how the world sees america

Istanbul Protests: "Curse the PKK, Curse America"

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ISTANBUL - Thousands took to the streets of Istanbul today to protest the deaths of seventeen Turkish soldiers at the hands of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), crying, "Destroy the PKK," and "We are All Turks."

But much of their anger was directed at America: "Close down Incirlik," referring to America's air base in Turkey, "Tell the U.S. to get out now!" and most emphatically, "Curse the PKK, Curse America!"

One group of protesters, organized by the Turkish Youth Organization, demanded that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan cut ties with the U.S. government. Young people gathered at a statue of Kemal Ataturk, Turkey's secular founder, and unfurled a banner reading, "Americans Murder Your Darling Mehmet.” (Mehmet is a common male name in Turkey.)

On Istiklal Road, praying for the dead.

Prime Minister Erdogan has assured the U.S. he will not immediately retaliate by invading Northern Iraq. But he is under mounting public pressure to do so, and many here believe America is holding him back from pursuing a more aggressive course. Over the past decade, The Pew Research Center shows U.S. favorability ratings plummeting in Turkey from around 50% into the single digits.

"Turks were always opposed to the Second Iraq War,” Turkish journalist and PostGlobal panelist Soli Ozel explained. “Now, many in Turkey believe the U.S. wants an independent Kurdish state and therefore is at least complicit in partitioning Turkey as well. So far, the U.S. has made many promises but has done nothing against the PKK."

I was interviewing Enzer Yucel, the chairman of the Bahcesehir Education Institution, one of Turkey’s largest private education companies, when the news broke. "Turkey and America must talk immediately and take joint action on this issue,” he said. “I have never seen the view of America at such a low, not even during the Cyprus crisis."

"Is America really at war against terrorism?" he continued. "If so, America should capture the PKK terrorists and give their heads to Turkey. That would improve relations." He gazed out over the Bosporus. "America must talk as soon as possible and collaborate; otherwise, Turkey will definitely take the necessary action. Relations will fall further."

This has been a hectic first day in Turkey. I’m eager to see how widespread the sentiments expressed by Yucel and the protesters are, what cause them, and how they change in different parts of the country. Tomorrow I’ll report from Hakkari, the site of the PKK attack, on what villagers there think of the prospect of war and what they want America to do.

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Comments (139)


The US should withdraw all of its forces to include those in NATO headquarters from Turkey in order to improve relations with Turkey. Under current conditions are forces are at risk of attack due to rising anti American sentiment. The US should also not involve itself in Turkey's efforts to obtain EU membership. That is between the EU and Turkey and the US should not be involved.


@ Umit & Victoria

Thank you for pointing out your evasive tactics on the topic of Turkey, and the errors that have culminated to bring the country to its present state of limbo.
None of the readers expected you to present rational arguments to prove your case. I for one, would have expected more from you Unit. Given that you show a heightened intelligence, your education prevents you from thinking. I am also disappointed that after you read the Human Rights Watch reports, you have addressed not one. Is it that you fear being jailed for responding?

---Article 301

As for Victoria, it would appear that her ability to copy/paste irrelevant information, greatly overrides her ability to read. It is a fact that any monkey can be trained to copy/paste, but thinking requires some human abilities that are shown lacking in Victoria's irrational, erratic, disjointed style.

What you both show in your actions, is that you have little faith that people can read and draw conclusions based on the information at their disposal. It might be interesting to note that the format of PostGlobal is one where people are obliged to read and as such, can judge on their own what is said.

On a related matter: Umit, I would refrain from issuing subtle threats if I were you. We are not the only ones following this discussion and you would be surprised to discover that your comments are understood both here and in other discussions on Post Global.


For anyone who is truly interested in formulating conclusions on Turkey's present state of denial, they can read through the thousands of human rights violations as listed in the HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH ON TURKEY that I have posted above.

...And to address Victoria's assertion on this issue, the latest entries to the HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH are from:
October 16, 2007
July 19, 2007
July 18, 2007
June 28, 2007
April 13, 2007
.... and so on and so forth; approximately one entry/month, dating back to January 1, 1992, since there is a shortage of space on the database to display earlier cases.

Given the lack of respect for human dignity shown by the Turkish elite, the problem is made worse by the denial shown by the Turkish propagandists to avert our gaze from the truth.

Those who read will be able to tell.

Montreal Canada


spidon- ive asked you several times - starting mildly curious, (but polite) to be responded to so personally insulting and vehemently, that i am really curious as to your motives.

they (as ive noted) cant be pruely for the sake of humanitarianism, as a true humanitarian has compassion for all-not a select group-

and you never talk about the kurds- or the armenians (which a humanitarian would also)
unless it serves as a segue into turk-bashing.
your obsessive concentration on convincing everyone else to hate turks, hasnt had that effect on me-

but it has led me to wonder what makes you in particular hate them so much.

clearly its not encountering a 19 year old report on abuse

but has much deeper motives

i have nothing against greeks- im hand feeding a 2 week old kitten (which is quite job, believe me) that im giving to the greeks down the street in 6 weeks

i have no reason to hate turks- i know alot of them, spent every day last ramadan praying and eating with them

i have nothing agianst kurds, i took one into my home for a few months and totally supported them when they ht american shores, AND helped them marry my best friend!

(well, i did know one really creepy pervo macedonian guy- but he called himself turk, and i didnt find out he was macedonian until after hed moved)

so whats up with you, dude?

you hate truks, well, ok, we get that.

but why is it so important to you that you get others to hate them too?

would it justify your own racism to do so?

you cannot- even if every person agreed with you- racism and prejudice are ugly things.

so whats up with you?


Spiridon- If you want to really understand the foolishness of your so ill-informed argument, tune into a lengthy interview given by Professor George Joffe who is a Research Fellow at Cambridge University Centre for International Studies, specialising in Middle Eastern Affairs.

This goes for anyone who is really interested in understanding the situation from an independent, academic, unbiased point of view, unlike the one we have been getting from Spiros.


@ UMIT, November 7, 2007 5:10 AM

I am not certain whether you missed something here or is it that you have an plan to divert the topic, to one that is more suitable to your racist agenda.
I do not see how Greece is on topic in this discussion and you appear to be inventing stats on offences that have no bearing to what Turkey is doing presently and has traditionally done to the entire area, resulting in too many conflicts in the Balkans. I am not sure we want to see Turkey do it again in Iraq.

Turkey is presently poised to do to Iraq what it has traditionally done to all of her neighbours, not only during the Ottoman period but continuously to this day. These examples are not necessary here since that is not on topic, but just to point out the Turkish modus, it might be interesting for those with a keen eye to research on their own.

Turkey has a great opportunity to experience a fair deal of growth through this experience but instead, uses deflective tactics, historical lies, extortion of her allies, broken promises and angry displays of red flagged, underemployed youths to show us that temper tantrums are acceptable in diplomacy. Do you know how laughable it all seems to an outsider?

It may be time for Turkey to experience a real change as opposed to the 'hat change' that occurred when the Ottoman Empire was replaced by what you now consider a 'democracy'. We do not think a 'hat change' is good enough since actions are more important than the propaganda we are force-fed from Turkey. This may work in convincing the undereducated masses of Turkey but to the rest of us it is laughable.

Umit, instead of making an effort in correcting the deplorable Turkish Human Rights Record, you are so ready to side-step the issue by angrily accusing others of human rights abuses. I am not sure you will understand this but I believe you have the mirror facing the wrong way.

Turn the mirror the right way Umit and look at what Turkey is up to before making wild accusations and pointing to irrelevant issues. Since you are having a hard time with this part, I will point you in the right direction. You will find below, a link to THE HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH.

Copy/paste the above line into your browser and you will find the thousands of violations by Turkey, that are ongoing given the lack of responsibility shown, even by yourself, to realize that your country has severe problems.

Montreal Canada


Your hidden agenda is as clear as your very pedestrian argument.

Your assertion number 1:

Turkey has` a long history of human rights violations and its neighbours dont.

Check Human rights watchdog report on Greece's record on:

Human rights violations against its minorities and curtailing freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of cultural and ethnic identity, namely the ethnic Turks and Macedonians.

These violations are institutionalised.

Greece has been enlsiting under age soldiers since the Cyprus war. However, we both know that this was not much of a war.

These reports date back to 1990 to present.

Your assertion number 2:

Turkey is friendless because of its record on human rights.

Where is your evidence for this? I am not even going to go beyond this point as your assertion is just baseless, unless of course you have access to an international survey of all the countries who have been asaked this question and all of them gave a negative response.

Ironically, if you read the Greek and Turksih newspapers you will find that they have become increasingly friendly towards one another, notwithstanding Greece's objection to the formation of the Turkish-Cyprus state.

Turkey has just elected a democratically sanctioned government. I dont see the Army's influence here, do you?

I can almost anticipate your response to this as it will be similar to the last one. That I just dont understand. Perhaps...or perhaps that you might want to reflect on your own insecurity by trying to muzzle opposition by charging them with not understanding the issues.

Again, let me make it clear to you that in the realm of international politics alliances will change as the political climate changes. Turkey, the US and Israel are political realists as is every other country-except, it would seem, you.

Greece has been violating the rights of its minorities since gaining its independence from Turkey. I wonder what your view would be if the minority Turks and Macedonians, who have been denied their basic human rights under the Greek state, decided to take up arms and killed 30,000 Greeks in the name of wanting to create their own independent state, and after each attack pulled back into Macedonia and Turkey for protection. What would Greece response be?

"Think about it"


@ Victoria,

Why do you want to bring Greece and Cyprus into this discussion?

I never made mention of either of these two countries here but you seem to want to talk about them. I am sure that talking about Turkey is difficult under the circumstances since this friendless country is presently being treated like a muzzled dog.
I am not alone in saying that we are tired of petty dictatorships that pretend to be democratic while they abuse the very principles of humanity and coexistence between people.

While you think about the ramifications of Turkey's actions in the lead up to the let down on the matter of the Iraq invasion, you might want to look at some very telling details about this country's human rights record:


You will notice that there are countless violations (and this database is only between 1992 to 2007) of serious human rights abuses in Turkey in the above link, dating as far back as January 1, 1992, with a report labelled 'NOTHING UNUSUAL: THE TORTURE OF CHILDREN IN TURKEY':
"Helsinki Watch has documented scores of cases of torture in Turkey since 1982, and Turkish lawyers who represent detainees claim that police routinely torture between 80 and 90 percent of political suspects and about 50 percent of ordinary criminal suspects, including children. Nothing Unusual documents the torture of children under the age of eighteen in Turkey."

The most recent article in the database is dated October 16, 2007, labelled TURKEY: END LEGAL ACTION AGAINST GAY RIGHTS GROUP.
"A legal challenge by the governor of Istanbul seeking to close down Lambda Istanbul, a gay rights organization, threatens basic freedoms of association and expression, Human Rights Watch said today."

"This briefing paper examines the implications of military interference for human rights, as well as a number of other current human rights concerns, including restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, the harassment and prosecution of Kurdish political parties, ongoing problems of impunity for state officials, and police ill-treatment."


Please tell me how a country with such human rights violations can coexist with its neighbours. I am sure you will agree that Turkey is friendless aside from the US and Israel, who are being blamed within Turkey for Turkey's problems as we speak.
Also explain to me what is racist about making reference to the violations listed above and in The Human Rights Watch. You called me racist but I would recommend that you check your credentials on the matter before you engage in name calling. Supporting the racist and brutal treatment of minorities and special rights groups in Turkey is the same as supporting the acts of injustice and brutality against them on racial grounds. I would stay clear of accusatory remarks of racism if I were you.

I hope that answers a question or two since you seem to have not read the posts you requested of me the last time I pointed you in the right direction.

Montreal Canada


no spidon- despite your childish and mean spirited accusations of deception, and lying on my part- degenerating into name calling-

it still doesnt distract from the fact that yu simply cannot answer logically

now you write a whole post about what you think i say, further nonsensical accusations-
none of which answer any points.

the only reference you made was to a 20 year old article in human rights watch

i just havent allowed you to hijck this question into endless racist attacks

if you have a point, make it and dont worry about what other people have to say-

your motives are so transparent

turkey took cyprus 34 years ago, you're still mad and you hate turks.

im an american so i an criticize my own government if i choose-

today erdogan came to visit bush, and bush assured him that the US is backing turkey in regards to the PKK

now THAT is actually the topic!

however, i have little faith that the US will keep its word,

as an american, i know my people and leaders
and ill comment on THAT too, if i like.

or not, as yours is a rather boring rant to keep coming back to.


Spidon-a 'balanced' discussion on any topic inevitably involves some objective research and weighing up all sides of the arguments presented rather than proving a thesis based on a particular bias.

So far, you have managed to filter any information presented that might threaten your predispositions on the topic of Turkey's right to defend itself. The fact that you have failed to acknowledge the incontrevertable validity of some of the comments posted by Victoria, as she has done with some of your more plausable assertions, only goes to further demonstrate your unreasoned bias.

It is unfortunate that this discussion cannot be progressed any further while you insist on denying yourself any level of introspection.


SO , military meddling, didnt matter di it? the free mandate of the people swept it asied and voted gul into office on the 22nd. 4 days after your article

back on topic spidon-

the conversation seems to have gotten sidelined
i believe the current topic is the PKK,
terroristic attacks on turks- their rigt to defend themself, kurdish rights and the validity of their use of force to attain their goals.

the israeli support and training of kurds in the hopes of establishing and extending their own bases in this area

but- the united states has betrayed turkey-
it has also betrayed the kurds (regarding sadaam's massacre of them)

"Betrayal and violence became the norm in the next two decades. Inside Iraq, the Kurds were brutally repressed by Saddam Hussein, who used airpower and chemical weapons against them. In 1984, the Kurdistan Workers Party, or P.K.K., initiated a campaign of separatist violence in Turkey that lasted fifteen years; more than thirty thousand people, most of them Kurds, were killed. The Turkish government ruthlessly crushed the separatists, and eventually captured the P.K.K.’s leader, Abdullah Ocalan. Last month, the P.K.K., now known as the Kongra-Gel, announced that it was ending a five-year unilateral ceasefire and would begin targeting Turkish citizens once again."

i dont know about you spidon- but killing 30,000 of your own people for a piece of real estate is pretty cold blooded and doesnt lend much credibility to the cause.

ill let the article speak for itself-
these are some snippets because i thought it was such an exceelent (and prescient) asessment)


Israel has been training Kurdish commando units to operate in the same manner and with the same effectiveness as Israel’s most secretive commando units, the Mistaravim.
However, a senior C.I.A. official acknowledged in an interview last week that the Israelis were indeed operating in Kurdistan. He told me that the Israelis felt that they had little choice: “They think they have to be there.” Asked whether the Israelis had sought approval from Washington, the official laughed and said, “Do you know anybody who can tell the Israelis what to do? They’re always going to do what is in their best interest.” The C.I.A. official added that the Israeli presence was widely known in the American intelligence community."

Israeli involvement in Kurdistan is not new. Throughout the nineteen-sixties and seventies, Israel actively supported a Kurdish rebellion against Iraq, as part of its strategic policy of seeking alliances with non-Arabs in the Middle East. In 1975, the Kurds were betrayed by the United States, when Washington went along with a decision by the Shah of Iran to stop supporting Kurdish aspirations for autonomy in Iraq.

