Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Report of the Human Rights Delegation from Brussels, Berlin, NRW and Hamburg

October 3, 2010 by sks

Extract from the report:
Evaluation of the current situation
The current situation in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey is characterized by serious human rights violations, repression and war crimes by the Turkish military and special gendarmerie units.
Despite a one?sided cease?fire by the PKK, that was interrupted only shortly due to the continuous policy of war and repression by the Turkish state, military operations and assaults of state forces on the civilian population have been taken place almost daily for the past months. During the first six months of 2010, more than 20 extralegal executions took place through state and paramilitary forces within this framework. In addition, in the last 3 months reports on the use of chemical weapons and post mortal mutilations by the Turkish military have increased. Deliberately set forest fires and the use of poisonous defoliants were increasingly documented.
Psychological warfare is also used to various extents as another means of conflict. F 16 bombers are starting daily from the Diyarbakir metropolis and in Dersim and Hakkari about 30 military helicopters take off on a daily basis. In addition, since April 2009 more than 1680 politicians of the Democratic Freedom Party (BDP) and its now prohibited predecessor party DTP, as well as human rights activists, women activists and adolescents have been imprisoned. The first proceedings will start on 18.10.2010 in Diyarbakir. In doing so, the Turkish state is
apparently trying to eliminate all regionally and internationally successful politically active individuals. Especially international contacts have been negatively sanctioned. The active individuals are accused of being members of the KCK / PKK structures. Human rights engagement, the advocating of cultural rights, visits to European institutions or parliaments, the contact to international journalists or delegations serve as legitimations for this.
Apparently there is no desire for differentiated reporting which is fought against with all means. The two Kurdish newspapers with the highest circulation are currently prohibited. The American human rights activist Jake Hess, who was detained for 10 days because of critical articles on war crimes and human rights violations and subsequently deported just as the 1680 people mentioned above, was advised by the authorities that every person he would contact in the future, would be suspected of being a member of the Kurdistan Democratic
Federation (KCK). The contact person for our delegation in Hakkari, Bülent Armut, was arrested from the car in which he accompanied the delegation (see below).
Torture is also a daily occurrence in the Kurdish provinces, especially in Hakkari, Sirnak and Siirt. Journalists, human rights activists and politically active individuals are especially affected. In provincial towns the harassment and rape of women by security forces is an additional great problem. The impunity of the offenders from the ranks of the authorities and security forces in all of the above context is alarming. (see also the study by Human Rights Watch: Closing Ranks against Accountability/Barriers to Tackling Police Violence in Turkey).
The one?sided cease?fire by the PKK was welcomed by all delegates, mayors and Kurdish contact persons and seen as historical chance to solve the Turkish?Kurdish conflict. Basically, it would be necessary however, to end the policy of suppression as well as the non?recognition of the existence of the Kurdish population and their civil liberties by the Turkish state. Notably, the Kurdish politicians did not want an independent state but the democratization of Turkey with the objective of preferably establishing grassroots democratic communal administrative structures in which all religious and cultural identities would be represented throughout Turkey.
Full report here: