Wednesday, July 29, 2009


"I offer the Turkish society a simple solution. We demand a democratic nation. We are not opposed to the unitary state and republic. We accept the republic, its unitary structure and laicism. However, we believe, that it must be redefined as a democratic state respecting peoples, cultures and rights."
~ Abdullah Öcalan.

Did Mustafa Kemal ever say the word "Kurdistan"? It appears that he may have done so and on more than one occasion. At the very least, before 1922, it was very clear to Turkish officials that Kurdistan existed. But what about autonomy for the Kurds? Here's some food for thought from Özgür Gündem:

Why Aren't the Transcripts There?

In recent days, when debates over the Kurdish question have intensified, "recognizing autonomy for the Kurds" still keeps its important place in the daily agenda. It has been mentioned that the "recognition of autonomy for the Kurds" law was legislated on 10 February 1922 in the Parliament. However, although there are transcripts for the 9th and 11th of February 1922, the transcript dated for 10 February 1922 cannot be found. Former Muş Parliamentarian Mehmet Emin Sever said that he could not get any result for the application he made in 1993 to the Parliament's president.

It has been stated that on 10 February 1922 a law that recognized autonomy for Kurds was legislated. This subject was first mentioned in Robert Olson's book, The Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism and the Sheikh Said Rebellion. Olson is an expert on the Middle East at the University of Texas. Using the British Foreign Ministry's documents, Olson bases his writing on a report that was sent by the British High Commissioner Horace Rumbold to British Foreign Minister Lord Curzon, that the [Turkish] Parliament legislated the law of "Autonomy Law of Kurdistan". In the report sent to Lord Curzon, it is stated that the law, with 18 articles, was legislated in the Parliament by 373 votes for the law and 64 against.

According to Olson's document, the first article of the law is as follows: "The Grand National Assembly undertakes the creation of an Autonomous Government for the Kurdish nation that is harmonious with its national traditions for the goal of the improvement of the Turkish nation with the necessities of civilization."

Meanwhile, such a document does not exist only in the British Foreign Ministry archives. In his book called, With French Documents: Kurdistan in the Triangle of Sevres-Lausanne-Mosul, Hasan Yıldız, too, mentions about the session in the Parliament about the "recognition of autonomy for the Kurds" based on the French Foreign Ministry archives.

However, the session that both Olson and Yıldız based their argument on from British and French Foreign Ministry archives cannot be found in the [Turkish] parliament. In 1993, then Muş Parliamentarian Mehmet Emin Sever said he made several attempts to obtain information about both the transcripts regarding the recognition of autonomy for the Kurds and his grandfather Cibranlı Hamit Bey's and Sheikh Said's situation. However, Sever said he could not get what he wanted on either subject. Sever stated that he was told that it was impossible to obtain the transcripts on 10 February 1922.

Meanwhile it is remarkable that one is able to obtain the transcripts of the 9 and 11 of February 1922 while not being able to obtaın the ones for 10 February 1922.

Historian Ayşe Hür said that legislation of the law of "recognition of autonomy for the Kurds" is not clear. Mentioning that there are transcripts for the dates of 9 and 11 February, but not on 10 February, Hür underscored the following: "There might have been a secret session on 10 February and the transcript might have been hidden. Or, such a session never occured and Turkey mentioned about the law of "recognition of autonomy for the Kurds" in order to alleviate British pressure. In this case, then, there wouldn't be such a law but only Turkey might have deceived the British."

In addition, Hür pointed out the following possibility: "The 10 of February [1922] fell on Friday. In those days February was considered a holiday and there might not have been any session." However, Hür noted several statements of Atatürk regarding granting Kurds autonomy, such as his İzmit speech and in the telegram he sent to El Cezir Command. Hür also pointed out how Atatürk's many statements regarding this issue were censored in later years.

We know from the experiences of Armenian historians that Ottoman documents can go "missing" at any time, particularly when such documents touch on those subjects that the status quo considers controversial.

We also know that from the summer of 1924 on, the regime began to erase all references to Kurdistan from official records. It may have been at this time that the transcripts of the BMM assembly of 10 February 1922 went "missing" For more on those days, in English, check David McDowall's A Modern History of the Kurds and Ahmet Kahraman's Uprising, Suppression, Retribution: The Kurdish Struggle in Turkey in the Twentieth Century.