There are fears that the Kurds will move to seize the city of Kirkuk, together with the substantial oil reserves in the surrounding region... the Kurds consider Kirkuk and its oil part of their historic homeland. “If Kirkuk is threatened by the Kurds, the Sunni insurgents will move in there, along with the Turkomen, and there will be a bloodbath,” an American military expert who is studying Iraq told me. “And, even if the Kurds do take Kirkuk, they can’t transport the oil out of the country, since all of the pipelines run through the Sunni-Arab heartland.”

. “It would be a new Israel—a pariah state in the middle of hostile nations.”

“Israel’s immediate goal after June 30th(2004)is to build up the Kurdish commando units to balance the Shiite militias—especially those which would be hostile to the kind of order in southern Iraq that Israel would like to see,”... The Kurdish armed forces, known as the peshmerga, number an estimated seventy-five thousand troops, a total that far EXCEEDS the known Sunni and Shiite militias.

“But the growing Kurdish-Israeli relationship began upsetting the Turks no end. Their issue is that the very same Kurdish commandos trained for Iraq could infiltrate and attack in Turkey.”

‘What will the behavior of Iran be if there is an independent Kurdistan with close ties to Israel?’ Iran does not want an Israeli land-based aircraft carrier”—that is, a military stronghold—“on its border.”

If Iraq is divided, America cannot explain this to the world.” The official compared the situation to the breakup of Yugoslavia, but added, “In the Balkans, you did not have oil.” He said, “The lesson of Yugoslavia is that when you give one country independence everybody will want it.” If that happens, he said, “Kirkuk will be the Sarajevo of Iraq. If something happens there, it will be impossible to contain the crisis.”

(insertion mine)
, Gul (THEN A FOREIGN MINISTER, NOW PRESIDENT) described Israeli activities, and the possibility of an independent Kurdistan, as “presenting us with a choice that is not a real choice—between survival and alliance.”


spidon- if you dont take the trouble to post the links that can be utilized- it really doesnt add any weight to put an address there

you think others will work for you to prove your point?


this may give you some insight into the situation spidon-

you paint a very simplistic 'turks baaad' picture

one could do the same with any country-

Greece: Urgent Action Required on Trafficking
Trafficking of women into Greece for forced prostitution is a serious human rights problem the government has failed to address, Human Rights Watch said today.
July 24, 2001 Press Release
Printer friendly version

Trafficking of Migrant Women for FORCED PROSTITUTIONinto Greece
In this memorandum, human rights watch criticizes the Greek government for punishing victims while their traffickers enjoy impunity. Trafficking victims are often apprehended by the police, detained, and deported without getting justice for the abuses they suffered while traffickers and their accomplices are rarely held accountable, the memorandum said.
July 24, 2001 Memorandum

Greece Investigates Detention Conditions
In December 2000, Human Rights Watch released a memorandum to the government of Greece on conditions of detention for migrants awaiting deportation in the Alexandras Avenue detention center in Athens. Based primarily on an article in the Greek daily Ta Nea detailing our findings and submissions to the U.N., the Athens public prosecutor initiated an investigation into conditions for foreigners in the Alexandras center to determine whether the Greek police should be charged for the abusive treatment.
July 1, 2001 Advocacy Impact

Greece: CHILD SOLDIERS Global Report 2001
From the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers
There are indications of under-18s in government armed forces as volunteers may serve from the age of 17. There is no armed conflict in the country but Greece remains in a state of general mobilisation. Since 20 July 1976 Greece has been in a continuous state of general mobilisation owing to the Cyprus conflict and tension with neighbouring Turkey.
June 12, 2001 Multi Country Report

Greece: Immigration Bill Violates Human Rights
The draft immigration bill under consideration by the Greek parliament violates migrants' rights and threatens refugee protection.
February 5, 2001 Press Release
Printer friendly version

Human Rights Watch Comments on Greek Immigration Bill
Human Rights Watch is writing in regard to the immigration bill currently under consideration by the Greek parliament. We recognize that the bill's intent is to improve upon past laws regarding the residence and employment of foreigners in Greece, and to meet the challenge of managing migration into the country.




@ Victoria,

I also forgot to mention the following link below:
It is from The Human Rights Watch report on Turkey: Violations.


You will find such tittles as

Turkey: Military Meddling Mars Run-Up to Elections: July 18, 2007
"...Turkish military’s interference in the political arena has threatened progress on human rights in the country..."

Turkey: Dink Murder Trial a Test for Judiciary: June 28, 2007
"...In the 18 months preceding his murder, officials in Istanbul and Trabzon also reportedly failed to act on numerous police intelligence reports revealing a plan to murder Dink."

Turkey: Displaced Villagers Denied Fair Compensation: December 20, 2006
"...the Turkish government is failing to provide fair compensation for hundreds of thousands of mainly Kurdish villagers displaced by the military’s brutal counterinsurgency campaigns in the southeast..."

Turkey: Letter to Minister Aksu calling for the abolition of the village guards:
"...The Turkish government must take immediate steps to abolish the system of village guards, which has given rise to some of the most serious human rights violations in southeast Turkey, and continues to present an obstacle to the return of displaced villagers in that area."

Turkey: Anti-Terror Law Used Against Peaceful Activists:
"...three Kurdish activists on anti-terrorism charges after they attempted to stage a peaceful protest near the Iraq border calls into question the Turkish leadership’s commitment to human rights reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan."

Turkey: Case Against Novelist Threatens Freedom of Expression: September 29, 2005
"...Human Rights Watch was surprised and disappointed to learn that the state prosecutor has opened the proposed case against Orhan Pamuk for “insulting Turkishness” under article 301 of the criminal code." (The Novel Prize winner for Literature 2007)

A Matter of Power
State Control of Women’s Virginity in Turkey: June 1, 1994
"...An investigation of the prevalence of forcible virginity control exams and the role of the government in conducting or tolerating such exams, this report cites several separate incidents in the spring of 1992 when young females committed suicide after authorities ordered them to submit to examinations of their hymens."


This last one was on page 8 and is one of the oldest listed. The other ones are quite recent.

Is it reasonable to assume that a country that behaves in such ways against its very citizens has any international claim toward brutalizing them and further; and wanting to invade a foreign country with the intent of brutalizing the people there?

The conclusions on this matter are personal to those that are able to read.

Montreal Canada


@ Victoria, November 1, 2007 2:07 PM

Please direct your attention to the following article (I am quoting The Human Rights Watch report on Turkey vis-a-vis Iraq from 2003):


spidon- youve mentioned this thesis before-
why dont you provide the information on it-


Once again (with some additions), since it is of the greatest importance to the topic at hand:

1) I have found a very well researched thesis from 1988 that describes Turkey as having between 15,000 and 20,000 political prisoners. It is important to note that the figures cannot be properly tallied since Turkey refuses to provide them. I suspect that the problem since then has worsened based on the Islamist government in power and the agenda they enforce versus the secular modus of the government when the above figures were sited. The other reason I believe the figure to be very much higher, is that the relationship the state has with the minorities like the Kurds these days has worsened since then.
I would be very happy if some savvy reader proved me wrong but would like to know the recent data on Turkey's human rights violations and tally on the political prisoners.

2) I am very curious to read other people's thoughts on Turkey's human rights defence. The European Union has accused Turkey for lacking the basic principles and institutions to acknowledge human rights and protections, and it is one of the contentious issues that still keeps Turkey out of the EU, even after 40 years of trying.

My question for the present, aside from the matter of the Armenian Genocide:
The basic issue in question here is Turkey's brutality toward the minorities and special interest groups.

Does this policy issue contribute to the "Kurdish Problem" as Turkey has labelled it?

As well, since the topic has been raised:
We have discovered through their Nationalist website, that Turkey is intending to invade Iraq with the 'legitimacy' it 'believes it has' to the territory now occupied by the Kurdish people.

Why is Turkey intent on invading Iraq, and is the reason to occupy an area where Turkey believes it has historical claim to having?

Montreal Canada


@ UMIT: October 30, 2007 9:40 AM

How can one discuss factually the problem of citizenship in Turkey and forget to mention human rights? As you are well aware, Turkey's problems today are as a direct result of the brutalization the minorities have suffered, not only under the present 'secular' (noted for doubt), Islamist government, but also during the Ottoman era. There has been little change (other than the hat change) since Atatürk, in the way the state deals with minorities and special interest groups.

Why is that?

Why is it also that when the tough questions about human rights come up, there is no attempt at an answer? All we get from Turkey is the blame on the rest of the world and total deflection.

Why is that?

I want someone to explain to me why Turkey has done nothing in the 40 years that it has sought membership into the EU to correct its human rights record, which is at par with some of the most backward 3rd world, dictatorial regimes.

Can anyone talk to me about human rights and how it affects the outcome of peaceful coexistence among people?

Montreal Canada


It is amazing that Turkey's sovereign right to defend itself from terrorism is met with such thinly veiled bias. The US can take it upon itself to go into Iraq and wreck havoc in the name of a blatant lie, and can try to invade Vietnam, attempt to assasinate foreign heads of state, i.e Castro, suppport the despotic regimes in El Salvador and Chile with catastrophic consequences for its civilians, and then have this self-righteous pontification from the likes of Lonewolf, David etal is just something else.

Whilst two wrongs don't make it right, as we must endevour to find political solutions, but it must be stressed that those who continue to live in glass houses should not throw stones.

There is no doubt policy mistakes have been made by Turkey. This is to be expected as any country that lives in a region full of tension and conflict is bound to make some tough decisions. This is not limited to Turkey. In fact, a review of recent history would suggest that Turkey has been one of the most stable countries in the region.Again, lets take a historical perspective on some of the policies of the so-called 'more enligtened' countries around the globe: How does the Russian treatment of Cechniyans compare, or the French government's state-backed policy to murderously sabotage Greenpeace vessel, the Rainbow Warrior which killed two activists. I am not even going to mention the US as the list is too extensive.

My point above is lets not label Turkey. Her policy decisions do not necessarily constitute its citizenship. If this is a debate designed to better understand the context of the current conflict then lets stick to it and hope that we will all be better for it.


Turkey is forgetful of a lot more than the billions of dollars it continues to collect.

It has forgotten the Armenians and it is now ready to rewrite the history on the Kurds, while it is actively making claim to the territories the Kurdish people hold in Northern Iraq. Their attempts at invasion is only proof.

Turkey is very forgetful but most profoundly forgotten are human rights in that country.


For the now, I would like to have anyone with knowledge of the following two matters, contribute and bring this discussion to a whole other level.

1) I have found a very well researched thesis from 1988 that describes Turkey as having between 15,000 and 20,000 political prisoners. It is important to note that the figures cannot be properly tallied since Turkey refuses to provide them. I suspect that the problem since then has worsened based on the Islamist government in power and the agenda they enforce versus the secular modus of the government when the above figures were sited. The other reason I believe the figure to be very much higher, is that the relationship the state has with the minorities like the Kurds these days has worsened since then.
I would be very happy if some savvy reader proved me wrong but would like to know the recent data on Turkey's human rights violations and tally on the political prisoners.

2) I am very curious to read other people's thoughts on Turkey's human rights defence. The European Union has accused Turkey for lacking the basic principles and institutions to acknowledge human rights and protections, and it is one of the contentious issues that still keeps Turkey out of the EU, even after 40 years of trying.

My question for the present, aside from the matter of the Armenian Genocide:
The basic issue in question here is Turkey's brutality toward the minorities and special interest groups.

Does this policy issue contribute to the "Kurdish Problem" as Turkey has labelled it?

Montreal Canada


I think Turkey has forgotten about the 25 billion
dollar IMF bailout(US taxpayer is largest contributor to the IMF). Turks should support
American troops and America. As the old saying goes. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
Also don't forget where you get your military hardware from



Thank you for your contributions to the topic. It is incredibly vital that we have first hand accounts. Thank you for your courage and persistence.

BTW, BEA, I am a fan.

I will repeat the matter for anyone who wants to contribute further:
I am very curious to read other people's thoughts on Turkey's human rights defence. The European Union has accused Turkey for lacking the basic principles and institutions to acknowledge human rights and protections, and it is one of the contentious issues that still keeps Turkey out of the EU, even after 40 years of trying.

My question:
The basic issue in question here is Turkey's brutality toward the minorities and special interest groups.

Does this policy issue contribute to the "Kurdish Problem"?

Montreal Canada


The kinnings of the 15 soldiers was staged by the turkish army.All of tthe 15 soldioers killed were kurds or alevis.
Turkey s aim is to invade northern iraq to prevent kirkuk becoming kurdish.


I have to agree, David, that there are very many taboos in Turkey which people are prevented from talking about or choose to ignore. Then, of course, I have to wonder if there are any countries on earth who do not have their secrets, misinterpretations or plain denial of what is in their history. Since we have both had first hand knowledge of some doings by our mere presence at Incirlik, I expect our perspective is somewhat different than most.

I wrote about the PKK and the rising tension in Turkey on Arabisto at


In Turkey the "PKK" means any Kurd who stands up for themselves and their identity.

I served two tours with the US Air Force in southeaster Turkey. So many myths have been developed that need exposure and refutation.

Firstly the only successful strategy that Ankara had in suppressing Kurdish identity was very violent cleansing of entire towns. They did so with paramilitary "local guards" who were nothing short of war criminals and Mafiosos. The actual Turkish Army (TAF) garrisoned areas but was never successful on its own.

Our own military intelligence was very aware of regular killings by the Ankara supported paramilitary of Kurdish rights workers, teachers, etc. One day in Turkey the Turkish people will realize that the number of deaths spoken of is more than 30,00 and the great majority is the outright state murder of Kurdish citizens who never touched any weapon.

There are so many taboos and forbidden histories in Turkey.


I have read many views on this string and find truth and lies throughout, perspectives on target and not fully informed. I do not consider myself an expert either, but everyone has a right to an opinion from what they do know or feel. It is best at times to keep some of our opinions to ourselves lest we fill with hate or lead others to do so; hate can solve nothing as we see around the world.

Amar Bakshi searches for facts through interviews and explorations--perspectives. Just because he happens to find a Kurdish person to speak with in Van does not mean he went looking for one but probably just went up to people to talk to them. Some obviously did not want to talk and others did and they too have a perspective.

When I approach someone or meet someone new, I don't first say "oh, this is a Kurd" or "this is a Turk." Do you?

A political situation and those governments involved in the decision-making don't always make the best decisions. America is surely not the fault of everything in the world and should not be blamed as such; yet, they should not be called on every time something occurs in the world whether it is military might or money required.

Conversely, Turkey cannot claim innocence either because it is a known fact that no Turkish government until now has put any money into eastern Turkey. When I visited the Van area a few years ago, I was shocked along with all my colleagues to see what we did. No schools in villages and children not attending school; people living in squalor without indoor toilets; shared ovens for cooking, one teacher to 50 kids who among them only had 10 books and pencils to share.

Further, when I was in the military at Incirlik, we knew there were daily bombing missions by the Turks in eastern Turkey and we were told to stay out of it. The Turks wanted us to stay out of it. Throughout this same time whole villages were cleared, many lost their lives and family were no longer whole. We see in Istanbul today the remains of those families who still live on the streets.

At that time Turkey had little money to build the country, but the decision was made to take what they had and build up western Turkey, right or wrong. It does not mean, however, that they should continue not investing in a full third of the country.

