This 2012 video about torture is called UK’s channel 4 “Guantanamo Handbook” documentary.
Three years ago, this blog mentioned that the ISIS terrorist organisation had copied its torture and its orange jumpsuits for prisoners from the United States Guantanamo Bay concentration camp which is illegally in Cuban territory.
It now turns out that ISIS are not the only ones to emulate Guantanamo. Turkish President Erdogan, voted ‘dictator of the year’ along with the ISIS boss in a poll, now wants Guantanamo jumpsuits for prisoners as well.
From RTE in Ireland, 15 July 2017:
Mr Erdogan also said the suspects being tried on suspicion of involvement in the failed coup should wear uniform clothing like the notorious orange jumpsuits used at US military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
“I spoke to the prime minister and… when they appear in court, let’s make them appear in uniform suits like in Guantanamo,” Mr Erdogan said.
United States President Trump, who has praised moves toward dictatorship in Turkey, and who likes Guantanamo and torture, won’t object to that.
Guantanamo is not the only inspiration for ISIS. The Saudi Arabian absolute monarchy is another one.
This graph is from Middle East Eye. It shows where the cruel ‘state’ of ISIS, present in parts of Syria, Iraq, Libya and southern Yemen gets its ideas of fanatically religious criminal ‘justice’ from: from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, staunch allies of the Pentagon and the CIA in the USA, of Theresa May in Britain, etc. etc.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world with the death penalty by beheading. ISIS might be called the second country; but ISIS territory is hardly a country. The French neo-fascist National Front party wants France to become the second country; but its candidate Marine Le Pen lost the presidential election.
Erdogan’s Turkey is in a proxy war with the Saudi regime in Libya, and on the brink of war with it about Qatar. Nevertheless, Erdogan wants to emulate not only Guantanamo, but also Saudi Arabia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “chop off the heads” of traitors in a speech marking the first anniversary of the failed coup bid that aimed to oust him from power.
“First of all we will chop off the heads of those traitors,” Mr Erdogan told a rally in Istanbul, prompting cries from the crowds that capital punishment should be restored in Turkey.
Avaaz staffer Özlem was arrested in Turkey and is being held without charges — let’s free her!
Turkey just arrested Özlem, an Avaaz staffer! She’s just one person caught up in a crackdown on civil society, but to us she’s so much more. If we make Özlem famous with a massive petition and media campaign, she’ll be more trouble than she’s worth for a government in political crisis. Add your name to the urgent petition and let’s set her free:
Turkey just arrested Avaaz staff member Özlem! Let’s set her free.
Özlem’s being held without charges after attending a meeting of human rights defenders.
To the Turkish government, she’s just one person caught up in a crackdown on civil society.
But if we build a massive international petition and use the media to make Özlem famous, she’ll be more trouble than she’s worth for a government in political crisis.
Our petition will be delivered to the EU foreign minister next week ahead of a crucial meeting with Turkey — so add your name urgently and let’s set Özlem free:
Click to free Özlem!
Turkey’s President Erdogan is arresting and firing thousands of people who don’t agree with his government. Now Özlem’s been caught up in the net, together with 9 other human rights defenders, but she isn’t a valuable target. As Turkey heads into critical meetings with the EU over a trade deal next week, the last thing Erdogan needs is an international headache over someone he’s probably never heard of.
But to us, she means so much. She works at Avaaz because she shares so many of our values. For years she’s worked so hard for a world where people can organise for peace, justice, and human rights without being sent to jail. She’s brought hundreds of our campaigns alive for Turkish Avaazers.
Now she’s being held under threat of ridiculous armed terrorism charges! The closest Özlem has been to any arms is the tear gas and the batons used AGAINST her in the countless times that she’s fought for justice.
It’s time we stand up for Özlem, and the others arrested with her, by shining our giant spotlight on her imprisonment. When a million sign, we’ll deliver our call directly to the EU foreign minister ahead of next week’s meeting to up the pressure — let’s set Özlem free:
Click to free Özlem!
Our community has stood alongside human rights defenders in places from Saudi Arabia to Morocco, from Canada to Indonesia. It’s at the very heart of what our movement’s about. But now, one of our own is in trouble — and depending on us to help. Let’s come together as never before for Özlem and her friends.
