Variant issue 27    [email protected]    back to issue list


With the US government’s stated aim of vigorously assisting the Turkish state with its ‘operations’ that are aimed at ‘hunting down’ and ‘eradicating’ the ‘rebel’ Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), many human rights organisations, concerned Kurdish and Turkish civilians, peace campaigners and public interest groups are justifiably concerned that the genocidal and ‘psychological warfare’ linked ‘policies and practices of the recent past’ may all too chillingly reappear once again in the region.
2 It is important to appreciate why there is concern about a resurgence of ‘intensive’ US backed support for the Turkish state’s ‘War on Terror’. Chomsky observes that the last time such support was provided - during the 1990’s - “there was no ‘looking away’ in the case of Turkey and the Kurds: Washington ‘looked right there’, as did its allies, saw what was happening, and acted decisively to intensify the atrocities” against Kurds, “particularly during the Clinton years. The US did not ‘fail to protect the Kurds’ or ‘tolerate’ the abuses they suffered” during the Turkish state’s ‘War on Terror’ “anymore than Russia ‘fails to protect’ the people of Grozny or ‘tolerates’ their suffering. The new generation” of ‘humanitarian’ western leaders “drew the line by consciously putting as many guns as possible into the hands of the killers and torturers - not just guns, but jet planes, tanks, helicopter gunships, all the most advanced instruments of terror - sometimes in secret, because arms were sent in violation of congressional legislation. At no point was there any defensive purpose, nor any relation to the Cold War … In the case of the Kurds” in Turkey, “helping them would interfere with US power interests. Accordingly, we cannot help them but must rather join in perpetrating atrocities against them”.3

The US Backed ‘Counter-Terrorism/Counter-Guerrilla’ Offensive of the 1990’s.

During this major US backed Turkish ‘counter-terrorism/counter-guerrilla’ offensive, supposedly directed only against ‘the terrorist PKK organisation’
4 and its ‘militant members’, thousands of Kurdish civilians were tortured and extra-judicially executed by state linked paramilitary forces. Many women were subjected to rape by Turkish state linked forces. “Turkish counter-guerrillas would commit crimes and blame them on opposition [i.e. ‘terrorist’] groups”5 in what are known as ‘false flag’ operations. “Often, they disguised themselves as PKK guerrillas and went to villages to torment and kill people, burning houses, crops and animals, then blaming it on the PKK”.6 These ‘false flag’ ‘operations’, one should note, were all in keeping with the type of advice that had been imparted from US ‘training manuals’ that the Turkish state had been provided with for years: “Among the instruction manuals was also the notorious classified Field Manual 30-31 together with its appendices FM30-31A and FM30-31B written by US terrorism experts of the Pentagon secret service Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) … On some 140 pages the manual offers, in non-euphemistic clear-cut language, advice for activities in the fields of sabotage, bombing, killing, torture, terror and fake elections. As maybe its most sensitive advice, FM 30-31 instructs … secret soldiers to carry out acts of violence in times of peace and then blame them on the Communist enemy in order to create a situation of fear and alertness”.7

Reports in The Turkish Daily News (13 July 1994), furthermore, have confirmed that Turkish military officials, commanders and Chiefs of Staff continued to be briefed, advised and even awarded ‘Legion of Merit’ medals by US Pentagon staff,
8 high ranking members of the US armed forces and psychological warfare organisations including the US Army ‘Special Operations Command’ (Concerning the ‘Legion of Merit’ medal, this is, indeed, an ‘honour’ of sorts - Colonel George S. Patton III and notorious de facto psychological warfare operational death squad leaders such as General Alvarez of Honduras have also been bestowed with such ‘illustrious’ medals).9 Between 3-5 million Kurds were forcibly displaced, Kurdish forests were deliberately set alight and between 3,500-4,000 villages and hamlets were evacuated and bombed, and wholly or partially destroyed in the Kurdish ‘south east’ by Turkish state forces, creating devastation on a horrific scale.

Bill Hartung, from the World Policy Institute, confirmed that he could “‘think of no instance since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 … where American weaponry has been put to this concentrated a use’ … 75 percent of the Turkish arsenal was made in the United States, according to [many] estimates … In 1992 and 1993 the Pentagon quietly facilitated a mammoth military shipment to Turkey at no cost. According to the UN arms registry, the U.S. government turned over 1,509 tanks, 54 fighter planes, and 28 heavily armed attack helicopters to Turkey. The weapons were slated for reduction after the Cold War under a 1990 treaty on conventional forces in Europe. Instead of scrapping them, the United States simply gave them away. There was no congressional oversight or public debate about the transfer, nor was there much question about the purpose of the unprecedented arms shipment. As Jane's Defence Weekly revealed as early as 1993, ‘a high proportion of defense equipment supplied to Turkey is being used in operations against the PKK’ … Military assistance to Turkey has even included the use of American soldiers … Hartung estimates US taxpayers … paid ‘tens of millions of dollars’ to train Turkish forces to fight the Kurds”.

Atrocities were also committed by the Turkish state against Kurdish civilians during ‘anti-terrorism, anti-PKK inspired incursions’ into the US-UK ‘protected safe haven’ in northern Iraq during this period, without formal complaints being issued by the US-UK governments (Indeed, President Clinton is known to have given permission for a major Turkish incursion into northern Iraq in 1995). Hartung confirms that, with Clinton’s ‘clearance’ of the 1995 incursion, “Turkish troops did plenty of things in Northern Iraq, including a number of documented cases of killings and displacement of Kurdish civilians”.
11 According to John Pilger: “In 1995 and 1997, as many as 50,000 Turkish troops, backed by tanks and fighter aircraft, occupied what the West called ‘Kurdish safe havens’. They terrorised Kurdish villages and murdered civilians. In December 2000, they were back, committing the atrocities that the Turkish military commits with immunity against its own Kurdish population”.12 As John Deere noted with concern in 2000: “Were this Kosovo, we would be hearing words like ‘genocide’ and ‘ethnic cleansing.’ You see, to kill Kurds”, in his opinion, in Turkey and northern Iraq, “all you need is the proper hunting license. In this case that license is a perk of NATO membership”.13

According to Chalmers Johnson, we need to be aware that, “in 1991, Congress … passed a law … authorising something called the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) program. This allowed the Department of Defence to send [US] special operations forces on overseas exercises with military units of other countries … The various [US] special forces … interpreted this law as an informal invitation to train foreign military forces in numerous lethal skills … Stripped of its euphemistic language”, this ‘Foreign Internal Defence’ (FID) programme “amount[ed] to little more than instruction in state terrorism”.14 Ted Galen Carpenter has revealed that, “in 1997, the US European Command’s special operations branch”, as part of this programme, “conducted joint training exercises with Turkey’s Mountain Commandos, a unit whose principal mission is to eliminate Kurdish guerrillas. That unit” had, however, in its ‘War on Terror’, actually “been responsible for atrocities against Kurdish civilians and the razing of Kurdish villages”.15 An article in describes the manner in which “the Washington Post ran a three part series titled, ‘Free of Oversight, U.S. Military Trains Foreign Troops’. It said, a little known 1991 law, Section 2011 of Title 10 of the U.S. code, ha[d] allowed the military to send special operations forces on overseas exercises on the condition that the primary purpose [wa]s to train US soldiers. It added, as a result of this law, Pentagon has established ties with over 110 countries in the world. Dana Priest, the author of the series, cited the trip of an American SEAL team to Turkey who were training the Turkish Mountain Commandos, to show the lack of concern on the part of civilian authority in this country over the misuse of US forces and their skills. According to the declassified after-action report, the purpose of a 1997 trip was noted as, ‘to foster friendships and establish a good working relationship ... to ascertain the future needs of the Turks ...’. The report goes on to say, the SEALS ‘conducted a presentation on weapons, night vision, laser designation and sniper operations. We then allowed the Turks to operate all of these systems. It was a very productive day’. It adds, ‘The Turks ... admired the physical stamina and motivation of the SEAL element. We in turn were impressed with their capabilities and incredible endurance’.

“What were these incredible capabilities of the Turkish commandos sharpened as they were by the members of the SEAL teams that according to the Washington Post may still be training these Turkish soldiers? A while back, The European newspaper ran some of their photographed work in its front page, with a warning: pictures that will shock the world. Members of the same Turkish Mountain Commandos had posed for camera with the decapitated heads of the Kurdish guerrillas they had hunted in their war against the Kurds … One has to wonder if the SEAL team was taken to the mountains of Kurdistan to do or witness some of the beheading of the Kurdish guerrillas … I do know [that] … to train those who are beheading the Kurds is a crime against humanity. In other words, by these [‘training’] acts alone, the United States [wa]s in violation of international humanitarian law”.16

The decision to ‘train’ alongside Turkey’s mountain commandos in 1997, we should note, was also made two years after Human Rights Watch had publicly disclosed that “two special Commando Brigades, Bolu and Kayseri, [we]re heavily involved in counterinsurgency operations. Unlike the regular Turkish Army forces, the Bolu and Kayseri [mountain commando] units [we]re more highly trained and [we]re expected to engage in closer contact with PKK fighters and with civilians suspected of supporting the guerrillas. [Witness] B.G. told Human Rights Watch that during his April 1994-May 1995 stint in the southeast, he learned that the Bolu and Kayseri were considered by soldiers and civilians alike to be far more abusive of the civilian population than the regular Army. ‘Nasty behavior toward the population [wa]s encouraged in the Bolu and Kayseri brigades’, he explained, ‘while the Piyade (infantry) Commando tend[ed] to be kinder. The commanders want[ed] there to be a kind of good guy - bad guy situation, which they then use[d] to threaten the locals. They sa[id] be good or we’ll send the Bolu after you!Bolu and Kayseri Commandos were prevalent throughout the 1994 Tunceli [Dersim] campaign, during which tens of villages were destroyed. Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said they were able to identify Bolu and Kayseri soldiers, and reported that they were involved in numerous violations of the laws of war, including village destructions, indiscriminate fire, and kidnapping civilians who were then forced into serving as porters during Army patrols … The Bolu and Kayseri Commandos”, furthermore, “appear to have incorporated a significant number of U.S.-designed M-16 assault rifles and M-203 grenade launchers into their regular arsenal … According to Reuters, 5,000 Bolu and Kayseri commandos joined 35,000 other forces in the Tunceli campaign [See ‘Turkish Army Torches 17 Villages, Residents Say,’ Reuters, October 5, 1994]”.17

Ward Churchill has concluded that “both US and British pilots” were even “assigned to provide air support to Turkish military forces conducting a large scale counterinsurgency campaign in northern Iraq against Kurdish guerrillas … With regard to air support missions flown in support of the Turks, violations of the 1923 Hague Rules of Aerial Combat, the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and Additional Protocol 1, UNGA Res. 2444, and the 1978 Red Cross Fundamental Rules of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts are apparent. In view of the non-self-governing status accorded the Kurds by both Turkey and Iraq, violation of UNGA Res. 1514 (XV) - the 1960 Declaration of the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples - is also at issue”.18 The US administration and intelligence agencies were also actively involved in facilitating the illegal capture and abduction of Abdullah Ocalan (the Chairman of the PKK) in Kenya in 1999.19 It has also been established that Huseyin Kocadag, Chief of the Special Forces in Hakkari and Deputy Chief of Police in Diyarbakir, who has been identified as “one of the most bloody enemies of the people who organised the units of the ‘head-hunters’ in Kurdistan … was trained at a CIA school in the US”.20

The Human Rights Watch Arms Project has additionally exposed the way in which “US troops, aircraft and intelligence personnel … remained at their posts throughout Turkey, mingling with Turkish counterinsurgency troops and aircrews in southeastern bases such as Incirlik and Diyarbakir … throughout Turkey’s wide-ranging scorched earth campaign” against Kurdish civilian settlements and PKK hideouts/encampments.
21 This ‘campaign’, indeed, in many peoples and organisations’ view, clearly was ‘genocidal’ in nature: Article 19, in 1997, stated that it believed there was “ample evidence to indict the Turkish government of gross violations of human rights which constitute infringements of … the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, among other treaties to which Turkey is a party”.22 The UK Parliamentary Human Rights Group, after field visits to the region and detailed analyses, also concluded that “the depopulation of the Kurdish region is, we believe, part of a deliberate strategy aimed not merely at eliminating a few thousand [PKK] guerrillas, but to extinguish the separate identity of the Kurdish people23 … In Britain, as elsewhere, the question of Turkish Kurdistan is often presented” - for instance, by the US-UK governments and the mainstream press - “as one of a reasonably democratic government seeking to cope with an intractable problem of terrorism. We believe that the reality is one of military terrorists aiming to extinguish the identity of a people, and we were much alarmed by the parallel drawn with the Armenian holocaust of 1915-1916. The PKK, like some Armenians during the First World War, took to arms because they could see no prospect of gaining their legitimate political objectives by peaceful means. The response of the Turkish state, as in 1915 and earlier with the Armenians, was to use conciliatory language for external consumption, while unleashing huge military force against the virtually defenceless civilian population … To characterise the revolt of a subject people against their oppressors as ‘terrorism’ is a woeful misunderstanding which could only arise from ignorance of facts and history”.24

To Fevzi Veznedaroglu, chairperson of the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) in Diyarbakir, “especially since 1991, the counter-insurgency forces targeted the leaders of the democratic struggle … The aim” was to also “target a wider group of people … It [was] not only Kurdish intellectuals and leaders” who were “targeted, but villagers, women and students have been murdered … These human rights violations” were “not just aimed at fundamental rights, at the right to life”, but were “aimed at reducing the Kurdish people to refugees in their country ... The torture chambers” were “kept busy” even as the state, intentionally, waged “a dirty war against the whole [Kurdish] population”.
25 Margo Schulter has observed the manner in which “the killing of innocents … as has been documented by human rights investigators … has been a deliberate policy of the Turkish ‘counterinsurgency’ effort in Kurdistan. As one former soldier put it, to be a victim, you didn't need to be a guerrilla or even a PKK supporter - to be Kurdish was enough”.26

Mark Campbell, a Kurdish rights reporter and photographer who visited the Kurdish ‘south-east’ during the 1990’s, describes what he saw with his own eyes: “What the Turkish state was responsible for against the Kurds in the early 90’s … [was] a policy of forced depopulation. There was mass and systematic terror inflicted on the Kurdish population, often including the most barbaric forms imaginable, beheadings, lynchings, castrations, cutting off of ears and limbs. Extra-judicial executions were commonplace, carried out by ‘contra-guerrillas’, Hizbullah and ‘Village Guards’. I walked through the ashes of [the Kurdish town of] Lice one month after it had been razed to the ground. Teams of flame-throwers had marched through the town burning all the shops and houses. Eye witnesses spoke of soldiers shovelling a chemical out of the back of a trailer attached to Land Rovers into some shops which ignited spontaneously. People were shot as they ran for cover. We were finally detained when we went to another Kurdish village that was still burning. Women were picking out burnt kettles from their smouldering remains of their houses. All the villagers had been pulled by their hair out of the houses and gathered in the village square where they were urinated on. Three were randomly pulled out and put against a wall and shot. All the men had been taken into custody and two died under torture. How do you define terror? This is terror, is it not?”
27 A disturbing testimony from a death squad killer named Murat Ipek, if true, further suggests that US forces were directly implicated in the training and co-ordination of some of the genocidal death squads: “An American … controlled and instructed the contra-teams”.28

The Nature of the US Backed ‘War on Terror’ in Turkey, Post-9/11 - A Cause for Concern?

Despite the problematic nature of this type of past US ‘psychological warfare assistance’ to the Turkish state (which has not been meaningfully addressed in any international court of law or, apparently, in any formal EU-Turkey accession discussion documents or negotiations), what is equally of concern is that there has been no attempt by the US government to meaningfully take responsibility for its past actions or to even guarantee the Kurdish/Turkish or even its own public that there will be no repeat of such criminal and deeply unethical behaviour again. Indeed, there are now suggestions that the US government, in the name of the ongoing post-9/11 linked ‘War on Terror’, is increasingly supporting the Turkish state once again in its highly questionable ‘anti-terrorism’ offensive against Kurdish civilians, human rights activists, peace campaigners and ‘PKK militants’ in the region.

US ‘special forces’ and intelligence agencies, it needs to be recognised, are, even at this moment in time, extensively liaising with their Turkish counterparts in publicly unaccountable ‘anti-PKK targeting’ and ‘internal defence’ actions that deploy ‘irregular’, covert ‘psychological warfare methods’. The Turkish state, moreover, in recent months, once again appears to have been issued with the appropriate US government ‘hunting licence’ that seemingly enables it to intensify its violence against ‘suspected’ Kurdish ‘terrorists’ and targeted civilian communities in northern Iraq (south Kurdistan) and the south-east of Turkey (north west Kurdistan), now that the PKK and Ocalan have been officially likened by US administration officials to the arch ‘evil doers’ and enemies ‘Osama Bin Laden’ and ‘al-Qaeda’.

Within the context of the post-9/11 ‘global War on Terror’, US administration officials in September 2005 absurdly stated that they viewed the ‘PKK threat’ as gravely as the ‘al Qaeda one’: “Nancy McEldowley, representing the US embassy at an 11th September [2005] commemoration service in Ankara, said in a speech that there was no difference between al Qaeda and the PKK, or between Abdullah Ocalan and Osama Bin Laden. ‘Turkey and the United States’ joint battle will continue. There will be no areas for them to retreat where Turkey and the US cannot go. Together we shall hunt the terrorists and destroy them’”.
29 Such a statement was in keeping with the stance which has been taken by the Bush administration ever since 9/11: “US President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney have been very clear, repeatedly proclaiming that America and its friends must ‘wage war on terrorism’, that they must ‘hunt down the terrorists’ and destroy them. In his State of the Union speech in January 2002, Bush summoned all nations to ‘eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own’. After the bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May 2003, Cheney advised an audience in Washington ‘to recognise the fact that the only way to deal with this threat ultimately is to destroy it. There’s no treaty can solve this problem, there’s no peace agreement, no policy of containment … [W]e have to go find the terrorists’” and destroy them! “The idea is that evil must be physically eliminated. As Bush put it, ‘our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil’”.30

But as the Socialist Party of Kurdistan has noted with alarm, in the post-9/11 period as much as during the period before that, “what is clear is that Turkish politicians and the Turkish media don’t just mean the PKK when they speak of ‘terrorists’ but all Kurdish organisations, Kurdish associations and even the Kurds themselves”.31 Kurdish organisations, Kurdish associations and even the Kurds themselves and their ‘pro-Kurdish human rights supporters’, to many within the Turkish ‘deep state’, are the ‘terrorist parasites’ who are to be targeted in the name of this US backed ‘War on Terror’. With US state linked comparisons to Bin Laden and al-Qaeda that conveniently place ‘the PKK’ and its ‘supporters’ and ‘members’ at the ‘ultimate threat’ and ‘enemy’ level that can be imagined, it is evident that any and every type of method of targeting this ‘abhorrent, illogical other’ will now be legitimated in the US backed ‘joint hunt’ to destroy ‘the terrorists’. The following examples of ‘who’ the ‘terrorists’ are and how they are being ‘targeted’ in the US backed ‘War on Terror’ makes for disquieting reading:

• At Adana, on May 28th 2004, “Siyar Perincek … who is the Human Rights Association’s (IHD’s) representative for eastern and southeastern Anatolia, was killed … in front of the IHD building … According to witnesses, a grey-coloured civilian car went after Perincek and his friend Mehmet Nurettin Basci, who was driving the motorcycle. The car approached the motorcycle and the men in the car opened the car’s doors, hitting the motorcycle and causing the two youngsters to fall on the ground. Witnesses added that Basci got up immediately and ran away. A man, who got out of the car put his gun against Perincek who was still lying on the ground and fired it … Witness testimonies” state “that Perincek was shot as he was lying on the ground by a police officer”.
32 According to the BIA News Centre, “the IHD announced that the police in Adana murdered Siyar Perincek … During a press conference in the IHD Istanbul office, it was announced that police fired at Siyar Perincek … as he was driving a motorcycle in Adana. Police then stepped on his back when he fell off from the motorcycle and killed him with a bullet to his back. IHD said there were witnesses who saw the incident. ‘Executions without trials are continuing ... The murderers are free among us,’ said the IHD press statement”.33
• Twelve year old Kurdish “Ugur Kaymaz and his father, Ahmet, were killed” in November 2005 “in the south-eastern town of Kiziltepe … in what [Turkish] officials said was an operation against ‘armed terrorists’. Preliminary investigations, including one by parliament’s human rights committee, concluded that the two were unarmed and may have been innocent civilians …[A] group of intellectuals rejected the official account of the incident - that the police suspected the two were armed and preparing a terrorist operation, and that identification was difficult in the dark. Media reported that Ugur Kaymaz was hit by 13 bullets, and that his family said he was helping his father, a truck driver, to prepare for a trip to Iraq. ‘A 12-year-old boy who had been playing with his friends two hours earlier did not represent a clear and present danger’ to the security of Turkey, the intellectuals said. ‘Are we living in a country where everyone [i.e. every Kurd who goes about] in the dark gets shot?’”34 or, indeed, gets accused of being an ‘armed PKK terrorist?’
• In terms of proposed anti-terrorist actions, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that the Turkish “security forces will intervene against the [Kurdish] pawns of terrorism, even if they are children or women.”
35 General Yas¸ar Buyukanõt, who officially took over as the new Turkish chief of general staff on August 28, 2006, also provided the following warning: “The military was not like a small fire that could be extinguished by wind but was rather a huge blaze that became even bigger … No one can hide behind human rights or democracy to attack this country or its regime”.36
• Concerning “a bombing allegedly carried out by Turkish security forces against a bookstore” in Semdinli “patronized by Kurdish nationalists, … allegations that rogue [?] elements in the security forces were involved in the bombing emerged November 9th 2005, after angry residents of Semdinli chased down … three men suspected of planting the bomb that killed two people and wounded more than a dozen. The suspects turned out to be intelligence agents of the gendarmerie, or paramilitary police”.
37 “Esat Canan, an opposition deputy from Hakkari province, where Semdinli is located, who travelled to the town within hours of the bombing, said the car” belonging to the bombers “also contained a [death] list of names of 105 ‘potential targets’ that included … the owner of the bookshop. ‘I saw the list and my name had a red X drawn through it,’ Yilmaz told the daily Radikal”.38 Others included in the ‘list’ included City Council member Emin Sarõ and [pro-Kurdish] DEHAP Province [Party] President Emrullah Ozturk”.39

