Thursday, December 27, 2007


We were sitting in the living room watching TV news. They were giving the news with same images.

İ turned me with questioning eyes; “This means the caves collapsed on them by bombs?”

I looked a few seconds in silence before answering him; “Sure, they send the bombs, caves collapse, they die.”

That stealthy burning begin to invade me as usual. I was not able to hear or sea the TV in front of me. I was not in the warmth of the living room anymore but shivering with cold.

“Do you know what, that is why they can’t give body count. They are bombing the unreachable points. Even PKK may not reach different bombed points at this winter time and know about the number of their lost. I mean, if no one left alive to inform with radio.”

All I can think of was the wall like mountain slopes, full of thousands of caves at our both sides which enchanted me during my last visit to border area. The images on TV were wilder, same caves bursting were on abysses, hard to imagine they can be reached on foot.

“Their bodies will freeze till the spring if they will not be eaten by wild animals by than. They can be reached may be only after spring” was my voice so chilling or could he get my meaning immediately, I am not so sure.

“Okey, okey don’t begin. I don’t want to hear your usual remarks!”

“Why don’t you ever like to hear realities? It must be what is happening. Bombs are raining on them. They get trapped dead or wounded. If anyone survive they may communicate by other groups, if not nobody can hear from them any more.”

“It is horrible.”

“What were you thinking it will be? They will land the areas, take the bodies, give them to their parents or take photos, show the world?”

“No, but…”

“Are there any photos of dead soldiers at the place of the events? It is a psychological part of this, not to give any photos of death. But this is another matter of fact, though they gave the photos of some bodies of PKK members lined side by side in the past, these must be really unreachable, at least for now.”

“But it is very… I mean… I don’t want to… this is horrible…”

“Yea, it is horrible. It is inhuman, is there any thing human in any kind of war?”

“But the people were fed up, they killed so many in years, they created so many pains…”

“Whatever, murder is a great crime but we don’t approve death penalty. “

“This is more than death.”

“Every death is unique. Nothing can justify death. We, unfortunately not everybody but, at least some of us can make empathy because they are our people, could we make this much for Iraq, Afghanistan for example…”

We sit silent until others come. Images fallowed one another in my mind. God, it is not always good to have an active imaginary…

I wrote dozens of scenarios in my mind as if I am still young and one of them. I wrote other dozens as if I am the mother of one of them. I could’t write even one as if I am one of their leaders deciding on their fate or sending bombs for their death. Even putting my self in the shoes of one of their mothers was easier because there was only unbearable pain to face, but no responsibility of murder.

Dreams woke me up several times until morning. I was at several places in wild nature. We were in preparation to spend winter in caves. I was not able to detach any feelings but longing. Bombs were beginning to rain on us. So much voice, so many explosions… Then silence and darkness…

I died so many times in my dreams before but last night it was not possible to differ if I was dead, wounded or one of few survived. It was such darkness and silence that even the living was dead and dead was alive. They were not nightmares, it was not my imagination.

All were more like a sacred ritual. Every dream ended with silence becoming alive, darkness turning to uncountable colors. I was bodiless whirling united with colors, as dervishes made of particles. Embraced with psalms, in every dream beginning with “Sordum sarı çiçeğe, sizde ölüm var mıdır? Çiçek eydür derviş baba, ölümsüz yer var mıdır?” (I asked the yellow flower, do you have death? Flower is fine dervish father, is there any land without death?)

Last time when such dreams invaded me I was in Diyarbakir, after witnessing the evacuation of dead and wounded soldiers from helicopters, in blood, over their friends’ shoulders from my hotel room.

There is a rebellion rising in me I am not able to control against death, death culture. I can’t understand how come death can be tried to be justified in any way. There is a point where no point of views, no beliefs, no ideologies, no politics works. I don’t know why can’t we see that, why can’t we resist the brainwashing politics of any kind.

When will the children of this country dance, whirl with all colors, with all folk songs, in all languages, all together? We can experience it only in our dreams after witnessing so much pain, but our children, grand children deserve to live it out of dreams.

Yellow flowers in our mountains, valleys are dying, wish earth will save their seeds. Some are terrorists , some civilians, some are soldiers. Forget the names, we have uncountable colors of flowers. Purples, voilets can also make you dazzle...

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Benzin neden sarıdır?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Ahım dağlar eritir

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Sizde ölüm varmıdır?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Ölümsüz yer varmıdır

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Kışın nerde olursun?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba::
Kışın türab oluruz

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Tamuya girer misiz?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Ol münkirler yeridir.

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Uçmağa girer misiz?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Uçmak adem şehridir

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Gül sizin neniz olur?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Gül Muhammed teridir

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Ademi bilir misiz?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Adem binde birdir

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Kırkları bilir misiz?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Kırklar Allah yâridir

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Rengin kandan alırsız?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Ay ile gün nurudur

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Boynun neden eğridir?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Kalbim Hakka doğrudur.

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Annen baban varmıdır?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Annem babam topraktır

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Sen Kâ'be'yi gördün mü?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Kâ'be Allah evidir

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Bahçene girsem nola?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Kokla beni geri dur

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Sen sırat'ı gördün mü?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Cümlenin ol yoludur

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Gözün niçin yaşlıdır?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Bağrıcağım başlıdır

Sordum sarı çiçeğe:
Sen beni bilir misin?
Çiçek eydür derviş baba:
Sen Yunus değilmisin

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Operations are fallowing one another. This morning, only 4 hours ago, Turkish planes hit 8 caves and winter hideouts at Zap area. God knows where they are hitting at this minute. We try to comfort ourselves thinking it is a “no mans land”, with the words of a Northern Iraqi Kurdish official “where only PKK and bears live”. We try to think that the northern Iraq Kurdish Authority already evacuated the villagers from the area, no civilians may hurt, no children would cry.