The PKK all but disappeared for a few years prior to the Iraq War and tourism began in earnest again in the east, only to be eclipsed by the quagmire next door. The PKK resurrected itself this time stronger than before and not just affecting east Turkey but many other areas as well. Yes, they need to and should fight the PKK. The question is, however, is it the time to go into Iraqi territory with guns blazing. It is, afterall, the only area in Iraq that has been somewhat quiet through all this time.

Also, while it could be the Americans duty to fight the PKK now because it is affecting another part of Iraq and an ally next door, the PKK was never fighting with insurgents, Al Quaeda and other militants in Iraq, and thus not what mattered most in the fight to get Iraq under control. In other words, it was only right to focus on the factions which has destroyed Iraq instead of going into predominantly peaceful areas and starting something.

Now, with Turkey wanting to bomb the PKK back to the stone ages on Iraqi territory, one must wonder why they want to pick their fight with the PKK now when they've had so many years to do just that. At the same time, I can understand that the escalation by the PKK has upped the anty knowing full well that the Americans won't want to come west to fight in an area where essentially no problems have existed, to speak of.

So the dilemma is on Turkey's back now. Will going into Iraq finally stop the PKK? If so, go but do so at great risk to relations with others. Will going against the wishes of the Iraqis and Americans create more of a quagmire not to be resolved for years? Possibly, because it can bring the PKK into the middle of something they don't want to be a part of, and at the same time, bring the Iraq War onto Turkish land. And, at the end of it all, should Turkey not have solved the PKK problem, they may have, in fact, created yet another problem for themselves and damaged their reputation?

I wax poet on a lot more on my blog at remarkable solutions blog dot com.


Very well stated Yabanci,

I am not proud to admit that you are a better man than me. I have to say that I was 'very displeased' and visibly so, with Victoria's attempts to sabotage the discussion and get it to degenerate into a yelling match.

I would like to recommend that if she does not participate in a rational and functional way in the discussion, we should ignore her. Her attempts to limit free discussion were tolerated semi-politely (OK, a bit roughly by me since she offended my reason), but enough is enough for now.



I would still like to reinstate the topic I addressed above which I believe has great bearing in the issue at hand.


I am very curious to read other people's thoughts on Turkey's human rights defence. The European Union has accused Turkey for lacking the basic principles and institutions to acknowledge human rights and protections, and it is one of the contentious issues that still keeps Turkey out of the EU, even after 40 years of trying.

I would like your thoughts on this matter please.

Montreal Canada



It's kind of you to apologize, but I don't need apologies. I'm not offended. This isn't about me. It's about you and some of the unfortunate ideas that you've been peddling. They're far more substantive than personality conflicts, as I've clearly described above. For you to attempt to trivialize it now does you more disservice.

The problem with complicity is that its henchmen are often unaware. This is the part where self-reflection comes in.



yabanci- well, as that statement seems to have upset you a great deal, as i already expressed regret, here is a formal apology.

however- i dont like getting bogged down in these personality conflicts.

so, im sorry i offended you.

i dont speak turkish, so i have to plod along in my native tongue of english.

i cant figure out what you thought was condescending, so you lost me there.

how you got from anti-americanism to me being complicit in hate rants is something of a stretch for me, so ill leave you in peace.


oops, a correction on my last post (1st paragraph, last sentence) should read:

I have to agree WITH Speridon,...



God, I don't know where to begin with you. It's frustrating, but I'm trying to stick with you because I care about the topic. Please listen, from one human being to another, this situation may require a little self reflection on your part: I have to agree Spiridon, instead of offering a rational argument as a response, you are offering disjointed and angry responses.

Here is an example. In your response you made this accusation to me:

"STRANGER/YABANCI- basically, it seems as if you just discovered turkish politics last week, with the rest of america."

It's just amazing to me where you came up with this. It is so far from a serious or useful argument I'm really surprised that you'd be willing to put your name to it. The goals here for many of us are to articulate constructive ideas, learn new ideas and maybe even persuade someone to develop a better understanding of an important topic. I just get the feeling that your not approaching this debate with any of these simple goals. You obviously have some rhetorical skills, and perhaps you like to exercise them, which is fine, but I believe you might have it in you to take your contribution up a level. Make a coherent arguement if you'd like. I'd love to hear it.

Now, to your unfortunate accusation that I "just discovered Turkish politics last week" I provided a polite answer in Turkish. I did not ask (in Turkish) whether or not you are Turkish, since one's national affiliation doesn't have much to do with whether or not someone is making a good arguement. My reason for writing to you in Turkish was to demonstrate that if I can speak Turkish, it probably means that I just didn't start learning about Turkish politics last week.
You couldn't be more wrong...again. (This is an instance that provides an opportunity for you to do some self-reflection on how you have been approaching these discussions).

I don't even care about that part as much as I do the last part of your statement: "it seems as if you just discovered turkish politics last week, with the rest of america." It's "the rest of america" part. Are you saying that "the rest of America" is ignorant?

Who exactly is the rest of America that you are talking about so condescendingly: is it Staten Islanders? Democrats? Cub scouts? African-Americans? Would you say that African-Americans are ignorant? Because they do make up a substantial part of the rest of America that you are talking about?

If you suggested that "the rest of African-America" is ignorant, it would be pretty upsetting to most of us, including you. My point is, the ridiculous thought processes that leads one to say such an ugly thing about any racial group, is the same thought process you use when you say something stupid to me like: "basically, it seems as if you just discovered turkish politics last week, with the rest of america." It's stereotypng. It's logically bankrupt, intellectually lazy, morally irresponsible, politcally shameful, and just plain wrong. Even if you're using it in defense of the most well- meaning political issue in the world. Since you like us to cite sources, Walter Lippmann's groundbreaking book "Public Opinion" amazingly details how stereotyped political understandings get converted into political movements, most tragically movements towards war.

Mr. Bakshi's journalism demonstrates, with video links, that Anti-Americanism is a component of the rallying towards war. That's alarming to me. An oversimplified and stereotyped idea of America-the-enemy is being used by some to rally others to support a war. People will die. People will get killed and a tragically constructed idea of America will play a part in that killing. Stereotyping and hate talk about America often goes on unchecked because it is somehow politically permissable. We often fail to discern what is legitimate criticism of US policy, and what is hateful ranting. Unfortunately hateful ranting is part of this movement towards war. I can direct you towards dozens of Turkish speaking websites where the evidence is indisputibly anti-American. It is not harmless. It's dangerous not only for Americans, but also for my beloved Turkey. And YOU, Victoria, are complicit when you indulge in such behavior.

This article provides us an opportunity to discuss this problem. So I'm glad we're talking.



Dear Victoria,

I am so glad that you are so sharing because you may not be aware in your attempt to reinvent your position on the matter so far, but you are quickly becoming the poster child of Turkish contradiction.

I am not sure how my interest in humanitarian issues translates into Cypriot bias. I must have missed something you make reference to.

Since we are on the topic of sharing, would you 'care' to share your thoughts on our discussion on another blog, related to this one, about human rights in Turkey, and in specific your thoughts on women's rights or should I?

I had posted in this discussion yesterday some links that were filtered out of this discussion; that were then approved in another discussion where you commented. I think it is important to acknowledge that your attempt to discredit my comments here as being filtered due to being inappropriate, is an attempt to posture your bias as contrast, and make pretence to some higher cause. It turns out that you have issued a complaint against me to the moderator for being inappropriate, in an attempt to filter out my comments so as to pretend there is no counter position to your own.

I am very curious to read your thoughts on Turkey's human rights defence. The European Union has accused Turkey for lacking the basic principles and institutions to acknowledge human rights and protections, and it is one of the contentious issues that still keeps Turkey out of the EU, even after 40 years of trying.

I would like your thoughts on this matter please.

Montreal Canada


SPIDON- i cannot agree that caring implies imnpartiality at all.

for instance, im an american with many ehtnic ingredients-
i would say that it is the CARING about only one people one nation, one thnic group that is precisely the problem.

because when your caring is slanted to any one particluar group- conversely-you create antipathy (in your own psyvhe)to another with opposing or competing interests.

which is the exact opposite of impartiality

it is definitive bias

which precludes openness to reason, and compassion for the "other" point of view-

which also which creates conflict

when there is no vested interest in either side- in other words, one side is not cared about more than the other-
that lends neutrality.

for instance- you care deeply about cyprus

but you have a sense of antipathy towards the turkish people for an old land issue-

it is precisely your attachment to your ideal of a homeland that motivates your forays into exploring only negatives in turkish people or history- while being blind to any good.

id go so far as to say that these tribal attachments are a substantial cause for war today, and in history.

it certainly is in theis instance.

in america, the land is as big as many countries, so this exclusion of others isnt as pronounced.

ive lived all over, and my attachments arent based on earthy sod, but on people.

its not possible to be attached to people without caring.

as for my compassion for the kurdish people, i took a kurdsih man into my home and supported him for several months- and was so impressed with his honesty and gentleness that i introduced him to my best friend, whom he married.

you dont get to be the judge of what my reasoning is based upon.

youre out of your jursidiction if you decide if i care or have compassion.

you dont need to instruct me how to care, as if it were some foreign concept to me tat i havent mastered in my life.

it is precisely the ability to walk in anothers shoes, and view both sides with some dispassion and neutrality that makes a competent arbiter.

while you are determined to forage turkeys past not as a way to garner understanding or foster communicaton and resolution- but to air your old grievances and demonize your own personal "other"

you will find no accordance with me in such an endeavor.

i find it racist and distasteful.

so how many kurds have you taken ito your home, master of compassion?

your assumptions and observations of a personal nature, and poor attmepts to judge a stranger on a blog-
do not strengthen your claim of impartiality, but only give credence to your inability to discuss from a rational perspective.

you are dragging the conversation down with this- however- i also care deeply about what is happening in iran- as ive made the connections previously, and will likely abscond to the new blog.

peace spidon


Dear Victoria,

Your sharing is interesting. I am not sure that it is based on caring since I am certain you will agree that caring implies impartiality.

We have seen anything other than impartiality from you and if caring is the issue, how about showing some compassion for the Kurdish people, of whom some (a minuscule amount) admittedly engage in terrorist tactics, since Turkey has defined their role as rogue terrorists. I would like to point out that not all Kurds are terrorist as not all terrorists are Kurds and invading Iraq to remove the "Kurdish Problem" is akin to invading Iraq to remove the Kurds.

Let us consider historically the significance of the above consideration and see if we can find any parallel occurrence in Turkey's history.

Keep sharing Victoria, it is a precursor to caring.

Montreal Canada


YABANCI- it was an opinion and a subjective one(arent they all?)

heres the link :)

No, im not turkish, im irish french english mongrel mix american. we call it heinz 57

now, that may have been an unfair cahracterization- but it was relevant to your one pointed focus on one (small and belated) issue affecting the turkish incursion into iraq- which i believe was voted inot effect yesterday by the turkish parliament.

however- i DID find this unecceasry negative charactewrization of my motives, and unfair.

"You'd love it if I was guilty of indulging in negative stereotypes about Turks."

really i find no pleasure in any sort of prejudice, and to suggest so is ungentlemanly.

as to your arguments about the american myth- i actually never did disagree with it- i just felt you overstated very dramatically its importance-

you have to admit you take some dramatic license in your views.
i know this because i am guilty of this very thing.

i am very forthcoming about where im from and who i am.
i find it an element of any conversation that helps people identify what my biases may be- even if i am not aware of them myself.

it is a transparency i offer to the public opinion court that is welcome to be challenged as it will only lead to my own examination of my moitives and help me to see things form a wider perspective.

would you offer such a transparency to your own discourse?

i , for instance, live in astoria queens.
there are 2 count em, 2 cypriot organizations 2 blocks away from my house.
and the new york hellenist? organization

im surrounded by greeks, and turks too.
the funny thing is, they seem to feel more of an affinity here for each other than the other many ethnic groups that populate astoria.

so what is your ethnicity yabanci?
i promise not to use it as a lever in any way-
and possibly you see that i engage in a pretty civil manner.

(despite your recent characterizationof an anger i dont possess)

a persons motivations and possibe childhood indoctrinations certainly can flavor emotionally any conversation.
so it has some minor import.

but personal comments on intelligence, or morality etc to me, are off limits and indicate a deterioration of reason.

speaking of which-
SPIDON- i have o idea what you posted or why it was blocked, but clarly it cannot have been good-

now, as you seem to think i hve been attacking yabanci- you are wildly mistaken

it reminds me of what my mom used to say-she had a very strong voice for such a tiny thing- and was the first female union steward in her entire union-

so she could express herself-
when she was accused of yelloing in a debate- she would say-
"thats not yelling"
and then in her most stentorian bellow-

the meaning is, if you think that is an attack-
you have a very mild definition of the word.



I have commented on some of Victoria's attacks on Yabanci, with proof as she has requested but the blog owner has held the post. I am wondering what type of filter is applied to this discussion.

Dear Yabanci, I would like the thank you for your efforts to translate the Kardes Turkuler song. I am a firm believer that music transcends the limits of reason in addressing unity and tolerance, which has for obvious reasons been put aside in this discussion.

I am not sure if the filter applied to addressing the human rights violations in this blog, apply to the cover-up of these violations by the historical revisionists, that Victoria is so strongly in favour of promoting.

Given that Turkey is spending billions of dollars to spread misinformation and redirect the arguments away from the intentions of it's military to carry out further humanitarian crimes, I am wondering what effect a discussion where censorship appears to be applied, actually is having in addressing the issues for the purpose of finding workable solutions, even if it is on the individual level.

Montreal Canada


I wish Bea would return to this conversation. His/Her comments were heartfelt and fair. He/she reminds us that human lives are at stake, and therefore an optimal solution that limits the loss of human suffering should be our greatest concern.


Sevgili Victoria:

Turkce biliyor musunuz? Cunku Turkce biliyorsaniz belki o zaman Turkiye hakkinda daha ayrintili tartisabiliriz.

Can you send 'a link' to support your argument about how I only learned about Turkish politics
last week, "with the rest of America"?

I can see that you and Selin have a lot of anger on this subject, which I can understand. If you want to call a cease-fire on peronal attacks so we can stick to making solid arguments about the issues, I'm all for it. To do so, each of us would have to make an explicit effort to present our points without making any assumptions or silly stereotypes about the person being addressed or that persons national or ethnical affiliation. Good arguments leave those traps out.



Sorry Victoria My comments were for Yabanci!!!!!!!!!
I mistyped your name there


Selin :


You make me laugh!!!! I know my country and MY COUNTRYS TERRORIST.

The reason I included WW2 is because Victoria is giving a picture of Turks as if we LOVE WAR AND READY TO KILL.


Selin :


Where and how is this statement making Turks who loves war ???? Yes we do make anti- american comments but THINK why ????

:))))))))))))))))))))) NOW if I was you I would stop jargoning...........


spidon- in no way was i mocking the language skills of any in here-

i was stating that as a buffer to promote some patience between we english as a first language communicators and those whose first languages are other ones.

we should NOT ridicule the language facility of others- it is their ideas that matter- and the spirit in which they communicate.

so im sorry if you felt it was a shot at your skills, which are good as far as i can see-

as to my own communications, if you find anything convoluted, and need clarification, i am happy to oblige.



Spiridon, STAND DOWN?

are you deliberately using the words bush used today to turkey?

is it a parody?

interesting that you used that particular term, as that is what bush barked at turkey today.
stand down.

