Turkish government fights WordPress and Kurds, not ISIS


This video from the USA says about itself:

16 November 2014

Jon Stewart: Turkey: Erdogan helps ISIS at Kobane.

From the Peace in Kurdistan campaign in Britain:

Kurdish message of peace stifled by Turkish censorship

Monday 10th August 2015

The Peace in Kurdistan campaign explains how President Erdogan is more interested in trampling the Kurds than fighting Isis

DAYS ago, the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s website was blocked to users in Turkey in the latest government crackdown on Kurdish and pro-Kurdish news and media.

As part of a broad attack on internet freedom, 77 million websites hosted by WordPress.com were temporarily blocked under Turkey’s Internet Law 5651. After WordPress challenged the ban, the Turkish government lifted restrictions on the majority of sites, leaving just five — which included peaceinkurdistancampaign.com and four other pro-Kurdish sites — inaccessible inside Turkey. WordPress’s appeal to the courts regarding our site and the others is still pending.

The move came as the Turkish air force’s heavy bombardment of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) sites in northern Iraq and Rojava, the first such strike since 2011, threatened to put a definitive end to the more than two-year peace process.

Using their participation in the US-led anti-Islamic State (Isis) campaign as cover, the Turkish government has taken the opportunity to wage war not against Isis at all, but against the Kurdish movement, human rights defenders, activists and the peace process by breaking the 10th ceasefire called by the PKK in the last 15 years.

What is especially galling for the Kurds is that this new clampdown on freedom of expression, combined with the renewed offensive against the PKK, comes in the wake of the Suruc massacre of young Kurds who were preparing to take part in a voluntary mission to aid the people of Kobane — the city that became a symbol of Kurdish resistance to Isis.

The massacre, carried out by an Isis-inspired suicide bomber, left 33 youths dead and hundreds more badly injured. The Kurds immediately blamed Turkey because of its complicity in aiding Isis — assistance which has been well documented.

However, Turkey’s AKP government has quite cynically used the outburst of popular anger at the massacre as a pretext for launching its attacks on the Kurdish movement, both within the country and across the border, by systematic bombing of PKK camps in Iraq. Hundreds have since been killed and maimed by indiscriminate bombing, including many civilians, according to reports.

At the same time, the Turkish authorities, steered by an increasingly authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have begun attempts to lift political immunity from pro-Kurdish HDP parliamentarians, which will pave the way for their prosecution and possible disqualification from standing for re-election in the event of the president calling a snap general election. This is likely if coalition negotiations fail.

The latest wave of censorship included a temporary ban on Twitter, a platform used by nearly a third of the country’s population. In total 96 sites have been blocked on the grounds they are publishing “terrorist” propaganda. The vast majority of these were pro-Kurdish or leftist political sites.

This duplicity was mirrored in police raids and air strikes that took place the same week, ostensibly part of Turkey’s fight against Isis. Of the 1,050 arrests that took place across Turkey in nationwide “anti-terrorism operations” last week, 137 were alleged Isis sympathisers while 847 were Kurdish activists suspected of links to the PKK. Similarly, on the day the supposed anti-Isis air strikes began, just one sortie was sent to attack Isis targets, while 75 F-16s and F-4E 2020s dropped around 300 smart bombs onto 400 PKK targets in just two days.

For those us familiar with Turkey’s repressive, vague and draconian anti-terrorism legislation, these acts come as little surprise. Over the years we have campaigned for journalists imprisoned for speaking in support of Kurdish rights and for the reinstatement of media outlets after they were repeatedly banned or taken off the air. One such campaign was for the Kurdish-language broadcaster Roj TV, which, although based in Denmark, was forced from the air after the Turkish government agreed to support former Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s appointment as Nato secretary-general.

We are well aware that we too are working under the suspicious gaze of an integrated surveillance system with global reach. Our peaceful activities that advocate for the inviolable rights of Kurdish people and a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict are still seen as a threat.

For more information see peaceinkurdistancampaign.com.

Under the guise of fighting ISIS, Turkey’s president is re-igniting a bloody war with the Kurds for his own political purposes: here.

‘Turkish air force killing Iraqi civilians’


This video says about itself:

Turkey kills “by mistake” 35 Kurdish civilians

30 December 2011

Tension increases at the border between Turkey and Iraq after Turkish officials confirmed their troops killed by mistake 35 civilians during an airstrike in the Kurdish village of Ortasu.

