Category Archives: Kurdish Blog Updates

GV Article-Kurdistance-It’s Quiet Out Here

One of the hardest things about reporting on various blogospheres is the natural ebb and flow of people’s writings.  The past two weeks in the Kurdish blogosphere have been strangely quiet, the kind of quiet that is found before a great storm.

Hiwa from <em><a href=”http://hiwakan.blogspot.com/”>Hiwa Hopes</a></em> writes about the <a href=”http://hiwakan.blogspot.com/2006/11/corruption-in-kurdistan.html”>rampant corruption found in Northern Iraq/Southern Kurdistan.</a>  Vladimir on <em><a href=”http://vladimirkurdistan.blogspot.com/”>From Holland to Kurdistan</a></em> talks about the rise of <a href=”http://vladimirkurdistan.blogspot.com/2006/11/pro-kurdish-politician-is-favorite-in.html”>popularity in French politics of a pro-Kurdish politician</a>. <a href=”http://rastibini.blogspot.com/”><em>Rasti</em></a&gt; exposes the <a href=”http://rastibini.blogspot.com/2006/11/women-of-pkk.html”>roles of women in the PKK</a>. And <em><a href=”http://rojtv.blogspot.com/”>Save RojTV</a></em> celebrates its <a href=”http://rojtv.blogspot.com/2006/11/our-first-anniversary.html”>one year anniversary</a>.

Sorry for the slow week, however if you want to read an interesting dialouge on the nature of Kurdistan in the geographic sense, check out the comments on the last installment of <a href=”http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/11/16/kurdistance-picking-up-the-pieces/”>Kurdistance</a&gt;.

GV Post-9/27 Kurdistance

Onnik Krikorian from Oneworld Multimedia has written a series of wonderful articles about the Yezidis, ethnic Kurds, who live in Georgia and Armenia. Traditionally, information gathered about the Yezidis focus on those that live in Southern Kurdistan/Northern Iraq, which makes Onnik’s article an incredibly valuable cultural resource.

Rasti writes this week about the “spin” in the Turkish media about the prowess of the Turkish Military:

This spin on alleged Turkish military prowess is only going to work on the ignorant. Think about it; when was the last time the TSK was involved in a real war? That would be Korea. Since then, the only military prowess exercised by the TSK has been against unarmed Kurdish civilians under Turkish occupation, or against a few thousand Kurdish gerîlas, or against unarmed Cypriot civilians in Turkish-occupied Cyprus. The TSK specializes in fighting civilians, but there’s no way it’s going to get into a real fight. That’s why the pashas are only going to send 800 to 1,000 Mehmetciks to Lebanon–out of an 800,000 strong army, second largest in NATO–and, since everything has hotted up in Afghanistan, that’s why the pashas are balking at sending more Mehmetciks for that “peacekeeping” mission.

Hiwa from Hiwa Hopes notes the increase of Kurds living in Northern Kurdistan/Southeast Turkey heading to Southern Kurdistan/Northern Iraq to enroll in Kurdish Universities.

The Is-Ought Problem gives a detailed explanation behind the recent decision of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to fly the Kurdish flag instead of the Iraqi flag:

As a result, the decision not to fly the flag of Iraq, but instead to fly only the flag of the Kurdistan Regional Government is much more than a statement of national independence. It is a statement of cultural autonomy and rejuvenation. A statement of religious tolerance and pluralism. It is, more than anything, an affirmation that Kurdistan is, and shall remain, different.

Bit of a shorter week I’m afraid, see you next time!

Opps…

I forgot to post last week’s Kurdistance article.

Kurdish Blog to Watch

We have cover Bilal’s exploits in the past, but I think that he is someone for us to watch…he will go far.

GV Article-Kurdistance

The most horrible of things has just happened to me….my RSS feed for the Kurdish blogs, well for lack of a better term..hiccupped…and all of my feeds are gone. So in dealing with this crisis, today’s post probably will leave a few people out. Thankfully all of my work is not going to be a complete waste as all of the links in my RSS feed are can be found on my blogsite Kurdistan Blog Count.

So, let’s begin the fun shall we? Vladimir on From Holland to Kurdistan has been compiling some wonderful media links for the Kurdish cause from a moving pictoral exhibit of Kurdish refugees being treated by Doctors Without Borders to a documentary on the Kurdish riots in Diyarbakir. Additionally, information on Saddam Hussein’s Anfal Campaign against Iraqi Kurds can be found and an excellent interview with Kurdish blogger Hiwa from Hiwa Hopes about his childhood and growing up in refugee schools.

Hiwa has been writing about the lack of media attention to bothSaddam Hussein’s trial for the Anfal Campaign and how Kurdish politicians in Southern Kurdistan have been commenting on the increased fracturing of Iraq.