STRANGER/YABANCI- basically, it seems as if you just discovered turkish politics last week, with the rest of america.

theres no fluidity to your arguments.

Turkey has been having terrorist attacks on its civilans since the early 90's.

youre coming in at the end result of politics that are behind the sound bytes, and imagining they are the catalysts.

what youre spending so much time 'proving', without references, links or anything substantial but your word- is that anti-americanism is the impetus behind the turkish parliament deciding to go into iraq today-

when there are many factors.

turkeys 40 year old request for admission to the EU- being bypassed while a country like romania who put their application i think 7 years ago gets admitted.

the ousting of the secularists control of the leadership in favor of the muslim abdullah gul, voted in a scant 3 months ago.

rampant islamophobic fears of europeans-
(making laws punishable by imprisonment for denying the armenian holocaust?)
coupled with overt islamophobic paranoia spread by american media and this admin)

15 years of PKK terrorists causing 30,000 deaths

the new and gullible congress positing the armneian resolution at the behest fo the AAA and other powerful armenian lobbys.
(one always asks, who stands to benefit?
destabilization of that area would beneift only a few)

bush rattling his sabre at iran
putin holding hands with ahmadenijad and declaring his solidarity with all his caspian neighbors

turkey being allies with israel- and on the border of basically the only stable border in that entire area (from the american perspecitive- not the turks)

they feel compromised, remember?

from a global perspective- this looks like war on islamic countries (with access to oil pipelines)

from an american perspective, it looks like turkey just sprang into existence when america turned its great attention on it- and every turk wakes up saying , "30,000 dead? well thats not important.
what IS important is that we hate america!
lets make all of our national security decisions based on that irrational emotion!"

SPIDON- since you seem to think that disagreeing about politics constitutes 'perpetuating conflict'

what are your own well thought out and reasoned solutions?

im making some ruminations and some mild punditry spidon-

in such a case it is not necessary to provide evidence- as its opinion

be assured- im a great provider of links and references when i make any factual statements

im just pointing out that at this juncture- your buddy the stranger seems to be a one-trick pony politically speaking

also yabanci- its really unseemly to make a gleeful assertion that any form of bashing and bigotry would give me any pleasure

it does not and would not
it saddens me

without the focus of a common enemy to hate- i wish the kurds focus on their own development of an infrastructure and education for their children, and the cohesive sense of home and unified identity they have been longing for so long.



I'm glad you've joined the discussions!!! Unfortunately it appears I have NOT succeeded at establishing myself in this collection as a rabid advocate of tolerance.

I'm working on translating the Kardes Turkuler song that you were asking about, and maybe even lend some insights to their place in Turkish pop culture.




In such few words you have said so much.

I agree with your conclusions. I am hopeful that it will be so simple: Turkey's past performance does not call for hope however and I fear that we will see much suffering by her people before the government and military do the math on this.

Montreal Canada


so turkey has decided that all of it's problems are now as a result of america? maybe they should have thought about the consequences of their willingness to lease the usages of their airfields to america in the first place. money can be a powerful incentive can it not? or were they fooled into believing that the u.s really gave a damn about their problems in the first place? this is what happens when the militery industrial complex of any country is allowed to supercede civilian rule. this leaves turkey in the unenviable position of having to find nothing less than a political settlement to their kurdish question. with american forces firmly implanted on their soil quickly growing roots that may never be removed, they have placed themselves in the same position as kuwait, saudi arabia, doha and qatar. i would like to belive that the peoples of the middle east are an intelligent group who possess the capability to find reasonable solution to their problems, but my confidence in their powers of long-term reasoning is waning. their solutions seem to consistently protect the few at the expense of the many. this is a very dangerous global phenomenon which i fear will only lead to further uncontrollable violence and mayhem. turkey must not invade iraq. it makes no real strategic sense to do so. it will only weaken the internal security and governing ability of the secular government leaving them vulnerable to the whims and fancies of their military. as it has in the past.

mike s:


Your statements are full of the meaningless jargon, unrealistic absolutist rhetoric, and name calling favored by fuzzy internationalists.

I readily acknowledge that it is often in the interest of the US to work within the UN framework, as well as with other multilateral alliances (NATO, WTO). And it is sometimes not.

And when it does not, that engenders some mistrust. That's certainly a cost and part of the calculation. But no national government really thinks that, as you say, "the US word be not worth the paper it appears on or the breath that carries it," when it works outside the UN.

To call any nation that acts in its own interests a "rogue state" is to tar every nation of consequence with that same brush.

Such terms -- "community of nations," "rogue state," even "international law" -- are merely rhetorical devices that express an ideology, much like "class struggle." They have no meaning in and of themselves; it just sounds better to call an action "illegal," than simply "contrary to the interests of certain nations."


Dear Victoria,

Stand down!

You are perpetuating conflict rather than resolving it. I may be lacking the "facility with English" required to follow your convoluted discussion but I am not seeing the relevance to the topic. I may not have the education necessary, but to me your arguments are circular and reflective upon themselves rather than the topic being discussed. You make lots of unsubstantiated claims and dispute much that does not fit your conclusions.

What's up?

For some reason you have targeted Yabanci and demand that he prove his position, but I fail to see the concrete evidence you request of him to support your points.

Is there a problem?

Montreal Canada



I have been making arguments, not advancing opinions.

I've been talking about COMPONENTS of the complex movement towards war. You'd love it if I was guilty of indulging in negative stereotypes about Turks. But I'm sorry, anti-Turkishness is just not present in my arguments.

If you'd like to make an argument that anti-Americanism is NOT a component of Turkish rallying towards war, I'd love to hear your argument and view your evidence.



hi yabanci-

this is a blog with people of differing educations and facility with english

and if you think someone doesnt "deserve" to be answered- dont answer them!

basically- i really dislike conversations when someone(you in this instance) re-presents anothers words- with negative twists

you are doing the saemthing in here as everyone else- you are giving an opinion

and im not going to go do your homework for you to prove your point-

i dont do it to others- if you want to back something up- put a link up

thats what i do-

this is the latest twist on my words-

"You rhetorically ask whether or not the US has blocked Turkish efforts to defend itself."

no - i did not.

this is what i asked-

"so is your position that the united states has not interfered with turkey in its desire to defend itself from terrorist attacks on its own borders?"

i didnt say block, i said interfere

and it was a question expecting an answer

a rhetorical question is just an underhanded way for one to posit an already concrete opinion, while appearing to be open to answers- but rhetorical questions do not expect answers

i really dislike rhetorical questions

mine is an honest one

its fine for you to have an opinion (that seems to be rather anti-turk in general)

but you keep trying to justify your bias

and to me- it is mountainous hypocrisy to expect turkey to abide by laws that america has flouted outright

you're acting like the american interference is the catalyst to the turks consideration- no- today it is fact - as they have sent soldiers today- to fight the PKK terrorists

by your arguments you are minimizing and sidelining as unimportant the REAL issues here

that the turkish civilian population has endured years of terrorist attacks by the PKK-

since america had enough of an opinion on it to declare the PKK a terrorist organization

it is clear america is ONLY concerned with how things affect america

has no concern for the turkish people
OR the kurdish people

(america certainly had no concern for the kurds when sadaam was gassing them, did we?)

go read some turkish newspapers from a month ago- 3 weeks ago

theres no mention of your 'american myth'

they were filled with the pictures of turkish coffins and grieving widows draped across them

and calls and discussions were just as vociferous to defending its borders

you act as if this 2 week old and politically unfortunate armenian genocide congressional debacle were the reason turks are calling for their own protection

and PKK terrorist attacks have been happening for some years-

THAT is the impetus for the turks
the 30,000 dead

NOT what america wants or doesnt want

as for selins statement-

calling him anti-american is just another distraction to try to prove your pointless contention

i guess as long as youre leading the discussion along the lines of 'american myth'
no one is discussing the real issues


How did the PPK and other anti-Turkish movenments come to be established? The answer is in the short sighted programs of alienation and bigotry that has been the hallmark of every Turkish government since the end of the Ottoman empire. The Turkish part of Turkey has gone out of its way to oppress the non-Turkish parts of their population for years - is it any wonder that Turkey has self induced enemies within their midst? Until Turkey is willing to recognize the rights of all its citizens and cease oppressive actions against a third of their own population they are going to continue to feed the PPK its recruits. Note: I have witness numerous times the Turkish Air Force bombing their own people on Turkish territory. And also note that Incirlik is not an American Air Force Base -- it is a NATO Air Base. Is Turkey really a member of NATO and beliver of the princples for which NATO stands?


How did the PPK and other anti-Turkish movenments come to be established? The answer is in the short sighted programs of alienation and bigotry that has been the hallmark of every Turkish government since the end of the Ottoman empire. The Turkish part of Turkey has gone out of its way to oppress the non-Turkish parts of their population for years - is it any wonder that Turkey has self induced enemies within their midst? Until Turkey is willing to recognize the rights of all its citizens and cease oppressive actions against a third of their own population they are going to continue to feed the PPK its recruits. Note: I have witness numerous times the Turkish Air Force bombing their own people on Turkish territory. And also note that Incirlik is not an American Air Force Base -- it is a NATO Air Base. Is Turkey really a member of NATO and beliver of the princples for which NATO stands?



I quote you:

"Go and do your research before you write this"

I don't know if that comment even deserves a response. If you want to be taken seriously, please make a serious arguement. Turkey's 1940s decision to not get involved in the war against Hitler (who was systematically killing 6 million Jews and other minorities) says nothing applicable or flattering about Turkey's 2007 securtiy project.

Turkey has been warning the PKK for 87 years? What are you talking about? Do you really believe that the PKK has been carrying out terrorist attacks in Turkey for 87 years?

If you were to simply argue that Turkey has the right to self-defense against hostile PKK forces that are killing Turkish civilians and soldiers, then I would have to have respect for your position. However, since your arguement is filled with ridiculous myths and emotional outbursts I am compelled to question the clear-headedness of your support for military action.

Yes, Erdogan is doing a satisfactory job in showing restraint. I know Turkey to be a peace loving country filled with warm and loving people. There is nothing anti-Turkish or pro-PKK about my calls for those who support military action to really think through all of the components of their position. There is however something anti-American about your statement that: "We are not Amerika to decide ok they bad lets bomb and kill them."

Selin :

One more thing. It is not USA who is holding Turkey. It is our manner and respact for human life unlike PKK, we are trying to solve things before we BOMB AND KILL. So I dont understand why people are so under estimating Turks and Turkey ???


TO Yabanci

go and do your research before you write this

"Turkish people that I challenge them to reconsider their political myths, especially when those myths contribute to a move towards war!

If you bother and look at Turkey's history WW2 when whole world was bussy killing TURKEY REFUSED! We have given enough warning to PKK. 87 years isnt enough? How many more Turkish solders they have to kill ? 87 Years we talking about this situation has not accured over night! We are not Amerika to decide ok they bad lets bomb and kill them. Turkey is and always will protect its lands against terrorisim. What would you do if someone came into your home with a gun and ask you to leave would you politically hand shake and give your house ?

I suggest you should be putting PKK instead of using Turks names to your nice essay. Also could you please give your nice educated ideas to uneducdated PKK not to Turks.



You can congratulate yourself for helping me refine (or softpedal) my argument, which is:

Anti-americanism is a component of Turkish rallying towards war.

I now choose not to use "significant component" because we need not have a discussion about arbitrary measurements of "significant". I also see no need to qualify my claim about "Turkish rallying towards war" with "'some' Turkish rallying towards war" because there is nothing in my delivery that argues that my observation is representative of all Turksih rallying. So please let it be understood that I explicitly make no claims that ALL Turks embrace anti-Americanism and therefore want to go to war. But let this be clear: Anti-americanism is a component of Turkish rallying towards war. Calls for war that seek sober action against a clear and present danger are much more credible and manageable than calls for war that are informed by vague ideological claims that use rallying cries such as: "America won't let us defend ourselves."

You rhetorically ask whether or not the US has blocked Turkish efforts to defend itself. The Turkish verb repeatedly being used to describe US blocking of Turkish rights to defend itself is 'izin vermek.' There is nothing unclear about what this means in Turkish. The verb izin vermek means to give permission, as in an authority figure allowing a submissive to do something. If you go to google Turkey and type "Amerika izin vermiyor" (America is not giving permission) you will quickly find a host of Turkish narratives that clearly accuse the US of not allowing Turkey to proceed with its sovereign rights. This is a common narrative in many Turkish nationalist discussions of the problems that Turkey faces. The narratives are often problematic to begin with; they use conspiracy theories and myth to manufacture a demonized version of America upon which blames can be cast (for an excellent analysis of how this mythmaking happens, see Charles Tilly's work on identity and political storytelling.)

Now, these anti-American narratives may not be of grave concern to you or me, but when such narratives are used amongst Turks to stir emotions towards war, the problem becomes much more serious. It becomes intellectually lazy and downright immoral to enjoy indifference to political stereotypes when those poorly evidenced characterizations are contributing to popular support for violence.

Victoria please note that even with your recommendations the substance of my article has not changed. If you'd like to make an argument that anti-Americanism is NOT a component of Turkish rallying towards war, I'd love to hear your argument and view your evidence.

Your citing of America's problematic movement towards war does not really challenge any of my arguments. Are you suggesting that Turkey's movement towards war should not be scrutinized because America pursued a tragic movement towards war? There is broad agreement about the problems with the US invasion of Iraq, but let's not be sentimental about how far that observation takes us in our analysis. Disgust with the American movement towards war does not grant license to Turkey to go to war without our well-reasoned scrutiny.

We've already established that Turkey has the right under Article 51 to go to war on the grounds of self defense. And we'v been generous enough towards Erdogan for making efforts to pursue diplomatic solutions towards halting PKK terrorism. But let's not get too giddy about these diplomatic efforts. If Turkey wants to win more legitimacy in the eyes of the international community it should bring its claims against the recent PKK attacks to the UN and pursue a resolution. Even if they fail to win a resolution at the hands of a vetoing power (which they will), Turkey would at least be showing a good faith effort to engage the international community. Some legitimacy would be added.

Even the hated Bush administration made efforts to engage the UN before the invasion of Iraq. Yes, the Bush administration played political tricks and dissappointed many who have hopes for the peacemaking institutions of the international system, but the UN succeeded in as much as it did put in check the indiscriminate use of military force. You have not seen me defend the UN sanctions. And clearly the US failed to see the UN process all the way through as it should have. But you have historical facts against you if you attempt to argue that the US did not bring its claims against Sadam Hussein before the UN security council numerous times before the invasion. It would be wise of Turkey to do the same.

Wherever your sympthies lie, I see no need to expect any less of Turkey than I would any other country mobilizing for military action accross international borders. It is out of respect for Turkey that we expect it to fully participate in the international system designed to prevent war. It is out of the utmost respect for the intellect of Turkish people that I challenge them to reconsider their political myths, especially when those myths contribute to a move towards war!



good analysis vic

Vic van Meter:

The United States definetely spoke with Turkey about the Iraqi invasion. The Turks definetely didn't want the Americans to invade Iraq. Nationally it wasn't in their interest. There is a Kurdish area in Iraq that has shown (especially since the invasion) that it can pull itself together as a semi-autonomous region and handle itself. Having this strong power on their border is destabalizing to the section of the Turkish-Kurdish population that advocates a Kurdish nation, especially when this said Kurdish population complains of opression (I've never been to Turkey, so I can't comment on the truuth of this matter since there are too many things I don't know and too much rhetoric for me to take as fact). Also, having a war-torn nation on your border is ALWAYS a difficult situation, what with refugees, arms, and other such problems associated with them.

