Saturday, October 30, 2010

KCK Defendant Dicle Sent to Jail

Friday, October 29 2010

Erol ÖNDEROÐLU- A Diyarbakýr court handed down a 1 year 8 months prison sentence to former DEP deputy Dicle on the grounds of praising imprisoned PKK leader Öcalan. Lawyer Laçin stated to file an appeal since Dicle is tried in the scope of the KCK trial under the same allegations.
The Diyarbakýr 4th High Criminal Court sentenced Kurdish Politician Hatip Dicle to imprisonment of one year and eight months by reason of praising Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Wokers Party (PKK). Dicle is a former deputy of the dissolved Democracy Party (DEP) and the former Co-Chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK).

The court convicted Dicle under article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMY) on "spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization". He is one of the defendants tried in the scope of the case on the Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan (KCK) Turkey Assembly. The KCK is the umbrella organization that includes the PKK.

Lawyer Laçin: One action does not justify two cases

The court on subject had decided to merge the file with the KCK case currently tried at the Diyarbakýr 6th High Criminal Court but the latter court dismissed the request. Thereupon, the 4th High Criminal Court carried on with the prosecution.

Defendant Dicle was represented by his lawyer Feride Laçin in the hearing on Thursday (28 October).

In an interview with bianet, Laçin explained that her client is being tried in the scope of the KCK case anyways on the grounds of his opinion on the Kurdish question voiced in front of his electorate in Bingöl (south-eastern Turkey) in 2009 and because of other actions from the past. "We think it is a breach of law to prosecute a defendant over the same activities in two separate cases. We will appeal as soon as the reasoned decision will have been issued". (EÖ/VK)

Outbreak of clashes in Meriwan

Thursday, 28 October 2010

MERIWAN, Eastern Kurdistan, -- Clashes broke out in the vicinity of the villages of Deri and Neshkash in the District of Meriwan, report said on Wednesday 27th.

The clashes lasted for 6 hours and as a result of that several Iranian Revolutionary Corps were killed, the report said.

More clashes have been reported in the region of Kosalan.

According to the reports the Iranian motor attacks began after the clash which lasted for 2 hours.

The regions of Baramawe and Binol were heavily bombarded which resulted in huge scale inferno of the forests.

More than 550 case of forest burning have been reported in the regions of Sawlawa and Meriwan.


Forty-Eight Kurds appear in Court in Syria

October 30, 2010 by sks

According to Media Institute of West Kurdistan Society and Syrian Committee for Human Rights – MAD, the following people have been referred to the military judge in al-Raqqa on 16 October 2010. They were arrested on 21 March 2010:
Mohamed Ali Daooud
Mohammed Sheikh Hosh Ali
Haji Hoosho Ahmad
Hamed Bozan Bozan
Jarah Daooud Shekhu
Saleh Mohammed Osman
Khalil Khashman Sheikh Mohammed
Mohiuddin Muslim Bozan
Adel Khalil Bozan
Kawas Ali Muslim
Hassan Ahmad Habash
Ayoub Khalil Khalli
Abdul Kader Ali Shaaban
Riad Ibrahim Khalil Sinjar
Mustafa Ibrahim Ibo
Maasum Mustafa Issa
Hassan Abdi Mohammed
Mohammed Ali Ahmed Hussein
Iskander Mohammed Issa
Jamaan Mohammed Issa
Mustafa Mohamed Yassin
Ibrahim Kawas Muslim
Ahmed Mesho Ali
Sabri Muhammad Nebi
Mustafa Ahmed Hussein
Mazloum Mohamed Othman
Adnan Ramadan Amin
Ramadan Mohamed Amin
Mustafa Ali Nassan
Abdulkadir Mahmoud Sheikh Othman
Ibrahim Abed Hussein
Sadiq Ibrahim Ibo
Ali Nebo Mustafa
Luqman Mustapha Nassan
Mohamed Atallah Issa
Ibrahim Mamet Mahmoud
Mohammed Hamoud Muslim
Nazmi Mohamed Mohamed
Ahmed Atto Shekho Maho
Abdul Karim Ali Mustafa
Badrakhan Ali Derreqi
Ramadan Bozan Bozan
Abousr Muslim Abousr
Khalil Osman Shekhp
Abdel Fattah Ahmed Temer
Muhammad Haji Ahmad
Taha Hasan Muslim
Ezzeddine al-Abboud
According to Media Institute of West Kurdistan Society and Syrian Committee for Human Rights – MAD condemn the continued detention of these detainees and demand the judicial authorities release them, and call for the release of all prisoners of opinion, stopping of arbitrary arrests and detention and the abolition of the State of Emergency and special laws. They call for the promotion of national unity and fundamental freedoms in Syria.
al-Raqqa 24 October 2010
Previous report:

Academic Kurds brought to trial in Syria

October 29, 2010 by sks  

According to Syrian Committee for Human Rights – MAD, the second investigating military judge in Aleppo case heard the prosecution case no. 568 of 2010 against the lawyer Abdullah Nuri Imam, born 1974 from Kobani, and Dr. Bakhtiar Mudars al-Hussein also from Kobani  on charges of causing a rift in  national unity and disturbing the harmony between elements of the nation, and setting fire to agricultural farms close to the border,  and being resistant to legitimate actions under Articles of the General Penal Code 211-212-216-217-218-573-574-307-370-393-336
Syrian Committee for Human Rights – MAD asks the authorities to release prisoners of opinion and to desist from making arbitrary arrests in violation of the Constitution and the Syrian laws, and calls for the trials of Abdullah Nuri Imam and Dr. Bakhtiar Mudars al-Hussein to be stopped.
26 October 2010

Can the KDP Dismantle the Free Press in the South of Kurdistan - By Mufid Abdulla

The response from the KDP is quite brutal towards the general values of free press as well as specifically the focus on the local press in the south of Kurdistan. The amount of libel cases from the KDP and their leadership against the range of newspapers comprises Hawlati, Awena, Roshnam, Rojgar etc and none of these are a surprise to me. It is absurd to suggest that by increasing the libel cases that will reduce the closedown of free press and critical thought. This media revolution in the south of Kurdistan will continue to open up the truth through free speech; these local newspapers are the voice of the people. The mass of people are very reluctant to read the newspapers and other media sources of the two ruling parties for news because they are not giving detailed accurate accounts of all events in the south of Kurdistan. Instead of enforcing libel damages of million dollar lawsuits against these papers, the KDP needs to divorce their attempts to silence the free speech, and trumpet a positive programme. But tempers are rising.

As events transpire, good fortune does not just attach itself to the KDP and its party but to their subordinated media as well. If it had not been for the crises in the PUK areas, the KDP would have found it significantly harder to cope with the present situation in the south of Kurdistan.

The situation we have today in the south of Kurdistan amounts to a conflict of two generations, generation X and generation Y. The background of the first generation is one of armed struggles in which they have been born with a political power gun. This older generation see the armed struggle as paramount to their staying in power. This group of people have an average age of 55-65 in today’s society and were basically born with power. Generation Y came after the former and are hardworking, educated, rising, skilled professionals who can get into the political system because of their talents rather than through violence. This latter generation grew up in a world that was economically stable with a huge amount of success and nationalisation; the equal group of truth is that support for the older generation is prompted by such factors as money and lifestyle.

Surely then when considering the rising future generation of the south of Kurdistan it is time to be prepared to change the system to fit in with this, in order for our society to maintain stability and to progress in such ways as other modern societies in the globalised world?

Iraq: Country Without an End, Country Without a Government - By Mufid Abdulla

On the first day of the invasion of Iraq by the U.S.A in April 2003, it was clearly thought that because they found it so easy to invade the whole country at that time, then surely the situation would stay that way and be easily stabilised. The Kurds thought that the disappearance of Saddam and their bench-man would in turn raise the prosperous history of Iraq.

Since the election for the Iraqi parliament in March 2010 up to the present day the political parties in Iraq have not been able to form a government. The mood amongst the winning parties is rancorous and obviously the political paralysis will produce a long term periodical torrent of violence. The political leaders are not patriotic people or politicians; instead they are fortune seekers. Iraq is rapidly falling with its dusty streets and depressing atmosphere. The failure of the formation of the government for the last almost eight months has prompted a debate about whether these people are fit to lead the people of Iraq. The Iraqi government is a big business tainted by corruption. The bloated political parties including the Dawa Party and Al-Iraqia list are well known for their involvement in mismanagement and sleaze. The destructive forces that brought the Iraqi state to its knees cannot be aborted to these political parties.

There is no easy way out of this. The continued negotiation over the last so many months between all the political parties clearly is not working, although Nori Malike’s alliances should be more responsible towards Iraq’s pain. Nori Malike wants a new modern dictatorship in which he can remain as Prime Minister and control the main key government posts.

Iraq badly needs a government to introduce more transparency into the process. If the dialogue has not paved away the stalemates then as a Kurd I cannot see any of these main Iraqi parties as our alliance. Neither Alawai nor Maliki will understand the value and aspirations of our people. None of them are valuable political property. They do not possess the same normal values and aspirations as the rest of us.

What has led a normal country to be so divided that it has completed hindered the formation of a stable government for the last eight months? The KRG should continue their work, and be extremely cautious in any pact with the two political parties to form the future Iraqi government.

Southern Kurdistan: Journalists Under Threat

Human Rights Watch29/10/2010

(New York) - Journalists in Southern Kurdistan who criticize the regional government have faced substantial violence, threats, and lawsuits in recent months, and some have fled the country, Human Rights Watch reported today.

Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government needs to ensure an independent and transparent inquiry into the killing of journalist Sardasht Osman in May 2010, that will lead to the identification and prosecution of all those responsible, Human Rights Watch said. An investigation by an anonymous committee appointed by President Masoud Barzani did not substantiate its findings, Human Rights Watch added.

"This secret investigation into Sardasht Osman's murder is exactly the opposite of what's needed," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The Kurdistan government needs to get to the bottom of this killing with an open and independent inquiry that will include looking into allegations of government involvement."

The anonymous inquiry concluded that an Islamist armed group, Ansar al-Islam, was responsible for Osman's abduction and murder after he wrote articles criticizing government officials, including the regional government's president. The committee's 430-word statement did not substantiate its findings beyond referring to a confession from one of the alleged perpetrators. The identity of the committee members remains secret, and the committee did not interview Osman's family or those close to him. Since the release of the statement on September 15, Osman's family say they have been threatened by government forces and party members after speaking out against the committee's findings.

To see the report, please click the link below:

Iraqi Kurdistan: Journalists Under Threat

Ensure Open, Thorough Investigation Into Killing of Young Reporter

Human Rights Watch29/10/2010 00:00:00

BDP Kars provincial chairman arrested

30 October 2010

Arrests of Kurdish politicians continue

BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) Kars Provincial Chairman Yavuz Naki was arrested within the scope of KCK investigation.

Peace and Democracy Party Kars Provincial Chairman Yavuz Naki was detained in İstanbul Göztepe for being wanted in the detention and arrest run last May in Kars against BDP members under KCK investigation.

Following his questioning in police station, Naki was sent to court and arrested. Since last year, thousands of people have been detained under KCK investigation, and over 1500 people are still under arrest.

Translation: Berna Ozgencil



Will the Turkish government continues on its unilateral war? - EDITORIAL

30 October 2010

Everybody asks 'will the PKK extends its unilateral ceasefire' tomorrow? But the real question is another

The unilateral ceasefire declared by the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) is set to end tomorrow. The papers are all asking the same question: will the PKK extends the ceasefire ? It is clearly the wrong question to ask. Whether the PKK will extend the unilateral (and unilateral must be stressed a million times) ceasefire or call it off is not the core issue. By definition one usually calls a unilateral truce in order to state its will to search for a peaceful solution and also to provide conditions favourable to the establishment of a honest (which means between equals) dialogue. If we looked at it this way, i.e. focusing on who is making genuine efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace, clearly the PKK has done its part. And with no doubt - because it is constantly and consistently repeating this - will continue to do it.

The problem is what are the other parties involved in the conflict doing. And namely what is the Turkish government doing in order to favour peace?

The answer could be simply some figures: since the PKK unilateral cessation over 900 Kurdish activists have been arrested, at least 80 military operations were carried out by the Turkish Army, 29 Kurdish guerrillas have been killed, some 1500 Kurdish politicians and activists (arrested since 2009) remain in prison.

Looking at these figures and putting things into perspective the real question then is, will the Turkish government continues on its war path?

Or more appropriately, will the Turkish government continues on its unilateral (again stressed a million times) war?



Leyla Zana: the solution is close

30 October 2010

Former DEP MP says solution is closer but more friendly and peaceful environment needed

Speaking at the opening of TOKİ Free Citizen Association in Batman, Ex DEP (Democracy Party) MP Leyla Zana said the followings; “The solution of the Kurdish problem is close. But, to get the result we want, we necessarily need to create a peace and friendly atmosphere among each other.”

TOKİ Free Citizen Association was inaugurated in TOKİ (Housing Development Administration of Turkey) Batman, with the participation of tens of people.

Making her speech after the opening, Ex DEP MP Leyla Zana stated that they keep strong with the institutions, organizations and parties of all societies. Expressing that world societies can accomplish only when they are strong, Zana spoke as follows; “People have always reached success when they adopt their own values and labor. We will adopt our own values and labor as well. Kurdish people are not only persistent, but also hopeful. So, rather than pitying ourselves, we must continually insist on peace and brotherhood because the more we insist, the more we will achieve. The solution of the Kurdish problem is too close. But, to get a result we want, we necessarily need to create a peace and warmness atmosphere among each other.”

Translation: Berna Ozgencil



Turkish army carried out 80 military operations during ceasefire

29 October 2010

29 guerrillas lost their lives and 900 activists were arrested during ceasefire

At least twenty-nine Kurdish guerrillas were killed and 900 Kurdish activists arrested in Turkey since Kurdistan Worker Party’s ceasefire declaration on 13 August.

According to ANF’s statistics Turkish army conducted at least 80 military operations against Kurdish guerrillas since 13 August. Twenty-nine Kurdish guerrillas were killed in result of the operation.

Turkish army also launched 125 artillery attacks against guerrilla positions in South Kurdistan. Turkish helicopters bombarded guerrilla positions for four times.

Nine Kurdish civilians were killed in a bomb attack in Hakkari in September and a Kurd was seriously wounded during cross border bombing to Haftanin.

Eighty-six forest fires broke out during this period.

Turkish police also detained at least 886 Kurdish activists since August. This statistic is only of what ANF reported in this time period. The real toll is thought to be much more higher.

The demands of Kurdish organizations were continuously denied by the Turkish state. Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out any constitutional amendments that will allow education in mother language.

At least 1500 Kurdish politicians who were detained after municipal elections in 2009 remained in prison despite growing pressure from the Kurdish organizations.

PKK declared an unilateral ceasefire on 13 August. The ceasefire will expire on 31 October.



Birdal: Parliament Human Rights Commission not playing its role

29 October 2010

BDP deputy says Human Rights Commission not doing what it should do

The 'Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) Human Rights Commission does not fulfill its responsibility’ said Akin Birdal, Diyarbakir Deputy of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) regarding formation of the commission which doesn’t include deputies from BDP. Birdal accused TBMM of deliberately keeping BDP out of the commission. Akin Birdal was Chair of Human Rights Association (IHD) for long years before elected as deputy.

The Commission supposed to inspect the problems in the prisons.

According to the interview published by DIHA news agency Birdal there is no investigation about prisons and they need to begin as soon as possible.

“If the commission wants many right violations in prisons would be stopped. But there is no intention for it. On the other hand there is a huge trial in Diyarbakir where hundreds of representatives from international human rights organizations are still there to observe the trial. But TBMM Human Rights Commission has never sent observers there, despite court violates many rights of trialed people. As we have been seeing since the commission was formed, it did nothing but cover the violations” said Birdal and asked the commission to fulfill its responsibility.



Brothers beaten in police station

29 October 2010

Taken to police station and beaten after ID control

A criminal complaint was filed against Volkan and Okan Beşli brothers, who were beaten violently and fined for “insubordination” by police in Ümraniye Çakmak Police Station they were taken to after identity card control.

Construction workers Volkan(24)and Okan(29), who were leaving their workplace at the end of the shift on 9 October 2010, were subjected to id control by police in Ümraniye, Çamlık district. Expressing that they kindly passed their id cards to the police, Okan Beşli tells the event as follows; “My brother asked the police if they would make a domiciliary visit. The police responded ‘If we want, we can even search your underpants, not only your house’ and started to take off my brother’s sweat pants. And they made us get on their car and took us to the police station when my brother said ‘If you will make that kind of search, do that in the station, not on the street’.”


Volkan Beşli told the event ANF as follows; “When we got off the car, the police, who searched me, started to hit and kick me while pushing me into the station. They battered us both and took us to recognition room. Then, a police swore at me and started to hit me. When my brother shouted him to stop and walked through him, he was surrounded by many civil policemen who beat and handcuffed us before getting us on the ground. We were drenched in blood when we couldn’t stand it anymore and started to shout. Then, a policeman came in, shouted at us and started to hit my brother’s head at the ceramic tile. And when I gave reflection shouting, this time he came towards me and started to bruise my head with his feet in shoes…”

Telling that a chief had us unclamped when he came to the room after 15-20 minutes and shouted at them when he saw us lie in a pool of blood, Beşli told the followings; “We were hearing the laughing sound of polices coming from the inside. No matter how much we tried to tell the chief about our situation, he did not even listen to us. After that, unashamedly, they fined us 143 TL for ‘insubordination’. We were astonished but we kept silent to be able to go out of there. They wanted to take our statements but we refused and told them that we will give them to prosecutor.”

Saying that they were taken to Kazım Karabekir State Hospital, Beşli added the followings; “Although my face was in blood, the doctor made fun of us, saying; ‘Is this the problem?’ He returned us back without any report. We went back to the police station, where they this time abused us by shouting and reviling. It was around 14:00 when we came to the station and 19:00 when we left there. When I went out of there, I was so depressed that I went through a crying fit…”

Remarking that they received temporary incapacity report from Private Erdem Hospital, Beşli said; “Because of the battery and the trauma I got, I was not able to work for 15 days. That’s why I can’t pay my debts to bank and market”.


Saying that they were shocked with the second news when they came to Ümraniye Courthouse to give their statements, Beşli told the followings; “We learned that the policemen with the names Remzi Ertürk, S. Ertunç Çalışkan and Önder Ece, who battered us for hours and fined us, had filed a criminal complaint against us for ınsubordination. But, when we told the prosecutor what we lived in the police station; he filed a criminal complaint against them. We also suited them for our material and mental loses.

And Volkan Beşli asked; “They have no right to beat me in the station even if I am a thief. I don’t want to guess how police reacts in other cases, while treating us in this way during a simple id control. They say that they are there to protect people but who will protect us from them?”

