April 13, 2006

Men With Guns

Recently I wrote about some mysterious armed military irregulars in the Kurdish city of Civre in Eastern Turkey. I didn't know who they were. To recap:

“Sean, do me a favor?” I said. “Can you hold my camera at the window and just start taking pictures? I don’t care of they’re photogenic. Just document what this place looks like.”

“Sure,” Sean said and rolled down his window. He snapped pictures of the town as I drove.

Sean looked off to the side. I looked straight ahead.

“Quick, put down the camera,” I said. “Don’t take a picture of those guys.”

Just up ahead in traffic a flatbed truck was loaded down with armed men who looked like guerillas. They wore keffiyehs on their heads. Only Arabs and Kurds wear keffiyehs. Turks never do, at least none that I’ve ever seen. These guys were heavily armed and sloppily dressed. They obviously were not Turkish military. I don’t know if they were PKK or what, but they sure looked like trouble.
A Kurdish journalist friend of mine in Erbil, Iraq sent me an email that might explain who they were.
You asked about these mysterious heavily armed gunmen in the truck in front of your car, wearing Keffiyehs.

I know who the hell are they.

They were what Kurds in general call Jash (or donkeys). These are very well paid Kurdish mercenaries that the Turkish government use against the PKK. Many Turkish soldiers aren’t well trained (in most cases don’t have the courage) to fight a guerrilla war in the uncontrollable Kurdish mountains, so to save the life of their soldiers, the Turks have hired, benefiting from their joblessness and poverty because all their villages and businesses have been destroyed, some local Kurds and paid them very well so that they fight the PKK on their behalf. So the Turkish government kinda used also the poverty policy then blame all on the PKK.

During the eighties of the past century Saddam’s regime did the same. Hired locals, most escapees from military service, and gave them money and arms to fight the Peshmergas. But after the 1991 uprising all of the Iraqi Kurdish Jash failed Saddam and helped the Peshmergas as they liberated the Iraqi Kurdistan towns and cities one after one.
Back to Iraq Part IV will be posted as soon as it's written.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at April 13, 2006 03:48 PM

Comments

yeah! jash is the worst thing in kurdish fight for love, dignity and freedom. this guys know the kurdistan mountains, the fighting area for our peshmergas.

biji michael

Posted by: diaqo at April 13, 2006 08:50 PM

How funny that your love and dignity understanding is similiar to the 9/11 attackers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4906572.stm

Everybody should know that PKK militants are terrorists and killing civilians.

Posted by: Ulus at April 14, 2006 03:53 AM

The highest elements of the Turkish military have been implicated in several bombings very recent against civilans. It is a big deal in Turkey.

This bombing by the Turkish state and then blaming it on minorities has turned out to be a common MO in Turkish ethnic cleanising. See this on the Istanbul Pogrom:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_Pogrom

A lot of what has been blamed on the PKK is a probably the work of both Turkish miltary themselves or the paramilitaries the govenrment uses in areas the Turkish military is afraid to enter.

Posted by: FL at April 14, 2006 02:50 PM

I think the EU should require Turkey to have a referendum in the Kurdish areas as to whether the Kurds wanted to remain part of Turkery or not.

Slovakia left the Czech Republic (empire?) in a velvet divorce; the Yugoslavia split was a lot worse.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Libertay Dad at April 14, 2006 04:23 PM

Oh I see, so now the PKK are innocents and it was all the Turkish military's doing for the past 30 years? Give me a break. The PKK has been correctly branded as a TERRORIST group by the United States government, the British government, and even by the EU. Sorry but I have no sympathy for a group the U.S. government labels as terrorists.

Posted by: M.P. at April 14, 2006 05:50 PM

While I don't doubt your Kurdish friend's word that the Turkish government employs 'Jash' I find his characterization of Turkish soldiers as cowardly a bit hard to swallow. Maybe he should ask the North Koreans and the Red Chinese about that...

Posted by: Al Superczynski at April 14, 2006 11:12 PM

To M.P.
The EU, the USA and the UK consider the PKK terrorist for the sake of some geopolitics, not because they are convinced that the PKK are terrorists.The recent bombings, includint that of the Hakkari Library, are all the work of the Turkish intellegence MIT. America and the EU are not stupid, they will not make more enemies for themselves by attacking the PKK, especially as they know that the Turkish army and intelegence did more terror against inocent Kurds. There must be a democratic and political solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey. If the Turks abided by the EU conditions, Kurds were given their rights, then the PKK will be disbanded and all efforts will be directed at rebuilding and developing a federal entity for Kurds in Turkey. Like Scotland and the UK. But if the Turkish army continued its pressue on Kurds, then Turkey will become like Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Kurds will finally and forever take their lands from the Turks.