Human Rights Association Chairman Yusuf Alatas noted with concern that “some illegal criminal organizations within the state [apparatus] acting in the name of ‘counter-terrorism’” and the ‘War on Terror’ “are active in Turkey. He said: ‘The Semdinli case was the last link of this chain. We, the people are aware that the Semdinli case was not an isolated incident Th[e]se events should be questioned; otherwise Turkey will not see democracy’”.40 However, when these ‘events’ were seriously questioned and investigated by two key individuals - Sabri Uzun (Director of the Police Security Intelligence Bureau) and Ferhat Sarõkaya (prosecutor in the S¸emdinli bombing case) - they were removed from their posts under highly questionable circumstances that suggested that a major cover-up was underway.41 Their findings, however, are worth reflecting upon: “Sabri Uzun … raised concern about possible military involvement in the bombings in S¸emdinli when he was questioned by a parliamentary commission. He indicated in coded but quite clear terms that the [Semdinli] explosion had possibly been the work of people within the security forces, and expressed doubt that the gendarmes indicted for the bookshop attack could have been in S¸emdinli without the knowledge of higher ranking officials, as claimed. Within a month, Sabri Uzun was removed from his post … [Prosecutor] Sarõkaya, issued an indictment in which he … suggested that a motive for the original killing may have been ‘[t]o bring the local [Kurdish] population to a state where it can be lured with ease into action … then exaggerating this threat beyond its true level” in the ‘War on Terror’, “in order to prepare the way for violent measures by the state” to be undertaken against them “and to permit emergency rule to” once again - as during the genocidal period of the 1990’s – “take precedence over the administrative system in the region, … permitting security chaos in the region to be used to apply pressure on the political authority, and thereby … to frustrate Turkey’s fundamental political [democratising] directions … and to protect the power and place of the core political/ bureaucratic governing elite’. The indictment also referred by name to a general who had reportedly described one of the alleged [military] perpetrators as ‘a good offõcer’. On March 20, the Office of the Chief of General Staff issued a statement that the indictment was ‘political … aiming to undermine the Turkish Armed Forces and the fight [i.e. ‘war’] against terror’, and made a complaint against the prosecutor. By April 21, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors”, in seeking to smooth the path and objectives of the US backed ‘War on Terror’, “had taken Prosecutor Sarõkaya off the case, removed him from his job, and stripped him of his status as a lawyer for ‘abuse of his duty and exceeding his authority’”.42  
• Even as “Turkish authorities” immediately “blamed the bombing” that took place in Diyarbakir on 12th September 2006 “on [the] PKK”,
43 “the notorious Turkish ultra-nationalist terrorist group ‘Turkish Revenge Brigade’ (TIT)”, with extensive connections with the Turkish ‘deep state’ and the security forces, “on their homepage” accepted “responsibility for the bomb attack … A set of pictures” was “added to the homepage, showing the preparation of the bomb that was used in the attack. The bomb consisted of a 12-litre blue thermos container, a walkie-talkie relay detonator, an activator, the top of a metal gas container as a balancing weight that was placed in the bottom of the thermos and a case believed to contain C-4 plastic explosive. identified the walkie-talkie as the cheap, high quality … ‘Aselsan MT-725 Cobra’ with a maximum reach of 3 km … The walkie-talkie is manufactured by Aselsan, a Turkish company owned by the ‘Turkish Armed Forces Foundation’ The blast killed seven Kurdish children and three adults, … wounded … another 13 people, … ripping through a crowd consisting of Kurdish families … ‘For every Turk that [the] PKK kills … we will kill 10 Kurds in Diyarbakir’” as part of the ‘war’ on ‘PKK terror’, “the[ir] statement read. It ends with the slogan, ‘A good Kurd is a dead Kurd’”.44 TIT members, News points out, were “integrated with the Turkish military intelligence agency JITEM and used in black operations against Kurdish political and cultural figures during the Kurdish insurgency in the mid-80’s and throughout the 90’s”.45
• “The government has launched its new practice of burying dead [Kurdish ‘terrorist’] suspects where they are killed without bringing them back home for a proper autopsy. The first example of the policy change was witnessed recently in the [Kurdish] Southeast province of Sirnak although it was decided upon during a Counter-Terrorism Supreme Commission meeting earlier [in April 2006] … Professor … Fincanci, who previously headed the Istanbul University Forensic Medicine Department”, stated that this ‘War on Terror’ related “practice itself was a violation of international human rights and that Turkey could be convicted at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for it … Fincanci told Bianet that in each and every death resulting from clashes, a formal autopsy needed to be conducted and that only this could reveal the true reason of death. ‘Only an autopsy can answer questions such as whether a person was killed in a clash, or … killed while running away, or [as a] result of torture after being captured’ … She referred to the international Minnesota Autopsy Protocol covering the effective investigation of extra-judicial killings saying, ‘The conditions of an autopsy are clearly stated in this protocol, accepted by the United Nations. Because these conditions are not being met” in the US backed ‘joint’ Turkish ‘War on Terrorism’, “Turkey could be sentenced at the ECHR for failing to conduct an effective investigation’”.46

Just as troublingly, “Turkish Human Rights Chairman Alatas recalled on his part that there were [now] numerous allegations related to the killing of PKK militants in the recent months … ‘There are claims that the bodies are being mutilated, that their organs are being cut off, that even if they are caught alive, they are tortured and killed as well as allegations that chemical weapons are being used. How are these going to be [meaningfully] investigated [in these circumstances]?’ he asked”.
47 “‘This comes to the same meaning as the state saying, ‘I have the right to kill you without being monitored’ … The IHD Chairman argued that the practice also meant punishing those relatives and families that had a right to the bodies and noted, ‘This is something that does not even happen in [‘regular’] wars … What happens to the body is an issue that concerns the family’. Pointing out that this … practice effectively meant violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which governs respect towards family and private life, Alatas concluded: ‘In essence, this is a practice to punish the Kurdish people. It is a practice that provokes enmity and hatred’”.48

It needs to be understood that in this US backed ‘War on Terror’, schoolchildren, students, poets, musicians, writers, publishers, human rights campaigners, academics, lawyers and artists are all being targeted in a manner that surely must be questioned and opposed. Huseyin Kizilocak, for example, has detailed the following situation that highlights just how ‘pro-Kurdish’ people in this post-9/11 US backed ‘War on Terror’ period, are being scandalously ‘targeted’ as ‘PKK linked terrorists’ in Turkey. The US government’s commitment to ‘jointly’ assist and substantially back the Turkish state in this ‘War on Terror’ that is aimed at ‘hunting’ down and eradicating ‘the PKK terrorist threat’ in Turkey needs to be analysed in this wider context in which a whole range of people come to be defined as ‘PKK linked terrorist threats’:

I want to give some examples from the Turkish newspaper Radikal´s news from the 9th of June this year (2003), which shows the current situation:
- Because of a calendar with the month written in English, Turkish and Kurdish, the publishers were put on trial for separatism and terror.
- A group of students from Nigde university are on trial with the same accusations, because they watched Kurdish television and listened to Kurdish music.49

Moreover, “according to a report in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet a case has begun before the state security court in Diyarbakir against 27 children aged between 11-18, because they had demanded the right to native [Kurdish] language tuition … The state prosecutor … accused the children and adolescents of ‘aiding [i.e. ‘sponsoring’] a terrorist organisation’ [sic] through their demands, and has called for prison terms of 3 years and 9 months”.
50 In 2002, students’ petitions calling for the right to merely receive some optional instruction in the Kurdish language, were incriminated “on grounds of being instrumental to the [‘terrorist’] PKK’s efforts to establish itself as a political organisation. State Prosecutors were briefed by the Ministry of the Interior in January, 2002, to bring charges of ‘membership in a terrorist organisation’ punishable with 12 years imprisonment against any students or parents who lodge[d] petitions demanding optional Kurdish lessons. By 23rd January 2002, a total of 85 students and more than 30 parents ha[d] been imprisoned and over 1,000 people (among them some juveniles) detained” for merely “having demanded optional first language education in Kurdish”.51

In addition to this, a “case against the members of KESK Music Group … who were charged with having sung in Kurdish during a festival organised by teachers’ union Egitim-Sen in Diyarbakir in 2002, was restarted on 2nd April (2004)”.
52 In a European Commission 2004 report, it was confirmed that “in March 2004 … RTUK ordered the closure for 30 days of ART TV, a local television channel broadcasting from Diyarbakir, on the grounds that it had violated ‘the principle of the indivisibility of the state’ when, in August 2003, it broadcast two Kurdish love songs”.53 Jon Rud notes that “RTUK issued a warning to one TV channel which had shown a music programme with songs in Kurdish. This was based on a provision which prohibits programmes that are ‘in breach of the general principles of the Constitution … national security…’, etc”.54

In the US backed ‘war’ against ‘PKK terrorists’, it has become apparent that “one line of reasoning” currently used “in Turkish legal practice is”, indeed, “guilt by association. One example:

  • The terrorist organisation the PKK is making propaganda for the right to use the Kurdish language, including in education.
  • Consequently, anyone who advocates the right to use the Kurdish language is guilty of supporting (‘aiding and abetting’, Article 169 of the Turkish Penal Code) a terrorist organisation”.55
And this, at a time when the Turkish government is still guilty, according to the academic Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and other respected analysts, of ‘linguistic genocide’ against Kurds and of additionally being in breach of two articles of the United Nations’ Genocide Convention: “In fact, education of Kurds in Turkey, both today and after the [proposed ‘reform’] law package is being implemented, is genocidal. It still fits two of the definitions of genocide in the UN International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (E793, 1948) … Turkey tries to forcibly make Turks of Kurdish children through education, i.e. Turkey tries to transfer the children linguistically and culturally to another group. This is genocide, according to the UN definition. Turkey prevents the children from learning their own language and from learning in general and from doing as well in school as the children's innate potential would allow them to do … In addition, Turkey is of course also committing linguistic genocide according to the specific definition on linguistic genocide56Even if many other countries participate in linguistic and cultural genocide in relation to minorities, Turkey is unfortunately one of the worst offenders in the world, in several ways THE worst”.57

Even today, for instance, as Turkey is engaged in the EU ‘accession process’, “programmes in Kurdish for children on radio or TV” remain “prohibited”.58 An August 2005 BIA News Centre report described the following restrictions that were in place: “Local media groups who seek [to] broadcast programs in languages and dialects other than Turkish” - i.e. Kurdish - “… will [need to] present … an affidavit” clarifying their intentions and behaviour, “stating that they will not broadcast … programmes with the aim of teaching that language”.59 To merely peacefully and non-violently protest against the state’s ongoing genocidal policies, or to advocate the basic cultural right of Kurds (who represent between 20-25% of the population in Turkey, according to a number of sources) to be educated in their ‘mother tongue’ is to, therefore, in the eyes of the Turkish state, act in support of ‘PKK terrorism’. It is instructive to note that an Associated Press article confirmed in 2000 that “the all-powerful (Turkish) army still regards [merely] speaking Kurdish as a sign of Kurdish nationalism and a threat to state unity60 - i.e. a ‘terrorist threat’ that needs to be ‘acted upon’.

To add to this, “another problem frequently seen in the prosecutors’ indictments is the failure to distinguish between the non violent expression of political views, and cases of manifest violence or incitement to violence. For example, a charge of ‘aiding and abetting an illegal organisation’” – i.e. a ‘terrorist organisation’ – “does not need to be supported by concrete evidence of any linkage with the organisation. A third case in point is the use of taboo words” that might lead one to being considered ‘a terrorist’ or ‘supportive of terrorism’. “Some of the prominent taboo words are:
• “‘Kurdish people’, or worse, ‘the Kurdish people’, or even worse ‘the Kurdish nation’ or [the geographical term] ‘Kurdistan’ (being seen as encouragement to ‘separatism’ or ‘incitement to hatred’);
• “‘Turks and Kurds’, or worse ‘the Turkish and Kurdish people’ (suggesting that they are two distinct peoples);
• “‘Mr’ Ocalan (the combination of these two words constituting ‘aid and assistance to an illegal organisation’; in 2003 there were 58 sentences on this basis)”.

We also need to be aware of a wider destructive plan around which the US backed Turkish state’s ‘War on Terror’ is taking place: In September 2002, the Socialist Party of Kurdistan (PSK) drew attention to a “Secret Plan of Action”, masterminded by members of the Turkish ‘deep state’. According to the PSK: “The main aim of this plan is to make Kurdistan Kurd-free, to eradicate the Kurdish language and culture and thereby dispose of the Kurdish question. Dam projects which will flood historical towns of Kurdistan, flood the fertile agricultural land of the region and flood the valleys of incomparable natural beauty are part of this plan”.62 Whilst a local Kurdish, national and international initiative aimed at halting one such dam in the area - Ilisu - succeeded in halting one consortium from proceeding with the project in 2002, another consortium seems to have taken its place and been supported by the Turkish government. Despite substantive local Kurdish and national/international opposition to the project, the Turkish prime minister, on August 5th 2006, provocatively laid the foundational stone for this vast dam, thereby furthering the aims - consciously or otherwise - of this ‘Secret Plan of Action’.

Maggie Ronayne’s findings are worth reflecting upon at this point: “The US-led war against the world is not only waged by military means … but [also] by development projects”, amongst other means.
63 (Indeed, as is the case in the Kurdish south-east of Turkey, such ‘development’ projects are not only ‘unsustainable’ in nature, they also integrally form part of the Turkish state’s genocidal ‘counter-insurgency’ strategy for the region).64 “These very profitable projects [can] displace large numbers of people and have devastating cultural and environmental impacts …   The GAP development project [in south-eastern Turkey, which includes Ilisu amongst several other dams in its portfolio], in which US and European companies and governments (and it seems Israeli companies also) are involved is a prime example of all this65 … The action of the Prime Minister” in laying the foundational stone of the Ilisu dam “appears designed to put pressure on the affected [Kurdish] communities and on European governments … The project … would flood over 300 square kilometres in the Kurdish region, … displacing up to 78,000 [primarily Kurdish] villagers. Local people would receive little or no benefit from the project. On the contrary, impacts of the dam would include more severe poverty, health problems, break-up of families and communities, environmental pollution … and wide-ranging cultural destruction … As an archaeologist, I have investigated the new updated [consortium’s] Environmental Impact Assessment, and in a review drawn up in consultation with affected women villagers and the international grassroots women’s network, Global Women’s Strike, I have shown that it is no basis for any [meaningful] project. It is not really [even] an assessment at all … My review shows how the dam [actually] threatens to destroy thousands of years of culture and heritage and its survival into the future - first of all by targeting women and all in their care. It highlights women’s opposition to cultural destruction [of this kind] by dams and war … Targeting women like this threatens the cultural destruction of the entire community. [Proposed] ethnographic and ethno-archaeological proposals to ‘salvage’ this culture are demeaning to the rural [primarily Kurdish] communities concerned, according to this review, and cannot possibly save culture … Indeed, the very area where [the] Prime Minister … laid the foundation stone has not been surveyed at all, and it is therefore a breach of international law, including European Union directives, to proceed with any construction in the absence of archaeological survey and testing … Moreover, work I’ve done over several years has indicated to me that graves, including mass graves of Kurdish people who were ‘disappeared’ during the fighting” – i.e. the Turkish state’s ‘War on Terror’ during the 1990’s – “may well lie in the reservoir area. But restrictions” intentionally “imposed by the state” during its current US backed ‘War on Terror’ “make it impossible to investigate the graves professionally and independently. In an open letter to the Turkish Prime Minister, I ask: ‘How can you proceed with the [Ilisu] dam while all these cultural impacts remain uninvestigated, and when professional opinion thinks that it is not possible to do so? In particular, it is not possible to investigate the impacts while you are prosecuting a war in the Kurdish region. Will not you and the other funders and backers of the dam be jointly guilty of [also] covering up evidence of crimes committed in that war” - which many hold to be ‘genocidal’ in scope and nature - “and guilty of involvement in further serious cultural destruction? … When the last consortium tried to build the Ilisu Dam, the World Archaeological Congress said that to go ahead would amount to ‘ethnic cleansing’. There is no reason to change that opinion today”.66

The Targeting of School Teachers, Parents, Schoolchildren, Students, Political Prisoners And Academics in the US Backed ‘War on Terror’.

Within the context of this type of US - and, indeed, UK state - supported ‘post-9/11 War on Terror’, ‘pro-Kurdish’ teachers who have sought to simply ‘learn the Kurdish language’ in preparation for a time when they might be allowed to teach it in schools, have also been targeted by the ‘Anti-Terror Police’ and tortured by them for their seemingly ‘terrorist inspired’ activities: “12 people, of whom 11 were teachers”, we are told, for instance, “were allegedly tortured while being detained by police after having been arrested in Kiziltepe for learning Kurdish together. The 12 people, 11 of whom were members of the teachers trade union Egitim-Sen, were arrested in an apartment … in Mardin on May 7th. A magistrate had issued warrants for their arrest. The Mardin branch of Egitim-Sen said in a written statement that: ‘Our colleagues were subjected to various methods of torture; they were sprayed with high-pressure water, they had plastic bags pulled over their heads, they were forced to sing marching songs and to do the goose-step, they were brutally beaten, left for 3 days without food or water, they were stripped naked, had their testicles crushed and were verbally abused’. One of the teachers … was not spared the torture despite being pregnant. Because of her poor condition she was taken to Diyarbakir’s Medical Faculty on the evening of her detention. According to the statement, her condition remain[ed] serious. Egitim-Sen … pointed out that there was a complete disregard for legal procedures following the arrests. Despite complaints from their lawyers, between 25-30 police were involved in the questioning”.
67 As another report on the affair confirmed: “In a private apartment in the district of Kiziltepe, 11 teachers and an agricultural engineer were arrested for breaching anti-terror laws (sic) and then detained, following 6 hours of questioning … According to their lawyer, … ‘There were lawful publications in the flat from the Kurdish Institute. [Yet] the teacher [‘A’] was taken to hospital when she miscarried after having been tortured.’ (Source: Radikal, 12.05.2002) … Their arrest was part of a raid on an apartment where the 11 were [merely] learning Kurdish ... (Source: Özgür Politika, 15.05.2002)”.68

Parents who have simply, as a basic human right, attempted to legally name their children using Kurdish names, have come under suspicion as potential terrorist threats who deserve to be placed under surveillance and appropriately ‘targeted’: “In 2003, a new law was passed allowing Kurds to”, theoretically, “use their Kurdish names”. But “it is indicative of the attitudes of the authorities that the Commander of the Gendarmerie” - at the forefront of waging the US-UK backed ‘War on Terror’ in the country - chillingly “requested from the Attorney General the full list of people who had applied to use Kurdish names” for their children. “He considered such persons as ‘potential threats to the social order’”.
69 Other ‘parents’ have been murdered in the ‘War on Terror’ simply because their children have been involved in legal ‘pro-Kurdish’ cultural and political activities overseas. As Derwich Ferho, the chairman of the Kurdish Institute in Brussels has noted, his parents - who were in their eighties - were murdered in grisly fashion by state-linked contra-guerrilla death squads in south-eastern Turkey in March 2006 because of his work and that of his brother (who works for the Kurdish satellite Roj TV station, also in Belgium): “They were killed in a horrible way in their village … Earlier they were threatened, because of the activities of my brother and me in Belgium … My father was sick and bedridden … He was killed in his bed and his ribs were broken. My mother must have resisted, because her throat was cut and she had many wounds inflicted by stabbing … My parents were threatened several times last month … People were saying: your sons must be wiser”.70 “According to Derwich, there is no doubt that the Turkish state is behind the murder: ‘… The contra-guerrilla is operating … These are the same death squads, which committed a lot of assassinations in the nineties ... Now it looks like the hunt is opened again, also on aged people” uninvolved in any war.71

The Human Rights Agenda Association has also detailed the manner in which attacks are being made on human rights activists, academics and observers. “During a promotional press conference in Istanbul” for the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation’s (TESEV) new book on enforced Kurdish ‘internal migration’, it noted with concern that one such attack had been made. And who was it directed by?: “In their condemnation of the attack, both IHD and the Foundation for Human Rights and Solidarity with the Oppressed (MAZLUMDER) stressed that those behind it … were being protected. ‘It is now very evident’ said the IHD, ‘that this group has now targeted civilian institutions’. The association stressed that an ‘extreme tolerance’ shown to this group by” ‘War on Terror’ linked “security forces, despite their actions, needed to be taken into account and added, ‘The increase of attacks and harassment of these groups, … we believe are being organised and financed by circles of power’”.
72 Equally troublingly, Amnesty International has ascertained that “the Turkish Government tries to discredit it’s critics at home and abroad by suggesting that they sympathize or collude with the PKK”,73 which remains the designated ‘enemy’ in the US-UK backed ‘War on Terror’.

Charges are also being levelled at peace campaigners in the name of the ‘War on Terror’: Most recently, in June 2006, for instance, “three Kurdish activists” were placed on trial “on anti-terrorism charges after they attempted to stage a peaceful protest near the Iraq border … They were arrested on May 2nd as they prepared to walk to the border of Iraq to peacefully protest the recent killings of civilians by security forces in south-eastern Turkey and express their concern about tensions between the Turkish government and the Kurdish-led administration in northern Iraq … All three are officials of Kurt-Der, a Kurdish association that Turkish authorities closed last month for” the crime of “conducting its internal business in the Kurdish language”.74

A report by Sevend J. Robinson on behalf of the Commission for Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues, which was accepted by the annual OSCE Assembly in July 2002, additionally confirmed that, “in Turkey, HADEP [‘pro-Kurdish’ party] mayors are continually” being “persecuted. For example, the mayor of Hakkari was prosecuted for issuing a calendar in the Kurdish and English languages - because it was a risk to the state … The Kurdish language continues to be banned in education and in the media … In Van, security forces have detained 500 students because of a petition in which they requested the right to Kurdish language tuition”.
75 A collective of journalists and researchers on behalf of Aram Publishers in Istanbul, also observed the way in which, “on 14th January, 2002, the Turkish Security Forces issued a statement” which absurdly clarified “that any initiatives taken with regard to the right to have optional Kurdish lessons in school or university were”, automatically, deemed to have been “orchestrated” and sponsored “by ‘the terrorist organisation PKK’ and were, far from being ‘an innocent claim for cultural rights’, part and parcel of ‘the plan to split Turkey’ [sic]. Once one claimed that Kurds should have the right to education in Kurdish ‘just because they are Kurds’, the statement continue[d], the reasoning that ‘Kurds should learn Kurdish history and geography on every level of their educational careers, that Kurdish businessmen should associate or a Kurdish Bar Association should be established’ cannot be far away. This then, it goes without saying, would create division and separation that would ‘reflect upon society’. That would amount to terrorism.