Beşli expresses that his pride was swallowed apart from his victimhood and added; “I have been living in İstanbul for 25 years now but I have never been beaten by someone else in this way. I would surely have reacted to them if my hands hadn’t been handcuffed. The more we pleased them to stop, the more they hit us. Humanity is not suitable for them. Now, wherever I see policemen, I disgust and hate them all.”

Translation: Berna Ozgencil



Prosecutor demands 20-year prison sentence for Kurdish Mayor

29 October 2010

Prosecutor asked heavy prison sentence for mayor of Cizre

Turkish prosecutors demanded 20 years prison sentence for Cizre Mayor Aydın Budak for participating to a demonstration in Sirnak.

Mayor Budak was among the demonstrators who protested prison conditions of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan in Sirnak last year.

Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor launched an investigation about Budak and filed an indictment to Diyarbakir 6th High Criminal Court. The prosecutor demanded 20 year prison sentence for Budak for committing a crime on behalf of an illegal organization.

Budak was on the scene as demonstrators clashed with the Turkish police. He tried to convince the protestors to end the demonstration.

Budak is now in Diyarbakir D Type Prison for alleged crimes against the unity of the state and standing trial in so called KCK case.

The court watched the police videos which was filmed during the demonstration last year. Budak was clearly seen on the video as he tries to stop Kurdish youths from hurdling stones.

But Turkish prosecutor claimed that Budak actively participated in the protest which left some police officers wounded.



Turkey and Iran preparing a joint military operation

29 October 2010

With two days left before the end of the PKK unilateral ceasefire, Turkey and Iran are reportedly working on a joint military operation

It is reported that thousands of Turkish soldiers passed into Iranian territory recently and Turkish and Iran armies are preparing a joint military operation against the PKK and PJAK.

Just two days before the end of the unilateral ceasefire extended on 30 September until 31 October, thousands of Turkish soldiers were deployed in Zive village of Urmiye in Eastern Kurdistan. While the Turkish army is inspecting the area with Herons the Iranian army is preparing not only its soldiers but also village guards for an extended operation.

Local sources reported that Turkish and Iranian officials had a secret meeting in Urmiye two days ago and the military intelligence services are collecting information in the region.

It is also reported that Turkey started constructing a military outpost close to Esendere border gate and names of the all foreigners are registered. Meanwhile, Turkish warplanes are constantly flying over Semdinli, Yuksekova and the Kurdistan Federal Region.

Check points on the roads which were not active before the ceasefire have been reactivated and controls are done by soldiers and policemen wearing snow masks.

While the locals got rid of the checkpoints they say that the preparations show that following the ceasefire there will be a huge operation in the region and they have no life security.



BDP explained Democratic Autonomy at the Council of Europe

29 October 2010

BDP attended Council of Europe Conference of Local and Regional Authorities

Vice co-chair of BDP Demir Çelik attended the Council of Europe Conference of Local and Regional Authorities and explained the ‘Democratic Autonomy Project”. He also asked for solidarity with the imprisoned Kurdish politicians.

BDP’s vice co-chair responsible for local authorities Demir Çelik, Mayor Semdinli Sedat Töre and BDP’s representative in Europe Faik Yağızay joined the 3-day Conference on local and regional governments. The BDP delegation also met the other countries’ delegations, raporteurs on Turkey and the new president British Keith Whitmore. It is reported that the delegation explained democratic autonomy project and gave information on ongoing KCK trial and the approach of the Kurds concerning Turkey’s EU membership.

Speaking to ANF Demir Çelik said they take the European Charter of Local Self-Government and that is why they are conducting the meetings. He also reminded that Mayor Viransehir Leyla Güven used to represent BDP at the meetings but because she in prison because of KCK case she could not come.

Demir Çelik also reminded that the Council sent Prof. Dr. Ruşen Keleş to the workshop on European Charter of Local Self-Government and Turkey which was held by the Union of the South Eastern Turkey Municipalities on 22-23 October and said they will also send a raportuer to out meeting on 18-19 December.

Local Democracies should develop

Mayor Semdinli Sedat Töre reminded that Turkey put reservations to the European Charter of Local Self-Government in order not to recognise the Kurdish rights and it is the time to withdraw them. He also said that devolution and empowering local democracies will help to the solution of the Kurdish problem.

The BDP delegation then joined a public meeting held by the Kurdish Association on Strasburg.



Karayılan: The state must take building-confidence steps

29 October 2010

Speaking to Radikal PKK leader said dialogue and trust-building steps on the part of the state are important

In an interview published in daily Radikal, Murat Karayılan asked about the ceasefire said that “steps that would instill confidence should be taken. Halting [military] operations could be one of them. Developing the dialogue with Öcalan is important. The latest dialogue was Sept. 16.”

As for a return to armed struggle the PKK leader said that no civilians will be harmed should there be any future attacks by the PKK (Kurdistan Worker's Party). "In any action by the PKK, even in cities, not causing harm to civilians will be our fundamental principle,” said Karayılan. “We have also made some mistakes. - he added - If an opportunity occurs, when the time comes, we can apologize for our mistakes and would try to amend them. But we shall not forget that the state tried to blame us for some things we did not do.”

And he concluded by saying that “despite this fact, I can talk with more confidence about training our forces to not harm civilians.”

In his interview with Radikal, Karayılan also said the Kurdish issue could not be solved by cooperating with neighboring states or through military operations. “We have the experience to protect ourselves and keep ourselves alive in these mountains. We know these lands well” he said.

Karayılan added that “the solution must be a reality based on this situation,” he said. “If it takes longer [to reach], the losses from both sides will be higher.”

Saying that “some the things happen despite us” and that the PKK has not made any decision yet, Karayılan added: “We cannot be optimistic while there is a negative atmosphere ... We would take our fingers off the trigger but they will not. This [situation] is not possible.”

And again the PKK leader said that “the state understood after developments in 2008 and 2009 that complete denial [of Kurds] does not work. That is why the military and the state came closer to each other.”



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Once more PJAK showed willingness for peaceful solution - By Alan Rebin

The Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) came to existence as the result of historic demands of the Kurdish nation in East of Kurdistan. PJAK owes its legitimacy to the demands and aspirations of the Kurdish people expressed following the abduction of the Kurdish National Leader Mr Abdulla Ocalan, known as Leader Apo among Kurds, in 1999. From the outset in 2004, PJAK has sought to find a peaceful and political solution to the Kurdish issue in this part of Kurdistan. To show its abhorrence for violence and hostility, PJAK has periodically called on the Iranian government to stop its military operations in Kurdistan and lay the basis for negotiation for a peaceful settlement to the Kurdish issue. Nonetheless the Iranian regime has failed to appreciate PJAK’ call to solve the Kurdish question and responded to the Kurds militarily.

Not only Iran, but all the occupying powers of Kurdistan have applied violent methods in dealing with the Kurdish issue and suppressed the Kurds with the utmost brutalities. Nonetheless they have failed to achieve their dream which is the eradication of the Kurdish nation.

The application of violence and its failure would indicate two important points that should be considered. Firstly, it indicate that the occupiers do not have any intention to solve the Kurdish issue, as they pretend, and secondly; it indicates that the military option to deal with the Kurds will not work; this method has been applied and failed over the course of history.

This is an important issue that the occupying powers of Kurdistan come to realise.

PJAK however has realised that the Kurdish issue can be dealt and solved in a political and peaceful way. Therefore PJAK has showed its intention for a peaceful and political solution in many occasions. PJAK declared a unilateral ceasefire last year and adhered to it throughout the year, although the Iranian militaries didn’t adhere to it. In the run up to the rigged election of 2009 in which Ahmedinejad usurped the power, PJAK released a declaration outlying 14 conditions to support a presidential candidate and to solve the Kurdish issue peacefully.

PJAK held its first conference in April 2010 and once more declared its readiness for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue. Nonetheless the Iranian government took PJAK’s call for a political solution as the sign of weakness of the organisation and executed 4 prisoners of PJAK on 9th May. Once again, in 19th October, PJAK announced another declaration showing its willingness for a dialogue and peaceful method to solve the Kurdish issue.

Iranian government should take advantage of this golden opportunity and show that it’s ready to solve the Kurdish issue within its borders. Since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, up till now the Iranian regime has been oppressing the Kurds but the Kurds never gave up from pursuing their dreams for achievement of a free life. At the beginning of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the only nation in Iran who realised the truth face of the Islamic Regime and confronted its militaristic strategies was the Kurds. Other Iranian nations including Azeri, Baluch and Arabs didn’t realise the truth face of the regime and they were not even organised to encounter the government. Therefore the Kurds were the only nation who confronted the Islamic Regime; but the Kurds were not eradicated and now, they are more powerful than ever.

Furthermore the Iranian various nations have organised themselves and demand their rights; all the Iranian nations are now outraged and united together, the government should realise this and concede to our people’s demand for democracy and freedom before it’s too late.

Iran has spent millions of dollars for the deployment of its troops in Kurdistan fighting against the Kurdish people but all this money could have been spent on other projects rather than war. The Iranian people do not want war and hostility, they want democracy and freedom. They don’t concede to anything less than their legitimate rights.

The Kurds do not want war and hostility either, because war is not in the interest of the Iranian people but in the interest of certain groups. PJAK is not an organisation of certain groups but a mass movement, representing the Kurdish people in East of Kurdistan; on this account PJAK denounce violence and embraces dialogue and diplomatic methods, since it’s in the interest of Kurdish and Iranian people. PJAK has shown its willingness for a peaceful solution and this is the fourth time that PJAK has officially declared that it’s ready for a political settlement.

