Monday, March 18, 2013

Three Reasons the PKK Should Lay Down Arms

March 19, 2013 by Amy L. Beam

Argus - world's largest camera

On the eve of Abdullah Ocalan's call for peace in Turkey, I add my fervent plea to the PKK to lay down their arms. I have a great deal of sympathy for the Kurds' demands for their ethnic and human rights. Last year in Istanbul a young Kurd told me, "No matter what anyone thinks about the PKK, it is because of the PKK that I can speak my language today."

The reasons for laying down arms have nothing at all to do with assigning fault or blame to any group. Laying down arms is not equivalent to defeat. It is simply the only logical thing to do to save one's life.

My plea to the members of the PKK is like a mother on her knees begging her child not to walk into death's trap. Live to fight another day . . . in another way. The battle for Kurdish rights in Turkey can never be won with guns in the mountains. The PKK must put down its arms because of Turkish and U.S. tactics for "finishing off" the PKK. These tactics are so terrifying that I am compelled to warn the PKK. Please don't shoot the messenger.

Reason 1: ARGUS - Greek Mythological Monster with 100 Eyes

In an environment of State secrecy where the public cannot pry information out of the U.S. military, the NOVA documentary ARGUS starts out with a peculiarly uncharacteristic statement by engineer Yannis Ontenyadis saying, "For the first time we actually have permission from the [U.S.] government to show the basic capabilities. It is important for the public to know that some of these capabilities exist." When did the U.S. military ever want to share its secrets? And why? Because Argus will terrify into submission all those labeled as enemies of the State. ARGUS is the 21st century equivalent of the Atom Bomb that ended WWII when it was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The PKK simply cannot win against ARGUS.

ARGUS is the equivalent of 100 Predator drones looking at a medium size city at once. Its cameras use the same technology as miniature imaging chips like those used in cell phone cameras. ARGUS melds together video from each of its 368 chips to create a 1.8 billion pixel video stream. When mounted on a drone that can hover for hours in one location, Argus can provide a "wide area persistent stare" to cover 25 square miles from 20,000 feet (6 km) in the sky. Touch screen technology allows the user to point to any location and open a window to see the detail of that area. Objects as small as six inches can be identified. ARGUS streams 5,000 hours of live video to earth in one day. The video is archived so one can go back in time and look at what was happening at a specific location at a specific time.

ARGUS development was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The software, called Persistics after the concept of persistent ISR — intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance — is tasked with identifying objects on the ground, and then locking on to them and tracking them indefinitely.

According to a US Embassy Ankara cable published by Wikileaks, on Nov. 5, 2007, the United States and Turkey formalized an agreement to share ISR. The United States flies drones over eastern Turkey to identify PKK locations. It passes this intel to Turkey to fly strikes against the PKK. The Roboski Massacre, Dec. 28, 2011, in which 34 innocent Kurds were killed is an example of the cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. Neither country took responsibility.

The original goal was to deploy ARGUS in Afghanistan, but that never came to pass. It isn’t entirely clear what ARGUS’s future is; it was meant to be mounted on Boeing’s high-altitude A160 Hummingbird helicopter, but the chopper has since been scrapped. If ARGUS is to be deployed, it may be strapped to the underbelly of a Predator drone. If ARGUS is deployed to Turkey, there will be no place to hide, no place to run, whether in the mountains or the city.

Reason 2. Attack of the Robobee Drones

Robotic drones have been in development for some years. They are now as small as a dragon fly and are equipped with audio and video recorders and radar sensors so they can fly into a building, photograph and map it and return to base. YouTube is loaded with videos, such as Attack of the Drones - USA, showing various drone designs. This video received so many negative comments that all 3728 comments were removed. There will be nowhere, even inside one's home, to maintain privacy.

Reason 3. Torture and Death at the Hands of Turkish Soldiers

The new battle space is cyber warfare. Anyone who wants to gain public support for their cause must use the internet to tell their story. The United States has declared cyber space as another battlefield and has multimillion dollar programs to mold public opinion through mass propaganda campaigns and psychological warfare. The war is a war for people's hearts and minds. Governments are trying to control and censor the free flow of information on the internet.

Since the Kurdish prisoner hunger strike in 2012 in Turkey, people using Twitter have followed the news on hashtag #twitterkurds. For many months an American troll, mistaken by many to be Turkish, has been repeatedly posting 34 photos to anyone following #twitterkurds news tweets. The photos are of dead, mutilated bodies of PKK with Turkish soldiers standing around in most of them. Many of them show clear signs of torture such as a decapitated head, a man being dragged by a rope around his neck and between his teeth, eyes gouged out, bodies torn apart and more terrorizing photos. I urge readers not to search for these photos because they are deeply traumatizing which is exactly the intended effect.