We are against the terror but we are against the war too. We can’t tear of that sadness burning deep inside. What makes me worried most are the “opinions” of the readers under the news articles. Though there are still many logical ones, “nationalism” and “hate” are increasing at both sides. One can’t stop to think if this is planned and how far it may go. It is obvious how we come to this point but we are that kind of people who can realize a little late.

There is an interview with DTP deputy Fatma Kurtulan (whose husband is a PKK leader) at Radikal newspaper today. She says (sorry for mistakes in translation);

"In front of television at every operation, every dispute I am holding my breath while the lists are announced, thinking if my surname would be read too. Fire burn where it falls... Watching TV holding your breath thinking 'If he is there too?', only people who lived it may understand that situation. In the result, I also worry against operations. I feel carried away worrying for his life. I mean I hope, I wish nothing would happen. I know he is living. They give the names. Some news papers, Roj TV announce the names, ID of the ones who loose their lives. So, I know he is not between them. I would hear if it happens...

I am a result created by Kurdish problem. I am one of the rumpled, extinguished house's fires, one of the victims, strugglers. Children didn't see the parents. Fathers didn't see his children. Spouses separated. Mothers left without their children. We are the product of such a reality. I am sure no families with children at military service can find any peace whenever they hear new operations. They also look for theirs in the lists of names in front of TVs just like me, or any one with husband, daughter, and any relative in PKK. They say 'Thanks God' when they don't hear the name... Lists are announced. At the other hand, you live both the happiness of ‘not mine' and the sadness one in other. Of course it is important for me that my husband is alive...

…. We stayed married with Salman Kurtulan for 1.5 years. I know the conditions which sent my husband there very well. He lived a period like September 12, 1980. Introduced to jail, torture at an age of a child. We are a generation who lived Maraş Massacre with that child heart of ours. We are relatives... All along our togetherness, what he lived at September 12th 1980 stole my peace like dark clouds. He is somebody who was recorded as dead as soon as he was taken in custody at September 12th. Somebody directly listed as dead. What happened at the end... He found himself at the mountains... I continuously saw him in my dreams in blood when he shared his departure for the first time. Saw him dead. It was hard for him too. At the end it is a road which may end with death. It was not something he preferred, loved so much. It is vital for me. At the end he believed he can express himself there. There was nothing I can do... (with tears in her eyes) It was too hard for me too. Anyway, I couldn’t stop even if I want…”

Is there anything one can deny in these words? Not one other than the choice and consequences. But if she thinks these experiences lived, belong only to the Kurdish citizens or performed by only Turkish citizens of this country, she is totally mistaken...(BTW some news reports says that CIA will/ is ? release the documents between 1973- 1979 ?, should fallow and read, may give important hints on all these massacres, military coups etc)

Didn’t we all lived similar experiences, experienced similar feelings? Didn’t the mothers of thousands waited in front of only TV channel worrying for their sons’, daughters’ fate all before, along and after the September 12, 1980? Didn’t/ don’t we check the news several times a day for our sons at military service? We love our country but do we love death? Didn’t we all lived and wounded with all those massacres in Maras, Malatya, Çorum, and Bloody Mayday of Istanbul? Will we ever able to erase the images from our minds? How many people of this country visited and spent years in jails? How many survived the tortures? How many left the country as refugees? How many took, how many dreamed the mountains? Didn’t… How… What… etc… again endless questions with clear answers.

Wishes are always limited with possibilities and choices belong to people’s own logic. One may “wish” best but can “choose” the best only between the “possibilities” using h/h “logic”. It is also for human to make mistakes. Ideologies are complex things for mind and logic to put in action, perform or participate. How much political education we have, we can be still open to mistakes. It is same for individual and groups.

It is right that it was a time, a period with little possibilities to choose. It was an unlucky (or lucky depending to point of view) generation to be a member. But, why passing the burdens from generations to generations? Why turning it to a bloody feud, loosing the political grounds, forgetting the ideological bases? Making new generations share our fates, condemned to your past experiences?

This lady is neither alone to feel sorry for, nor her experiences are excuse for reaching the end of terrorism. It is not a must to take arms and join the groups in the leadership of ex revolutionaries to give political struggle. The time of that generation is passed but that generation is insisting on throwing next generations into a worse fire. They insist because they don’t know anything else to do, any other life to live. There is no difference with them and bloody nationalists any more.

There is also another question disturbing the mind; did any PKK leaders ever dead in any clashes? Are there any from the leaders who died under hot fire, fighting? Are there any leaders other than the ones executed by the orgonisation itself because of inner conflicts? We didnt/ don't hear any while young ones are dying everyday. We can't even have time or possibility to know their names, numbers. But Mr. leaders are under an invisable protectinon of mysterious forces, God knows what.

A third but very short news of today is about a phone from a PKK militant to his mother. At the captured phone talk he said they lost 346 friends and have many wounded. When his mother begged him to surrender, he replied he can’t. He can’t because 6 were executed by the leadership only a day before the operations began. PKK ordered execution for all who try to run away.

It is not written in any guerilla handbook to keep members against their will, to make children to fight in any wars, to target innocent. Feel sorrow, worry a lot because there are children trapped in mountains and there are adults with mysterious plans, mysterious interests. We are that kind of people who realize a little late, wonder what the youngsters of our day will realize in future. Now is the time of our grandchildrens' generation, leave them free..

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


While I am writing these lines, Turkish jets are bombing terror bases of PKK in northern Iraq once more, according to Reuter's last minute news.

Operations inside the border are also going on. Some sources say hundreds terrorists are exterminated, some say no serious number of deaths. Military announced that they will release evidences and information about the results of the operations this week.

