Saturday, May 14, 2005

Our Friends the Kurds

There are 30 million Kurds without a state. Yet what does the international community fixate on? The 600,000 or so Palestinians that fled to Arab countries with the promise of regaining all of Israel once the Jews were exterminated. Whether you believe Palestinians should have a state before or after they stop killing Jews, how can anyone who supports them not equally support the Kurds?

Pretty much everything Israel is condemned for in it’s treatment of Palestinians Turkey is guilty of in it’s treatment of the Kurds. While the PLO, Hammas and other terrorists plague Israel the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, terrorizes Turkey. Turkey has responded by forcibly displaced noncombatants, failing to resolve extrajudicial killings, torturing civilians, and abridging freedom of expression. Unlike Palestinians who are taught at birth to kill Jews, most Kurds don’t support the few thousand member PKK. Yet hundreds of thousands of Kurds have been forced from their homes supposedly by Turkish counter-insurgency campaigns seeking to root out support for the PKK. The Kurdish language may not be taught; Kurdish language broadcasts are illegal; Kurdish publications and media are restricted; Kurdish political parties are banned or harassed.

Human Rights Watch says the Turkish government has failed to honor pledges to help 378,000 displaced people, mainly Kurds, return home more than a decade after the army forced them from their villages in southeastern Turkey.

In southeastern Turkey, the government has failed to provide infrastructure such as electricity, telephone lines and schools to returning communities, and has not provided proper assistance with house reconstruction.

What’s worse, the government’s paramilitary village guards are attacking and killing returnees in some parts of southeastern Turkey.

Turkey still has much to do on the protection of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, language rights and protection against torture.

In Iraq The Kurdistan Observer notes:

The proposed constitution for Iraqi Kurdistan describes the Kurdish north as one of two regions, the other being Arab, making up a "federal Iraq" that would have a "democratic, parliamentary and republican system."

The Kurdish region would comprise Kirkuk in addition to the three provinces currently included in the enclave, namely Arbil, Dahuk and Suleimaniya, based on pre-1968 administrative borders.

Kirkuk would be the capital of the Kurdish region, whose four provinces would be sub-divided into eight districts.

The region would have its own flag, alongside the Iraqi flag, and defense forces drawn from the present Kurdish fighters, or peshmergas. It would have its own legislative and executive authorities, including a president directly elected by the people and a cabinet.


However Kurdo’s World points out that Al Jafaari changed the Iraqi Democratic Oath.

Jafaari starts to replace the "original" oath which has the word "democratic & federal" with his own one which doesn't have "democratic federal".

Jafaari and all those after him will read "Jafaari's version of the oath" which does not have the words "federal and democratic Iraq".



What does this mean?

The Kurds were the most supportive section of the population of Iraq towards the US led overthrow of Saddam. We now have to support them in their efforts to have an autonomous Kurdistan that includes Kirkuk as its capitol. We have to support them in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. It's only right.

Update

Based on my reading of Kurdish Blogs I may have made some assumptions that were not fact. The PKK is not a terrorist organization in the eyes of some, and may actually have allot of support of the Turkish Kurds. I am literally learning daily of the plight of the Kurds and others that I champion on my new Blog so I welcome the opinions and references of others.

From an article at NRO.

The PKK has denuded villages in the mountains of the "triangle border" where Iran, Iraq, and Turkey come together. The PKK occupies homes and farms, extorts illegal taxes, and metes out summary justice to those who do not comply. On occasion, the PKK mines roads. In a region where adults and children pile into the back of pick-up trucks for transportation, carnage from PKK mines can be immense.
The PKK's terror in northern Iraq stretches more than a decade. In 1994, PKK terrorists rained mortars down on the rooftops of the mountaintop settlement of Amadya. Touring the ancient town in March 2001, residents showed me the damage to their homes.

PKK members also sabotaged bridges, cutting off villagers from their fields and disrupting the local economy. No matter how poor were Masud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic party and Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan at their nadir, neither cultivated nor smuggled drugs. The same is not true of the PKK, which facilitates drug smuggling from Iran through Iraq and Turkey and into Europe

Sounds like terrorists to me.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

hello this was an excellent post

Vladimir said...