That was then. And now today, 1 August 2015.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

‘Turkish fighter jets again cause civilian casualties in northern Iraq

Today, 16:55

New attacks by Turkish warplanes on PKK targets in northern Iraq have killed ten civilians. This report the [Iraqi] Kurdish Rudaw media network, which has a reporter in the area. …

The attacks were on Zargali village, in the district Rawanduz. …

The Kurdish government in northern Iraq … condemned Turkey for “bombing civilians.” …

In The Hague this afternoon some 700 Kurds and Turks protested together against the Turkish bombardment of the PKK. The demonstrators marched from the central station to the Spui, where there were speeches.

Turks and Kurds demonstrate in The Hague, the Netherlands, against Turkish government bombing, 1 August 2015

Erdogan, stop bombing Kurds, Britons, others say


This video says about itself:

Turkey Is Bombing Kurdish Forces — Who Are Fighting ISIS

29 July 2015

Turkish jets launched their heaviest assault on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq overnight since air strikes began last week, hours after President Tayyip Erdogan said a peace process had become impossible.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Stop bombing the Kurds

Thursday 30th July 2015

Activists, MPs, trade unionists and campaigners call on Turkey to stop its renewed aggression against the Kurdish people

WE have watched with increasing alarm and frustration as the peace process between the Turkish government and the Kurds has stalled and been brought to a halt.

Just a few months ago talks between Turkish officials and jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan promised to herald a historic breakthrough in the protracted conflict.

We believe that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had deserved credit for enabling these talks to go ahead with a view to finding a lasting resolution to the decades-long conflict which has brought incalculable damage to Turkish and Kurdish communities alike and needlessly claimed thousands of lives on both sides.

But recently, and at least since the run-up to Turkey’s June general election, President Erdogan has abruptly changed track and allowed himself to become embroiled in a reckless gamble that sees him playing with the country’s future.

He has stood accused of putting the peace process on hold and even of terminating it for political gain. The consequences of such a move would be to reignite the conflict and this can only be utterly catastrophic for the country and its future generations.

We share the fears expressed by the Kurds about Turkey’s repeated threats of military intervention across the border in Syria.

The stated intention to establish a buffer zone really appears designed to destabilise the fledgling democracy in the regions of Rojava liberated by the Syrian Kurds, rather than contribute towards a resolution of the crisis in Syria.

In addition, Turkey has been highly ambiguous in its attitude to Isis, with evidence that it is sheltering and supplying weapons to Isis fighters. The Turkish state has clearly been using Isis to undermine the gains of the Kurds in places like Kobane.

The opportunity for peace still exists and should not be squandered. President Erdogan can still facilitate it by showing true leadership, but this involves vision and magnanimity.

The possibility of securing a lasting peace would be a historic gain for Turkey, the Kurds and the entire Middle East region.

In fact the whole world has a stake in seeing Turkey at peace.

The leaders of Turkey need to recognise the importance of the choices that lie ahead: either grasp the chance for peace or reignite a conflict with no end in sight.

The results of the Turkish general election gave hope for peace when the pro-Kurdish HDP made historic gains and broke through the 10 per cent obstacle to achieve representation in the country’s parliament.

The HDP fought the election on a clear and unambiguous platform of support for the peace talks between Turkey and the Kurds.

The support that the party received was an endorsement of the peace process.

The party’s success inspires all those who want to see Turkey achieve a more democratic and pluralistic society founded on peace and reconciliation.

The Kurds have been calling for the restarting of the peace process. We believe that it is time for Turkey to reciprocate and opt for peace over conflict.

