PKK HPG PJA Women Kurdish Guerilla Fighters

topic posted Sun, October 28, 2007 - 12:28 PM by  Unsubscribed
“All laws reflecting male domination should be annulled. Violence against women, all forms of control on women’s bodies and lives resulting from outdated custom and traditional habits, and bride’s price should be forbidden.” (PKK Program, 2003)

PKK HPG PJA Women Kurdish Guerilla Fighters
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  • Yep, and they bought it. Just goes to show that even women can be stupid. That's the problem with equality. They can even be equal to you.
    • Unsu...
      Erik said, "That's the problem with equality. They can even be equal to you."
      • Unsu...
        Erik, one might say that is a benefit of equality.

        But these women are not being stupid.

        These women are seizing equality, both for women and for Kurds, in a society where that equality has been denied.
        • No different than those brave young women who joined FARC, and are now laying down their lives in defense of coca fields. Same deal. Even women can make bad decisions. These have. Now they can kill and be killed in equal measure.
          • Women are great terrorists!

            • Unsu...
              Why does it not surprise me that Erik believes the official lies on why the United States is propping-up the right-wing death squad government of Colombia? Yet he does have a way of trying to change the subject, doesn't he?
              • Unsu...
                Kurdish Culture, Repression, Women’s Rights, and Resistance

                By Steven Argue

                The Kurdish people number at an estimated at 25-30 million people. They live in eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, northwest of the Zagros Mountains in Iran, and in Armenia. They also have a large émigré population in Western Europe. With 4-5 million people and 15-20% of the population the Kurds are the largest non-Arab minority in Iraq (CIA Iraq, 2007). They are also the largest non-Turkish minority in Turkey comprising 20% of the population (CIA Turkey, 2007). The Kurdish speaking people are 9% of the Iranian population (CIA Iran, 2007). In Syria, the Kurds are the largest minority with about 1.75 million people comprising about 10% of the population (Lowe 2006). The rise of nationalist xenophobia and war in Armenia after the fall of the Soviet Union has pushed most Kurds out of Armenia, but around 30,000 Yezidi Kurds remain comprising about 1% of the population (CIA Armenia, 2007).

                The language of the Kurds, called Kurdish, is distinct from the Persian of Iran, the Arabic of Iraq and Syria, and the Turkish of Turkey. Thus the common language of the Kurds both separates them from the dominant cultures in the nation-states where they live and unites the Kurdish people as a nationality without a nation-state.

                While being distinct the Kurdish language is most closely related to Persian, yet the origins of the varied Kurdish culture is partially influenced by the absorption of characteristics of the differing nationalities and cultures that have historically surrounded them.

                In terms of religion the Kurdish people are mostly Muslim with both Shia (primarily of the Alevi sect), Sunni (primarily Shafi’i). There is also a large Sufi influence among many Kurdish Muslims, often cited as a moderating influence on Islamic fundamentalism. A small number of Kurds are also Yezidi Muslims and Christians. The Kurds also have a history that has included secular and atheist political leaderships.

                The differing Kurdish religious identities have, at times, been a political factor both in divisions among the Kurdish people and in divisions, which distinguish them from the dominant nationalities. The strong Kurdish national identity is based on mutual language and a history of oppression. These factors hold the Kurds together as a people.

                For the Kurdish people outrageous acts of oppression in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, and Syria have included mass murder, suppression of language rights, exploitation of Kurdish resources with nothing but poverty given in return, deprivations of national citizenships, and the brutal suppression of political representation.

                Despite the oppression the Kurdish people have faced, they continue to speak their language and organize politically and, at times, militarily to fight back everywhere they continue to live as a native population.

                The Kurdish people are, in fact, the largest national minority in the world that has no homeland. Yet, it is largely their mutual language as well as their mutual oppression and a large amount of mutual poverty (despite some class differences) that continues to unite the Kurdish people. They desire borders that would change the map of the Near East. A better understanding of the Kurdish people is a key to understanding the entire region.

                Kurdish Language and Literature

                While being most closely related to Persian; the language of the Kurds, called Kurdish, is distinct from the Persian of Iran, the Arabic of Iraq and Syria, and the Turkish of Turkey. Historically many Kurdish intellectuals have written both in Kurdish in as well as in the languages of the dominating cultures (Blau 2007).

                Despite a long history of oppression that includes the banning of the written and spoken Kurdish word, the Kurdish people have a rich literary history. Ell Herirl (1425-1495) is the first well-known Kurdish poet (Blau 2007). He, like the many patriotic Kurdish poets that followed, wrote of his love of Kurdish lands and its women (Blau 2007).

                Up until very recently the Kurdish language was brutally suppressed everywhere in its native range except the Soviet Republic of Armenia. Armenian Kurds enjoyed special status as an ethnic minority in the Soviet Union including special programs for economic development. The Kurdish language, far from being banned, enjoyed sponsorship through state-sponsored Kurdish radio, a Kurdish newspaper, and Kurdish cultural events. After the fall of the Soviet Union Armenian Kurds lost language rights and other protections and most Kurds have been forcefully deported or have fled to Germany and other west European countries as well as to Russia (Mehrdad [date?]).

                In Turkey, the Kurdish language was illegal up until 1991 when political and armed struggle forced the Turkish government to recognize some Kurdish language rights. Kurds and international human rights organizations, however, still complain of an oppressive situation imposed by the Turkish government (Human Rights Watch 2006).

                In Iraq, Saddam Hussein, as a U.S. backed ally at the time, is famous for committing mass murder against the Kurdish speaking population. Today Kurdish literature is still repressed with a number of Kurdish journalists jailed by what the Kurdish leftist opposition considers to be a puppet government of the United States and central government.

                Iranian policy forbids the Kurdish language and has attempted to assimilate the Kurds into the dominant Persian culture. Besides the state of war between Iraq and the Kurds in the Iran-Iraq war, there was also a state of war between the Iranian government and Iranian Kurds at that same time. More recently in 2005 the Iranian government opened fire on Kurdish protesters with attack helicopters killing 20 and wounding 200 (Amnesty International 2005). Despite the attempts by the Iranian government to stomp out Kurdish culture, Kurdish literature and histories are available in Iran in both Kurdish and Persian (Blau 2007).

                In Syria, the written Kurdish language has been banned since 1958. In 1987 that ban was extended to Kurdish music and Kurdish videos (Amnesty International 2005). Hundreds of thousands of native Syrian Kurds have no citizenship rights, the Kurdish flag is illegal (but still flown), and numerous acts of repression have been documented.

                Due to the fact that Kurdish culture is horribly repressed in all of their native lands, today it is the Kurdish Diaspora living in Europe, the United States, and Australia that create most of the new Kurdish literature. This includes poetry, children’s books, newspapers, and magazines. Sweden, with a very enlightened policy towards immigrant populations, encourages Kurds and other groups to continue their languages and cultures and allocates a large amount of money to the relatively small Kurdish population for Kurdish language publications (Blau 2007). In addition works in the Kurdish language are being produced in other countries where funding is harder to come by.

                The tenacity of Kurdish culture owes much to its extensive historic roots, pride of its people in their literature and language, and refusal to die in the face of attempts at forced assimilation and brutal repression.

                Kurdish Modes of Production and Their Development

                Kurdish lands are rich and productive, and they sustain the Kurdish people both through pastoral activity as well as through agriculture (Izady 1992). The gathering of wild nuts, berries, and truffles are also important sources of food and income for the Kurdish people, especially in forested regions (Izady 1992). In addition some of the Kurdish lands are rich in oil resources, but the Kurds have been denied access to this oil wealth.

                It is established that a number of domestic animals as well as cereal crops used around the world were first domesticated in Kurdish lands (Izady 1992).