I like your post for more information look here: http://web.amnesty.org/library/eng-tur/news

And if Turkey wasn't built on Kemalism and facism, there wouldn't have been a PKK. Hitler got his inspiration from the Young Turkish movement. And Kemal got inspiration from Mussolini.
Turkish government did more "terror" then the PKK it self. If you read more about it, you see that the Turkish government used to support drugslords who were also related to the MHP and the grey wolves. Off course there were drugs dealers who gave money to the PKK, but according my information they only donated, PKK wasn’t involved in it and Öcalan said the PKK wasn’t involved in it.

But because America saw Turkey as a buffer against communism, they supported them even though they weren't so democratic as they say they are. But now there isn’t a threat from communism and Turkey can’t do anything against terrorism, because they are even working together with Syria and Iran.
Why America supports them? While a lot of Turks see America an enemy, because for instance they forced Turkey to stop the drug trafficking.

Ironic isn’t it.

Rancher said...

We supported many a dictator and oppressive regime in order to combat communism. It may not have been pretty but we did win the cold war. Was it worth it when you consider all the suffering and death laid at our door by the people we supported? Yes, when you consider the state of the worlds citizens had we lost. If all of the world were under totalitarian communist regimes then the abuses of our less than Democratic allies would be common place.

kassem said...

hey. I think you're very misinformed on pkk. I posted an answer to your post on kurdo's blog, but since I'm not sure you'll read it I'll copy paste it.

rancher I think you're being misinformed by turkish propaganda and the propaganda of your government. pkk never committed any terrorists activities, and they're widely supported by most people throughout kurdistan and especially north kurdistan.

they always fought based on the rules of fair guerilla warfare, unlike the turks who slaughtered, raped and tortured in the most prominent display of crimes against humanity since the genocides of atatürk times.

besides, the turks are the ones suppressing our language, our culture, and occupying our land. our fight that we fight according to rules of war is therefore widely justified.

I'll add that people like leyla zana, who won the european union sakharov prize for human rights is known as pro-pkk, as well as her husband mehdi zana, a long time activist for the kurds who spent several years in diyarbakir ( amed ) prison for his ideas.

also on newroz day one million people were gathered in amed for support for serok öcalan, you could see there pkk flags, kurdish flags, and pictures of serok öcalan along with chantings of slogans like "biji serok apo"

serok öcalan has been the only leader of north kurds for 20 years now, has widely contributed in reversing the assimilation process and giving back kurds pride and identity. even the most staunch adversaries of öcalan, for example some kurdish intellectuals, never call öcalan a terrorist. the pkk guerrillas are widely respected throughout the kurdish world, and considered heroes for north kurds, and it is an insult to the memory of our martyrs to call them terrorists.

but, I'm glad you asked for information, so now you're informed.

( by the way, unlike what you post on your blog, the human rights abuses against kurds are not a result of the pkk uprising. they're actually what started it. since all political and legal activity involving pro-kurdish positions was forbidden, its leaders jailed and tortured and killed extra-judicially, only an armed movement could be the solution. )

here. always seek for the truth regarding these matters. the pkk never was, never is and never will be a terrorist organization. nobody has yet been able to produce one single evidence of that. on the other hand we have widespread records of turkish human rights abuses.

and regarding what you said, I don't believe it was right for america to support fascist regimes against communism. it's an easy position to take when most your family didn't die in horrible torture from such fascists. the west had no risk of being "invaded" by communists, it was therefore useless to support nazi republics like turkey.

Rancher said...

Thank you Kassem for your response. I thought I might be reaching when I said most Kurds don’t support the PKK. Let me phrase it another way. Do most Kurds support the killing of men, women and children in a random manner in order to put pressure on a populace to change their governments policy on a political issue. In plain English do they, or you, support terrorism? From your post it seems not. Are the PKK terrorist? I don’t know the answer yet but if you think they aren’t then I will keep an open mind. Regardless of the PKK Turkey has stepped over the line in the treatment of the Kurds.

The threat of communism wasn’t invasion, it was a war of ideologies. From what I’ve read of the PKK they seem to be Marxist. Marxism was a credible threat to America and Democracies all over the world, and was actually winning prior to Reagan. Our support of Turkey and others was and is in the United State’s best interest which is what our government is supposed to do. That does not mean we have to like abuses from our allies or that we have to keep silent.

kassem said...