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Noam Chomsky
John Berger, novelist
Derek Wall, international co-ordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales
Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Lecturer in Political Sociology, Cambridge University
Melanie Gingell, barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
Bronwen Jones, barrister, Mansfield Chambers
John Hunt, journalist and writer
Sean Hawkey, photojournalist and Green Party member
Dr Austin Reid, consultant in international university development
Hywel Williams MP
Elfyn Llwyd, former MP, Plaid Cymru
Essa Moosa, Judge of the High Court of South Africa and Cape Town and Chair of the International Peace and Reconciliation Commission
David Graeber, Prof of Anthropology at London School of Economics and author
Jonathan Bloch, author
Margaret Owen, human rights lawyer and director of the international NGO Widows for Peace though Democracy
Dr Radha D’Souza, global justice scholar and democratic rights campaigner
Mike Mansfield QC, President of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Lord Rea
Baroness Jenny Jones, Green Party
Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party
Jean Lambert MEP
Lord Avebury
Dr Les Levidow, Senior Research Fellow, Open University
Bruce Kent, Vice-President, Pax Christi
Bill Bowring, Professor of Law, Birkbeck, University of London
Louise Christian, lawyer, Vice-President of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Frances Webber, Vice-President of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Mary Davis, visiting professor at Royal Holloway University of London
Lindsey German, Convenor Stop the War Coalition
Trevor Rayne, Lecturer in Public Service Management and Economics
Dr Michael M.Gunter, Professor of Political Science, Tennesse Technical University
Dr Kariane Westrheim, Associate Professor University of Bergen, Norway
Nick Hildyard, policy adviser
Dr Andy Higginbottom, Associate Professor, International Politics and Human Rights
Zaher Baher, Kurdistan Anarchists Forum
Yvo Fitzherbert, Istanbul-based journalist
Liz Davies, barrister, Vice-President Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Catrin Lewis, barrister
Sarah Parker, human rights campaigner
Stephen Smellie, South Lanarkshire UNISON
James Kelman, novelist
Dr Johanna Riha, epidemiologist
Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer, GMB (personal capacity)
Dr Zeynep Kurban, Physicist at Imperial College London, human rights activist
Rosa Salih, Kurdish Society, Scotland
Isabel Kaser, PhD candidate SOAS
Amin Husain, Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy magazine (tidalmag.org ) & Direct Action Front for Palestine
John Holloway, Professor of Sociology at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades in the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico
Marina Sitrin, Post-doctoral Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center, Author of “Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina”, National Lawyers Guild, US
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University, US
Silvia Federici, scholar, author and activist, prof emerita and Teaching Fellow at Hofstra University
George Caffentzis, political philosopher and autonomist Marxist, founder of the Midnight Notes Collective
Andrew Ross, cultural studies specialist, directs American Studies Programme at New York University
Andreas Gavriliedis, Greek-Kurdish Solidarity
George Eugeniou, founder and director of Teatro Technis
Eric Lee, LabourStart (personal capacity)
Prof Eleni Palazidou, Consultant Psychiatrist
Jean Lambert MEP
Kate Osamor MP
David Morgan, journalist
Dr Felix Padel, visiting professor, JNU, Delhi
Dr Janroj Yilmaz Keles, Research Fellow, Middlesex University
Eoin Slattery, actor
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
Pete Radcliff, Secretary of Beeston North Labour Party
Cynthia Cockburn, author and activist
Carol Mann PhD Women In War, Think Tank for Gender and Armed Conflict
Khatchatur I Pilikian, Prof. of Music & Art
Paloma Polo, visual artist and independent researcher
Batu Talu, independent researcher
Sheila Mosley, Co-Chair: International Support Kurds in Syria
Tim Cooper, Nottingham Unite Community treasurer and Nottingham Kurdish Solidarity Campaign
Kadim Lacin, Journalist
Penny Papadopoulou, Journalist
Tim Gopsill, editor of Free Press (CPF)
Houzan Mahmoud, Kurdish femininist activist
Maryam Ashrafi, photojournalist
Mithat Ishakoglu, PhD at the University of Exeter
Tony Fisher, Law Society Human Rights committee member
Melanie Sirinathsingh, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Estella Schmid, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

Having reached a deal with the Turkish government to set up a buffer zone inside Syria, ostensibly to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), official Washington has begun debating the rules of engagement for US military forces to intervene against the Syrian military: here.

An ‘Isis-free zone’ is nothing but a road to US mission creep, by Emma Ashford. The US’ involvement in Syria displays no strategy, no boundaries and no clear goals. The only viable long-term solution to Syria’s problems is diplomacy: here.

Erdogan, stop bombing Kurds in Iraq, Iraqi government says


Erdogan and Syrian Kurds

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Iraq condemns bombing of PKK camps

Today, 14:55

Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi has condemned the Turkish bombardment of PKK camps in northern Iraq. He sees the attacks as a serious violation of the independence of Iraq and fears a “dangerous escalation” of conflicts.

