Cradle of Civilization

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Archive for the ‘Kurdistan’ Category

PKK – Turkey

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 11, 2013

Turkish planes pound Kurdish villages in Iraq

Destroyed Kurdish village near Lice, Turkey, 2006 From the series “Forbidden people”

“Lice is everywhere, resistance is everywhere!”

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A couple of hours south of the marinas of Istanbul in the middle of the Sea of Marmara sits Imrali island, a no-go area sealed off by the Turkish state. The island is Turkey’s most high-security prison – its the equivalent of Alcatraz or Robben Island in South Africa – adapted to incarcerate one man, Abdullah Öcalan, the founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) – an armed group of Kurdish fighters engaged in an insurrection against the Turkish state for 30 years.

Public enemy No 1 to the Turks, lionised by the Kurds, Öcalan has been demonised by Ankara for most of the 14 years he has been in solitary confinement on the island. The prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, even said recently he would have liked to have seen Öcalan executed.

Timeline of the Kurdish–Turkish conflict

Kurdish villages depopulated by Turkey

Kurds Are Finally Heard: Turkey Burned Our Villages

Syrian Arab Village Welcomes Kurdish Fighters

Kurdish–Turkish conflict

Mines and Abandoned Explosives Haunt Kurdish Villagers in Turkey

Turkey’s Village Guard System

Kurdish Village Guards Face Uncertain Future

Kurds in Turkey

Kurdish guards fear for jobs and lives when Turkey and PKK make peace

Turkey Stands With al-Qaeda Against the Kurds

Turkey Kurds: PKK chief Ocalan calls for ceasefire

Solidarity growing among Turkish protesters

Distortions and Divisions: A Letter from Turkey

Kurds Are Finally Heard: Turkey Burned Our Villages

The climate between the Turks and Kurds has changed sharply in recent months, as the country’s leaders have eagerly pushed for entry into the European Union. At the insistence of the Union, the Turkish government has enacted measures to expand the rights of its 14 million Kurds, who have long been denied the legal and cultural freedoms enjoyed by other Turkish citizens.

Since last year, the Turkish Parliament has passed laws allowing Kurdish parents to give their children Kurdish names, Kurdish teachers to hold classes on the Kurdish language, and Kurdish broadcasters to set up their own television station. Earlier this year, the government lifted emergency rule in the areas where it remained in the southeastern part of the country.

Human rights groups here say Turkish security forces destroyed as many as 4,000 villages and hamlets and displaced hundreds of thousands of Kurds. The villages were burned during the ferocious war between the Turkish government and Kurdish rebels. More than 30,000 people died.

But until last week, according to Kurdish lawyers, the scorched-earth practices of the Turkish government were too sensitive a topic to speak about in Turkey itself. Claiming that Turkish forces had burned a Kurdish village, they said, was often tantamount to a death sentence.

Kurdish people who filed claims for their burned homes often disappeared, said Selhattin Demirtas, the chairman of the Human Rights Association of Diyarbakir, as did, sometimes, the lawyers themselves.

Nusret Miroglu, the governor of Diyarbakir, denied the accusations. ”The Turkish army does not burn villages — this is a lie,” he said ”We are a country of laws.”

”It is quite possible,” Governor Miroglu continued, ”that the terrorists burned this village.” He was referring to Kurdish rebels.

One after another, the villagers stepped forward in their tattered clothes, took the courtroom oath and spoke of a previously unutterable crimes.

One of the first was Emine Toprak, an elderly Kurdish woman whose cracked and withered face hinted at her story to come.

”I was sitting in the house with my children, and they came and said we are going to burn your house, and so we got out,” Ms. Toprak told a row of silk-robbed Turkish judges seated before her.

”Who burned your village?” one of the Turkish judges asked.

”The government forces,” Ms. Toprak answered.

So it was in a third-floor Turkish courtroom last month that a handful of Kurdish villagers broke the silence that has prevailed in this country over what human rights groups here say was one of the most violent secrets of the 1990’s: the systematic campaign by Turkish security forces to burn down villages of Kurds suspected of harboring separatist guerrillas.

Turkish policy toward the Kurds has since become conciliatory. But the courtroom scene was a powerful reminder of how much bad history hangs over Turkish plans — initially encouraged by the Bush administration — to deploy troops in Iraq, where four to five million Kurds live in the northern part of the country.

