apparently, the Turkish state, the Southern leaders, and the U.S. have agreed on a plan to disarm the PKK on their terms. They are dictating this plan to the desperate Southern leaders to pressure the PKK through the summit.

The imposition of the plan through the Southern leaders is very important. Rather than seeking a permanent solution for the Kurdish Question, the incidents that have occurred in these last four weeks indicate that the Southern leaders will impose the framework approved by the Turkish state and the U.S.

After the summit, the Turkish state will take some show-offish steps, like they did by opening a Kurdish TV channel earlier. This will be the “good news” that Abdullah Gul has spoken of. Turkey will carefully ignore and avoid the permanent solutions offered by any Kurdish party, including the PKK, and will tell the whole world that Turkey is taking steps toward solving the Kurdish Question by undertaking the demands voiced by all the Kurds in the Kurdish summit but that the PKK is still conducting its “terrorist” activities. In that sense, Turkey sees the Southern leaders as a tool to isolate or marginalize the PKK and disguise its legitimacy. To put it simply, it is the same old “good Kurd, bad Kurd” policy. The only change, though, is that yesterday’s “bad boys”, Talabani and Barzani, are convinced that they are the “good boys” of Turkey and the U.S.

The disarmament of the PKK is Turkey’s internal problem. If Turkey were sincere about solving this problem, there are Kurdish representatives in its parliament who can voice their peoples’ demands and share their solution plans with the Turkish government. In fact, the DTP presented their solutions to the Turkish parliament and was treated as terrorists for the solutions they voiced. The Turkish state is not sincere in solving the Kurdish Question. Seeking a so called solution through the Southern leaders is Turkey’s way of closing its eyes to the demands of the Kurds within its border. It still tries to deceive its Kurdish citizens through false solutions, such as the opening of a state-run Kurdish TV. Yet it continues with an investigation of the DTP parliamentary leader for speaking Kurdish in the parliament. Through these means, the Turkish state is only worsening the problem.

Southern leaders, you can turn this summit into a very fruitful platform for all Kurds by bringing unbiased suggestions, without hidden agendas, and by acquiring a little courage. You can call Turkey to take concrete, permanent, and sincere steps toward a solution to the Kurdish Question. You can juxtapose the PKK’s unilateral cease-fires, mention its leader’s statements for a democratic solution and how sincere and ready he is for a permanent solution. Finally you must tell Turkish officials that they should contact and negotiate with DTP representatives for solving the Kurdish Question, because they are the ones who the Kurds in the North voted for, not Barzani or Talabani.


"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."
~ Malcolm X.

A million people turned out for Newroz in Amed (Diyarbakır), the Kurdish capital. They listened to Ahmet Türk, Osman Baydemir, and Leyla Zana, who condemned Talabanî's new attempt to disarm the PKK. Five hundred thousand gathered to hear Emine Ayna, Sebahat Tuncel, EMEP chief Levent Tüzel, and ÖDP's Ufuk Uras in Istanbul. Thirty thousand gathered in Şirnex to hear Hasip Kaplan, Ahmet Ertak, Ramazan Uysal, and Halil İrmez. Seventy thousand gathered in Adana to hear Osman Özçelik.

Everywhere mention was made of PKK's şehîds, especially Mazlum Doğan, and Emine Ayna also mentioned Deniz Gezmiş and his companions.

For the most part, Newroz this year was peaceful because AKP is desperate due to the upcoming elections. There was an exception to this in Colemêrg (Hakkari), Şemdinli, and Wan. Youths clashed with police in these cities and one nine-year-old boy was hit with a gas canister that was fired by the police. The boy was taken to the Şemdinli State Hospital and was later transferred to the larger state hospital in Gewer (Yüksekova).

Turkish security forces killed Kurdish children with tear gas canisters during the Amed Serhildan. Turkish police fired tear gas canisters into a hospital in Istanbul last May Day.

Whoever thinks that getting hit with a gas canister isn't so bad needs to check out what is going on in the Palestinian areas with them:

The condition of American citizen Tristan Anderson, wounded by IDF fire during demonstrations Friday against the security fence in Naalin, remains critical. According to reports from Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Anderson is still unconscious and is connected to a respirator.

A demonstration was staged on Sunday in front of the Rabin army base in Tel Aviv by dozens of left-wing activists against what they claim is the security forces' excessive use of force against weekly Friday protests in Naalin.

The activists claimed that an illegal gas canister developed for dispersing crowds, and which was deemed forbidden for use by the military prosecution in 2001, was used during the protest during which Anderson was injured. They also maintained Anderson was shot at intentionally, and not hit by a stray bullet.

If that's what the condition of an adult is after being hit by a tear gas canister, imagine the impact on a nine-year-old. It would also be nice to know if Turkey gets its canisters from Israel. Here's something on the ones the IDF uses:

The Israeli army began using to use a high velocity tear gas canister in December 2008. The black canister, labeled in Hebrew as “40mm bullet special/long range,” can shoot over 400 meters. The gas canister does not make a noise when fired or emit a smoke tail. A combination of the canister’s high velocity and silence is extremely dangerous and has caused numerous injuries, including a Palestinian male whose leg was broken in January 2009.