The reason that there is a discussion now about Kurdish autonomy and its history is that Öcalan will issue his roadmap for peace for 15 August, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first attacks by PKK against Turkish repression. The fact that Hürriyet's Ertuğrul Özkök has said, "The fact that Turkey so far has not tried to create a realistic relationship with Öcalan has been, in my view, an historic mistake . . . I believe that he can play a very important role in solving the Kurdish conflict," is an indication that the idea of creating a dialog with Öcalan has fairly well permeated intellectual quarters in Turkey.

Hevallo has something on that here.

In the meantime, the AKP is struggling to create a "Kurdish initiative" and reveal it before 15 August. Or, in other words, they want to beat Öcalan to the punch. Hevallo also has a post with more on that.

However, given the actions of the regime against DTP in the recent elections and given the endless drivel we've heard from AKP on the Kurdish issue--especially since August 2005 in Amed--I would not place any value on yet more words. It's time to see action instead.

Aysel Tuğluk recently aired her opinion on the current efforts:

Tuğluk described the recent government efforts to resolve the Kurdish problem as a “last chance,” adding that if the current process ended in disappointment, the clashes would be more violent than before.

I'm afraid she's right on target.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


"Defeat is a school in which truth always grows strong."
~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Many thanks to the comrade who sent this along for your reading enjoyment--a translation of a recent opinion piece by Ahmet Altan at Taraf:

How Was the State Defeated?

This didn't happen with weapons.

Just the "existence" of the PKK was enough for the state to get defeated.

Actually, it wasn't possible for the PKK to defeat the state with weapons.

If the state could stand as a real state, such a defeat would not be the case.

But all the awkwardness of the state was revealed by the Kurdish war that PKK started.

This defeat has arrived as a result of the state seeing itself as "agha" and its people as "servants".

Our "agha" state, which takes every demand from a "servant" as "arrogant disrespectfulness", when faced with Kurds' demand, went into a state of complete "frustration".

These very rightful and just demands could be solved without getting guns involved.

But the disaster called 12 September [the 1980 coup] could not even tolerate Kurds' demands that were as weak as murmuring.

It attacked those people [the Kurds] like a death machine.

As if Diyarbakır prison was used intentionally to make Kurds go crazy because of "anger and pain".

In that prison it [the state] made people live such horrific pains, applied such horrific torture, and belittled people so badly that it did not leave any other way for for Kurds than "going to the mountains".

The state completely lost its mind when Kurds took up arms.

The state never thought about the reason for this uprising, neither did she look for a solution. It shut its ears to the people's complaints and turned down their demands.

It [the state] even denied that they were "Kurds".

It only chose one goal for itself: to supress the uprising at whatever cost.

It didn't even wonder "if there was another solution".

The PKK had a very strong support base among the people and it found external support too.

When the state couldn't annihilate the PKK with weapons, and could not suppress the uprising, it made the mistake that opened the way for its big defeat; the state, with all its institutions, was hurled outside the law.

Today, from almost every corner of The Southeast, bones of murdered people are surfacing.

The state's officers commited these horrific massacres.

The state turned its commissioned officers into "murderers" in those places.

It made the members of its legal system "co-conspirators"; it made its politicians into "inciters of murder"; and used its police as "torturers".

When the state, that should stand by and guard the law, stepped out of the law, then that huge organization [the state] turned into a gang.

Think about the Susurluk gangs, and Ergenekon.

Think about the cooperation with the mafia, murders, drug trafficking, and racketeering clashes.

The state, which was founded defectively anyway, lost its functionality as a "state".

"Criminal freedom" got larger and larger in the state's body, like a cancerous cell, and fed on all its establishment.

Then the state's flesh started falling off.

It turned into what it is today.

We are in a country in which the Constituional Court can violate the constitution.

Forensics medicine can do things bizarrely enough to get the attention of the president.

There is a murder organization named JITEM inside the state and its existence is constantly denied.

With its current structure, our state is not a state anymore.

And this is the big defeat that it experienced against PKK anyway; Not being a state anymore.

The state, in the name of destroying the PKK, destroyed itself, its legitimacy, and its very reason for existence.

PKK still stands.

But our state is vanished.