Continuing on with the media theme, Pearls of Iraq writes about the recent confiscation of Kurdish books sent from Sweden to Northern Kurdistan (Southeast Turkey), the books are scheduled to be destroyed by the Turkish government. Save Roj TV writes about a daily Kurdish newspaper being harassed by the Turkish government for trying to distribute their newspaper in Northern Kurdistan. In addition Roj TV itself is still fighting against their struggle with the Turkish government who is trying to shut the Denmark based television station down. The-kurdistani also weighs in on what they perceive as a biased media in Turkey in regards to the Kurdish Question. And dear Rasti-bini shows us the side of the Kurdish media and their responses to recent Turkish aggression against the Kurdish peoples in the name of fighting the PKK.

GV Article: Kurdistance:Three Week Update

After a brief hiatus, I’m back and clicking away…three weeks have passed and we have a lot to cover….

At the end of July it was announced that Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman would be doing a promotional tour of the US and Europe to talk about The Other Iraq– Iraqi Kurdistan. While this would have seemed to be a great opportunity to promote Kurdish culture, it was greeted lukewarmly. Non-Kurdish bloggers’ reaction ranged from distrustful at the ad campaign as either too pro-war in Iraq or too right wing to a short interview discussing the main ideas of The Other Iraq’s website. Unfortuately, Kurdish bloggers didn’t take advantage of this opportunity. Vladimir on From Holland to Kurdistan advertised the announcement (as well as the Kurdistan Blog Count), and posted a piece that comedian John Stewart has performed on The Other Iraq’s Ad Campaign promotion.

With events occuring as they are in Lebanon, Kurdish bloggers are still talking about the implications of war there. Roj Bash! gives a history of the Kurds of Lebanon. From Holland to Kurdistan posts the Kurdistan Party of Lebanon’s statement of condemnation of the Israeli attacks. Kurdish Aspect writes about the attempted parallels drawn by the Turkish government of the PKK and Hezbollah. And Sami from An Iraqi’s Thoughts writes about how the war between Hezbollah and Israel is changing the Middle East in unexpected ways.

Now from the thematic review of things to some of the individual blogs. Hiwa from Hiwa Hopes writes about the importance of August 21st, the day marking the beginning of the Anfal Campaign against the Kurds. He encourages all Kurds to demonstrate on that day to show the world the resilence of the Kurdish people. Other stories he gives us is a sad case of a Kurdish aslyum seeker who ruined his chances of winning his court case when he was asked to swear on the Quran. And lastly, Hiwa critizes the Kurdistan Regional Government’s new policy of resource allocation as something that should have happened a long time ago.

From Holland to Kurdistan writes about his Holland-based Kurdish news site, Azady.nl, being hacked by Turkish hackers. Other topics were the recent report to the European Union on the cultural situation of the Kurds in Turkey and how the Kurds and the Turkmen in Iraq could be an excellent example for peace. And lastly, he has an excellent piece about PKK terrorism:

I will now deal with one of the most controversial issues in Turkey: “PKK terrorism”. Personally I do not like to use the word terrorism. For Turkey the PKK is a terrorist organisation and for a lot of Kurds, they are freedom fighters. In this era of the war “against terrorism”, the word terrorism appears a lot on the TV screens. Many times “terrorist” actions are used to fight “terrorism”. Often governments turn into totalitarian and oppressive institutions, only to combat terrorism. Therefore I refrain from using the word terrorist, as it’s clearly biased. Both the Turkish state and the PKK used violence in the past. And I also refrain from calling them both terrorists!…..

….In my humble opinion the main problem is not the PKK. “Terrorism” is mostly a result of political exclusion and social exclusion. And that’s the problem! Kurds are excluded from a democratic and free environment in Turkey. Next to this problem is the recent upsurge of violence (2004) coming from both sides. This violence endangers a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.

a must read for this week. Until next time!

Kurdistance: Lebanon’s Legacy?

While the world’s media eye is focused on Lebanon, other potential conflicts are arising in the Middle East; but they are arising using Lebanon as the primary example for conflict justification. The Counterrorism Blog says it best:

Turkey is currently making a lot of noise about launching a cross-border incursion into Iraq to engage the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in combat operations. On July 18, Professor Sedat Laciner published an article in the Turkish Weekly comparing the situation that Turkey faces from the PKK to the threat Israel faces from Hamas and Hizballah. After stating that Western countries have defended Israel’s right to self-defense, Prof. Laciner asks, “But, does the right of self defence just belong to Israel in the Middle East? For example, doesn’t Turkey have such a right?”

Needless to say the Kurdish blogosphere is up in arms over the potential prospect of Turkey crossing the borders of Syria, Iraq and Iran to pursue Kurdish “terrorists” (you’ll have to wait until Saturday on GV for the Turkish blogosphere response)—and as expected there is not a solid Kurdish opinion as to whether or not this is a good idea.

Roj Bash! put it thus:

Strangely, the situation is quite similar, concerning the casus belli, to the current Israeli attack against Lebanon : the former country, for it shelters Hebollah militias which attacked Israël, is now obliged to state in which camp it places itself.

If we only regard International rules, it is quite impossible to tolerate armed groups leading raids from its own soil against a neighbored country, without being considered as directly responsible and facing reprisals.

It is exactly the same problem in Southern Kurdistan. As so long as the PKK stays in Quandil Mountains and leads attacks in Turkey, de facto, the Region of Kurdistan, and then Iraq, could be officially considered as patronizing acts of war against its northern neighbours. Soon or late, Lebanon will be obliged to adopt a clear position, against or the Hezbollah. But what will happen for Hewlêr ? The Israeli-Lebanese case is definitively an encouragement for a Turkish invasion.

Hiwa from Hiwa Hopes referred to the possible incursion of the Turks into Northern Iraq as Turkey’s Second Blunder:

So if they want to go for another bitter pill [the first was when they denied the US the use of their occupied land which in deed is northern Kurdsitan anyways] and try to disturb the only safe part of Iraq which the Americans and their allies hope will become an example and a refuge place for the rest of the country, I doubt they will be greated with better expressions than the embassador’s!

I have always said, we owe the Turks a war, they have been trying to make us fight them since they established the Ottoman empire. The PKK war against Turkey is definitely not the one they have been asking for and its toll was more on our civilians than the Turkish military! So I think if we pay them back what they owe us now is much better than future as we might have to fight Iran AND/OR Syria at the same time! At the moment its too dangerous for Iran and Syria to interfere in such a payback as the B52s might want to visit some places around Tehran and Shiraz while the Israeli F16 might want to visit Assad’s Palace again which they did recently!

Erdogan is waffling without thinking about the figures which the US&UK have put into the almost failed war on Iraq. The billions and the loss of over 2500 US soldiers to make Iraq a laboratory for the Turks to eliminate their rebels! I dont think the US Vs Turkey friendship includes such deals! So I really encourage Mr Erdogan to keep his world like a Turkish warrier and go ahead with his invasion of southern Kurdistan. I am sure there will be Kurds going back VIA Turkey to fight the Turkish GREAT army!

Mizgin from Rasti blames the conflict in Lebanon solely on Iran, and cautions against any other conflicts in the region…then the announcement from the Turkish government came….to put it mildly she feels that the Turkish government is using this an opportunity to over-react to terrorism in the country…terrorism that is not supported by the Kurdish community at large. She also questions the Kurdish diaspora’s lack of voice on this issue:

Another question: Is there really a Kurdish diaspora? I ask that because I don’t hear anything from the Kurdish Diaspora about what is happening to the Kurdish people under Turkish occupation and a de facto OHAL. There were protests during the Amed Serhildan, but what was that? Did everyone shoot their wad then, and now they’re recovering their strength? Just like people in Amed, I too wonder what in the hell a Kurdish life is worth. Where are the demonstrations for the Kurds? In every single country where there is a Kurdish Diaspora population, there should be 24-hour protests in front of every Turkish embassy and every Turkish consulate. There should be 24-hour protests in front of the White House, the Congress and the State Department. There should be 24-hour protests in front of every residence of heads of government, legislative bodies and foreign ministries, in every country where there is a Kurdish population. This is easy to organize, with people committing to “standing guard” for certain periods of time, and then they are relieved when their replacements arrive. When the goons from the Turkish embassies come to take photos and harass, then it’s time to notify the local media, get it on the news wires and trash Turkish image. They are very sensitive about that.

Rasti also comments on a documentary about PKK fighters:

I always find it so ironic that people get concerned about 14- or 15-year-olds fighting, but they never seem to get quite so excited if a 14- or 15-year-old Kurd is murdered by TSK, tortured by Turkish police, ethnically cleansed from their homes by Ozel Timler, or forced into prostitution or crime by circumstances, in order to help their displaced families survive in places where there is as much as 70% unemployment. . . like in Amed, for example. I also noticed a huge lack of interest in the detention and torture of 12-, 13-, 14-, and 15-year olds during the Amed Serhildan, and their placement in an adult prison as well as their being charged as adults. Everybody was pretty quiet on all of that.

Very ironic, isn’t it?

If 12-year-olds are old enough to be treated as adults for the purpose of prosecution by the Ankara regime, then they’re old enough to take up arms against the Ankara regime. They have the right of self-defense too.

Of course the possible advancement of Turkish troops is not the only topic of conversation in the Kurdish blogosphere. Hiwa Hopes reminds us of the plight of Malak Ghorbany, sentenced to stoning in Iran. From Holland to Kurdistan reports about Syrian attacks against its Kurdish population, information on the Kurdish population residing in Lebanon, and information on the plight of Kurdish women, especially the Northen Kurdistan population (Southeast Turkey).

And lastly, in last week’s edition of Kurdistance, entitled “No Good News”, I reported what another blogger had said about the torture of a little boy in Iran for stealing a piece of bread. A loyal Global Voices reader sent an email stating that the photos were a hoax and provided a link to a Snopes article about it. This situation represents what is wonderful about the blogosphere: the quick reaction to false information. Part of this situation I will gladly take the blame for as I did not research deeper into the posting myself. The blogger who I reported on has since removed the article from his blog, however I would still like to point out (in his defense) that Iran does have a track record of aggression towards it’s Kurdish population that can not be denied. If you would like more information specifically on the Iranian Kurds I would like to direct you to a blog entitled East of Kurdistan that gathers news articles on that very issue. And I would also like to thank my loyal readers who are always keeping me on my toes, I truly appreciate it. Till next week….