As soon as the troll's account is blocked for spam, he/she opens a new Twitter account and continues to post 3 or 4 photos per minute for 3 to 8 hours per day. The troll has also, on occasion posted text messages, even stating he/she is an American citizen. He/she replies to tweets written in Turkish, Farsi, French, Spanish, and English. The troll is well-versed on Middle East history.

These 34 photos have been posted thousands of times and many remain on pic.twitter in spite of being flagged. Twitter uses image-matching software, so if a Twitter account posts a photo more than one time, Twitter recognizes it as the same photo and numbers the duplicate photos from 1 to 9. In spite of complaints for months from Twitter users and in spite of Twitter's image-matching software, Twitter has refused to block these photos. No one does this for hours per day, months on end without pay.

It is my belief that this is a military psychological operation intended to terrorize members of PKK and anyone sympathetic to the Kurdish cause. Why else does Twitter refuse to block these images? The message is clearly intended to show PKK members how they will be mercilessly tortured to death by Turkish soldiers. These photos are documentary evidence of Turkish war crimes.

Both Sides: Please Stop Killing Each Other

The question as to who is practicing terrorist tactics is debatable. What is clear is that the PKK cannot win with outmoded 20th century warfare tactics, regardless of how righteous their goals may be. It is time for the PKK to lay down its arms and work through peaceful protests and political avenues for full Constitutional rights for Kurds.

For a peace effort to be successful and lasting, Turkey must release its political prisoners and stop bombing Kurdish villages at the same time it is engaged in peace negotiations. PM Erdogan must take strong action against the hate attacks against Kurds in recent days and weeks by Turkish fascists. It is time for a new Constitution that grants full citizenship rights to Turkey's minority of 15 million Kurds.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PKK 9 Demands from 2009 Peace Opening - Same List 4 Years Later

On Oct 20, 2009 a "peace group" of 34 Kurds accused of PKK membership crossed the border from Iraq to Turkey as part of PM Erdogan's "Democratic Opening" peace process with the Kurds. Five out of 34 of them were arrested at the Harbur Border crossing.

After many hours of hearings by a judge called especially to the border, the five were released. Reportedly 3000 cars and buses were waiting at the border to transport the returnees to Diyarbakir, and thousands of people had gathered along the route to cheer them on.

These events contributed to the derailment of the 2009 peace process. Millions of citizens in Turkey and international supporters hope the peace process in 2013 will be successful and Kurdish rights will be realized in Turkey. In order for peace and a resolution to the Kurdish issue to succeed, the military must stop the bombing missions on the PKK at the same time it states it is engaged in peace negotiations with Ocalan, PKK leader imprisoned since 1999 on Imrali Island.

We hope the 8 Turkish hostages scheduled for release by the PKK on March 12, 2013, will soon be reunited with their families and that the release of students, journalists, and politicians in Turkey, accused of supporting or associating with a terrorist organization will soon follow. The names of those being released are Zihni Koç , Abdullah Söpçeler, Kemal Ekinci, Nadir Özgen, Kenan Erenoğlu, Reşat Çaçan, Ramazan Başaran ve Hadi Gizli.

The nine demands stated in 2009 by the PKK peace group are as follows:

  • The road map Ocalan created should be referred to the authorities of concern and should be made public.
  • Military operations should be terminated. Peaceful and democratic ways to solve the Kurdish issue in the political sphere should be developed.
  • The Kurdish identity should be protected under equal terms in the Constitution.
  • We should be able to freely speak our mother tongue (Kurdish). We should be free to learn it, promote it, and live our values, our culture, and geography within our language.
  • We should be able to freely name our children with Kurdish names, educate them in Kurdish, and raise them in that environment.
  • We should be able to freely live our history, culture, and literature and protect them.
  • We should be able to develop a democratic social organization established under our own identity. We should be able to freely engage in politics. We should be able to express ourselves freely.
  • We should be able to safely live in the villages, towns, and cities of Kurdistan under sufficiently developed conditions far from the oppression of special team members, village guards, and the police.
  • We demand more democratization in Turkey and we would like to have a more democratic Constitution.

Read more at US Embassy Ankara cables from 2009 posted by Wikileaks:


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Was the Assassination Order of Sakine Cansiz Posted on Facebook?

March 9, 2013 by Amy L. Beam, Ed.D.

Posted Jan 4, 2013, on Kirmizi.Sari football Facebook

March 9, 2013, marks two months since Kurdish activists Sakine Cansız, Leyla Söylemez and Fidan Doğan who were all shot in the head execution-style inside the Kurdistan Information Center, Paris office on Jan 9, 2013. French police charged a Turkish man named Ömer Güney with the assassinations. Cansiz (code name "Sara") was a founding member, along with Abdulla Ocalan, of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey.