Now this state must be re-established.

We will re-establish a state which is respectful of people's demands, which serves its people, in which the Constitutional Court is respectful of the constitution, in which the soldiers will do what soldiers must do, and the police maintain law and order.

The state's "agha-hood" is finished. This people is not a "servant" anymore either.

The state's defeat, in fact, opened the road for transformation we should have lived long ago.

The state's and the peoples' roles are being redefined.

Of course there are still some who want to continue the old habits and act like a "agha" but their power is not enough anymore to make people accept this monstrosity as a "state".

To establish a new state, first, peace will be made with Kurds.

Then, the state will stop labeling the people, who are the true owners of this country, as "with--without head scarf", "left wing--right wing", and "Alevi--Sunni".

The sins of the past will be revealed one by one, the perpetrators will be put on trial, and the state and society will make a serious self-criticism.

Then we will have a new state and a new society.

We will establish a state which will not make any of its citizens to have to "take up arms" and which will not torture.

Defeat of a defective state will give birth to a healthy society.

I don't think anything else needs to be added given the context in which Altan writes. I really do like the part about making "a serious self-criticism". That's so very Apocu.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


"Manifestly, the Obama DOJ has one goal and one goal only here: to prevent any judicial ruling as to whether the Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program was illegal. And they're engaging in extraordinary efforts to ensure that occurs."
~ Glenn Greenwald.

I wanted to point out a few things tonight.

Firstly, Zerkesorg has posted a montage video of the Kurdish situation under the boot of America's "Model of Democracy" for the Middle East. He also has a post about a recent development in Turkey, in which a former soldier provided information about a mass grave inside a Turkish military garrison, so make sure to take a look at that.

Most people in the US realize that Starbucks has had some problems recently, beginning last year when the company announced it would 600 stores. Things haven't been so smooth for Starbucks in Turkey, either, as Gordon Taylor informs us with a little help from the WSJ.

Finally, over at Sibel Edmonds' place, she's posted the first of her podcasts. At this point, she intends to post two podcast interviews a month. Her inaugural podcast features an interview with James Bamford, who is an investigative journalist who specializes in digging the dirt on the intelligence community. In this podcast, we learn that two Israeli companies conduct the interception of your telecommunications companies.

Check the link for more information on Bamford's work and make sure and listen to the podcast. You'll never look at your cell phone, or your computer, in the same way again.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


"People who live in glass houses should not throw stones."
~ English idiom.

It appears that Katil Erdoğan has characterized the killing of some 180 people in China's Xinjiang province--historically the homeland of Turkic Uighurs--earlier this month as "genocide". There's no word in official state propaganda organs as to how many of those 180 were Han Chinese but, aside from that, I wonder how Katil Erdoğan would characterize the Ottoman Turks' killing of 1.5 million Armenians? But we all know the answer to that, don't we? We also know that Katil Erdoğan would not characterize his state's approach to its official attempts to destroy the Kurdish people and their culture as cultural genocide, although it is.

The official propaganda organs here in the US have been reporting somewhat on the situation in Xinjiang and they have done so in a manner that tends to emphasize China's dirty laundry. Naturally, this is just as hypocritical as Katil Erdoğan's "genocide" remark. Eric Walberg at Counterpunch noted the hypocrisy earlier this week:

However, Chinese colonialism -- veni, vidi, vici -- pales in comparison to the US/ British variant in nearby Afghanistan -- We come, destroy, and murder in the name of freedom. It is repulsively hypocritical for the Western press to take such delight in exposing China's dirty linen, as it slavishly hails US neo-imperial ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Uighurs riot, US drones massacre hundreds of innocent Afghans and Pakistanis, and Obama sends thousands more troops to Afghanistan in a mission that makes China's arrogant encroachment on Eastern Turkistan look like an act of selfless generosity.

With huge new bases in Afghanistan and 90,000 troops, the death toll on both sides is skyrocketing as Afghans prepare to "elect" the hated -- by both Afghans and Americans -- Hamid Karzai on August 20. The new US strategy is designed to reduce civilian casualties, according to General Stanley McChrystal, the new commander of NATO forces in the country, though "a price worth paying", he assures us.