But don't expect anyone to get worked up about Kurdish kids getting shot with tear gas canisters.

In the meantime, here are a few Newroz photos from North Kurdistan and lots more at Özgür Gündem.


Photo courtesy of our friends in the mountains.

To Rastî's readers:



Tuesday, March 17, 2009


"A little rebellion now and then...is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."
~ Thomas Jefferson.

There were interesting developments last week and over the weekend as regards the local elections, part of which includes a demand by the people of Şirnex (Şırnak) that the AKP-appointed governor resign. From Yeni Özgür Politika:

Protests are not ending in Şırnak

There was a big walking protest in front of Silopi's DTP branch building to condemn the attack of village guards against DTP delegates in Uludere, Sêgirkê, and the governor's unresponsiveness to the issue. In the protest, in which DTP's Şırnak parliamentarian Hasip Kaplan attended, thousands of people called for the governor's resignation. Citizens of Silopi shouted "Governor resign", "Damn the governor", "PKK is the people, the people is here", and "Long live Serok Apo", as they assembled for the opening of a DTP election bureau at Sanat Street.

"Erdoğan cannot set a foot in this region"

During the opening at Sanat Street, DTP Sirnak parliamentarian Hasip Kaplan praised the people of Silopi by proving themselves against the system. Kaplan continued, "In Şırnak with the people's power, we received the highest votes. In the local elections we will repeat this victory with a record voting rate. Now the local elections have turned into general elections because the local elections will determine the fate of the Kurdish people". Mentioning that Erdogan cannot dare to come to the Şırnak region, Kaplan said, "We are the ones in Şırnak's square. AKP implements policies dependent on the US and Israel, whereas we implement policies based on our people. When we talk about peace and democracy to Erdoğan, his hair stands on end. He is this much anti-peace. He cannot come to Şırnak region because if he comes, we will give him a sack of coal and send him back. That is why he cannot put a foot in this region.

"We're going to hound the governor"

Bringing attention to the attacks by village guards in Sêgirkê, Kaplan said, "After the incident in Silopi's Görümlü town, the other day our party's convoy was attacked by village guards who are paid and given weapons by the state. The instigator of these attacks is Sirnak's governor and the military. With our people, we will go after these incidents. We are maintaining our protests until the weapons of these gangs are taken from their hands and brought to justice." Pointing out that Şırnak's governor is an AKP partisan. Kaplan said, "Since the day Şırnak governor Alii Yerlikaya came to Şırnak, he gathered village guard chiefs and military commanders and visited houses one by one, and he makes AKP's election propaganda. However, we know very well to which house this governor goes and what he eats there. A governor like him, who is not the state's governor, but the governor of a political party, does not have any place in Şırnak. This governor cannot stay here anymore. These people are rebelling against this governor. We will show him what it means to wink at the attack against this people's parliamentarian." Stressing the excavation of Silopi's BOTAŞ wells, Kaplan said, "For years and years many lives were taken from us. The people of Silopi said at that time 'You will face our bones'. Behold today BOTAŞ wells are being opened and they are facing our bones. No one can get away with wickedness against this people. Everyone will be held accountable to this people! No one has the power to play with this people's honor."

Candidate mayor was wounded

On 10 March DTP delegates were attacked by village guards, after DTP went to Sêgirkê town to condemn an attack against them in the same town by AKP. At the entrance of the town the convoy in which DTP Şırnak parliamentarian Hasip Kaplan, Şırnak mayor Ahmet Ertak, DTP Şırnak chief Halil Irmez, and many mayor candidates were present, some 40 village guards attacked them with stones and sticks. Windshields of many of the convoy vehicles were broken and DTP Şırnak mayor candidate Ramazan Uysal was beaten by village guards with the butt of a Kalishnikov and was wounded.

You go, Şirnexîs, you go! And the same for Hasip Kaplan, you go, boyfriend. Drive the rats out!

On the crumbling capitalist front, I could almost give a "Go!" to American Senator Grassley when he said the following about the AIG blood suckers:

"The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them [is] if they would follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I'm sorry and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide," Grassley told WMT radio.

I say I could almost give a "Go!" but I don't because now the senator is claiming that he was only being rhetorical. In my opinion, suicide is too good for these vermin. I'm waiting to see the Czar Nicholas II solution applied.

Speaking of rats . . . the AKP-appointed Amed (Diyarbakır) governor Hüsayin Avni Mutlu is going to distribute 1,200 Turkish Lira and appliances to selected families in the Amed region, just as happened in Dersim a few weeks ago and just as the Higher Election Board (YSK) has forbidden. Apparently, the same scenario is being played out by AKP in the CHP stronghold of the Tekirdağ area. What this means is that the AKP is absolutely desperate, terrified, and they should be because if they lose The Southeast, the paşas, who have been patiently biding their time, are going to go after AKP with a vengeance.