                Kurdish pastoralism takes place primarily in areas not suitable for agriculture because they are too high in elevation, to steep, or too low in precipitation (Izady 1992). Pastoral activities were once nomadic, but now encompass only lands within a few days of permanent dwellings. As a result some lands that were traditionally grazed are no longer used (Izady 1992).

                Kurdish lands grow large amounts of wheat, barley, rice, cotton, tobacco, sugar beets, olives, corn, sunflowers, soybeans, fruits, and nuts. Many of these are cash crops sold to other areas of the Near East where there is far less arable land (Izady 1992).

                In many areas of Kurdistan agriculture is still practiced with ox, mule, or donkey drawn wooden ploughs (Jaff 2007).

                A merchant class of Kurds has arisen since the 1950s making a living off of capitalist exchanges (Marriage and Family Encyclopedia 2007).

                While participating in the broader economy, household families are the most basic economic unit for rural Kurds. Such households are patrilocal containing the first son and his wife and their children. Households participate in reciprocal non-capitalist labor exchanges and share what the household earns. Urban Kurds often continue this family communal structure, but it sometimes falls apart in the face of wage earners no longer wishing to share their income (Marriage and Family Encyclopedia 2007).

                Many rural Kurds also seasonally participate in construction labor in the cities, bringing additional income back to their families (Marriage and Family Encyclopedia 2007).

                Reciprocal exchanges are not just confined to households. They also take place between neighbors and kin in a village, and are expected. These communal exchanges also take place among urban Kurds (Marriage and Family Encyclopedia 2007).

                In addition tribal Kurds are expected to work for landlords and tribal leaders, with durations of labor not clearly defined (Marriage and Family Encyclopedia 2007).

                The labor structure in Kurdish villages reflects the labor-intensive, technologically primitive, agriculture forced on them by the neglect of the oil rich nations many Kurds are part of. Meanwhile, due to discrimination, the petroleum and mining operations in Kurdish areas rarely hire Kurds (Jaff 2007). This contributes to Kurdish poverty in regions that are rich in natural resources; fueling resentment and separatist desires.

                Kurdish Sexuality, Birth, Domestic Life, Descent, and Kinship

                The Kurdish people are organized in patrilineal clans (Refugee Health 2007). As such there is patriarchal control of marriage and property, with women treated in many ways like property. In addition, political status is often the product of patrilineal descent (Refugee Health 2007). It is a male dominated culture where female sexuality is repressed and women are oppressed.

                Rural Kurdish women are allowed to mingle with males, but they are not allowed to make their own decisions regarding sexuality or husbands (Hassanpour 2001). Marriage for Kurdish women is a form of bondage traditionally decided upon by the male members of her family (Hassanpour 2001). These decisions have often been made in the girl’s childhood, and sometimes even before she is born (Hassanpour 2001). In Kurdish Iraq such practices of arranged marriage have been on the wane for a number of years, but family permission and payments for brides are still the rule (Refugee Health 2007).

                Rural Kurdish marriages are patrilocal (Hassanpour 2001). The family receiving the bride pays the family she came from (Hassanpour 2001). This price is seen as payment for the labor that will be lost when she moves to live with the groom’s family (Hassanpour 2001). To hold onto the wealth of the village marriages within the village are preferred and marriages between first cousins are often arranged (Refugee Health 2007). Families also sometimes exchange sons and daughters with the same family to save on expenses (Refugee Health 2007).

                The male families of urban Kurds do not pay a bride price at the time of marriage. Yet if the male decides to divorce the woman, his family is contractually obliged to pay her family. Urban Kurdish women are also not permitted to ask for a man’s hand in marriage, nor decide to divorce. Divorced women do not have a right to custody of the children (Hassanpour 2001).

                Polygamy also sometimes occurs amongst Kurds. In such cases the wives are ranked in status by their age (Hassanpour 2001). While polygamy is not the norm, up to four wives are allowed (Refugee Health 2007).

                Like marriage, men hold women’s sexuality under a strict ideal of shame and constraint, including virginity before marriage (Hassanpour 2001). This “ideal” is upheld under the threat, and use of, male violence against women. Such violence includes beatings, pouring acid on faces, shaving heads, and even “honor” killings where women are murdered to by family members to bring back the family’s good name (Kurdish Women’s Rights Watch 2007).

                While Kurdish women may be murdered for adultery, no similar treatment is dished out to Kurdish men for the same act (Hassanpour 2001).

                Kurds tend to see having large families as the ideal. This grows out of the material need for more laboring hands in the rural areas where most Kurds live, as well as from religious beliefs that consider birth control immoral by Islamic law. Yet there are growing numbers of young couples that ask aid workers for birth control. The birth of a child is celebrated with a feast. (Refugee Health 2007)

                While the Kurdish people are oppressed and denied many fundamental rights, Kurdish women are doubly oppressed. While some Kurds have claimed better treatment of women than most of the Islamic world, treatment of Kurdish women does appear to have many similarities to those of the dominating cultures. One difference with Iranian treatment is that Kurdish women are not forced to wear the veil and are generally allowed freer movement than in many traditionally Muslim societies including Iran (Refugee Health 2007).

                In Iraq, however, Kurdish women are not historically better off. Currently the Kurdish nationalist parties in power, working with the U.S. occupation, have done much to undermine the gains made for women’s rights during the rule of Saddam Hussein. Under Saddam Hussein’s secular government, Iraqi women had many rights found nowhere else in the historically Islamic world except in the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. Over 50% of Iraqi doctors were women. Iraqi women were allowed to walk unescorted in the streets, to drive, to freely criticize men, and the right to work and control their own funds. Today the Kurdish parties that the U.S. has put in control of Iraqi Kurdistan are working towards adding brutally anti-woman Sharia (Islamic Law) to the constitution that would strip women of more rights. Similar moves are being made by the U.S. imposed central government in Iraq.

                In Turkey, it is well documented that the Turkish government has routinely used rape as a weapon in the their counter-insurgency measures against Kurdish separatists (Hilton 2002).

                There are many historical examples of Kurdish nationalists and communists speaking out for women’s rights (Hassanpour 2001). Additionally Kurdish parties in Iraq that advocate women’s rights, such as the Worker’s Communist Party of Iraq, have been excluded by the U.S. occupation from participation in elections. Besides in Iraq, the use by the United States of rightwing misogynist Islamic forces against socialists and nationalists with progressive stands on women is well established, with the U.S. bankrolling of the Mujahideen holy war against women’s rights in Afghanistan in the 1980’s being another well known example.

                Kurdish women, with the exception of those that lived in Soviet Armenia, have not had the benefit of the feminist movements of the west nor the social revolutions of the Soviet Union and China that greatly advanced women’s rights in those societies. While not achieving perfection, the Chinese and Soviet revolutions outlawed forced marriages and made other giant strides towards women’s equality including in the areas of women’s education, employment, and reproductive rights.

                While outsiders may find it easy to judge Kurdish treatment of women, it is worth noting that up until now the Kurdish nation has been denied the right to make any fundamental decisions regarding any policies in their land without outside control. Given the record of the dominating countries, including the United States, it appears that it is only within the context of Kurdish self-determination that the problems of women’s oppression can be solved by the Kurdish people themselves.

                Kurdish Political Organization

                The Kurdish people have organized themselves into many political organizations that advocate language rights, freedom from the social chauvinism and violence of the dominant cultures, Kurdish independence, and in many cases socialism. These Kurdish political organizations often exist in direct contradiction to widespread feudal village structures and the oppression of women.