Walberg draws a comparison between the Kurds, Uighurs, and Tibetans and independence struggle:

The Uighurs and Tibetans have old and unique cultures which the Chinese would do well to respect and nurture within greater China. But supporting the independence struggle is part of a cynical geopolitical chess game, and merely worsens the Uighurs' plight. We are reminded of Britain's scheming there in the 19th century. If Britain had stood by the Uighurs then, there would probably be an Uighuristan today. Instead, the destruction of Urumqi and the Old City in Kashgar continue. The latter will soon be a theme park where Uighurs will dress up and sell Han tourists plastic souvenirs.

China should "respect and nurture" its distinct cultures just as Turkey "would do well to respect and nurture" the Kurdish people and culture within Turkey, actions which would, without doubt, be supported by both DTP and the PKK. However, as Walburg points out, support for Uighur independence really is "part of a cynical geopolitical chess game." But don't rely on official state propaganda organs to fill you in on the details. Let's look a little further north, to Canada, for an explanation of this game of chess:

After the tragic events of July 5 in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, it would be useful to look more closely into the actual role of the US Government’s ”independent“ NGO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). All indications are that the US Government, once more acting through its “private” Non-Governmental Organization, the NED, is massively intervening into the internal politics of China.

The reasons for Washington’s intervention into Xinjiang affairs seems to have little to do with concerns over alleged human rights abuses by Beijing authorities against Uyghur people. It seems rather to have very much to do with the strategic geopolitical location of Xinjiang on the Eurasian landmass and its strategic importance for China’s future economic and energy cooperation with Russia, Kazakhastan and other Central Asia states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The major organization internationally calling for protests in front of Chinese embassies around the world is the Washington, D.C.-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

The WUC manages to finance a staff, a very fancy website in English, and has a very close relation to the US Congress-funded NED. According to published reports by the NED itself, the World Uyghur Congress receives $215,000.00 annually from the National Endowment for Democracy for “human rights research and advocacy projects.” The president of the WUC is an exile Uyghur who describes herself as a “laundress turned millionaire,” Rebiya Kadeer, who also serves as president of the Washington D.C.-based Uyghur American Association, another Uyghur human rights organization which receives significant funding from the US Government via the National Endowment for Democracy.

The NED was intimately involved in financial support to various organizations behind the Lhasa ”Crimson Revolution“ in March 2008, as well as the Saffron Revolution in Burma/Myanmar and virtually every regime change destabilization in eastern Europe over the past years from Serbia to Georgia to Ukraine to Kyrgystan to Teheran in the aftermath of the recent elections.

Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, was quite candid when he said in a published interview in 1991: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."

You can find more on the NED at SourceWatch and a description of its links to the neoconservatives, including PNAC, at RightWeb. These days, the president of NED is Richard Gephardt, former Armenian Genocide supporter turned lobbyist for Turkey. Listed as a director of the NED is the guy who brought genocide to East Timor in the 1970s, and who now appears to be doing the same in Pakistan and Afghanistan--Richard Holbrooke.

And what would be the purpose of the chessgame? The same as usual:

Over the past few years, in the face of what is seen as an increasingly hostile and incalculable United States foreign policy, the major nations of Eurasia—China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan have increasingly sought ways of direct and more effective cooperation in economic as well as security areas. In addition, formal Observer status within SCO has been given to Iran, Pakistan, India and Mongolia. The SCO defense ministers are in regular and growing consultation on mutual defense needs, as NATO and the US military command continue provocatively to expand across the region wherever it can.

[ . . ]

There is another reason for the nations of the SCO, a vital national security element, to having peace and stability in China’s Xinjiang region. Some of China’s most important oil and gas pipeline routes pass directly through Xinjiang province. Energy relations between Kazkhstan and China are of enormous strategic importance for both countries, and allow China to become less dependent on oil supply sources that can be cut off by possible US interdiction should relations deteriorate to such a point.

This is the reason why the US is in Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place; it's all because of the Mega-Lie. It is in Central Asia that NATO and the SCO collide and we know that Turkey is one of the NATO players. Therefore it should come as no surprise to learn that, just days before trouble erupted in Xinjiang, Turkish President Abdullah Gül made his first visit to Xinjiang. Gül has also called for a "transparent investigation" into events in Xinjiang. Coming from Gül, this might sound more credible if there were a transparent investigation into his state's Dirty War against the Kurdish people, which resulted in tens of thousands dead, millions forcibly displaced, and thousands of villages destroyed. It might sound more credible if, for example, Gül's state had actually carried out a transparent investigation of the Şemdinli bombing. After all, now that Büyükanıt is retired, he's ripe to be plucked from the Ergenekon tree along with all the other retired paşas.