What is interesting about PJAK is the fact that it doesn’t emulate the Iranian regime in its method to deal with the Kurds. The Islamic Republic of Iran has only one method in dealing with the Kurds, which is violence. But PJAK does not use the same method against the Iranian state and doesn’t respond violently. PJAK has its own method and follows its own strategy which is based on cultural, social, organisational and political works. PJAK however confer upon itself the legitimise right of self-defence as outlined in the Article 51 United Nations to defend itself once attacked by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

In the declaration released on 19th, PJAK has put forward 7 realistic points that is the minimum of what is expected from a modern state: Recognition of Kurdish issue in Iran, preparation for negotiation for political solution, cessation of violence, the right of free speech and assembly, education in mother tongue, freedom of political prisoners. This is what PJAK is demanding from the Iranian government. But what is important to notice is that PJAK has stated in the declaration that PJAK is a powerful organisation and its call for peace and dialogue should not be misinterpreted by the Iranian authorities.

Having looked at the history of PJAK and the Kurdish people in general would make crystal clear that PJAK and the Kurds have seen the worst case scenarios yet never retreated from their demands. Therefore the Iranian government should not see PJAK’s willingness for a peaceful solution and its declaration for negotiation as the sign of weaknesses and fail to appreciate this opportunity. If the government do respond militarily as it has done in the past, it would be their historic mistake. PJAK is powerful mass movement and always in a good shape to defend the Kurds against any kind of aggression. PJAK however, has not shown its whole power, since PJAK only resort to violence in the case of self-defence.

Therefore if the Iranian government respond to the Kurds militarily, this would be PJAK’s legitimate right to defend the Kurds and the movement. Nonetheless PJAK has no tendency toward violent method and its campaigns are focused the on cultural, social, organisational and political arena. The fourth declaration of PJAK for a peaceful settlement is the clearest evidence that Kurds are not a war-like people, but they do want their rights in a peaceful and democratic way.

Turkey still has a long way to go to meet EU’s accession criteria - By Sharif Behruz

Members of European Parliament on Monday welcomed recent Turkish constitutional reforms, describing them as a step forward, while stressing that much remains to be done to ensure full respect for human rights. The biggest concerns discussed at a public hearing in Parliament were the lack of press freedom, the imprisonment of conscientious objectors and the situation of the Kurdish minority.

Since 1963, when Turkey was accepted as an associate member of the European Community (EC), Turkey has striven for admission as a full member of that body, now called the European Union, the association of handful of West European nations that comprises the world’s wealthiest and most successful trading bloc.

The political obstacles to EU membership concern Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies. Because the European body prides itself on being an association of democracies, the harshness of repression, especially against the Kurdish minority in Turkey, under the military regime and subsequent civilian governments since the 1980 military coup have further disturbed the EU.

EU members have also expressed reservations about Turkey’s human rights record. Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch, two human rights monitoring organizations supported by the EU, have reported the persistence of practices such as arbitrary arrests, disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture in prisons, and censorship.

Even though, the EU welcomes many of the positive developments in Turkey in regards to the general opening on the issues that were traditionally considered as ‘taboos’ in Turkish society, there exist many reservations on part of the EU member states who believe Turkey still has a long way to go, especially in areas of minority rights, to be able to enjoy full membership in the EU.

While welcoming any initiatives on part of the state for the betterment of the rights of its citizens especially its long-deprived Kurds, the concerns on part of the EU member states are fully justified as:

Hundreds of Kurdish journalists, mayors, deputies and high ranking members of pro-Kurdish political parties have been forcibly brought to court to testify on charges of promoting a “terrorist organization”.
The pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party or DTP was banned by the constitutional court in 2008 for its alleged ties to Kurdistan Workers’ Party or better know as PKK, considered a “terrorist” organization, and its leaders, among them Ahmed Turk and Aysel Tagluk were banned from politics for 5 years.
Last week alone, 150 Kurds, including a dozen elected mayors, went on trial for alleged links with PKK again at a time when the Turkish government of Erdogan is engaged in efforts to reconcile with the members of Kurdish ethnic minority.
On the issue of public broadcasting, it is true that the government has eased restriction on pro-government broadcasting in the Kurdish language; however, the government still strives to shut down Kurdish Satellite stations stationed in Europe, and prosecutes broadcasters advocating Kurdish rights and demands under the auspices of “terrorism” charges. Penal law is still used to prosecute journalists and more than 6000 websites have been closed down.
“The military forces continue to play an important role, which is incompatible with a modern state” as one of the MEP noted, and the government, AKP included, still think that the Kurdish question can be solved by military means.

As a editorial abruptly put it ”The current Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is regarded as the AKP’s strategic thinker, has correctly argued that without a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish-Turkish conflict, Turkey will not be able to achieve its ambitious foreign policy objectives…” that is joining the EU.

Indeed, Turkish society has undergone drastic changes; however, the state still adheres to the fundamentals of its founders, and until this changes, the EU and its various institutions have every right to block and deny Turkey full membership in the EU.

London protest over handing over Qasim Agha to justice


The UK branch of the Kurdish organisation Kurdocide, which is also known as CHAK, will hold a protest condemning hiding and backing Qasim Agha, a former official of the Baath Party.

Qasim Agha has been accused of committing crimes against Kurdish people. The Kurdocide urges the Kurdistan and Iraqi authorities to bring Qasim Agha into justice and let a rule of law decide his fate.

Kurdish loyalists of the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein collaborated with the regime to carry out the genocide of Kurdish people known as Anfal. These were members of the Saddam’s paramilitary, known as National Defence or Difa’ al-Watani.

When: Friday 29 October, 2.00 – 4.00 pm

Where: 259-269 Old Marylebone Road,

London, NW1 5RA

Opposite the KRG office, Winchester House

Please attend this peaceful protest.

For more info:


Upcoming Kurdistani related event in Southern California



London ( 28 October 2010): Three special events, independent of each other, are held in Southern California which deserve attendance and appreciation.

The Kurdish American Education Society has organized a conference on Kurdish language at University of California, Los Angeles. According to, over 20 scholars from around the world will inform the public about the importance of keeping the Kurdish language alive in the garden of world languages. The conference covers topics such as Dialectology, Lexicography, Sociolinguistics, Literature and language, Music and language, Educational linguistics, Kurdish grammar and phonology, Kurdish orthography and language standardization, Kurdish as a heritage language, Historical linguistics, Language policy and planning, Language and identity, and Linguistic and cultural rights will be covered. Location: UCLA, James West Alumni Center on November 5th, 2010. Contact:

A Night of Kurdish and Persian Music Concert with featuring the great living master of Tanbur in Iran, Ali-Akbar Moradi, accompanied by Pejman Hadadi and Kourosh Moradi at Irvine Council Chamber Hall, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA, Tel. 949-293-4881 email:

Volunteers consisting of members of the Kurdish National Congress of North America and a delegation of American citizens have initiated a peace mission for Anatolia. Detail information can be found at: Other volunteers are welcome to join them by sending their name, affiliation, and email to:

Iraq war logs reveal 15,000 previously unlisted civilian deaths

Guardian-By David Leigh


Leaked Pentagon files obtained by the Guardian contain details of more than 100,000 people killed in Iraq following the US-led invasion, including more than 15,000 deaths that were previously unrecorded.

British ministers have repeatedly refused to concede the existence of any official statistics on Iraqi deaths. US General Tommy Franks claimed in 2002: "We don't do body counts."

The mass of leaked documents provides the first detailed tally by the US military of Iraqi fatalities. Troops on the ground filed secret field reports over six years of the occupation, purporting to tot up every casualty, military and civilian.

Iraq Body Count, a London-based group that monitors civilian casualties, told the Guardian: "These logs contain a huge amount of entirely new information regarding casualties. Our analysis so far indicates that they will add 15,000 or more previously unrecorded deaths to the current IBC total. This data should never have been withheld from the public."

The logs record a total of 109,032 violent deaths between 2004 and 2009. It is claimed that 66,081 of these were civilians. A further 23,984 deaths are classed as "enemy" and 15,196 as members of the Iraqi security forces. The logs also include the deaths of 3,771 US and allied soldiers.

No fewer than 31,780 of the total deaths are attributed to the improvised landmines laid around Iraq by insurgents. There were 65,439 successful "improvised explosive device" (IED) blasts in the period, according to the logs, with another 44,620 IEDs found in time and disarmed.

The other major recorded cause of death is the civil war that broke out during the US military occupation. There are 34,814 victims of sectarian killings recorded as murders in the logs. The worst single month was December 2006 when 2,566 Iraqis were found dead.

The data cannot be relied upon as a complete record of Iraqi deaths. IBC, for example, had previously calculated that up to 91,469 civilians were killed from various causes during the period covered by the leaked database. While detailing the 15,000 previously unknown deaths, it also omits many otherwise well-attested civilian fatalities caused by US troops themselves. Nor does the Pentagon data cover any of the initial invasion fighting throughout 2003; IBC has identified 12,080 purely civilian deaths in that year.

The US figure is far lower than another widely quoted estimate of more than 650,000 "excess deaths" extrapolated on a different basis and published in a 2006 study in the Lancet.

A key example of the failure by US forces to record civilian casualties they have inflicted comes in the two major urban battles against insurgents fought in 2004 in Falluja. Numerous buildings were reduced to rubble by air strikes, tank shells and howitzers, and there were well-attested deaths of hundreds of civilians. IBC has identified between 1,226 and 1,362 such deaths during April and November. But the leaked US internal field reports record no civilian casualties at all.