“What, then, should the Kurds do to prove” to the ‘deep state’ and to the Turkish security forces waging their US-UK backed ‘War on Terror’ “that they do not harbour the [‘terrorist’] intention to rip off the chunks of land east of the Taurus mountains? All Kurdish ‘organisations operating abroad have to omit the word Kurdistan from their names’; the news broadcast on the satellite [arts, culture and politics] channel Medya TV from Belgian exile has to ‘refrain from referring to our [i.e. the security forces’] Southeast and East Anatolian areas as the Kurdish provinces in items broadcast in Turkish and the two dialects of Kurdish’; the same TV channel has to stop ‘showing exclusively the meteorological situation of our above mentioned areas in its weather forecast’; the ‘[exiled] Kurdish National Congress has to be disbanded’; projects as devious as ‘an institute of Kurdish philology, ... a Kurdish encyclopaedia and a Kurdish economic congress have to be abandoned’; and finally, ‘no support should be given to Armenian and Syriac groups campaigning against Turkey on an international level [on issues relating to an acknowledgement of the Armenian, Assyrian or Pontic Greek genocides, for instance], and all members of the terrorist organisation have to lay down their arms and surrender to the security forces’. Anything short of that is, the tone of the statement implies, a casus belli”.76 One in which they will be ‘hunted down’ and appropriately targeted …

Kerim Yildiz (Executive Director of the Kurdish Human Rights Project) and Mark Muller (as barrister and Vice President of the UK Bar Human Rights Committee), in 2005, observed - with concern - that Turkey was, indeed, refusing “even to concede that the armed conflict in the [Kurdish] South-east is symptomatic of the broader issue of her subjugation of the Kurds, defining the situation purely in terms of security and/or terrorism and refusing to become involved in bilateral negotiations with the Kurds”77 On 25th August 2006, for example, “Turkish officials … dismissed” yet another “offer from the terrorist PKK … for a … conditional cease-fire … The PKK’s second in command, Murat Karayilan, proposed a … conditional cease-fire to the Turkish government, saying, ‘We are ready to observe a cease-fire on September 1st, coinciding with World Peace Day, and opt for a peaceful and democratic settlement to the Kurdish issue in Turkey’. He requested Turkey put forward a ‘political project’ that will meet their demands … Karayilan also made a similar offer last June, saying, ‘We appeal to the Turkish government, asking it to end military operations in order to open the path for dialogue, and we are ready, on our side, to declare a cease-fire’”.78Kongra-Gel” had also “appealed its armed forces to take a [unilateral] decision of ‘No Action’ between 20th August and 20th September 2005”.79 Mustafa Karahan, the head of DEHAP - the pro-Kurdish Democratic People’s Party - in Diyarbakir, described the way in which his party was even being restricted in its dialogue with the press, let alone the ‘deep state’: “The pressure faced by DEHAP is very obvious. When we want to say something to the press, our members get arrested. Many members of DEHAP are now arrested and in prison”.80 According to Mizgin, writing in June 2006, “neither [Prime Minister] Erdogan nor anyone else in government will bother to speak [directly even] to [the legal pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party] DTP. The state … never bothered to avail itself of PKK ceasefires and calls for negotiation. It never bothered to improve the situation during the last ceasefire. It offered a joke for an amnesty in 2003, which meant that it wasn’t serious then either”.81 The Turkish state, during all this time, has continued to refuse to negotiate with any ‘terrorists’.

Meanwhile, “the official view of the Kurds in Turkey”, in writer Mehmed Uzun’s opinion, remains “one of deep hatred. The phobia of Kurds is evident; ultra Turkish nationalism is nurtured by their abhorrence of Kurds”.
82 Mark Thomas, in April 2006, observed the marked “failure of the Turkish state to work with the Kurds to take advantage of the PKK ceasefire. Ankara has refused to negotiate. ‘We will not talk to terrorists,’ the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declares. And he has done so with the backing of the EU. Instead of urging dialogue, the EU has followed the UK and the United States in proscribing the PKK, even though it announced a ceasefire and formally renounced violence. Just about every attempt by grass-roots Kurdish groups to form inclusive democratic movements has been regarded by the EU and the UK as merely another group to add to the list of terrorist organisations”.83

Even as the Blair government and Bush administration have continued, post-9/11, to vigorously endorse the initiatives of the Turkish state in its ‘War on Terror’, Behic Asci, a member of the Turkish Association of Progressive Lawyers
84 has sought to alert people to the repercussions of these highly questionable types of activities, which are never mentioned by Bush’s or Blair’s aides publicly: “The Turkish legal system provides no protection for … political prisoners [many of whom have been questionably charged with ‘terrorist offences’] held in isolation. In one instance, when a guard demanded one of Asci’s clients stand up for a prisoner count, she responded that given [that] she was in an isolation cell, there was no need for her to stand to be counted. Enraged at this small show of defiance, the guard attacked the prisoner, crushing her skull against the cell wall. When Asci appealed to the court to protest his client’s mistreatment, his suit was rejected as part of a ‘terrorist campaign’ against F-type isolation prisons. The court concluded that the prisoner must have crushed her own skull … Many of the prisoners Asci represented have [also] had their feet taped together and their hands taped behind their backs. Left alone, immobilised, for hours or days at a time and unable to avail themselves of toilet facilities, they are forced to endure the indignity of repeatedly soiling themselves. Many of Asci’s clients, both men and women, had been raped while in custody, often by prison guards using batons. Asci related another experience of one client during a court hearing who had been held in isolation and who had to halt midway through reading a statement to the court. He had lost his hearing” through mistreatment “and could no longer hear his own voice. Prisoners in the[se] F-type prisons typically suffer from a range of psychological illnesses including stress, anxiety and depression. The authorities also routinely deny [‘terrorist’] prisoners medical assistance and access to legal representation. According to Asci, prisoners are arbitrarily refused visits from family members that they are legally entitled to. Their books, newspapers and other reading material are confiscated. The letters sent to their families are heavily censored - if they ever arrive at all”.85

The Nature of US ‘Psychological Warfare Assistance’ in the ‘War on Terror’.

In this context in which the Bush administration has agreed to jointly act to ‘hunt’ down and ‘destroy’ the ‘PKK terrorists’ and to vigorously support the Turkish state’s ‘War on Terror’, we need to recognise and confront the fact that there does not appear to be any effective public oversight into the nature of accountability of these ‘deep political’ US-Turkish ‘arrangements’ and ‘operations’.
86 Such joint ‘US-Turkish’ arrangements are of deep concern to many individuals, human rights and community based organisations and communities living in the Kurdish ‘south-east’ in particular. Key questions arise: Will US special forces continue to provide JCET ‘training’ or any other types of ‘special forces’ linked assistance to Turkey’s notorious mountain commandos? As Chalmers Johnson has noted: “Republican representative Christopher Smith, chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, says: ‘Our joint exercises and training of military units - that have been charged over and over again with the gravest kind of crimes against humanity, including torture and murder - cry out for explanation’. But the US Secretary of Defence seems to be unconcerned”.87

There is certainly concern that the US state will, intentionally, choose to keep collaborating with Turkey’s notorious mountain commando brigades and other ‘special military/paramilitary/police forces’ that are at the forefront of the counter-insurgency struggle against the ‘PKK terrorists’, thereby providing a US-linked ‘legitimacy’ to their often murderous activities. Already in recent months, it has been announced that, “after completing a six-month intensive training course, 242 [Turkish] Special Forces personnel have been appointed to posts in the [Kurdish] east and southeast [of Turkey]. Reports say that with the newly appointed personnel, there are now 3,500 members of the Special Forces in Hakkari, Sirnak, Tunceli and Bingol”.
88 An April 2006 report in The Turkish Weekly suggests that Turkish ‘special forces’ have, indeed, been given ‘the green light’ by the US to intensify the basis of their ‘offensive psychological warfare operations’ against the ‘PKK threat’ in northern Iraq: “Reports have been confirmed that it was actions taken by Turkish troops this past Saturday which were the spark for specific complaints from Baghdad about increased Turkish military presence and action along the Northern Iraqi border. According to these reports, Turkish armed forces, using infra-red cameras, spotted PKK terrorists crossing the border near Cukurca town, after which a special force team of around 100 soldiers proceeded to cross the border into Iraqi territory. The go-ahead to send in the special forces team was reportedly given from Ankara over the weekend. Recent meetings between Turkish and US officials have indicated that the US has given the nod to Turkish action on this front”.89

US psychological warfare operational support to target PKK ‘leaders’ in northern Iraq - as recently as July 2005 - has been, apparently, also confirmed from a leading Turkish military source: “The Turkish army said Tuesday the United States had ordered the capture of commanders of the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party in Iraq … The United States ‘have issued a direct order for the capture of the leaders’ of the PKK, General Ilker Basbug, the army number two, told a group of journalists”.
90 According to a 21st April 2006 report by the Cihan News Agency, “The Turkish NTV news channel report[ed] … that the US has been providing intelligence to Turkish security forces carrying out anti-terror operations in southeast Turkey near the Iraqi border. NTV claims that the CIA and US army intelligence have tipped off the Turkish security forces during operations in which a total of 31 PKK terrorists were killed in two separate areas. ‘US satellites monitoring the Middle East screened southeast Turkey and spotted the PKK terrorists,’ the report claims, stating that the US is also tapping communications among the PKK authorities. Turkey and the USA have already been cooperating to curb the financial resources of the PKK, designated as a terror organization by the USA and EU”.91

According to an April 2006 report: “The Turkish armed forces have launched [a] … military operation along the Iraqi border where Turkish troops have concentrated for days. The Northern Iraqi cities of Amedi and Zaho, sheltering PKK militants, were hit with mortar attacks in ‘Operation Crescent’. First reports say that locations where militants were lodged in the regions of Geliye, Pisaxa, Pirbela, Sheshdara, Sheranish and Elanish were demolished. The‘Burgundy Beret’ units”, a Turkish special forces team which reportedly had been involved in the US state linked capture and illegal abduction of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in Kenya, “performed a reconnaissance mission in the area a while ago as part of the Special Forces Command. Troop deployment to the region from different parts of the country continues. Along with the transfer of commandos, heavy construction equipment” was “also being brought to the border for use during a possible cross-border operation”.

We also know that US International Military Education Training (IMET) courses were conducted with Turkish forces in 2001, 2002 and were requested for 2003:93 “Created by Congress in 1976, IMET grew out of the Vietnam-era Nixon Doctrine that aimed to avoid U.S. casualties by preparing ‘Asian boys to fight Asian wars’.94 This programme has been “harshly criticized in Congress for having [previously] trained soldiers in Colombia and Indonesia who went on to commit human rights violations”.95 We also know that the US Congress approved IMET training with Turkish forces for 2005 and President Bush requested further IMET funding for the financial year 2006. It is also known that Turkey was the recipient of a US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme in 2005, and President Bush, again, requested further FMF for Turkey in 2006.96 FMF, it needs to be appreciated, “provides grants for foreign militaries to buy US weapons, services, and training … Although the majority of these funds are used to buy weapons, mobile training teams are often deployed as a facet of weapons sales packages to train the foreign country’s forces in the operation and maintenance of the weapon system(s). In other cases, aid recipients use this money to buy training for their soldiers in specific skill areas. In such cases, U.S. mobile training teams, usually made up of Special Operations Forces, are sent to the host country for up to six months”.97

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have also provided ‘assistance’ to Turkish forces involved in their ‘War on Terror’: “The … FBI … is … involved in training foreign police and paramilitary forces. This training is [ostensibly] justified primarily as part of its efforts to counter drug trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime … No annual report”, however, “provides public information on FBI foreign training programs … The DEA, also part of the Justice Department, conducts international police training as well … The international police training programs of the FBI and the DEA are funded at least in part out of the annual appropriation for Justice Department operations and are, therefore, technically exempt from the Leahy Law vetting requirements (which currently cover only programs funded by the foreign aid and Defence Department appropriations)”.98

According to one report: “The FBI is committed to cooperating with Turkey in its fight against armed rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). FBI director Robert Mueller said, ‘We are working with our counterparts elsewhere in Europe and in Turkey to address the PKK and work cooperatively, to find and cut off financing to terrorist groups, be it PKK, al-Qaeda’, or others … ‘There have been concrete results and there will continue to be concrete results around the world, in Europe and elsewhere’, he added. Mueller spoke after a day of talks with senior Turkish police and national intelligence officials, which he said served to strengthen bilateral ties and enable the two countries to cooperate in facing terrorist threats”.99 Another report has also clarified that, “at the FBI, the Office of International Operations oversees the Legal Attaché Program operating at 46 locations around the world. The operation maintains contact with … other US federal agencies such as the CIA and military agencies such as the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), and foreign police and security officers…It coordinates its activities with all US and foreign intelligence operations. In 2000, it opened offices in Ankara, Turkey”.100
That the DEA and FBI are providing extensive and ongoing ‘anti- terrorist’ and ‘anti-narcotics’ assistance to the Turkish ‘secular state’, its embassies, security, military and paramilitary forces is rather ironic, given that ‘deep political’ circles in these very Turkish sectors apparently are - and have been - heavily involved in the organised crime, state terrorism and drugs trade.
101 In debating the issue of public accountability, we also need to be aware that valid concerns have been raised over the highly questionable and disturbing ways in which the FBI and DEA have been allowed to operate overseas (let alone within the United States) without adequate oversight mechanisms being put into place.102 Writing in 1980, Henrik Kruger, for instance, detailed the way that “the White House appears to have sponsored a secret assassination programme under the cover of drug enforcement. It was continued by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which seemingly overlapped with the CIA in political rather than drug enforcement”.103 Kruger, again, in analysing the nature of US linked psychological warfare operations in Mexico during the 1970’s, further discovered that “a 1975 Narcotics Control Action Plan for Mexico, drafted by the DEA, CIA and State Department, opened the way for new appropriations for fighting narcotoics in Mexico through INC. Thirty helicopters as well as other aircraft and computer terminals were brought in, and extensive training programs were initiated. The notorious Operation Condor began in January 1976 with an army of DEA trained Mexican narcotics agents and their US supervisors, mobilised to fight the drug traffic in the countryside. Reports of the operation reveal that US taxpayers’ money has, in fact, been used for political extermination; that DEA helicopters are used by private landowners to attack peasant revolutionaries with rockets, small arms fire and napalm; that large groups of farmers and independent narcotics dealers have been murdered or tortured while the major narcotics families have been protected … DEA supervised killing and torture had not stopped as of 1978, when the Mexican Bar Association documented eighteen forms of torture applied by Mexican narcotics agents. Prisoners and Mexican agents alike affirmed that DEA agents not only knew of the torture, but at times were also present at the interrogations”.104

Confirmation that the FBI and CIA were co-ordinating their ‘anti-PKK’ initiatives with the Turkish state came in a December 2005 Hurriyet report: “Following the visit of FBI director Robert Mueller to Turkey on Saturday, CIA chief Porter Goss followed in Mueller’s footsteps and paid a visit to Ankara for talks with officials from the Turkish General Staff and the intelligence service MIT … The two visits took place soon after US Ambassador Ross Wilson announced that there were some secret aspects to the visit over cooperating in the fight against PKK. The visits have triggered speculations that the US might start a [major] serious initiative for the neutralization of PKK after the Iraqi elections. The talks between Goss and Turkish officials will focus on al Qaeda, and on developments in Iraq, Iran and Syria. The Turkish side will submit to Goss a file containing intelligence information about top-level PKK militants in Northern Iraq. Turkey will also convey to Goss its concerns about developments that might pave the way for the founding of a Kurdish state in Northern Iraq … Turkish Land Forces Commander General Yasar Buyukanit was [also] currently in the US for talks with US officials” over these matters.105 Columnist Semih Idiz, from the Turkish Milliyet, interestingly also revealed the following information in an article dated 12th December 2005:

I checked with the US side about CIA Director Porter Gross’ visit, but they were tight-lipped. However, they underlined one point: They said that this visit wasn’t a sudden one, but the final link in a chain which began with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Ankara in February and which covers a great many high-level mutual military and civilian visits. They said that this situation was putting the lie to claims that relations were facing hard times and was moreover a concrete indication of the cooperation which is ‘gradually deepening’. As for the issues to be discussed by Gross in Ankara and Buyukanit in Washington, they are known. The Turkish side confirmed this as well. These issues can be listed as follows: the general situation in Iraq and the presence of the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq, Iraqi President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s controversial remarks that threaten instability in the region, and the Syrian issue vis-a-vis Iraq and Lebanon.
Meanwhile, new US Ambassador Ross Wilson finally came to Turkey, and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer didn’t make him wait to present his letter of credentials. This should be considered an extension of this coordination. In sum, the situation points to important developments which require the ambassador’s presence in Ankara. Otherwise, he would have come after Christmas. Certainly, these developments are first and foremost about Iraq. Meanwhile, the [specifics concerning the] future of cooperation against the PKK is still uncertain. The US side says to expect developments on this issue … The US has started to listen to Turkey considering the [PKK presence in] Iraq issue more and now perhaps the US understands this better today.106

A report from Winds of Change further observes that “the most interesting details of the [December 2005] meeting seem to have appeared in Cumhurriyet, which states the following”:

During his recent visit to Ankara, CIA Director Porter Goss reportedly brought three dossiers on Iran to Ankara. Goss is said to have asked for Turkey’s support for Washington’s policy against Iran’s nuclear activities, charging that Tehran had supported [PKK and other] terrorism and taken part in activities against Turkey. Goss also asked Ankara to be ready for a possible US air operation against Iran and Syria …Diplomatic sources say that Washington wants Turkey to coordinate with its Iran policies. The second dossier is about Iran’s stance on terrorism. The CIA argued that Iran was supporting terrorism, the PKK and al-Qaeda. The third had to do with Iran’s alleged stance against Ankara.107

“The implication here is that the US believes that it’ll be using [the Turkish] Incirlik [airbase] in any aerial operations against Iran and wants to secure Turkish cooperation on that score - the visit of Turkish Chief of Staff General Yasar Buyukanit to DC is likely related here. I would also note that the issue of Iranian support for the PKK has long been the official position of both the US and Turkish governments”.
108 The Bush administration’s need to secure Turkey’s assistance in its joint plans with the Israeli state to restructure the Middle East [in particular, in southern Lebanon,109 Syria and Iran] has probably also meant that it will, in return, have had to commit itself towards, once again, aggressively supporting the Turkish state’s ‘war against PKK terrorists’ [i.e. ‘Turkish Kurds’, as many see it], irrespective of any ethical concerns that others may have over the matter. Such aggressive military assistance will, initially, probably be provided in a more covert manner, however, as it is probably not keen to be seen to be publicly providing the ‘green light’ to both Israel and Turkey at the same time to devastate both regions that they are keen to enter into.110 In these circumstances, the strategy will probably, for the next few weeks at least, be restricted towards provision of substantive covert US military and CIA/FBI/DEA/DIA support to Turkey’s ‘anti-terrorism forces’, even as the US will exert its influence over KDP and PUK Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq, other Iraqi politicians111 and Israeli leaders to exert as much ‘anti-terrorist, anti-PKK support’ that they can offer to Turkey in the coming months.112

This may, indeed, explain why an Israeli army chief visited Turkey’s military leaders so soon after the FBI and CIA Directors’ visits to the country. It may also explain why the same Israeli army chief reportedly requested that Israeli special forces commandos could soon ‘train’ in the very mountainous areas in which Turkey’s notorious ‘anti-PKK’ mountain commandos also just so happen to be training and operating in,
113 and why former Israeli commandos were also intensively training Kurdish security forces in northern Iraq who were ostensibly committed towards combating the PKK: “The CIA and FBI visits were followed by the Israelis. Israeli Army Chief Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz arrived in Turkey in a week. According to the Israeli officials the reason for the visit is to develop the dialogue and co-operation between Turkey and Israel. However the questions were similar to those of Americans. Iran, Syria and Iraq were the foremost priorities. The Israeli Army Chief further asked permission for training the Israeli commandos in Turkey's Bolu and Hakkari mountains. Halutz said ‘our commandos cannot see snow, the weather in Israel is quite hot. If they can be trained in Turkey, they would be ready for the winter conditions’ … The problem is why Israel wants to be ready for the mountain and winter circumstances? There is no cold neighbouring country around Israel. The only places Israeli commandos could use their training are Turkey, Iran and Northern Iraq [all areas where Kurdish PKK forces also happen to coincidently be based]114… Three weeks ago Israeli Yedioth Aharonot reported that dozens of former Israeli commandos have [also] been training Kurdish security forces [i.e. presumably the very KDP and PUK linked forces that have committed themselves to jointly working with Turkey to target and eradicate the ‘PKK terrorist threat’] in northern Iraq, supplying them with equipment worth millions of dollars. And now the Israelis want to come to the other side of the border. The Hakkari Mountains are on Turkey-Iraq and Turkey-Iran borders and the surrounding region is sensitive Kurdish populated areas”.115

John Stanton’s analysis is also worth reflecting upon:

