Tag Archives: Kurds

Children Trapped In War Against Kurds

A Turkish flotilla of ships sailed to bring aid to the embattled people of Gaza, and its government denounced Israel for violating human rights, but those who spoke eloquently against oppression are remarkably silent when it comes to the oppression of Kurdish children in Turkey. Metin, a 15 year old Kurdish boy was arrested on charges of aiding Kurdish rebels, thrown into jail for five months, finally released, then thrown back in on charges of throwing rocks during a demonstration. In jail, he shared a bed with two other boys, was beaten by guards, “it was freezing in winter and in summer we couldn’t take showers. Police were rough and pressured us to confess to being supporters of the PKK.”According to Kurdish lawyers, children as young as eleven are imprisoned with adults, and denied access to legal counsel. Many are termed the “stone throwing generation” because at some point these children took part in demonstrations. As one Kurdish activist noted, ‘when they enter prison, they are just kids, when they leave they are militants.”

Turkish law makes not distinction between appearing at a protest and being a militant. If a parent takes their children to a rally, the children from that moment on are now termed to be terrorists! Place children in a jail with hardened militants, and there is scant doubt they will become what they were charged with being–a Kurdish militant.

Ironically, the Turkish government policies of uprooting Kurdish families, ejecting them from their villages, is more alike than different to Israel policy in the West Bank. Exactly, who are the oppressors?

Justice–Turkish Style!

Last October a group of Kurds gathered to protest actions of the Turkish government against their people. They marched, some threw stones, but as far as we know no policeman of member of security details died as result of these actions. A young Kurdish girl named Bervian somehow became part of the protest group. In her words, “I did not hurl stones at police officers. I did not have any relation with the group. I noticed a crowd and walked towards it. I was going to visit my aunt.” This description certainly fits that of a wild eyed fanatic terrorist out to cause bodily harm to members of Turkish security forces.

Bervian was sentenced to seven years, 9 months in jail by a judge-or at least, some character pretending he is a judge. The judge insisted he was being lenient because he could have sent her to jail for 13 years. As the verdict was read to the court, the only sensible comment came from the girl’s mother “Did she murder?”

Now, Turks know why they will never get into the European Union as long as this is their version of justice.

Yell “Terrorism” When Nothing Else Works!

I am an American who has spent eight years hearing the expression, “terrorist” used and abused by those in government who do not wish those with differing opinions to speak freely. An Ankara court has issued an order to four former members of the legislature who support Kurdish rights as members of the Democratic Society Party(DIP) to appear before a hearing into charges they have been supporting terrorists. They were accused of being involved in “separatist activities” which could mean anything from speech to acts. The four deputies claim they have immunity as former members of Parliament. Ahmet Turk defiantly said: “the decision is against the law” and indicated when the time is right he would appear to testify in any court in the land.

In a democracy supporting those who seek to change the laws of the land is perfectly legal. A terrorist is an individual who commits an action that results in harm to other people. Did these four people commit any action?

Kurds Protest In Turkey

The ongoing saga of the fight by Kurds to be treated with respect in Turkey goes on and on without any semblance of reality on the part of the government. Hundreds of Kurds protested over the recent arrest of dozens of Kurds by the government on charges they had links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK). Actually, among the arrested were at least seven mayors of cities who are charged with the crime of being linked to the political arm of the PKK. There is something wrong when mayors who were elected by the people of a city are placed in jail because they are involved in a political activity. Doesn’t it make sense for Kurds to BE involved in politics rather than in armed rebellion?

One day the Turkish government will recognize their goal is to get Kurds to vote, be elected to public office and become part of the organized process of government. That is less costly to the Turkish nation than having Kurds firing weapons and being engaged in violent actions.

Me Thinks Turkey Doth Protest Too Much!

The nation of Turkey has made great strides in creating the foundation of a modern democratic society, but every so often vestiges of the old authoritarianism crop up. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the town of Diyarbarkir last year during which time two young men mounted a protest against his arrival in the area. The Turkish government charged the men with aiding and assisting terrorism by protesting the prime minister of the nation. The two men were not members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, and one of them was actually due to enter the armed forces the day after the protest.

Me thinks the Turkish government doth portray a lack of sound judgment in sending two young men to jail for eleven years. They protested, they did not break any law or endanger any lives. How about the quality of mercy in this case?

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

Each day we offer a sample of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

Turkey, Hurriyet: “Mixed Signals For Kurdish Initiative”
“Poll Shows Kurdish Initiative In Tune With Most
Turks And Kurds”
No comment.

US, NY Daily News: “Robber Cites Obama Health Plan As Ruse”
Obama is attempting to divert attention to health in order to
disguise his plans to set up death camps for Republicans.

UK, The Independent: “Funniest Football Chants”
Lose, Lose, tie, yea!

South Africa, Argus: “Police Connect Dots”
They wind up pointing to the police station.

Sweden, The Local: “Every Other Doctor In Sweden From Abroad”
See, it’s true immigrants take away jobs from Swedes!