Posted by: abdullah at April 15, 2006 03:54 AM

Abudllah Dizaye,

You cannot exonerate PKK by accusing Turkey with funny conspiracy theories. Armed terrorists of PKK aren't picking up flowers at the mountains. You cannot fool anybody. US and EU announced thousand times that PKK is terrorist organization. Now, you are blaming US and EU doing for their own geopolitical benefit. Your suspicion on US and EU's sincerity shows that your claims are lack of plausibility. When all the nations gather together to clean the global terrorism from the entire world, Al Queada, IRA, ETA, Hamas, Hisboullah and PKK will be wiped out for ever. In that day, we will set the world as a peaceful place to live.

Kurds in Turkey are members of the Turkish Republic. Both Turks and Kurds in Turkey are working hard together for the bright days where the terror is suppressed, where poverty is cured, where democratic rights reach EU standards. Democracy will gain the upper hand.

Peace for all.

Posted by: hakanbulut at April 15, 2006 05:46 AM

I wish people would stop talking about "curing" poverty. You cannot cure something that is a natural part of life.. that is, some people are going to fail at life whether for tragic reasons or through their own faults. Other then that, mostly a good post.

Posted by: Rommel at April 15, 2006 02:08 PM

To hakanbulut

No body can compare the PKK to Al-Qaeda terrorist organization. It is nationalist Turks like you who dream that the USA will leave all its international obligations and the stupid Mullahs of Iran then start chasing Marxist rebles in the Mountains of Southren Kurdistan (Iraqi Kurdistan). The aim of Al-qaeda is to kill Americans and fight the US. While the PKK, though I do NOT agree with their ideology, have made it a policy NOT to attack American interests and people. They know very well that US foreign policy changes as simply as the change of wind directions.

Those who are not collecting flowers in the mountains of North Kurdistan (east Anatolia) have raised their voices and made it clear to the world that they will NOT accept being treated like animals.

Remember that the origin of Turks is central Asia. Anatolia does not belong to Turks. It is for Greeks, Kurds and Armenians. You guys came to that region some hundred years ago and benefited from Islam for your own nationalist goals.

With peace or war, nicely or cruely, the Kurds will get their rights in Anatolia.

Meanwhile All Kurds thank the EU a lot for keeping their pressure on the Turks for cultural and democratic rights for the Kurds.

Again I say, the PKK is not a big deal. All of them can come down from the mountains and can become productive civilians if the Kurd in Anatolia got their democratic rights. We are in the 21 century, even animals will not accept being treated badly.

USA isn't a problem. PKK will not threat the USA. Yaser Arafat was also a terrorist in the past, he then became a dear guest in the White House. Hamas leaders will also show up in the White House shortly. And if Abdullah Ocalan wasnt released now, he will be another Nilson Mandela in the future, and then he will be out only to be the president of some country.

We will live and see insha'alla.

Posted by: Abdulla at April 15, 2006 02:16 PM

Sorry, but when the U.S. government labels a group as terrorists, I tend to believe them, not just chalk it up to some geopolitical conspiracy. And even the EU, who've rightly asked Turkey to improve the conditions for its Kurd minority, agree the PKK are terrorists. There is simply no excuse for PKK's bombings and murdering of innocent civilians for the past 30 years. I'm sure their victims' families do think PKK is a big deal.

And Anatolia not belonging to the Turks? They've been there over a 1000 years. That must mean the Americas belong to Native Americans since Columbus didn't come along till 1492. And comparing PKK terrorist Abdullah Ocalan to Nelson Mandela?? What a joke.

And you also think Hamas leaders will be showing up the White House shortly? Honestly I don't even know what to say to that.

Posted by: M.P. at April 15, 2006 04:41 PM

M.P.
Kurds are the enemies of no one. They just want to live in peace and prosperity like any other nation in teh world. Their persecuters will be taken care of by God and history. (Saddam, the Shah of Iran, Hawari Bu Midian of Algeria, and Ataturk).