The changing relationship between the Turkish government and its Kurdish subjects was evident in the very fact that the court hearings took place. ”What you saw today could never have happened four years ago,” Meral Bestas, a Kurdish lawyer, said after last week’s court hearing. ”People were too afraid.”

But the new Turkish policy extends only so far. Despite the testimony of 20 villagers, each of whom told much the same story, the judge in the case, Mithat Ozcakmaktasi, ruled that more time was needed for a verdict.

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Soldat: Vi begik forbrydelser. Bagefter fik vi soldater, der kunne tale kurdisk, iklædt lokalt tøj og fik dem til at fortælle pressen, at PKK stod bag forbrydelserne.

En tidligere tyrkisk soldat fortæller en statslig anklager, at han var del af en militærenhed, som nedbrændte 3000 landsbyer i Diyarbekir.

“Det tilfaldt vores enhed at nedbrænde landsbyer. I vores tidsperiode brændte vi 3000 landsbyer ned i distrikterne Hazro, Lice, Hani og Kulp.”

Soldaten, der ønsker at være anonym af sikkerhedshensyn, fortæller endvidere til avisen Taraf, at nedbrændingerne foregik så hurtigt, at folk knap nok fik tid til at pakke deres ting.

”Vi kontrollerede heller ikke om der var dyre i deres stalde, inden vi satte ild til det.”

Efterfølgende blev soldater i enheden, som kunne kurdisk, iklædt traditionelt og lokalt kurdisk tøj og udtalte foran international presse: ”PKK har nedbrændt Lice”.

Den tyrkiske hær menes at have nedbrændt ca. 3500 landsbyer i jagten på PKK. Det fordrev op til tre millioner kurdere fra deres hjem.

Tidligere har Amnesty International dokumenteret, at flere hændelser, som blev tilskrevet PKK, i virkeligheden var begået af den tyrkiske stat selv.

Tyrkisk soldat: Vi nedbrændte landsbyer og gav bagefter PKK skylden

Posted in Kurdistan | Leave a Comment »

Armenian-Kurdish Alliance (AKA)

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 10, 2013

Armenians, Kurds, Azerbaijanis and Turks have a long history together. It is not even easy to tell who is who.

Through genetic testing it has been found that Turks and Armenians are the two people in the world who share most, but that also Kurds belong to the same genetic source.

There are many indications in other words, that the Armenians, who have the longest stay in the area, along with Kurds and Greeks were turkified by nomads from the east through dominance and marriage.

The Ottoman elite exploited the religious, cultural, economic and political differences between Turks and Armenians and the Turks began to see Armenians as strangers among them.

This is because they felt they had greater control over the “Turks” than of the learned elite. The result was genocide, population movements and oppression.

Much injustice has been done up through the years, but we now live in a modern age, where we will hopefully avoid more such tragedies.

It is now time to create the world we want. A world where you is not judged and characterized or discriminated because of ethnicity or religion, but is taken for who you are and what you do.

Anyway, there are many challenges we face, of whom the politics currently provided us by our politicians maybe is one of the largest.

While the Armenian population has been decimated because of purges and genocide, the Kurds is the world’s biggest population without a own country.

Turks and Azerbaijanis for their part suffer from their politicians disrespect for human rights, as well as towards the Kurds and Armenians. But what we need is peace and reconciliation – not more of what has characterized the relationship between our people before.

To achieve this it is important that we work together and show that we can live together across ethnicity and religion, but also across the artificial national borders that have been created between our people.

Article 301 of the Turkish law book states “The person who publicly criticizes the Turkish nation, the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish parliament, the Turkish government and the legislature shall be punished with imprisonment ranging from six months to two years.”

This stops all forms of criticism, has kept people ignorant of what is happening and has prevented Turkish recognition of the genocide of the Armenian genocide, whom the Turkish government still denies have taken place.

This Facebook group has been set up so that we again can come together, discuss the policy and share news about what is happening in our part of the world.

This is a group for us who want a society and a culture built on justice, equality, solidarity, freedom, sustainability and peace – and no racist attitudes or opinions will be tolerated.

Posted in Anatolia, Armenia, Kurdistan | Leave a Comment »

 
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