                The Kurdish Worker’s Party (KKP), one of the main Kurdish resistance groups in Turkey, sees the continuation of feudal political structures on the village level as being the result of oppression and exploitation from the Turkish State. The following emic from the program of the KKP spells out this point of view:
                "National oppression exercised by Turkish state through massacres, compulsory resettlement and forced immigration goes on brutally. This oppression manifests itself economically in the fact that Kurdistan is a domestic market for Turkey, plundered and destroyed; politically in the fact that the Kurds are under the oppression of a foreign state, and denied of national sovereignty; and socially and culturally in the national humiliation and cultural backwardness created by continuing tribalism, widespread ignorance and forced assimilation." (The Kurdish Worker’s Party Programme)

                The KKP is one of nineteen different Kurdish parties in Turkey (Turkey 2004). Of these thirteen have been declared illegal by the central government, including the KKP (Turkey 2004). On the other hand the Democratic People’s Party, one of the few legal Kurdish parties, does participate in Turkish elections (Turkey 2004). They are a member of the reformist and generally pro-capitalist Socialist International. Parties with stronger political programs for Kurdish independence and for socialism are banned and communities identified with them have faced brutal counter-insurgency methods that have included massacres, the raping of women, and execution of leaders.

                In Iraq, two Kurdish parties, working with the U.S. occupation, rule Iraqi Kurdistan. These are the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and three minor Kurdish parties that have participated in an electoral alliance with the PUK and KDP called National Democratic Kurdish List. In the Kurdish area the National Democratic Kurdish List received 89.55% of the vote in the 2005 elections (Iraq 2005).

                While the 2005 vote may appear to show widespread support among Iraqi Kurds for the KDP – PUK –USA government, other reports contradict this. Mass protests have erupted in Kurdish areas against the occupation-imposed lack of electricity and water (Worker-Communist Party of Iraq 2007). In response the KDP – PUK –USA government has used violence against protesters and arrested a number of journalists (Worker-Communist Party of Iraq 2007). Involved in these protests is the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq, a political party with members across Iraq of all ethnicities that supports Kurdish rights. In Kurdistan the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq has protested U.S. policy on Kurdistan where they point out that although the Kurdish people in Iraq had gained a high level of economic independence in the last two decades, U.S. policy has in effect annexed Iraqi Kurdistan back into the central government (Worker-Communist Party of Iraq 2007).

                Unlike the KDP and PUK, the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. They did this while also opposing the government of Saddam Hussein. In addition the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq, at great risk to their lives, is carrying out a campaign in Kurdistan against the imposition of Sharia (Islamic Law) through the constitution of the puppet KDP and PUK government. They see this as horribly anti-woman and also argue that it will also further increase sectarian violence (Worker-Communist Party of Iraq 2007).

                Syria has fourteen different Kurdish political parties (Syria 2004). These organizations are banned in a country where it is illegal to even raise the flag of Kurdistan, yet Syrian Kurds continue to struggle for a homeland.

                Iran has five different Kurdish political parties (Iran 2004). These have been involved in a number of uprisings against the central government in the last few years that have faced brutal repression (Kamala 2004). One of these organizations leading the uprisings is the Kamala (Revolutionary Organisation of Toilers of Iranian Kurdistan), a socialist grouping that has been organizing armed struggle against the central Islamic regime. As strong advocates of women’s rights the Kamala were the first Kurdish organization to integrate women into their armed forces (Kamala 2004).

                Prior to the 1979 Islamic revolution the Kamala was also one of many leftist and pro-woman organizations struggling against the brutal U.S. imposed monarchy of the Shah of Iran, but in a great tragedy for women and for Kurds, it was chauvinistic Islamists that got the upper hand (Kamala 2004). In their assessment of the Islamic regime the Kamala states, “The Iranian regime has imposed the a series of discriminative policies in Kurdistan, which has ultimately resulted in the military occupation of Kurdistan, widespread poverty amongst this massive population, the suppression of Kurdish culture, drug addiction (especially amongst youth), religious suppression, forced migration, imprisonment, terror, torture, and the Killing of whoever opposing these tyrannical policies."

                Armenian Kurds have suffered as well. While Kurds were given special language rights in Soviet Armenia, after the capitalist counter-revolution Kurds in Armenia faced mass violence and forced deportations. I have found no evidence Kurdish political organization in Armenia today.

                The fate of Armenia’s largely ethnically cleansed Kurds is what has been attempted by all other countries that dominate the Kurds, elimination of the Kurdish question through violence and forced assimilation. Yet there is stubborn resistance in the will of the Kurdish people that refuses to give up. Instead many Kurds become resistance fighters that are bold enough to see a redrawn map where Kurdistan gains its independence from Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. In addition many are also bold enough to see that future as one that ends feudal backwardness, promotes education, builds socialism, and brings equality for women.

                The Socialization of Kurdish Children in Language and Culture

                The defining trait of Kurdish culture is their language. The education of Kurdish youth in their native tongue is an essential component, not only in the preservation of Kurdish culture, but also simply in giving the best education to young Kurds. The reason for this is that young people often have many difficulties learning when they are taught in a foreign tongue.

                In the early part of the 20th century British colonial authorities in charge of education in Iraq referred to the Kurdish language as “vernacular”. Their educational model was one of teaching in the Kurdish language only at the primary school level, with all higher education in Arabic (The Education of Kurdish Language, 1995-2003).

                In 1926 the famous Kurdish nationalist Huzni Mukriyani suggested in a fictional conversation between a Kurdish father and son that ignorance was better than being taught in a foreign tongue. The father states, “My dear son, I like education and I am not an enemy of knowledge and enlightenment, but it is better for you to remain ignorant than to be unaware of your identity, not to study in your language and to serve the strangers...” (The Education of Kurdish Language, 1995-2003).

                This emic view of Huzni Mukriyani’s of the over riding importance of children learning in Kurdish wasn’t just based on a nationalistic or romantic desire for cultural preservation, but also grew out of the practical desire of having Kurdish children be able to understand the language they were being taught in. This point was driven home in another line of the fictional conversation where the father states to his son, “You had better become a shepherd, [Or] do ploughing for me. These are better than taking lessons and not understanding them” (The Education of Kurdish Language, 1995-2003).

                In the 1950’s, in Iraqi Kurdistan, demands by the Kurdish community for more education in Kurdish began to bear some fruit, but many instructors had difficulty teaching in Kurdish because they had been instructed in Arabic (The Education of Kurdish Language, 1995-2003).

                In Turkey, Iran, and Syria education in the Kurdish language has been even more wanting. The Kurdish language was illegal in Turkey up until 1991 and education in the Kurdish language is still lacking (Human Rights Watch 2006).

                Yet, as an oppressed people without many educational opportunities, Kurdish children continue to learn their language from their families and communities even when formal education is lacking. Thus, the Kurdish language continues to be passed on to the children, partly out of necessity, partly out of a nationalistic pride and refuses to die or be forcefully assimilated.

                Religion In Kurdistan, Belief and Disbelief

                Kurds practice a variety of monotheist religions including a number of varieties of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. In addition some Kurdish nationalist movements led by socialists have a strong history of atheism and secularism.

                The wide variety of Kurdish religions is due, in part, to the absorption of differing religions from surrounding nationalities. These religions have moved through the region over differing historical times. The predominance of Islam began in the seventh century when most Kurds were converted (Encyclopedia Britannica 2007).

                Most religious Kurds are Muslim of the Sunni denomination (Encyclopedia Britannica 2007). Kurdish Sunnis predominantly belong to the Shafi’I sect. Another Islamic denomination found among the beliefs of the Kurdish people is the Shia, primarily of the Alevi sect. A small number of Kurds are also Yezidi Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

                There is also a large Sufi influence among many Kurdish Muslims, often cited as a moderating influence on Islamic fundamentalism in many areas, including the oppression of women. Others see that religious moderation; to the point it does exist among the Kurds, is the result of heavy influences from atheistic socialist forces leading many of the struggles against Kurdish national oppression.

                While information on the rarest and most obscure religions is often very easy to come by, demographic assessments of atheism are difficult to nearly impossible to obtain for much of the world. This lack of important anthropological data is due, in part, to the fact that atheists are oppressed in much of the world and afraid to identify themselves when attempts are made at collecting such data. But, in addition, there is a glaring shortage of writings that attempt to look at the role of atheism on individual cultures. Perhaps this is due, in part, to the universality of atheism and its lack of quaint provincial deities, sects, or rituals as are found in the thousands of religions of the world.