One of the most publicised allegations was that a clinic in central Falluja was shelled on 9 November. Doctors claimed to international media that two strikes on the roof had killed scores of patients and staff. The IBC puts the total number of civilian deaths at 59.

The US military maintained these claims were "unsubstantiated", and the leaked database does not record any civilian deaths in the logs of these incidents.

But the logs do reveal corroborating evidence, furnished at the time by US troops involved in the fighting, that the clinic was a target for shelling.

A surveillance unit reported that it "observed anti-Iraq forces unloading a vehicle at the clinic south of the Hydra mosque … Another vehicle arrived and an unidentified number of armed individuals exited the vehicle."

On that morning of 9 November the field reports describe heavy street fighting as the area is surrounded and the mosque captured. A detachment of the 1st Battalion 8th US Marines called in repeated heavy artillery strikes.

At 6.53am the marines' Bravo company, "heavily engaged" by machine-guns, rocket-propelled grenades and sniper fire, called in eight successive high explosive rounds from 155mm howitzers that landed in the mosque area.

The soldiers then signalled: "Battle damage assessment unknown." This is a frequent report about air and artillery strikes during the entire week of ferocious fighting.

At other times the troops record Iraqi deaths but invariably classify all the corpses as "enemy". When a helicopter gunship killed two Reuters journalists with a group of other men in a Baghdad street, in one notorious 2007 incident, all were listed as "enemy killed in action".

John Sloboda, IBC co-founder, has called for a British judicial inquiry into the civilian deaths, which he says have not been addressed by the Chilcot hearings. "If we try to hide the reality of what happened we are going to sow seeds of hatred among those whose trust we are trying to gain and in whose name we said we were doing all of this."

Iraq war logs reveal 15,000 previously unlisted civilian deaths

Taking the temperature: Corruption Perceptions Index 2010

Transparency International


The world continues to suffer from the disease of corruption. If you take a look at the global map you’ll see much of the world is in a state of critical condition – 131 of the 178 countries score below five out of 10 indicating a serious corruption problem.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is a warning system for world leaders and the 2010 results convey the urgent need for strengthening governance mechanisms. Millions living in poverty and the economic growth of their countries depend on this. But the index is also a warning system for people like you and me, telling us that it is time to push for change in our countries because resources intended to improve our welfare are being siphoned away.

The index continues to show that country analysts and businesspeople see public sector corruption as infecting countries around the world. No single country is seen as immune from corruption and our other research shows that the public agrees.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is only one way of gauging the symptoms of corruption. The real challenge, the one that we all need to work together to address, is diagnosing the causes in each country, determining which institutions or sectors are most affected, and which are bringing about real change.

One way we do this is through our National Integrity System assessments. We evaluate the main institutions and actors that form a state, including all branches of government, the media, the public and private sectors and civil society. Once we have an accurate picture of where anti-corruption strengths and weaknesses lie, we advocate with other civil society organisations for reforms.

For people in many countries though, fighting against corruption is not just about the diagnosis, it is a daily battle. To help them stand up to corruption we are trying to provide them with support through our Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres. Each year, thousands of people phone the centres’ corruption hotlines or drop in, recount their experiences, and receive advice and legal support. In 2009 alone, more than 20,000 people sought help from the centres.

Of the many ways to fight corruption the most important one is public demand. Without citizens demanding their governments to perform better and holding them to account, the grave situation shown by this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index will not change. These are our countries and our future.

Have a look at your country’s result and let us know how you think your country is doing – and what should change to get it right.

Taking the temperature: Corruption Perceptions Index 2010

Transparency International

Welcome to nationalism: Where our nations finds hope, where wings take dream

By Ivan Simic


These days we are witnessing immense rise of nationalism in the world, which, many decades ago change the course of human history. Beside existing rise, nationalism has been an important factor in the development of Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia.

In the 19th century, a wave of romantic nationalism swept the continent of Europe transforming the countries of the continent. Some countries, such as Germany and Italy were formed by uniting smaller states with a common "national identity". Others, such as Greece, Poland and Bulgaria, were formed by winning their independence.

It was the French Revolution that paved the way for the modern nation-state. Across Europe radical intellectuals questioned the old Monarchical order and encouraged the development of a popular nationalism committed to re-drawing the political map of the continent. By 1814, the days of multi-national empires were numbered. The French Revolution, by destroying the traditional structures of power in France and territories conquered by Napoleon, was the instrument for the political transformation of Europe. The ideals of European nationalism had been exported worldwide and were now beginning to develop, and both compete and threaten the empires ruled by colonial European nation-states.

Nationalism clearly became the principal basis for the organization of western civilization.

Nationalism also gave birth to the United States of America. The US is maybe the only country in the world to be led by multi-nationalism at the same time: National purity (today also known as ethnic cleansing), Civic nationalism, Expansionist nationalism, Territorial nationalist, and Left-wing nationalism (advocates anti-imperialism).

Nationalism is the correct and recognized term for the associated ideology and political movements, within the present United States, and during its history.

Furthermore, the American Revolutionary War was a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen united former British colonies – British America, and not war between Americans and British, as presented widely in the public. In 1776, during the American War of Independence, British Revolutionaries gained control of the thirteen united colonies and declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, claiming sovereignty and rejecting any allegiance to the British Monarchy. The American Revolutionary War resulted for African Americans to be enslaved and Native Americans ethnically cleansed. The United States was the only republic with slavery, and indeed, the only rich modern nation that had slavery.

Japan, apart, which believes that Japanese race is unique and superior, Asian nationalism was hardly evident upon the first half of the 20th century, largely due to colonialism and internal conflicts.

Nationalism came in Asia with the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885, and shortly after the Philippines gained independence from the Spanish, making them a US colony. Nationalism in Asia developed from three sources: 1. indigenous religions, 2. western education and 3. contact with social radicals such as socialists and communists.

Yet, nationalism was a successful activity in Southeast Asia particularly. All of the countries in the region were independent by 1965, and, in most cases, nationalist leaders were the first of the region’s independent heads of state.

During the 1500s and 1600s the Europeans were able to take control of the international trade of Asia, thereby diverting the profits from this trade to Europe. As a result, the Europeans became stronger while Asian empires and kingdoms became weaker. By the 1800s the Europeans (Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France had colonies in Southeast Asia) were in a position to establish their authority over much of Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

At the end of the nineteenth century, the European powers divided the African continent and ruled virtually all of Africa, and African nations lost their sovereignty. During the 1950s and 1960s, when Africans began to seriously resist colonial rule, Africa underwent a major transformation and each colony eventually gained its freedom. Africans, in general, united in hopes of regaining their sovereignty. Nationalism originally referred to the process of uniting and regaining freedom from European rule, but it was also defined by pioneer African leaders to mean the creation of new nations as well as their economic and political transformation.

African nationalist movements were led by middle-class intellectuals. These elites usually had a missionary education and viewed themselves as brokers between colonial officials and the African people. By 1939 African nationalist groups existed in nearly every territory of the continent. Africa’s direct involvement in World War II, the weakening of the principal colonial powers, increasing anti-colonialism from America (the Atlantic Charter in 1941 encouraged self-government), and Soviet criticism of imperialism inspired African nationalists.

Throughout human history, nationalism has become one of the most significant political and social forces in the world, perhaps most notably as a major influence or postulate of World War I and especially World War II, and later Cold War.

These days radicals and nationalists are gaining popularity everywhere; a comeback for Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front in French regional elections, big gains in Italy for the anti-immigrant Northern League (Lega Nord). The Lega Nord party, which is often described as "xenophobic" and "anti-immigrant", holds nine seats in the EU Parliament, also, big gains for very popular Italian pro-Fascist, Forza Nuova Party (New Force).

The Islam-baiting campaign of Geert Wilders (Geert Wilders was banned from entering the UK under hate-speech laws) in the Netherlands has taken his Freedom party to 25% and pole position ahead of June’s 2010 general election, and growing popularity of Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) in Belgium.

Geert Wilders has campaigned to stop the "Islamisation of the Netherlands". He claims that some sutras and text in the Qur’an incite violence and has campaigned to have the book banned in the Netherlands. He suggested a tax on women who wear the headscarf, advocates ending immigration from Muslim countries, and supports banning the construction of new mosques.

Vlaams Belang advocates the independence of Flanders and strict limits on immigration, whereby immigrants would be obliged to adopt Flemish culture and language. It rejects multiculturalism, although it accepts a multiethnic society as long as people of non-Flemish backgrounds assimilate Flemish culture.

British nationalism has broad support across the political spectrum in the United Kingdom; from the Euroscepticism of the United Kingdom Independence Party and far-right British National Party, to the principally centre-right Conservative Party to the centrist to centre-left Liberal Democrats. Politicians, such as British Prime Minister David Cameron of the Conservative Party and his direct predecessor Gordon Brown of the Labour Party, have sought to promote British nationalism as a progressive cause.

Hungarian “Jobbik” and “Fidesz” parties won in Hungary’s 2010 Parliamentary elections. Jobbik (The Movement for a Better Hungary) is a Hungarian political party with a strong commitment to nationalism, which currently have three seats in the European parliament.

Bulgarian political party “Ataka” (National Union Attack), a popular nationalist right wing party currently have 21 seats in the national parliament and another 2 seats in the European parliament.

In Denmark, the only party of the ruling coalition to actually gain a seat in 2010 November’s election was the Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti), which campaigns on immigration control. Elsewhere in Scandinavia and the Benelux countries, nationalist parties are gaining ground.