Rumsfeld and Cheney - the two crusty Nixon Administration buddies - and perhaps the most ruthless and dangerous Americans ever to hold office in the corporate/government world … and their disciples share the view that ‘conduct unbecoming’ does not exist. No law, no boundary, no moral code, no amount of lives or outdated parchments like the US Constitution and Bill of Rights will be a barrier as they push forward their foreign and domestic agenda for some of the US population, Turkey and Israel. They hide behind the veil of ‘the national security of the United States of America’ and label ‘Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized Information’ the data that would implicate them … [Concerning] Rumsfeld’s Death Star in Arlington, Virginia - the Pentagon - and [from] there into the offices of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. Known simply as The Policy Organization, it is the former home of the notorious neo-con Douglas Feith. But that’s not the interesting part. Under organizational titles like Policy, International Security, Homeland Defense, and Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, exist operational elements like Counternarcotics, Detainees, Combating Terrorism, Homeland Security Integration, Stability Operations and the Defence Policy Board. Its leaderships boast Kissinger and Cheney protégés, stridently pro-Israel and Turkey supporters, and a former US Phoenix Project [i.e. a death-squad US state ‘inspired’ mass murder project that was activated in Vietnam during the 1960’s] operative. And this is where the guidelines for the [current and upcoming] Wars on Terror, Drugs, and Weapons of Mass Destruction are developed and implemented in the field … The Policy Organization has no problem dealing with psychopathic killers, buying and selling drugs, dropping white phosphorous on women and children, using the global black-market to help a ‘critical’ country upgrade its nuclear capability, or selling out the American people for the sake of profit. The lives of 12 or 1.2 million human beings are inconsequential - nothing more than expendable extras in the big show. ‘Sensitive’ matters must be classified or not discussed at all.
Undersecretary of Defence Eric Edelman (Cheney’s pick) runs The Policy Organization. Not surprisingly, he’s the former Ambassador to Turkey. ‘Turkey’s long term commitment to the principles of democracy and their commitment to undertaking the reforms Europe demanded before even the first round of accession negotiations - have produced economic opportunity, stable political institutions, and the peaceful rule of law [sic]. Turkey is proof that our strategy of spreading democracy in the Islamic world can work’, said Edelman. Lofty and duplicitous words that are not to be believed [Also, distressingly], if Turkey and Israel are [perceived by these people and deep political circles to be] so “damn” critical to the USA’s interests, then [it seems likely that] they can operate around the globe [and, by implication, in Lebanon, the Occupied Territories and south-east Turkey/north-west Kurdistan and northern Iraq/southern Kurdistan against their ‘terrorist enemies’] with impunity, protected by names like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Hastert, Scowcroft, Edelman, Bush and, once upon a time, Doug Feith. Meanwhile, [what becomes apparent is that], back in Turkey, … Turkey’s atrocious treatment of its Kurdish population and it’s threat to invade Kurdistan - now [sorely] located in Northern Iraq [as it is still not considered to ‘exist’ officially in Turkey], go [publicly] unnoticed in the US. [This, even as] Turkey has purchased 30 “Cobra-type” armoured vehicles from Otokor, a unit of Koc Holdings to bolster its [‘anti-terrorist’] fight against a growing domestic Kurdish insurgency. And the Turkish military-industrial complex has expanded by 30 percent since 2004.116 

Given the nature of this type of US support for Turkey’s ‘War on Terror’, it seems reasonable to conclude that a ‘new intensified phase’ of ‘joint’ US-Turkey psychological warfare operations is underway. The Embassy of the US in Ankara, for instance, recently confirmed that “General Joseph W. Ralston (USAF, retired) ha[d] been appointed as Special Envoy for Countering the PKK. General Ralston will have responsibility for coordinating US engagement with the Government of Turkey and the Government of Iraq to eliminate the terrorist threat of the PKK and other terrorist groups operating in northern Iraq and across the Turkey-Iraq border. This appointment underscores the commitment of the United States to work with Turkey and Iraq to eliminate terrorism in all its forms”117- apart from, of course, those ‘forms’ of terrorism that are promoted by the US-Turkish-Israeli and US backed Iraqi states. Local news sources in northern Iraq (south Kurdistan), for instance, reported on 14th August 2006 that “over 100 Turkish MIT (National Intelligence Agency) agents” had been permitted to cross over into the region “together with members of the Turkish Special Forces”.118

These cross-border military incursions into the “US protectorate of Iraq”119 are unlikely to have taken place without a ‘green light’ having been provided by the US government. In all of this, there does not appear to have been any adequate public oversight into the nature of these ‘approved’ incursions and US-Turkey ‘anti-terrorism’ collaborative ‘special operations’ that have taken the lives of so many ‘suspected’ PKK ‘terrorists’. On 13th September 2006, we are also informed that “after a meeting with [the] Turkish Prime Minister”, Ralston clarified that “the United States would take tangible measures on the PKK, … adding that all measures would be taken for an influential fighting … He ruled out the possibility of meeting with [the] PKK … ‘Meeting with the PKK is out of the question for me. I never meet a terrorist organization. We want to get rid of them. I am intend[ing] to meet Turkish, Iraqi and U.S. governments and thus get rid of the PKK organization’, he said … [He also] met with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ali Tuygan and retired General Edip Baser, who was appointed as Turkey’s anti-PKK coordinator. Ralston said that he would travel to Baghdad from Ankara for talks with Iraqi officials”120 to take matters further.

If, as we are now informed, the Bush administration, in its wisdom, is committed to jointly ‘hunting down’ and ‘destroying’ the ‘PKK terrorists’ using the full might of its military and intelligence agencies, additional questions arise. Will there be, as many Kurdish and human rights analysts contend, a resurgence of US-Turkish state inspired ‘false flag’ operations that will blame ‘the PKK’ for massacres and disappearances of Kurdish civilians that were perpetrated by state inspired forces? Will initiatives that seek to resolve the ‘Kurdish question’ through ‘military/paramilitary means’ rather than through peaceful dialogue, be intensified even as public interest organisations, peace groups and human rights organisations oppose such measures? Will there be a resurgence of US-Turkish state ‘inspired’ anti-terrorist ‘abductions’, ‘disappearances’, massacres, and torture sessions for Kurdish civilians, intellectuals, schoolchildren, students, journalists, politicians, lawyers and other perceived ‘pro-Kurdish’ supporters in Turkey and northern Iraq (south Kurdistan)?

Other concerns also arise: In jointly targeting, tracking and ‘hunting’ down and capturing the ‘terrorists’, how will these ‘terrorists’ - ‘civilian’ and/or ‘combatants’ - be treated? Given that the PKK has officially been described by US administration staffers as being ‘no different’ to al-Qaeda, are PKK members or ‘suspected PKK’ members likely to be treated during ‘interrogation’, ‘targeting’ and ‘incarceration’ in the same way that al-Qaeda suspects or members have been treated? If so, there is certainly cause for concern.

Concerns Over The New ‘Anti-Terrorism Law’.

We also need to ask ourselves whether the Bush administration will keep accepting the ‘definition’ of ‘PKK terrorists’ and ‘terrorism’ that will have been provided to it by its ‘deep political’ Turkish hypernationalist and military/paramilitary/‘special forces’ linked ‘allies’. Certainly, Condoleezza Rice, during her most recent visit to Turkey, did not publicly express any concern over such definitions when she provided assurances that the Bush administration was fully supportive of Turkey’s ‘War on Terror’. The Bush administration appears to be ‘minded’ to accept the absurd and dangerous ‘definitions’ that are being provided and used under the new Turkish ‘Anti-Terrorism Law’ and by Turkish military officials to criminalise people and organisations. These definitions, specifically created to facilitate the ‘War on Terror’, have the capacity to criminalise the non-violent activities of many Kurdish and non-Kurdish people.

Concerns over this matter were even recently expressed by the UN Special Rapporteur: “[A] letter, sent on May 21 [2006] to the Parliament Justice Committee by Martin Scheinin, UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, informed Turkey that the new [proposed anti-terrorism] law fails to meet the requirement of proportionality in the use of force by security forces, introduces ‘improper restrictions on freedom of expression’ and reflects the danger of punishing civilians not involved in violence. ‘This danger is exacerbated by the very broad definition of terrorism’” that is being used “‘and the very long and wide list of terrorist offences’ … Scheinin’s letter assessed the draft” - which is now law -“according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and also with reference to certain provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. He said the very definition of ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist offences’ in the draft were contrary to the spirit of his comments and recommendations after his country visit to Turkey on 16-23 February 2006 as UN Special Rapporteur, adding that ‘such indiscriminate use of the terms terrorism and terrorist”, raised concerns about, “ the principle of legality”,122 as well as other issues.

This new ‘Anti-Terrorism’ law, as the Bush administration well knows, has also been criticised from several other quarters for dangerously enabling ‘deep political’ circles in Turkey to potentially target and criminalise anyone they do not like as a ‘terrorist’. Ayhan Bilgen, the Deputy Chairman of MAZLUMDER, for example, forcefully argues that “we need to see from today that this [law] will target every section of the society. In the past, they said only leftists would be put on trial under Article 312, that the State Security Courts would be involved in the struggle against separatism. But none of these happened. They should not think they can get away with it, saying that it will specifically effect [only] religious groups, the PKK and left-wing organisations … This framework” suggested by the draft bill - which is now law in Turkey - is such that, in “using human rights advocacy, you will be” targeted and defined as a terrorist, for “‘defending terror or something else [like that]’, and because of this, it will incriminate” even those who are “defending human rights, allow[ing] for the[ir] conviction” as terrorists. Human Rights Association Chairman Yusuf Alatas has “argued that the bill [is] ‘incompatible with human rights’ and said it [is] intended to bring back all of the country's past suppression laws and create a silent society … He said, ‘Not even Parliamentarians are free. Everyone standing up against the law will be accused of supporting terrorism and standing up against the regime’”.123

“In a statement dated 14th July [2006], International PEN wrote that the passing of these amendments threatens to broaden ‘the definition of terrorism and brings with it the possibility of many more prosecutions of writers and journalists for writings that cannot be construed as supporting or advocating violence’”.
124 A letter from the representatives of 15 organisations including political parties and democratic mass organisations stated that the Anti-Terror Law “surrenders personal rights and freedoms to the conscience of the security forces and eliminates basic human rights”. It stated that fundamental rights and freedoms were under threat:

Disappearances under detention could be revived: “The law severely restricts the right to defence. Personal safety is endangered with the republic prosecutor being authorised to order for a suspect not to be allowed to contact relatives or receive the assistance of an attorney as of the moment of detention. This situation raises concern that ‘disappearance under detention’ incidents could be revived”.
Those thinking differently cannot express their opinion, (or) organise: “It is known that the whole of the society does not think in the same way on issues such as the ‘Armenian Genocide, Cyprus Question, [the] Kurdish Problem’ which are the red points of the state. The law totally abolishes the right of persons, intellectuals and institutions that think differently [on these issues] to share their views with the public. Any individual who expresses their opinion, organises according to their opinion, can be put on trial for a terrorism offence under this law”.125

The former head of Turkey’s Prime Ministry Human Rights Advisory Board, Professor Ibrahim Kaboglu, also concluded that the controversial Anti-Terror Law “violated the constitution … ‘I’m worried about thought being punished … My worry is that in the name of preventing terror, opinion will be punished … That the press, intellectuals and journalists who express their views by using mass communications will be placed under pressure’, he said. Kaboglu added that in this situation, the additional authority granted to security forces and prosecutors” in their ‘War on Terror’ “would boost the current trend against freedoms” and fundamental rights in Turkey.

Info Turk confirms that even “Turkish media criticized the government’s proposal saying the draft defined too many actions as terror and could easily be misused … The Cumhuriyet newspaper devoted its front page to criticizing the proposed law: ‘The reforms passed in the European Union process will be erased by a definition of terror that encompasses all crimes … There is nothing left out in the definition’”.
127 According to Izmir Bar Association Prevention of Torture Group (IOG) lawyer Nalan Erkem, “‘The arrangements that the draft makes with regard to access to an attorney takes away all of the rights of the defendant … While it opens the way for torture and mistreatment, the draft also aims to prevent lawyers from proving their existence’. Erkem argued that the draft was in the nature of an insult to lawyers in Turkey, stripping away the defence rights that were brought forth under Turkey's accession plans with the EU”.128 “Representatives of … 17 non-government organisations (NGOs)”129 have also “read a press statement in front of Istanbul's Sultanahmet Justice Hall … where an appeal was made to … reject it. The move came after similar appeals from leading Turkish human rights groups including IHD and MAZLUMDER … The country's Human Rights Foundation (TIHV) joined in the criticism and said the law would not only shift Turkey from its previous EU projections but also meant a turn to a ‘tolerance policy towards torture’”.130


In reflecting upon the current situation, it is also worth noting that the Bush administration has set in place a series of arrangements that are aimed at securing immunity from prosecution of all US, Turkish and Israeli forces who may be charged with ‘war crimes’ or ‘genocidal crimes’ for any questionable actions that they may have been found to be undertaking. The US government, it seems, has not only been seeking to unethically provide immunity from prosecution to its government, military forces and citizens at the International Criminal Court (ICC), but also those of its ‘client’ and ‘favoured’ states - Israel and Turkey in particular: “Senior (US) officials have stated repeatedly and quite categorically that they will continue to reject any jurisdictional arrangement allowing international prosecution of its own civilian authorities or military personnel for war crimes as ‘an infringement upon US national sovereignty’ (thereby recapitulating the previously noted premise of the Third Reich). Objections have also been raised with regard to any curtailment of self-assigned US prerogatives to shield its clients - usually referred to as ‘friends’ - from prosecution for crimes committed under its sponsorship - e.g. … Turkish officials presiding over the ongoing ‘pacification’ of Kurdistan”.131

The information gathered in this article does, unfortunately, disturbingly support Keen’s contention that “an important part of the political function of the ‘War on Terror’ has been the way it legitimises political intimidation by a range of allies beyond the Bush/Blair/Aznar axis. In effect, the ‘War on Terror’ has given a licence to internal repression in countries supporting this war”132 - such as Turkey. “As in many civil wars, demonising one party” - the ‘terrorist PKK’, in this instance - “has created space for the [hidden] abuses of others. As Michael Mann observes, labelling opponents as ‘al-Qaeda’” - or, indeed, as being no different to ‘al-Qaeda’ - “‘allows repressive governments’”, such as Turkey, “‘to do what they want with limited international criticism’”.133 Not only has the US governmental stance dangerously allowed the Turkish government to repressively ‘do’ what it wants with regard to the ‘Kurdish question’, it has actively endeavoured to actively ‘assist it’, as it did throughout the genocidal period of the 1990’s, with its highly questionable ‘anti-terrorism initiatives’. We need to seriously reflect upon these issues and act to expose and end the nature of these types of unacceptable ‘actions’ and ‘activities’.
- Desmond Fernandes, 15th September 2006.


Since this article was written, other reports and assessments have, similarly, concluded that there is certainly cause for concern over the nature of Turkey’s US backed ‘War on Terror’. Outgoing Ambassador Hansjoerg Kretschmer, head of the European Commission’s Delegation to Turkey, conceded on 23rd September 2006 that the behaviour of the Turkish military and security forces - the very forces that the US-UK governments aggressively support and collaborate with in their ‘joint’ War on Terror - was disturbing: He sharply criticised “security organs for having ‘played their own games outside the control of the civilian authorities, disrespecting the legal and institutional order … In a democracy the ultimate decision rests with … the people, which must have power to define this service. It is they who decide which kind of state they want to have, which role the state should play and how much money they wish to pay for security. In other words, the state is at the service of the people. It is not an end in itself … [But] they [the military] consider themselves the guardian of the fundamental tenets of the Turkish Republic and express their views on all almost every aspect of public life which they consider relevant from the perspective of a very wide concept of national security. Education, religious instructions, cultural rights, university issues, just to mention a few … These expressions of [their] views have’”, he noted, “‘of course more weight than the legitimate expression of the views of individual citizens … Opening his remarks about the Semdinli case, Kretschmer described the incident … as the ‘tip of an iceberg, as indicated by the subsequent confession of a retired general’. He was referring to Lt. Gen. Altay Tokat's statements in which he indicated that he had ordered the bombing of state property while on active duty in the [Kurdish] Southeast in the 90’s” in order to further heighten tensions and advance the agendas of the ‘deep state’ and military.134

“‘In my view, the big challenge for Turkey during the accession process’”, Kretschmer noted with concern, “‘is to create such stable institutions, able to deliver their services - including security - [but] to the citizens of the country in a way respectful of democratic principals. [Only] then, it can be hoped that the security organs, the security sector, will be put in to its appropriate provision as a service provider, fully controlled by the institutions and indirectly by the people of Turkey’”.135 But we have to ask ourselves: So long as the US and UK governments - under the guise of the ‘War on Terror’ and the fight for ‘democracy’ and ‘Free World values’ – openly, as well as covertly, endorse and reinforce, rather than politically challenge or question, the existing, hardly satisfactory ‘arrangements’ and ‘deep political’, unaccountable, structures and ‘actions’ of the ‘anti-terrorist security and police forces’, how are the structures and democratically accountable ‘stable institutions’ that Kretschmer hopes for, to be created and effectively function?136

It has also been disclosed that “in an upcoming report … by the European Parliament, four members of the body's subcommittee on human rights … said they witness[ed] a noticeable regression in the human rights situation in Turkey … The lawmakers ended five days of travelling in Turkey, much of it spent in the [Kurdish] southeast, during which they said they gathered information about increased incidence of torture, increased militancy and violence and repeated violations of the principle of free speech. ‘The impression is that the situation is going backwards’, said Italian lawmaker Vittorio Agnoletto, who said he was particularly disturbed by an overwhelming military presence in the southeast”.
137 The US Ambassador to Turkey, Ross Wilson, however, expressed the following view: “There is nothing that worries me with regards to Turkey's continuation as a strong, secure, stable and secular democracy”.138

This ‘strong, secure, stable and secular democracy’, however, is one in which any politicians, academics, journalists and concerned citizens who seek to advocate a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish ‘situation’ by encouraging a ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish state, stand to be placed on trial for this ‘crime’. At the end of September 2006, for example, “twelve executives of the now defunct [pro-Kurdish party] DEHAP were being tried at a High Criminal Court for a … statement encouraging Turkey to negotiate with outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan … The executives … had referred to Ocalan as ‘Mr. Ocalan’ and suggested that a solution to the ongoing Kurdish problem could [possibly] be found in regarding him as a counterpart to it”.139 Any academics who additionally refuse to parrot the ‘official’ line of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) on the ‘War on Terror’ in this ‘democracy’ are likely to be intimidated and appropriately ‘targeted’. As Tolga Korkut reports:

Turkey’s Police General Directorate has launched an investigation into academics at the Police Academy who contributed to the 2005 ‘Security Sector and Democratic Oversight’ Almanac published by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV). The investigation comes just days after the ‘Turkey Almanac 2005’, jointly published by TESEV and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), was harshly criticized by the Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit in his October 3rd [2006] landmark speech at the War Academy as being “part of the attrition campaign against the armed forces” … A police statement in the wake of his remarks said the Academy had launched an investigation into its lecturers … Previously describing Buyukanit’s remarks on the Almanac as “unfortunate”, TESEV’s Volkan Aytar told Bianet in an exclusive interview that the investigation now mounted against its contributors was [of] concern: “The opening of an investigation against scientists that have shown the courage and written on an issue such as security which was untouchable breaks one’s hopes. It also raises concerns on academic freedoms. There are a minority of experts who work in the field of security in Turkey” … Aytar argues that rather than react to the Almanac, people should be proud [that] such a work was produced.

One of the writers of the Almanac, … Umit Kardas, describes the situation as “an attempt to put pressure on the [right of] freedom of expression and academic freedom”. Kardas says the academics involved should defend their freedoms and refuse to be censored. “But other academics should also act and provide them with support …By creating psychological pressure on this issue, preventing academics [from being] involved in such work, they are trying to set an example so there won’t be [any future] such work”, Kardas sa[id]. “… They want lecturers of the Police Academy to see themselves not as academics but as policemen [of a certain kind] and censor themselves … What is essential is the monitoring by people of the whole of the security sector from private security to security media. The armed forces are not used to this [democratic need] and because of that, it raises their hair”. Kardas believes that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) does not want to be debated [or subject to critical assessment, even as it prosecutes its ‘War on Terror’] and wants to [retain its] ‘I am protecting the order, the regime and state is my responsibility’ image.140

Professor Cizre, one of the academics under pressure, has forcefully argued that: “The Almanac seeks to introduce information in a reliable way and to every sector by forcing open the shadows and [the] secret curtain [placed] in front of security institutions. The objection [to me is really over an] objection [they place upon] an information society”, she noted. Professor Cizre is “a political scientist who focuses on problems of the democratization of civil-military relations in Turkey ... ‘It is possible to call this’” the attempt at “‘democratizing and ‘transparentizing’ the security sector via [the] spreading of information [over its nature and dynamics] and rendering visible heretofore invisible power relations and dynamics’. As for the government”, The Turkish Daily News confirms that “Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin supported Buyukanõt [in his stance], despite having not read the criticized Almanac: ‘I take with understanding his response against [the] report … [His response] is fair and appropriate’, Sahin said”.

Further concerns over the manner in which the US backed ‘War on Terror’ is being prosecuted in Turkey have been voiced by Turkey’s Human Rights Association (Incidentally, the following ‘concerns’ have hardly been reported in the mainstream press in the UK or the US):

Turkish police have detained 114 suspects including journalists and radio workers in what has turned out to be a counter-terrorism operation that involves not only the organization it targets, but a number of legitimate unions that were recently involved in industrial disputes, a women’s rights association, a leftwing newspaper and a popular liberal radio station based in Istanbul.

Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) reflected on the “concerning developments” taking place throughout the country and in a joint statement made with representatives of other rights groups has said “the practices enforced are worrying. Raids and detentions are seen by us as obstacles placed in front of the forces of democracy”.

According to a report issued by Ozgur Radyo [Free Radio] that was searched by 30 policemen extensively last week after entries and exits to its street were placed under control, a total of 14 people have so far been arrested as part of the operation in the cities of Izmir, Ankara, Adana, Sivas, Mugla and Manisa, where they have been sent to prison. While 82 suspects are still believed to be held in detention across the country, 31 of the suspects including Ozgur Radyo’s news editor Halil Dinc and radio executive Sinan Gercek were detained in metropolitan Istanbul. The radio’s Broadcast Coordinator Fusun Erdogan had been previously detained and placed under arrest. She is being kept at Gebze prison where she has refused to give any statement on [the] grounds that she has not been informed of any charges levelled against her.