For more on rats and vermin, you can check a little update on the JİTEM acid wells at Zaman. Apparently dozens of bones have been found in acid wells in the Cizîr (Cizre) region. Remember, Turkish Hezbollah was a tool of the state and operated by JİTEM.

Monday, March 16, 2009


"Saddam Hussein clearly intended to complicate the task of treating the Halabja victims. At a minimum, he was using Halabja as part of the Iraqi CW test program. Handbooks for doctors in Iraqi military show sophisticated medical knowledge of the effects of CW. The Iraqi military used mustard gas in the "cocktail," for which there is no defense or antidote."
~ Dr. Christine Gosden, US Senate testimony.

We remember.

Today was the first UN commemoration of Helebçe, twenty-one years after the fact.

We don't forget the guilty.

Nor do we forget Turkey's mysterious role in the genocide.

You can run, but you can never hide. We remember everything.

On another note, there's a new Kurdish blog by Rastî commenter, Berfo, at Zerkesorg. His post on Helebçe has a link to an excellent article at Archaeology.org on Saddam's crimes against humanity. Check it out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


"The wells date back 15 to 20 years. It is possible that there is some remnant if the amount of acid used was not too much. An exhaustive forensic examination could yield some results."
~ Ali Çerkezoğlu, Forensic Medical Council.

Three years ago DTP's Amed (Diyarbakır) mayor Osman Baydemir made a visit to the US which included a stop in Nashville. This week we see some of the fruits of that visit. Yesterday there was a cultural event in Nashville which introduced Amed as a prospective sister city of Nashville. Here's something from the press release:


NASHVILLE (Feb. 27, 2009)…Mayor Karl Dean will be the special guest speaker at a free cultural event to showcase the city of Diyarbakir, the largest city in southeastern Turkey, on Wednesday, March 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. at TSU’s Avon Williams downtown campus, 330 10th Ave. N. The event, which also will feature authentic music, food and cultural presentations, is presented by Tennessee State University (Dept. of ??) and Sister Cities of Nashville. The cultural showcase is free and open to the public.

Situated on the banks of the Tigris River, Diyarbakir is a historic city, encircled by walls typical of the military architecture of medieval times. At 5.5 kilometers, they are the second largest and best preserved walls in the world after the renowned Great Wall of China. “Diyarbakir: The Mystery of the Stones” is a special video about the city that will be presented at the event, which is being organized by Dr. Kirmanj Gundi, a professor of XXX at TSU and a member of the Sister Cities of Nashville board of directors. Diyarbakir is a prospective sister city for Nashville.

Sister Cities of Nashville, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1990, is an active volunteer organization promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation among citizens of Nashville and other international communities through educational, cultural, professional, commercial and municipal exchange programs. It is a chapter of Sister Cities International which developed from a program begun in 1956 by President Dwight Eisenhower to promote international goodwill through citizen diplomacy.

Nashville’s official sister cities are Belfast, Northern Ireland; Caen, France; Edmonton, Canada; Madgeburg, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina, and Taiyuan, China.

You can also check the Sister Cities of Nashville website.

Meanwhile, closer to Amed than to Nashville, more bones have been unearthed in the JITEM acid well excavations in Silopî:

The excavation of wells located in Silopi, Şırnak province, continued yesterday in search of the remains of victims who were allegedly killed in the 1990s by an illegal group inside the gendarmerie, with more bone fragments unearthed.

Heavy diggers and workers using picks and shovels continued digging a site near the Sinan facility of the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) yesterday. Bone fragments, pieces of hair, remains of a sack and clothing were found during excavation on Wednesday. They were sent to a forensic lab for analysis to determine if the remains were human.

The excavations in BOTAŞ facilities for around a week now have resulted in the discovery of several bone fragments and clothing. The families of dozens of missing people residing in the Kurdish-populated Southeast believe the excavation will give significant clues about the whereabouts of their loved ones.

There's a little more from Eurasianet.org:

There are no reliable figures for the number of civilians murdered or disappeared by state-backed paramilitary groups amid the conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a war that has claimed more than 40,000 lives since it started in 1984. Official statistics put unsolved murders between 1991 and 1995 at 1,412. Human rights groups reckon that at least 5,000 died, including over 1,000 missing persons who are presumed dead.

Getting convictions for murders committed by security personnel remains nearly impossible, says Tahir Elci, a prominent human rights lawyer. He says he can remember only one case - that of a sergeant sentenced to life in 2007 for ordering the 1994 murder of a Kurdish businessman. Turkey’s system, he adds, "protects its murderers."

Which means, of course, don't get your hopes up. Digging for evidence has not been a completely smooth operation. Last week, the state attempted to stop the digs before they got started, citing "security reasons". If the state were truly concerned with the security problem in The Southeast, it would remove the biggest terrorists of all, the TSK. I mean, you seriously have to wonder about the security situation when at least some of JITEM's acid wells are located on a military installation.

Yeah. Security issues. Does TSK guard every military installation as well as it guarded Bezele? Or is this an admission that TSK really is the cause of security problems in The Southeast?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


"Nor is there any law more just, than that he who has plotted death shall perish by his own plot."
~ Ovid.

