Posts Tagged ‘Kurdistan’

Naher Osten: Winter statt Frühling

Dienstag, Juni 18th, 2013

“Noam Chomsky Interview: Sykes-Picot Is Failing

First of all, Israel was not opposed to Assad. He has been more or less the kind of dictator they wanted. (Photo: Marwan Bu Haidar)

By: Maha Zaraket [1]

Published Sunday, June 16, 2013

American author and professor Noam Chomsky was in Beirut to give a commencement speech and accept an honorary degree at the American University of Beirut. Al-Akhbar interviewed this critic of American imperialism about the ongoing conflict in Syria, Edward Snowden, and what is left of the “Arab Spring.”

Maha Zaraket: What is the title of your [commencement] speech?

Noam Chomsky: I do not remember if it has a title, but it is going to be some comments on legitimacy of borders and states and possibilities of eroding them.

MZ: Do you think the Middle East is going through a rewrite of Sykes-Picot agreement?

NC: I think the Sykes-Picot agreement is falling apart, which is an interesting phenomenon. That is a century. But, the Sykes-Picot agreement was just an imperial imposition that has no legitimacy; there is no reason for any of these borders – except the interests of the imperial powers.

It is the same all over the world. it is hard to find a single border that has any justification, including the US-Mexico border and the US-Canada border. You look around the world, just about every conflict that is going on results from the imposition of imperial borders that have nothing to do with the population.

I think as far as Sykes-Picot is concerned, it is beginning to erode. Whatever happens in Syria – it’s hard to imagine – but if anything survives, parts of Syria will be separated. The Kurdish areas are almost autonomous now and they are beginning to link up with the almost-autonomous parts of Northern Iraq Kurdish areas, and may spill over to some extent to southeastern Turkey. What will happen in the rest of the country is hard to say.

MZ: Do you think the new borders will be made by the local population? Or new imperialisms?

NC: I wish that were true, but that is not how the world works. Maybe someday, but not yet, not today.

MZ: What do you think of the Hezbollah intervention in Syria?

NC: They are in a very difficult position. If the rebels win in Syria, they become very exposed. That may mean their demise. There is reason behind it, I am not sure this is the right one, you could argue about it, but it is understandable.

MZ: Are you going to meet Nasrallah this time?

NC: No, I do not know if it is possible. But it is deeply in mind. It is difficult.

MZ: If you meet him again, what would you tell him?

NC: I would like to meet him, but just to find out more about their thinking and their plans. They are not coming to me for advice. You know.

MZ: You called for support of the Turkish protesters. How do you see the uprising in Turkey?

NC: I think the [Taksim demonstrators] are doing a great thing. I think it is extremely important. Of global importance. The initial reaction of the Erdogan regime was pretty similar to Mubarak and Assad: harsh brutal response to a legitimate set of demands.

As of this morning, the latest news, which may or may not turn out to be correct, there does seem to be some prospect of a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The news that was leaked by the representatives of the demonstrators, the Taksim negotiators, was that Erdogan has agreed to wait for a court decision on the Gezi park construction, and if the court authorized it, to have a referendum in Istanbul, which is quite different from a national referendum. I think these are good steps forward if they can be implemented.

MZ: Is it possible to link what is going on in Turkey to what been going on in Syria for the last two years?

NC: I think what is going on in Turkey is part of a general uprising throughout the world to harsh and autocratic economic and social policies that have been imposed everywhere for the past generation. And there have been reactions all over. Some of the reactions have been quite successful.

The most successful was Latin America. Latin America, for the first time in 500 years – it is not small, it has freed itself pretty much from Western domination, mostly US domination in the last century. That is a star development.

I think the Arab Spring was part of the same uprising. It is taking place in Europe, within Europe, in the peripheral countries, in Greece, Spain, and France, to an extent. Significant popular movements rising against the really brutal austerity policies, which are driving Europe not to suicide, but to disaster.

Europe is rich. It is not Syria, so it is not going to be suicide. But, essentially the policies are aimed in the direction of…dismantl[ing] the welfare state, which is one of Europe’s contribution to modern civilization.

MZ: Do you have any comments on the Edward Snowden Case?

NC: First of all, I think he has carried out a heroic act. That is the proper act of a citizen to let people know what their government is doing. For the most part, the public should know what their representatives are doing. Of course, governments never want that. They want to operate in secret.