It could be said that the Iraqi invasion began the dissolusion of the American-Turkish relationship. It's more complex than that, but you can certainly pinpoint that as a nasty drop-off in our popularity there.

The relationship between Turkey and America is incredibly complicated and political. A lot of our allies don't trust Turkey (they aren't being invited to the EU because our European allies don't particularly care for them) and a lot of Turkey's neighbors don't trust us (putting it mildly). And yet we're launching a hefty amount of our traffic through our airbase in Turkey. That's not going to make Turkey a lot of friends in their region. There's a reason Turkey is moving to become part of the EU. Their political choices aren't exactly normal given the context of their neighbors south of them.

So the entire point of the arguement bites back to our complicated relationship. A healthy chunk of the Turkish people really don't like our government. That's not a shock, most of US don't like our government, mostly for the same reasons the protesters don't approve of them. But the Turks and Americans are allies and the government has decided to take a few days to let everything sort out.

If anyone thinks America isn't going to let Turkey attack, they're seriously missing the point. Attacking the PKK isn't something America is against. They'd just rather someone else did it. And I'll bet money that if the Kurds in Iraq don't step up to the plate and America's army is stretched too thin, Turkey is definetely going to be green-lighted to invade to their heart's content. The reason Turkey hasn't invaded is probably threefold, at least.

First of all, the casualties suffered in the attack will be nothing compared to that the army of Turkey will face if it drives into Iraq to obliterate the PKK. That will be fairly difficult fighting in nasty terrain that is more familiar to the PKK than the Turkish army. It would be MUCH more prudent for them to save the casualties and let the PKK be dismantled peacefully. The sheer amount of lives lost, even in a victory, is certinly going to become an issue.

Second of all is the reason Turkey probably didn't want a US invasion in the first place. The last thing Turkey wants to do is raise a huge point of contention with its neighbors in Iraq. This is bad enough. Imagine how bad an invasion is going to look from a public-relations perspective. Especially in the eyes of other neighboring nations. Whatever happens, if Turkey invades Iraq, America will be allowing it (willingly or not, that's how it will be). Which means that, in the Middle East, I imagine the general consensus is that Turkey just military aligned with America and invaded Iraq themselves. They already have enough relation problems with their neighbors by being our mostly accomodating friends. They definetely don't want to be our collaborators.

Third of all, weigh the odds of success. Related to the first point, if Turkey invades and gets bogged down, unable to defeat the PKK in their home turf, it's going to look very bad and embolden a lot of the Kurds at home who might be fencesitting on the issue. On the other hand, if Kurdish Iraq manages to dissolve the situation diplomatically, Turkey looks successful by default, because America catered to them first above their baby Iraq, even the more successful Kurdish region. You don't have to read too much of The Art of War to recognize that the number one consideration of combat is to control as many aspects as you can. In this case, the PKK controls the territory, would be invaded and defending their homes (as opposed to attacking and invading), and would be controlling the terms of combat. In that case, Turkey is fighting uphill (often literally) if it goes into Iraq. So a diplomatic solution, though not exactly emboldening for the Turkish people, represents a kind of victory that is much more reliable.

All in all, if negotiations break down, I assume America will back Turkey in an incursion. But it's in Turkey's best interest to play their diplomatic cards first. At the very least, it makes them look like they at least TRIED to dissolve the situation.

Time will tell. Now the ball's in Kurdish Iraq and the PKKs court. Depending on what they do and how they do it, the outcome is still very much in question (there are precedents on both sides of the issue, such as Israel's incusion into Lebanon to support Turkey's invasion and the Korean back-and-forth that says even in harsh times, peace can be achieved if both parties have more to lose in war). We'll have to wait and see. According to the latest, Maliki is pledging to do something about the PKK and we'll see if he's successful or not.

Personally, I back the Turks. They have every right and reason to defend themselves somehow. If diplomacy fails, I would be rooting for Turkey. But we'll see where everyone judges themselves to be and see where that plinko chip falls.


I have been invited by Yabanci to look in on this discussion. I am still reading the long list of 'grievances'. Since I am not finished reading I will not offer my opinion on the discussion as yet but I would like to say that tolerance is the key factor toward understanding and cooperation, as I am certain Yabanci has pointed out very eloquently.

On that note, I came across a link posted by HOSSHI that gives me hope.

On October 22, 8:17PM he posted a link to a YOUTUBE video of some extraordinary music:

Prior to posting this link, HOSSHI showed a healthy bravado tempered by reason. I am curious about the translation of the music he posted. Can anyone translate at least the highlights for me.

Much appreciated.

Montreal Canada

gordon peterson:

I am sadden to read all of the hate filled letters from people in many world newspapers and blogs such as this one. I have traveled around the world and have had wonderful times in every country. I have been to turkey twice and love it, the people, food, music, archeological sites, etc. I have many friends there, as I do in other countries. why is it that we all cannot enjoy our differences. every country has something in its past that is not something to admire. in the us we have many things such as slavery, the native americans and the american japanese people after the pearl harbor event. we all have to accept what went wrong and move on. every person deserves to live in peace , enjoy their religion, etc. all of you think about that, please



"which might your point be?

that turkey was stupid or "strong" enough to accept the offer?

or that turkey was too honorable to be bought off?"

Did we think it wise when the US went into Iraq? Too many people are analyzing Turkey's moves by weighing the justice or injustice of America. Let's consider judgment.

Right now, the leaders of Turkey are in a tight spot. Their people are going mad. But their moment for destroying the PKK has passed. Turkish leaders are going to pay dearly if they pretend to be strong. They are not, and neither is Turkey.

The anti-Americanism is the problem, not the solution. It is the origin of the paranoia and powerlessness the people feel. This in turn comes from a combination of nationalist chauvenism and the emerging reality that Turkey cannot act as strong as it wishes to be.


which might your point be?

that turkey was stupid or "strong" enough to accept the offer?

or that turkey was too honorable to be bought off?


mike s writes:

1. "The US is in Iraq at the behest of its government; it is not an occupying force."

It is sad to see an American (or anybody else, for that matter) believe America's own propaganda, mike s; but it is of course your privilege to do so, however laughable that propaganda be, more particularly in this case, in the eyes of the community of nations.

2. "In any case, its so-called obligations don't extend to cracking down on the PKK on behalf of Turkey... Kurdish terrorists are Turkey's problem..."

mike s, not even the American government is of that opinion. Just follow the news and you'll see it has no intention of leaving it to Turkey to solve this as a Turkish problem...

3. "Most of so-called "international law" is illegitimate anyway... the highest law belongs to the nation-state. America's "obligations" are to no one but its own."

International law is defined by what is called "the community of nations", represented by the United Nations. All of that stands, and even the US claims, at least, to subscribe to that. Unless the US word be not worth the paper it appears on or the breath that carries it, the US is committed and bound to respect international law. You are at liberty, of course, to define and consider the US as a rogue state as much as you want.


Has everyone forgotten that the US had offered Turkey free movement throughout Northern Iraq?

This proposal was accompanied by $15 billion, but Turkey rejected America's offer, which would have required but that Turkey allow America access to its airbases during 2003.

Turkey, not able to stop the invasion, was neither wise enough to accept it and profit from the inevitable.

"If you cannot be strong, yet cannot be weak, this will result in your defeat." The Spring and Autumn Annals.


Vic van Meter writes: "Can we all agree that human beings are naturally genocidal and move on?"



To Rima Zeitoun, I think you have choosed wrong man to get marry, its your false don't blame all Turkish people. I am a Turkish woman and I am proud to be Turkish. I have freedom in Turkey, and belive me I have been treated kindly so far. There is no difference between I and any other American women. No one force me to wear a vail, no one force me to do anthing.

If you want to get rid of your husband just get divorce and don't put all the Turks into same pot with your husband.

To Gulen movement supporters, Gulen is not the future of Turkey. Don't give wrong information to people.


yabanci- im not sure where you are posting from,
my memory, and i was paying strict and minute attention at the time-
was that the USA went against world dissent into iraq. i believe estonia, romania, poland, briefly-and naturally israel were our allies at the time.
colin powell holding up the vial of "anthrax" in front of the UN- was the 'argument'.
(he later reegretted publicly this action)
congress did not (as is policy) sanction the 'liberation'.

it was only after the fact, and in retrospect that congress stapled the war powers act onto actions already taken-
and what you define as "making claims against sadaam" were in fact, 13 years of harsh sanctions which directly resulted in the deaths of over 500,000 iraqi children under 5 according to unicef and world health organization statisitics.

and you are already softpedaling what you just wrote?

You might notice that I explicitly say that anti-Americanism is a COMPONENT of some Turkish public rallying for war. Seeing how it's a componenent doesn't at all imply that anti-Americanism explains Turkish movements to war.

this is what you ACTUALLY wrote-(its right above there)

If resentment of America is going to be a significant component of Turkish movements towards war, Turks, as well as the international community, should be damn sure that their understanding of America's position is accurate. If it were accurate, and the US was denying Turkey its right to self defense, then perhaps impassioned Turkish calls for military action would take on some legitimacy. But unfortunately what

one post later you qualify?
not A component- a SIGNIFICANT component
not SOME turks-
turkish movements towards war

interesting way to put it-

so now would it be, anti-americanism is a component of some turks in their movement toward self defense?

so is your position that the united states has not interfered with turkey in its desire to defend itslef from terrorist attacks on its own borders?

amazingly enough-= as another poster pointed out-
the PKK has transformed overnight from terrorists to "rebels"

americans can get behind a rebel!
rebels are freedom fighters

interesting how nuanced words and their use and abuse can flavor

what you seem to be suggesting, is that turkey actually had a say in bush's cowboy go it alone foray into iraq-

so- let me get this straight-
if turkey had objected to us invasion- the USA would have reconsidered?

as turkey is considering the desires of the US right now?



I invite you to read many of the thought- provoking, analysis-heavy posts that have appeared in the last day or two. Despite some hate-filled commnets, there's lots of good stuff here.



I just wanted to point out, for Amar Bakshi's benefit more than anyone else's, how once again these discussions seem to have quickly descended into virtually mindless name-calling and national egotism.

Hardly anyone posting on this page has been able to express an opinion without demonizing one of the main players in cartoonish terms -- America is the source of all evil, Turks should be exterminated, Kurds are filthy terrorists, the West is a cancer, etc. If you believe that, fine, but be advised that starting from any such premise pretty much negates the merit of anything you have to say after that. It's hard to engage in critical analysis when you see everything in such starkly black and white terms.

I was in Turkey shortly after the September 11th attacks. I was deeply moved by the sympathetic comments from my many new Turkish friends. It's a shame to see things have deteriorated since then, and I hope they can be fixed.



First, the US absolutely did consult with not only Turkey but the whole international community before it went to war in Iraq. Whether or not we are to believe the US made enough effort in the UN, in fairness it did present its claims against Saddam Hussein to the international community via the UN for years before the tragic invasion. Since Turkey has a right to self defense (Article 51), it need not go to the UN before invasion to comply with internationla law. However, it does help.

The US did in fact consult extensively with Turkey before the Iraq war and Turkey had a referendum which determined that it would not join US forces in Iraq. Similarly, Erdogan IS consulting with the US and he deserves credit for making internationalist efforts to avoid war. Notice my comments did not criticize the Erdogan administration's handling of this crisis.

quoting you: "You are speaking as if the only issue in Turkey that people are discussing is ameirca, and anti-americanism is their sole motivation."

You might notice that I explicitly say that anti-Americanism is a COMPONENT of some Turkish public rallying for war. Seeing how it's a componenent doesn't at all imply that anti-Americanism explains Turkish movements to war. This article by Mr. Bakshi is a clear example of how anti-Americanism is playing a role. On the heals of the crisis about US senate discussions of the Armenian issue, anti-Americanism is a particularly salient force in Turkey right now. It is clearly not the only force, but a force none the less.

quoting you: "...and there are reciprocal kurds in northern iraq who are, as we speak, protesting in the street and energized by the prosepect of going to war with turkey."

I made no comments about Kurdish rallying cries to war. Nor do I think one needs to compare Turkish outcries to Kurdish outcries in order to draw conclusions about either. It's not a shouting contest. I'm looking closely at what contributes to Turkish support for the war.

quoting you: "i contend that the same over-simplification you are depicting the turks idea of american policy, can be applied to your over simplification of your view of turks."

Where in my article do I lend evidence of having an oversimplified or negative view of Turks? I cited a specific example of a strain of political rhetoric that misunderstands US policy as "not allowing Turkey to defend itself"? I don't see how it is an oversimplification to posit that the US not allowing Turkey to defend itself does not sit well with Turkish nationalism. If you want to make an argument that the strength of nationalist sentiment in Turkey is over-estimated, I'm intrigued. However Turkish nationalism a is well documented phenomenon and can easily be observed on the internet, even if you don't speak or read Turkish. (For a famous example of an anthropologically responsible account of Turkish nationalism, see Nations and Nationalism, by Ernhest Gellner.)

Though I appreciate your efforts to put over-simplifications in check.




I don't recall anyone in the US consulting Turkey when it went to war in Iraq.
You are speaking as if the only issue in Turkey that people are discussing is ameirca, and anti-americanism is their sole motivation.

they want to protect themsleves.

and there are reciprocal kurds in northern iraq who are, as we speak, protesting in the street and energized by the prosepect of going to war with turkey.

so youre saying the turks have a "stronger" nationalist push for war than others do?

we are seeing some real restraint on the part od the turks in not going in.

i contend that the same over-simplification you are depicting the turks idea of american policy, can be applied to your over simplification of your view of turks.

as though there is no real or valid reason for the turks to be upset.
as though the terrorizing of the turkish people is not enough to mkae them want to defend themselves.

watchng bbc, and even american news- i saw many clips of kurds with the taint of boodlust in their eyes- advocating "strongly" to go to war with turkey.

to characterize the entire conflict as simply "anti-americanism" as a force to galvanize the turkish people- their own dead civilians and soldiers are enough for them i think.

and is it possible also- snce you want to depict things in such simplistic terms-
that the kurds are reinfirced by their pro-american stance to be more aggressive?


Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

It's nice to see on these pages analysis such as yours that takes debate about the Turkey-PKK crisis to a level of analysis that is not bogged down in ideology. As you touch on, game theory provides yet another example of all the ways one can explore the favorable options facing Turkey right now. Unfortunately, strong emotional pro-military outcries by many upset Turks may be pushing Turkish political leaders towards war. While nationalistic outcry often contributes to a country's movement towards war, we see in modern Turkey that it is exceptionally strong.

What's most alarming about this conflict is how big a role ideology is playing: Aside from the always tragic Turkish struggles with Kurdish minorities, many in favor of Turksih millitary action are using anti-Americanism to broaden the war's appeal. For example, international calls for Turkey to wisely show restraint are translated amongst Turks as "America won't allow us to defend ourselves." Anyone who reads or speaks Turkish can easily attest to this phenomenon. (I hope I need not go into detail how innaccurate an oversimplification this distortion of the U.S. government's position is.) So this claim that "America won't let Turkey defend itself" transforms the prospect of Turkish military action into an opportunity for Turks to rail against the characterizations of America that are propagated through regional anti-American narratives.