A friend sent a link to this in email. Here's a piece of it:

The Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today that a two-year-old Kurdish boy was killed and his parents seriously wounded after continued Iranian bombardment of the Kurdistan region in the northernmost part of Iraq. The attack and tragedy was confirmed by the mayor of the town of Zarawa, located just 100 miles north of the city of Sulaymaniya.

In a statement released to the AFP, the mayor of Zarawa, Azad Wassu said, “Iranian artillery bombarded border villages on Tuesday evening killing a child and wounding his parents.”

Since last October, Iran and Turkey have extensively bombed border regions in Iraqi Kurdistan under the pretext of pursuing rebel fighters of PKK and PJAK. However, according to officials in the region, much of the attacks have targeted villages and towns where there are no rebel fighters.

Iranian and Turkish shelling against the Kurdistan region has been ongoing since at least October of 2007. Alliance for Kurdish Rights reported in May 2008 that over 200 families had been displaced as a result of the attacks on the villages in the region, (See the Report). A month after the report was compiled, two members of Iraqi Parliament announced in a press conference that at least 450 families had been displaced over the two years of airstrikes against the region by the Iranian and Turkish militaries, (See the Report).

As noted, Iranian bombardment of Kurdish civilian areas in Iraq has been ongoing for some time. Turkey has also displaced hundreds of families with its bombing of South Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). In December 2007, 700 Kurdish families along the border were forced to flee Turkish bombing. Those families who returned, found their homes, property, and the infrastructure damaged.

As has been mentioned previously, these bombings of Kurdish civilians is carried out as joint military operations between Turkey and Iran, with targetting provided by the US and Israel. Başbuğ, when he was still land forces commander, admitted as much publicly in mid-2006. Although at the tıme Başbuğ claimed that there were no joint operations, he said "When they start operations, we also conduct operations." Sounds like joint operations to me.

An increase in Turkish-Iranian cooperation began in earnest in 2004.

The Alliance for Kurdish Rights article makes this observation toward the conclusion of the piece: "The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), despite calling for U.N. intervention on more than one occassion, has also played a counterproductive role by disallowing journalists and other groups to enter the region after claiming that the media had been 'aggravating the crisis with Turkey'." Oh, really? Mm, mm, mm. Well, we wouldn't want to aggravate the Turks now, would we?

The mullahs' forces, not content with murdering Kurdish children in South Kurdistan, have done the same with Kurdish children in North Kurdistan on Saturday:

One Turkish Kurdish child was killed and another was injured after being fired upon by Iranian military as they attempted an illegal crossing from the Saray township in the eastern Turkish province of Van into Iran.

The two brothers, aged 13 and 12, were fired upon by Iranian military after refusing calls to stop while crossing into Iran.

The younger child, who survived the shooting, was taken by local town’s people to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The most amusing part of this incident can be found at Zaman:

"The Iranian side has been informed about the incident, as well. A delegation of Iranian and Turkish experts will be formed to conduct an investigation at the scene of the attack," [Özalp district governor Hüseyin] Demirbaş said.

I'm certain they'll conduct a thorough investigation and absolutely nothing will come of it. After all, it was just Kurds that were murdered.

Imagine for a moment if it were Palestinians were were being bombed, shot, and otherwise having their lives and livelihoods, homes and infrastructures destroyed instead of the victims being Kurds. What do you think those two assholes, Erdoğan and Ahmedinejad, would say? What do you think their psychotic populations would say? Or how about the bleeding hearts in the West? What would they say?

Instead we have our two, good Muslim brothers murdering Muslim Kurds. Isn't brotherhood wonderful?!

By the way, Alliance for Kurdish Rights sends out an email newsletter. Go to their contact page if you want to be added to the subscription list.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


"That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part."
~ Thomas Jefferson.

Straight from the horse's mouth in Amed, so to speak, is a DTP bulletin on the situation surrounding the upcoming local elections. Basically, it's a run down of the usual stinky shenanigans that the Ankara regime always pulls whenever there's an election.

I have to say that the funniest thing about the International Women's Day demonstrations that took place in Turkey over the weekend was a march in Istanbul in which Kurdish women carried effigies of washing machines with signs that said even the machines won't wash you, AKP.

Let me also say that the most awesome thing about the Women's Day demonstrations was the amount of Kurdish women that turned out for them. I'm willing to bet that there is no place on earth where women turn out in such numbers for these demonstrations as the Kurdish women of Turkey, and everyone is there, from young to old. There are no more politically-aware women anywhere in the Middle East or in the entire world. Of course, this political consciousness would not exist if not for Öcalan and the PKK.

Without further ado, here's DTP's election bulletin, in its entirety and thank you very much to the heval who sent it:

The DTP Bulletin on Local Elections in Turkey, 29 March 2009

The Bulletin was prepared by the Democratic Society Party (DTP) Foreign Affairs Office, 1 January 2009 to 15 February 2009

1 January 2009: Official schedule has started

Supreme Election Commission announced that 19 parties will join to the local elections in 29th March 2009. But Peace and Democracy Party or BDP and People’s Growth Party or HYP were ignored by virtue of organizational imperfection. BDP and HYP made official objections. The commission accepted these parties’ objections. Hereby, 21 parties had participation right to the elections.