"Do most Kurds support the killing of men, women and children in a random manner in order to put pressure on a populace to change their governments policy on a political issue. "

No. Such acts were never committed by pkk, otherwise millions of people wouldn't be supporting pkk. you have to understand pkk used the exact same tactics in turkey that puk and kdp used in iraq. but, turkey being ally of the US, and saddam's iraq being not, we're the "bad kurds" and they're the "good kurds".

I can swear to you that pkk never was, never is and never will be a terrorist organization. it has nothing to do like hamas which bombs women and children. pkk NEVER committed such acts.

the article you posted by nro michael rubin is obviously biased and propaganda. ask any southern ( iraqi ) kurd about pkk, and most will tell you, even if they don't support pkk, that pkk is no terrorist. puk and pkk were actually allied until very recently, and puk fighters have made a clear statement they will never attack to their brothers and sisters of pkk. I try to find the article, but here is an example of a southern ( iraqi ) kurd who favors the pkk and gives reason why :

http://kardox.blogspot.com/2004/08/good-terrorists-and-bad-terrorists.html

the truth is, until august 2004 pkk was not even on europe's list of terror organizations... but then, in exchange of recognition of cyprus by turkey, europe put it...

here you can read about the newroz in amed I was talking to you about :

http://kurdishmedia.com/news.asp?id=6449


pkk repeatedly called for peace and made truces, from 1999 to 2004 there was a 5 year complete truce by pkk, despite repeated assaults by turkish military. if the war that raged in the southeast has calmed a little, it is only thanks to pkk. we're not saying we're angels, this was a war and we sure did mistake, but it doesn't amount to 1% of the atrocities the turkish army committed. atrocities that keep up to this day like this atrocity :

http://www.kurdmedia.com/news.asp?id=6687

or this atrocity :

http://www.kurdishmedia.com/news.asp?id=6547

all this being only a few weeks old.

and believe me, if pkk was terrorist would german state allow pkk gatherings of more than 50.000 people on its land? do you see them allowing hamas or al-qaeda gatherings? I don't think so. pkk books are freely sold everywhere in europe, pkk flags, etc...

the problem is, see, we're kurdish, and turks for their propaganda enjoy : the turkish state propaganda, with all its power, all the wealth of turkey, all of this... we have nothing only people that can speak out are in europe, in turkey nobody is gonna tell somebody he doesn't know "I'm for pkk" because he knows he's gonna get murdered...

you can see on this link :

http://kurdishinfo.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2195

also how turkish military acts with kurds... and this is just a few examples. believe me that our struggle is fair and just, I would never associate myself with any terrorist organization. but you think a hamas or al-qaeda newspapers would be freely published in germany? while pkk's ozgur politika is freely published in every german railway station, roj tv ( pkk tv ) is broadcasting from the netherlands, etc...

believe pkk is not terrorist but freedom fighters.

as for pkk being marxist, yeah it was at the beginning, but you have to understand the social situation is so horrible in north kurdistan, that it is no surprise. most people in the villages, especially back then, didn't even have running water, etc. the kurdish economy is voluntarily paralyzed by turkey who gives all the money to a few kurdish "landlords" in order to starve the rest of population. this is a system worthy of middle age. however since fall of the soviet union pkk abandoned the ideas of "old marxism" and they removed soviet symbols from the flag. they're now willing for a modern, capitalist but at the same time socially fair state fully integrated in world free trade economy.

anyways, I hope I have convinced you, if not I don't know what more to say but advise you to talk to as many kurdish people as possible, and I swear to you you will not hear a single one calling pkk terrorist. there's even turkish people not calling pkk terrorist. and also remember that 3 of the 8 founding members of pkk are turkish. do you see israëlis in the hamas? I don't think so. to this day duran kalkan, one of the members of presidential council of pkk, and founding member of pkk, is turkish. as everybody as said our struggle isn't and never was against the turkish people, but against its racist state that oppresses us.

believe me that, if george washington and the brave men that fought to create america 200 years ago, had been alive today, he would have understood us. we only wish for the same things your founding fathers wished for, only for us the task is immensely difficult. but you should read more also about leyla zana courageous woman and great political activist, who was almost
nobel prize and got sakharov human rights prize, well she fully supports the pkk ( and already was at the time she had all these prizes ).