On the other hand, there are no reliable announcements from PKK. Neither their famous leaders (wonder how/ where they are) nor their spokesmen in Europe makes any comments other than a new campaign for Apo's transfer from Imrali prison and another to call help to stop Turkiye from operations. As usual they are confusing stem and straw in their useless calls.

Statements of northern Iraq Kurdish leaders are neither coherent nor realistic. There were some photos showing cement tombs, told to be the cemerery for dead terrorists instructed by Talabani but not confirmed. While Talabani, leader of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, condemn the cross-border attacks 16, claiming that numerous Iraqi Kurds have died in the operations; Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is also the leader of one of the main Kurdish political parties, is cautious in criticizing the Turkish military attacks, saying that Turkey had the right to defend itself against the terrorist threat; "We understand Turkey defending itself against the terrorist organization... We are aware of Turkey's sensitivities. We are not remaining silent, but we are not going to declare war, either."

Wish they they think on declaring war... In all their pathetic state under invasion, non existing sovereignty it is not even funny. They still can't differ the target of Turkiye, PKK and Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq. Forgetting the days they fought beside Turkish army against PKK or it was Turkiye who opened it's border to tens of thousands Iraqi Kurdish refugees during Saddam.

PKK and some other sources are trying to show Turkiye's operations are only in military attacks context. The international media says nothing about the political, economic, social and cultural packages which are planning to accompany the military actions.

One of the steps is he draft of the “Witness Protection Program Law” which will be presented to Parliament. According to some mediaıa reports, like similar to US and many EU countries, witnesses who provide valuable information about crime and crime gangs would be provided with new IDs, financial support and even a new look through plastic surgery. It will be an addition to current Article 221 of the Penal Code. Some terrorists already surrendered to security forces were questioned briefly and set free under the benefits of a “protection program.”

There are news about PKK taking away the portable radios from the militants to prevent them learning the law and thinking to surrender. Pardoning all the militants other than the 150 or more leading group is also in rumors. Of course, it is not something that leading group would prefer. There was even a comment of Talabani on this issue, in the news today.

I found an interesting survey by National Police Department today; "Over 50 percent of PKK terrorists below 25." Better put some parts below;

"Members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the most violent terrorist group staging attacks against Turkey, aged between 14 and 25 constitute 54 percent of the organization's members. High school and university students are the biggest sources of recruitment for terrorist organizations. There are 12 active terrorist organizations with leftist, separatist and fundamentalist ideologies."

"... They even recruit children. According to the survey, of the 262 PKK terrorists in prison, 54 percent are aged between 14 and 25, 34 percent between 26 and 37 and 12 percent between 38 and 58. A breakdown of PKK militants according to level of education reveals that 11 percent are university graduates, 16 percent high school graduates, 13 percent have finished secondary school and 39 percent have finished primary school while 12 percent are only literate without any formal education and 9 percent are completely illiterate."

"... A survey on 826 members of leftist terrorist organizations has shown that 65 percent are aged between 14 and 25; 16.8 percent between 25 and 30; and 17.5 percent are aged over 30. Furthermore, 20.4 percent of members of these terrorist organizations are college graduates or college students; 33.5 percent are high school graduates or students; 14 percent secondary school graduates; 29.9 percent primary school graduates and 1.9 percent are illiterate."

"... Security authorities assert that parents have a significant responsibility in terms of protecting youth from the grip of terrorism, emphasizing the fact that puberty is a critical period for young people as physiological changes seen in this period may have negative effects on them. Adolescents may become extremely sensitive and direct harsh criticism toward other people while not tolerating any criticism directed at them, experts say, and add that they tend to rebel against authority and the state."

A study from University of Ankara study also gives striking results; "PKK is known to use children within its militant force and a recent study by the University of Ankara’s Health Sciences Institute has examined the motivations of some children captured from the organization. Of those surveyed, 86% had joined the PKK to bolster their families incomes following offers that it would provide for their families in return. All of the children reported that these offers were not fulfilled. 80% of those surveyed also reported that they had actively stopped other family members—usually younger brothers—from joining the organization too. The study also reported that 60% of those surveyed had an education level below high school level. When asked why they stayed in the PKK rather than turning themselves in to the authorities, two thirds stated that they were afraid of being caught by the PKK as reprisals are not just limited to physical harm towards the militant; their families would be at risk as well. Five percent said that it was from fear of punishment by the Turkish Republic. The study also examined attitudes toward gender equality within the organization. 88% of the subjects reported that, despite its Marxist ideology and claims that equality is a key objective, there was no equality within the organization."

Although politics accepts that the terror may be used as a tactic in armed struggle, the line between armed struggle and terrorism is a thin point. International community' has an increasing role in conflicts resolution in any part of the world now and today's armed rebel groups are handicapped more than ever before the advanced military technology.

As the role of NGOs and international community gets more and more powerful, governments or countries can't stay immune to the opinion of the world. It is one of the changes globalization and internet bring. Not only the states, countries, nations but also the rebel (or terrorist) groups have to take the world, peoples' opinions. If the point is "human rights", "using violence", "using children soldiers", "traumatizing the society", "violating the innocent civilians" or any similar thing, cause doesn't matter whether it is a state or a national group.

During the Cold War era, struggles for national independence of oppressed peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America was totally different. In our knowledge, armed struggle or guerrilla warfare is essentially a political war but if you try to give political war today, with the tactics of yesterday you are obliged to be defeated. If the target is the minds of the society, and the systematics or the values of the society changed, an armed struggle can't bring the same results as yesterday. You can't justify yourself in the eyes of that society, or in general any more. It is not possible to resist the change whether it is a state or an armed group.

There are other things involving in this resistance to change in PKK; domination of leaders, worshipping to leader Apo, preventing ideological flexibility, not carrying out inner freedom of speech, threatening innocent targets, not gaining base between oppressed workers but gaining base between peasants by oppression, giving importance to the support of tribal leaders more than the people, putting the ethnicity forward not caring the class struggle as it deserved and distancing from the Turkiye's left etc.. etc... Does these remind a national independence movement or a "nationalist movement" more?