                A look at the political programs the socialists that are playing a leading role in the nationalist liberation movements of Kurdistan does, however, reveal a strong influence of atheism and secularism in their advocacy of women’s rights and opposition to Islamic Law.

                It is a tendency found in many mainstream anthropological writings to play up the role of various religions in different societies while ignoring the influences of atheism. Yet it has been atheistic leadership that has led major advances in women’s rights for much of the world’s population. Well known examples are the Chinese and Russian revolutions that outlawed forced marriages, bride prices, and other manifestations of female slavery still suffered by most Kurdistani women.

                Likewise it is popular groups with atheistic programs, such as the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) in Turkey, that advocate full emancipation for women. As the PKK states in their program:

                “All laws reflecting male domination should be annulled. Violence against women, all forms of control on women’s bodies and lives resulting from outdated custom and traditional habits, and bride’s price should be forbidden.” (KKP Program, 2003)

                This program of the PKK is in stark contrast to the harsh anti-woman positions of the Islamic capitalist governments of Iran, Turkey, and Iraq.

                While there is good reason to study the role of religions in various societies, anthropological studies are often incomplete if they ignore the role atheism. Kurdish society is no exception where religious belief is mixed with a strong peppering of disbelief.

                U.S. Imperialism and the Kurdish Question

                While the regime of Saddam Hussein was no friend to the Iraqi Kurdish people, this of course has nothing to do with why the United States government hated Saddam Hussein. This hatred by the U.S. capitalist government is not based on humanitarian concerns. They hated Saddam Hussein for the good things he did, such as the nationalization of Iraqi oil that benefited the people of Iraq by keeping oil wealth in the country for social programs and benefited of the Iraqi economy.

                America’s so-called concern for human rights can be seen in the past US interventions in Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party first came to power in 1963. Immediately after taking power, based on lists provided by the CIA, they rounded up 5,000 leftists and trade-union leaders and murdered them. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait we were shown pictures of Iraqi Kurds killed by poison gas in the U.S. media. What we were not told is why the US was silent when this was happening and the fact that the US supplied the gas to kill the Kurds and to kill Iranians in the Iran-Iraq war. While we are now told of the Iraqi repression of the Kurdish people we are not told of how the Turkish government is carrying out the same policies of genocide against the Turkish Kurds, and doing it with U.S. weaponry.

                In addition to these proxy genocides by the U.S. government on the Kurdish people the U.S. government has participated directly in the war on Kurds. This occurred on February 15, 1999 when U.S. forces kidnapped Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan and turned him over to the genocidal Turkish government. Subsequently Abdullah Ocalan was sentenced to death for his role in defending Kurdish territory in Turkey from the murderous Turkish military. This U.S. kidnapping was admitted on CNN TV by former Turkish President and ethnic cleanser Suleyman Demiral.

                Today, in Iraq, the basic question of Kurds getting a piece of the oil wealth is not on the imperialist agenda. Instead they are pushing through their puppet governments and outside pressure for the oil wealth to be privatized and turned over to U.S. corporations.

                Many of the Kurds know that their national interests will never be served by the “liberating” forces of Turkey and Iran or British and American imperialism. This will only be established by the Kurds themselves and by the alliances they build with other anti-imperialist forces. British imperialism divided Kurdistan, a country with its own unique language and culture, into a minority inside the nations of Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. Today the Kurds are the largest nation without a homeland in the world. Imperialism, with its motto of divide and conquer, never has and never will solve the Kurdish question. A free and united Kurdistan will only be born through a sweeping socialist revolution that overthrows the capitalist regimes of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria while challenging the military dictates of the United States.

                The mutual language and oppression shared by the Kurdish people has solidified the Kurdish identity, even though they have differing religions, and even though they are spread out into five different countries of origin where they are an ethnic minority in each.

                Facing violence and attempts at forced assimilation there is stubborn resistance in the will of the Kurdish people that refuses to give up. Instead many Kurds become resistance fighters that are bold enough to see a redrawn map where Kurdistan gains its independence from Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. In addition, many Kurds are also bold enough to see that future as one that ends feudal backwardness, promotes education, builds socialism, and brings equality for women.

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                Questions and Answers: Freedom of Expression and Language Rights in Turkey. 2006. Accessed 2 March 2007. Available from: Internet.

                Repression of Kurds in Syria is widespread. Amnesty International. March2005.

                Syria: Kurds in the Syrian Arab Republic One Year After the March 2004 Events. 10 March 2005. Amnesty International. Accessed 2 March 2007. Available from: Internet.

                Syria. Leftist Parties of the World. 22 June 2004. Accessed 24 April 2007. Available from:

                Talabany, Nouri. The Kurdish Case. Middle East Quarterly, Winter2007, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p75-78.

                The Communist Party of Kurdistan (KKP) Program. 2003. Denge Kurdistan. Accessed 16 May 2007. Available from: Available from:

                The Education of Kurdish Language. 1995-2003. Kurdistan Web. Accessed 16 May 2007. Available from:

                The plight of the Kurds. Economist, 1/27/2007, Vol. 382 Issue 8513, p52-52.

                Turkey. Leftist Parties of the World. 31 August 2004. Accessed 24 April 2007. Available from:

                Worker-Communist Party of Iraq. 03 April 2007. Accessed 24 April 2007. Available from:

                Yeğen, Mesut. Turkish nationalism and the Kurdish question. Ethnic & Racial Studies, Jan2007, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p119-151.
                • "Right wing death squad government of Columbia?" You are sadly out of the loop on this one too. As with the PKK, FARC has allied itself with sociopathic drug cartels, having largely lost their financial support from the people, and are the ones performing the violent acts in order to try to derail a fledgling democratic government. Democracy struggles on.


                  The PKK have been taking a beating today. Good thing.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Erik sounds like a robot regurgitating the propaganda of U.S. imperialism.

                    The corrupt government of Colombia and the CIA are more involved in the export of cocaine than the FARC. The FARC only tax coca production in the areas they control. This is the only way for the poor peasants to make a living, and the FARC presently are not willing to stop them. The right-wing government down there has functioning death squads that have murdered leftists and union organizers, including coca cola workers and whole villages that were massacred with chain-saws after attempting to organize a banana workers union. This is a government that the United States props up with U.S. troops and millions of dollars in military aid.

                    Likewise, the Turkish government jails, tortures, exiles, rapes, and murders those that speak out for Kurdish rights, and is carrying out a war against Kurds both in Turkey as well as in Iraq with U.S. military aid.

                    What the United States is doing in Colombia, Turkey, and Iraq is a horrible injustice.

                    In addition, the injustices that are carried out by the Colombian and Turkish governments did not start with the formation of the FARC and the PKK, so Erik can stop pointing his finger at them every time I point out the injustices carried out by the Colombian and Turkish governments.
                    • I can point my finger at anybody I like. Like you, when you spout this constant Marxist revolutionary propaganda. Again, why don't you get off your comfortable, protected by the capitalist imperialist government upon who's teat you parasitically suck, butt and go to ANY formerly communist country in Europe. Ask ANYBODY if they want to go back to that. I dare you. I dare you to come to Poland and tell a bunch of big ugly Poles, out for a piwo or six, after a long days work, that you want to send them back to the good old days. Bring your tennyboots. Let me know if you have the courage. I'd love to watch. I could sell tickets and make a bundle.

                      The last few, and ever shrinking, organizations like the PKK and FARC, are on their way out. I love how the Columbian freedom fighters kidnap politicians. Some democrats. And now, with the help of their socialist brothers in Venezuela, they now have another conduit to move their product. I wish we would just legalize all drugs. As with the bootleggers during prohibition, they would soon be out of business.