Abadi calls on the Turks in order to avoid further escalation and find a solution to the crisis.

Turkey has intensified the attacks on the armed wing of the PKK after the NATO allies yesterday proclaimed their support to Turkey’s approach to terrorism.

The approach of the Turkish Erdogan government to terrorism is now: a few symbolic actions against ISIS terrorists who had used Turkey as their base for violence in Syria for a long time; and many more attacks on the only effective force fighting these ISIS terrorists: the Kurds in Syria, in Turkey, in Iraq.

In an article on the site of NOS TV from the Netherlands, Kurds in Iraq describe the Turkish armed forces as ‘the air force of ISIS’.

Turkish government attacks anti-ISIS Syrian Kurds


This video says about itself:

ISIS MEMBER: TURKEY SUPPORTED US WITH WEAPONS. YPG vs ISIS.

9 May 2015

ISIS MEMBER RECOUNTS HEATED EXCHANGE BETWEEN TURKEY SUPPORTED TERROR GROUPS OVER WHO GETS WHAT OF ARMS DELIVERY.

From the BBC today:

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of attacking their forces

22 minutes ago

Kurdish forces in Syria have accused Turkey of repeatedly attacking their units across the border.

Turkey said it was investigating the claims but insisted the Syrian Kurdish units remained “outside the scope of the current military effort”.

Turkey launched air raids on Islamic State fighters in Syria and positions of the Kurdish militant PKK in Iraq following violent attacks in Turkey.

Turkey has also said it has no plans to send ground troops into Syria.

The Kurdish People‘s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the main Syrian Kurdish party (PYD), said that Turkish tanks had shelled the Kurdish-held village of Zormikhar inside Syria late on Sunday evening.

It added that, an hour later, one of its vehicles had come “under heavy fire from the Turkish military east of Kobane in the village of Til Findire”.

In a statement on Monday, the YPG said: “Instead of targeting IS terrorists’ occupied positions, Turkish forces attack our defenders’ positions. This is not the right attitude.

“We urge Turkish leadership to halt this aggression and to follow international guidelines. We are telling the Turkish Army to stop shooting at our fighters and their positions.”

Erdogan, Kurds and ISIS, cartoon

TURKEY’S weekend bombing raids on Kurdish targets could spell the end of a two-year ceasefire with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the party warned yesterday: here.

Did Turkey Cut a Deal With ISIS to Save Soldiers? The Turks’ mission to rescue an ancient Ottoman corpse and its guardians near Aleppo was not a step toward war with ISIS, but a step away: here.

After agreeing last week to join the US-led war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Turkey is preparing to seize buffer zones within Syria, backed by US warplanes and Syrian opposition militias. This escalation follows weeks of talks with a high-ranking US delegation, and a phone call between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US President Barack Obama: here.

Erdogan and Syrian Kurds

NATO backs Turkish attack on Syria and the Kurds: here.

Kurdish leader decries Turkey’s ‘safe zone’ plan in Syria: here.

NATO on Tuesday gave President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unanimous support for Turkey joining the US-led military offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is being used as a cover to escalate Washington’s intervention against the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The quid pro quo secured by Turkey involves US support for attacks on Kurdish forces that, until last week, were being hailed by Washington, Berlin and other NATO powers as the bedrock of the anti-ISIS struggle: here.

THE opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) called for a ceasefire yesterday after Turkish jets blitzed Kurdish PKK militia in northern Iraq overnight: here.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has mobilised the military and police in a country-wide operation targeting both the Kurdish nationalist movement led by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the “left” and anti-war opposition in general, arresting more than 1,300 people on terror charges: here.

ISIS massacre in Suruc, Turkey


This 20 July video is about the bloody attack, very probably by ISIS, in Suruc town in Turkey, near the Syrian border. Over 330 young people who wanted to help with reconstruction in Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan after the ISIS attacks on that town, were targeted by a bomb. The young people had gathered at a camp of the SGDF (Federation of Socialist Youth Organisations).

This video says about itself:

Disbelief and determination at funeral for Suruc suicide-bomb victims

21 July 2015

A mass funeral has been held in Gaziantep, southern Turkey for 27 of the victims of the suicide bombing in Suruc.

Most of those who died in the attack were students of university age who had gathered at the hall ahead of a planned trip to help rebuild the neighbouring Syrian town of Kobani.