In a way, this is also a great injustice, insult to Turkish left, history of Turkish left. We lived the times when there were no separation as Kurdish groups but all were Turkiye's revolutionaries. Before 1980 military coup, all leftist Turkish groups, organisations had their counterparts among the Kurds. When Turkiy's left was under the blow of the junta, PKK formed and most Kurdish leftists decided to join the PKK rather than remain in contact with Turkish left parties. They seem to forget the Turkish left's struggle history. They seem to forget the support and analyses of Turkish left to Kurdish problem.

While Turkish left is more interested in ideological matters (and lived divisions on ideological bases) PKK as the most powerful group between Kurds, lost interest in ideological matters. While, in years they turn more and more chauvinist, they also loose good relations with the Turkish left. They didn't use violence only to their own members, silence the different voices by murders but they also targeted many socialists from Turkish revolutionary groups.

Many researches put forward that, as well as receiving revenues from legitimate businesses owned by the organization, PKK also has been financing its movement by "taxing" narcotic traffickers and engaging in the trade themselves. Heavily involved in the European drug and human trafficking, especially in Germany and France. French law enforcement estimates that the PKK smuggles 80% of the heroin in Paris.

Between many more, there is one thing which is so disturbing and need questioning. They began to shift from conventional bombing to suicide bombing, launched fifteen such attacks between 1995 and 1999. The majority, more than 2/3 (11 of 15) of the suicide bombers were women; why? Again most of the suicide bombers caught by the officials before they could perform bombings in the last two years are females, why? One sad example was; telling the bomber she has ovary cancer and she better die as a national hero to convince her.

Well, military announced the result of operations before I could end writing. Military said; Turkish forces have killed hundreds of Kurdish rebels and struck more than 200 targets in northern Iraq in the past 10 days. 175 rebels were killed on 16 December alone. Targets hit include three command centres, two communications centres, two training camps, nine logistical areas, 182 living quarters and 14 arsenals, the statement said. This is an important logistic loss.

And what we are dealing with are; car burnings, suicide bombers caught at last minute (one they caught yesterday was able to destroy the Istanbul subway), bombs exploding in trash basins etc... As usual they are trying to send the militants to cities when they get in trouble at montains. As if it is urban gerilla warfare...

Sunday, December 23, 2007


1978 was one of those sad and deadly years.

We were used to deaths, bombs and funerals. Fascists, backed by secret police, were everywhere. They bombed revolutionary students at Istanbul University leaving 8 dead, 47 wounded in spring. They were assassinating our professors, academicians. We were afraid to take the public buses, open the doors. Abducted buses, raided houses, tortured and murdered youngsters were daily events. Newspapers were giving daily death tools as meteorology reports.

Autumn passed by similar events. Istanbul was cold and snowy. We were waiting at the lines for oil, cigarette etc and hurrying to demonstrations, boycotts, school distractions. News from the central Anatolia was terrifying.

At December 18th a theatre bombed at Kahramanmaraş. It was given as the leftists were responsible. Leftists denied and insist that it was a provocation of the right (fascists).

It was like we were living in hurry. In two days it turned to street clashes between Sunni and Alevi citizens. Police was not able (or didn't want) to control the events. At 21st December fascists murdered two teachers and next day, at 22nd they attacked to people who participated the funerals. At 24th they begin to set fires at some neighborhoods. In four days, between 22-26 December 105 dead and more than a thousand wounded.

It was not a simple incident, neither a clash between Right- left, nor Alevi- Sunni but a planned mass murder, massacre of fascists. We were watching the dead bodies on TV screens in shock, we were marching at streets, universities to protest the events but not able to reach.

It was so obvious from the beginning, from bomb boxes posted to certain people like the mayor etc that all was organised, planned and supported for economic interests. We had been witnessed other examples at Malatya, Erzurum a few months before but they were not comparable with Maras.

They were all like footsteps of fascism. Police was not interfering to evnts. They were all beginning with "Allahüekber, death to communism" calls. We were hearing new and stupid names as; “Turkish Thunder Commandos” or “Army of Rescuing Prisoner Turks". Fanatic Islamist imams were giving fetvas as; "Feast and namaz is not enough, one who kill an Alevi would be counted as he went Hac 5 times."

While Islamists were in such provocations, fascists didn't have any problems like Haj or paradise etc as their religious allies. All served to declare martial law at cities of Adana, Ankara, Elazığ, Bingöl, Erzincan, Erzurum, Gaziantep, İstanbul, Kahramanmaraş, Kars, Malatya, Sivas, Urfa and Hatay.

Investigations showed the explosives used in the bombs were from Nuclear Research Center. Police said; nationalists were bombing their own organisations for provocations and blame the "infidel leftists".

Their deputies were threatening judges, prosecutors, chiefs' of police. When the government begin to investigate the relation of National Movement Party and ts youth organisations; their leader Alpaslan Türkeş threatened the PM Ecevit with similar incidents at other cities.

Massacre engraved on our minds and become the clearest description of the reality of fascism. Sunnis in Maras were stirred up against the Alevi people and many were savagely slaughtered under the supervision of fascists. There was no limit to their violence. They killed even the fetuses in young women's wombs.

Maraş was on fire, cities of Anatolia were on fire, or hearts were on fire. We were walking on snow not being sure about life. But we were still hopeful, not aware of the time. It was less than two years before junta, there was much more to see, to live.