Ozgur Radyo and a leftwing newspaper are the worst to suffer from the recent roundup. At core of the operation is the underground Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) which was formed in 1994 as a unification of two leftist groups known as the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist Leninist Movement (TKP/ML Hareketi) and the Communist Workers Movement of Turkey (TKIH). The operation follows a recent hack and takeover of the organization’s web site by a group of extreme nationalist hackers. Targeted in the operation in addition to the radio, though, is what some experts regard as a substitute to an organizational voice, the Atilim (Leap) newspaper, also known as the voice of the Socialist Platform of the Oppressed (ESP). Banned for 15 days from print with a previous court order, Atilim said in its English language report online that its Chief Editor, Chief Coordinator and writers “were among … [those] imprisoned recently” in reference to the initial roundup. It claimed the banning order was taken due to its “reporting on the recent detentions and imprisonments” ...

During last week’s raids in Istanbul, other places subject to search were the central and Kartal offices of Atilim newspaper as well as Gunes Agency where its technical work is carried out, the Socialist Platform of the Oppressed (ESP) building itself and the Gulsuyu Art and Life Magazine premises. What has come as most worrying for Turkish human rights groups were the new search warrants enforced late last week on a number of establishments, including the offices of leading Turkish unions. Police teams not only conducted searches in the offices of Ozgur Radyo and Atilim, but also entered and searched the Labour Women’s Association, the Science Education Aesthetic Culture Research Foundation (BEKSAV), Dockyard Ship Building-Repairs Workers Union (Limter-Is) and Tekstil-Sen’s offices … A number of documents and communications were seized alongside computers used in the radio station. The searches, it was reported, were conducted alongside a representative of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce as well as officials from the Security Branch and Financial Branch of the police.

Before the week was wrapped up and as concern over the operation mounted, the IHD Istanbul Branch hosted a press conference on September 22nd [2006] with the participation of other rights groups and representatives of the establishments subject to police search. Arguing that with the passing of the recent amendments to Turkey’s controversial Anti-Terror Law pressure on the democratic society had increased dramatically, the groups expressed concern and anxiety that the recent operation was part of the restrictions imposed on democratic forces. International PEN Turkey Centre representative Ragip Zarakolu, Democratic Society Party (DTP) Provincial Chairman Dogan Erbas, Socialist Democracy Pary (SDP) and Party of Labor (EMEP) provincial organization representatives were among those present of support IHD’s public concerns.142

The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) has also voiced its deep concern at what is happening. In its ‘Freedom of Expression and Recent Developments in Turkey’ report, for instance, it “revealed” the fact “that from January till September 18th 2006, a total of 96 authors, publishers, journalists and intellectuals had been prosecuted and appeared before courts in the country only for what they had written in books or in the media. Foundation Chairman Yavuz Onen said that other than the 14 articles that needed to be changed” in the Turkish Penal Code, to address this problem relating to a lack of democracy, “various laws such as the Anti-Terror Law, the Law to Protect Ataturk, the Press Law and the RTUK Code restricted the freedom of expression. Onen said that in order for freedom of expression to settle in Turkey, the soul and essence of all of these laws needed to be changed … ‘Unless this happens’, he said, ‘there will be no meaning in the amendments [being suggested]. And whether or not the cases opened and heard under these articles lead to an acquittal, they still mean intimidation through justice’ …Noting that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government continued its attitude of ‘let’s see what happens’ - despite tens of people being put on trial for their verbal or written expression of opinions since Turkey’s new Penal Code had been passed - Onen said: ‘The enforcement has been waited for and it has been seen, altogether, that barriers in front of freedom of expression continue’ … The TIHV report also referred to attempts made by [a certain] ‘nationalist’ attorney … and those around him to intervene in freedom of expression [cases] and said the [Turkish] nationalist groups had openly threatened defendants at [these] courts, going to the extent of physically punching people outside of courtrooms”.143

It is clear that, as this US backed ‘War on Terror’ continues, journalists who have sought to critically analyse issues of related interest by interviewing members of the PKK or Kongra-Gel have been subjected to forms of criminalisation that are eerily reminiscent of the ‘dark’ times of the 1990’s: “Journalists”, notes the BIA News Centre, are questionably being “charged with ‘propaganda’ for their interviews conducted with PKK leaders” and are due to be “tried at recently formed ‘Specialized High Criminal Courts’ reminiscent of the abolished State Security Courts of the repressive past”.144 To be a relative of a Turkish soldier - who has died in the conflict - who seeks to question the manner in which the current ‘War on Terror’ is being prosecuted, or to merely adopt an ‘anti-war’ position is to risk being labelled ‘a terrorist’ - i.e. one who ‘advances terror’ or who ‘acts’ as an ‘instrument’ of ‘terror’. As Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) Chairman, Yavuz Onen, has noted, even leading mainstream media organs are now, once again, being used [or, should one say, abused] - intentionally, as part of the state’s psychological warfare strategy - to target people in the ‘War on Terror’:

Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) Chairman Yavuz Onen has said that the September 12th 1980 military coup [mentality and system of repression] was still intact in Turkey but [was now] renewing itself and using sophisticated methods [to pursue its aims]. A most recent example of which could be seen in Monday’s mass circulation Turkish daily in an article … that accused, on behalf of officials, relatives of Turkish soldiers killed in action in the Southeast for reacting to the deaths, and branded their verbal frustration as an instrument of terror.
Onen said the so-called “democracy with muscle” [that was] created after the 1980 coup era had, in today’s Turkey, “declared seeking [cultural, political and human] rights an offence and made it illegal”. He said “it create[d] a situation where it appears as if the state of Turkey cannot be in harmony with international values on human rights”.
Referring to [the aforementioned] report in [the mass circulation daily] that referred to anti-war protests [of this kind] as being part of a terror plot against Turkey, Onen said: “This news report regards being against war as an act of terror and related to terror organizations. I do not believe it is the product only of [the named journalist’s] pen or a ‘deep conversation’. This is the result of a psychological operation that has been planned since September 12th. This operation is a strategy to make all democratic leaps - the ‘act’ of using ‘democratic rights’ - an offence”.145

It should also be noted that, under the guise of this ‘War on Terror’, democratic constraints are such that even “a bilingual children’s book is banned from distribution because it includes Kurdish in it: ‘A children’s games book launched in both Turkish and Kurdish in Diyarbakir”, The New Anatolian reported on 7th October 2006, “has sowed friction between the city’s municipality and the local education authority. Some 5,000 copies were published by the southeastern Diyarbakir province’s Sur district’s municipality and [we]re to be distributed to teachers for use as source books in schools. However, the local education authority ruled out distributing them to schools”.

Revelations by Mizgin, Mark Campbell and others further suggest that those at the helm of Turkey’s US backed ‘War on Terror’ are hardly likely to be committed towards pursuing negotiated peaceful non-military strategies and ‘solutions’ to the Kurdish ‘question’, even when such opportunities present themselves. General Joseph W. Ralston, the US government’s Special ‘Envoy’ who is responsible for countering the ‘terrorist’ Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and co-ordinating ‘actions’ and ‘eliminationist strategies’ with the Turkish and Iraqi states, for instance, just so happens to be “a member of the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin, the same corporation whose deal for the sale of 30 F-16’s [to Turkey] sits in the venerable halls of Congress at this very moment” in time.147 F-16’s, it must be remembered, were needed during Turkey’s genocidal ‘War on Terror’ during the 1990’s because of their ‘usefulness’ in obliterating Kurdish settlements, killing civilians and terrifying Kurdish civilians:

It is widely known that the Turkish military … used Lockheed Martin F-16’s to assist with the obliteration of Kurdish villages in North Kurdistan during the 1990’s Dirty War, with the facts well-documented by human rights groups. In 1995, Human Right Watch documented arms sales to Turkey, along with related violations of the laws of war by that state. Included among the many gross abuses that Turkey … perpetrated against the Kurdish people, the F-16 fighter jet figure[d] prominently …148

Kevin McKiernan [also] recorded it for us, back in 1999:
… In a report ordered by Congress, the State Department admitted that the abuses included the use of US Cobra helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and F-16 fighter bombers. In some instances, critics say, entire Kurdish villages were obliterated from the air.149

“This proposed [new multi-billion dollar] sale” in 2006, the US Defence Agency has claimed, “will enhance the Turkish Air Force’s ability to defend Turkey” - no doubt against its ‘internal’ Kurdish ‘threat’ in its colony in the ‘south-east’, and its ‘external’ one in southern Kurdistan/northern Iraq, “while patrolling the nation’s extensive coastline and borders against future threats and to contribute to the Global War on Terrorism and NATO operations”.150 As Mizgin has observed:

With this in mind, you should ask yourself what, exactly, General Ralston is coordinating. We all know the real deal, don’t we? We all know who have been the targets of those F-16’s in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.151

In this context, with Ralston on the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin and at the helm of the US co-ordinated ‘anti-PKK, War on Terror’ strategy, is it any wonder that the new October 2006 ceasefire initiative of the PKK - which so many peace groups, human rights organisations, analysts, civic organisations and community groups see as a window of opportunity to meaningfully explore possible ‘peace’ rather than ‘war’ options152 – has been automatically rejected as being ‘out of hand?’ Without a US backed ‘War on Terror’ in this region against Kurds and the PKK, and with a meaningful PKK linked peace initiative making headway, as President Bush, the neo-cons and US arms traders and death dealers well know, billions of dollars worth of weapons deals with Turkey stand to be ‘lost’. And one couldn’t have that, could one?:

It looks like Lockheed Martin is going to guarantee the failure of the PKK ceasefire, from the Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The Pentagon has notified Congress it plans to allow Turkey [within the context of its ‘defence’ needs] to buy 30 [more] F-16 fighter jets and related equipment, a $2.9 billion deal that would provide new work for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.’s Fort Worth assembly plant.153
An official of the Turkish Air Force, which already flies some 200 older model F-16’s, said recently that the country was looking to buy new F-16’s as replacements for even older planes in its arsenal.
Congress has 15 days to object to the sale. If it does not, the deal can be consummated without further consultation.154
Joe Stout, Lockheed spokesman said in a prepared statement that the company was pleased with the announcement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

“Turkey has been a valued customer for the F-16 and other Lockheed Martin products for many years, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to continue that relationship”, Stout said.

The reason I know that Lockheed Martin will guarantee the failure of the [PKK] ceasefire, even before it began, can be explained in three little words: Conflict of Interest. You see, Lockheed Martin has an insider on its board of directors, and that insider is none other than the new US PKK coordinator, Joseph Ralston, also of The Cohen Group155 … The conflict of interest becomes more obscene by the fact that both Joseph Ralston and Lockheed Martin are closely tied to the Turkish lobby organization, the American Turkish Council (ATC).156 Joseph Ralston is a member of the 2006 ATC Advisory Board, while a former Lockheed Martin executive, George Perlman, is a member of the 2006 ATC Officers and Board of Directors. Lockheed Martin Corporation is a Golden Horn member of the ATC, as is General Electric Company, Boeing Corporation, Raytheon, and BAE Systems, all of which stand to profit from the current sale. This conflict of interest makes it clear that neither the US nor Turkey has the intention of finding a just and peaceful solution to the great opportunity the PKK ceasefire affords them. On the contrary, both countries seek a return to the Dirty War, in order to reap the profits of repression.157

“The attitude of the[se] genociders in Corporate America, as well as those in Ankara”, in the past, as much as in the present, remains a cause for concern for analysts such as Mizgin: “I guess you could say that it isn’t much fun being the skunk at the garden party, but with all of this, and with all the statements we’ve heard from the Ankara regime, things don’t bode well for the future. On the positive side, it’s clear that failure will not be the result of a lack of effort from the Kurdish side. We have the statements and the demands available for worldwide consumption, and PKK’s demands for ceasefire (from August, 2006) are completely in line with Turkey's EU accession criteria”.158 “‘The country needs this chance at peace’, Sirri Sakik, spokesman for the main Kurdish party, the Party for a Democratic Society (DTP) [has] said. ‘If this situation is handled well by all concerned - the politicians, the army and the PKK - we could obtain an end to the hostilities’”.159

But do those at the helm of the US backed ‘War on Terror’ in Turkey really want such an end to hostilities? Do they even want to explore the possibilities for peace? As Ralston, Bush and the neo-cons well know, even the current $2.9 billion deal they are brokering for Lockheed is chicken-feed compared to the other mega-deals that are seemingly already in place – as long as there is no resolution to the ‘Kurdish question’ or ‘negotiated end’ to the ‘terrorist’ conflict. All those hundreds of ‘now old’ F-16’s that were used in the genocidal conflict against Kurds during the 1990’s need to be ‘upgraded’ or replaced by new warplanes, ‘warbirds of prey’ required for the never ending ‘war’ - or ‘The Long War’ as it is now referred to in some circles - against ‘the terrorists’ in the south-east and in northern Iraq and against those ‘rogue’ states that the US may need ‘assistance’ with in future bombing campaigns. Consequently, “in April 2005, the Turkish government signed a LOA for the upgrade of 217 F-16s … totalling $3.9 billion if all options are exercised”.
160 Over and above this, behind the scenes and brokered by the US government, we discover that a “JSF … joint, multinational acquisition program for the [US] Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and eight cooperative international partners” - of which Turkey is a pivotal one - is “expected to be the largest military aircraft procurement ever. The stealth, supersonic F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF F-35) will replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft for the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied defense forces worldwide”.161 Once in place, “procurement is planned to continue through [to] 2026 and possibly beyond … On 26 October 2001, the Pentagon announced that Lockheed-Martin”, which US ‘anti-PKK co-ordinator’ General Ralston is board director for, “had won the largest military contract ever, a possible $200 billion”.162 “Lockheed Martin Corp. is developing the F-35 at its fighter aircraft plant in Fort Worth, where the new stealth warplane is expected to provide about 9,000 jobs over the next three to four decades. Northrop Grumman Corp. is to build the F-35’s center fuselage in California and BAE [British Aerospace] Systems the aft body in England”.163

But for the full initiative to be realised, ‘sales’ to Turkey are essential. And to facilitate these ‘sales’, there needs to be a demand for them: There has to be an ongoing ‘PKK threat’ to justify these astronomical costs to the Turkish and US public,
164 an ongoing ‘Long War on Terror’ (A key rationale for warplanes like the F-16 has been that they are often needed and “used in the conflict against the PKK. Mostly, they provide air cover for the ground forces”165 – that is, when they are not involved in obliterating Kurdish villages and terrifying fleeing civilian Kurdish populations). The unilateral ceasefire ‘peace initiatives’ of the PKK, most recently formally confirmed in October 2006, just won’t do, for they threaten the whole basis of this system of contracts which US and British firms like Lockheed Martin and BAE depend upon. And pursuing these contracts remains in the ‘national interest’ of both countries who ‘lead’ the illustrious ‘War on Terror’.

The facilitation of these ‘sales’ remain key strategic ‘initiatives’ of the Bush and Blair administrations. If the F-35 bid is successful (it is currently ‘competing’ with a rival Eurofighter bid), “the [Turkish] contract for new fighter jets could be worth up to $10 billion” according to some estimates
166 (more, if other sources are considered). And the F-35 bid is not the only one being considered - US firms hope to sell billions more of war-related equipment to Turkey during the next two decades. But there needs to be a ‘Kurdish/PKK conflict’ if many of these sales are to be realised. To those brokering these deals, who are the ‘Kurds’, human rights groups and ‘the PKK’ to stand in the way of all of this? As Mark Campbell notes: In all of this, “this F-16 deal is [actually] small fry compared to a bigger deal that Lockheed Martin is hoping to get in relation to the F-35. Apparently, there is quite close competition between Lockheed Martin and a European group, so Ralston’s arrival in Ankara looks like an attempt to clinch this F-35 deal and absolutely nothing to do with bringing peace to Turkey”.167

Bearing this in mind, should we, therefore, be at all surprised to discover the following?: “‘We already have an excellent, long-term working relationship with both the Turkish government and the aerospace industries of Turkey, thanks to our mutual work on the F-16 program’, said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 JSF program. ‘We’re excited to be able to continue that association with the F-35. It’s very inspiring to have Turkey on the team’”.168 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has swiftly “rejected Ocalan’s ceasefire call”.169 “‘A ceasefire is done between states. It is not something for the terrorist organisation [to do]’, Erdogan told the private Samanyolu television channel late Thursday, referring to Ocalan’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) … ‘The first and foremost principle is to entirely eradicate this terrorist group …’, Edip Baser, coordinator of the struggle against the PKK, said yesterday”.170 “The Police Directorate-General also joined Erdogan … in dismissing Ocalan’s [ceasefire] call [and appeal for a peaceful negotiated settlement]. ‘The police department and other security forces have never given up on their struggle against terrorism, and they will not do so in the future’, said Ismail Calzskan, spokesman for the Police Directorate-General, at a weekly press conference … ‘We will continue the counter-terrorist fight in the most sensitive [sic] manner’. The prime minister said his talks with Bush [which were scheduled for October 2006] would cover every issue that relates to the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States, including ways to speed up the anti-PKK efforts as the group’s violence [note: at a time when it was known to be preparing to formally declare a ceasefire] can be tolerated no longer”.171

It has also become apparent that “days before the declaration of the [PKK] truce”, when it became known that such a ‘peace initiative’ was imminent, “the United States publicly said that a PKK cease-fire would have little value … ‘Cease-fire sort of implies an act that is taken between two states, two actors, to do that. And I don’t want to confer that kind of status on the PKK by saying a cease-fire’, Joseph Ralston, the newly appointed US special envoy for countering the PKK, said here last Wednesday”,172 carefully echoing the words of the Turkish Prime Minister and Chief of Staff, General Buyukanit.173 Buyukanit, Tolga Korkut reports, “also expressed distaste in the concept of a cease-fire as used by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in its recent declaration of halting violence and said it implied there were two countries at war. He referred to the period that led to the event and recalled that some members of the European Parliament and some countries even had made similar appeals to the organization [to act in this way]. These developments, he said, showed how widely the event had been concerted. [But] ‘the Turkish armed forces have declared that they will continue the fight against terror until there is not a single armed terrorist remaining’, he vouched. ‘There is no change in this attitude174 … As soldiers, we have nothing to do with politics [sic]. But if there are those disturbed [by] our fundamental views on security and regime, this is their own problem”.175

The New Anatolian also reported on 22nd September 2006 that “Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug, continuing his visit to the [Kurdish] east and southeast, said that the eradication of terrorism is of vital importance, adding the security forces are determined to continue the fight. Gen. Basbug also said the fight will continue until the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has been completely eradicated. Gendarmerie Commander Gen. Isik Kosaner accompanied Gen. Basbug in his visit to Siirt where the two commanders met with Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu. Also with Gen. Basbug were Second Army Commander Gen. Hasan Igsiz, Special Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Servet Yoruk, Gendarmerie Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Abdullah Atay and Third Commando Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Abdullah Barutcu … Explaining that the visit was part of an inspection of the Second Army, Gen. Basbug said that the military delegation had also visited [the Kurdish regions of] Malatya, Van, Hakkari, Sirnak and Siirt and inspected the military units there. Sources close to the military have said the visit is part of a new strategy against the PKK … ‘The temporary village guards system’” - which has been responsible for severe human rights abuses against Kurdish civilians over the years and which human rights organisations and even the European Parliament General Assembly’s approved ‘Eurlings’ report had recommended to Turkey to “abolish” as recently as September 2006
176 – “‘is very important in our fight against terrorism, and finding a solution to their problems [sic] should be our prime duty’, added Gen. Basbug … [He] added: ‘The police and all the security forces are determined to fight terrorism until the PKK is no more’”.177 The Turkish government, reported Cihan News Agency, also officially appointed retired general Edip Baser in September 2006 “as Turkey’s special envoy for fighting against terror, including the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) … General Baser was the former Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff and 2nd Army Commander. He also served as NATO’s Head of Intelligence Unit in the Allied Joint Forces in Naples and the Commander of Joint Headquarters Southeast. The appointment decision came in the wake of the US appointment of former Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston to coordinate US engagement with Turkish and Iraqi governments in the fight to eliminate the terrorist threat of the PKK and other terrorist groups operating in northern Iraq and across the Turkey-Iraq border”.178

On 24th September 2006, The New Anatolian further informs us that, “briefing reporters about [a] meeting … at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, … Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Namik Tan stated that Gul”, Turkey’s Foreign Minister and Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State “expressed their countries’ continued will to fight the PKK, stressing that the appointment of Turkish and US special envoys to combat terrorism have accelerated such efforts. Tan also stated that during the meeting, Gul and Rice underlined that concrete steps have begun to be taken in line with the Turkish-US joint vision document, describing the crucial meeting as ‘warm’”.179 Just three days after this, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul clarified “that Turkey would keep fighting against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to the bitter end … ‘We will continue to fight to the end, and it will be finished sooner or later’”.180 PNA noted, on 10th October 2006, that: “Despite the fact that the PKK has declared a unilateral ceasefire and the Turkish Prime Minister indicated that military actions on the borders with the Kurdistan Region would be halted, the Turkish Army fired mortar shells the day after the ceasefire, bombarding the Kurdish villages on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan … Gul announced that Erdogan would ask President Bush for help in order to ‘eradicate all PKK guerrillas’ … General Yasar Buyukanit indicated that the unilateral ceasefire would not bring an end to the violence. ‘As long as a single terrorist exists’, Buyukanit said, referring to the outlawed PKK, ‘we will continue assaults’”.181