                      What is really cool is that the democratically elected representative government of Turkey, is doing what the vast majority of Turks want them to do. I'm amazed they have, at the urging of the U.S government, shown the restraint they have. I like it when your guys (and girls) get themselves killed. It is just sad that they are doing it for a bankrupt political ideology, and a corrupt hypocritical, drug dealing, extorting, murdering leadership. Oh well. Off to the trash heap of historically bad ideas with you all.
                      • Unsu...
                        Erik says, knowing nothing, "Again, why don't you get off your comfortable, protected by the capitalist imperialist government upon who's teat you parasitically suck, butt"

                        You are very wrong Erik. I am not a parasite and I am not comfortable. I am working class. It is the capitalist class that are the parasites off of the working class. They get rich off of our labor, deny us healthcare and other basic human rights, and send us off to war while destroying the world's environment and keeping much of the world starving. All for their obscene personal profit. They are the parasites.

                      • Unsu...
                        Erik claims of Turkey, "What is really cool is that the democratically elected representative government..." blah blah, blah

                        In country where it is a prosecutable "crime against Turkishness" to speak out against the crimes against Kurds and Armenians, democratic elections are impossible. In a country where even pacifist parties that speak out for the rights of discriminated minorities are jailed, tortured, exiled, directly by the government or murdered by death squads, democratic elections are impossible. There is no democracy in Turkey.

                        • My view is not as extreme as yours.

                          Turkey does have a chance, though it has been ruled by official paranoia that still evokes its potential dismemberment at the end of WWI. Add to that Turkey's usefulness in the Cold War, and now to Zionist swine, and you can see how its power structure has resisted getting dismantled.

                          Our 'old fashioned' white racist presents Turkey through a standard lens- that of 'Western interests'.

                          But Turkish intellectualls haven't failed to deliver. You may look up Aziz Nesin as an example. Also, I'd recommend the movie 'Yöl' by Yilmaz Güney.
  • Unsu...
    Here is some further documentation of human rights violations by the Turkish government from Amnesty International.

    End sexual violence against women in custody!

    Entrenched culture of impunity must end.

    Justice Delayed and Denied:
    The persistence of protracted and unfair trials for those charged under anti-terrorism legislation

    Memorandum on AI’s recommendations to the government to address human rights violations

    Judicial harassment of human rights defenders Turkey - ‘repeal one law, use another’

    • Never said Turkey was perfect. They are making progress though. Through democratic means finally. Much better than what the PKK, a sociopathic Stalinist personality cult, would offer. I also hope that the Turks can restrain themselves from all out invasion, although that is their perfect right, as a soverign state under attack. I think it would be destablizing for the region as a whole. In fact, it is probably exactly what the PKK wants, as it would strengthen the reactionary rightist elements in the military, probably bringing setbacks in Turkey's march toward "a more perfect union" and strengthening PKK support from an ever dwindling base.

      Please note that the Kurds of Turkey are the ones who commit most of the violence toward women. The vast majority of honor killings are in the Kurdish tribal regions. It is one of the cultural traits that the central government is trying to stamp out. Good. I'm no cultural relativist. And, as you keep bringing up the Armenian genocide, even though it has little bearing on these issues (just a typical straw man argument), you might also note that it was Kurdish Moslem Ottoman soldiers that did much of the slaughtering. Not just Turkish Kurds, but also Kurds from what is now Iraq. Even the Iraqi Kurdish President has publicly admitted that the Kurdish people should admit their culpability for that crime. Perhaps when they do, Turkey will as well.

      Oh, and you might want to go back through the AI archives and check out the documented human rights abuses that took place in EVERY past and present communist country. Plenty. Then, go ahead and compare those statistics with those same countries today. Take special note of those that have become representative democracies if you would.
      • Unsu...
        Erik said similarly in another thread of "honor" killings, "This is a practice that the central, democratically elected, representative, government is trying hard to stamp out."

        As I've pointed out, the government is not democratically elected. There is no free speech in Turkey, without free speech there is no democracy.

        Likewise, the central government that routinely rapes women in custody, is no friend of women's rights, nor are they any obstacle to honor killings. Kurds do not rule their sections of Turkey, the central government does. It is the Kurdish revolutionary leadership that are trying to stomp out abuses against women, not the central government. Read my article and the Amnesty International reports.
        • So they say. But, like you, they are lying.

          It is simply a lie to say "there is no free speech in Turkey" period. Free speech is abridged everywhere, including in every democratic state. It is simply a matter of degree. I don't believe it should be, but that is just my opinion. In Germany, and many other European democracies, you can't display Nazi symbols, or publicly deny the holocaust. In Poland it is illegal to insult the President. In France, it is the Armenian genocide you can't deny. Even in the U.S. it is illegal to express certain things. Name me one communist country that didn't, or doesn't, restrict speech. Ironically, they all called, or call, themselves "democratic republics." So?

          Turkey has made huge strides toward a more representative government. They aren't done yet. They continue to discard unjust laws, some of which are from the Ottoman period. Many of those that are still on the books are no longer enforced by the courts, as unconstitutional, or penalties are greatly reduced, as they are judged to be disproportionate to the offense. We have plenty of laws like that on the books in the U.S. as well. Until somebody tries to enforce them, and they are challenged in court and deemed unconstitutional, there they are.

          The PKK do not represent the Kurds. They are supported by a small minority of Turkish Kurds. To maintain, even that small amount of support, they have had to lie and convince them that they are no longer Marxist Leninists, trying to seperate Turkish Kurdish regions from the Republic of Turkey. They now talk of autonomy, and cultural rights. But most Kurds know them for what they are. That is why there are only a few of them left. That is why the founder's own brother left the organization. That is why the Kurdish people have managed to elect a greater percentage of Kurds to Parliament than their demographic percentage. These are the Kurds that are making a difference for the Kurdish Turks.

          Again you lie. The central government does not have a policy of raping women in custody. Was it prevalent during the military dictatorship? Perhaps. It is illegal to rape women in custody. Does it still happen? Sure. Are enough of the perpetrators caught and punished? Never. Have you ever been to Turkey? No. Have you ever talked to a Turkish woman? I doubt it. I have done both on several occasions. Turkish women, especially, love their government. Certainly in far greater numbers than in the U.S. Large numbers of Kurdish women are leaving for the cities, where they can find greater equality than they can get in the rural areas, and greater protection than in their villages. Protection from their fellow Kurds. They are sometimes tracked down by their Kurdish male extended family, and killed for family honor. When the government catches these people, they are tried and, if convicted, punished.

          I have, of course, read your article and AI reports. Have you ever read the AI reports on communist countries? Former communist countries? Countries slowly evolving from communism? I think not. Please do, you can get them all from the online AI archive.

          The PKK are thugs and murderers. Like most criminals, they lie about their motives and actions. There actions (extortion, intimidation, murder, drug trafficking, etc.) however, speak for themselves. The true revolutionaries in Turkey are the democratically elected officials, independent judges, teachers, and bureaucrats struggling against entrenched corruption and barbaric customs like honor killings and forced marriage. And those brave young Turkish men, drawn from all ethnic groups and socio-economic stata, who put their lives on the line in defense of the Turkish republic against groups like the PKK, who are true Contras.

          The PKK are the bad guys. Your blind support of them makes you one of the bad guys too. An ignorant one. After you have learned a little more about the actual situation in Turkey, and the truth thereof, if you still support them, you will have become an immoral bad guy. Of course, as I suggested earlier, you could go there and put your butt where your mouth is. Then, at least I wouldn't think of you as a cowardly immoral bad guy. Not likely though.
          • Unsu...
            Erik claims, "It is simply a lie to say there is no free speech in Turkey".

            A lie?

            It is illegal to talk about Armenian and Kurdish genocide.

            Radio broadcasts in Kurdish are illegal.

            Thirteen of nineteen Kurdish political parties are illegal.