And here we are after 29 years. Time passed, world changed, we have changed. It is not possible to change or forget some things. S is serving his military term in Maraş, it is a city famous with it's orchids, sahlep and ice cream. I can't think them without blood, I won't visit S.


do you know the smell of blood?
do you know smell of death?
do you ever think that blood and death could have odors
that those odors could be discerned and could be remembered in spite of years?
blood smells!
sometimes of whom it is
even the time it had dropped the smell carries...
death smells!
sometimes the numbers of the deaths
and even the moment of their death the smell reflects...
of most beautiful flowers
of sea, dews, of rains
even the smell of fresh earth cannot suppress the odor
once would be enough for it to get into your mind
once you smell the odor
it would be carved into you mind...
then you can never control it
no matter from where, how it comes, it reaches you
and you can never stay disinterested
before the flowing blood and deaths...


Today is the anniversary of some sad events in our history, which we should always remember and make right interpretations.

One is the "Murder of Kubilay" (or Menemen Incident). Mustafa Fehmi Kubilay (1906-1930) was a young lieutenant in the army of the new founded Republic. He is considered as Turkish national hero, a martyr of Turkish revolution.

Kubilay was the son of a Cretan Turkish family, born in İzmir, Ottoman Empire in 1906. After completing his education to become a teacher, he was sent to Menemen for his military obligation. Lieutenant Kubilay murdered by a group of fundamentalist rebels in the Menemen Incident.

Menemen Incident was a chain of incidents starting with the rebellion of Islamic fundamentalists in Menemen, a small town in the Aegean region of Turkey, in 1930.

On December 23, 1930, Dervish Mehmed, a Sufi and self-proclaimed prophet, a hashish addict arrived in Menemen with six followers in an attempt to incite a rebellion against the secular government and reestablish Islamic law. Mehmed and his enthusiastic supporters overwhelmed the local army garrison and killed the commander, Lieutenant Kubilay. Kubilay's severed head was put on a pole and paraded
through the town. The army soon regained control, killing Mehmed and several of his followers.

Incident was a serious threat against secular reforms. After a series of trials, 37 sentenced to death and later hanged in the town square; and several others were sent to prison.

The anniversary of the murder of this 24 year old teacher, lieutenant should remind us especially two things. First; "fundamentalist Islam is the danger number one for the Republic from the beginning to our day."

Second; always "try to look at the backgrounds and relation of events". Kubilay murdered by the "fundamentalists who wanted Sharia", is / was that all? Unfortunately not!

Though Menemen Incident and Kubilay have a symbolic value in the collective memory of Turkish citizens, though Kubilay, has been portrayed not only as a 'victim' of 'religious fanatics' but also as 'the model' for the Turkish youth; it was not the whole story and it is not the end.

It was the second important incident after the 1925 "Sheik Sait rebellion". The leader of the murderers, Shaikh Mehmet was a Nakshibandi of Kurdish origin and he is mostly referred as an hashish addict.

Shaikh Esad who also took place in the trials was from the Erbil of southern Kurdistan. He was a scholar and poet, a friend of Said-i Kurdi. He stayed in Erbil for ten years in exile and turned back to Istanbul. He was taken to custody with his son.

The ban of "Tekkes" (religious schools) all around the country by the secular state was perceived as a threat to Kurdish education by Kurdish Nakshis. They said there was no evidence against Sheik Esad Erbili (other than the two of the murderers being his murids / students) but this incident served the state to count Nakshibandi Tariquat as an illegal organisation.

1930 was an interesting year at the east Anatolia too. While western parts were shocked by the "Menemen Incident", at the east another group was in rebellion for "The Republic of Ararat", a self-proclaimed Kurdish state. The Republic of Ararat was declared independent in 1927, during a wave of rebellion among Kurds in south-eastern Turkiye.

After the failure of Shaikh Said and Azadi at 1925, some Kurdish leaders continued to plan for an independent Kurdistan. Establishing a leadership, they sought the aid of many influential European forces to help. They received little aid from Europe, but had the support of the Armenian Dashnak Party, the Shah of Persia, and fellow Kurds such as Shaikh Ahmad Barzani, leader of the Iraqi Kurdistan Barzani tribe and Syrian Kurds; cutting railroads, pillaging Turkish villages, and conducting guerrilla assaults.

Strongest blow to Ararat revolt, came from Persia at 1930. a few months before Kubilay's murder. Persian government decided not to resist Turkish military advances into Persia to surround Mount Ararat. Persians also began to close the Persian-Turkish border to non-essential travelers, including Kurdish tribes attempting to reinforce the revolt. And eventually completely submit to Turkish operational demands, trading the land surrounding Mount Ararat for Turkish land near Qutur and Barzirgan. The rebellion of Mount Ararat defeated at the fall of 1930.

It is up to you to decide if these rebellions, incidents were based on extremist religious origins against secularism or Kurdish - Turkish nationalism. An important note at this point is; Nakshibandis are still on the stage and stronger than ever, feeded by all kinds of "nationalism". Teachers and lieutenants younger than Kubilay are still at the target.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


I sent a PowerPoint presentation attachment to some friends (which I couldn't manage to attach here) the day before. It was about the terrorist events, similarities between different groups and double faced politics of imperialist powers but mainly on PKK in Turkiye.

An Iraqi friend wrote; "The final equation is very correct.. what is really amazing is the foolish double standards of the Invaders......

What I meant by the Invaders was the American forces.....I mean they supported the Kurds in North Iraq against the legitimate government of Iraq through out the insurgency interval that started in the 50ths of the last century....Now...they consider portion of the Kurds as terrorists and worth demolishing... American war planes bombed Kurd's villages in North Iraq as the Kurds there were accused to have relation with al Qaida...and the civilians lives lost were very numerous... Once more, the Americans brought to power in Iraq now a bunch of criminals and outlaw gangs that had nothing to offer to Iraq but death squads and assassination of brainy people......

I know well that the world knows but little about what is going on in Iraq... death and violations of human rights carried out by gangs supported and backed by collation forces of the free world.....!!!!! To heal American democracy and American death troops !"