We have long said that Kurds have no friends but the mountains, but it seems that this is changing. Things are changing in teh world.

Regarding using terrorist techniques in the war in Anatolia's Kurdistan, I invite you and every body else to read the U.S. State Department's human rights report on Turkey. And see your self if it was only the PKK who used terror in the war.
Read how the PKK and the Turkish government are treated equally in this report. You can also see read (as you believe everything from the US and the EU) about details of human rights breaches by teh Turkish authorities, this is the link and e-mail me if you want to disagree with the report:

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61680.htm

I personally respect all nations on the world. Everybody created by God deserves humanly treatement. No one can deny the existence of others. If this PKK, whom I disagree with their ideology and techniques, disappear, another PKK of another form and title will apear.

Again the best solution is democracy, the respect for human rights and a federal status to Kurds in Turkey.The example of teh United Kingdom is an ideal solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey. (Scots, Irish and Welsh are NOT English) but they are part of the United Kingdom. Turkey needs a solution like that.

Peace and Love to all...
Happy Easter to our Christian brothers...

Posted by: abdullah at April 15, 2006 10:46 PM

Nobody is arguing about the Kurdish people as a whole, and nobody is claiming the Turkish government has treated them like kings. They've made improvements under EU guidance, and hopefully that'll continue. But the issue raised here was whether PKK is a terrorist group or not. And they are, without a doubt.

There is no point in arguing to the contrary by trying to downplay their brutality.

Posted by: M.P. at April 16, 2006 01:03 AM

Some consider the PKK terrorist,Some not. Terrorist or not, unimportant.
The issue is that the PKK is one small part of a big probem of human rights in Turkey. The PKK is a Marxist organization and most Kurds are NOT Marxists or communists.
Democratic changes are urgently needed in Turkey. Then as I said before, these young guys can throw their arms and become productive members of the soceity.
Thanks to the EU who are preconditioning improvements in human and cultureal rights for minorities for their members. We hope Turkey will finally get the admition ticket.
PKK issue can be solved easily if Turkey became democratic.
Remember that for every action there is reaction, this is a scientific rule. If you pressure a baloon, it will expolde. The Kurds in Turkey simply exploded and the PKK was the result.
In the meanwhile I condemn all terrorist methods in solving democracy problems in Turkey, whether used by the PKK or the Turkish military.

A federal democracy is the solution. People must feel free to decide their fate, use their languages and name their children as they wish.

No one should go to jail because they named their children un-Turkish names. This will increase hatred to the Turkish government and will increase support for the PKK. Something the Turkish government should work to aviod.

Regards,
Abdulla - somewhere in Anatolia

Posted by: abdulla at April 16, 2006 04:31 AM

We'll have to agree to disagree. I think the presence of the terrorist PKK is very important, and tragic. Just as the Turkish government's acts of repressing minorities (though I think they recently changed many old laws) may increase Kurdish hate for the government, the converse is also true. PKK's actions of bombing and murdering innocent Turks may also decrease the Turkish public's support and sympathy for the Kurds.

It goes both ways. You can't go bombing buildings and murdering innocent people in a country for decades without the public getting angry and resentful. But as I said earlier, I hope the government will continue to change any unfair laws and invest more in the Kurdish areas of the country. Best of luck to you.

Posted by: M.P. at April 16, 2006 11:02 AM

I doubt all the terrorist bombings are the act of the PKK. Because they are waiting for a political solution in Turkey. Do not forget that in Turkey there are ultra leftist and Islamis groups who do not hesitate to shed blood.And they did a lot of terrorist attacks against civilians in Westren Anatolia. Add to that, evidence has appeard from the Hakkari Library that the Turkish Intellegence service has been involved in conspiracies to bomb civilian targets and then blame it on the PKK. See this link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4430022.stm

So, is there terror in Turkey? Yes.
Are all the terrorists from PKK? No one knows, and I doubt it...

Posted by: Abdullah at April 16, 2006 11:13 PM

I know that PKK and other Kurdish terrorist groups have not committed every single terrorist act in Turkey - (the 2003 Istanbul bombings were due to Al Qaeda) - but they've been responsible for most of them since the late 70's.

Just today, there was another bombing in Istanbul that injured 31 people. The police say Kurdish seperatists were probably responsible. http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2006/04/16/istanbul-060416.html

I just don't think these terrorist acts help the Kurdish cause in Turkey at all - in fact, they damage it. As for the Hakkari incident, sounds like the Prime Minister is going to have a full investigation, so hopefully they will get to the bottom of it.