I have spent a lot of time looking through the classified documents in the US, which is maybe the freest society, most of the documents are classified to protect the government against its own population and not for security reasons. I think anyone who tries to lift the veil on this is doing the right thing. In fact, the programs that the government was carrying out are really illegitimate and it was correct to expose them. I think he is going to suffer for it. You know. But it was the right thing to do.

MZ: After 9/11, the Americans asked, “Why does the rest of the world hate us?” Is it possible for us to ask, why do the Americans hate us?

NC: I think it is kind of interesting…because the question was asked a long time ago in 1958 when then-President Eisenhower asked his staff why is there a campaign of hatred against us in the Arab world, and not from the governments which are supportive, but from the population.

That same year, 1958, the National Security Council, the main planning body, came out with a document – it has been in the public domain for four years – in which they explained, they said that there is a perception in the Arab world that the US supports dictatorships and blocks democracy, and that we do it because we want to maintain control of their resources, their energy supplies. [The document said] this is what we ought to be doing, even though there will be a campaign of hatred against us.

That was 1958, and if you think of that year, that was right after Eisenhower had forced Britain, France, and Israel out of Egypt, so you might expect that there would not be a campaign of hatred, but there was. And those were the perceived reasons and pretty much the right ones.

After 9/11 George W. Bush, raised the question, why do they hate us? They hate our freedom and so on. The Pentagon Research Bureau did come out with a study, and their conclusions were the same as the National Security Council in 1958.

MZ: The second question: Why do they hate us? Why do the Americans hate us?

NC: Why the Americans …? They don’t. Why the American population? The American population does not have any idea about them.

MZ: American policymakers?

NC: For the reasons that the National Security Council discussed. You have to block democracy and support dictatorships in order to control their resources. And the Middle East is not different from anywhere else. Why did they support Suharto in Indonesia? Same reasons.

MZ: What do you think of Israel?

NC: Israel made a really faithful decision in 1971. In 1971, Israel was offered a full peace treaty by Egypt, nothing for the Palestinians, just full peace, full security, for the withdrawal from the Egyptian Sinai. Since then, it has been the same policy [of] expansion over security, but it is not unusual to do that. That is what states usually do, they are not concerned pretty much with security, but rather power. And that’s Israel’s choice. It can continue because the US supports it. If the US stops supporting it, it could not continue.

Israel is making extremely threatening remarks right now about Lebanon. I am not sure if you have been following it. But it is kind of in the background. They are not coming out with big public statements, but if you read the statements from people in intelligence, the military, and government, what they are saying publicly is that they are not going to allow weapons to go to Hezbollah, but what they say furthermore, is that they’ve learned the lessons of the last war, and they are not going to make those mistakes again. The next time, the war will be over in days, which means that they are going to wipe Lebanon out.

MZ: You don’t think the US will do anything to stop it at a certain level?

NC: Not under Obama. He’s the first US president who has imposed no restrictions on Israel. Every other president, at various times, imposed limits that Israel could not go beyond, like Reagan for example. Reagan supported the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, but in mid-August he ordered Israel to stop it because it was becoming harmful to US interests.

MZ: Would you link Obama’s decision to arm the Syrian revolution with Israel?

NC: These are separate. First of all, Israel was not opposed to Assad. He has been more or less the kind of dictator they wanted. He has done the kind of things they wanted. The US has no opposition to Assad. He was cooperating on intelligence and they did not like everything, but he was pretty satisfactory.

In fact, if Israel and the US really did want to undermine the Assad regime and to support the rebels, they have very straightforward ways to do it without arms. Israel could considerably mobilize forces in the Golan Heights. If they mobilize forces in the north, the Syrians are compelled to respond by mobilizing forces. But they do not do it, which can only mean they do not want the regime to fall.

MZ: Would you call the Arab Spring, the “Arab Spring,” or would you give it another name?

NC: I think it was a good name. But now it is – I do not know if it is an Arab Winter, but at least an Arab Autumn. I suspect there will another spring…I do not think that is a stable situation, probably more of the same. It seems to me a continuing process, and as I said, it is going on all over the world in different forms.

MZ: Are you still optimistic?

NC: You do not really have a choice. Objectively, we will probably all be under water in another generation or two, so not that it all matters, but there are certain possibilities for hope and progress.

Related Articles: 
Maha Zaraket”
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(Quelle: Al Akhbar English.)

Türkei: Freiheit für Ayse Berktay!