In Germany, the neo-Nazi, National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) is winning increasing support in poor rural areas. The NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands) have MPs in state-based parliaments but none at federal level. Rise of Austrian “Freedom Party of Austria” (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs-FPO party), which currently have two MPs in the European parliament.

In Romania, the Greater Romania Party (Partidul România Mare) ultra-nationalist party and New Generation Party (Partidul Noua Generatie) combined hold 3 MP seats in the European parliament.

In Switzerland, the Swiss People’s Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei - SVP) has 64 seats in the Federal Assembly, and its vote share of 29% in the last election was the highest any party has ever recorded in Switzerland.

The SVP adheres to national conservatism, aiming at the preservation of Switzerland’s political sovereignty and a conservative society. Furthermore, the party promotes the principle of individual responsibility and is sceptical toward any expansion of governmental services. This stance is most evident in the rejection of an accession of Switzerland to the European Union, the rejection of military involvement abroad, and the rejection of increases in government spending on social welfare and education. In its foreign policy the SVP opposes increased involvement of Switzerland in intergovernmental and especially supranational organizations, including the UN, EEA, EU, Schengen and Dublin treaties, and closer ties with the NATO.

In June and July 2010, the SVP party used the silly season for floating the notion of a "Greater Switzerland", where instead of Switzerland joining the EU, the border regions of Switzerland’s neighbours would join Switzerland, submitted in July in the form of a motion to the Federal Council by Dominique Baettig, signed by 26 SVP Councillors.

As we can see from above, the recent elections have given rise to many nationalist parties across Europe. The nationalist parties across several countries in Europe are strongly against immigration primarily from non-European countries.

Rise of tensions between Israel and Turkey; Israel’s 2010 attack on the humanitarian aid vessels which killed and wounded many, raised nationalism on both sides. Vessel carried a Turkish flag and many Turks and Americans and Swedes and other nationalities with which Israel had good relationship, was attacked by Israeli Special Forces.

Turkey was very upset, since Ottomans (Turks) had saved the Jews when they were declared "unwanted" in Spain, in the 15th century and provided for them a safe homage and helped them settle in Turkey. Turkey was one of the greatest allies of Israel. It was the first nation to recognize Israel after her establishment in 1948. Turkey always treated all her neighbours with friendliness, and is therefore considered a trusted source for peace and stability in The Middle East.

In July 2010, the Government of France initiated “the French Roma repatriation” to repatriate thousands of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma as part of a crackdown on illegal camps in the country. Since July, at least 51 illegal Romani camps have been demolished, and France has repatriated at least 1,230 East European Roma to their countries of origin.

In October, 2010, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel told that Germany’s attempt to create a multi-cultural society has failed completely, calling on the country’s immigrants to learn German and adopt Christian values. "We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don’t accept them don’t have a place here," said the Chancellor.

Europe is aware that nationalism is the main cause of its troubled past, however, Europe’s recent effort to replace local national identities with a European idea permanently failed.

The US is potential market for greater, very popular, form of nationalism. Economic problems in the states can be the major reason for the rise of nationalism; however, nationalism in the US will not rise now, since the US has no leader who will awake nationalism.

It is evident that President Obama simply does not hold those nationalistic ambitions. Therefore, the arrival of the new leader, with nationalistic ambitions, will definitely make success, but will eventually disturb relation between the US and other countries, especially Europe.

In the United States, beside nationalism, people are sensing some form of Fascism - authoritarian nationalist political ideology, which believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. Fascism simply seeks to organize a nation on corporatist perspectives, values, and systems such as the political system and the economy.

Professor Noam Chomsky warned that fascism may be coming to the United States. “I’m just old enough to have heard a number of Hitler’s speeches on the radio,” he said, “and I have a memory of the texture and the tone of the cheering mobs, and I have the dread sense of the dark clouds of fascism gathering” here at United States.

Since President Obama’s election, there has been a surge in hate crimes, political murders and assassination threats in the US. Right-wing militias are on the rise in several states, and high rates of unemployment have further stoked anger against racial minorities and recent immigrants.

Does this means that Nationalist Parties will raise, and this time for real, in the US, or this is just European trend? The US had only one National Party, short lived, in 1917.

Arab nationalism is re-gaining popularity since its fall which occurred after defeat of Arab armies in the Six Day War. Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world. One of the primary goals of Arab nationalism is the end of Western influence in the Arab World, seen as a "nemesis" of Arab strength, and the removal of those Arab governments considered to be dependent upon Western power. Some of the major triggers for existing Arab nationalism were actions of certain Western countries towards Arab world, after September 11 attacks in the US.

The question is: What can we expect from nationalism in the future?

Nationalism is a lucrative business, it creates large scale changes, but, still, it is nowhere to be trusted. Some countries have more success with nationalism than others, but that does not really matter, because nationalism will only keep growing, and it appears nothing can stop it.

Peace mission for Anatolia by KNC-NA and friends

KNC - North America


Ambassador Namik Tan

2525 Massachusetts Avenue,

N.W Washington, D.C. 20008

(Copy to: Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520)

October 25, 2010

Dear Ambassador Tan,

While the majority of the human family strives for peace, justice, and prosperity, a small faction of every society engages in violence. Even democracies are not spared from destructive behavior of violent individuals and groups. As bearers of an ancient legacy of living together with many cultures in peace, we are firmly committed to non-violence.

However, Anatolia, the home of a relatively democratic, pluralistic, and peace loving people, has been battered by an ugly, violent war for the past three decades.

Turkish armed forces, seeking unity in a single culture and nation, have been battling Kurdish insurgents who seek a right to assert their particular cultural heritage. The aspirations of the Kurds need not be in conflict with the sovereignty of the Turkish state and we do not take sides with either party to the conflict.

We do not judge who started what and how the violence in Anatolia was initiated and escalated. What is important is to end the violence with peaceful means and grant all the people of Anatolia an equal opportunity to secure their personal fulfillment.

We believe that most of the Turkish people are of good will and intelligence and would support a peaceful initiative, directing their military units to find common cause with the Kurds and work towards peace with them. We also believe that Kurds everywhere would join in a campaign to have Kurdish combatants join with the Turkish military forces in laying down their arms to end the violence.

We, as Kurdish National Congress of North America and a delegation of American citizens, would welcome the opportunity to help you and officials of the Turkish government to come together with spokespersons for the Kurdish resistance to confer, mediate, and explore a non-violent resolution of the conflict and to seek concurrence of parties on both sides to adopt policies, procedures, and practices that would assure all the people of Anatolia the right to live together in peace and harmony.

Toward that end, we are volunteering to visit the Kurdish leaders and encourage them to unilaterally end the war and denounce any form of violence or, failing that, to have them agree to meet and confer with officials of the Turkish government and its armed forces to explore nonviolent resolution of the conflict.

We would appreciate it if you could notify the authorities in Turkey so that they could make proper accommodations for our visit and let us know when would be a suitable time for us to start our mission. Please consider this also as a request by the undersigned for a meeting with officials of the Turkish government who have the authority to engage in a process leading to a peaceful resolution of the current conflict in behalf of the government.


Kamal Artin, MD

Kurdish National Congress of North America-President

Other contributing volunteers for this peaceful mission in chronological order so far include:

• Ralph D. Fertig, JD, ACSW, U.S. Administrative Judge (Ret.), Clinical Professor, University of Southern California School of Social Work

• Nyma Ardalan, Kurdish National Congress of North America-Secretary

• Luqman, Barwari, Kurdish National Congress of North America-Public Relations Chair

• Michael M. Gunter, PhD, Professor, Dept of Political Science, Tennessee Technological University; Visiting Professor of International Politics at The International University in Vienna, Austria

• Baha Jassemnejad, Ph.D. Professor and Chair of Department of Engineering and Physics, University of Central Oklahoma

• Fouad Darweesh, MD, Associate Clinical professor at University California Medical school; Physician for Human rights, Amnesty International; Kurdish National Congress of North America-Former President

• Kajal M. Rahmani, PhD, Professor of Anthropology; Research fellow at Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University; Director, Kurdistan Justice and Peace Academy

• Ihsan Efrini, Kurdish National Congress of North America-Board Member

• Saman Shali, PhD, Kurdish National Congress of North America- Former President

• Dyari Ahmed, Kurdish National Congress of North America-Treasurer

We welcome other volunteers interested in peace to join us for this specific mission by contacting and providing their name, affiliations, and email.

KNC - North America27/10/2010 00:00:00

BDP Women Assembly Conference starts in Batman

28 October 2010

BDP Women conference opened by Gultan Kisanak

Peace and Democracy Party's (BDP) Women Assembly Conference started in Batman with participation of BDP's women MP's and mayors.

Around 300 delegates attended the conference mostly from Kurdish cities.

Speaking on the opening of the conference BDP co-president Gultan Kisanak said women are responsible to resist against totalitarian governments and ignorance of Turkish state against Kurdish people.

She criticized the Turkish government for taking unilateral steps on making of a new constitution and recent changes on national security document of the Turkish state.

She also called for solidarity with Kurdish politicians who stands trial in Diyarbakır saying that the Kurdish identity is being tried in the court.

After Kisanak's speech the conference continued behind closed doors.

The conference is expected to continue for two days. The decisions will be made public on Saturday.



Trial against Greenpeace started in Ankara

28 October 2010

Greenpeace members were arrested in front of Parliament while protesting against nuclear plants

The trial against Greenpeace members who were arrested while protesting in front of the Turkish Parliament against the Nucleer Power Plant in Akkuyu district of Mersin started in Ankara. Greenpeace members held a demonstration in front of the court after the hearing.