Sakine Cansiz, assassinated Jan 9, 2013

Sakine Cansiz Was Targeted

US Embassy Cable 07ANKARA2917, posted on Wikileaks, sent to the Secretary of Defense in Washington, DC, Dec 7, 2007, identified Sakine Cansiz as the primary financier in Europe for the PKK:

"The United States works together with Turkey to implement the President's directive for effective action against PKK terror, we must also redouble our efforts to shut down the financial support that flows from Europe into PKK headquarters located in northern Iraq. . . . We need to identify and interdict PKK money that is flowing into northern Iraq. . . . by going after . . . Sakine Cansiz. . . . We can help by providing the most extensive dossiers possible and coordinating with law enforcement and intelligence counterparts in Europe to ensure these two terrorists are incarcerated."

Germany and France Were not Cooperative

In 2007, Germany refused to extradite Cansiz to Turkey after holding her for 40 days. The court stated that Turkey had not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Cansiz had broken any laws. Cansiz then moved to France.

Unfortunately, the Embassy cables shared by Bradley Manning and posted on Wikileaks end in 2010. Publicly, the U.S. continues its policy of solidarity with Turkey to "finish off" the PKK. What was the strategy adopted by the U.S. and its ally Turkey after Germany refused Turkey's request to extradite Sakine Cansiz and France granted her asylum?

Dangerous Double Speak

Even as PM Erdoğan is holding peace talks with imprisoned Ocalan and stating he is ready to "drink hemlock" for the sake of peace, Turkish war planes continue to strike PKK targets in southeast Turkey and the Qandil Mountains in Iraq, killing four PKK guerillas Feb. 26. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in his visit to Ankara last week, reaffirmed the US commitment to help Turkey fight the PKK. Turkey's policy remains to finish off the PKK and to make a distinction between "good Kurds" and "bad Kurds".

One cannot avoid the logical suspicion that Sakine Cansiz's assassination, along with Leyla Söylemez and Fidan Doğan, suggests government(s) involvement, particularly in light of the arrests and extradition requests in Spain, France, and Germany of suspected PKK financiers since the assassinations. Is the message behind the assassinations to European governments "If you don't extradite these suspects, there will be more assassinations"? On Feb 9, PM Erdoğan said “[Turkey’s] patience is running out."

FaceBook Communication Hiding in Full View

So, who killed Cansiz, Doğan, and Söylemez? It is possible the order was issued online through social media. Every other form of contact leaves traceable records: phone calls, email, tweets, and airline tickets. One could conceivably use a carrier pigeon but the internet is much easier. The truth is hiding in plain view on Facebook. This is not a new concept. During World War II, the French Resistance reportedly communicated through newspaper ads and even in lines of poetry.

According to press reports, Paris police showed a photo of an Ömer Güney, copied from the FaceBook page of Omerr Günayy. I refer to this as Facebook Omer Guney #1. He showed a link to his cousin who is holding up his Turkish police badge and sitting in a police car. Twice the link was removed and twice it was restored after Ömer Güney was arrested.

Facebook Omer Guney #2 was created Mar 7, 2010, and was never changed after Mar 11, 2010. The very first photo posted on Omer #2's FB page was of a roaring lion which is a symbol for Galatasaray, the most popular Turkish football team. Omer #2 is followed by a FB friend in Sweden who posted photos on Jan 3, 2013, of two men dressed in PKK-like costumes, also, photos of PKK leader Ocalan, PKK guerillas, the Roboski massacre, and a video of carrier pigeons in flight.

FB Omer Guney #1 is portrayed as a nationalistic Turk.
FB Omer Guney #2 is portrayed as being sympathetic to the Kurdish cause and the PKK.

The photos of Omer Guney #1 and Omer Guney #2 are of the same person with a distinctive mole near his left eye. Two different personalities were created, thus allowing those involved in any later assassination cover-up story to use the Facebook personality most suitable to the story and delete the other one.

Facebook Omer Guney #1

Facebook Omer Guney #2

Was Sari Kirmizi FaceBook Football Page the Messenger?

FB Omer #2's page, okyay.guney, was following another FaceBook page account named Kirmizi.Sari featuring the Galatasaray football team, but not the official page. It was created Dec 30, 2011, by Tom Hayes, a peculiarly American name for a Turkish sports team. Between Dec 30, 2011, and Jan 3, 2013, over 500 photos were posted, one or two at a time. All of these photos were related to the Galatasaray team showing game plays, football player celebrities, fans, cheer leaders, sports jerseys and stadium shots. This FB account has 4,084 followers. One of them was FB Omer Guney #2.