Once more, I thought how complex the WHOLE Kurdish problem is. They have many institutes etc and I am sure they are making deep, intellectual researches. We might not able to make such intellectual analyses but at least we are capable of questioning and perceiving what is going on around.

Maybe the worst thing for Kurds is, being divided mainly between four countries, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. It can be a good example for imperialism's major policy of divide and conquer from a point of view.

Today's political geography of the Middle East is the product of deals made between Allies after the 1st WW. Maps of the countries in the region decided, draw by the British and the French according to their colonial interests. The people of the region other than Turkiye had nothing to do for their future. It began a dramatic period for the Kurds in area. While they were living different processes according to the countries they became citizens, they counted as major problem for every country.

Not only the English and French but also Soviets and United States used them according to the politics of Cold War era. Super powers simultaneously supported or opposed the Kurdish national struggle depending on the nature of the state of the country in which they were living.

It is like a misfortune combined with their history. In the 10th century, Kurdistan was shared amongst five big Kurdish principalities. But it was the time of massive invasions of tribes migrating from the steppes of Central Asia. After conquering Iran, Seljuk Turks invaded the 5 Kurdish principalities one by one. Only around 1150, the last great Seljuk monarch, created a province on these lands and called Kurdistan.

At 12th century, great Saladdin- i Eyyubi founded dynasty of Syria, and Kurdish chieftainships were established as far as Horasan. All Kurdish lands devastated by Mongols at 13th century. In 14th century, Timur conquered most of Kurdistan and destroyed Kurdish tribes. Although the Karakoyunlu rulers helped Kurdish tribes to recover, they were defeated by Akkoyunlu dynasty at 15th century and Kurdish tribes destroyed once more. etc...etc..etc..

Sultan Abdul Hamid ordered the establishment of an irregular mounted force in eastern Anatolia at 1891 and named them after himself, the Hamidiya Cavalry. He was trying to copy the Russian Cossack regiments which were so effective in the Caucasus. Hamidiya was raised from selected Sunni Kurdish tribes of proven loyalty. Some of the regiment were totally from one tribe, and its commanded by the tribal chief.

At 1895 Britain, France and Russia wanted reforms for the Armenian provinces: an amnesty for Armenian prisoners; 'approved' governors; return for victims of the outrages. Kurdish nomadic movements would be allowed only under surveillance and to encouraged to settle; and the Hamidiya to be disarmed. Abdul Hamid agreed but neglected these demands. After a short silence, at September 1895 a violent incident took place between Armenian demonstrators and police in Istanbul. It was the beginning of widespread attacks to Armenians all around Anatolia by Muslim Turks and Kurds, Ottoman soldiers, including the Hamidiya.

When Abdul Hamid overthrown by Ittihat ve Terakki (Committee of Union and Progress) in 1908, Hamidiya regiments renamed as 'Tribal Regiments' (ashirat alaylan). But the regime was becoming weak, Empire was in disorder; including Kurdistan itself, Bulgars of Macedonia, the Catholic tribes of northern Albania, in Yemen where a new Mahdi proclaimed himself, and Durzis the Syria. Tribal regiments sent to some of these trouble spots with regular troops. They gave heavy loses at Yemen and Albania, acquiring a reputation for savagery while restoring order.... etc...etc...

And the Ottoman Empire fall, lands invaded by English, French, Italian, Greek etc. Kurds took part in The National Independence War beginning in Anatolia. New borders drawn by Allies created new countries as Syria and Iraq on the lands of old empire.

Turks, Kurds of Anatolia, Turkish Alevis and many other groups supporting the independence war took part in the foundation of the new secular Republic. As Kurdish uprisings fallowed the declaration of the Republic, Turkish government became firmer. While the Republic of Turkiye was rising at Anatolia; tribes of Kurds stayed at the Iraq side of the border, British controlled Southern Kurdistan were raising a military force from their Iranian tribal followers.

The success of the Kurdish fighters’ anti-British revolts forced the British to recognize Kurdish autonomy in 1923. When the uprisings were settled a little, the British government signed Iraq over to King Faysal and a new Arab-led government. Settling at mountains, Sheik Mahmud signed a peace agreement with the new government and stayed in the new Iraq.

One important upraising after Sheik Said in Turkiye was "Mouth Ararat Revolt". Turkish forces attempted to suppress the revolt as early as 1927, but there was no cooperation from Persia. Mount Ararat was in the Turkish-Persian border. By 1930, went on the offensive, surrounding Mount Ararat with over 10,000 troops and as Kurdish tribes were recruited to join the cause, 60,000 more soldiers were called up by the Turkish government.

The biggest blow to Ararat revolt, came from Persia. Persian government did not resist Turkish military advances into Persia to surround Mount Ararat. Their guardsmen began to close the Persian-Turkish border to non-essential travelers, including Kurdish tribes attempting to reinforce the revolt. Persia eventually completely submit to Turkish operational demands, trading the land surrounding Mount Ararat for Turkish land near Qutur and Barzirgan.

In 1941 Britain and the USSR partitioned Iran into two zones of control in order to prevent the country from entering the war on the side of Germany. In the Soviet zone, the Kurds of northwest Iran enjoyed de facto independence. At wars end, Teheran pressured the Soviets to leave, which they did in December 1945. As they left, the Kurds formally proclaimed themselves independent in January 1946, with their capital at Mahabad. The government included many Kurds from Iraq, including Mustafa Barzani, the army commander. Their forces were Soviet-equipped and uniformed, but they owed no ideological allegiance to the USSR.

I am not trying to repeat the historical events many already know. Just remembering how history is repeating itself. If you take of the dates, they may all seem about close events. Support..withdrove...give hope...leave alone... Only thing which don't change must be "disappointment" and "suffering". They were invaded and sold again and again.