DTP parliamentarian Selahattin Demirtaş was among those who accompanied Gül on his China visit:

Two deputies, who accompanied Gül in his visit, said no sign of an extensive uproar was apparent during a Turkish committee’s visit. But, Selahattin Demirtaş, the head of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP, parliamentary group said Uighurs spoke about the government’s oppression to the committee and said that they were anxious to talk.

So the question is, did members of Gül's entourage carry a message from the NED to the Uighurs? Is Gül acting on behalf of his American allies in Xinjiang as Turkey is doing throughout the rest of Central Asia?

As noted in the Christian Science Monitor, Turkey better walk the fine line:

Turkey has, in recent years, been working to raise its foreign policy profile and establish itself as a regional political and economic power. Turkey's president, Abdullah Gul, actually visited Urumqi as part of a recent state visit shortly before the violence broke out there. Turkey signed a reported $1.5 billion worth of trade deals during the visit.

But analysts say Ankara's criticism could lead to a rupture with Beijing.

"The Turks really have a tough decision to make, whether they keep this going or back off. This is a major test for Turkey's new foreign policy," says Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "This is a serious problem for the Turks from every angle."

Ankara now also needs to decide if it will grant a possible request to visit Turkey by Rebiya Kadeer, a Uighur diaspora activist based in the United States whom China has accused of being behind the violence in Xinjiang.

"All hell is going to break loose if she shows up in Turkey, especially after the comment that Erdogan made," Mr. Aliriza says.

Turkey's hypocrisy is not lost on the Chinese:

One netizen wrote, "First of all, the July 5 riot in Urumqi is China's internal affair, with which Turkey has no right to interfere, let alone distort the facts and criticize unscrupulously. Secondly, since Turkey itself does not have a "clean record" in its own affairs, should it be allowed to blame China?

A netizen with the IP wrote: The Chinese government has simply been preserving the integrity of the country, ethnic unity and property of its people. The Chinese government is facing a group of terrorists. The Kurdish massacres in Turkey were a kind of genocide and Nazism. Linking China to genocide is like a thief shouting "stop thief!"

A netizen with the IP wrote: What Turkey did to the Kurdish people was bloody genocide. With all sense and reason, China should support the Kurdish people's pursuit of independence.

[ . . . ]

A netizen under the name "genuine knowledge and profound view" wrote: Look at how Turkey treated its ethnic minorities: the Kurdish language is banned in schools and congress, and the use of non-Turkish languages is deemed as undermining the country's unity.

Nor is it lost on the Armenians:

Doubtless, the events in China should be condemned. Yet, there is another factor at play here, which reminds us of the saying, “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

Turkey has its own legacy of genocide and denial, as the killing of 1.5 million Armenians remains unrecognized. It also has Kurdish blood on its hands.

For the Turkish prime minister to have the audacity to compare the killing of a few dozen Uighurs to genocide while it continues to spend millions to deny the killing of a million and a half Armenians is—if we must put it mildly—ridiculous.

But it also begs the following: Would the prime minister—who seems quick to use the term genocide to refer to the Uighurs or, before that, the atrocities in Eastern Europe and the Palestinian territories—refer to the “events of 1915” as genocidal?

After all, even by the official Turkish account, there were more than 150 people who were killed in 1915…

Of course, China has always opposed separatism:

One of the basic components of post-Mao China’s policy, domestic and international, is opposition to separatism. This policy reflects China’s uncompromising adherence to the maintenance of territorial integrity at all costs—primarily with regard to Taiwan, but also to Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia. Similarly, the Chinese are fundamentally and officially opposed to separatist movements elsewhere, suggesting recently that self-determination should not necessarily involve national independence and that stateless nations should not necessarily form, or be given, states.