Danny, Alex, Marigona, Luca, Emma and the rest of the Avaaz team
Turkey detains 10 at human rights meeting, U.S., EU concerned (Reuters)
Turkey crackdown: Rights groups outraged by latest arrests (BBC)
Turkey must free jailed human rights defenders (Amnesty International)
Rights defenders ‘must not be silenced,’ says UN office, urging Turkey to release activists (UN)
Thursday 10th July 2017
posted by Morning Star in Features
Britain’s £100m fighter jet deal is helping Erdogan build a self-reliant dictatorship, writes SARA WOODS
ONE of the three biggest arms companies in the world is helping a genocidal dictator to autonomously develop his own weapons for generations to come. That company is British-owned BAE Systems.
In January 2016, it was widely reported that Theresa May agreed on a £100 million defence deal to help develop fighter jets for the Turkish air force.
The deal was for not only the first 250 TFX next-generation fighter planes to be built, but also for the knowledge and expertise of defence giant BAE Systems (formerly British Aerospace) to be transferred to Turkey via Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
There was competition for this contract, and Turkey has used that to its advantage, insisting on full technology transfer, access to all source codes, software and communications systems, with Turkish engineers working directly on the project, on Turkish soil.
This is one giant step in Turkey’s mission to become self-reliant in weapons technology, to save billions on military imports and become resilient to arms embargoes.
The timing of the deal is pertinent. Germany — historically a great ally of Turkey, with a relationship dating back to the first world war — has increasingly blocked arms exports to them in recent years, and in a bold move has just frozen all weapons shipments to Turkey.
This follows a similar move by Austria at the tail end of 2016.
In 1975, the United States imposed an embargo on arms exports to Turkey after its invasion of North Cyprus. This embargo was lifted after three years, but severely hindered Turkish expansionism at the time. Since then, the Turkish state has been intent on manufacturing its own arms.
The list of the Turkish state’s current crimes is getting too long to fit into a single article. At the current rate you would need a four-volume encyclopaedia for a year of misdeeds alone.
Since the attempted military coup on July 15 2016, a brutal crackdown has been ongoing, with hundreds of thousands sacked, detained and arrested.
A hundred and forty-nine media outlets have been shut down—a figure that will doubtless be much higher by the time this goes to print—and over 2,000 educational institutions closed.
It is clear that the coup attempt was the perfect excuse for an epic power grab by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has since made countless reforms, changed the constitution and concentrated his own power.
Even before the botched coup, Turkish state forces imposed blanket, round-the-clock military curfews on no less than 22 cities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish south-east, massacring thousands of civilians, displacing hundreds of thousands, and razing swathes of cities.
Turkey’s bloodiest massacre and displacement of Kurds since the 1990s—as Corporate Watch called it in their 2015 report—began as peace negotiations between the government and the the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) crumbled.
This occurred — not at all coincidentally — just after the June 2015 parliamentary election, when the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) broke through the 10 per cent election threshold set up to stop such parties gaining even one seat in Parliament, and for the first time, a pro-Kurdish, pro-democracy, pro-women and LGBT rights party won 13 per cent of the vote, gaining a whopping 80 seats in parliament.
Now, two years on, some 5,000 HDP party officials are jailed on “terrorism” charges, including its male and female co-leaders.
Turkey is silencing opposition media by closing down every news agency that refuses to become a mouthpiece for the state and jailing the highest number of journalists in the world.
There is a massive crackdown on social media, and much of the internet is blocked.
“Trustees” imposed by the state to replace elected representatives have been closing down civil society projects and renewing the ban on the Kurdish language. Women’s centres, businesses and organisations have been shut. Even theatre troupes aren’t safe.
Let’s not forget the strong evidence of support for Islamist groups inside Syria, including the Islamic State itself. Turkish journalists and lawmakers who leaked some of that evidence have subsequently been tried for “leaking state secrets.”
And of course there is the ongoing Turkish invasion of Syria, with a military build-up currently happening around the predominantly Kurdish Afrin Canton.
Big new arms deals are being made with Turkey just as the last traces of democracy are stripped from the country, and the British government, more now than ever before, is complicit in war crimes carried out by the Turkish state.
This £100m was a “gateway deal.” Theresa May wants Britain to become Turkey’s new key military partner, at a time when even its most long-standing allies are pulling away in disgust, and Swedish politicians accuse Erdogan of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Turkey wants to become autonomous in weapons production by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Republic.