Posted by: M.P. at April 17, 2006 02:41 AM

I found Al's coments on Turkish soldiers to be uniformed. Examples from the Koran war are meaningless. Yes, the Turkish forces in Korea suffered a casualty rate of 58%. BUT for example the Greek forces sent to Korea suffered an equivelent casualty rate of 55%. That is the point, both forces were used at the very front lines, and got accordingly bloodied in good part because they were used as propaganda pawns in cold war.

Both the small number of Turkish and Greek troops were brave. But they were hand picked elite troops from their respective countries and intentially exposed to the worst fighting. Niether represented their militaries in a broad sense.

Today's Turkish military is a shadow of its past, which was already not comparable to a few hand picked troops sent to Korea.

In terms of bombings by the Turkish military blamed on the Kurds, this is hardly a "conspiracy theory," since it has happened on several occassions.

Posted by: FL at April 17, 2006 04:46 AM

As a Kurd, and I am %100 sure that I represent most of my cousins' viewpoint: I totally condemn all terrorist attacks every where in the world. We kurds have been the victim of terror for decades, at the hands of criminals like Ataturk, Hafiz Assad, to Saddam to the shadow terrorists who blame all destruction on Kurds to demonize them in the world.

Yes, violence will not serve any cause anywhere in the world. But as I said before that it is a scientific rule, for every action there is reaction.

Those who throw flowers at Kurds, will for sure get flowers back.

But those who fire bullets at Kurds, what do you think they will get in return? flowers? NO
They will get the same.

Kurds are simply reacting not acting.
That dosen't mean that I sanction PKK's behavior. They are Marxists and I hate Marxists. But I swear to God a little democracy, cultural and political rights for Kurds in Turkey will ensure the peaceful end of the PKK for ever.

I am optimistic. My contacts in EU countries, who have "good contacts" as well told me that in the 21st century Europe/EU, no one accepts members who treat minorities like animals.

Thanks EU
Thanks EU
Thanks EU

Posted by: abdullah at April 17, 2006 11:20 PM

I'm not so sure that PKK will stop terrorism even as Kurds' situation in Turkey continues to improve. It seems most of PKK wants eastern Turkey to be a part of a new country of Kurdistan. So I have doubts that increased rights and investment in Kurdish areas will stop PKK from bombing and murdering people.

As long as as the Kurdish areas officialy remain a part of Turkey, I fear that PKK terrorist attacks will continue. I hope I'm wrong on that. We'll see what happens as Turkey further progresses toward EU membership.

But if PKK's terrorism continues, they will only continue making the situation worse, not helping it.

Posted by: M.P. at April 18, 2006 04:03 AM

Abdullah, What you are doing is verbosity. Your thoughts are subjective, so avoid using your thoughts for general. Every action resulting with reaction, doesn't make Reaction legal. In that case, it means that you should support resistance movement against US in Iraq. You really don't know what you are saying.

First of all, make up your mind if your position is making democratic demands respectful to Turkish borders or contirary to be at the opposite side who declares war to Turkey with calling a territory of Turkey as Kurdistan. You cannot be at both sides of the river.

Posted by: hakanbulut at April 18, 2006 06:04 AM

Hakan and M.P.
greetings and I appreciate your nationalism and love for "your part" of Anatolia.
Kurds love Turkey's joining the EU more than Turks themselves.
Because the EU members are not stupid. If Turkey was a democratic country like the rest of the European members, your country would have become a full member many years ago.
So they do not admit Turkey for simple reasons. It is not only religion, but because Turkey is (with respect to the good Turks, who are the majority in Anatolia) a dictatorship run by a backward military junta who STILL THINK that Attaturk is alive and that the time is the 1920s.

Please understand that if you want to defeat the PKK you should ask the question why the PKK emerged in the first place. No human being wants to be killed, and for sure no normal person wants to kill as well. BUT:

NO ONE ACCEOTS TO BE TREATED LIKE AN ANIMAL.

Yes, many reactions are illigal but also pressure results in explosion, this is what science is saying. And this is what happened in Eastren Anatolia.

There is no resistence in Iraq. There is terrorism, civilian and children killing and Al-Qaeda terrorists dealing with old problems between itself and the US.