Even in one single country; economic, politic, social, cultural, traditional etc implementations and tendencies may strongly differ. Can the Kurdish people living mainly in four (but more) countries meet at a common ground?

As many many historical turning points show, Kurdish people didn't betrayed only by other nations again and again but also experienced several self betrayals. Pesmerges fighting beside Turkish Army against PKK in the past or differences between Barzani and Talabani are simple examples.

Do they (Iraqi Kurds) think US as an invader or fine with their new found status? Would they help PKK (not Turkish Kurds) and put their status in any kind of danger?

As those questions are their problem, becoming another invader or not is our problem. Of course we should and would fight with terrorism, but we should also take lessons from history and be careful in our steps not to became any kind of invader. We should provide the equal human rights and democracy with the same determination of fighting with terror. More over, human rights and democracy should be the priority at this multi problematic point (without any final equation)...

Friday, December 21, 2007


More than 37,000 people have been killed in the Turkiye-PKK conflict since 1984. Nearly 200 were teachers.

PKK has targeted primary school teachers working in the village schools. PKK's efforts against these teachers started in the early nineties and continued on a recurrent basis.[

After armed PKK members abducted and killed 19 teachers in the autumn of 1994, Amnesty International's 1995 report on Turkey mentioned that "It appears that the Kurdish Workers' Party, PKK, is resuming its repugnant policy of murdering teachers in southeast Turkey".

It was not only teachers; doctors lost their lives trying to bring health, engineers trying to build roads, schools too.
According to Amnesty International, as of 1997, 124 teachers were killed by members of the PKK.

Number of murdered children is unknown. They didn't lost only their teachers, right of education but their lives too.
Governments, officials, death squads? They were there too...

Thursday, December 20, 2007


While I was checking my old journalist note-book just a few days ago, I saw it was the anniversary of Sitting Bull's death. Remembering his importance in Native American history, I read my few notes and checked some groups which I turned to "no mail" long time ago. I was thinking to search about the "Ghost Dance" and later write a short note for his memory and Indian massacres in history.

I forget it as many other topics I am thinking to write but can't have time. A few minutes ago I received an interesting mail based on PravdaRu, saying; "Reports circulating in the Kremlin today state that an enraged President Putin has ordered Russian Foreign Ministry Officials to begin the processes needed for Russia to recognize the Lakota Sioux Indian Tribe as an independent Nation, and who have now broken away from the United States by renouncing their treaties with their occupiers, and as we can read as reported by the AFP News Service..."

Receiving my share of funny news everyday, I thought it is one of them. But to my surprise mails fallowed one another from different sources.

Native American Shamanism always reminded me old Turkish religions before accepting Islam. Sitting Bull's most interesting side for me (other than his struggle against white men) is his status as holy man. Sources describe him as; "Sitting Bull became a Sioux holy man, or wichasha wakan, during his early twenties. His responsibilities as a holy man included understanding the complex religious rituals and beliefs of the Sioux, and also learning about natural phenomena that were related to the Sioux beliefs. Sitting Bull had an "intense spirituality that pervaded his entire being in his adult years and that fueled a constant quest for an understanding of the universe and of the ways in which he personally could bring its infinite powers to the benefit of his people." However, Sitting Bull also knew techniques of healing and carried medicinal herbs, though he was not a medicine man. Because of his status as a wichasha wakan, Sitting Bull was a member of the Buffalo Society, a dream society for those who dreamt of buffalo. He also was a member of the Heyoka, a society for those who dreamt of thunderbirds."

I wish Sitting Bull is resting in peace.
And look what his grand grand sons and daughters are doing;

"Sitting Bull's people break away from US - starting new country
Dec 20, 2007
From correspondents in Washington

THE Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the US.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,'' long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means said.

A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message to the State Department, and said they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the US, some of them more than 150 years old.

The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free - provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Mr Means said.

The treaties signed with the US were merely "worthless words on worthless paper," the Lakota freedom activists said.

Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said. "This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution,'' which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.

``It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent,'' said Means.

The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence -- an overt play on the title of the United States' Declaration of Independence from England.

Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because ``it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row,'' Means said.

One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples -- despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws.

``We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children,'' Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.

The US ``annexation'' of native American land has resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere ``facsimiles of white people,'' said Means.

Oppression at the hands of the US government has taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life expectancies - less than 44 years - in the world.

Lakota teen suicides are 150 per cent above the norm for the US; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom movement's website.

Well, isn't it an interesting news? Here are some quotes from Sitting Bull, from my old note- book;

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”

“The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it”

“Each man is good in His sight. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows.”


Today is the first day of Eid el Adha. In Turkish "Kurban Bayramı", in English "Feast of Sacrifice".

I am not sure if "sacrifice" in English (kurban in Turkish)has any relation with "sacred" as a word, but the tradition takes place nearly in all religions including Pagan beliefs. The practice can be seen all along history, whether in the form of offering offering food, or the lives of animals or people to the gods, as an act of devotion or worship. It is also described selfless good deeds for others.

Jews, Christians and Muslims all considers Abraham in high regard. Abraham’s faith tested when he was told to take his son up to the mountain and sacrifice him to God. When he laid the boy on the altar and slay him, God provided Abraham with a ram to kill in the place of his son. All three monotheistic religions agree on this.

Genesis 22:13-14 say; "Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

"Korban" in Hebrew ("Kurban" in Turkish) refers to any one of a variety of sacrificial offerings described and commanded in the Torah that were offered in a variety of settings by the ancient Israelites, and then by the Kohanim (the Jewish "priests" only) in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Telling the story of Abraham, Quran states; (Quran 22:37): "It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches God. It is your piety that reaches Him..."). The sacrifice is done to help the poor, and in remembrance of Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son at God's command. The sacrificial animal may be a lamb, a sheep, a goat, a camel or a cow.