On 6 July 2010 the Greenpeace protested while the nuclear power plant treaty, signed with Russia, was discussed at the Turkish parliament. The protesters opened a banner saying “Turkey does not Want Nuclear” and wanted to 174 thousand petitions to the MP’s. After the police intervention 58 protestors have been detained who appeared before the court today. The defendants stated at the hearing that they have not committed any crimes and demanded to be acquitted.

Speaking on behalf of Greenpeace Korol Diker said they free to have a cup tea with ministers but they are charged with 3-year imprisonment. Ümit Şahin of the Greens said the government is suppressing the anti-nuclear opposition which is escalating.

The protest was supported by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey and Peace Assembly of Turkey.



Guerrillas buried without families knowing

28 October 2010

Bodies buried without families knowing

Three HPG (People’s Defense Forces) guerrillas, who lost their lives in the clash in Dersim on 14 October and left in the clash area by the prosecutor, were claimed to be buried in Ovacık rural. Learning that the bodies were buried, the families of 2 of the guerrillas appealed to Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır Branch to take the bodies.

When the families of 1984 Diyarbakır born Hüseyin Akkuş (Agit Amed) and 1980 Van born Şükran Gülsün (Şilan Ekin) appealed to prosecution two times to take the bodies, they were told that the bodies were left in the clash area by the prosecutor. The families, who obtained no result from their appeals to the prosecution, were called by a private number the other day and they were told that the bodies were buried by the brook between Karipuşagı and Dibek villages. When the families appealed to the prosecution once more after this news and wanted the bodies to be exhumed, the prosecutor told them that they will inform the families when the bodies are found as the research in the area is still continuing. Thereupon, the families of Akkuş and Gülsün appealed to İHD Diyarbakır Branch to call for legal support to take the bodies.

The father of HPG member Akkaş, Aziz Akkaş, said the followings; “I don’t understand the unjust treatment we are living. If it was a soldier that died there, they would put all kinds of means into action. However, when it comes to Kurdish youth and guerrillas, they make all kinds of obstacles”.



Proposal for Ocalan at PACE

28 October 2010

"Assuring measures before the upcoming elections in Turkey” was proposed by 28 European parliamentarians

A proposal was presented at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) to establish an observatory committee to oversee the current ceasefire and to take necessary steps to let Abdullah Ocalan to involve in politics.

The proposal entitled “Assuring measures before the upcoming elections in Turkey” was proposed by 28 parliamentarians. The proposal also suggested mother tongue education for the Kurds and reducing the 10% electoral threshold.

The proposal continues: “respecting the ceasefire by the both sides, forming an international observatory committee to determine and report ceasefire violations, taking necessary steps in order to let the political prisoners to take part in ‘normal’ political life, reducing the 10% threshold in order to empower democracy and teaching Kurdish at state schools.”

Kurdish MP Pervin Buldan of BDP welcoming the proposal said the ceasefire should be bilateral and an amnesty for the political prisoners should issued. Meanwhile, MP of the Nationalistic Movement Party (MHP) called on the Turkish PM in order to prevent the proposal to be discussed at the General Assembly.

The proposal was prepared by the British MP John Austin and other MP’s who called on Turkey to sign and ratify the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and do reforms in accordance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government.



Mayor of Duhok observes KCK trial

28 October 2010

Trial against Kurdish politicians continues in Diyarbakir

Mayor of Duhok Sherwan Abdulwahid and members of the municipal council who came to Diyarbakir in order to observe KCK trial visited the Mayor of Sur Abdullah Demirbaş who is also on trial without arrest.

The Mayor of Sur Abdullah Demirbaş was in prison for 5 months and half and then released due to his health conditions.

It is reported that Mayor Abdullah Demirbaş informed the Mayor of Duhok and the delegation with him both about the ongoing trial and his health conditions.



Dicle sentenced to 20 months in prison

28 October 2010

In the case against DEP Ex-Mp Hatip Dicle due to a speech he made, he was sentenced to 1 year and 8 months imprisonment with the allegation of “making organization propaganda”.

The decision hearing of the case, which was opened against DEP Ex-Mp Hatip Dicle due to his words “Three million said Dear Öcalan is my willpower” on 13 August 2009 in a meeting of BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) Bingöl Provincial Organization, has been conducted.

Dicle didn’t join trial in Diyarbakır 4. High Criminal Court, while his lawyer Feride Laçin appeared in the proceedings. At the trial, Laçin stated that the speech of her mandatory is the determination of realities and expression of his thoughts. Laçin said; “We are of the opinion that the expression of my mandatory doesn’t constitute a propaganda crime as it doesn’t contain violence” and demanded Dicle’s acquittal.

Following the defense, the court board sentenced Dicle to 2 years imprisonment for “making organization propaganda”. Considering Dicle’s good conduct, the court mitigated the penalty to 1 year 8 months.



Arrest warrant for Baathist Kurds

28 October 2010

The Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal issued arrest warrants for 258 Kurds who were members of Ba’ath party of the former President Saddam Hussein during the Anfal Campaign, where more than 150 thousand Kurds were killed.

The collaborators known among Kurds as Jash (donkey-foal) or Mustashar (advisor) are wanted for their alleged involvement in the infamous Anfal campaign in the 1980s in which tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians were massacred by Hussein’s regime.

According to the report by the warrants, issued on Oct. 10, 2010, have been sent to the relevant authorities in the Kurdistan Region, including the office of the president of the Region and the Kurdish interior ministry.

In 2007, the Tribunal recognized the Anfal operations as a genocidal campaign aimed at exterminating large numbers of civilian Kurds and destroying their livelihoods.

Kurds estimate around 4,000 villages were destroyed by the former Iraqi Army during the Anfal campaign delivering heavy blows to the traditional, agricultural lifestyle of the Kurds.

Mohammed Abdul-Sahib, the spokesman for the SICT told Rudaw that the second round of the trials of the Anfal case will begin when the wanted collaborators are handed over to the court.

In 2007, the Tribunal had ordered investigations with 423 Kurdish and Arab individuals suspected of involvement in the Anfal operations.

Top on the list of the wanted names is Wafiq al-Samarrayi, a former military intelligence chief under Saddam who briefly served as a security advisor to current President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, after the fall of Saddam’s regime in 2003. Al-Samarrayi left Iraq a few years ago and is believed to be currently residing in the United Kingdom.



TUSIAD calls to lower the election threshold

27 October 2010

BDP met businessmen association

Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) called the Turkish government to lower the 10 percent election threshold ahead of the general elections on the summer of 2011.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Gultan Kisanak visited TUSIAD's president Umit Boyner today.

Demirtas said that the participation of business leaders to the process which will lead to a new constitution is very important. He reminded of past works on new constitution by TUSIAD and invited the businessmen and women to Diyarbakır to exchange ideas with Kurdish representatives.

TUSIAD's president Boyner thanked Kurdish leaders for their visit and said that he is happy to discuss about the new constitution with Demirtas and Kisanak.

He underlined the need for a new constitution and said that TUSIAD will work for a democratic constitution.

Boyner called the Turkish government to lower the 10 percent election threshold, which is a key demand by the Kurdish political parties.

He also said that a TUSIAD envoy will visit Diyarbakir on December and meet Kurdish representatives there.

After the meeting Boyner told the press that the problem of minorities and national identity in the constitution must be solved.



Signature campaign to turn Diyarbakir old prison into a museum take off

27 October 2010

Campaign was started by former 1980 military coup prisoners

The petition started by the prisoners of the military coup period for the conversion of Diyarbakır Number 5 Military Prison into a museum, is getting more and more signatures. Within the scope of the campaign, the number of collected signatures in Diyarbakır alone is over 20 thousand.

While Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave ‘the good news of’ a new prison to Diyarbakır citizens at his speech in Diyarbakır, the Commission of Investigating Diyarbakır Prison and Justice responded to this ‘good news’ with a petition started on 18 October for the convension of the prison into a museum. Booths were set up in Diyarbakır in particular, Mardin, Urfa, Batman and Mersin for the campaign. Besides the regional cities, the petition is continuing in many other cities of Turkey. Near the prisoners of 12 September coup period, volunteers also collect signatures for the campaign, which will continue with various activities. Besides, the Commission of Investigating Diyarbakır Prison and Justice will open its central office in Diyarbakır and prepare a web site.

Abdulgani Alkan, the Spokesman of the Commission of Investigating Diyarbakır Prison, informed about the petition as follows; “We started this petition on 18 October, after the denunciation we made to Diyarbakır Courthouse about the prison on 11 October. The campaign was started by the prisoners of the military coup period, who were kept in Diyarbakır Numb 5 Military Prison”. Remarking that the campaign bases on not destructing Diyarbakır Number 5 Military Prison and converting it into a museum, Alkan said the followings; “This prison is a shame of Turkey. There is a struggle against the destruction of the prison. After completing our extensive works and the petition, we will present them to TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey), to Justice Commission and many related places”.

Alkan indicated that they, as the tortured prisoners of the coup process, will do whatever they can for the conversion of Diyarbakır Number 5 Military Prison into a museum.

Translation: Berna Ozgencil



Baydemir: We want a regional parliament

27 October 2010

If it is a crime to demand my culture, identity, language then yes I am a criminal, says mayor of Diyarbakir

In response to the accusations on ‘terrorism’ Mayor of Diyarbakir Osman Baydemir said: “If it is a crime to demand my culture, identity, language then yes I am a criminal.” Baydemir further said that they are not against the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) but they also want a local parliament.