Since America is not likely to find much international sympathy for the notion that such claims are anti-American in nature, let me say it like this: If resentment of America is going to be a significant component of Turkish movements towards war, Turks, as well as the international community, should be damn sure that their understanding of America's position is accurate. If it were accurate, and the US was denying Turkey its right to self defense, then perhaps impassioned Turkish calls for military action would take on some legitimacy. But unfortunately what I see in Turkish public discourse is an unchecked assumption that the current claims against America are accurate.

Turkish uses of anti-Americanism to rally support for its war is another example of how anti-Americanism isn't such a funny joke anymore. It's intellectually lazy and worst of all, deadly.


Vic van Meter:

Seems we've got a lot of new faces here. Let me take the opportunity to welcome you all the wonderful world of international politics. It's good to see people getting involved and realizing just how screwed up the world is.

Every time I open a page, I get to see someone acting absolutely shocked that countries work in their own interests. Turkey is a part of NATO, thus it's technically our obligation to help them over Iraq. Iraq's a bit more friendly to us now, but they haven't been an ally since the Cold War days in a chunk of the world where being allied to the United States is one of the least popular things you can do. Especially when we're in Iraq anyway and we're basically the acting police force (less so in the Kurdish region, of course, but we are nationally acting on behalf of regional security... nominally).

So, cut it all down politically. Maybe Turkey and the US haven't always lined up correctly. But it is within the interests of both Turkey and the United States to function closely in the Middle East theater of operations.

There's obviously moral ground on either side of the issue you can occupy, but we're nations and, barring massive humanitarrian crises or political clashes, we have every reason to help Turkey.

But to all you newcomers who can't understand why we label people differently, why Iran and the United States are squabbling over Iraq trying to prove who is the better brother, why America is guilty of terrible things in the interest of national domination, welcome to the world!

Every government on this planet is acting in its interest. Put any of them under the same microscope America lives under and you'll get a similar set of self-serving motives and actions which have sometimes had good consequences and sometimes had bad consequences. You'll see governments vying for land, power, and influence to use them like currency for international exchange. You'll see a government doing questionable things that it will try to correct for years after its illegitimacy has been exposed. Every single government and body on this planet does this.

Because every single government on this planet is just like YOU!

I don't care how nice you think you are, how often you help your neighbors with their garbage, or how much time you donate to charitable events. You have hurt someone, you have acted largely in your own interests, and if you hadn't you wouldn't have had the means to help anyone. Not a single man or woman reading this can ever deny doing something they regret later and spent time coping with or understanding. It's not exactly a big secret we should all gape in awe of. Your government (and every government on this planet) acts just like the people who make it up. And those people are just like you.

So before we start to criticize governments with the kind of jargon we've come to expect from everyone who feels the government isn't acting in their best interests (because if the government always did what you wanted instead of doing what other people in the country wanted, you wouldn't be feeling this way) look back at your own life. You're no different from your government. You've made mistakes against the better advise of friends. You've hurt people just to gain something you hadn't had in the past. You've hung around with people you don't like for other reasons than friendship and distanced yourself from otherwise good people for social relations.

Think of the world as a big high school with a lot of governments as "students". The world makes more sense that way. Yes, governments are prone to pandering, cheatins, collecting an intangible yet very real currency of favors, and generally doing some questionable things for questionable motives. They always will. To not do so, they'd have to be inhuman, completely willing to give everything they have for causes that don't advance their interest. In effect, they'd have to be ready to do everything that the consuming nature of humanity reacts against. You'd have to have a body made up of people not acting in the sense of self-advancement, self-interest, or self-preservation.

Good luck with that.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:


I am in complete agreement with your line of reasoning.

I have always argued that, for every zero-sum game, a positive-sum supergame can be defined which has the original zero-sum game as a nested sub-game, and where the payoff for every player can be positive.

This vision, if I may use ridiculously intelligent-sounding words, I gradually built it up from American commentators of the social and geo-political scene -- John von Neumann; the author of the "Unto Others" book, Wright; Lester Thurow; and above all Freeman Dyson's acceptance lecture for the Templeton Prize.

This characterisation of what you call " [a] hope that wise choices are made, and when those choices are made, [a] hope [that] the choosers have the self-esteem to take responsibility (or hopefully credit) for those choices" sums up very well the situation that faces all national leaders as well as groups of leaders in regional groupings (UNSC, NATO, SCO, MERCOSUR, Arab League, ASEAN, etc).





PKK is asking for Turkey's lands. As long as PKK don't change that evil plan we will be spilling blood as usual (87 years) to PKK. Sadly I dont see how things can settle politicaly when PKK is trying to steel Turkey's land??

Lets not live in fairy land!


I have read Bea's piece with great interest and have found her argument compelling. The answer to the PKK problem has to be a political one as I do not want any Turkish blood spilt, nor anyone else's for that matter.

However, The U.S. needs to play a positive role here and force the Kurds in Iraq to pressure PKK into a lasting peace process.

The PKK situation has been going on for far too long with the casualties numbering in excess of 30,000.

If a political solution is not found Turkey may have to resort to an Iraqi incursion in an attempt to demonstate that terrosist tactics of ambushing innocent people, or soldiers, will not create the necessary conditions for Turkey's concession on any issues.

I do hope in the name of peace, however, that the leaders focus on the well-being of their people rather the hegemonic interests of their nation-state.


turky should get in to North irag, bomb them and take over, simple as that, so what american doesnt like it, Just do it. show you mean business when it comes to turky's national interests. It is all the USA fault, where were the pkk before the US invation of iraq.


I am so sorry to read about so much hate in a person's soul and not wanting to talk about how we can have a world of peace versus fighting continually about who's right or wrong. I know it's pie in the sky thinking, but just think if the masses were organized for peaceful solutions.

I told a friend today that governments do not seek peace and every morsel of land seems to be a prize for someone. Conversely, I have seen over 25 years how Turkey responds and usually it is not with bullets and armour. They do, however, need an actual PLAN to eradicate the PKK terrorism (if that's even possible in the world today) and may be the one reason so little has been successful on this front.

Also, I believe people should visit the Anzac national memorial in Gallipoli to see the true sentiment of the Turkish people about those they have had war with. What other country has offered solace to the mothers of those fallen from another country and offer respite to their sons. Turkey has held out this hand.

I love Turkey and have been closer than I liked to the PKK situation for 25 years, but I see no reason to make the situation worse by Turkey going into Iraq. What is already a quagmire in Iraq will become even greater casting the entire region around Turkey into something we will not even be able to imagine. An incursion by Turks will also attract Iran and Syria to combat their PKK problems likewise. Does Turkey really want to be a part of that? How many more soldiers will meet their death for this cause?

If Turkey goes into Iraq without consent by other nations already involved in Iraq, then the question remains Are They Really Part of NATO and on an EU track? Whose allies are they?

The Turkish people demonstrated yesterday for incursion, but are these the same people who have commanded soldiers and know something about the true prospects of war? I think not, but I have, and to see people wanting someone else, Turkish sons and daughters, to do their bidding for them while they sit safely in their homes, is a spectacle I do not care to see. My beloved Turkey will be in ruin once again and not rewarded with grandeur.


To Rima Zeitoun, you realy made me laugh GOD BLESS YOU. Israel is a women country ??? Yeah 7 kids walking front of her one hanged to her back one in her hand and other on the way GREAT LIFE FOR A WOMAN What else could a women want ? Husband kids and slavery....

PKK ?? I am so suprised PKK is knowen as gorilla fighters. When did they become political party?

I am an Armenian Turkish Citizen I LOVE TURKEY AND I SUPPORT TURKS FOR EVER. I know there was a genocide but Ataturk has created TURKIYE which was build on freedom, democracy, respact- regardless of race religion. To those who dont know Ataturk and his solders they all fight for ONE IDEA "A majority Muslim but ONE NATION COUNTRY WHICH WAS TO BE NAMED TURKIYE" they were JEWS, CHRISTIONS,KURDS, MUSLIMS and everyone who believed in Ataturks ideas. Therefore TURKEY dont only belong to Muslims Turkey belongs to MUSLIMS, JEWS, KURDS, CHRISTIONS and who lives and carrys Turkish Citizenship. I remind you Ataturk had this idea 87 years ago. Unlike very modern countrys who resently gave black society full rights........

Now I am asking to those who dont like Turks if we come up with ONE NATION idea 87 years ago what makes you think after 87 years We going to allow few mindless people stir our country ? SO PLEASE DON'T GET EXCITED BECAUSE TURKEY WILL NEVER FALL APART.. WE ARE ONE NATION JUST LIKE MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK SAID.

John West:

And also PKK is not guierallas or freedom fighters, they target civilans as like babies, they have killed more than 30000 citizens they ve even massacred entire Kurdidh villages because they were either muslims or didnt want to cooperate with their movement, Its obvious that Turkey is protecting Kurds with in its borders. It should be a crime if PKK isnt referred to as a 'Terrorist' organisation.. Why dont the West see this.

The issue didnt just spark up recently,, its been going on for 3 decades, and Turkey accuses alot of EU countries for funding and training the organisations.

John West:

Heres an interesting intrpretation of the so called "Genocide" by "Capt. Emory Niles and Arthur Sutherland, on an official 1919 U.S. mission to the eastern Anatolia region of what is now Turkey, reported on Armenian war crimes or crimes against humanity: "In the entire region from Bitlis through Van to Bayezit, we were informed that the damage and destruction had been done by the Armenians, who, after the Russians retired, remained in occupation of the country and who, when the Turkish army advanced, destroyed everything belonging to the Musulmans (Muslims). Moreover, the Armenians are accused of having committed murder, rape, arson and horrible atrocities of every description upon the Musulman population. At first, we were most incredulous of these stories, but we finally came to believe them, since the testimony was absolutely unanimous and was corroborated by material evidence."

More than 1 million Ottoman Muslims and Kurds died in eastern Anatolia from massacres or inhumane conditions of warfare. About 600,000 Armenians died in that time frame, according to historians. The vast majority of those Armenians perished in a wretchedly executed relocation order issued on April 24, 1915, as the Allies were landing at Gallipoli, and Van was falling to the Russians on the eastern front. War crimes were committed by both Armenians and Ottoman Muslims. "

A nation was being attacked from all sides by enemies that were or entered in(to) their territories . While the might of the Otto-Turk army was at the Dardenelles and Gallipoli fighting the allies , the war in the East couldnt have been fought by the Otto turks themselves there was a religous factor inolved in the chaos. Armenians were Christian and for them didnt matter if they killed a Turk or a Kurd as long as they were Muslims. Kurds occupy the former towns of the Armenians now, you dont see many Turks living in the East, I wonder if it was the Turks that got massacred there.

Maybe this is all a political rant that s really about protecting Kurdistan,,'Blame Turkey before the state of Kurdistan is formed' Majority of the people in Far Eastern turkey are Kurds (genetically).


Mr Hossi,
I'm sorry to insult you or being misunderstood, as it's the tellers responsibility to tell in the way that she's correctly understood, but I couldn't achieve that goal.
I was using the art of literature called, "Irony" there. And whatever we call ourselves, from outside, all of us are seen as "Turks" period. If I'm wrong, please correct me.
In fact I have, genetically, Turkish, Greek, Kurdish and Russian heritage. Well, it may be funny, I can call them all or just "Turk".
Although I haven't even put my hands on a gun, I'm called "murderer". I even don't know whom I murdered. So is the same for all of us. I want to live and let live, honestly, but I'm always stamped as "Murderer Turk". I'm OK with the "Barbarian" adjective, as in fact everyone who isn't Roman is Barbarian, technically speaking. So everyone living in the world is barbarian.
But, "murderer" is something different. It's a fact that I myself murdered people it means. I didn't do that. Some people in my history did it, I don't deny, but if we dig deep enough, which nation has clean hands at all? Even yesterday's victims can be today's tyrannies. We have lot's of examples to show in the past and today. (I'm especially not giving *any* nation's name here on purpose. Think whatever you want, and you won't be wrong.)
So, there were some comments telling that "US should invade Turkey and kill all Turkish there". Hey, isn't it genocide then? So people against genocide are offering genocide? What is this?
They say they hate Muslims. Well, they may hate Muslims, but why? Because Jack Bauer is killing them like flies in the serials "24"?
"Zu befehl, mein Führer!" Is it something like that? Hitler was killing everyone who isn't Arian. So they offer to kill anyone who's Muslim? Or are they offering to kill only Turkish Muslims?
What is this guys? Honestly, please tell me. What is this?
As George Orwell stated in his novel 1984 I guess: "War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Love is hate, Ignorance is strength"
Is it, really?
I won't post here anymore, because as my uncle said, "Pity the time you spend trying to tell the facts and ideas to people who don't want to think on it"


America is against terrorism and terrorists. What the World must understand is that those who attack America and American interests or those of America's allies are terrorists. If those same people attack countries America perceives as enemies then those same people are called freedom fighters or patriots. It's all really very simple and easy to understand. Osama Bin Laden was America's friend and ally when he was fighting the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. He was then a freedom fighter. But when he wanted the US to leave its bases in Saudi Arabia and attacked America he became a terrorist. When Saddam Hussein attacked Iran he was America's friend and ally so America even gave him weapons to do the job. When Cheney discovered that Iraq was sitting on an ocean of OIL that was easy to get to, and Saddam didn't exactly want to play ball with America, then he became a ruthless dictator and murderer and America's enemy. It's so easy to understand. If you're a friend of America you can be a killer and murderer as long as you are attacking America's perceived enemies and you will be called a partner in peace or a great leader. But when you attack America's interets then you're a terrorist.


"I truly believe that Islam is the enemy of Western Civilization. (and I grew up a Muslim).

Now that I live in the WEST and I can see the difference between what I was taught as a little girl in Lebanon and what I see and hear with my own eyes in Connecticut, USA...

...I am proud to be a citizen of the WEST.

I am very pro-BUSH and pro-Israel - as I believe you must fight the male chauvinist Islamic countries with all you have got."

You came to the West but alas your reading skills never improved. You failed to notice that this article is about TURKEY damnit.

Funny that you brought up Israel. I'm taking you support Turkey then. Turkey as we all know, one of the closest friends of Israel. Go to Turkey and see for yourself how comfortable the Israelis feel there.

And on another account, If you supported what Israel tried to do to Hezbollah, you SHOULD support what Turkey is trying to do to PKK (a TERRORIST outfit as per the State department's designation). Hopefully growing up in the US taught you a bit of logic/common-sense...

Long live Kurds:

Turks have been killing Kurds and Oppressing them for 80+ years. Eventually Kurds will be freed.

mike s:


The US is in Iraq at the behest of its government; it is not an occupying force. In any case, its so-called obligations don't extend to cracking down on the PKK on behalf of Turkey. Now that might be a good thing to do, but Kurdish terrorists are Turkey's problem and had been long before Iraq was a gleam in Dick Cheney's eye.

Most of so-called "international law" is illegitimate anyway, reflecting primarily the moral preferences that liberal elites seek to impose on other people. Treaties represent little more than memoranda of understanding; they are broken frequently and can only be enforced by the threat of reprisal. Unless you're invoking God, the highest law belongs to the nation-state. America's "obligations" are to no one but its own.