On Jan 4, 2013, five days before the assassinations, FB user kirmizi.sari posted an unlikely photo of a uniformed soldier kneeling and aiming a rifle. The watermark on the photo is which translates to "Danger Troll." A troll in internet slang means someone who posts inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

On that day two photos were posted. Since then the FB account has been abandoned. Take your screen shots before it, also, is deleted.

Was This the Signal for the Assassination?

Here are the last four photos to be posted by Kirmizi.Sari. Could the soldier aiming his rifle have been the signal to assassinate Sakine Cansiz and her unfortunate Kurdish colleagues? If investigators can find who created this account, possibly they can discover who is involved in the assassination plot. Call it a crazy, off-the-wall conspiracy theory, but can anyone offer a more plausible explanation for the Kirmizi.Sari Facebook account, which Omer Guney followed, posting this photo, and then being abandoned after posting 500 sports photos?

Was this a signal to Ömer Güney to assassinate Sakine Cansiz?
Watermark "" Dikkat means danger.

Laughing in your face!

"I have not forgotten the peace brother."

"The devil is in the details:)"
See reflection of photographer in the window.

A Chronology

June 12, 2010 - Facebook Omer Guney #1 created (probably his real personality)
Mar 7, 2011 - Facebook Omer Guney #2 created, first photo posted was of a roaring lion for sports team
Dec 30, 2011 - sports team Facebook account created
Jan 3, 2013 - Sweden FB friend following Omer Guney #2 posted photos of men in PKK costumes
Jan 4, 2013 - Last photo posted of soldier pointing rifle by
Jan 9, 2013 - Assassinations of Sakine Cansız, Leyla Söylemez, and Fidan Doğan
Jan 19, 2013 - Paris police arrest Ömer Güney for the triple murders of Cansız, Söylemez, and Doğan
Jan 25, 2013 - The links to who FB Omer Guney #2 is following and who is following him were hidden
Feb 1, 2013 - Amy Beam wrote the "Murder Mystery of Sakine Cansiz" about Omer Guney FB accounts.
Feb 2, 2013 - Murat Şahin, former Turkish MIT intelligence agent, says Ömer Güney is a member of MIT
Feb. 24-25 - Both Omer Guney Facebook accounts were deleted while he was (supposedly) in jail
Mar 9, 2013 - kirmizi.sari141905 FB account inactive since Jan 4, when soldier aiming rifle was posted

Who was changing and then deleting the Omer Guney Facebook accounts if he was locked up?

Where Is Ömer Güney Now?

Since arresting Ömer Güney Jan 19, Paris police and both the French and Turkish governments have fallen silent about the assassinations. Answers about these assassinations must be found and shared with the public as part of the "Imrali talks" and achieving peace in Turkey. If Güney was unknowingly set up to take the fall, his life, too, may be in danger. According to Güney's uncle, Ömer Güney claims that he was present with two other men, but he himself did not kill any of the three women. It remains a disturbing mystery.

Amy L. Beam, Ed.D. has been a software engineer for 30 years. She now runs a tourism business in eastern Turkey with Kurdish partners. She is writing her book: Climbing Mount Ararat: Love and Betrayal in Kurdistan.

Copyright 2013 Amy L. Beam
Twitter @amybeam

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Appeal to Secretary of State John Kerry on his Visit to Ankara

by Amy L. Beam, Ed.D. - Feb 27, 2013

Secretary Kerry, I want you to understand that distinguishing between the "bad Kurds" (PKK) and the good Kurds is emphatically a false distinction that will doom the peace process to failure. Kurds are staunchly united.

I am a U.S. citizen conducting tourism business in eastern Turkey with Kurdish partners since 2007 and have gained a first-hand understanding of the Kurdish issue. I am one of only a handful of foreigners doing business on-site in eastern Turkey, and possibly the only American. So I feel as well-qualified as any diplomat to offer my on-the-ground insights and recommendations.

With the growing repression of free speech and the encroachment on Constitutional rights in the United States, it is not often that I support my government's policies.

However, I applaud Ambassador to Turkey Ricciardone for his outspoken truth about the arrests, long pre-trial imprisonments, and trials of Kurdish journalists, politicians, activists, and students in Turkey. Not since U.S. Ambassador Morganthal spoke out against the treatment of Armenians in 1917 has a US Ambassador to Turkey addressed the truth so publicly and directly.

Turkey wasted no time in publicly telling the U.S. not to meddle in its business. This is public posturing by Turkey, because behind the scenes the US cooperates closely with Turkey to fly drone surveillance and pass the intel to the Turkish military to attack the PKK. In exchange, the U.S. gets Incirlik Air Force base near Adana and NATO's missile defense radar system near Malatya.