Turkish territory?
You must have seen what happened in East Timor, Kosovo and more importantly in Eritrea.

Please be realistic. If you want to keep your "Turkey" united and Anatolia's Kurds be loyal to Ankara, you MUST grant political, cultural and territorial rights to the Kurds.

This is the ONLY way to deal with the Kurdish issue in Anatolia and this will ensure a smooth admitiom to the EU. Something Kurds, before Turks, want.

Otherwise, Kurdish nationalism is on the rise and those who were against the PKK might start to think twice this time, especially after the notorious library bombing.

However,
As I said before, and you both hinted. The
cultural and political rights for Kurds are are looming and will become a reality in Anatolia, insha'allah.

And then your Turkey wiill become stable and
might earn a reputation as a democratic country.

See how the United Kingdom is formed. The people of Scotland, Wales and Ireland have never said they were English, but they feel that staying within the UK is in their interest.

The same for you guys. Kurds are NOT Turks.

regards

Posted by: abdulla at April 18, 2006 11:43 PM

Ok, you're definitely exaggerating now. "A dictatorship run by a backward military junta"? Come on. There are dictatorships in this world - but Turkey is definitely not one of them. It's a democracy, it has a democratically elected Parliment, a Prime Minister, a President - and it's definitely the most democratic of all Muslim nations.

The military USED to influence government affairs, but as EU talks progressed the past few years, EU wanted the complete seperation of military officials from the government. The military agreed, as most of them support Turkey's entrance into EU.

Kurds aren't Turks? Really, you don't say. Provided they are treated equally as the Turks and other ethnic minorities, that doesn't mean that they can't be a part of Turkey. A country does not need to be ethically pure to exist.

And finally, I'm an American, though having visited Turkey several times, I'm quite familar with its culture and politics.

Posted by: M.P. at April 19, 2006 12:03 PM

Oh Lucky Turks...
Just dont understand untill when Americans like you defend these ungrateful anti-american Turks. I don't know if you were a liberal or conservative, but if you were a conservative then you should remember how the Turkish government banned the Americans from using the areas in Northren Kurdistan (Anatolia's Kurdistan)to launch their Iraq liberation war. They put the USA in a difficult situation.
While the people of Iraqi Kurdistan (though not a country YET) put as mush as 100,000 gallant professional peshmergas at the service of the Americans during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

If you were an American libral, then you are living in another world very far from reality.

WOW, Turkey is now a democracy, as you say. Can an MP say he/she is a Kurd in the Turkish Parliment?
Can a Kurd name his children Kurdish names?

Please remember that as a Kurd, I totally disagree with PKK's policies. And I personally hate them for reasons I know.

But, I am sure that if any American, by any chance, fell in their hands, they would treat him/her (or any American or Westrener) with respect and would facilitate thier transfer to a safe place from where they can travel home.

(I know this from a Spanish journalist who went into Iraq illigally from Turkey at the begining of Operation Iraqi Freedom). He told me he was stopped by the PKK and treated very well and showed him the way how to go to Iraq).

BUT, what if an American or Westrener falls into the hands of Al-Qaeda terrorists? (you have ssen many videos over the internet what is happening to them)

Yet, our American friends treat all "terrorists" the same.

Anyway, it is a changing world. Yasser Arafat was also a terrorist in the PAST.

Regards to all,
Kurds are enemies of NO one.

Peace and Love to all...

Posted by: abdulla at April 20, 2006 05:24 AM

I am aware of the situation regarding the Northern Iraqi border and U.S. troops. It was unfortunately EU countries like France that put a lot of pressure on Turkey to reject the U.S. wishes, basically threathening to make Turkey's EU entrace a lot more difficult if they helped the U.S. Despite that, Turkey still offered 6,000 troops in Iraq to help the U.S., but it was the Iraqi Council who rejected that idea.

Yes, Turkey is a democracy. By that I mean that its leaders are elected democratically, by the people. There are no dictators, no rigged elections, no kings, etc. It's also one of the few Muslim countries that is secular - doesn't use Islamic law, or Sharia. Now, democracy does not always guarantee that all the laws in a country are going to be fair and equal to minorities. And I think that is what needs to further improve in Turkey, and I hope that it will continue to as EU talks progress.

All the times I've been to Turkey, I've been treated very graciously and warmly by my hosts and by the people in general. I haven't met a Kurd personally, but I'm sure they would also be kind to me. But even if PKK treats me well, that's not going to make me like them any better. They're still terrorists, even if they aren't personally terrorizing me.

Posted by: M.P. at April 20, 2006 08:33 AM

"They're still terrorists, even if they aren't personally terrorizing me".

I wish I have never read this...

Well, then you are following the wind in West Anatolia. You judge from a far place, not aware about the situation of millions of Kurds in Northren Kurdistan. You are even not ready to understand the fact that the PKK came into existence as the result of the pressure and injustice that the Kurds in Northren Kurdistan were subjected to by the backward nationalist military leaders of Westren Anatolia.

You think that the PKK popped up because its members simply wanted to live a harsh life in the mountains and in many cases die in the fightings. No one wants to lead such a life.

Even if there was no PKK there would have been another national liberation movement under another title.

For your information it was the Iraqi Kurds who rejected the Turkish military intervention in Iraq in 2003. People in the Iraqi Kurdistan cities demonstrated and burned the Turkish flags. Then the US disregarded Turkey in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Turkes wanted to come and make problems for for Iraqi Kurds. Thousands of peoplel and Peshmerge got ready to turn Kurdistan to hell under the feet of Turks. Then they knew how dangerous it will be when Turkish army enters Iraqi Kurdistan.

I am surprised at how you defend the Turks. I know you enjoied being in Anatolia, Constantipole (not Istanbul) is gorgeous. You must have met many Kurds, but they were afraid to tell you about their origins. I suggest you turn your focus to another issue, as your suggestions indicate that you know NOTHING about the Kurds and their struggle for freedom.

I don't know how old are you. But I wish you will live to see the day when Anatolia joins the EU and abides by its commitments, especially in matters of human rights and me minority justice.

As an American, I am not surprised how you do not care about the rights of minorities. Because you might not be aware as well of the problems of your Native Americans or the African Americans and the history of segregation. Why would you care about the Kurds in Eastren Anatolia.

Anyway, it is two ways in front of the Anatolian Turks. Either full and real democracy within the EU, or they should prepare themselves to the fact of how Eritrea got independent.

No friends but the mountains...

With peace or otherwise, Kurds in Anatolia will get their cultural and political rights... if not their 1/3 of Anatolia's territories.

greetings to our EU friends, who know who the Turks really are...

I wish peace to all, and pray that the day comes when terrorism is never used by states and groups alike.

Amen...

Posted by: abdulla at April 20, 2006 01:46 PM

A message from a Kurd somewhere in the world...

We are NOT proud of being part of what is known as Turkey.

We are NOT proud of being part of Iraq.

We are NOT proud of being part of Iran and Syria.

They have taken our lands...and Kurds are gonna get back their rights (or lands) sooner or later...

History is moving fast...There are NO USSR anymore, Saddam is in prison, Kosovo is on the way to become fully independent....

borders are NO holly things anymore...

Note: I respect all views, I hate no body and again I denounce all sorts of terrorism, whether used by States (see State Departmnet 2005 report on human rights in so called Turkey), or by groups, including the Marxist PKK and Al-Qaeda terrorists...

regards

Posted by: Abdulla at April 20, 2006 01:59 PM

Why do you have to resort to insults just because you don't agree with my views on PKK? I know the situation in Turkey regarding the Kurds pretty well, thank you, so you don't have to get condescending.

How many times have I written above that I hope the situation of the Kurds in Turkey would continue to improve? How many times did I refer to unfair laws regarding the Kurds, and that I hope they change? How many times did I say I hope Turkey makes it in to the EU?

Yet you seem to disregard all that, and get upset just because I don't like PKK. I understand why PKK came into existence. That does NOT mean I excuse their behavior. They are terrorists, plain and simple. But just because the PKK are terrorists, doesn't mean I have anything agains the Kurds in general. They should have equal rights within Turkey, and I hope they will as EU talks progress. I made that very clear in my posts above.

I thought we were having a civil discussion. But now you're just throwing insults, saying that since I'm an American, I wouldn't care about minority rights. That's going too far.

Posted by: M.P. at April 20, 2006 11:54 PM

And for many times I am telling you that I denounce and condemn any act of violence and terrorism by the PKK and the Turkish military, as explained also in the State Department Human rights report on Turkey 2005.