Of course, being nice and getting along are frequently in America's interests, and probably very much to its long-term benefit. But no matter how much water it may (or may not) carry for other nations, America does it for it's own purposes, not to fulfill some abstract notion of international order cooked up by a bunch of intellectuals.


I see that Gulen Movement people is trying to fool you.

FYI: Secular Turks loathe Gulen movement. A big threat to the Republic. Do not let their "down-to-earth" attitude confuse you. It is an anti-secular movement with political ambitions.

Bir siz eksiktiniz basimiza. Uyanin uyanin. Fakirken sizin beyninizi yikadilar. Onlara hicbir sey borclu degilsiniz. Turkiye Cumhuriyet'inde yasiyorsunuz Turkiye Cumhuriyeti'ne geri donun.

Vic van Meter:

Can we all agree that human beings are naturally genocidal and move on? If all of our nations have been party to cultural killings and other atrocities, let's just make the assumption that it's in our blood to hate people who aren't like us and, without a moral code against it, we'd kill them all. Life sucks that way. And let's move on to the real issue at hand.

Bush's team started moving it's rhetoric around towards the end of the day today. It sounded as if they were going to halt the Turkish invasion, but now it sounds like they're just asking for a few days to see if the PKK can be dismantled by Iraq. The PKK should definitely take note here. These kinds of shifts are followed by military action, so Bush has apparently heard the call of reason for once and is ready to head up north to help the Turks.

At least it will nominally stop. If the PKK is active, they'll suddenly have a two-front war to fight trapped up in the mountains. Turkey, as a NATO member, threw their lot in with the States a long time ago. Maybe our relationship has been rocky sometimes, but Turkey and the U.S. tended to have each others' backs. The hard times stepped up when America hit Iraq and Turkey certainly didn't approve, but eventually things will even out again.

And if you REALLY need a political reason to help Turkey, it's always good to know someone with an airstrip that isn't Israel. The United States gets a lot out of our relationship with Turkey and they at least deserve to be treated like a NATO member.


Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

I am generally not inclined to agree with your sentimental characterization of "fellow-Muslims" and "fellow-sufferers," but I have to say that your piece is very well written.

Erdogan does deserve credit. He has showed restraint and has been forcefully working to press a non-military solution to the terrible conflict at hand. I know many secular people in Turkey don't like him, but he is doing Turkey a great service: By showing the international community that Turkey is eager to forge a peaceful solution, it lends credibility to Turkey's defense if God forbid it does eventually upscales its war against the PKK accross international borders.

I hope this is clear in Turkey: The US is not denying Turkey's right to defend itself against the PKK. There is no doubt that international law, under Article 51 of the UN, provides the right to self-defense. However, there is concern in the US about whether or not it is wise for Turkey to invade. Yes, Turkish soldiers are getting kidnapped and killed, and something MUST be done immediately. BUT many many more fine Turkish soldiers, maalesef, will surely be killed by a PKK insurgency if Turkey goes to war in Iraq.

Your "fellow-Muslims/fellow-sufferers" characterization suggests that these Muslims have no agency, as if they are passive recipients of whatever policy the "imperial West" imposes on them. This kind of victim mentality is neither accurate nor believable. It is condescending. Kurds and Turks -and Muslims everywhere- should understand that they have choices. Let's hope that wise choices are made, and when those choices are made, let's hope the choosers have the self esteem to take responsibility (or hopefully credit) for those choices.

Even the most self-loathing people in the most tolerant circles in the US are becoming fatigued by the idea that the greedy West can rightly be blamed for the bulk of the in fighting in Turkey's region of the world.


The PKK seems to run the same script written by Hezbullah's Nasrallah last year: killing three Israeli soldiers and capturing two...

Now it's 12 Turkish soldiers and capturing seven ...


One thing is perfectly clear here: The current U.S. administration takes any action in the so-called war against terrorism but denies other countries to do the same.
I would like Turkey to exercise restraint here--but the Bush administration has no moral authority to tell Ankara what to do here.
For more on this, please visit

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:


You write " [The US].. . while playing nice with Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and African regimes who enthusiastically support current manifestations of genocide".

Are you not guilty, yourself, of making excuses for the worst, most monstrous PRESENT DAY perpetrator of genocide, the USA?


Thank you is wery iteresting web site.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

One thing I can tell everybody here: Erdogan is no Ahmadi-Nejad, no Mubarak, no Musharraf/Benazir combined, no Manmohan Singh/Sonia Gandhi combined, not even Lula. Erdogan is a deeply humanist but realistic, cool-headed leader. He knows the Turkish people's sense of their place in History. Unlike Ahmadi-Nejad, he will not unnecessarily antagonise America; unlike Mubarak or Musharraf/Benazir or Manmohan/Sonia, he will not fall into any alluring US trap; unlike Lula, he will not pander to one and sundry in both the developing and the developed world. He and his people have chosen a course of sacrifice, hard work, self-esteem and honour in full recognition of their Islamic identity and their unique role as a bridge bewteen East and West, between Islam and the rest of the world, between emerging self-made modern nations and have-been imperilsist powers that have no choice but to adjust to a brave multi-polar world.

The Kurds are fellow-Muslims and fellow-sufferers from resource wars and from oppression and short-sightedness from their previous and possibly present leaders. Erdogan is not going to take advantage of the situation, but he will let things emerge after having done his best to steer the course of events way from direct confrontation and catastrophe.

But, if necessary, he will act and prevail!

It is in America's interest to adjust. The Fromkin editorial today alludes to the 'mad theory' strategy with which Nixon apparently toyed during the Vietnam war. Fromkin thinks that Bush/Cheney are again playing with that very dangerous toy. Congress' lower house and the US Senate should rein-in those ill-behaved brats before they blow up their own playpen.


I just realized today that even as American tv and print newscasters point out that the US considers the PKK a terrorist organization, they in the next breath go on to report on the current activities of the Pkk "rebels". And the notion of terrorists then fades every so coolly below the surface, because in our consciousness, only Arabs are terrorists. Very slick. This would indicate that the American media have already decided that the Turks, Syrians, Iranians, and Iraqis are wrong to refuse the Kurds some of their own geography.


mike s writes: "Here we go again. The PKK terrorists strike, and naturally it's America's fault, because the US hasn't captured them. Look, I know that Kurds have American weapons (knowe anybody in Iraq who doesn't?), but in the main, this is another example of people blaming everything on America."

Mike S,

The US has very specific international responsibilities as the occupier of Iraq, and regardless of there being an Iraqi "government". So this is not a case of everything being America's fault. It is a case of a specific political situation being a US responsibility as occupier.

As a modest beginning, you may want to refer to "U.S. Victory has Steep Price in Maintaining Safe Iraq Peace: International Law Places Demands on Occupier", 2003, by Robert Little.


As a matter of fact, it is arguable (and has been argued repeatedly) that the US has never respected its international obligations, as the occupier of Iraq.

Tom Wallach:

I am a bit confused by all the efforts of folks to defend their nation's historical errors. Turkey at the very least fostered an environment of genocide. The United States took similar steps (with the native americans) as did many other nations, (Ancient Israel, Modern Germany, Russia, France, Poland). It will be harder, in fact, to find an ancestry you can claim that did not play party to a genocide or three.

Don't ever make excuses for the misteps and crimes of your ancestors. learn from them. The modern turk bears little in common with the groups that committed these crimes. The modern German has no real antipathy towards the jews (although the re-emergence of far right groups is a concern). When you "explain" these actions, no matter if you are bringing to light little known facts, you justify the action.

The bottom line is, the US needs to make a decision. sitting quietly and denouncing 90 year old atrocities, while playing nice with Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and African regimes who enthusiastically support current manifestations of genocide, is cowardice of the worst order. Either chose to be a pragmatic nation, or an idealistic nation. you cant have it both ways.


SALIH SAYS, "Ok Ok, hey, all Turkish guys wrote here."

I just got this. Very interesting. i didn't know that only Turks could post here. Is that what he means? Does he not know that there are Jewish, Turkish, Christian, Armenian, Assyrian, Alevi, and Buddhist Turks -- who live and work in Turkey as Turkish citizens? Does he really mean that one is not a Turk if one is not a Muslim? Shiite or Sunni only, Salih Bey? What about Turkish atheists? Agnostics?

mike s:

Sure, Vlad, the US should encourage the Kurds to have their own state and partition Turkey, a step so contrary to American interests as to beggar reason.

It's a move only a Soviet Russian could love.


There is a saying " Whoever goes against(carries out aggression) against the Turk dies a terrible death". Let Armenians,Greeks,Kurds, Arabs, Europeans and Americans know this and use history as an example! Down with the West, Down with America, no real Turk wants the imperialists to divide the nation that has been built with the toil of the People and the blood of our Martyrs!


In the case we left Eastern Anatolia and left it to Kurds, well, I guess this time Armenians also will want to get some part of it, as Batman which is about 80% Kurd right now was in fact an Armenian city.
Well, last time we were muslims you were muslims and we were really busy looking at Dardanelles.
Well this time Armenians will find themselves more allies and we won't look at that side again, as we already departed. So, I think Mr. Barzani will give shelter to the "Relocated" Kurds by the Armenians, to continue killing their female siblings who were raped by some rich or powerful Kurd. But this time, don't look at us. We won't help.
"Fooled me once, shame on you, fooled me second time, shame on me" I think this was an American saying. Am I wrong?


Why USA & EU close their eyes the cenocide in Serbia in the 20th century?Because it was towards to muslim and it had been done the name of Jesus..Who really cares what happened between Turkish & Armenian clash in 1915..USA or France??
I dont belive that.


Ok Ok, hey, all Turkish guys wrote here. They have disguised us! So don't try more.
Just focus on the aim! We'll exterminate every other nation in the world! This is our aim. (Well I didn't know this was the case, but all the commentators above can't be wrong I guess.) So let's get on the job. We screwed with the Armenians, we shouldn't have tried to relocate them where they can't harm us, but exterminate them right where they were. And ah, I forgot, we gave that task to the Kurds, who live in their lands now, well after them we should have killed them all now. By the way, maybe it's the best to give all Eastern Anatolia to either Kurds and Armenians and watch them kill each other. Hey! They can't call us genociders in that case! We are out of those territories and the problem is totally between Kurds and Armenians. We didn't do anything. And like in the past, we may sen troops to STOP YOU KILLING EACH OTHER! ARMENIANS AND KURDS! Maybe that's the best solution.
But in this case, as a Western Turkish citizen, I urge the Turkish government to transfer each nail that they've put there, buildings, dams, roads etc from there to the west. Of course, we'll pay you to the penny what you've given us as tax. Even with the highest international interest rate. Even if it's the case, we'd be in the plus, if we did it.
The only thing holding us back is the "Dignity" nothing more.
But in fact, I'd prefer not being called as "sister murderer" or "pregranat beater" or such adjectives. As we all know, these things are happening only in Eastern Turkey, or among Kurdish people of Turkey. Without them believe me, we are much better off. We are keeping on because when we were founding this Republic, they wanted to be with us. They've given their oath. But if they don't want us now, OK for me. they can go back to east.
Joke aside, I'm not sure you can find even one Kurdish descended Turkish Republic citizen who lives in west to leave everything she has and go back to Kurdistan. Even paid to do that.
So, as an old English saying states: "beware of what you wish, that, it may come true, though not the way you dream."
(By the way, every Turkish Republic citizen has the right to settle in any place sees fit within the borders of the Turkish Republic, so nobody tell me they can't settle wherever they want.)



"[I]t was not just killing of 1.5 mln Armenians but that it was killing of Christians (Armenians, Greeks, etc) by Muslim turks."

Again, only a partial truth. I am not sure what the "etc." is supposed to mean here, but when the Russians and the French egged the Armenians on, and a civil war ensued, both Kurds and Turks alike, side by side, fought against the land's Armenians. Massacres were perpetrated by all. No one denies that.

There are currently 30,000 Armenians living and working in Turkey. There are Kurds in the Turkish Parliament. Theses issues are never clearly delineated the way people of hhate define them.

Armenians of Armenia will tell you they care less about "The Armenian Question of Turkey" than they care about their own economic system. Poverty is practically the norm there. Why aren't Armenians in diaspora helping Armenia to the fullest extent possible?



I have lived and studied in the Midwest for a long time and I can easily say that American people or American way of life etc. aren't the aim of the disgruntled Turkish public when they say "curse PKK, curse America" or things like that.
It is a frustration aimed at the American administration and the government.

So Vic don't worry...

In my opinion, the thing is, though some people may oppose, Turkey had always been saw America as a big brother especially throughout the Cold War. There was respect and trust on both sides.
I remember being at Turkish American Cultural Association's building in Ankara when we heard about WTC on 9/11. When I was leaving the building I saw that a police officer was assigned just in case and his face was bleak. People were talking about that for a long time like probably everybody in the world but they were talking about that in subdued tones.
It was because they knew what TERROR was and how it hurts when it happens. They felt for the victims and the American people as a whole.
But this sympathy started to go down with the beginning of the Iraq War. Turkey thought and tried to warn US about a possible mess and wasn't given ear at the best by the administration.
I think we all agree that going into Iraq wasn't one of the wisest decisions of the administration.
Turks felt betrayed, frustrated and recently failed by the US whom they thought as an elder brother.

Actually I also can't understand the politically short sightedness of the Kurds in Northern Iraq. US won't stay in Iraq forever and sooner or later they'll have to face other countries in the region. They are landlocked and have to have good relations with their neighbors.

I just want to add something about Armenian Americans. After meeting a few of them, I was confused by their hatred for the Turks. It was like standing in front of an open pizza oven so to speak. After talking to a half Armenian half Israeli girl, I saw that Orthodox Church and especially the Hatred against the Turks are binding power for the American Armenian community. This is especially encouraged by the community elders. They don't care about Armenia or denial or acknowledgment of genocide by the Turkish government. It government acknowledged it they would want compensation. If given compensation the y would ask for annexation or some other absurd thing.
I would like to say this was my personal observation and though I'm hesitant to include whole community I'm afraid that I'm right about it.

Sorry for the long post...



"Is America really at war against terrorism?" he continued. "If so, America should capture the PKK terrorists and give their heads to Turkey. That would improve relations."

Well, of course Bush is not really at war against terrorism. Otherwise he would not have pulled troops out of Afganistan, said that OBL was irrelevent or allowed the PKK to continue its terrorism in Iraq/Turkey. But has Bush allowed any terrorism against Iraqi oil? No, that is secured by enough American forces.

Yes Bush is at war with terrorism, but only when it is directed against assets of interest, and not at war with terrorism in general. Turkey has a right to defend itself. Bush created the Kurdish sector of Iraq, and like all of Iraq he now owns that too with all of its problems. Will any ally remain with us before the buffoon leaves office so policy can be made in an intelligent way that maintains our alliances and our leadership role in the world?


The kurds in the northern Iraq should vote if they want to be independent. If they choose to, the US must help them to get their own state in the northern Iraq and turkish kurds should be able to join that state. Kurds suffered a lot from Iraqi arabs, turks and Iranians. The US is supporting independence for Kosovo, turks are supporting Chechens' independence. Kurds have right to be independent too.

I do not care what turks think about the US and do not expect them to like it. The US should close its base in Turkey itself and use territory of really friendly states like Romania, Georgia, Armenia, Bulgaria, etc. I am from eastern Europe and we still remember atrocities of Ottoman Empire. They did horrible things and most of them do not feel sorry anyhow. Most of them want Ottoman Empire back.