The general director of Turkey’s biggest arms company Aselsan Faik Eken says: “We’re making products better than most in the West.
We’re cheaper … We’re ready to share technology. The Turkish defence industry can be a valid alternative to the West.”
If Turkey achieves its aim and is given the technology and skills to survive any future arms embargo, it will be very difficult to stop Erdogan from whatever expansionist and genocidal plots he may be cooking up.
A delegation from Turkey will attend the DSEI arms fair in London this September. We know that Turkey has made big successful deals at DSEI in previous years. During the event in 2015, Turkish state-owned company Roketsan signed a F-35 fighter jet missile contract with US-owned Lockheed Martin, the largest arms company in the world.
This year, Turkey has asked for its space at DSEI to be expanded by an extra 200 square metres, keen to display its growing portfolio of weaponry and military technology, strike deals with fellow dictators, and ensure the longevity of Turkey’s war economy.
Is there anything we can do to stop it? Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) thinks there is.
CAAT is a non-hierarchical grass-roots campaigning organisation that was founded in the 1970s to research, monitor and take action against the arms trade.
It monitors the British government and British arms companies and organises with groups and individuals here and abroad to take action against the arms trade using a variety of campaign tactics. It is currently organising against the DSEI arms fair.
A CAAT spokesperson said: “As it steps up its new attacks on the Kurdish population, Turkey is also importing more weapons. UK military equipment is being used by the Turkish military in attacks against the Kurdish people and UK arms companies are seeking to profit from these attacks.
“The UK has licensed £355m worth of arms to Turkey since Erdogan became President in 2014, and the UK government lists Turkey as a ‘priority market’ for arms sales. A Turkish military delegation, Turkish arms companies and international companies supplying Turkey’s military will all be at DSEI 2017.
“If we can take action to stop DSEI, we can actively disrupt the sale and supply of weaponry to Turkey.”
CAAT is one of many groups coming together in a coalition to stop the arms fair. Protests will be focused on preventing the setting up of DSEI, with a week of action from September 4 to 11. Details of the actions can be found at stopthearmsfair.org.uk
Sara Woods is a writer for the Shoal Collective, a newly-formed co-operative of independent writers and researchers, writing for social justice and a world beyond capitalism.You can follow Shoal Collective on Twitter at @ShoalCollective.
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Thursday 14th September 2017
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain
TRADE UNIONS pledged solidarity with progressive forces in Turkey yesterday and vowed to build a mass campaign for the release of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Unite delegate Tommy Murphy told TUC delegates that the situation in Turkey has “dramatically deteriorated” since last year’s Congress passed an emergency motion following the failed military coup attempt.
“Further waves of mass arrests, detentions and dismissals of workers have taken place, more media outlets have been closed down and the brutal war on the Kurdish population has continued.
“I don’t think it is exaggerated to say that we are witnessing Turkey, a Nato member state, descending into fascism,” he warned.
Mr Murphy said it was vital to redouble efforts to build solidarity with the Kurds and all progressive forces in Turkey, pointing to the labour movement tradition of support for oppressed peoples including those in Cuba, Palestine, South Africa and Colombia.
“We demand that the Turkish state immediately end the state of emergency, restore democratic and press freedoms and restart the peace process with the Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK],” he said.
He told Congress that the freedom of jailed PKK leader Mr Ocalan was crucial to securing a peaceful settlement to the so-called Kurdish question.
“In less than two years, Abdullah Ocalan will have been in prison for 20 years and will be 70 years old,” Mr Murphy said, calling for “massive international pressure for his release.”
He predicted: “What happens in Turkey and the wider region will have huge implications for all of us in Europe.”
Mr Murphy also explained how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s war on the Kurds has extended to Syria.
“Turkey has sent its army in, but the Turkish army isn’t fighting Isis, it’s fighting the Kurds,” he said, branding this an “utter disgrace” and call for international bodies to demand that Turkey withdraw its troops from Syria.
GMB delegate Jo Pitchford said the complexities of the situation in the Middle East can make it difficult to separate “fact from fiction.”
But she added: “If we are to have any influence in helping to bring about a peaceful solution to conflict in Turkey and in the wider region, we must step up our support for the Kurdish people and their imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, because in them lies the hope for a more equitable and tolerant society.”
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