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: ) 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: ), 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!


Gordon Taylor said...

Allow me to ask a question which will make some people on this forum very angry. The question is: How much of the DTP's success would have been possible if Abdullah Ocalan had NOT been captured and imprisoned? (I repeat: if he had NOT been captured.)

Think about it. I am far from being an expert on this subject: in fact, I know very little. I admit it. But it seems obvious that the withdrawal of Syrian support, along with Apo's capture and removal from active leadership, are probably the best things that could have happened to the Kurdish cause in Turkey. These events 10 years ago forced the Kurds of Turkey to find new leaders. It forced them to regroup and think of new strategies, and it forced the PKK to stand on its own. Before Apo's capture the Turks could say, "Well, it's just Ocalan: that butcher is the real problem." Now he's been gone for ten years, and look at the situation! The Kurds of Turkey have millions of Ocalans.

As Mizgin quoted: "The truth will make you free, but first it will piss you off."

Mizgîn said...

Gordon, I don't know how your question would make people angry.

I agree with part of your question. In the long run (as we see), the capture of Ocalan has had the benefit of removing him from "the mountains", where he would have been a different leader than he is now. It's true that the state can no longer say, "The problem is Ocalan", but they simply change the wording and say "The problem is the 'terrorists'". However, with Ocalan on Imrali, he takes on somewhat the characteristics of a sehid. He shares with all the apocular who are political prisoners and this gives him a certain greater power.

Now we have DTP pushing for Ocalan's release. Turkish "terror" experts are claiming that a solution without Ocalan is impossible. Kurdish intellectuals are calling Ocalan the Kurds' Mandela. Would any of them say these things if Ocalan were not still the leader of the Kurdish people?

To say that his capture forced Kurds to seek other leaders is not correct. There is still one leader. He is on Imrali.

Nor did Ocalan's capture force Kurds to look for new strategies, such as running for elections, because by the time Ocalan was captured, the DEP parliamentarians had already run and been elected to the TBMM. They had already been imprisoned for several years by 1999. PKK itself was originally composed of two branches--the political branch, ERNK, and the armed branch, ARGK. The larger of the two was the ERNK. The political branch was always considered the more important of the two and the ARGK, with its military capability, was at the service of ERNK. I would be more inclined to say that DTP's success follows the path of both DEP and ERNK.

Another point is that over time circumstances change. Now we have retired pasas who say that the TSK made mistakes in dealing with the situation in The Southeast. Even MIT guys have said it. If I remember correctly, Senkal Atasagun, a former director of MIT, was of this opinion. They see and they know very well that their handling of the situation has been disastrous. They know that they are going to have to change.

So, to a certain extent I agree with your thesis but the situation also has more complicating factors. The ones I've mentioned here are the ones that come to mind right away. Maybe someone else will have more to add.

Eventually the state will all come very close to our way of thinking on the solution to the "Kurdish question" and DTP's success is simply another step on that path. Their biggest problem right now is the monster they've created among their own people with their primitive nationalism.

Gordon Taylor said...


Thanks for filling in some of the background. And I can certainly see why Apo is revered:

I remember so many times in "the region" during the '60s and '70s, when men would come up to me on the train, or the Van ferry, or a watch repair shop in Silvan, to name but a few. They would get close, lower their voices just above a whisper, and say things like, "Hey, yabanci, you know we're really Kurds!" And the conversations would begin. So yeah, I get it about Apo. It's a whole new era for Kurds in Turkey, and he got it going.

But I also see, as an outside observer, that there are a hell of a lot of other younger leaders who have come along and become very important in their own right. So statements like, "Ocalan and the people are one," and, "There is only one leader," make me a bit nervous. They remind me too much of Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will," when Rudolf Hess gets up at the Nuremberg Rally and screams, "Hitler ist Deutschland, und Deutschland Hitler ist!"

It's not an accusation, it's just something that makes me nervous. That's where I'm coming from.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon,

I don't think you have to be too nervous as Kurds will not let Ocalan, or anyone else, will turn into a Hitler. You have to keep in mind that Ocalan has merely become a symbol and his freedom would result in (or be result of) solution to the Kurdish question.

I do think though that DTP needs to be more pragmatic and vigilant. I know of people who magically got sidelined due to party politics and that's not necessarily a good thing. The Kurdish cause needs every person it can get and shouldn't be able to afford losing good politicians.


Gordon Taylor said...

"his freedom would result in (or be result of) solution to the Kurdish question."

Your point is well taken. Thanks.