These rules also apply to the Kurds. To be sure, Chinese scholars deplore the Kurdish “tragedy:” the fact that a nation with such a long history could never set up its own country; the refusal of any country to seriously help the Kurds; and the use of force by host governments (primarily Turkey) to suppress Kurdish nationalism. Nevertheless, the Chinese ultimately admit that the Kurds’ demand for independence endangers these countries’ territorial integrity and national security. They claim that Kurdish legal rights should be respected and protected, but only within an autonomous arrangement in an existing state. Separatism will only lead to war, engender terrorism, and will ultimately be rejected by the international community.

But this means, in the final analysis, that China should have absolutely no problem backing the Kurdish people in Turkey because PKK's policy is to find a political solution within the borders of Turkey. "We would like as a movement to emphasize once again that the right solution is a democratic autonomy within the borders of Turkey. We believe that a solution in the unity of Turkey will be for the benefit of firstly the Kurdish people and all the people of the region."

American hypocrisy regarding Uighurs--aside from the whole energy resources thing mentioned above--takes on a whole new meaning when you realize that the Bush administration allowed Chinese agents to question Uighur prisoners at Gitmo.

Monday, July 13, 2009


"Psychosis, with adjective psychotic, literally means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality". People suffering from psychosis are said to be psychotic."
~ Wikipedia.

Last week someone kindly brought to my attention the fact that Günay Hakkı Övünç (Evinch, according to his Americanized spelling) had become the president of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA). Rastî readers will remember Övünç in connection with an American-based Turkish mercenary company that has a training facility in Silopi. More on that from Yeni Özgür Politika:

On some 1,000 acres of land between Silopi and the Habur Border Crossing the Black Hawk Security Company is working feverishly using up to 20 trucks carrying sand, five heavy plant and various other vehicles to get the base finished. The company was reportedly structured according to a model used by the Special Forces. The Washington-based company is shaping its organizations in Turkey and Iraq in order to meet the requirements of a low intensity war. With a cadre comprised of retired soldiers and intelligence operatives taken from special units the company provides a broad spectrum of activities including armored convoy security, defense tactics, low intensity combat, counter-terrorism and intelligence, air operations and hostage rescue.

The company, which has named its site in Habur "Black Hawk 1 Headquarters," will also have three other HQs in Zakho, Kirkuk and Baghdad.

The company will also have over 1,000 "retired" military personnel from the Turkish army attached to it. They will undergo a short refresher training course at the HQ in Silopi. At the Habur HQ, where some 300 service personnel will also be on duty, there will be a mobile hospital, a helipad, one casevac helicopter, one escort helicopter, and 300 vehicles including armed Hummers, and a truck park for 8,000 vehicles.

[ . . . ]

Günay Hakkı Övünç: Company partner and legal architect Günay Hakkı Övünç owns a law practice in Washington. Övünç, who for years has pursued law suits in the United States filed by the Turkish Embassy and the General Staff, is also the American-Turkısh Assembly's deputy chairman in charge of Washington.

Also involved in Black Hawk Security, Inc. is the TSK's retired Lieutenant General Köksal Karabay, who was in charge of Turkish special forces when American marines "bagged" them on 4 July, 2003.

YÖP asks some pertinent questions about the purpose of "Black Hawk 1 HQ" at the Habur border crossing:

The company will also have over 1,000 "retired" military personnel from the Turkish army attached to it. They will undergo a short refresher training course at the HQ in Silopi. At the Habur HQ, where some 300 service personnel will also be on duty, there will be a mobile hospital, a helipad, one casevac [medevac] helicopter, one escort helicopter, and 300 vehicles including armed Hummers, and a truck park for 8,000 vehicles.

[ . . . ]

There are many unanswered questions such as how did the partners meet one another, why did they take on this job, how did they get permission, what kind of relationship do they have with the US authorities, with whom do they share the intelligence they obtain, when the day comes how are they going to use "Turkish-Kurdish-Arab" and perhaps even American personnel, and are they simply going to be escorting trucks and nothing more? As part of an agreement made with this company the Koc Group and Milangaz Company send 1,600 tankers of LPG into Iraq every month. They send 200 tankers of aviation fuel ever day. They provide 70 percent of the United States requirement for diesel fuel via this crossing. When they talk about "security for Turkish trucks" they mean these tankers. However, this much military hardware and these names beg other questions.