Montag, November 14th, 2011

“Ayse Berktay imprisoned in Turkey

Ayse was one of the main animators of the World Tribunal on Iraq, which held sessions in Brussels, Tokyo and New York before concluding in Istanbul in 2005. She proposed the Tribunal in 2002, at a meeting of the European Network for Peace and Human Rights, which the Russell Foundation convened in the European Parliament in Brussels. She works as a translator, and her Turkish translation of Black Beauty has been widely acclaimed.

Urgent Appeal: Stop Arbitrary Detentions in Turkey!

The Petition

The international public has so far been oblivious to the so-called “KCK operations” carried out in Turkey by Prime Minister Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party for the past two years. Under the guise of “fighting terrorism,” the Erdogan government has been using the judiciary, the police, and the media to penalize all civic activism in support of rights demanded by Kurdish citizens in Turkey. The “KCK operations” in particular have been deployed to spread fear amongst activists, to silence public dissent, and to normalize the arbitrary arrest of citizens. Ironically, the Erdogan government’s suppression of dissent and of democratic politics has visibly intensified at a time when “Turkish democracy” is being hailed as a model for the Arab world.

Since 2009, as many as 7748 people have been taken under custody on the alleged grounds that they are associated with the KCK—an organization claimed to be the urban branch of the armed organization known as the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party)—while 3895 people have been arrested and imprisoned without even the prospect of a trial in the foreseeable future. Elected mayors, public intellectuals, members of civic associations, journalists, university students, researchers, academics, and activists have all been undergoing this heavy-handed treatment.

One of the latest victims of the Erdogan government’s assault on public dissent is Professor Busra Ersanli of Marmara University, a highly respected academic. Her only apparent “crime” is to have played an active role within BDP (Peace and Democracy Party), which has been struggling for the rights of Kurdish citizens in Turkey. The members of this party have been systematically targeted by counterterrorism units’ arbitrary arrests, even as the party currently holds seats in the parliament. Professor Ersanli was to attend a conference on “Controversial Issues in the History of the Turkish Republic” at Istanbul Bilgi University on 29 October 2011, but she was taken under custody on 28 October. On the same day, RagÄp Zarakolu—a founding member of the Human Rights Association and the former chair of the “Writers in Prison Committee” of the International PEN organization in Turkey—was also taken under custody within the framework of the “KCK operations.”

Earlier in October 2011, Ayse Berktay (Hacimirzaoglu)—a renowned translator, researcher, and global peace and justice activist—was taken by the police from her home in Istanbul five o’clock in the morning and subsequently arrested. She still remains imprisoned for the foreseeable future. Professor Busra Ersanli, Ragip Zarakolu, and Ayse Berktay are among thousands of people who have been imprisoned and silenced in the last two years.

Under such political conditions that are only getting worse, it has become an urgent task to unmask the arbitrary and authoritarian character of the Turkish government’s handling of the Kurdish issue. We are calling on friends abroad to spread the news and to build international pressure, which has become especially crucial and urgent at this time when any citizen of Turkey could be targeted by the Erdogan government, the judiciary, and the police for engaging in political acts of solidarity with those detained under the “KCK operations.”

Peace can never be achieved under the current conditions of public fear, paranoia, and authoritarian politics. Please sign the petition below to put pressure on the Turkish government to immediately release all those who have been taken under custody as part of the “KCK operations” and to demand that Prime Minister Erdogan’s government make a sincere commitment to ending its suppression of civic efforts in support of rights demanded by Kurdish citizens in Turkey.”


(Quelle: Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.)

[Um diese Petition zu unterstützen, klicken Sie bitte hier.]

Kurdistan: C-Waffen-Einsatz gegen die PKK?

Samstag, Juli 24th, 2010

“Krieg mit C-Waffen gegen die PKK?

Linke erheben Vorwürfe gegen den NATO-Partner

Von Helmut Lorscheid

Der Abgeordneter der Linken, Andrej Hunko, und mehrere Menschenrechtsaktivisten erhoben auf einer Pressekonferenz in Berlin schwere Vorwürfe gegen die Türkei. Sie legten Fotos und Gutachten vor, die den Einsatz von C-Waffen im Kampf gegen die kurdische PKK belegen sollen. Die Unterlagen wurden ihnen von türkischen Menschenrechtlern übergeben und in Deutschland auf ihre Plausibilität und die Fotos auf mögliche Manipulationen hin untersucht (…)”



(Quelle: Telepolis.)