The feeling among mourners was one of disbelief, but also determination.

“We will not give up, whatever happens,” said one woman. “We will defend peace and brotherhood.”

By the Turkish correspondent of the World Socialist Web Site:

Atrocity sparks calls for Turkish intervention in Syria

22 July 2015

An explosion on Monday outside a cultural center in the Turkish town of Suruç, on the border with Syria, killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 100. The main suspect of the suicide bomb is the Islamic State (IS), however, it has not yet taken responsibility.

The explosion occurred at around noon in front of the Amara Culture Center, as some 300 members of the Socialist Youth Association (SGDF) from İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Diyarbakır were issuing a press statement on the reconstruction of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani. SGDF members were preparing to travel to Kobani to help with the reconstruction. Kobani was the scene of fierce battles between Kurdish and IS fighters, and recaptured by Kurdish forces last month.

The terrorist attack in Suruç is a clear provocation, which could trigger ethnic and sectarian clashes within Turkey, while serving as the pretext as well for a Turkish invasion of Syria.

The explosion comes several weeks after the deployment of additional Turkish troops and equipment to its border with Syria. Turkey’s leaders have said they do not plan any unilateral military incursion into Syria, but have also said they will do whatever is necessary to defend the country’s borders. Ankara fears the build-up of a Kurdish-controlled area of northern Syria by the PYD/YPG, an offshoot of the PKK, the Kurdish separatist guerrilla group in Turkey.

The massacre in Suruç is first and foremost a byproduct of the devastating policies of US imperialism, in which Ankara plays an essential role in the Middle East. As everyone knows, the AKP government is the main regional force that fomented the Syrian civil war, supported ISIS for a protracted period, and thus made it possible for the Islamist group to stage terrorist attacks inside Turkey.

ISIS had threatened the Turkish government with attacks after Ankara and Washington exchanged positive signals on the question of using İncirlik Air Base in south-central Turkey for US air strikes against IS. Whether Ankara cuts its covert support to ISIS or not, the AKP government is responsible for dragging Turkey into the bloodbath now taking place in Syria and Iraq.

Some bourgeois politicians and media commentators have already started to say that the government must respond to the terrorist attack in Suruç with the already prepared military intervention into northern Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself declared that now is “the time to act.”

ISIS is only one of dozens of ethnic and sectarian-based proxy organisations in Syria, created by US imperialism and its regional allies like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Turkish ruling elite, itself, has admitted that there are hundreds of Islamist “sleeper cells” within Turkey, and some 5,000 Turkish militants have joined ISIS. In return, with the exception of few token arrests, the AKP government has not done anything against them. Rather, it has equated ISIS and the PKK-PYD and oriented all its fire against the latter. The so-called “Kurdish policy” of the Turkish government is an inseparable part of its proxy war in Syria, based on fomenting ethnic and sectarian divisions and hostility.

In a written statement following the attack, the Interior Ministry said, “We call on everyone to stand together and remain calm in the face of this terrorist attack which targets the unity of our country.”

Meanwhile, in a hypocritical attempt to whitewash the responsibility of his government in the terrorist attack, Erdoğan condemned those behind it. “Terror has no religion, no ethnicity, no nationality, and no country,” he said. “We always stated that an international struggle should be taken up against terrorism, we continue to express this.”

This video says about itself:

Germany: Thousands march in solidarity with Suruc victims

20 July 2015

Thousands hit the streets of Berlin, Monday, to express their solidarity with the victims of the attack in Suruc that killed dozens earlier in the day. The crowd marched wielding the flag of Rojava as well as placards critical of current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

This video from London, England says about itself:

ISIS flag burns as London Kurds protest deadly Suruc terror attack

21 July 2015

Over 1,500 predominantly Kurdish protesters marched through the streets of North London protesting the alleged Islamic State suicide bombing of Kurdish activists on Monday in the town of Suruc, southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border. At least 30 people were killed and over 100 injured in the explosion.

There will be more on this blog on this horrible crime, and its context. It raises issues like: Why is attention and indignation in the international corporate media about this crime less than for the murders at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, though more people have been killed and injured now? What exactly is ‘terrorism’? What is the ‘war on terror‘? Is it a real war? What makes it different from wars like World War One or the Vietnam war?