As Mizgin has distressingly noted: “The PKK’s most recent unilateral ceasefire went into effect on Sunday [1st October 2006], and it still remains unilateral. The entire Turkish establishment, from Buyukanit to Erdogan have rejected it”, as has the US, “while clearly stating their determination to continue the war. This is in spite of the fact that the PKK prefers to negotiate a political settlement and indicated their willingness to do so in August, with demands that are fully consistent with EU accession criteria”.
182 Ross Wilson, the US Ambassador to Turkey, indeed, informed Turkish journalists in early October 2006 that “the US special coordinator for fighting the PKK, General Joseph Ralston, would arrive in Turkey in the upcoming weeks and hold meetings with the coordinators appointed by Turkey and Iraq. [He] also reminded [them] that all measures, including cross-border operations [into northern Iraq], are on the table”.183 US President George W. Bush, Agence France Presse confirmed on 3rd October 2006, “backed Turkey’s push for European Union membership and hailed joint efforts to fight terrorism as he met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan” in Washington “on Monday … The talks” between the two - which took place barely a week after he had also warmly welcomed the leader of Kazakhstan and described him as a “steadfast partner in the international war on terrorism” and leader of a country that “now is a free nation”184 - “came as Turkey vowed to fight on against Kurdish separatists [sic]185 despite a rebel cease-fire ordered at the weekend … ‘The joint steps that we have taken ... to pursue with determination our fight against terrorism continues to be very important in our relations. In fact, we do share the same opinion about forming a joint platform in order to combat terrorism on a global scale’, Erdogan said … ‘…Our desire is to help people who care about a peaceful future to reject radicalism and extremism [sic]’”.186

As a consequence of the role of the US and Turkey’s ‘anti-PKK co-ordinators’ and the influence they undoubtedly wield, Reuters has reported upon the following type of pressure that has been successfully exerted in Iraq: “Ankara and Washington have appointed co-ordinators to work together in the fight against the PKK and authorities in northern Iraq have shut down its offices. Turkey is now seeking more direct action to halt rebel activities. Turkey has also criticised Iraq for failing to [previously] act [enough] against the PKK, but Iraqi President Jalal Talabani” now “said the rebel group had no future. ‘I believe we have just entered a period of normalisation in our relations with Turkey. The thorn that prevented trust between us was the PKK. But now the PKK is finished. It has no future’, he told Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia”.187 The possible role that US approved Israeli ‘special forces’ may play in intensifying ‘anti-PKK’ liquidation ‘actions’ should also not be forgotten (see main body of article for discussion). A recent BBC investigation further suggests that “former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commandos secretly” did “train Kurdish soldiers in Northern Iraq” - who are increasingly being committed by their leaders and by the US and Turkish ‘co-ordinators’ to ‘act’ against the ‘terrorist’ PKK who are stationed there - “to protect a new international airport and in counter-terrorism operations … Former Israeli special forces soldiers crossed into Iraq from Turkey in 2004 to train two sets of Kurdish troops, one of the former Israeli trainers told the BBC’s Newsnight programme. The former trainer, whose name was not disclosed, said IDF soldiers trained [KDP-PUK aligned] Kurds to act as a security force for the new airport in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil”.188

More importantly, in terms of the themes being explored in this article, we discover that “they also”, apparently, “trained more than 100 Peshmerga or Kurdish [PUK-KDP] fighters for ‘special assignments’ that included how to use rifles and how to shoot militants in a crowd, he said. The former soldier said … ‘My part of the contract was to train the Kurdish security people for a big airport project and for training, as well as the Peshmerga, and the actual soldiers, the army’, the former IDF soldier told Newsnight … Iraqi newspapers have reported that Israeli soldiers have trained Kurdish troops but the Kurdish authorities” - clearly obliged to try to maintain deniability given sensitivities involved in using Israeli special forces in southern Kurdistan/northern Iraq to train soldiers/Peshmerga to target potential Iranian and/or Syrian and/or PKK and/or Iraqi ‘insurgents’ – “deny allowing any Israelis into Iraq … The former IDF soldier said he trained Kurds in ‘anti-terror lessons ... how to shoot first, how to identify a terrorist in a crowd’. That’s clearly special assignments”.189

We also need to reflect upon the substance of Julian Borger’s report in 2003. Is the type of Israeli ‘training’ and ‘advice’ that was being provided to US special forces being passed on by the latter to KDP-PUK Kurdish forces in northern Iraq/southern Kurdistan - to enable them to ‘more effectively’ act against the PKK ‘terrorist threat?’ Have any of the US ‘special forces’ who have been involved in assassination and other psyops programmes against ‘Iraqi insurgents’ in other parts of Iraq been diverted to covertly ‘assist’ with the ‘anti-PKK’ programme that Ralston is co-ordinating? It would certainly be surprising if such ‘expertise’ was not being ‘exploited’ in the US backed ‘war’ against the ‘terrorist’ PKK. After all, as has already been documented, US officials have clearly stated that they see ‘no difference between al Qaeda and the PKK, or between Abdullah Ocalan and Osama Bin Laden’:

Israeli advisers are helping train US special forces in aggressive counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, including the use of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders, US intelligence and military sources said yesterday. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has sent urban warfare specialists to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the home of US special forces, and according to two sources, Israeli military ‘consultants’ have also visited Iraq.
US forces in Iraq’s Sunni triangle have already begun to use tactics that echo Israeli operations in the occupied territories, sealing off centres of resistance with razor wire and razing buildings from where attacks have been launched against US troops.
But the secret war in Iraq is about to get much tougher, in the hope of suppressing the Ba’athist-led insurgency ahead of next November’s presidential elections. US special forces teams are already behind the lines inside Syria attempting to kill foreign jihadists before they cross the border, and a group focused on the “neutralisation” of guerrilla leaders is being set up, according to sources familiar with the operations.
“This is basically an assassination programme. That is what is being conceptualised here. This is a hunter-killer team”, said a former senior US intelligence official, who added that he feared the new tactics and enhanced cooperation with Israel would only inflame a volatile situation in the Middle East. “It is bonkers, insane. Here we are – we’re already being compared to Sharon in the Arab world, and we’ve just confirmed it by bringing in the Israelis and setting up assassination teams”.
“They are being trained by Israelis in Fort Bragg”, a well-informed intelligence source in Washington said. “Some Israelis went to Iraq as well, not to do training, but for providing consultations”. The consultants’ visit to Iraq was confirmed by another US source who was in contact with American officials there. The Pentagon did not return calls seeking comment, but a military planner, Brigadier General Michael Vane, mentioned the cooperation with Israel in a letter to Army magazine in July about the Iraq counter-insurgency campaign. “We recently travelled to Israel to glean lessons learned from their counterterrorist operations in urban areas”, wrote General Vane, deputy chief of staff at the army’s training and doctrine command. An Israeli official said the IDF regularly shared its experience in the West Bank and Gaza with the US armed forces, but said he could not comment about cooperation in Iraq. “When we do activities, the US military attaches in Tel Aviv are interested. I assume it’s the same as the British. That’s the way allies work. The special forces come to our people and say, do debrief on an operation we have done”, the official said. “Does it affect Iraq? It’s not in our interest or the American interest to go into that …”190

In conclusion, it is, perhaps, useful to reflect upon the concerns that have been raised by representatives of human rights organisations and commentators and analysts such as Ertugrul Kurkcu, Lord Russell-Johnston and Ragip Zarakolu:

• “Turkey’s Human Rights Foundation (TIHV) chairman Yavuz Onen has said that a number recent statements made by army commanders, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and most lately by Chief of General Staff Commander Yasar Buyukanit captivated issues in a conflict that made people forget about freedoms, human rights, democracy and peace. ‘It is as if democracy and human rights have been postponed’, he said”.
191 Over the manner in which the PKK ceasefire call had been ignored by key establishment figures, he commented: “‘Expressions based on a military security strategy and remarks that the problem can only be solved through violence are concerning. Violence creates conditions where human rights are violated. Whatever it is called, to ignore the ‘ceasefire’ or ‘the [PKK] period of silencing guns’ period and place no value to it is not possible. People are dying. Silencing the guns will allow for a dialogue to begin in an environment of tolerance. It is required to give this its real importance, to see that insisting on violence does not solve the problem’”. Onen called for “the forces of democracy … to raise their voices against these violations and against interventions but also warn[ed] that: ‘In Turkey’”, given current circumstances, “‘defending democracy and human rights has started to become synonymous to treason. While we are concerned about escalating [Turkish] nationalism’”, he noted that it was necessary to recognise that “‘they are gradually growing towards a more open fascist expression. Without naming it, they are saying we deserve fascist regimes’. According to Onen, those truly defending the values of democracy need to stand up [now] against such expressions and approaches”.192

“The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a report that criticizes the methods Turkey has used to fight the PKK. The report entitled ‘The Cultural Situation of the Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria’, [was] prepared by PACE Co-chairman Lord Russell-Johnston … The report urges that the Kurdish question be considered from a wider perspective, instead of as a mere security issue. The report, which asserts that Turkey has made mistakes in its fight against the PKK, also reports that Ankara’s non-comprehensive approach strengthened the separatist movement. It also urges Turkey to see the Kurds as a part of its cultural richness, not as a threat … The report makes striking recommendations on the issue of education in the mother tongue. To this end, it urges Turkey to provide an opportunity for education in Kurdish, ensure that university curricula include optional courses on Kurdish language and literature, as well as informing Kurdish families of the existing language training opportunities”, things that are currently perceived to represent ‘terrorist’ aspirations or ‘threats’ if they happen to be endorsed by Turkish or Kurdish citizens, as we have seen. “The report additionally reiterates its call on Turkey to sign, ratify and implement the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages”.193 A. Noyan Ozkaya observes that the report does “recommend the following steps to be taken:
- The signing and implementation of the European Charter for Regional and Minority languages to protect Kurdish languages [something which is not being done in the context of the current US backed ‘War on Terror’],
- Taking steps to assure education in the mother language [inclusive of the Kurdish ‘mother tongue’],
- Informing Kurdish parents on the different linguistic possibilities,
- Encouraging university classes on Kurdish culture,
- Supporting Kurdish cultural associations in Turkey,
- Promoting the development of mass media in Kurdish”.

To Kurkcu: “Consecutive declarations of political positions by the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and top commanders” in recent months “could be read as a series of indicators for the public and international community. These indicators, for the time being, are not ‘Green’ or ‘positive’ signs showing what is endorsed [i.e. being encouraged by the army], but are ‘Red’, indicating what must not be done: “The military … does not want to hand-over … power to the government … The military does not want a solution to the ‘Kurdish Problem’ through granting the Kurds ‘community rights’. The military does not want the roadblocks for freedoms of expression, criticism and organization lifted. The military does not want to adjust itself to the [granting of political and cultural rights advocated in the] ‘Copenhagen Criteria’, a precondition for European Union accession … General Yasar Buyukanit, while still the Land Forces Commander, had not hidden his dissatisfaction with with the [‘reform’] policies [ostensibly] pursued by the government on the Cyprus and Kurdish problem, and had made harsh innuendos against the [critical] approach of European Union rapporteurs towards the Armed Forces. Without doubt, Buyukanit’s approaches that voice the search for an ‘authoritarian democracy’ and encourage ultra-[Turkish] nationalism is a direct reflection of his own line of thought. Neverthless, the fact that like-minded officers who are in full agreement with Buyukanit on almost all major issues are appointed to the posts of high command, should be read as reflecting a ruling class/force preference [rather] than [just] his own personal preference … There is no reason to doubt that the army will do everything within its hands in order to impose its preferences 195

• “The Chairman of the Freedom to Publish Committee, Ragip Zarakolu, has issued the following alarming statement on the recent arrests made under the new Anti-Terror Law:

‘Last week a mass arrest campaign began against left reviews [i.e. publications] in Istanbul. The editors of the reviews Atilim and Sanat ve Hayat … as well of The Free Radio were arrested, their offices were searched by special police teams. The Art and Culture Institution Beksav, too, was subjected to similar searches. The new Anti-Terror Law is used not against the terrorists but against freedom of expression. Last week, two Kurdish reviews, Ozgur Halk and Genç Bakis had the same fate.
‘Beksav made a press conference [to mark the] 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide last year. Sanat ve Hayat review published three booklets as free supplements about Armenian literature and the genocide.
‘We are calling the attention of human rights [campaigners] and writers and publisher organisations to this misuse of the Anti-Terror Law against freedom of expression. The President of Turkey sent this law to the Constitutional Court, saying that this new law is against freedom of expression. These police operations, carried out in spite of the opposition of the President of The Republic, mean giving an opportunity to the government and the military to finish the opposition press in Turkey before the high court cancels this law. We are in need of urgent reaction of democratic world public opinion’”.196

- Desmond Fernandes, 10th October
Desmond Fernandes and Iskender Ozden’s book, US, UK, German and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations Against The Kurdish ‘Communist’ Threat in Turkey and Northern Iraq, will be released in December 2006. It is published by Apec Press (Stockholm, Sweden) and can be obtained in the UK from Housmans Bookshop (5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London N1 9DX. Tel: 020 7837 4473).


1 Desmond Fernandes is the author of The Kurdish Genocide in Turkey (2007, Apec Press, Stockholm, forthcoming), Colonial Genocides in Turkey, Kenya and Goa (2006, Apec Press, Stockholm, forthcoming) and co-author of US, UK, German and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations Against The Kurdish ‘Communist’ Threat in Turkey and Northern Iraq (2006, Apec Press, Stockholm). He has written a number of articles on genocide, Turkish state terror, tourism and the ‘Kurdish Question’, and was a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at De Montfort University, Bedford (1994-2006). This article is dedicated to Iskender Ozden, Musa Anter, Ismail Besikci, Anthony Tingle, Ray Sibbald, E. Francis, Florence, Yasser Salihee and Ayse Nur Zarakolu.

2 For a detailed insight into the whole ‘genocide’ issue, and the applicability of the term to the Kurdish situation in Turkey (using definitions provided by the United Nations’ 1948 Genocide Convention and other bodies and academics), refer to: Fernandes, D. (1998) ‘The Kurdish Genocide in Turkey, 1924-98’, Armenian Forum, Vol. 1 (4), p. 56-107; Fernandes, D. (2001) ‘Postscriptum: A Propos De La “Petite Question” Du Genocide Kurde En Turquie, 1924-2001’, L’Appel du Kurdistan, Number 28, October 2001, p. 45-60; Fernandes, D. (2006) Colonial Genocides in Turkey, Kenya and Goa (Apec Press, Stockholm) and Fernandes, D. (2007) The Kurdish Genocide in Turkey. Apec Press, Stockholm.

3 Chomsky, N. (2000) A New Generation Draws The Line: Kosovo, East Timor and the Standards of the West. Verso, London and New York, p. 12-14.

4 The PKK has not only been criminalised by the US and Turkish governments. Under the UK Terrorism Act 2000, provisions have resulted in the ‘proscription’ of the PKK. Under the Act, for instance, it is now an offence to belong - or profess to belong - to the PKK, to invite support for it, to arrange a meeting that is to be addressed by a member of it, or to address a meeting to encourage support for it (This is even if the meeting is being held privately, with only three people attending). The penalty is up to ten years imprisonment. “It is also an offence to wear any clothes or any other article which might arouse ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the wearer is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation. The penalty is up to six months imprisonment and a fine of up to £5,000” (The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism [2001] ‘The Terrorism Act - embracing tyranny’, CARF No. 62, June/July 2001- Under such criteria, it is now possible to ‘officially’ criminalise asylum seekers and refugees who even wear ‘traditional Kurdish costumes’, on the grounds that the colours of the clothes worn may ‘arouse suspicion’ that they are ‘nationalist PKK sympathisers’. The PKK can no longer “fundraise or organise meetings, not even to discuss why it shouldn’t be banned. In fact, under clauses 13-(1) (a) and (b), anyone” - be they a Kurdish refugee or not - “wearing a T-shirt” in the UK “that carries images or symbols supporting the PKK is liable to six months in prison” (Thomas, M. [2001] ‘The Terrorism Act is so Vague that Jesus Christ Himself would class as a Terrorist. Churchgoers, Watch Out!’, New Statesman, 23rd April 2001). The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF) further warns that “the Act’s provisions are drawn so widely as to give police and prosecutors freedom to arrest most people who are involved in any way in refugee communities’ activities or in solidarity work” (The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism [2001] ‘The Terrorism Act - embracing tyranny’, CARF No. 62, June/July 2001 - For Kurdish refugees and asylum seekers - as with anyone else in the UK, be they academics or playwrights – “writing an article or speaking in support of … Kurdish self-determination could be construed as inviting support for a proscribed organisation. A rally or meeting” in any public venue - be it in a Kurdish refugee/community centre or a hotel reception hall - which is “in support of asylum rights (but) which is addressed by a member of one of the organisations” which has been proscribed (e.g. The PKK) “could land the organisers in prison … The battery of new powers, new offences and proscribed organisations allows refugee communities to be even more closely controlled and monitored, and the criminalisation of the refugee communities has been formalised … The Act will allow the government to extradite ‘political offenders’ to their home state - something which was not permitted a century ago, when it was accepted that those fighting oppression abroad should be allowed a safe haven in Britain. Anyone convicted of an offence under the Act” is likely to be targeted, criminalised and “excluded from refugee status in Britain as a terrorist supporter, and could face deportation on national security grounds, since … the Court of Appeal accepted the Home Secretary’s argument that a threat to a friendly government abroad was a threat to Britain’s national security” (The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism [2001] ‘The Terrorism Act - embracing tyranny’, CARF No. 62, June/July 2001 - Turkey is ‘a friendly government abroad’ that is a fellow member of NATO. “Amnesty International” clarifies that it “has in the past expressed deep concern over the introduction of draconian anti-terrorism laws” not only in Turkey but “in other jurisdictions. Not least among these has been legislation introduced in the UK, including the Terrorism Act 2000 and, most recently, the Terrorism Act 2006 introduced at the end of March 2006” – See: Amnesty International (2006) ‘AI against the draft revisions to the Law to Fight Terrorism’, Info-Turk, June 2006, No. 334 ( The Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) have also noted that “Britain has banned Kongra-Gel as an organisation that ‘glorifies terrorism’. The move was announced on 17 July [2006] by Home Secretary John Reid under the new law outlawing the ‘glorification of terrorism’. It marks a further escalation of attempts to criminalise and silence the Kurds. Anyone expressing support for the group or [even] simply wearing clothes implying support will be committing an offence … The UK action follows similar moves taken earlier this year by both the European Union and the US. Thus, whether living inside or outside Turkey, Kurds are now facing ‘anti-terror’ laws used to deter, suppress and criminalise political activities … The ban ignores Kongra-Gel’s aims and activities since it was founded on 15 November 2003. Kongra-Gel’s main objective is the attainment of ‘peace, democracy, freedom, equality and justice for a solution to the Kurdish Question’ and the promotion of a ‘democratic and ecological society’ through peaceful and political struggle” (The Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and Campaign Against Criminalising Communities [2006] ‘Petition: End the Criminalisation of the Kurds - No to UK Ban on Kongra-Gel’, The Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and CAMPACC).

5 Hakki Hayri (2001) ‘A Foot in Australia, Three Souls in Kurdistan: Interviews with Ayce Akturk, Hakki Hayri and Ahmed Tigran’, in Fire, Snow and Honey - Voices from Kurdistan, edited by Gina Lennox. Halstead Press, New South Wales, Australia. p. 485.

6 Hakki Hayri (2001) ‘A Foot in Australia, Three Souls in Kurdistan’, p. 485.

7 Ganser, G. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Frank Cass, London and New York, p. 234-235.

8 The Turkish Daily News (13th July 1994 edition) reported that “Karadayi, Commander of the Turkish land forces [who was to become Turkey's Chief of Staff] was officially invited to receive the US Legion of Merit medal at a ceremony held at the Pentagon”.

9 Colonel George S. Patton III described his troops in Vietnam as “‘a bloody good bunch of killers’. Patton went on to reflect upon how he considered their ‘present ratio of 90% killing and 10% pacification just about right’. Celebrating Christmas 1968 with a card displaying the photo of a dismembered Vietnamese over the legend ‘Peace on Earth’, Patton returned to the US carrying a polished human skull, complete with a bullet hole over the left eye, presented at his farewell party by adoring subordinates” - Churchill, W. (2003) ‘“To Judge Them By The Standards Of Their Time”: America’s Indian Fighters, the Laws of War and the Question of the International Order’, in Perversions of Justice: Indigenous Peoples and Anglo American Law. City Lights, San Franscisco, p. 326, 327. For further details about General Alvarez, refer to Fernandes, D. and Ozden, I. (2006) US, UK, German and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations Against The Kurdish ‘Communist’ Threat in Turkey and Northern Iraq. Apec Press, Stockholm.

10 McKiernan, K. (1999) ‘Turkey's War On The Kurds’, The Atomic Scientists, Vol. 55, No. 2, March/April 1999 (

11 Hartung, W. (1995) Arms Trade Resource Center Reports - Weapons at War. A World Policy Institute Issue Brief (

12 Pilger, J. (2002) ‘The “secret” war which has seen a 300 per cent increase in bombing raids on Iraq’, 20 December 2002 (

13 Deere, J. (2000) ‘A License to kill Kurds’,, 28 August 2000 (

14 Johnson, C. (2000) The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, p. 72-74.

15 Carpenter, T. G. (1999) ‘U.S. Policy toward Turkey: A Study in Double Standards’, The HR-Net Forum, January 1999 ( Carpenter cites the following as his source: Dana Priest, ‘Free of Oversight, U.S. Military Trains Foreign Troops’, Washington Post, July 12, 1998, p. A1. See also: Human Rights Watch Arms Project (1995) Weapons Transfers and Violations of the Laws of War in Turkey. New York, Human Rights Watch, and ‘Turkey and the Charge of Genocide - A Submission to the Independent Commission for International War Crimes Tribunal’, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, July 31, 1999 (as reproduced in:

16 ‘Turkey and the Charge of Genocide - A Submission to the Independent Commission for International War Crimes Tribunal’, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, July 31, 1999 (as reproduced in:

17 Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Weapons Transfers and Violations of the Laws of War in Turkey.

18 Churchill, W. (2003) ‘A Government of Laws?’, in On The Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections On The Consequences of US Imperial Arrogance and Criminality. AK Press, Oakland and Edinburgh, p. 209-210.

19 Refer to Fernandes and Ozden, US, UK, German and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations Against The Kurdish ‘Communist’ Threat in Turkey and Northern Iraq and Clark, W. ‘Byzantine Politics: The abduction and trial of Abdullah Ocalan’, Variant: Cross Currents in Culture, No. 8 (    

20 Devrimci Sol (1997) ‘Who Are Guilty?’, Devrimci Sol, January 1997, p. 31.

21 Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Weapons Transfers and Violations of the Laws of War in Turkey, p. 4.