Ambassador Ricciardone heard the bomb at the door of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara loudly and clearly both figuratively and literally and responded appropriately. It was long overdue. I urge you to back Ambassador Ricciardone statements.

In examining the recent events affecting the Kurdish population in Turkey, since I first went there in 2007, I find an alarming parallel with events experienced by Armenians in 1914-1915 leading up to the deaths of approximately one million Armenians. Turkey is now conducting mass arrests and mass trials of over 40 people at a time of both journalists and Kurdish lawyers. These mass arrests are occurring in flagrant disregard for international opinion or human rights. Thousands of BDP politicians (not just KCK politicians) have been arrested and imprisoned without trial. They are accused of aiding a terrorist organization.

In April 2011, in Dogubeyazit, Turkey where I conduct Mount Ararat trekking tourism, the Mayor of Dogubeyazit was knocked down by police and sent to the hospital while defending the Kurdish Community Center in the very center of town. The Community Center was a social meeting place in a large tent. The police attacked Kurdish citizens with tear gas and tore down the tent without provocation.

In May 2011, 12 Kurdish candidates running for Parliament were stricken from the ballot. This is what led to Kurdish protests in every city until the names were restored to the ballot. The unrest has escalated since then. The Kurdish issue cannot be resolved by isolating the PKK.

On June 14, 2012, in Dogubeyazit, Turkey arrested 16 Kurds in one day. Most of them ran the local city government. Some were active in BDP. One was a famous singer. Across eastern Turkey dozens, if not hundreds, of elected Kurdish mayors have been arrested and imprisoned. They stand accused of aiding a terrorist organization.

Last week in cities around Turkey, mobs of nationalistic Turks attacked BDP party members openly while police were reportedly lax in protecting them.

Two days ago in Agri, 9 Kurdish soldiers were severely attacked with clubs and knives by Turkish soldiers. The orchestrated rounding up and imprisoning of Kurds and the brazen public violence against Kurds is escalating rapidly.

According to US Embassy Ankara cables from 2007, the US is committed to sharing ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaisance) with Turkey in its goal to annihilate the PKK. This public position to annihilate the PKK enflames the Kurdish issue and emboldens nationalistic Turks to attack Kurdish citizens both verbally and physically. While Americans do not know that the U.S. flies drone surveillance over Turkey, all Kurds know it. They know the U.S. was a participant in the Roboski Massacre, which killed 34 innocent young Kurdish men, Dec. 28, 2011, two weeks after the U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq and moved its drones to Turkey.

Secretary Kerry, I want you to understand that distinguishing between the "bad Kurds" (PKK) and the good Kurds is emphatically a false distinction that will doom the peace process to failure. Kurds are staunchly united.

Kurds protest Jan 9, 2013, assassinations in Paris

In my time spent in eastern Turkey, I found no Kurds who do not have a family member who is either in prison for political reasons, in the PKK, or has been killed by the Turkish military. How can you tell a Kurdish person he or she cannot associate with their friends and family, especially if it is their own son or daughter?

In January 2013, the KCK Executive Council issued a statement that Turkish press statements that the PKK will "lay down its arms" and "withdraw from Turkey" are "surely false and have nothing to do with reality." This position is one that is intended to isolate the PKK and set them up to be killed. Turkey and the US are also pressuring Iraq to force the PKK to leave the Qandil mountains. Where can 10,000 Kurds go? This process, if carried through, is a genocide in the making.

A successful peace process must include amnesty for PKK so they can return to their families in Turkey. I call upon Secretary of State John Kerry to remove the PKK from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, so that concerned individuals, journalists, lawyers, and elected officials can engage in dialogue toward a peace process without fear of years of imprisonment.

Over 40 lawyers representing Abdullah Ocalan are charged with being associated with a terrorist organization. The absurdity of this is obvious. How can they defend their client without "associating" with him?

The peace process must include a ceasefire from the Turkish military which continues to attack and kill Kurds in Turkey on a weekly basis at the same time it says it is engaging in peace talks. (Even as I wrote this, the Turkish Air Force carried out bombing missions for 12 hours on Feb 26 in the regions of Zap, Kandil, and Gare, killing 4 PKK guerillas.)

On the issue of the U.S. pressuring Turkey to adopt harsher anti-terrorism financing legislation that removes judicial due process and enforces stiffer accounting practices, this does not serve the peace process. The U.S. pressured PayPal and Master Card to put an illegal, extrajudicial financial embargo on WikiLeaks. It should not export this form of extrajudicial measures to Turkey.