            Opponents of the government are jailed, tortured, raped, murdered, and exiled.

            Free speech? Free speech does not exist unless there is the freedom to criticize the government. In Turkey there is not.
            • Look again. You are misquoting me. Hence adding another lie to your long list.

              Steven simply pasted the same reply in the thread in the intelligent political discussion tribe. If anybody is interested you can go there to see my reply. Probably not, as I'm sure most here are as bored with this as I am.
              • Unsu...
                I didn't misquote you, Erik. I wouldn't do that.
                • I said:

                  "It is simply a lie to say 'there is no free speech in Turkey (direct quote of your words)' period." And, I go on to say that it is abridged everywhere, making your misquote a lie.

                  Misquoting is one thing. It can be a mistake of oversight. However, when it is deliberate, in a disingenuous effort to misconstrue the meaning of the original. It is simply a lie. You should take up a different line of work, as you aren't very good at it.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Erik is lying again, I did not misquote him when I said:

                    Erik claims, "It is simply a lie to say there is no free speech in Turkey".

                    A lie?

                    It is illegal to talk about Armenian and Kurdish genocide.

                    Radio broadcasts in Kurdish are illegal.

                    Thirteen of nineteen Kurdish political parties are illegal.

                    Opponents of the government are jailed, tortured, raped, murdered, and exiled.

                    Free speech?
                • Again, I direct those interested to the other thread.

                  Not only would you do that, but you did. Misquoting the words of others can simply be an oversight. However, doing so to misconstrue not only the words, but their meaning, especially after it has been demonstrated as such, is simply a lie. Making you a liar.

                  Hey, this is sweet. Now they are not only getting the crap kicked out of them, but they are panicking, and are possibly even executing their own for trying to escape. That will be good for moral when their comrades learn of it.


                  Apparently they have 200-300 of them trapped on the Turkish side of the border. That is like 10% of their entire fighting force, and it doesn't look like they are going to be able to escape. Here is hoping their leadership sends some of their remaining forces into the Turkish meat grinder to try and rescue them.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Wow, Erik, you really are a very angry anti-Kurd simpleton, aren't you?
                    • Wow, you are again labeling people aren't you? Hey, Carolyn, does calling somebody a simpleton qualify as a personal attack? LOL.

                      No I think the Kurds are pretty cool. If I didn't make it clear to you, it is the PKK that I abhor. In fact, it seems like Turkey (including the majority of Turkish Kurds), Syria, Iran, the U.S. and now the Kurdish of Iraq are all on the same page. These Marxist, terrorist, drug trafficking thugs need to be annihilated. With any luck, they will be, and the Turkish Kurds can get back to progressing into the 21st century.


                      Yep. Cool eh? With a little help from all these parties, hopefully, they will soon be crushed.

                      Let me again label myself for you. I am a freedom loving, supporter of Western style representative democracies, and the rule of law administered by an independent judiciaries. Any country that is closer to this state, is better. Any that is farther away, is worse.

                      Now, please correct me if I'm wrong. Are you a supporter of the PKK, who believes their violent attempts to separate the largely Kurdish areas of Turkey and create a Marxist state are legitimate? This is a yes or no question.
                      • Unsu...
                        Erik claims, "I am a freedom loving,"

                        No you're not, you're a supporter of the murderous anti-democratic Turkish government in its war against the Kurds.
                        • Isn't it so cool that the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq is sending thousands of their Peshmurga (no love loss for the PKK) to choke off their supplies and ammunition? Must have been a tough decision for the democratically elected Kurdish government to make, seeing as how they are culturally, if not ideologically, connected. Very brave those Kurds.

                          Isn't it ironic that the PKK is actually responsible for unprecedented cooperation between so many disparate groups? The democratic Turkish government, the majority of Turkish Kurds, the Iranians, the Syrians, the U.S., the EU, and even the Iraqi Kurds, all on the same page for once. I guess it is in everybody's interest to destroy this scourge. Strange that we have a munch of Marxist, terrorist, drug smugglers for it.

                          I love it when the bad guys take it on the chin. Sorry, even if you don't realize it, you are a supporter of the bad guys. Making you, even if unwittingly ignorant, one of the bad guys.
                          • Unsu...
                            Erik would have us believe that the Turkish government are the good guys.

                            These "good guys" jail, torture, rape, murder, and exile people who speak out for Kurdish rights.
                            • Yep. Compared to the PKK, they are saints. Ask the majority of Turks, even the majority of Kurdish Turks, if you ever get the courage to go there. You, and the PKK, support a system that can only be instituted and maintained by coercion and murderous force. It is antithetical to freedom. As such, you are a supporter of a kind of modern slavery. Here, take this article, and exchange those that supported slavery, and/or were against reforms to promote freedoms, and simply exchange them with Marxist, Leninist, Stalinist, Maoist, the PKK, etc. If the shoe fits, and it does, you wear it. You, too, are one of the bad guys.


                              I dare you to go to Kurdish Turkey. Go ahead, join them. Beware though if you speak of treason too loudly. I advise you to be careful, as most Turkish Kurds support the government, and the newly created institutions that are giving them ever more rights. It will take some time. It will be a long and difficult road for the democratically elected government (a good number of whom are Kurds) staving off the reactionary forces within the military, while instituting reforms. Especially as they are simultaneously dealing with a separatist insurgency. Lincoln had the same problem. So did FDR. Both of whom felt the need to suspend certain civil rights during conflict. It is amazing, as this conflict in Turkey has been going on since the early '80s, that Turkey has actually managed to increase civil rights and representation for all Turks, no matter their ethnicity, rather than reduce them. They are moving forward. You, and the PKK are regressive.

                              Here is hoping the Turks can finish off these criminals, while continuing to increase rights for all their citizens. Soon, hopefully, they will have gone far enough down this path to become an EU member, ensuring greater prosperity and much happiness among their citizens.

                              A brief synopsis of the PKK. I encourage anyone to take this article with a grain of salt, and go ahead and further investigate the PKK on your own.


                              Then, I suggest you go ahead and Google some stats by the Council of Europe, and maybe the European Commission, and see the sort of progress Turkey has made. They have a long way to go, of course, but they are making steady progress, through peaceful means. The PKK? Well, they want to use other means. And to what ends?

                              Steven, you can keep repeating the same words about jail, rape, murder, exile, whatever. Fine. You are wrong, and the majority of Turks are right. Go there and see. Again, I dare you. What are you afraid of?
                              • Unsu...
                                Erik says, "Steven, you can keep repeating the same words about jail, rape, murder, exile, whatever. Fine. You are wrong"

                                Wrong? I've proven these things.

                                As for the very small amount of progress that has occurred, it is a result of the brave struggles by people living in Turkey against the Turkish government as well as international pressure.
                                • Proven? Asserted. A minor distinction you don't seem to understand.

                                  I like this one, posted in the IPD tribe. Small? Yes, international pressure. From other democratic states who want to help them become free, so they can join their club. You think if the PKK has their authoritarian Marxist way, the Kurds would ever benefit from EU membership? Not!


                                  And that was five years ago. They have come a long way since then. The PKK is still living in 1952, behind the Iron curtain.

                                  Bunch more PKK goons were killed today. More tomorrow. Good thing. Sad, but still good. When you going to go help them out? You aren't afraid of putting your life on the line are you? Or, perhaps, you are all mouth?
                                  • Unsu...
                                    I've done more than assert that the Turkish government jails, exiles, rapes, and murders those who speak out for Kurdish rights. I've presented a large amount of evidence from credible sources that in my opinion constitutes proof.

                                    The fact that Erik cannot admit to this horrible oppression that Kurds face, even when exposed to overwhelming evidence, exposes him as being intellectually dishonest.
                                    • As I said, go there. Ask a Kurd.


                                      You are living in the past. The Kurds are moving ahead, and they don't like your kind.
                                      • Unsu...
                                        Erik says, "You are living in the past. The Kurds are moving ahead, and they don't like your kind."

                                        It is your capitalist system in Turkey that is murdering, raping, torturing, and exiling people for speaking out for Kurdish rights. It is your people causing the misery in Turkey. That misery, as I've shown with Amnesty International documents and others, is not a thing of the past.

                                        And as for Erik speaking for Kurds, he is not Kurdish, but I've been contacted by Kurds who loved my article. One saying this is exactly what is needed with Turkey's escalating pressure against Kurds. I think they speak better for Kurds than Erik.

                                        In addition, an American Phd in anthropology who has done field work in the Middle East also told me she thought it was a very good article.
                                    • .
                                      offline 8
                                      put your ass where your mouth is, Steven, and go join up with the PKK's glorious revolution!
                                      • Unsu...
                                        Reagan Lover says, "put your ass where your mouth is, Steven, and go join up with the PKK's glorious revolution!"

                                        You keep taunting me telling me to go fight for the PKK. I haven't answered it because it is just as absurd as if I was taunting you telling you to go join the murderous Turkish military. We are allowed opinions of what is going on, and opposing U.S. military aid, without being under some requirement to go to that country and fight. Grow up.
                                        • I noticed you didn't bother to comment on the last article I posted. Did you even read it? Kinda the impression I got the last time I was there.

                                          Taunting? No, challenging you. I fought to protect your right to talk like an idiot. Why don't you go fight for what you believe in. If you did, and managed to come back alive, you would be a changed man. Oh, and by the way, most of the dead PKK criminals were killed by weapons manufactured by Turkey.

                                          By the way, I was wondering why you usually start your posts with a so and so says, then paraphrase them, before going on? Usually, misquoting I might add. You need some filler? Just getting tired of saying the same inane lies over and over?

                                          • Unsu...
                                            Once again Erik lies about supposed misquotes. I have never misquoted him or anyone else.

                                            As for the article, it is typical spin in support of U.S. imperialist policy of giving military aid to the murderous and repressive Turkish government.

                                            The Turkish government that, as I've shown, continues to jail, rape, murder, and torture those that stand up for Kurdish rights, are not the good guys. It was they that caused the PKK rebellion, and not the other way around.

                                            How much support the PKK actually has is impossible to tell, they are not allowed to run in elections, and one interview hand selected by the New York Times does not give an accurate picture. The New York Times would have you think that votes for other Kurdish parties is an indicator of PKK support. This is a false argument of supposed declining PKK support.
                                            • An additional lie. That makes eight. Anybody interested can simply go back a dozen or so posts and see it for themselves.

                                              You have shown nothing except ignorance. Compounded by arrogance, of course.

                                              Of course, they are not allowed to run in elections. Criminals are barred from elections. However, plenty of Kurds do run for elections. As I said and, if you bothered to read that last article, others say, they are quite well represented in the Turkish government.

                                              You are quite persistent in stating what "others would have you think" and telling others what they think. Perhaps you should listen to what others tell you they think. For instance, I think you are an idiot. And a coward as well.
                                              • Unsu...
                                                Erik claims that in Turkey, "Criminals are barred from elections."

                                                This is false. Those that oppress, jail, murder, rape, and torture Kurds are completely free to run in Turkish elections. In fact, it is almost a prerequisite.

                                                On the other hand, parties that only call for peace and Kurdish rights have faced jail and extreme oppression.

                                                My point in saying that the PKK cannot run in elections was that the results of elections in Turkey are no objective way to measure what actual support they have.


                                                  Just in case you missed it.

                                                  And some more good news


                                                  And the Turks are still a bit pissed.


                                                  And from the Turkish press.


                                                  Another thirty dead PKK. Good.
                                                  • Unsu...
                                                    Erik claims the PKK has no support. Here’s a Kurd in a different party that says otherwise, “Izzet Belge, provincial chairman of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, says 80 percent of the people in the area sympathies with the PKK because of the identity issue.”

                                                    He goes on to state:

                                                    "The root problem is the government for years has not accepted our reality. Its attitude is 'You do not exist'," said Belge, adding that he believed the PKK would lay down its arms if the state genuinely recognized the Kurds' identity."

                                                    In addition the article states,

                                                    "Economic hardship also fuels Kurdish anger in an area where coal miners, who lug their primitive picks and shovels home after 20-lira-a-day ($17) shifts, are among the best earners. A village barber earned 10 lira in the last three days.

                                                    "An incursion into northern Iraq is seen by locals as a waste of money that could be invested in an area where many, including AK Party mayors, say unemployment is as high as 80 percent."

                                                    And an elected mayor is quoted,

                                                    "Cizre Mayor Ahmet Dalmis, who says even he finds Turkish tricky, says Kurdish publications are still closed down by court order while the region's politicians face dozens of cases against them, many just for things they have said."

                                                    And a human rights lawyer is quoted,

                                                    '"A case is opened against everything that's said ... it's not just politicians," said human rights lawyer and Diyarbakir Bar Association Chairman Sezgin Tanrikulu."

                                                    On Kurdish Laguage rights the article states,

                                                    "But local politicians and officials say schools are still understaffed and doctors are few. A ban on speaking Kurdish was lifted in 1991 but teaching of Kurdish is limited to private language schools. Those who speak only Kurdish struggle in hospitals and courts [where Kurdish is not spoken]."
                                                    • No, I never claimed that "the PKK has no support." Stating so is another lie. I think that makes twelve? Oh, and by the way, Izzet Belge did NOT say that 80% of Kurds support the PKK. Suggesting this is another lie. What he said is that 80% are sympathetic with them, because of their common cultural identity. I sympathize with you for how much time you must have invested in a Marxist delusion. It does not mean I support your delusions in any way. I'm just sympathetic.

                                                      Otherwise, I encourage everybody to read the article posted. You don't have to just read the quotes used out of context by Steven. The article is a pretty good read, in and of itself. It delineates well, many of the well founded grievences of the Kurds. There has been much progress in Turkey, and there is much more to go. Luckily, through a democratically elected representative government, and an independent legal system, changes are occurring. The PKK choses other means to effect change.

                                                      This article shows, in the words of interviewed PKK terrorists that the assertion that "the PKK would lay down its arms" to be ludicrous.


                                                      I'm sure the PKK would accept you with open arms. Go ahead Steven, go join up. Please.

                                                      • Unsu...
                                                        Erik now makes the absurd assertion that the PKK “executed over 30,000 of their fellow Kurds since the 80s”

                                                        More made up numbers from Erik. The truth is that 40,000 people have died in the Turkish government’s war against their Kurdish minority who they have denied fundamental rights. The Turkish government bears full responsibility for those deaths.

                                                        Erik also claims, “None the less, even though Turkey has a non-violent system (a representative government overwhelmingly supported by Kurds) for addressing these inequities, the PKK has chosen a different route.”

                                                        According to Amnesty International, Turkish law states, "Political parties may not put forward the view that there are minorities in the country of the Republic of Turkey based upon difference of national or religious culture or creed or race or language."

                                                        This one of a whole number of undemocratic restrictions.

                                                        It is still illegal in Turkey to mention the Armenian and Kurdish genocides of two million people.

                                                        In addition, forty thousand people have died in the Turkish government’s war against Kurds that are demanding self-rule.

                                                        Ten thousand Turkish Kurds are in prison just for advocating Kurdish rights, in prison they face torture and women are also routinely raped. Many have resorted to self-emollition as a form of protest.

                                                        The Kurdish language is still mostly illegal, it is illegal to use Kurdish in political campaigns and to teach in Kurdish in public schools.

                                                        Hospitals and courts deny people information in Kurdish.

                                                        Radio broadcasts in Kurdish, with only very recent and very rare exceptions, are illegal.