11 January 2009: Voters: Soldiers; Address: Cowshed

Local Election’s voter registers have been exhibited in 5th January 2009. And then exhibited registers have appeared a lot of unlawful executions. The most marked suspicion is the explosion of voter counts. One of the spotted unlawful events is soldiers’ voting addresses. Near 1000 soldiers from 2nd Mechanized Brigade just enrolled to Lice county of Diyarbakir. Even though private soldiers have not voting right, tens of private soldiers’ address registered to cowsheds contrary to the law. Besides, hundreds of soldiers’ addresses enrolled to Lice’s empty and ruinous houses. Cowshed and ruinous house dwellers are known as also enrolled to western cities such as Kastamonu, Antalya, Edirne and Bursa. Kali Quarter of Lice County elector population was 466 in the general elections of 2007. The quarter’s voter population increased interestingly in one year. Other Lice quarters’ voter population ncreased too. Lice’s old voters couldn’t identify the people who resh registered voters. Unknown voters address registered to same homes. It is spotted that about 150 unknown voters living in same home. Furthermore, 167 new voters have enrolled to only one house where 46 number in Karahasan Quarter. 84 new voters have enrolled to one house where 33/A number in Kali Quarter. 145 new voters have enrolled to one house where 33/C number in Kali Quarter. 182 new voters have enrolled to 5/1 and 5/2 number in Yesilburc Quarter. 107 new voters have enrolled to a house where 107 number in Camikebir Quarter. There are near 1000 new enrolled suspicious voters in Lice County for 29 March 2009 Local Election.

Democratic Society Party objected to the register of Lice. But Supreme Election Commission refused the objection due to “inadequate information” such as electors’ ID numbers.

21 January 2009: Cheating claims on electoral register in Girmeli Town

It was claimed that had spotted cheatings on register of voters in Girmeli Town of Mardin. DTP’s candidate for Girmeli Municipality Mr. Ömer Altun expressed AKP’s cheats. Mr. Yusuf Turgay, existing mayor of Girmeli who AKP member has enrolled his home unlawfully as 10 house. Besides, new voters have been added to registers from out of the town. So, some voters whom known as supports DTP has deleted from the registries darkly.

DTP Vice Chairman of Nusaybin County Mr. Adnan Agirman expressed AKP cheats about voter shifting to Girmeli. Mr. Agirman claimed that 1600 voters were imported from other cities. The voters whom shifted to Girmeli registries has spotted that most of them are government employee such as soldiers and BOTAŞ staff.

22 January 2009: Cheatings continue in Malazgirt

1200 teacher voters’ address has shown in 108th Artillery Regiment’s barracks that enrolled Malazgirt County of Muş. Most of teachers’ electoral registers were enrolled in western cities. Barracks are out of the control by civil authorities. Thus, there couldn’t any possibility for official and acceptable objection to the Supreme Election Commission. Mrs. Zozan Kabişen, DTP Vice Chairman of Malazgirt Town has indicated that government, political parties and military authorities are in alliance against DTP.

27 January 2009: Term of the election deceptions

390 members of Mixuri tribe who have been living in the villages have been registered as voter of Muradiye County of Van, by Nafis Ağaoğlu, Mayor of Muradiye from the Justice and Development Party or AKP. Allegedly 390 voters from Gültepe, Adaklı, Yukarıargıt, in Muradiye County of Van, have been registered as voter of Yavuz Selim, Kandahar, Şehit Mehmet Bey and Yenişehir Quarters in Muradiye County of Van. According to the allegations, 390 voters' all kinds of official paper such as water bill, electricity bill have been prepared in the mentioned villages above. It has been proved that voters have used their relatives houses' addresses in order to register in the district instead of their village and thereby there are some houses in which more than 15 people are living.

Nafiz Ağaoğlu, mayor of Muradiye from AKP also one of member of Mixuru tribe, has been accused of involving election deception by registering the 390 villagers -also member of Mixuri tribe- as the residents of district.

It is said; Osman Sönmez, head of the Democratic Society Party in Muradiye County, has appealed to Supreme Election Commission in company with documentary material. Sönmez indicated that "Involving deception during the election term is not new case for AKP. It is very clear, this time they have brought 390 members of their tribe from the villages. According to official records they must be registered in their villages, instead of the Muradiye County. This is an outlawed action. We are expecting from YSK to call-of these registrations as soon as possible, if not we are going to appeal to related official foundations."

Dirty tricks on the voter lists

There have been the dirty tricks on the voter lists while local elections days are approaching. It has been understood that 125 people' names took a place on the Ambar small town’s voter lists, even though some of them death while others were not the residents in Ambar which depend on Bismil Town of Diyarbakir. 51 names have been removed from the lists because of the Democratic Society Party’s objection to the Supreme Commission of Election or YSK. There have been still 74 names remained on the lists which are not supposed to be according to rules.