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Doctor Error Legislation”
From now on, after the eighth death, you will be compelled to write a thousand times, ” I am sorry for killing people.”

UK, The Independent: “Testing Time For Liverpool”
If they fail, they become Bristol.

Nepal, Himalayan Times: “Cabinet Appoints New Faces”
The clown, the joker, and poker face.

Thailand, Bangkok Post: ‘Police Seek Warrants For Car Bombers”
Before or after the explosion?

Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gazette: “Mosques Get Tough On Stylish Worshippers”
To hell with them.

Culture Clash In Germany Leads To Death

This is definitely not a fairy tale about a young man and woman who saw one another, had something mystical occur, and then rushed madly into one another’s arms. It is more the story of two people whose parents wanted their children to marry and ignored any signs that neither was meant for the other. It is a story about migrants coming to a strange land who never quite grasp the nature of the new society. Above all, it is the story of a girl whose parents migrated to Germany where she was born and raised as a German girl of Kurdish heritage.

It is also the story of a German judge whose grasp of multicultural issues borders on the non-existent. As people under stress in an environment that is threatening weep or cry out their pain, the judge lets them know she is the boss and they do what she demands. “Do you think you can behave here as if you were in a Turkish bazaar? We won’t let you treat us with a lack of respect. Our proceedings are conducted in accordance with German law, and if you are in this courtroom you will abide by those laws. O else, you can go back to Turkey!”

The defendant is a 27 year-old Kurd identified only as Onder B. who was never a resident of Germany. On New Year’s Eve, 2008, he stabbed his German born wife 46 times as well as beating her with a billiard due. He decided at that point since she was now an ugly woman she would never again love him so he ran over her body several times.

His wife was German born and heavily influenced by her culture and experiences while he was born in Turkey. He wandered around for a few years before coming to Germany where he persuaded her parents to allow him to marry her. She was not particularly interested in him, but did not wish to create a conflict with parents so she reluctantly to marry a man she never loved. The result was she died.

Mujde was not the first Turkish born woman who was pushed into marriage. There are never easy solutions to these issues. One remaining tragedy is the continued presence on a bench of a judge who belongs in another occupation.

Iraq Terrorism And The Future

There has been a continual rise in bombings within Iraq as al-Qaeda seeks to create sectarian tension between Sunni and Shiites. The vast majority of bombings have been in Shiite areas which is no accident. Al-Qaeda has a plan, it is to make Shiites furious at Sunnis and thus reawaken religious conflict. Unfortunately, terrorism is aided by failure on the part of the Maliki government to reach out to Sunnis. Wednesday witnessed a series of bombings that resulted in over eighty deaths.

Where does that place American forces. US troops withdrew from urban areas and now stand on the sidelines as terrorism begins to grow. General Odierno has already offered to use American troops to assist in northern Iraq which has been the scene of growing conflict between the Shiite government and Kurdish leaders. Central to this growing terrorism is the need for the Maliki government to bring Sunnis into leadership positions and offer them a larger share of military positions. Secondly, there is need to recognize that Kurds want greater autonomy and will not allow Iraqis to control their area.

I wonder if Barack Obama still believes America will be out of Iraq by 2011.

Northern Iraq Today, Who Knows Where Later?

General Ray Odierno, top US leader in Iraq, indicated he might deploy American troops into the growing tension occurring in northern Iraq. Such a move would represent a departure from the agreement that has US troops withdrawing from active combat in urban areas. “I think they just all feel more comfortable if we’re there.” Kurdish and Iraq forces increasingly are confronting one another as the Iraq government seeks to impose its authority on Kurdistan while Kurds expect to continue enjoying a semi-autonomous position which enables Kurds to control the region.

For some reason, top level American officials never completely grasped that a dispute between Kurds and Iraqis was simply a matter of time. The area around Mosul is rich with oil and neither side is going to walk away from such a rich opportunity. Of course, al-Qaeda is doing its level best to exacerbate conflict.

Next Civil War In Iraq?

President Obama has emphasized the importance of restoring peace to Iraq in order to allow withdrawal of US forces from the country. However, while his policy focuses mainly on destroying the effectiveness of al-Qaeda and creating a powerful Iraq armed force, there is increasing evidence of a growing conflict brewing between Shiite Iraqis and the semi-official Kurdish state in northern parts of Iraq. The conflict is complicated by bomb attacks from the Sunni Iraqis who hate the Kurds as much as they dislike the Shiites. Bombings have led to the death of dozens of Kurds in recent weeks causing growing feeling on the part of their government to confront terrorism.

At the core of the growing dispute is ownership of oil resources in the region and power as to which group will govern Kurdistan. US General Ray Ordierno is trying to establish dialogue between the competing forces but there are too many vested interests to make for a simple resolution of the conflict. An important factor is the ability of the Maliki Shiite government to reach out to Sunnis in order to establish a united front against al-Qaeda terrorism.