22 Article 19 (1997) Letter to the Secretary General, The Council of Europe, dated 8th September 1997, p. 1.

23 UK Parliamentary Human Rights Group (1994) The Kurdish Region in Turkey: The Most Destructive Conflict in the Northern Hemisphere. Kurdistan Solidarity Committee/Kurdistan Information Centre, London, p. 10.

24 UK Parliamentary Human Rights Group (1993) A Desolation Called Peace: Report by the Parliamentary Human Rights Group On A Mission To Turkish Kurdistan, 12-17 October 1993. Kurdish Information Centre, London, November 1993, p. 28.

25 As quoted in Fernandes, D. (1996) Beyond the Paradise of Infinite Colours: Turkish State Terror, Tourism and the Kurdish Question. R&B Bookshop, Bangalore, India.

26 Schulter, M. (1999) ‘Genocide against Kurds and Ocalan Trial’, 30 May 1999 (

27 Campbell, M. (2006) ‘Messages of Solidarity for Mark Thomas Demonstration’, 22 June 2006 ( For a detailed analysis of the genocidal context of this targeting, see: Fernandes, The Kurdish Genocide in Turkey and Fernandes, Colonial Genocides in Turkey, Kenya and Goa.

28 As interviewed by Temel Demirer in ‘Impression’, Kurdistan Report, No. 25, p. 11.

29 Ozgur Gundem (2005) ‘US threatens Kurds’, Ozgur Gundem, 12 September 2005.

30 Keen, D. (2006) Endless War? Hidden Functions of the ‘War on Terror’’. Pluto, London and Ann Arbor, p. 8.

31 PSK (2001) ‘If You Listen to Turkish Politicians...’, PSK Bulletin, 2001.

32 BIA News Center (2004) ‘IHD: Who Is Responsible for Perincek's Death?’, BIA News Center, 17 June 2004, as reproduced in InfoTurk, No. 310, June 2004.

33 BIA News Center (2004) ‘IHD: S. Perincek was Executed Without Trial’, BIA News Center, 8 June 2004, as reproduced in InfoTurk, No. 310, June 2004.

34 Boland, V. (2004) ‘A Group of Turkish Academics, Writers and Artists’, Financial Times, 4 December 2004.

35 Peace in Kurdistan (2006) ‘Time for Justice: The Case of Ocalan and the PKK - End the Criminalization of the Kurds in Turkey and Europe: Notification of a Meeting at Committee Room 20, House of Commons, Westminster, Tuesday, 18 July, 7pm’, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, London, p. 1.

36 Turkish Daily News (2006) ‘New Army Chief Buyukanõt Promises To Crush “Terrorism”’, Turkish Daily News, 26 August 2006 (

37 Zaman, A. (2005) ‘Top Turkish Party Backs Bomb Probe - AKP’, Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2005.

38 Zaman, A. (2005) ‘Top Turkish Party Backs Bomb Probe - AKP’, Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2005.

39 Guler, S. (2005) DIHA News Agency Report, 15 November 2005.

40 Cihan News Agency (2006) ‘Reminder of Kurdish Language from EP Member’, Cihan News Agency, Van, 6 August 2006 (

41 See Human Rights Watch (2006) Letter to Turkish Prime Minister, dated 7th June 2006.

42 Human Rights Watch (2006) Letter to Turkish Prime Minister, dated 7th June 2006.

43 Xinhua (2006) News bulletin, Xinhua, 14 September 2006.

44 (2006) ‘Turkish Revenge Brigades’ claims responsibility for the bomb attack in Amed (Diyarbakir)’, (

45 (2006) ‘Turkish Revenge Brigades’ claims responsibility for the bomb attack in Amed (Diyarbakir)’, (

46 Korkut, T. (2006) ‘Security forces authorized: “Bury Where You Kill”’, BIA News Center, 18 April 2006, as reproduced in Info-Turk, May 2006, No. 333 (

47 Korkut, T. (2006) ‘Security forces authorized: “Bury Where You Kill”’, BIA News Center, April 18, 2006, as reproduced in Info-Turk, May  2006, No. 333 (

48 Korkut, T. (2006) ‘Security forces authorized: “Bury Where You Kill”’, BIA News Center, April 18, 2006, as reproduced in Info-Turk, May  2006, No. 333 (

49 Kizilocak, H. (2003) ‘The Relationship Between Turkey, EU And The Kurds’, Paper at the International Conference on Kurds, the European Union and Turkey, London, Sunday, 29 June 2003.

50 Hurriyet (2002) ‘27 Children Brought Before Diyarbakir’s State Security Court’, Hürriyet, 11 June 2002, as reproduced by IMK Weekly Information Service, 17 June - 28 June 2002, No. 160 (

51 Aram (2002) Conspiracy and Crisis: Turkey and the Kurdish Question: From the Nineties to the Present Day - Written by a collective of journalists and researchers on behalf of Aram Publisher. Aram, Istanbul, January, 2002 (

52 Evrensel - TIHV, (2004) ‘Members of a Music Group on Trial in Diyarbakir’, 6 April 2004, as cited in Info Turk, April 2004, No. 308
( in Turkey: Sword of Damocles" still hangs on freedoms).

53 Yildiz, K. and Muller, M. (2005) ‘Turkey, Kurds, Europe and the EU Accession Process: “What is to be done?”’, in Muller, M., Brigham, C., Westrheim, K. and Yildiz, K. (eds.) EU Turkey Civic Commission: International Conference on Turkey, the Kurds and the EU, European Parliament, Brussels, 22-23 November 2004 – Conference Papers. KHRP, GB, p. 97.

54 Rud, J. (2005) ‘Turkey’s Implementation of European Human Rights Standards - Legislation and Practice’, in Muller, M., Brigham, C., Westrheim, K. and Yildiz, K. (eds.) EU Turkey Civic Commission: International Conference on Turkey, the Kurds and the EU, European Parliament, Brussels, 22-23 November 2004 - Conference Papers, KHRP, GB, p. 65.

55 Rud, J. (2005) ‘Turkey’s Implementation of European Human Rights Standards – Legislation and Practice’, p. 57.

56 Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2002) ‘Linguistic Human Rights in Education and Turkey - Some International Comparisons’, An invited plenary paper at the International Conference on Kurds, the European Union and Turkey, Copenhagen, Denmark, 14th October 2002.

57 Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2005) ‘Endangered Linguistic and Cultural Diversities and Endangered Biodiversity - The Role of Educational Linguistic Human Rights in Diversity Maintenance’, Conference on Cultural Diversity and Linguistic Diversity, Diyarbakir/Amed, 20-25 March 2005.

58 Rud, J. (2005) ‘Turkey’s Implementation of European Human Rights Standards - Legislation and Practice’, p. 65.

59 BIA News Centre (2005) ‘Ten local TVs queued for Kurdish broadcast’, BIA News Centre, 25 August 2005.

60 See: Associated Press (2000) ‘Kurdish students struggle with Turkish language’, March 16, 2000, as cited in Info-Turk, March 2000, No. 259.

61 Rud, J. (2005) ‘Turkey’s Implementation of European Human Rights Standards – Legislation and Practice’, p. 57.

62 Socialist Party of Kurdistan - PSK (2002) ‘Report of the Socialist Party of Kurdistan On the Relationship Between the EU and Turkey And the EU-Accession of Turkey’, PSK, September 2002.

63 Ronayne also mentions ‘globalisation’. Source: Ronayne, M. (2006) ‘Invest in Caring, Not Killing: Women’s Opposition to Dams and War’, Ulkede Ozgur Gundem, 29 July 2006 (

64 For a detailed examination of this issue, see Fernandes, The Kurdish Genocide in Turkey (forthcoming); Fernandes, D. (2006) Colonial Genocides in Turkey, Kenya and Goa and Fernandes and Ozden, US, UK, German and NATO Inspired Psychological Warfare Operations Against the ‘Kurdish Communist Threat’ in Turkey and Northern Iraq.

65 Ronayne, M. (2006) ‘Invest in Caring, Not Killing: Women’s Opposition to Dams and War’, Ulkede Ozgur Gundem, 29 July 2006 (

66 Ronayne, M. and Ascherson, N. (2006) ‘Opposition to Turkey’s Ilisu Dam rises again: Turkey has revived plans for the vast Ilisu Dam. Maggie Ronayne explains why she’s still fighting construction on cultural and environmental grounds, while Neal Ascherson outlines the bitter dispute’, 1 September 2006 (

67 Yedinci Gundem (2002) ‘Kurdish Tuition as Grounds for Torture’, Yedinci Gundem, 12 May 2002, as reproduced in IMK Weekly Information Service, 13 May - 24 May 2002, No. 156 (

68 IMK Weekly Information Service (2002) ‘11 Teachers Detained’, IMK Weekly Information Service, 13 May - 24 May 2002, No. 156 (

69 Rud, J. (2005) ‘Turkey’s Implementation of European Human Rights Standards - Legislation and Practice’, p. 64.

70 As quoted by Wilgenburg, V. V. (2006) ‘Belgium seeks clarification on Turkish death squad operation’,, 6 March 2006 (

71 Wilgenburg, V. V. (2006) ‘Belgium seeks clarification on Turkish death squad operation’,, 6 March 2006 (

72 BIA News Center (2006) ‘Stopping Kerincsiz Ultranationalist Attacks Is Bar’s Duty’, BIA News Center, 10 July 2006, as reproduced in Info Turk, No. 335, July 2006, (

73 Wilgenburg, V. V. (2006) ‘Amed attack: Kurds and Turks face bleak future’,, 14 September 2006 (

74 Human Rights Watch (2006) ‘Reuters Alerts, Turkey: Anti-Terror Law Used Against Peaceful Activists’, Human Rights Watch, 7 June 2006.

75 CILDEKT (2002) ‘OSCE Report Refers to Kurdish Question’, CILDEKT, 16 July 2002, as quoted in IMK Weekly Information Service, No. 162, 16 July - 27 July 2002 (

76 Aram (2002) Conspiracy and Crisis: Turkey and the Kurdish Question: From the Nineties to the Present Day - Written by a collective of journalists and researchers on behalf of Aram Publisher. Aram, Istanbul, January, 2002 (

77 Yildiz, K and Muller, M. (2005) ‘The EU, Turkey and the Kurds’, in Muller, M., Brigham, C., Westrheim, K. and Yildiz, K. (eds.) EU Turkey Civic Commission: International Conference on Turkey, the Kurds and the EU, European Parliament, Brussels, 22-23 November 2004 - Conference Papers, KHRP, GB, p. 48.

78 The New Anatolian (2006) ‘Turkey shrugs off PKK’s offer of conditional cease-fire’, The New Anatolian, 25 August 2006 (

79 Dicle, H. (2005) Statement made on 19 September 2005 at the Second EUTCC International Conference on ‘EU Turkey and the Kurds’, held in the EU Parliament, 19 - 21 September 2005 ( An ANF - Firat News Agency report, dated 30th August 2006, also stated that a “written statement of Kongra-Gel indicated that ‘Koma Komalen Kurdistan (KKK, Confederalism of Kurdistan, Kongra-Gel is the Assembly) made a peace declaration declared on 23 August, 2006, and they supported this. They also indicated that they were in search of peaceful solution without violence for the resolution of the Kurdish question and they are expecting a response” from the Turkish state “on this regard” (‘Kongra Gel condemns bomb attacks’, ANF - Firat News Agency, Accessed at:

80 As quoted in Yilmaz, A. (2003) ‘Mustafa Karahan: Interview with Mustafa Karahan, the head of DEHAP in Amed’,, 9 January 2004 (

81 Mizgin (2006) ‘We’ve Had Enough’ (

82 Uzun, M. (2005) The Dialogue and Liberties of Civilizations’, Presented at the Second EUTCC International Conference on ‘EU Turkey and the Kurds’, held in the EU Parliament, 19 - 21 September 2005 (

83 Thomas, M. (2006) ‘There is one EU problem that is resolutely not going away and will only get worse: that is, Turkey’s membership’, The New Statesman, 24 April 2006 (

84 According to Simon Cooper and Ruth Riordan, “Asci began the death fast on International Lawyer’s Day, April 5, because, he says, he could no longer sit back and watch his clients die” (‘On the death fast of Lawyer Behic Asci’, Green Left Weekly, 16 August 2006, as reproduced in Info Turk, August 2006, No. 336 (

85 Cooper, S. and Riordan, R. (2006) ‘On the death fast of Lawyer Behic Asci’, Green Left Weekly, 16 August 2006, as reproduced in Info Turk, August 2006, No. 336 (

86 For a detailed examination of this issue, see: Fernandes, D. (2006) ‘On The Nature of the US State’s Engagement in “Anti-Terrorist Initiatives” in Turkey and Northern Iraq: A Cause for Concern?’ Presented at the Time for Justice: The Case of Ocalan and the PKK. End the Criminalization of the Kurds in Turkey and Europe public meeting, Committee Room 20, The House of Commons, Westminster, 18th July 2006 and hosted by John Austin, MP.

87 Johnson, C. (2000) The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, p. 72-74.

88 The New Anatolian (2006) ‘Police Send More Special Forces to East, Southeast’, The New Anatolian, 17 August 2006 (

89 Turkish Weekly Net (2006) ‘Turkey and Northern Iraq’, JTW and News Agencies, 30 April 2006 (

90 AFP (2005) ‘Turkey Says US Ordered Arrest of PKK leaders, Threatens Incursion Into Iraq’, AFP, Ankara, 19 July 2005.

91 Cihan News Agency (2006) ‘US Intelligence Aids Turkish Strikes Against PKK Terror Organization’, Cihan News Agency, April 21, 2006, as reported in Info-Turk, May 2006, No. 333 (

92 (2006) ‘Turkish Armed Forces Strike PKK Camps in Northern Iraq’,, 29 April 2006, as quoted in Info Turk, April 2006, No. 333 (

93 Foreign Policy in Focus (2002) Special Report, May 2002, Appendix 2: IMET Training And Human Rights Abuse: The Official Record (

94 Foreign Policy in Focus (2002) Special Report: Programs and Funding, May, 2002 (

95 Risen, C. (undated) ‘Hot for Teacher’ (

96 Berrigan, F. and Hartung, W. D. and Heffel, D. (2005) U.S. Military Aid and Arms Transfers Since September 11: A World Policy Institute Special Report, World Policy Institute ( and ).

97 Foreign Policy in Focus (2002) Special Report, May 2002: Programs and Funding (

98 Foreign Policy in Focus (2002) Special Report, May 2002: Programs and Funding (

99 ‘FBI committed to help Turkey against Kurdish rebels’, 9 December 2005 (

100 Stanton, J. (2004) ‘A Fantastic Tale Turkey, Drugs, Faustian Alliances & Sibel Edmonds’, June 29, 2004 (;

101 See Fernandes and Ozden, US, UK, German and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations Against The Kurdish ‘Communist’ Threat in Turkey and Northern Iraq.

102 See Fernandes and Ozden, US, UK, German and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations Against The Kurdish ‘Communist’ Threat in Turkey and Northern Iraq; Blum, W. (2005) Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine; Goddard, D. with Coleman, L. (1993) Trail of the Octopus: From Beirut to Lockerbie - Inside the DIA. Bloomsbury, London and Kruger, H. (1980) The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence and International Fascism. South End Press, Boston.

103 Kruger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 164. For further details, refer to pages 164-166.

104 Kruger, The Great Heroin Coup, p. 179, 180.

105 Hurriyet (2005) ‘Turkey bargains with CIA over PKK’, Hurriyet, 12 December 2005 (as reproduced in

106 Idiz, S. (2005) ‘Important Developments in Turkey-US Relations’ - A summary of his column, as quoted in: ‘Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning, 12. December 2005 ( 3).

107 Darling, D. (2005) ‘Tidbits from Turkey on Iran’, Winds of Change, December 21, 2005 (

108 Darling, D. (2005) ‘Tidbits from Turkey on Iran’, Winds of Change, December 21, 2005 ( Sensing a possible attack by US backed forces and, perhaps, in an endeavour to ‘dissuade’ Turkey from joining in the US plans for an assault of some kind on Iran, it is instructive to note that there has been recent intensified co-operation between Iran and Turkey on the issue of ‘joint operations’ against the PKK and PKK-linked forces.

109 Where Turkey has offered to contribute some ‘peacekeeping troops’, after Israel’s destruction of much of the infrastructure of the region during its recent 2006 offensive there. The US also, importantly, relies on Turkey to provide troops at key moments in its Afghanistan NATO linked ‘War on Terror’ campaign. Chossudovsky also argues that: “There is another dimension which directly relates to the war on Lebanon … Israel is slated to play a major strategic role in ‘protecting’ the Eastern Mediterranean transport and pipeline corridors out of [the Turkish linked] Ceyhan [BTC Project] … The bombing of Lebanon is part of a carefully planned and coordinated military road map. The extension of the war into Syria and Iran has already been contemplated by US and Israeli military planners. This broader military agenda is intimately related to strategic oil and oil pipelines. It is supported by the Western oil giants which control the pipeline corridors. In the context of the war on Lebanon, it seeks Israeli territorial control over the East Mediterranean coastline … Prior to the bombing of Lebanon, Israel and Turkey had announced … underwater pipeline routes, which bypassed Syria and Lebanon … On the other hand, the development of alternative land based corridors (for oil and water) through Lebanon and Syria would require Israeli-Turkish territorial control over the Eastern Mediterranean coastline through Lebanon and Syria. The implementation of a land-based corridor, as opposed to the underwater pipeline project, would require the militarisation of the East Mediterranean coastline … Is this not one of the hidden objectives of the war on Lebanon?” - Chossudovsky, M. (2006) ‘The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil’, 26 July 2006 (

110 In the short term, it may also be politically inconvenient to endorse an all out Turkish invasion of northern Iraq. The US is critically dependent, for the moment, upon KDP-PUK ‘Iraqi’ Kurdish support in its ‘Iraqi Imperialist Programme’. Consequently, as long as the PUK-KDP agree to assist the Turkish state with its ‘anti-PKK’ offensive, it is likely that it will ask Turkish forces to desist from overt incursions into the area. It seems likely, though, that several cross-border covert operations will continue to be approved, even as the US may seek to encourage the Israeli state and the PUK-KDP to collaborate with each other in Turkish approved covert operations aimed at further targeting the PKK.

111 A Xinhua News Agency September 2006 report, for instance, reports upon the following, hardly coincidental, recent ‘development’: “Visiting Iraqi Defence Minister Abd al-Qadir Muhammad al-Ubaydi called … for NATO member Turkey’s assistance in soldiers training. Speaking to reporters prior to his meeting with his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul, al-Ubaydi said that ‘military training in Turkey is excellent. Thus, we want to send [our] Iraqi soldiers to Turkey for their training’. He said, ‘I am in Turkey to further develop relations between our two countries. We are aware about Turkey’s concerns arising from the [Kurdish and PKK linked] north of Iraq and Iraq in general. The Iraqi government will do all it can to eradicate [these] matters of serious concern of Turkish authorities’… The Turkish official indicated that Baghdad has taken some steps against Turkey’s outlawed PKK based in the north of Iraq and will continue to work on the issue. ‘We will inform al-Ubaydi about Turkey’s expectations and the steps that must be taken by the Iraqi government against PKK’, he added” (‘Iraq calls for Turkey’s assistance in soldiers training’, Xinhua, 8 September 2006).

112 At this point, it should be noted that there has also been extensive past US backed Israeli state linked covert ‘anti-PKK’ support that has been extended to the Turkish state. See Fernandes and Ozden, US, UK, German and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations Against The Kurdish ‘Communist’ Threat in Turkey and Northern Iraq.

113 A 2003 Human Rights Watch study has detailed some allegations that have been levelled at the Bolu Turkish Mountain Commando Brigade: “The Bolu Commando Brigade, for example, was reportedly responsible for numerous violations of the laws of war, including village destruction, indiscriminate fire, and ‘disappearances.’ Relatives of victims of several extrajudicial executions and ‘disappearances’ in Diyarbakõr province in 1993 named the Bolu Commando Brigade as the perpetrating unit. The European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of violations of the right to life in two clusters of ‘disappearances’ reportedly involving Bolu commandos. One case was the ‘disappearance’ of eleven Kurdish inhabitants of the village of Alaca in Diyarbakõr province in 1993 (Akdeniz and others v Turkey). The second was the ‘disappearance’ of three men from the village of Cagùlayan in 1993. Relatives said that soldiers from the Bolu Commando Brigade took the men away (Orhan v Turkey). None of the perpetrators of these incidents have been brought to justice” - Human Rights Watch (2003) ‘Turkey and War in Iraq: Avoiding Past Patterns of Violation’, Human Rights Watch, Briefing Paper, March 2003 (

114 Israeli training may also be related to possible joint US-Israeli state plans for the destabilisation and/or targeting of Iran and/or Syria in coming months.

115 Gulcan, N. (2005) ‘Targets are Iran and Syria’, Journal of Turkish Weekly, 27 December 2005 ( Training of this kind, apart from potentially being geared for offensive operations against the PKK, are also likely to have been geared towards ‘potential’ offensive operations against the Iranian and/or Syrian regime.

116 Stanton, J. (2005) ‘Brent Scowcroft Talks Turkey; Sibel Edmonds Fights Fascism’, November 19, 2005 (

117 Embassy of the US, Ankara (2006) Press Releases ‘US Department of State Statement by Sean Mc Cormack, Spokesman: Special Envoy for Countering the PKK’, Press Release, Washington, DC, 28 August 2006 (

118 (2006) ‘Newsdesk Report’,, 14 August 2006 (

119 Jacobs, R. (2004) ‘Nukes in the US Protectorate of Iraq? Iran Looks to Its West and Says: I Don’t Think So’, Counterpunch, 22 June 2004 ( For further references to its protectorate status, see: Francis, D. (2006) ‘US bases in Iraq: a costly legacy’, Christian Science Monitor, 3 April 2006 ( In it, he notes that: “Iraq, says Pike, is a US ‘protectorate’”. Also refer to the ‘University of California Special Meeting of the Division of the Los Angeles Division of the Academic Senate, Korn Convocation Hall Minutes of April 14, 2003’ (

120 Xinhua (2006) News bulletin, Xinhua, 14 September 2006.

121 See Fernandes and Ozden, US, UK, German and NATO ‘Inspired’ Psychological Warfare Operations Against The Kurdish ‘Communist’ Threat in Turkey and Northern Iraq, and Danner, M. (2004) Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, And the War On Terror. New York Review Books, New York.