I do not mean to insult anybody. But when you knock at somebody’s door, you must expect an answer. My apologies, I do not mean to hurt anybody’s feelings., regardless of race and nationality. Please do NOT put me in the situation of somebody who defends the PKK. I do NOT defend the PKK. I am discussing the issue with you. I said many many times that the PKK is not doing the Greater Cause of Kurds any good.

I have no love or sympathy for any Marxist group. And for sure they do not represent over 20 million Kurds in Anatolia.

But see, since you are talking about civil discussion, so far there is no international definition for terrorism. The EU has its own criteria for calling people terrorists and the US has its own different ones. As for the EU, I think they understand more about the background of the Kurdish issue in Turkey than the Americans. And that is why they precondition more reforms in Turkey before they could join the EU club. Many many thanks to the EU, who know very well who the Turks are and what is their human rights record looks like.

I think that Al-Qaeda is the real terrorist, who attacked you on September 11 and killed about 3000 in a few hours. They kill innocent Iraqis, they fight the gallant American GIs who came to help post-dictatorship Iraq stand on its feet. Al-Qaeda attack Americans in many countries of the world.
While the PKK has never posed a threat to the USA. They even didn’t threat any other country. They have issues with the Turkish military and they use the same language that the Turkish military is using with them. (again that is what is happening, I am not defending them).

Finally, I hope the Turkish Government would expedite their reforms and establish a real democracy. Kurds in East Anatolia are threatened during elections, they don’t feel free to vote for the party they want. Please understand that the Turkish policy is not good, unfair, discriminatory and racist toward Kurds and Armenians. This is why the PKK lasted this far. Because they are part of a big problem that hasn’t been solved yet.

I discussed the PKK issue with many friends of mine, Kurds, Turks (living abroad), Europeans and Americans. All of us seem to have come the logical conclusion that political and cultural rights for Anatolia ‘s Kurds will ensure solving the PKK issue. No human being is ready to live and fight in the mountains forever.

A final note for you MP and research what I am telling you:
Kurds are the ONLY true friends of Americans in the Middle East. The Iraqi experience has proved that.

Posted by: Abdulla at April 21, 2006 07:23 AM

There's probably not much use in rehashing our opinions about the PKK. We have some different thoughts on them, and that's fine, we can agree to disagree. As I said earlier, I don't have any doubts that they're a terrorist group, as the U.S., U.K, and EU all agree on that. I can't excuse the murdering of innocent people and blowing up sidewalk cafes.

As for whether PKK will stop when Kurds' situation in Turkey gets better - again, I can't be certain, but I hope so. Seems to me some of them won't stop until they annex eastern Turkey into a new country of Kurdistan. So we'll have to see what the future holds.

My wish is that Turkey will enter the EU in 2015 in one piece, with full rights for the Kurds and with all Kurdish terrorism having stopped for good. Let's hope that happens.

Posted by: M.P. at April 22, 2006 05:08 AM

"Kurdish terrorism",!!!??????? oh, unlucky Kurds.

Yes, there have been terrorist, cowardly and "mysterious" attacks against civilians targets in several cities of Anatolia. I personnaly consider those who attack sidewalk cafes and civilians as animals not only terrorists. Remember, the Hakkari bookstore bombing was also one example of those mysterious and cowardly attacks against civilian and "educational" targets.
Read the link below again and use your imagination.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4430022.stm

The Turks' PM promised full investigation?
ahahahahahahahahahahahahah. How many "Kurds" were arrested after the past terrorist bombings?
None, because Kurds didn't do them, Kurds ARE the victims of terrorism.

Do both of us a favor and let us stop this discussion. And let us pray to God so that He gives us more years in life and see when Anatolia will become part of the EU.

God damn all Marxist groups of the world, on top of them the PKK.

Posted by: Abdulla at April 22, 2006 01:47 PM

Considering that PKK is a Kurdish party, I think the term 'Kurdish terrorism' is appropriate. Obviously it's not referring to ALL Kurds, many of whom don't support the PKK - it's referring to PKK and a few other Kurdish seperatist groups. There's no question these groups committed many terrorist acts over the past few decades - you can't blame them all on the military, perhaps with the exception of a few like Hakkari.

And what I'm saying is that I hope all the terrorist activities by these groups will stop, alongside full rights for the Kurdish minority and Turkey's admission into the EU. I don't think what I'm saying is very hard to understand. Anyway, as I said earlier, good luck to you.

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