Vladimir said...

Well there are PKK supporters in "Syrian" Kurdistan, in "Iranian" Kurdistan, in "Turkish" Kurdistan and in "Iraqi" Kurdistan most people are in favour of PUK/KDP. But all Kurdish people (who haven't been assimilated by religion or Turkish culture) see Öcalan as a Kurd and thank him for his struggle.

But the Kurds never supported terrorism. Which is maybe on of their mistakes. Sometime a author of a book wondered why Barzani didn't use suicide bombers to kill Saddam or didn't attack Kirkuk? Wonder why? To don't let the oil supply of US & Britain destroyed. And where is Kirkuk now? Probably ending up as an Iraqi city with Arabs/Turkmen and Kurds.. while it first was Kurdish.

And the threat of communism.. hmm yes it's over. America supported terrorist like Osama Bin Laden for the "bigger" cause, now this cause is terrorism. I don't think communish would have won, because it's in a economic way non survivable. But I think that already happened and is history, we shouldn't look to the past too much . If you can look clearly you can see the PKK is a nationalistic movement and is of no threat to America. No more need to support Turkey, while Turkey is actually more terrorist then the Kurdish people ever will be.

kassem said...

by the way, you can notice that if you look on virtually EVERY kurdish blogs you will see a link to roj tv on it... well roj tv is the tv owned by pkk and they put it right near puk and kdp tv, so you see none of the kurds consider us terrorist, do you see them putting al-qaeda or hamas tv on it? of course not, because all of us despise terrorism, you know turkish kurds who drive goods to iraq to make money because the turkish state starves us, are the first victims of terrorism by the scum terrorists of zarqawi... how could we support terrorists??

believe me that pkk fighters are brave and respectable young men and women, who just want to defend and protect their country.

kassem said...

http://hevalo.blogspot.com/2005/04/still-divided.html

here's another south kurd blogger point of view on pkk... and also look in the comments. as you can see everybody is disappointed with talabani for saying that, and supporting pkk - puk - kdp friendship.

Vladimir said...

peshmurga??:

Sigh what a source for a blog
Worst propaganda I recently heard. Another effort to trie to divide the Kurds.
Michael Rubbish

ASia said...

We don't like their aggresssion but understand it.

John said...

Great post!

Medya said...

your name was added to kurd's friend list...but you better read more about PKK.

it isnt like they kill childern in random manner..PKK had to fight to keep himself. in a country that they belive there is no Kurd at all.

there was no way for a kurdish party to continue peacefully they had to defend themself by gun

Trevor said...

You make some great points here.

I think our nation would be better off if we took a much less aggressive stance in interfering where we haven't been invited.

I don't spend a lot of my time playing my neighbors off against each other for my own gain, and I don't see why my government should do so...

Emmunah said...

I can tell you that I have never heard any Kurd advocate the killing of ANY innocent people. I know that all resistance movements have committed acts, but not with the intention to kill civilians. Not like the Shining Path, the Palestinians, Hizbollah, Al Queda. I would say more like any people trying to have a revolution from tyranny.

If you were a Kurd living in Northern Kurdistan, and Turks did all of those things to you, it's not hard to see how it would turn to violence. I know I would feel that way. If you think of Pancho Villa, well...was he a terrorist?

Of course, I'm the only one advocating for the mistreatment of innocents....like...I would like to see Ward Churchill smothered in Plymouth Rock chicken feathers, and I think the best way to capture Zarqawi and bin Laden is to round up their female relatives. I guess that would make me a terrorists LOL!!! Of course, now if someone else smothers WC in chicken feathers I'll be in trouble!

yochanan said...

It is a war and in war things happen some not very pleasent. But intent matters if your target is military that is much different than buses, cafe's et al.

I am well aware of the history of genocide in turkey as my step father was armeanian. As well as the oppression of Turkey's Kurdish population.

One can differ with the polical philosopy of a group and still agree with its general goal.

I personally don't know enough about the PKK to have an oppinion and as I am not a Kurdish person I would not feel it was my place to state my opinin anyway.