Another interesting fact about Övünç is that he's from Chicago. According to the Sibel Edmonds case, Turkish nationals were apparently deeply engaged in covert activity in two major American cities and one of those was Chicago:

It may be more than another embarrassing security scandal. One counter-intelligence official familiar with Edmonds’s case has told Vanity Fair that the F.B.I. opened an investigation into covert activities by Turkish nationals in the late 1990’s. That inquiry found evidence, mainly via wiretaps, of attempts to corrupt senior American politicians in at least two major cities—Washington and Chicago. Toward the end of 2001, Edmonds was asked to translate some of the thousands of calls that had been recorded by this operation, some dating back to 1997.

[ . . . ]

. . . in December 2001, Joel Robertz, an F.B.I. special agent in Chicago, contacted Sibel and asked her to review some wiretaps. Some were several years old, others more recent; all had been generated by a counter-intelligence that had its start in 1997. “It began in D.C.,” says an F.B.I. counter-intelligence official who is familiar with the case file. “It became apparent that Chicago was actually the center of what was going on.”

I wonder how close a relationship there is between Övünç and another Turkish Chicagoan, Mehmet Çelebi, whose fundraising for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign was eventually dropped faster than a hot potato.

We know that sometime in 2005 or, perhaps, very early 2006, Övünç was "summoned" to Iraq, in Övünç's own words:

I was summoned to Baghdad. As I did not want to worry my wife, I told her I was going to Turkey for a conference on the Armenian matter – which was true. But, the complete truth was that after the conference I would continue to Iraq via Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, one of the safest routes to Baghdad for civilians. Passengers go through four levels of security checks, and the pretty woman sitting next to you in the plane might be a Turkish sky marshal who can break your neck faster than you can say, “Turkish Delight.”

So who "summoned" him and for what purpose? Inquiring minds want to know.

What may be even more scary is the ATAA's president-elect, Ergün Kirlikovalı (Check the ATAA's board of directors page for verification). He should be Övünç's successor as president of the ATAA in the not-too-distant future. You can get an idea of some of the things Kirlikovalı believes in these comments to a Forbes opinion piece asking, "Should Turkey Apologize to the Armenians".

Or check out a blog entry at the Orange County Weekly, which has a lot of interesting links to comments Kirlikovali is making all over the Internet . . . Like his psychotic babbling here or his anti-Mexican rant here.

And there's more raving at the Huffington Post. Or check out comment #168 here:

Turks are the new Jews. Genocide crowds are the new KKK.

Although there has been no due process or a jury verdict by any competent tribunal, these genocide crowds have already made up their minds about the characterization of the Turkish-Armenian conflict during WWI. Facts, figures no longer matter to them as they are all classified under the heading denials.

These genocide lynch mobs burn crosses not on Turkish lawns (yet,) but in public conscience. They claim, scream, and attack… They insult, intimidate, and terrorize… They already have their chosen verdict in their minds which comforts their anti-Turkish bias: Turks are guilty and there is no need to discuss this lay verdict; it is execution time… get the rope!

Or how about comment #173:

If Turks wanted to kill all Armenians why did they let one go? If Turks were afraid of foreign political pressure, why did they go ahead with the tereset (temporary resettlement?) What is wrong with defending your home when certain elements are trying to destroy your home from within, in total callusion [sic] with forced from outside? If Turks wanted to kill all Armenians, why would they save the ones in Istanbul? and Izmir? and Edirne? and Aleppo? and many other city centers (Urfa, Marasah, Anteb, and more?) Why would they exclude Catholic or Protestant Armenians? Why would they exclude many other Armenians like those dwelling in city centers, and clerks, etc.? And then why would Turks allow Armenians to use the trains where there were railroads (Konya, Adana, etc.?) Why would they allocate ox, horse, donkey carts where available? Why would they assign soldiers to protect them? Why would they allow American aid to help Arenians [sic]? Why would Turks invite an investigation of the charges by an international committee, other than those who started the tragedy in the first place, like Russia, Britain and France?

Can someone explain to me how Kirlikovalı's ranting squares with Övünç's vision for the ATAA in a statement last month, in which he says, "ATAA is a proud interlocutor, as the voice of reason and credibility in Washington DC for nearly 500,000 Turkish and Turkic Americans nationwide"? And why is it that we should believe the psychotic ravings of the future president of the ATAA on his word alone?