The presented voter lists includes more name than it is supposed to be because of the dirty tricks. Thus, the voter lists become unreliable. DTP applied to YSK in order to question about 125 voters registered on Ambar voter lists which even some of them death and others is not currently the residents in Ambar. After YSK's decision over the application, 51 names were removed 74 names were still on the lists.

"There are a lot of tricks"

Mecit Ateş, mayor of Ambar from DTP, have reacted against YSK's decisions by telling: "It has been clearly known that 74 voters who were not removed from the lists are not our resident. They have been living in some districts of Diyarbakir; especially people whose surname is “Çalışkan” have been living in the Collective Housing in Diyarbakir. Also, there are 3 voters’ names that have moved in Bursa some long years ago still on the lists. We are asking from YSK, according to the election rules, these 74 names have to be removed from the lists." He said: We want a democratic election. The citizens should vote where they live in. Otherwise it will be dirty trick."

30 January 2009: One more election trick from AKP in Tunceli

The Justice and Development Party or AKP's election tricks have never been end. Latest issue occurred in Ovacık, district of Tunceli. Hasan Hüseyin Dizi, Mayor of Ovacık from AKP deceived by promising to wipe off villager debts who's villages were burned by government in 1994 and resettled in public house on condition that to pay the cost of the houses in 15 years. It is learned that when the villagers went to the Special Provincial Administration or IOD to take back their money. According to the documents Mayor didn't keep his promise and charged the houses money from villagers' accounts.

A lot of people had to immigrate to the cities in connection with burning the numerous villages for so-called to fight against terrorism in 1994. The municipal administration had built 80 public houses for immigrants and gave them on condition that paying the cost of houses in 15 years. Recently Hasan Hüseyin Dizi stated in the public speech to wipe off villager's rest of the debts just before the election and people went to the IOD to receive their money according to mayor's announcement. It is understood that their debts were collected even though mayor's promise and their land registries.

Sinan Yılmaz, one of victim in this case, said, we are aggrieved and we are going to take this case to the court. They charged all money cash without installment. According to the mayor's explanation, firstly we were going to pay the cost of houses by installment. And then mayor promised us to wipe off all rest of the debts. As we can see, they charged all money we used to own in total, without installment. Even we ignore mayor's promise, this is violating our rights."

He pointed that the debts were calculated in different amount and there was no standards. Zülfikar Yılmaz and Ahmet Az also claimed Mayor Dizi on the grounds that unlawfully charging their debts in one time. On the other hand Mayor Hasan Hüseyin Dizi didn't confirm the villagers' allegation.

Unlawful voter transfers from Adana to Mardin

2000 voters and near 50 family whom reside in Seyhan County of Adana have transferred their electoral registers to Midyat County of Mardin. The illegal massive transfer supported by AKP’s regional authorities. It is known that, transferred voters realized the unlawful approaching in exchange for money. Mr. Ismail Tilhe, Yenibey Quarter Mukhtar exposed the unlawful situation. Mr. Tilhe explained that these are unlawful transfers which realized as involuntary of some voters. Mr. Tilhe added hat transferred voters’ registers in Midyat have been performed by pro-AKP village guards and tribe leaders.

DTP summit a petition to Supreme Election Commission for cancelling the vote transfer from Adana to Mardin. But the petition ignored by the commission.

2 February 2009: “We have never given up speaking in Kurdish”

Bekir Kaya, The Democratic Society Party or DTP’s candidate for local election in Van, reacted against the investigation about his Kurdish speaking and using “W” which is written on the election bus. This decision is anti-democratic, thus, everybody has to know and we are going to keep speaking our language and because of these prosecutors will be really busy in oncoming days. I should say for them “enjoy it” said Bekir Kaya.

There is a humorist and clever approach came from Bekir Kaya, the Democratic Society Party or DTP’s mayoralty candidate for the local election in Van, during his election visits. He had somebody to write “Wan” instead of “Van” on the election bus to use the same right with the government who can use Kurdish during the state run television channels in Kurdish. Even though there is Kurdish TV implementation in Turkey, the prosecutor didn’t take their time to open investigation about DTP and Bekir Kaya, on the grounds that using Kurdish during the election visits.

Van Police Department gave a crime report to the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic about Bekir Kaya on the grounds that to violate the Low of the Political Parties 81.article, which doesn’t allow to use language other than Turkish during the election visits or meeting, by speaking in Kurdish.

The mentioned law also forbids using Kurdish when writing a party program, guideline, banner etc. speaking in closed or opened meeting, using on video, visual or audible document, so on.

“AKP is a shammer”

The Justice and Development Party or AKP is shammer said Bekir Kaya when he was evaluating the investigation adding that: AKP have been making propaganda about broadcasting in Kurdish which does not mean Kurdish is free. Kurdish is still forbidden for other than government. This is a bilateral policy. Even though government’s suppression on us, we have never given up speaking Kurdish as Kurdish people.