"Kurban" has other meanings than it's religious concept in Turkish. "Kurban" is the "subject" of the "sacrifice". In other words; in daily life "kurban" is the "victim". Journalist Bekir Coşkun reminds it in his column today; "Kurbans of destiny..", "Kurbans of traditions...", "Kurbans of unemployment", "Kurbans of poverty..." or "sacrificing ourselves" to "patriotism", "friendship, "love" etc... He is congraculating our Feast, reminding we are all "sacrificial" beings. He is right!

How many sacrificed voluntarily for the love, interest, future of this country, for democracy, for better days? It is enough to remember the 1980 military coup. We were talking with V a few days ago, at the party of a friend. We were certainly happy to be with our friend while she was turning 50 but we were not able to let the circumstances of the country leave our minds.

I said; "Our generation lived in hurry. No generation witnessed more than us."
V replied; "Certainly; 3 coups, many military memorandums, Cold War, fall of Berlin Wall, end of USSR, several hot wars around us, globalisation, technological revolution and so on..."
I went on; "Sometimes I envy our parents' generation. They also lived what we lived, plus 2nd WW but they stayed as viewers. They neither needed to involve, nor effected other than what we made them live."
V said; "They didn't need to in the past and they don't need now. They are contented with having cable TV, but look at us, while we didn't have even normal phones in every house only 20 years ago, we learned computer after the age of 35, we are struggling to race with the technology. They are contented with the news they read or watch, but look at us, we still try to embrace the whole world, do our best to understand and fight for truths, our beliefs.May be we became victims (kurban) in every aspect of life but don't you agree it is better how we lived.."

V is right too. I looked around me. The singer, dancing people, rich food on the table, jewels on the women, beautiful faces of our friends. They are beautiful, some get rich some poor but every one of them lived what this country passed in decades. Some hardly, some easily but they all lived and can think. Although some life styles are not for us, it is good to have such friends. To enjoy all together and to worry for our country all together. To dance all together and to march for democracy all together. To work to death and sacrifice all when needed.

Possibly what I wanted to say yesterday was not easy to understand. I mean; not being able to forgive the institutions, military, state, regime's preferences of "sacrificing" it's own people to the interests of imperialism. Being "victims" (kurban), to be "sacrificed" is not easy to forget or forgive.

We are intelligent enough about the dangers, to differ the enemy and foe, to interpret any political development, to foresee the future possibilities. But there is a psychological, unseen bond on our minds. We are fine with "sacrificing volunteering" for our country but we can't accept to be "sacrificed" by our state.

I wonder if other people in different countries who lived similar experiences are having similar feelings. At least Chile tried to take Pinochet to courts till he die. There are so many accounts to settle for us. Our Pinochet, General Evren and his companions are out of question. He became a painter in his villa, opening exhibitions. This is a big social and psychological barrier for people

There were dozens of leftist groups during those open fascist regimes, which they hunted and destroyed the members, accusing with "terrorism". People didn't counted according to their ethnic identity in those groups. Yes, Turkiye's socialists always supported the right of self-determination but was/ is it only the Kurds who were/ are violated.

An error may happened at the process of elimination of feudalism and development of capitalism at the different parts of the country. The policy of nationalist persecution also helped the rise of counter nationalist winds. Attention diverted from social questions, questions of the class struggle, to national questions, questions "common" to both / all population.

Kurdish nationalism begun to take place of socialist demands. Danger of nationalism(wherever it comes from) begun to threat the country more and more. Great part of the people squeezed between their beliefs and changing Kurdish demands, realizing where it is heading to.

Big brother like to play with tribes, small nations and use them according to their interests. Kurds lived this closely in the past.

We are all witnessing how easily they can change behavior. Intelligence is coming, support to Turkish army is open, Condi's visit and language about Kirkuk is different, Barzani is in useless talks, Neçirvan Barzani's meeting with Shite leader Ayetullah Sistani is interesting about postponing the referendum, Iraq's note to Turkiye over the operation is funny, European countries' silence is clear and PKK's obvious defeat is pathetic.

This is the point where the importance of "people". This is the point why "state, military and all institutions" should be in peace with people. This is the point where radicalism, loosing the ropes of nationalism turns "freedom fighters" to "terrorists". This is the point where support can be gained or lost.

Many of us sent our sons to military service with the same words; "Promise me, you will not shot even once to our people. Otherwise I won't give you my mother's blessing!"
They asked; "What if they attack us?"
We said; "Never, if needed aim to the sky but not on people?"
Some questioned; "What if they are aiming on me?"

We stayed speechless. As the bodies of martyrs fallow one another we lost our voice. Terror's bullets was not differing ethnic origin or ideology. We fed up with the bloodshed. We fed up with groundless demands.

And the state? People can't still believe, support it either. Though there is one question I hate to ask or answer; What about the military? For a second forget how they trained by and acted on demand of US, just try to be honest at least only one thing; Did army ever break any word? To be fair, never!

They made military Put people in military Told they will go, bring back parliament...yes. Won't stay in power...yes. Guarantee the secularism...yes. Guarantee our independence...yes.

So, what is missing? Making peace with people, settling the accounts is missing. It is the problem of state. There is still the love for motherland but not enough thrust to state.

So, what is rest? Rest is "terror". It is not an old but increasing account, increasing with every bomb, every murder, every threat to people, every martyr funeral. I am not sure if such an account can ever settled. The love for motherland fires back on terrorists.

It is already hard to be sacrificed, it is already hard to be victim/ kurban. Ethnic nationalism is ethnic nationalism. There is no difference with PKK or Turkish fascist groups. Made in USA or not...

It us who send our children to military service. It is us whose children are taken to mountains. It is us who welcome dead. It is us who decide to support whom. We are the people seeing red.

Holy Feast of Sacrifice! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!