Mayor of Diyarbakir Osman Baydemir who is among those Kurdish elected representatives and human rights defenders who are on trial in KCK case gave an interview to the French newspaper L’Humanite.

“I am a lawyer myself but the number of the convictions against me 4 times higher than my clients”

Baydemir said although they are elected in a democratic way they are on trial for “harming the state security”. He added: “I am a lawyer since 1995 and the number of the investigations and convictions against me 4 times higher than my clients. It can be said that AKP is very talented in hiding and showing the thing the other way around, like launching black as white. In 2006, amendment happened in the law and hundreds of 12, 13 year-old children were tried, convicted and even some of them were given 30-year imprisonment. That time no one said anything. But three months ago, when the government slightly changed the law EU representatives congratulated the government and completely forgot about the beginning of the law.”

Some defendants will be released just to please the EU

Baydemir continued: “Kurdish problem has nothing to do with terrorism. It is a struggle for justice, freedom and equality. Europe should be aware of this fact. However, unfortunately they are contented with the one-side information coming from the Turkish state. The last few years their representatives are no longer visiting the Kurdistan region. Their visits and observance are limited to Ankara and Istanbul. They are accepting whatever the government tells them about the Kurdish issue. However, the European governments and EU institutions should get this information confirmed and therefore meet BDP and other Kurdish representatives. In order to pressurize the European governments to change their policies a public pressure is required. Media has a crucial role in this. L’Humanite is the only international press observing the trial in Diyarbakir. The others are following it from Istanbul which shows their approach very clearly. Some defendants will be released in order to please Europe but there will be more arrests too. We will not be able to gain anything before the court. It depends on the French and European public opinion and their reaction.”

The example of Catalonia

Concerning the terrorism accusations Baydemir said: “If it is a crime to defend human rights and democracy then I am committing crime. If it is a crime to demand my culture, identity, language then I am a criminal and we will continue with this crime until all our rights are recognised. We are not asking for too much. We are demanding a democratic Turkey and an autonomous Kurdistan at local. We are not against the parliament in Ankara but we also want a regional parliament. We are not against Turkish being the official language but we want Kurdish to be an official language. Just like Catalonia in Spain. This is the 29th rebellion of the Kurds and we will continue until this reality is recognised.”



Trial in Diyarbakir is "unfair", says German journalist Dolzer

27 October 2010

Delegations are coming back from Diyarbakir and tell of an unfair trial and terror situation

German journalist and sociologist Martin Dolzer has just got back from Diyarbakir where he went to follow the trial against 151 Kurdish politicians and human rights activists. "What must be stressed - says Dolzer speaking to ANF - is the fact that this is an unfair trial. The accusations have not real foundation and the whole trial seems to be more of a power demonstration on the part of the Turkish government that a serious legal procedure based on strong evidences and accusations".

According to Dolzer "the criminalisation of BDP politicians and NGO activists hinders every political solution. The politics of the AKP is clearly oriented on a violent solution even though the rhetoric of the governmental party pretends to aim towards a democratic opening".

On the other hand Dolzer thinks that the Turkish government is trying to "divide the Kurdish people. The message the government is sending is clear: no matter how far you are going into the political process, we are going to hit you, we will criminalise you". And it is this consideration which makes Dolzer "not very optimist about the current phase and the possibility of really established a fair peace process".

Dolzer was part of a European delegation, made off many MP and politicians as well. Yet the role of Europe so far in supporting the efforts made by the Kurds towards the creation of conditions favourable to a dialogue, has been to say the least "shy". Dolzer says that "clearly Europe is silent because it has economic and military interests in Turkey and the Middle East. Europe - he adds - needs Nato ally Turkey to exercise control on that area. Control over oil and gas". Dolzer also says that "if the governments in Europe are honestly looking for a democratisation and a peaceful development in Turkey, they should accept the reality. Huge parts of the Kurdish population see the PKK as the shield for their interests. Due to that peace negotiations should be held in a dialogue with all political actors including the PKK and Abdullah Öcalan. Some kind of Orange revolution will not happen in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. The political conscience of the population is too developed to accept such an inhuman colonialist practice".

Dolzer finally points out the situation of terror witnessed in areas like Hakkari, Semdinli, Yuksekova. "The practise of war crimes, extrajudicial killings, torture and psychological warfare in the provinces of Hakkari, Dersim, Sirnak, Agri and Siirt must be stopped immediately. It is unacceptable." Dolzer adds that this situation is reminiscent of the '90s and recalls that only a few weeks ago "the mayor of Semdinli has been victim of an heavy intimidatory act when his house was riddled with bullets and one of his relatives has been heavily tortured".



Kurtulan presented motion on Kurdish question

27 October 2010

BDP states need to address Kurdish question in open and frank way

BDP MP Fatma Kurtulan presented a parliamentary research motion on declaring and researching the obstacles in front of the Kurdish problem. Mentioning the fact that former president Turgut Ozal’s death was suspicious, 50 thousand people have lost their life and more than 3 million people are displaced Kurtulan wanted opening negotiations with the PKK and revealing the truths.

Kurtulan while stating that military methods cannot solve the problem said that for a peaceful democratic solution a social consensus is needed and it cannot happen unless all the truths which have been hidden so far revealed.

In her 3-page motion Kurtulan mentioned these grounds.

Kurds are prevented

The government ignores the democratic right of the Kurds, incites the clashes in accordance with its own interest and the Kurds are prevented from politics.

Fifty thousand persons were killed

Due to denial and destruction policy of the officials 50 thousand people have lost their loves in the clashes and approximately 5 thousand Kurdish villages have been burnt down and destroyed.

Suspicious death of Ozal

Many politicians and military members including the 8th president of Turkey Turgut Ozal and General Commander of Gendarmerie Esref Bitlis have lost their lives in suspicious ways. 17 thousand people became victims of the extrajudicial killings by the illegal organisations formed within the state itself.

Three million Internally Displaced Persons

Due to village destructions almost 3 million have been displaced and millions of dollars have been spent on weapons which were used to destroy the nature and forests in the region. Village guards have become crime machines and involved numberless crimes. In the EU membership process several treaties are waiting to be singed but just because they will justify the Kurdish demands they are being suspended.

Truth Commissions

The countries who had similar problems like Turkey could get over them with Truth Commissions. These commissions can help the country create a mutual trust and solve the problems.

Negotiations with the PKK

While forming such commissions it will also be necessary to meet PKK side in order to reach reconciliation.



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Neither today’s terrorist, nor tomorrow’s hero

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 October 2010 22:19
Sunday, 24 October 2010 22:05
Kardo Bokani

It has been said that “today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s hero”. People like Nelson Mandela who is regarded as a secular saint of our modern time, was labelled as a terrorist while he was fighting against the established rule, the Apartheid Regime in South Africa. Yasser Arafat who won the noble peace prize was regarded as a terrorist too. I neither intend to centre my argument on what terrorism is, nor I would seek to provide a definition of the appellations of such a kind, on the account of the fact that there is not a clear definition of such a convoluted term; what I would be expected of outlying is that, terrorism is a pejorative title with negative connotation that is overwhelmingly applied to one’s enemy or adversaries intended to darken their public image.

The decision to call an agent/group as a “terrorist” is completely subjective depending on the relation you maintain with them. Provided you stay in hostility with the groups, by availing of terrorist appellation, you would seek to weaken their position and distort their public image. The best example of this is Nelson Mandela; he was seen as an unwanted agent of anti-fascism, thus classified as terrorist, and now world widely revered as a hero. Nonetheless if you hold some certain positive degree of relationship with the agent/group/ country, no matter how grossly they violate human rights, no matter what sorts of crimes they commit against humanity, they are deemed as friends and are given hands in their conducts. The most conspicuous example of this is the modern Turkey, the biggest importer of the US’s armaments, committing crimes of genocidle character against the Kurds.

One third of Turkey’s population is Kurdish, nonetheless, the Kurds do not exist in the eyes of Turkish Authorities; the use of Kurdish language is prohibited in public and there is no education on the mother tongue. More than 40,000 people have died, mainly from the Kurdish side, as the direct result of Turkish state terror, sponsored by the US as well as some European Powers, yet Turkey is categorised as a democratic and the Kurds are deemed as “terrorists”. Within the course of last few days, over 150 Kurdish politicians and civil activists in Turkey stood trial for the charge of “terrorism”. They are labelled as terrorist since they struggle against Turkish state terror, they struggle against brutal military regime which bans the use of their mother tongue, imprisons their children, silence their voices in every aspect of their lives, use chemical weapons in its bloody war to eradicate the Kurdish resistance movement.

The Kurdish defendants are accused of being terrorists today; what they would be called tomorrow?

The Kurdish defendants standing on trial for the recognition of their identify refusing to speak Turkish even on the dock, are neither today’s terrorists nor tomorrow’s hero... they are our “today’s hero”... Our today’s hero, because they stood up to the Turkish state terror and refused to obey the rules denying the Kurdish voice. They stood up to the fascist policies of the Turkish military regime which has imprisoned around 2,660 Kurdish children charged with “terrorist activities”.

The Kurdish defendants are neither today’s terrorists nor today’s hero. They are our “today’s hero” because they stood up to the fascist mentality which has long sough to annihilate our existence. They have more that 70% of the Kurdish population votes and the Kurds will stand firm behind them in their battle against the neo-fascist mentality which has endangered the prospect of peaceful coexistence among the Kurds and the Turks. The Kurds will stand firm behind them since they are neither today’s terrorist nor tomorrow’s hero, they are our today’s hero!


Kardo Bokani is Kurdish student of political philosophy, doing his master in University College Cork. He can be reached at