He pointed out, this language is Kurdish people’ legitimate right and also he said: We are going to struggle against the law, until to provide constitutional guarantee to protect Kurdish. It is very clear that prosecutors will be very busy in these days. I have to say for them, “Enjoy it”.

60 voters registered to abandoned village

60 voters’ electoral registers have spotted in an abandoned village in Bismil Town of Diyarbakir. Mr. Nizamettin Fidan, DTP chairman of Bismil Town said that “we spotted a lot of cheatings in Bismil. We made our objection to Supreme High Commission. It is unlawful that only one person living in a house. But 60 people are registered as “voter” in the abandoned village.”

Also, AKP candidates have composed unlawful election mechanisms in Bismil Town. It is spotted a lot of illegal activity to change the election results.

5 February 2009: Who is in charge in Çukurca

Çukurca residents have been crying out in connection with being enfiladed by gendarmerie and government negligence on this issue which 5 people wounded.

Residents of Çukurca district of Hakkari who had been under the snow masked special forces’ fire on 3rd February, had been sit on them by gendarmerie, had been forced to flee from their houses in the nude in the middle of the night, are furious with government’s negligence in the face of army raid against them a couple days ago. Çukurca, on where zero point of Kurdistan Federative Region’s border, is a place no one including deputies gets in without interrogation, a place it’s district governor cannot control security forces, it’s residents have been enfiladed by gendarmerie. What the police, solder and special team did is the real terror. We do not want to stay in Turkey which considers us as its enemies, we want to move in to Iraq said Çukurca Residents who have been crying out in connection with being enfiladed by gendarmerie. Meanwhile it is said that prosecutor of Çukurca supported what has been done by the security forces by saying; you are free to prepare crime report, I do not allow to opening investigation about what they have done, they did what needs to be done.

Hamit Geylani, deputy of the Democratic Society Party, spot visit for research the event was questioned by gendarmerie, Çukurca’s qaimaqam stated that what happened on 3rd February is beyond of my capabilities, there was nothing I coul do to prevent this army raid, besides there is no official attempt in order to investigate the issue. It is thought that are we going back to 1990’s because of all these reasons.

Real atrocity in the region

2 of 5 citizens who were taken under custody at that day were arrested, Ergün Kaçmaz and Samet Erdem, by accusation of being a member of illegal organization by Hakkari Heavy Penalty Court. After 2 days being raked the houses still in uninhabitable condition with gas bombs’ smell, remaining from weapons, broken walls, bullets’ trace, and fear of the children’ eyes as the most important one. Moreover, according to allegation citizens’ 80 thousands Turkish Lira, which was the compensation for burning their house when they were in Narlı village, in Çukurca, had been confiscated by solder

70 years old man’s arm has fractured from 3 points Salih Erdem, 70 years old, whose arm was broken three times, explained the nightmare: It was 00.30 A.M. Our door was broken in sudden. Gas bombs were thrown in and then they got in and threw my grandchildren from their bad to the ground even baby, 6 months old. I have seen that they were trying to take out my son’s clothes and taking him out in the nude. I want to prevent them, but snow masked 3 people broke my arm in three places by butt stroke. They insulted us and stole our money; I’m going to sue them.

They blow down and sit on us, beat us, our furniture was on fire, my 7 years old child went through a grave crisis, mother in law paralyzed because of fear and gas bombs. I barely saved my children’ life and my mother is in hospital, said Belgin Erdem adding that: “This is the real terror what army, solder, police and special team have done to us. We have been facing a lot with such army raid, but this one was the worst one. ”

We do not want to live in Turkey

She also said that “This country considers us as enemy. Open the borders, we want to go to Iraq. To live in here is not secure. I hate from solder now.”

“They get in by broken the windows, they insulted us, threw bombs, look like we are the enemies. They even attacked to children” said Hüseyin Erdem, 72 years old.

Excruciating story repeats

For the Erdem family excruciating story repeats as well as others. This family used to live in Narlı Village, in Çukurca. They had had to immigrate to the district after their village house had been burned by the Turkish solder. They won compensation from the government because of that case, and this time compensate has been taken by special team forces, approximately 60 thousands Turkish Lira.

Zeynep Kaçmaz also stressed that she will be sue the solder and responsible officer to make them pay back their action by saying: They make us to feel hell by attacking everybody no exception for children or women, spilled our food, step on our body, didn’t allow us to put on our dress, made us wait outside until 6 A.M in the morning in middle of the winter. We are in shock, especially children.”

5 years old had been threatened by gun

Fatma Kaçmaz described that night as terror night. “They threatened my 5 years old child by gun. My mother in law still cannot speak because of fear. We are, my children and my house are miserable. Somebody has to pay back.” Said Kaçmaz.

Hamit Geylani, deputy of the Democratic Society Party or DTP has research on the spot and he said that, he is going to carry this case to the Turkish Grand National Assembly or TBMM’s agenda. If there is legality in Turkey, solder who is responsible, has to be brought to the court. Otherwise we are going to seek our rights via international law and institutions, said Geylani.