Eastern Turkey remains underdeveloped and functions as a cash society. Many Kurds do not conduct business with written contracts, check books, bank accounts, credit cards, or receipts. Enforcing more stringent accounting practices at this time will cause a severe economic hardship to Turkey's Kurdish citizens and will hinder any potential peace process. It will be perceived by Turkey's Kurdish population as yet one more attack on them.

One cannot negotiate in sincerity when taking the food from the table of Kurdish families. Eastern Turkey still functions with strong tribal traditions of solidarity and social assistance in the absence of meaningful government economic development efforts.

I urge the U.S. to support the Kurds' call for education in their mother language, Kurdish.

In 2012, when visiting a Kurdish village and chatting with two 15-year-old girls in their very limited English, I encouraged them to continue studying English. They laughed and answered, "We do not have time to study English. We must spend all our time studying Turkish so we can understand our teachers." Do not think the Kurds are simply posturing in their request for Kurdish language education. They speak Kurdish, not Turkish, in all of eastern Turkey. The issue of having your own language banned from schools and official public use simply burns in the heart of every Kurdish-Turkish citizen.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Murder Mystery of Sakine Cansiz

Murder Mystery of Sakine Cansiz, PKK Leader by Amy L. Beam

On Jan. 9, 2013, Kurdish activists Sakine Cansız, Leyla Söylemez and Fidan Doğan were all shot in the head execution-style inside the Kurdistan Information Center, Paris office. Cansiz (code name "Sara") was a founding member, along with Abdullah Ocalan, of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey.

They were assassinated on the same day that the Turkish government announced a preliminary ceasefire plan with the PKK. PKK leadership denies there have been any talks outside of a few meetings with Ocalan. The expressions used in the news; "the PKK, will withdraw its forces on such a date”, "there are negotiations at such a place,” or even, "some number of groups to lay down arms" are surely false news and have nothing to do with reality, says the PKK.

On Jan 21, 2013, French police charged a Turkish man named Ömer Güney with the triple murder.

The Turkish government has suggested two possible motives, either an internal PKK feud, which the PKK leadership has denied, or an external country with a vested interest in continuing the armed conflict. This story examines the second motive within a geopolitical, historical, and cultural context to help the reader understand how governments and media produce disinformation to manufacture consensus.

Who wanted Sakine Cansiz eliminated and why?

Click on each link to go to a 2000-word .pdf file. Be patient while it opens.

The Murder Mystery of Sakine Cansiz Part 1: The Crime
The Victims
The Suspect: Omer Guney
Going Viral and the Myth of Mainstream Media Fact-checking
First Comes the Motive, Then Comes the Investigation

The Murder Mystery of Sakine Cansiz Part 2: Kurdish Issue and Free Speech
Internet Designated as an Enemy of the State
Cyber Warriors: Fake Personas and Manufactured Consensus
The Kurdish Issue
Abdullah Ocalan, Kurdish Leader Abducted 1999
CIA's Secret Anti-Terrorist Weapon: Disruption
Peace Talk Strategy by Erdogan Government
PKK and the Humanitarian Law Project: US Supreme Court Outlaws Free Speech

The Murder Mystery of Sakine Cansiz Part 3: US Vested Interests in Turkey
Wikileaks US Embassy Cables Target PKK and Sakine Cansiz
US and Turkey Launch Partnership to Target PKK, 2007
Sakine Cansiz Targeted to Block Money Flow to PKK, 2007
Turkey Asks U.S. for "Kinetic Action" against PKK, 2009
War for Profit: US Offers Reapers to Turkey, 2010
US Supports Turkey in Destroying the PKK: The Roboski Massacre, 2011

The Murder Mystery of Sakine Cansiz Part 4: Omer Guney, Accused Assassin
Examination of three different Facebook pages for Omer Guney. Some speculations, conclusions, and a lot of open questions. If Omer Guney is in jail, then who was changing his Facebook pages?

The Murder Mystery of Sakine Cansiz Part 5: MIT Accused
As of Feb 1, 2013, the day this story was first posted, my Twitter account has come under attack. The hashtag #twitterkurds, which has been reporting news since the Kurdish prisoner hunger strike began in September 2012, is under heavy automated cyberattack by hundreds of "Personas" as written about in Part 2. Yesterday the twitter account of a Swedish parliamentarian came under this attack. On Feb. 6, 2013, EU parliamentarians met to discuss the Kurdish issue and a path toward a ceasefire. The troll is posting photos of dead bodies of PKK in an effort to stop the news and terrorize Kurds. Supporters should add #twitterkurds to their tweets, block the troll, and demand Twitter remove the photos from pic.twitter.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Kurdish View of the Kurdish Issue

With the Kurdish hunger strike in Day 66, the reason for much of the media silence is because Turkey is imprisoning journalists who write about the Kurdish situation. So alarming is the rising number of arrests that an occasional newspaper called Tutuklu Gazete, or "Jailed Newspaper" publishes statistics on the number of journalists, elected officials and other politicians who are arrested. 