Türkei: Strafe gegen Journalisten wegen ‘Propaganda’

Dienstag, Juni 8th, 2010

“Turkey: Journalists sentenced and fined for ‘propaganda’

Two employees of Turkey’s Express periodical have been convicted of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation”. Journalist Irfan Aktan was sentenced to 15 months in prison while editorial manager Merve Erol was fined TL 16,000 (€ 8,000). The charges stem from an article published last September entitled “Weather conditions in the Qandil region/No solution without fighting”. The Qandil mountains are home to camps run by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and several high-ranking members of the militant organisation. The journalists’ defence argued the article was written at a time when the discussions about the Kurdish initiative had just started and when PKK members had started to surrender.”

(Quelle: Index on Censorship.)

Irak: Iranische Truppen intervenieren gegen kurdische Rebellen

Samstag, Juni 5th, 2010

“Iran troops twice cross into Iraq to fight Kurds

Iranian troops have crossed into Iraq twice in three days amid clashes with Kurdish rebels in the Qandil mountains near the border, a security spokesman said Saturday.

The incursions, which both occurred after Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad was summoned to the foreign ministry over the issue, came during a series of clashes in recent days with the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).

‘Iranian forces, two days ago (Thursday), entered… Iraqi territory in the Haji Omran area’ in Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region, a spokesman for the region’s peshmerga former rebel security force told AFP.

‘The Iranian soldiers numbered more than 30, and were combined with armored vehicles and heavy weaponry,’ Major General Jabbar Yawar said.

Yawar said the Iranian troops penetrated two kilometers (just over a mile) into Iraqi territory, two days after they crossed three kilometers (two miles) over the border in similar clashes with the PJAK.

In recent weeks, Iran has repeatedly shelled suspected PJAK rear-bases in the border area. It has also carried out helicopter assaults across the frontier.

In a statement on May 31, the foreign ministry said it had separately summoned the ambassadors of Iran and Turkey over cross-border attacks by Tehran and Ankara against Kurdish rebel movements.

‘The ministry expressed its strong concern over the two states’ actions in the form of bombardment and air strikes along the border,’ the statement said.

It added: ‘The ministry called on both countries to cease these violations in future because they have a negative impact on the friendly relations between our countries.’

Turkey on May 20 conducted its own bombardment of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases in northern Iraq.

A May 31 rocket strike on a naval base killed six Turkish soldiers. A news agency close to the PKK said it had been claimed by the rebel group.

The PJAK is closely allied with the PKK which has been fighting for self-rule in eastern Turkey since 1984 and is blacklisted as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States.

Last month, Iranian troops clashed with Iraqi border guards after mistaking them for rebel fighters. An Iraqi guard officer was captured but later released.”

(Quelle: Al Arabiya.)

Kampagne: TATORT Kurdistan

Mittwoch, Juni 2nd, 2010


“Kampagne TATORT Kurdistan

von Rüstungsexporten, Kreditvergaben bis hin zu Giftgas und anderen Aktivitäten deutscher Unternehmen in Kurdistan

Der Krieg in Kurdistan wird international geführt und ist näher an uns dran, als viele glauben mögen. Während in der Region Kurdistan seit Jahrzehnten Widerstand geleistet wird, ziehen deutsche Unternehmen und die Regierung in Form von Rüstungsexporten oder der Finanzierung und dem Bau von Staudämmen nahezu unbehelligt ihre Profite aus diesem Krieg.
Die Bundesregierung arbeitet freudig mit der türkischen Regierung zusammen, wenn es um Auslieferungsanträge oder Rückführungsabkommen kurdischer Flüchtlinge geht. Solche Machenschaften müssen dort, wo sie zutage treten, genauso wie dort, wo sie entstehen, beleuchtet werden, müssen aufgezeigt, kritisiert und verhindert werden.

Die Kampagne TATORT Kurdistan hat zum Ziel, die Verantwortung und die Rolle deutscher Unternehmen und der Bundesregierung an geeigneten Orten sichtbar zu machen. Auf der Seite findet ihr Hintergrundinformationen zur deutschen Beteiligung an Rüstungsexporten, Infrastrukturprojekten, am Giftgasangriff auf Halabja, zur Situation kurdischer Flüchtlinge in Deutschland und zur Repression gegen die Kurdische Freiheitsbewegung. Auch Termine und weitere Informationen findet ihr auf dieser Webseite. Es wird in unterschiedlichen Städten in Deutschland Veranstaltungen zu diesen Themen geben und am 1. September 2010 zum Weltfriedenstag einen bundesweiten Aktionstag.