Qaimaqam is desperate as well

On the other hand Ferheng Yazgan, chair of Hakkari provincial council, stated that qaimaqam is desperate as well as people who had being raked. Qaimaqam told Yazgan; I’m not support what have been done but there was nothing I can do”. Yazgan highlighted that if qaimaqam doesn’t know anything this army raid must be a JITEM job. He also said that: The prosecutor of Çukurca supported what has been done by the security forces by saying; you are free to prepare crime report, I do not allow to opening investigation about what they have done, they did what needs to be done. We need to know who is in charge in Çukurca.

7 February 2009: 630 soldiers registered to one house

630 soldiers including gradeless and high ranking personnel, who have not the residents or officers of the village army department, have been registered as visitors who can vote in the election in little army department, Çukurca brigade command, which 28 personnel capacity. Election tricks have been run across day by day. Lately, 630 soldiers including gradeless and high ranking personnel, who have not the residents or officers of the village army department, have been registered as visitors who can vote in the election in little army department, Çukurca district brigade command in Hakkari, which 28 personnel capacity.

Allegedly soldiers whom are officers in Üzümlü, Çayırlı, Köprü, Çığlı villages, have been registered by brigade commander Zeki Es’s directive and permission document. Mehmet Kanar, Democratic Society Party or DTP’s mayoral candidate stated that they have objected to the Supreme Election Commission or YSK as DTP. “There were 2870 voters during the previous election in our area. 630 is a very significant number if we consider affecting the election results. These registrations are made to make us loser in the election. We are not going to be silent against these kinds of tricks and we believe even though their trick we will be a one who win the election.”

9 February 2009: Brigadier Commander threatens citizens for vote on AKP

Brigadier Commander threatened citizens for vote on AKP in Çukurca district of Hakkari in Southeastern Turkey where mainly Kurds live. Commander call the Kurdish citizens to gendarmerie stations and warned them by saying; “If AKP lose the election, this will not be good for you”.

Ruling party Justice and Development Party or AKP and its supporter such as army forces have increased oppression on the citizens to prevent them to voting on Democratic Society Party or DTP which most probably will win the local election on 29 th March around the east side of Turkey where mainly Kurds live. Lately, Kurds in Çukurca have received threat from Çukurca Brigadier to not vote on DTP. It is also alleged that brigadier and M. Yaşar Turan, mayor from AKP in Çukurca, are working together for election.

According to information obtained firstly, Mayor Turan has called the citizens and promised them for money or job in return for voting on AKP. Then brigadier general stepped in when the citizens have not accepted the offers. General called them and told them, if AKP lose the election, this is not good for Çukurca and its residents. Citizens have alleged that, there are suppressions which getting increase since the election date comes closer. According to citizens observation AKP panicked since they have understood that they are going to lose the local election in Çukurca.

'Our votes not for sale’

Hacı Atay, one of the residents in Çukurca explains: “One week ago I had been called by Mayor of Çukurca. He said, ‘we provide you a job and money or whatever you need as long as you vote on AKP.” I answered back him very clearly about my vote. I said my vote belongs to DTP and any kind of bribe makes no change on my decision. And then I have received another call from brigadier general. He clearly threatened me. General said, it will be not good since we vote on DTP. My vote is not for sale and I’m going to vote for DTP. Everybody knows what kinds of cruel actions have occurred against Kurds since AKP administration has been in charge.

'Suppressions should end on DTP’

Muhittin Dervişoğlu, from district executive of DTP, also stated that, citizens have been called by mayor and brigadier general and received threat. General and AKP have seen the reality in this area which is DTP most probably will win the election. Thereby, they have panicked and been pressing people by threat or bribe to prevent people from voting on DTP.

According to him, one of Kurd has been arrested when he didn’t accept their offers for selling his vote and this suppression will increase the election date getting closer.

Village guards also part of the suppression

Mehmet Kanar, DTP’s mayoral candidate, point out that village guards are also part of the suppression in the region, where everybody, such as army, government, mayor have acted together in order to prevent DTP’s winning at the oncoming local election.

10 February 2009: Kurdish propaganda and service preparation from Kurdish candidates

The mayoral candidates of the Democratic Society Party or DTP have been preparing for propaganda and service in Kurdish to show their reaction against restrictions on Kurdish language according to the Law of Political Parties. They are promising to municipal service will be made in Kurdish if they win the election.

DTP's mayoral candidates' election works are ongoing enthusiastically for incoming election on 29th March while the republic's prosecutors have been opening investigations about their propaganda which is made in Kurdish during their election travels. Lately an investigation has been launched by the prosecutor for Van mayoral candidate Bekir Kaya, who had written on the election bus Wan instead of Van on the grounds that to use the letters other than Turkish.

Our voters are demanding from us to serve in their mother tongue. If we use Kurdish language during municipal service, our performances have being blockaded for years. Even though these kinds of negative approach to using Kurdish, we have never given up and will not in the future Zülküf Karatekin said on the issue, who is currently mayor of Kayapınar district of Diyarbakir.

I have a copy of the original document and it's in English. Whoever wants one, shoot me an email.