On Sept 10, 2012, a mass trial for 44 Kurdish journalists began. Most are charged with "membership in an armed organisation," which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, according to the Anatolia news agency. The organisation is not the PKK, it is the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), a Kurdish political party that the government accuses of aiding the PKK. The stated goal to “annihilate the PKK” and destroy the KCK might, by some people, not represent actions of a “moderate leader” as Ceylan Yeginsu  describes Erdogan in the International Business Times, Nov. 15. Erdogan scorns hundreds of hunger strikers who are risking death for the cause of Kurdish rights. 

Some observe, with sarcasm, that the fact there is a trial at all for the journalists is a step in the right direction. "It is better than the past," says Huseyin Akyol, editor of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem, eight of whose staff are on trial. Mr. Akyol, a 23-year veteran of the paper, offers a stark perspective. "In the 90s the state killed us, we lost 76 journalists and distributors and they blew up our offices. Now they just imprison us - although life in prison is difficult."

Turkey currently tops the world for jailed reporters according to a report published in October 2012 by the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists. It found 76 journalists were imprisoned as of 1 August, 2012, of which 61 were identified as being detained because of their reporting. 

Prior to the elections of June 2011, 13 Kurdish candidates for parliament (mostly BDP) were banned from running for office which led to massive protests forcing the government to restore 12 names to the ballot. From the Kurdish point of view, this is what caused the escalation of violence resulting in over 800 deaths of both soldiers and Kurds since then.

Kurdish mayors, politicians, and journalists arrested in Turkey
Over 33 elected mayors of eastern Turkey’s Kurdish towns and cities had been arrested as of April 2012. That number continues to grow. On June 7, 2012, the mayor of Van was arrested along with 4 other mayors. In Dogubeyazit on June 14, 2012, 15 Kurds were arrested without charges and taken to Agri jail. Many were employees in the local city hall and a few worked in the local BDP office. The mood of the town grew sullen. People were depressed and angry. These alarming scenes of arrests throughout eastern Turkey have been escalating since 2009 when Erdogan began his campaign to destroy the KCK. The arrests have left Kurds in a growing sense of outrage. 

7748 people have been imprisoned and over 3800 people have been arrested during operations against the KCK. Many elected officials and politicians arrested are members of BDP, not KCK. Many people, including children, remain in prison without being charged. 

The press rarely reports about the US drones that fly over eastern Turkey 24/7 and report locations of suspected PKK camps to the Turkish military, nor does it report on the hundreds of innocent Kurds that have been killed by bombing raids called out by the drones. I spoke in person to a Turkish Air Force helicopter pilot in May 2011 who told me he was trained in Atlanta, Georgia, to fly the helicopters. He explained that the US passes drone information to the Turkish military for action. 

U.S. drone flights in support of Turkey date from November 2007, when the Bush administration set up what is called a Combined Intelligence Fusion Cell in Ankara. U.S. and Turkish officers sit side by side in the dimly lighted complex monitoring real-time video feeds from Predator drones. 

Right after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Ercis and Van on Oct 23, 2011, displacing nearly one million residents, instead of sending aid to the area, the military sent 10,000 soldiers into southeastern Turkey in a military campaign against the PKK and flew bombing raids resulting in more deaths. When international aid agencies offered earthquake aid to Turkey, the government turned down the aid, leaving bewildered observers and survivors asking, “Why?”

In Dec 15, 2011, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta met in Ankara with President Abdullah Gul and Turkish defense leaders to finalize a 111 million dollar deal for the U.S. to move its drones from Iraq into Turkey and to sell 3 AH1 Super Cobra helicopters to Turkey.  Panetta expressed the United States’ solidarity in its fight against the PKK. It appears the US wants the PKK finished off so it can stage its continuing Middle East wars from Turkish soil without interference.  

On December 28, 2011, 36 innocent Kurdish young men with their mules were bombed and killed on a Qandil mountain trail between Iraq and Turkey. The Turkish government blamed the “mistake” on “bad intelligence”. The U.S. predator drone flew away after reporting the caravan's movements, leaving the Turkish military to decide whether to attack, according to an internal assessment by the U.S. Defense Department, described to The Wall Street Journal. "The Turks made the call," a senior U.S. defense official said.

Uludere bombing, based on US drone intelligence, killed 36 innocent Kurds 
It has been more than 30 years since it was reported that high flying spy planes could identify the license plate number on a car or calculate the height of a man from his shadow. Is the public so gullible as to believe this bombing raid was a mistake? A person can no longer take a naked swim in the privacy of her backyard pool for fear of showing up on Google Earth! 