122 Bianet News Center (2006) ‘Disregard of UN Warnings on Anti-Terror Act’, Bianet News Center, 5 July 2006.

123 BIA News Center (2006) ‘Human Rights Activists: “New Anti-Terror Bill Incites More Violence”’, 20 April 2006, in Info-Turk, May 2006, No. 333 (

124 WIPC/IFEX (2006) ‘The Writers in Prison Committee’s Appeal to Sezer on ATL’, WIPC/IFEX, 21 July 2006 (

125 Korkut T. (2006) ‘Mr. Sezer, Do Not Ratify The Terror Law’, BIA News Center, 3 July 2006.

126 Korkut, T. (2006) ‘Human Rights Advisor: “TMY Violates Constitution”’, BIA News Center, 3 July 2006.

127 Info-Turk (2006) ‘New Anti-Terror Law: End of the Timid Democratisation’, Info-Turk, May 2006, No. 333 ( - citing The New Anatolian and other media, 19 April 2006.

128 Korkut, O. (2006) ‘Anti-Terror Schemes May Encourage Torture’, BIA News Center, 26 April 2006, in Info Turk, May 2006, No. 333  (

129 BIA News Center (2006) ‘Reaction by NGOs: “New Terror Bill Takes All Citizens Terrorist”’, 28 April 2006, in Info-Turk, May 2006, No. 333 (

130 BIA News Center (2006) ‘Reaction by NGOs: “New Terror Bill Takes All Citizens Terrorist”’, 28 April 2006, in Info-Turk, May 2006, No. 333 (

131 Churchill, W (2003) Perversions of Justice, p. 347. For further details on this, also refer to: Fernandes, D. and Ozden, I., US, UK, German and NATO Inspired Psychological Warfare Operations Against the ‘Kurdish Communist Threat’ in Turkey and Northern Iraq and Fernandes, D. (2006) ‘On The Possibilities of Successfully Taking A Case To The International Criminal Court’, in War and Occupation: Human Rights Abuses, Torture and Disappearances Under Detention, The 5th International Conference Against Disappearances, 16th -20th May 2006, Diyarbakir, Turkey. Organised by The International Committee Against Disappearances (ICAD) and Aiding and Solidarity Association with the Families who lost their Relatives (YAKAY-DER).

132 Keen, D. (2006) Endless War? Hidden Functions of the ‘War on Terror’, p. 77.

133 Keen, D. (2006) Endless War? Hidden Functions of the ‘War on Terror’, p. 77.

134 Turkish Daily News (2006) ‘Kretschmer blasts military for disrespect of legal order’, Turkish Daily News, 23 September 2006.

135 Turkish Daily News (2006) ‘Kretschmer blasts military for disrespect of legal order’, Turkish Daily News, 23 September 2006.

136 It is interesting to note that, due to his remarks, “the European Commission representative to Turkey should be declared persona non grata, said Independent Republic Party (BCP) leader and former Foreign Minister Mumtaz Soysal … He also added that the EU ambassadors can say whatever they want in member countries but don’t have the same right in candidate countries. At a conference on Friday, Kretschmer said that particularly the security sector and the armed forces” – currently driving Turkey’s US-UK backed ‘War on Terror’ – “ were [currently] held exempt from the principle of accountability and that the Turkish military doesn't confine itself to carrying out the mandate given to it by the political authority … Claiming that security units don’t respect the legal and public order, Kretschmer said that the biggest problem in Turkey in the EU process is to provide stable institutions that provide services within the framework of democratic norms, including the security units” (The New Anatolian [2006] ‘BCP leader: Kretschmer should be made persona non grata’, The New Anatolian, 25 September 2006).

137 Associated Press (2006) ‘Turkey’s human rights situation regressing, European MP’s say’, Associated Press, 23 September 2006.

138 Aslan, A. (2006) ‘Wilson: “Reactionary” Debates Cacophonous’,, 4 October 2006 ( Indeed, this view was being promoted by US governing circles in 2002, even as “Britain [ostensibly] handed over command of the international security force in Kabul … to Turkey [temporarily] and announced the withdrawal of Royal Marine commandos who ha[d] been hunting al-Qaida fighters in south-eastern Afghanistan … In a ceremony on a football pitch”, Richard Norton-Taylor observed that “[US] Major General John McColl handed over command to Turkey’s Major General Hilmi Akin Zorlu. The US [wa]s keen [even then] to promote Turkey as a secular, democratic role model for Afghanistan” – See Norton-Taylor, R. (2002) ‘Britain hands over Kabul command to Turkish forces’, The Guardian, 21 June 2002 (,,741067,00.html).

139 BIA News Centre (2006) ‘Mayor Acquitted as DEHAP Faces New Court’, BIA News Center, 28 September 2006.

140 Korkut, O. (2006) ‘Investigation Against Researchers on the Turkish Army’, BIA News Center, as reproduced in Info Turk, October 2006, No 338 (

141 A report from The Turkish Daily News, 3 October 2006 edition, as reproduced by Info Turk, October 2006, No. 338 (

142 Onderoglu, E. (2006) BIA News Center report, 25 September 2006, as reproduced in Info Turk, September 2006, No. 337 (

143 BIA News Center (2006) ‘TIHV: “Not only 301, Fourteen Articles Need Change”’, BIA News Center, 22 September 2006 (

144 BIA News Centre (2006) ‘Security Courts Relaunched For Journalists!’, BIA News Centre, 25 September 2006.

145 Korkut, O. (2006) ‘TIHV: “September 12 Coup Intact: Seeking Rights Still a Crime”’, BIA News, 12 September 2006 (

146 The New Anatolian (2006) ‘Sparks fly over bilingual children’s book in Diyarbakir’, The New Anatolian, 7 October 2006, as reproduced in InfoTurk, October 2006, No. 338 (

147 Yilmaz, M. (2006) ‘Lockheed Martin, Joseph Ralston, and the PKK’.

148 Yilmaz, M. (2006) ‘Lockheed Martin, Joseph Ralston, and the PKK’.

149 As cited by Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Co-Ordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (

150 Market Watch (2006) ‘DoD OK’s $2.9 bln sale to Turkey of 30 F-16 fighters’, Market Watch, 29 September 2006
( My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead.

151 Mizgin, in Rastbini, as cited in wotisitgood4.blogspot, 4 October 2006 (

152 The BIA News Center reports, for example, that: “Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) has issued a statement welcoming the new unilateral and unconditional cease-fire declared by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), saying this was a historic opportunity to create the conditions of a democratic solution to the country's Kurdish problem. The Association said all sections of the society in favour of freedoms had to participate in the debate on a solution in this period and that the priority was to prevent the peace process from being obstructed” - BIA News Center (2006) ‘IHD: “Cease-Fire” is Historical Opportunity’, BIA News Center, 4 October 2006 ( Ertugrul Kurkcu has also concluded that: “In this period of tension, the only positive development that has widened the area of maneuverability for labour is the PKK ending its armed attacks for an indefinite time” - Kurkcu, E. (2006) ‘Washington’s Preferences’, Siyasi gazette, 5 October 2006. The Association for Human Rights and Solidarity with the Oppressed’s (MAZLUMDER’s) Chairman, Ayhan Bilgen, made the following comments about the PKK’s ceasefire: “This is an opportunity for the clashes in the country to come to end, the guns to be silenced, all violence to come to an end” - BIA News Center (2006) ‘Tension Leads to Restricting Freedoms’, BIA News Center, 4 October 2006.

153 Market Watch has detailed the manner in which “Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) makes the fighters, which will be Block 50 models, and General Electric Co. (GE) makes the engines. Other contractors [also] involved in the deal include Boeing Co. (BA), L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL), Raytheon Co. (RTN) and BAE Systems PLC (BA.LN)” - Market Watch (2006) ‘DoD OK’s $2.9 bln sale to Turkey of 30 F-16 fighters’, Market Watch, 29 September 2006 ( My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead.

154 According to Market Watch: “Congress has the power to block the deal but rarely steps in” - Market Watch (2006) ‘DoD OK’s $2.9 bln sale to Turkey of 30 F-16 fighters’, Market Watch, 29 September 2006 (

155 Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Co-Ordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (

156 Which has itself become embroiled in controversy - See: Mejia, M. (2006) ‘The Secrets Behind “State Secrets”: How Turkey's Mafia-like “Deep State” (and its Neocon Friends) Penetrated US Government’, ( and Fernandes, D. (2006) ‘On The Nature of the US State’s Engagement in “Anti-Terrorist Initiatives” in Turkey and Northern Iraq: A Cause for Concern?’ Presented at the Time for Justice: The Case of Ocalan and the PKK. End the Criminalization of the Kurds in Turkey and Europe public meeting, Committee Room 20, The House of Commons, Westminster, 18th July 2006 and hosted by John Austin, MP. Mizgin notes that “The membership list of the ATC reads like a Who's Who of corporate America, with the defense industry prominently represented: Bechtel, Boeing, General Atomics, General Dynamics, GE, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, Textron, United Defense and United Technologies/Sikorsky. Those are the corporations that have filled their coffers by soaking Kurdistan with Kurdish blood. Other corporate members include: Archer Daniels MIdland, ChevronTexaco, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, Frito Lay, Hyatt, Pepsi, Pfizer and Shell” – Mizgin (2005) ‘Blood Money’, Rasti, 31 December 2005 (

157 Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Co-Ordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (

158 Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Co-Ordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (

159 AFP (2006) ‘Turkey rejects Ocalan’s truce offer’, AFP, 30 September 2006.

160 (2006) ‘Turkey - Turk Hava Kuvvetleri Turkish Air Force – TuAF: Introduction’, The Ultimate F-16 Reference website (

161 Global Security.Org (2006) ‘F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II’ ( My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead and reference.

162 Global Security.Org (2006) ‘F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II’ ( My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead and reference.

163 Global Security.Org (2006) ‘F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II’ ( My thanks to Mark Campbell for this lead and reference.

164 The US public, often, indeed, scandalously subsidises these ‘costs’ of ‘procurement’ by the Turkish military, something which many concerned US citizens remain unaware of. Mizgin cites a key report which has concluded that: “The vast majority of US arms transfers to Turkey have been subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. In many cases, these taxpayer funds are supporting military production and employment in Turkey, not in the United States. Of the $10.5 billion in U.S. weaponry delivered to Turkey since the outbreak of the war with the PKK in 1984, 77% of the value of those shipments - $8 billion in all - has been directly or indirectly financed by grants and subsidized loans provided by the US government. Many of the largest deals - such as Lockheed Martin’s sale of 240 F-16’s to the Turkish air force and the FMC Corporation’s provision of 1,698 armored vehicles to the Turkish army - involve coproduction and offset provisions which steer investments, jobs, and production to Turkey as a condition of the sale. For example, Turkey’s F-16 assembly plant in Ankara - a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) - employs 2,000 production workers, almost entirely paid for with U.S. tax dollars” – Mizgin (2006) ‘The US PKK Coordinator and Lockheed Martin’, 1 October 2006 (

165 As quoted in the The Ultimate F-16 Reference website article entitled ‘Turkey - Turk Hava Kuvvetleri Turkish Air Force - TuAF Introduction’ (

166 (2006) ‘F-35 Lightning II News Turkey to buy 100 F-35 jets?’ (

167 Mark Campbell, personal communication, 30th September 2006.

168 Lieven Dewitte, writing in on 11 July 2002, additionally clarified that “Turkey today (July 11th) became the seventh international partner to sign up for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, joining the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark and Norway. Australia also has announced its intention to participate” (

169 BBC News (2006) ‘Kurdish rebels “announce truce”’, BBC News, 30 September 2006.

170 AFP (2006) ‘Turkey rejects Ocalan’s truce offer’, AFP, 30 September 2006.

171 Turkish Daily News (2006) ‘Erdogan rejects call from Ocalan, seeks US steps against PKK’, Turkish Daily News, 30 September 2006

172 (

173 As quoted by Yilmaz, M. (2006) in ‘Lockheed Martin, Joseph Ralston, and the PKK’ (citing a Turkish Daily News article: Accessed at:

174 Korkut, T. (2006) ‘Buyukanit: There is the threat of fundamentalism’, BIA News Center, 4 October 2006.  

175 Korkut, T. (2006) ‘The army’s role’, BIA News Center, 4 October 2006.  

176 See AFP (2006) ‘Turkish PM rejects Kurdish leader’s cease fire offer’, AFP, 29 September 2006.

177 The New Anatolian, 22 September 2006, as reproduced by Info Turk, ‘General Basbug Seeks Public Support in Fighting Terror’, Info Turk, September 2006, No. 337 (

178 Cihan News Agency, 13 September 2006, as reproduced in Info Turk, ‘Gov’t Appoints Retired Gen. Baser As Special Envoy to Fight PKK’, Info Turk, September 2006, No. 337 (

179 The New Anatolian (2006) ‘Gul warns: No solution to Kirkuk issue will aggravate Iraq’s problems’, The New Anatolian, 24 September, 2006.

180 Cihan News Agency (2006) ‘Turkey to keep fighting PKK to the end - FM Gul’, Cihan News Agency, 28 September 2006.

181 PNA (2006) ‘Turkey to consider PKK ceasefire’, PNA, 10 October 2006.

182 As cited in:

183 Aslan, A. (2006) ‘Wilson: “Reactionary” Debates Cacophonous’,, 4 October 2006 (

184 On this point, Ted Rall, author of Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?, comments: “It depends on what your definition of ‘free’ is … Scratch the gloss of the gleaming energy-boom-funded skyscrapers rising over the Kazakh metropolises of Almaty and Astana, and it becomes clear that the United States is giving the red-carpet, 21-gun salute treatment to [yet] another right-wing dictator of the variety we propped up during the Cold War … Nazarbayev, the Communist Party boss of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) at the time of the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, has been Kazakhstan’s strongman since independence … Early in 2005, Nazarbayev had the DVK [the main opposition Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan party] banned entirely for ‘inciting social tension’ and ‘extremism’. A few weeks after promising to release evidence that Nazarbayev and his family were involved in oil-related corruption, Zamanbek Nurkadilov, a former Nazarbayev cabinet minister who joined the nation’s sole remaining viable opposition party, For a Fair Kazakhstan (NAZ), was found dead at his home in Almaty, a pistol lying at his side. Nurkadilov had been shot three times - twice in the chest and once in the head. Kazakh authorities ruled his death a suicide … Misfortune [has] continued to befall Kazakhs who sp[ea]k out against Nazarbayev. On February 13, 2006, reported Radio Free Europe, the bodies of Nurkadilov’s replacement as NAZ leader and four aides ‘were discovered on a desolate stretch of road outside Almaty ... their bodies riddled with bullets and their hands bound behind their backs’. Altynbek Sarsenbayev had recently announced his own intention to release proof of Nazarbayev and his cronies’ misuse of oil revenues. The government blamed five rogue officers of its KNB (ex-KGB) security service for the contract killing. No one believes the official story. The Kazakh regime … has ruthlessly crushed attempts to curtail freedom of expression, a crucial building block of an open society. Journalists have been threatened, beaten and jailed. After the leading independent newspaper Respublika published an interview with a Russian politician that criticized Nazarbayev in May 2005, it was ordered closed. A printing house that agreed to publish a successor newspaper, Setkz, was shuttered as well. The state Internet monopoly, controlled by one of Nazarbayev’s daughters, censors block access to opposition and independent websites. Since a presidential proclamation signed by President Bush in 2004 bans visits by corrupt foreign officials to the United States, Nazarbayev - embroiled in a ‘Kazakhgate’ influence peddling scandal scheduled for federal court later this fall - was legally [supposed to be] ineligible to come to Washington last week. Consultant and lobbyist James Giffen will soon face charges that he funneled more than $78 million in bribes from his energy company clients, most of it to Nazarbayev and his former prime minister. According to the Justice Department, Giffen also gave Nazarbayev’s wife fur coats and a snowmobile, and even paid Nazarbayev’s daughter's tuition at George Washington University. US officials call ‘Kazakhgate’ one of the largest violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in history. According to a reliable source, high-ranking White House officials are pressuring the Justice Department to drop the case. [The reason?]: Kazakhstan's geopolitical importance [to the Bush administration] is obvious. It is the largest producer of Caspian Sea oil, borders Russia, China and the other Central Asian states, and has granted the US Air Force landing rights at Almaty’s airport for operations in Afghanistan … Kazakhstan is [also] the only Central Asian republic to have sent troops to Iraq. In all the ways that matter, however, Nazarbayev presides over a police state that is indistinguishable from his more notorious neighbors, such as Islam Karimov, president of Uzbekistan. Karimov ordered and personally supervised the massacre of at least 700 demonstrators in the Uzbek city of Andijon. The May 13, 2005 incident [is] known in the region as ‘Uzbekistan's Tiananmen Square’ … [Yet], Nazarbayev appeared at a joint press conference with Karimov in March 2006, nearly a year after the Andijon massacre. ‘Of course, we regret everything that happened [at Andijon]’, said Nazarbayev. ‘However, it should be said that another end [i.e., not killing the demonstrators] would have destabilized now the whole region’. Destablization”, Rall observes, “might have given Kazakstan’s 15 million citizens, 99 percent of whom live in poverty while Nazarbayev steals the oil and gas beneath their feet, a chance to liberate themselves. [Yet], sadly and once again, the US government is siding with a dictator over the people”, and, as in Turkey, supporting and ‘jointly’ working as a ‘partner’ in the international ‘war on terror’, with terrorist forces and regimes (All Ted Rall quotes here come from his article, ‘Bush Gives 15 Million Muslims More Reasons to Hate Us’ - Accessed at: President Bush’s welcoming address to Nazarbayev is worth reading: “Mr. President, thank you for coming. It's been my honor to welcome the President of Kazakhstan … We’ve just had a very important and interesting discussion. We discussed our desire to defeat extremism and our mutual desire to support the forces of moderation [sic] throughout the world. I thanked the President for his contribution to helping a new democracy in Iraq survive and thrive and grow. I thank very much the President for his concerns about Afghanistan’s democracy, and his willingness to help in Afghanistan … We talked about our commitment to institutions that will enable liberty to flourish. I have watched very carefully the development of this important country from one that was in the Soviet sphere to one that now is a free nation. And I appreciate your leadership, Mr. President. And I welcome you here to the White House …” - Source: Office of the Press Secretary, The Oval Office (2006) ‘President Bush Welcomes President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan to the White House’, White House Press Release, Office of the Press Secretary, The Oval Office, Washington, DC, September 29, 2006 (

185 The PKK and other organisations, with Ocalan as their leader, have rejected ‘separatism’ for years now. The ‘separatism’ tag, therefore, is a deliberately misleading one as far as the ‘terrorist’ PKK, Kongra-Gel and KKK are concerned. The KKK (Kurdistan Democratic Confederalism) Executive Council’s most recent statement on 20th August 2006, for instance, clarified that: “We would like as a movement” – with Ocalan at its head – “to emphasize, once again, that the right solution is a democratic autonomy within the borders of Turkey” - Declaration for the democratic resolution of the Kurdish question, KKK [Kurdistan Democratic Confederalism] Executive Council, 20 August 2006. Translation from Turkish original (Accessed at: and A BBC report, dated 19th August 2005, also clarifies that “The Kurdish rebel group fighting for autonomy in south-eastern Turkeyhas announced a one-month ceasefire” - BBC News (2005) ‘Kurdish rebels declare ceasefire’, BBC News, Friday, 19 August 2005 ( The Presidential Board of Koma Komalen Kurdistan (KKK - Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan) issued the following statement on 30th September 2006: “On the 28th September 2006, following the decisions of the assembly, the Leader of Koma Komalen Kurdistan, Apo (Abdullah Öcalan), declared once again to the public and the movement the decision of a ceasefire … We will carry out our work for this aim of a positive outcome in order to create the conditions for a life within a democratic and free union and to solve the problem within the borders of Turkey” (KKK Presidential Board Statement, ‘To the press and the public opinion’, 30th September 2006).

186 Knox, O. (2006) ‘Bush and Erdogan emphasize common ground after talks’, Agence France Presse, 3 October 2006.

187 Reuters (2006) ‘Turkey seeks US help on Kurd rebels as ceasefire starts’, Reuters, 2 October 2006.

188 Reuters (2006) ‘Report: Former IDF commandos secretly trained Kurdish soldiers’, Reuters, as reproduced in Haaretz, 20 September 2006 (as reproduced in:

189 Reuters (2006) ‘Report: Former IDF commandos secretly trained Kurdish soldiers’, Reuters, as reproduced in Haaretz, 20 September 2006 (as reproduced in:

190 Borger, J. (2003) ‘Israel trains US Assassination Squads in Iraq’, The Guardian , 9 December 2003 (,2763,1102940,00.html).

191 Korkut, T. (2006) ‘Turkey: Postponing Democracy and Peace’, BIA News Center, 4 October 2006.

192 Korkut, T. (2006) ‘Turkey: Postponing Democracy and Peace’, BIA News Center, 4 October 2006.

193 Demir, E. (2006) ‘PACE Criticizes Turkey’s Methods of Combating Terrorism’,, 5 October 2006.

194 Ozkaya, A. N. (2006) ‘PACE Approves Report on Kurds: “The cultural situation of the Kurds”’, 5 October 2006. Source: Council of Europe and Minorities, A. Noyan Ozkaya. Cihan News Agency clarifies that: “It must be noted that the report’s recommendations, however, are non-binding in nature” - The Turkish state, consequently, is not obliged to impliment any of the recommendations - Cihan News Agency (2006) ‘PACE Adopts Report on Kurdish Rights’, Cihan News Agency, 5 October, 2006 (

195 Kurkcu, E. (2006) ‘Washington's Preferences’, Siyasi Gazete, 5 October 2006.

196 As quoted in Info Turk (2006) ‘New Anti-Terror Law is Used Against the Freedom of Expression’, Info Turk, September 2006, No. 337 (