Deutsch-Türkische Zusammenarbeit
Waffenlieferungen, wie die Schenkungen tausender Panzer und anderer Waffen aus den NVA Beständen der ehemaligen DDR in den 1990er Jahren, die bei der Zerstörung von 4000 kurdischen Dörfern im Einsatz waren, gehören nicht der Vergangenheit an. Die Zerstörung der kurdischen Siedlungsgebiete hat mehrere 100 000 Menschen in die Flucht getrieben, die jetzt in den Slums der Großstädte oder in Flüchtlingscamps unter menschenunwürdigen Bedingungen leben.
Die Türkei ist mit 15,2 % (2004-2008) noch immer wichtigster Abnehmer deutscher Rüstungsexporte. Neben den 289 Leopard II Panzern, die von 2006 – 2008 in die Türkei geliefert wurden, sind nach wie vor Schusswaffen z.B. G3- und neuerdings HK33 Gewehre und MP5 Maschinenpistolen (in Lizenz in der Türkei gebaut) gegen Kurd_innen im Einsatz. In die Verantwortung genommen werden die Unternehmen dafür jedoch nicht.

Bis heute wurden von der Bundesregierung weder Entschädigungen an die Opfer des Giftgasangriffes 1988 in der irakisch-kurdischen Stadt Halabja gezahlt, noch wurden die deutschen Händler verurteilt. Dabei wurde die Technik zur Herstellung dieser Gaswaffen vor allem von deutschen Firmen geliefert. 5000 Menschen starben damals einen qualvollen Tod und weitere 7.000 bis 10.000 Menschen wurden so schwer verletzt, dass sie später an den Folgen starben oder dauerhafte Gesundheitsschäden erlitten.

Der massive Bau von Staudämmen in den kurdischen Gebieten der Türkei hat eine politisch strategische Dimension. Die Mehrzahl der neu entstehenden Staudämme werden in einem Gebiet gebaut, in dem militärische Operationen stattfinden. Die Bevölkerung der betroffenen Gebiete wird zwangsumgesiedelt, in ein Leben in völliger Armut und ohne Perspektive. Die versprochenen Entschädigungen werden nicht immer ausgezahlt und auch wenn, sind sie so gering, dass sie nicht mal für den Bau eines neuen Obdachs reichen. Deutlich wird die machtpolitische Dimension aktuell am Ilisu Staudamm, der der Türkei die Kontrolle über den weiteren Wasserlauf vom Tigris nach Syrien und Irak garantiert, ebenso wie an den bereits am Euphrat gebauten Staudämmen. Die deutsche Regierung zog ihre Exportkreditgarantien für das Ilisu-Projekt aufgrund von massivem Widerstand von Seiten von Staudammgegner_innen im Sommer 2009 zurück.

Nach Deutschland gekommene kurdische Flüchtlinge und Migrant_innen werden immer wieder in ihre Herkunftsländer abgeschoben, obwohl ihnen dort oftmals Haftstrafen und Folter drohen. Ein Beispiel hierfür ist das im Sommer 2008 beschlossene Rückführungsabkommen zwischen Deutschland und Syrien. Auch aufgrund von Auslieferungsanträgen werden immer wieder kurdische Aktivist_innen inhaftiert. Das bedeutet häufig monatelange Haft bis zu einer Entscheidung der zuständigen Oberlandesgerichte, ob die Betroffenen ausgeliefert werden oder nicht. Aber auch in Deutschland werden Kurd_innen aufgrund des seit 1993 geltenden PKK-Verbots für ihre politische Tätigkeit kriminalisiert und mit Gefängnisstrafen belegt.

Wir laden alle Gruppen und Einzelpersonen herzlich dazu ein, sich an dieser Kampagne mit kreativen Aktionen, Veranstaltungen, Recherchearbeiten oder Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit zu beteiligen, um zur demokratischen und friedlichen Lösung der Kurdischen Frage beizutragen. Eingeladen sind alle Interessierten von Friedensaktivist_innen, NGOs, Gewerkschaften, Rüstungsgegner_innen, Umweltaktivist_innen, Flüchtlingen, Flüchtlingsräten und ihren Unterstützer_innen bis hin zu Antifas, Autonomen und Jugendgruppen.

»Dem globalisierten Kriegstreiben einen solidarischen Internationalismus entgegensetzen!«

»Keine Waffenlieferungen in die Türkei und weltweit!«

»Stoppt den Bau von Staudämmen mit Hilfe von deutschen Geldern und deutschen Unternehmen!«

»Schluss mit den Abschiebungen von Flüchtlingen in die Türkei und in andere Teile Kurdistans!«


(Quelle: Kampagne TATORT Kurdistan.)