The message was clear. The Qandil mountain trails between Iraq and Turkey should be closed now that the U.S. was transferring its drones to Turkey. In May 2012, NATO and the US established its radar base for the missile defense system in Malatya in southeast Turkey, with little or no international press coverage, in spite of regular protests outside the gate of the military base. In exchange for US drone coverage, as well as US drone and helicopter sales to Turkey, in support of Turkey’s campaign to annihilate the PKK, Turkey allows the US to maintain military bases on Turkish soil. 

The 3 AH1 Super Cobra helicopters were delivered by the US to Turkey on September 23, 2012, two weeks after the prisoner hunger strike for Kurdish rights began.   

The AH1 Super Cobra is armed with Hellfire missiles.  The Obama administration formally notified the US Congress on Oct. 28 of an unusual proposal to sell three AH-1W Super Cobra twin-engine attack helicopters to Turkey from the US Marine Corps inventory. Under the administration's plan, the Marines would get two new, late-model Textron Inc Bell AH-1Z Super Cobras in exchange for the three, twin-engine AH-1W aircraft that would be transferred to Ankara, a congressional official told Reuters last year. Such sales from the US military's current inventory are extremely rare, Reuters noted.

One must ask how many schools could have been built for Kurdish school children for the price of those 3 Super Cobras?

According to a letter from the hunger strikers, they are asking for more humane conditions for Abdullah Ocalan, held in solitary confinement for a year-and-a-half. His attorneys have not been allowed to visit him. A website (, which is blocked in Turkey, contains a letter from Ocalan describing his deteriorating physical condition. He explains that has body trembles from lack of sufficient air in his tiny cell. He feels he is suffocating. I ask, what country in the world, abiding by international legal standards, justifies denying a prisoner the right to meet with his attorney (other than, of course, the United States at Guantanamo gulag)?

Why is the demand by the hunger strikers for Kurdish rights and easing of prison conditions for Ocalan and the right to meet with his family and lawyers so difficult to agree to? On what principal is the Turkish government standing firm in its position against the hunger strike? 

Amy L. Beam, Ed.D. 
educator and tour operator

Friday, November 9, 2012

Photos and Links of Kurdish Hunger Strike Supporters

Light a candle in support of prisoners on hunger strike for Kurdish rights.

Hunger strikers demand three reasonable things.  Mr. Erdogan, please don't wait until it is too late.

1. Education in their Kurdish language
2. The right to use Kurdish in courts
3. Easing of conditions for Abdullah Ocalan and access to his lawyers

The hunger strike began on Sept 12, 2012
Solidarity actions with hunger strikers in 20 cities
Kurdish hunger strike in front of CNN building in Los Angeles on November 12th: KNCNA
Prominent Kurdish politicians join militants' hunger strike in Turkey, Nov 10, 2012 

Brussels train station supporters Nov 11, 2012

Amed-Diyarbakir/ Serkeftin, Nov 11, 2012

Istanbul Taksim, supporters of Kurdish hunger strikers, Nov 11, 2012

Supporters of Kurdish Hunger Strike in Adana, Turkey

Supporters of Kurdish Hunger Strike in Van, Turkey 

Empty streets in Diyarbakir: Protestors in Solidarity with Hunger-Strikers

Nov 2, 2012, Supporters of Kurdish hunger strikers in Toronto

Nov 7, 2012, Kurds in Ireland go on hunger strike in support of hunger strike in Turkey

Oct 30, 2012, Supporters of Kurdish hunger strikers outside Parliament in Stockholm

Stockholm supports Kurdish hunger strikers on day 60


Turkey's Kurds' critical hunger strike By Julia Harte, Nov 6, 2012

Kurdish children in Lebanon support Hunger Strikers, Sept. 9, 2012
At Root of Kurdish Hunger Strikes, Decades of Struggle by Emiko Jozuka, Nov. 8, 2012

Armenians in Istanbul support Kurdish hunger strikers, Nov 9, 2012
Bakırköy Women’s Prison, police fired water canon on supporters, Nov 9, 2012
Police water hose and tear gas women in Gever for Friday prayer, Nov 9, 2012

Chicago Kurdish Cultural Center supports prisoner hunger strike, Nov 1, 2012

Kurds in Oslo march in support of Prison Hunger Strikers 

Adelaide, Australia, demonstrators support Kurdish hunger strike, Nov 9, 2012
CNN news reports on peaceful sit-in of mothers in support of Kurdish hunger strikers

Police tear gas Kurdish women in Istanbul peacefully supporting hunger strikers