                                                        Most Kurdish parties are illegal, 13 out of 19, with members of the few parties that are legal often murdered by pro-government death squads with impunity or sent to prison on political charges.

                                                        Grinding poverty is also killing Kurds with 80% unemployment and a lack of healthcare and education.

                                                        The democratic process has been denied the Kurdish people, this is why they fight.

                                                        Women are also denied fundamental rights by the Turkish government, this is why many have joined the PKK or resist the Turkish government in other ways.
                                                        • Hahahah. Interesting. You add the same post to four different threads. Guess it is easier than thinking. Anybody interested in my response to these latest lies, simply check out IPD, MEC, or the other post in this tribe. Simply tired of responding to the same intellectually lazy arguments over and over.

                                                          As your hero Lenin once said, "...if you tell the same lie over and over, eventually it becomes the truth." Not if I can help it.

                                                          Go there, coward. As I said, I'll drop the dime to buy you your tickets. I'll meet you in Istanbul, and hold your hand until we get to the Kurdish region. Then, I'm out of there. I don't want to risk my life for a cause I don't believe in. You? I suspect you don't want to risk your life for one you do.
                                                          • Unsu...
                                                            Another lie from Erik.

                                                            Lenin never said, as Erik claims, "...if you tell the same lie over and over, eventually it becomes the truth."

                                                            I challenge you to find that quote in any source.

                                                            I've seen people attribute “A lie told often enough becomes truth” to Lenin.

                                                            Whether or not the quote from Lenin is accurate, however, is completely irrelevent in this case because it is taken out of any context. Lenin would have obviously been talking about the lies in the propaganda of the system he was up against, and not about his own message.
                                                            • If you are going to call me a liar, you had better make it stick.


                                                              I think that makes 21 on your part. Never bring a knife to a gunfight son.

                                                              And that from the boy who wants to quote "context" I see. Interesting, how whenever anybody calls you on your lies, the inconsistencies in your arguments, straw men that you bring forth to distract from the substance of the thread, or simply point out your hypocrisy, you wait a post or two and use the arguments against your fallacious logic in reverse. You are a Marxist, are you not? Lenin was a Marxist, was he not? He admitted to lying for a just cause. Do you? Perhaps you only think your cause is just? Perhaps you are simply a cynical hypocrite? No matter. Still a liar.

                                                              You should look up FDRs quote on the same subject. Good liberal democrat like me.

                                                              You call me a liar, then challenge me to prove you wrong by posting "that quote in any source." So, I do. I have no doubt you will again use your argument in support of another Marxist liar, about propaganda, and his struggle against the "system" as justification. None the less, I prefer the truth. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and you, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Tito, and the entire leadership of the PKK, are a bunch of germs.

                                                              • Unsu...
                                                                Erik, I looked at your link and your supposed quote is not there.

                                                                Your lies are ridiculously obvious. Just like you claimed that I didn't even write my article at one point.

                                                                As for your claim that Lenin, “admitted to lying for a just cause”, he did not and I’ve already answered that absurdity.
                                                                • Interesting. I just followed the link and found it, no problem. Perhaps your computer skills are as faulty as you logic. Just in case, here:


                                                                  This one also includes the FDR quote, among others, that I noted.

                                                                  Or, perhaps you are lying, figuring others won't simply follow the link? Hmmmm.
                                                                  • Unsu...
                                                                    No, I looked, your "quote" is not there.

                                                                    As I said:

                                                                    Another lie from Erik.

                                                                    Lenin never said, as Erik claims, "...if you tell the same lie over and over, eventually it becomes the truth."

                                                                    I challenge you to find that quote in any source.

                                                                    I've seen people attribute “A lie told often enough becomes truth” to Lenin.

                                                                    Whether or not the quote from Lenin is accurate, however, is completely irrelevent in this case because it is taken out of any context. Lenin would have obviously been talking about the lies in the propaganda of the system he was up against, and not about his own message.
                                                              • Unsu...
                                                                Erik tells another lie saying he prefers the truth. Actually he resembles the thought of the Joseph Goebbels:

                                                                “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

                                                                As such, Erik sees the truth I tell as the greatest enemy of his beloved Turkish torture state and to U.S. imperialism.
                                                                • Yep. Goebbels got that from Lenin. He was paraphrasing of course.

                                                                  I still prefer FDR. Anybody else? Machiavelli was pretty tight on the subject too. Marx loved to paraphrase him.

                                                                  In any event, I ask anybody else with some computer savvy to follow the links. Other option? You can always follow a fool like Steven.
                                                                  • Unsu...
                                                                    Erik, you have still failed to find a source for your version of that supposed quote from Lenin.

                                                                    As for the authenticity of any version, you'll need a better source.

                                                                    As I've said:

                                                                    Whether or not the quote from Lenin is accurate, however, is completely irrelevent in this case because it is taken out of any context. Lenin would have obviously been talking about the lies in the propaganda of the system he was up against, and not about his own message.

                                                                    Let me spell it out to you once more:

                                                                    Lenin obviously would have been talking about the lies of the capitalist governments. He would not have been advocating lying.
                                                                    • Unsu...
                                                                      You guys sure are entertaining in an odd way.

                                                                      Erik, I think Steven is stuck on the fact that the way you originally stated the Lenin quote was inaccurate and is calling you a liar for attributing the "close but no cigar" version of the quote to Lenin rather than the actual one that commnuicated the exact same idea.

                                                                      This is debate at its finest!
                                                                      • Yeah, I got it from a professor of international relations. He actually spoke Russian, so I figure his translation was a little different. Perhaps better.

                                                                        Oh, by another esteemed professor of international relations, for anybody who actually wants a little more background on the situation.

                                                                        • Unsu...
                                                                          The main point here that Erik is missing, is that if Lenin did say this, which by the way I still haven't seen a credible source for, Lenin obviously would have been talking about the lies of the capitalist governments. He would not have been advocating lying.
                                                                        • Unsu...
                                                                          Now Condoleezza Rice, there's a true "bad guy", in the term you like to use so much Erik.
                                                                          • Trying to distract? So what? I really don't care what your opinion of her is. It is irrelevant. Of course, so is Marxism.

                                                                            So, how many sources do you want? This took maybe 30 seconds.


                                                                            And I love this one. "It is true that liberty is precious - so precious that it must be rationed."

                                                                            I prefer Mark Twain's take on it. Almost a good as FDR's. You, on the other hand, appear to have taken Lenin's to heart, as demonstrated in your posts.
                                                                            • Unsu...
                                                                              Not a single one of your sources cite where they got the quote from.

                                                                              Nor do they put the supposed quote in any context.

                                                                              There are a number of fake quotes being widely circulated on the internet, such as the fake quote attributed to Stalin saying elections are decided by he who counts the votes. Someone just made that one up and a bunch of people started copying it.

                                                                              But, as I've said:

                                                                              The main point here that Erik is missing, is that if Lenin did say this, which by the way I still haven't seen a credible source for, Lenin obviously would have been talking about the lies of the capitalist governments. He would not have been advocating lying.
                                                                              • Perhaps you should register and check their databases. As I said, I got mine from a professor of International Relations who spoke Russian, and translated it from one of his party speeches. Sorry, I'm not going to do your homework for you. I do seem to remember what Lenin called those in the West, who bought his lies, like you for instance. "Useful idiots."
                                                                                • Unsu...
                                                                                  Erik, with your record of lying on everything, including your slanderous claim that I did not write this article, I simply don't believe you when you start telling stories about a professor a number of days after I asked you for a credible source, with you being unable to find one.

                                                                                  Although Erik has no idea with his characterizations of "people like me",
                                                                                  Lenin never called "people like me" useful idiots either.

                                                                                  And, as I've said:

                                                                                  The main point here that Erik is missing, is that if Lenin did say this, which by the way I still haven't seen a credible source for, Lenin obviously would have been talking about the lies of the capitalist governments. He would not have been advocating lying.

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