American christians must realize that it was not just killing of 1.5 mln Armenians but that it was killing of Christians (Armenians, Greeks, etc) by Muslim turks. And it is about the same in Turkey today.


Many of these posted comments are interesting and self-contradictory. But contradiction is one of those aspects of life that keep us committed to one another through respectful dialogue. My favorite one, where the poster is, in my opinion, half-correct (on Islamists (as opposed to Muslims in general)) and half-wrong (on US/UK liberals), is this one (**She's got the anti-liberal lingo down pat):

I truly believe that Islam is the enemy of Western Civilization. (and I grew up a Muslim).

Now that I live in the WEST and I can see the difference between what I was taught as a little girl in Lebanon and what I see and hear with my own eyes in Connecticut, USA...

...I am proud to be a citizen of the WEST.

I am very pro-BUSH and pro-Israel - as I believe you must fight the male chauvinist Islamic countries with all you have got.

The liberals from the UK and America who hate Bush and believe the lies of the New York Times and the Manchester Guardian - are completely misinformed.

I know. I have lived in both worlds. In general, the Israelis and the neoconservatives have been right. (its just that the truth doesn't go down easy with the marxist left in the UK/USA)

**You might recall in an earlier comment of hers, she says she tells her Turkish husband she hopes all the Kurds kill all the Turks, because Turks are anti-female. Well, that's another one she got wrong, because the so-called "honor killings" perpetrated in the West and in Eastern Turkey, are committed mostly by Kurds, who in the West are identified as Turks since they have immigrated from Turkey. her turkish husband should know this; so I do not know why he is silent on this issue.

Also, though I am not a Muslim, I have to suggest that it isn't Islam that is an enemy of the West, but religious thugs who hijack religious language and bamboozle their co-religionists. Problems occur when the truly religious, be they Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., remain silent.

I used to think -- theough a very liberal bias that the world could be made over for the better -- that it was the university that was at fault for releasing idiots on to the world, but I now see that idiots are molded by their families, or are just born that way.

mike s:

Here we go again. The PKK terrorists strike, and naturally it's America's fault, because the US hasn't captured them.

Look, I know that Kurds have American weapons (knowe anybody in Iraq who doesn't?), but in the main, this is another example of people blaming everything on America.

Makes you wonder why the Unionists in Northern Ireland never launched these anti-American demonstrations whenever an IRA bomb went off.

john martin:

I am trying to understand the west even I live in western country.I think we cant say the truth about Turkish and Armenian clash because we are the part of it.French & English specialy..why they were there in that time and what they were looking around the end of Ottoman Empire...

Johann Tollefson:

Good Post Vic. As another American I have to agree with you. If it were a group doing the same to the US we would demand said country reigns it in, and if they didn't we would strike to protect our interests and sovereignty. I see no reason why Turkey shouldn't do the same.

As far as the Armenian situation that has everyone riled up, it was almost 100 years ago. A little over 100 years ago we Americans were still killing native americans and taking there land, we all make mistakes in our past one way or the other. But when it is seperated by three generations what good can come of re-kindling old fires.

Rock on Turkey, we've stood together as a nation in the past, we should continue to stand together in the future.

Vic van Meter:

We've got to pick where we stand on this issue. We let Israel do the same thing in Lebanon. Terrorists are jumping the border and are attacking another country. If Iraq's not doing anything, I think Turkey ought to be able to try and clean house themselves. If the Kurds in Iraq aren't big enough to handle that business, then it's Turkey's problem.

Sorry, maybe that's a bit hawkish of me, but if we were jumped by New Mexico seperatists from the Mexican border and Mexico just shrugged, I'd be backing America right into Mexico to fight them. It's Iraq's responsibility to protect its neighbors from soldiers within its territory. The PKK better stand down now. I think one more shot isn't just enough to send Turkey scrambling over the border, I'd be angry if Bush didn't loose the American military on the PKK. This is part of our obligation while we're there as well.

I don't blame the Turks for being mad. Pelosi's stunt and the administration's mishandling of the PKK situation have resulted in trapping Turkey in a corner.

If any Turks are on, don't blame us American people! We just can't seem to get a decent government in office to make the war/peace decisions when they need to be made. I fully understand where the Turkish government is coming from. I back you guys!

Screw all this panhandling. Whatever the terms, Turkey and America have a long history of being allies without completely understanding each other. This isn't one of those times. Most of the Americans I'm talking to here about it are wondering why exactly the American military isn't up there dealing with this if the Kurds aren't. I mean, the Kurds are our allies in Iraq, yes, but Turkey makes it possible and they're taking a huge political risk (what with their own Kurdish troubles) to help us.

It doesn't matter what the PKK stands for or why. It's imperitive that these attacks stop. We don't want Turkey invading Iraq and upsetting the balance of power there. But an even worse option is to ignore the problem and let the PKK run rampant on the Turkish military and provide them a safe haven. That's just ridiculous.



Very convincing. Do you intentionally make your analysis (of why Americans are hated all over the world) sound so silly and intellectually lazy? Or is anti-Americanism celebrated in your intellectual circles?

Amar C. Bakshi:

Two interesting pieces to consider now on Turkish views of America, and Turkey-U.S. relations. The first is by Graham Allison and was published in the CS Monitor way back in July 2007 predicting a crisis moment in the future if America didn't address Turkish concerns:
And now one by Sami Moubayed suggesting the best way to alleviate tensions is again to actively press Kurdish leaders and make public shows of support for Turkish aims rather than just calls for restraint.
Both raise the question, what would war do to Turkey-U.S. relations? How can it best be avoided, while still changing the status quo. Thought I'd share these. Looking forward to your thoughts.


If you have ever stayed in Turkey for any amount of time, or any country of that elk, you would know, that demonstrations as portrayed in the media, are "shows". They are whipped up, supported and supplied with resources by various organizations that are fed by the governments propaganda machine. Of course the media gets the free show and headlines and feeds the left-leaning anti-American bend it is presently preoccupied with portraying. In countries such as Turkey, these demonstrations do not just happen. As with all anti-global, anti-capitalistic “demonstrations”, there is an abundant lack of spontaneous demonstration by the “real” people. How could there be, they are working or in school. Unless someone is paying, coercing, inciting them to demonstrate, they would not be playing their acting roles that the media so desperately feeds off, without disclosing questions as to why they are there, what organization compelled their attendance, etc. This is the new stage-managed demonstration fools. Do you think there is a government in that part of the world that would tolerate real expressions of outrage, unless it plays to their convenience? What you see in Turkey, the Middle East, Latin America is a farce, as it relates to free expression and spontaneous demonstrations. Your intelligence is being insulted by your consideration of such portrayals, which only serve their intended purpose, to provide media and governmental leverage in the effecting of governmental policy shifts during periods of deliberation and re-evaluation. That does not mean that the intended shift shouldn't be effected for or against the lines suggested. But the means to the end, if countenanced as these stage-managed shows, is worthy of outright rejection of the platform that is being artificially supported.


If this is how agressive and intolerable the Turkish state now, imagine what it did in 1915, when its hands were free to exterminate more than a million of Armenians, an act which later became known as the Genocide of Armenians. The exterminated population were civilians who lived peacefully in their historical homeland in Mush, Sasun, Van, Trabizon... This is the history that Turks still deny, and killing Hrant Dink once again proves how intolerable and violent that society is even now in the 21st century.
Kurds fight for their land, and they fight well. Turkish army should get ready to fight a nation that remembers what Turks did to Armenians, and will not allow the same happen to them. "Woe to the downpressors: They'll eat the bread of sad tomorrow!" (Bob Marley). This was for you, Turks.

Rodney King:

Can't we all just get along?

Amar C. Bakshi:

Hi Memo, thanks for the comment. Gulen is coming up after I spend some time at the border talking to people there. So stay around from it. I know they're a controversial group and look forward to digging deep.

Amjad AbdulShakoor:

Turkey has not seen a better and more prudent government than this. It is in American interest not to take Turkry for granted and act on the PKK issue.

Armenian deaths of World war-I

Turkey has a history of providing refuge to others. They did that for the Jews.

Armenians sided with the Russians who attacked Turkey; Turks instead of killing them asked them to leave, some died on the way and many made it to greener pastures like the US and Canada. I wonder what are they complaining about!
They should ask US congress to pass a resolution of thanks because they let them live!

Rima Zeitoun:

I truly believe that Islam is the enemy of Western Civilization. (and I grew up a Muslim).

Now that I live in the WEST and I can see the difference between what I was taught as a little girl in Lebanon and what I see and hear with my own eyes in Connecticut, USA...

...I am proud to be a citizen of the WEST.

I am very pro-BUSH and pro-Israel - as I believe you must fight the male chauvinist Islamic countries with all you have got.

The liberals from the UK and America who hate Bush and believe the lies of the New York Times and the Manchester Guardian - are completely misinformed.

I know. I have lived in both worlds. In general, the Israelis and the neoconservatives have been right. (its just that the truth doesn't go down easy with the marxist left in the UK/USA)


Gulen movement is a US based movement led by Fettullah Gulen whom by some considered neo-Islamist (in fact, very similar to Evangelicals in the US).
Factually, he has direct connection (and control of) to Erdogan government. In fact, to some career bureaucrats, he is the man behind the curtain, leading the re-staffing of Turkish state within by populating bureaucracy with under qualified and underachieved faithful of his for last 5 years.
It is also said that the methods of Gulen movement is quite deceptive with ideals ranging from having the US become a predominantly Islamic nation to making Turkey a neo-Ottoman Islamic power.
Of course, these types of conspiracy based gossips may very well be far from the truth. Nevertheless, those of us who have met with Gulen sponsored PhD students studying in the US can immediately read the anti-secular, anti-Kemalist (therefore, anti -Ataturk) ideologies.
It is very much known that anti-Ataturk ideology directly correlates with pro-Sharia ideology that is practiced by Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
Therefore, Gulen movement led by Fettullah who has not been to his native country for decades often meet with quite suspicions and skepticism no matter what his followers’ excuse is on this issue).
In addition, Gulen movement has many mouthpieces in the US (as they are largely present here for Gulen sponsored education). Therefore, US based media and blogs tend to be influenced by their comments rather that pro-secular Turks.
As a result, to see Gulen movement as a last hope of defense against radical Islam by promoting its ideology and accepting the defeat of secular-Islam (particularly in Turkey) is nothing more that accepting the worst possible ending of a suspense novel before reading the last chapter.



D M:

Be careful. You will hear LOTS of rumors in Turkey


FIONA.UK, the one thing I do know is my great grandfather was skinned alive on the front porch of his house, by the Ottoman and Young Turks, that's enough history for me.


Wouldn't Turkey be better off if they treated their minorites more humanely? They claim to be democratic yet they don't even recognize the existence of their largest minority, the Kurds, officially calling them "mountain turks". They get massive amounts of American foreign aid, and in return they curse America. I hope President Bush realizes where our taxpayers money is being wasted.

waine uk:

I see anonymous is at it again, his postings are so sick he should be banned. Turkey has every right to go after those terrorists no matter where they are hiding. If anonymous wants to talk about genoscide he just needs to look in his own back yard visa vi the American Indians and the slaaghter perpetrated there. Of course that dose'nt count the Yanks can't do anything wrong can they. Thats why they are hated the world over.

Rima Zeitoun:

Having moved to America from the middle east, I can tell you that America is 10,000 times better than Turkey and Lebanon.

I am ashamed of how Turks treat women and the kurds.
My husband is Turkish and I tell him to his face that I hope the Kurds crush the Turks.

As far as I am concerned...the two best countries in the world are America and Israel. (in each country women get ahead the most)


Dear Stephen Kriz:

I agree with you that this insulting resolution against our lone Muslim ally is ridiculous. However, it is coming from Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House who has a large Armenian constituency in her voting district of San Francisco. The "Bush Administration" you despise so much has been intensely lobbying against the passage of the resolution for weeks now. Instead of lecturing us for "simply not paying attention", why don't you try reading actual news articles instead of browsing the New York Times editorials?


Is'nt the demands of the Kurds being lost in all this. After all the Turks have not been treating Kurds well and hence this war within. The turks are simply looking for a foreign excuse to deviate from owning up to their own mistreatment of Kurdish minorities. If they let the Kurds teach their own language in schools and develop TV and Radio programming in their own language and stop persecuting them, they would not have this problem. Turkey cannot expect the rest of the world to address its own identity problems.

Kach are full of hate.Do you really know your history..and Turkish history?I dont think so.You just shoutingwit hate.Turkish people very kind people.I dont belive you and your siders.

D M:

I heard a rumor in Turkey that the U.S. is protecting Fetullah Gulen so that they can install him as the new "Caliph", undermining one of Al Qaeda's reasons for fighting. He was not a popular man among "Kemalist" Turks.

Sad..America play the game and Turkish mothers pay the price..SHAME.

Stephen Kriz:

More foreign policy failure from the Bush Administration. Turkey is the one moderate, secular Muslim country in the Middle East where we enjoyed at least some support and now we have alienated them. Anyone who thinks this Administration is not the WORST one in the history of the United States, is simply not paying attention...



"If you're going to go in and try to topple Saddam Hussein,you have to go to Baghdad. Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens to it once we leave?"

Dick Cheney in April 1991, then Defense Secretary, as quoted in the Slate on October 16, 2002.


65% of Turks believe America is a substantial threat to their security according to the Pew, so anonymous, be careful what you write.


Turkish Youth Organisations, a.k.a. Young Turks of last Century? The same ones led by Ismael Enver that did the "not genocide" cull of 1.5 million Armenians?
Yeah, a great bunch indeed. They have the record to show for themselves!

Let them kill and be killed. USA invaded the wrong country, it should have invaded Turkey, and it may well be forced to!

Amar C. Bakshi:

Hello Aydin, I am very interested in looking into the Gulen movement, especially in regards to education within Turkey. Also, since many of its leaders are in the U.S., it is particularly appropriate for this project.


Hello Dear Amar,

It is very nice to see you will be visiting Turkey for along period.I would like to make arrangement for you to see Gulen Movement,in ,a very popular movement which is the fastest growing movement and well known as promoter of Interfaith Dialogue. I assure that without knowing Gulen Movement,someone can not undestand Turkey and the future of Turkey.So,if you really want to make a nice analyze about Turkey,I strongly recommand you to get in touch with Gulen Movement and interview with someone in the movement.It is very important to talk with the people in the movement directly because People you conduct with from out of movement might be biased against movement and give some false information. If you need assistance from me,please email me at


Erkan Saka:

There have always been ideological sources of Anti-Americanism in Turkey. But these could never shape the overall direction of Turkish society. When the Left was powerful in 1960s-late 1970s, American state was always the first ideological target as the leader of capitalist block and one can remember the infamous instant when American ambassador's car was burnt down in METU sometime before 1980s. Another major source of Anti-Americanism should be the radical Islamic movements arising after the 1980 coup d'etat. Influenced by the revolution in Iran and more influenced by the Palestine issue, Islamists and their audiences had increasingly became anti-American because of US' support for Israel. However, one could claim that Turkish society and state were in general pro-US. until very recently.

A key moment of change in moods should be the end of the Cold War. Turkey's place in Cold War from 1945 until the collapse of Berlin Wall in late 1980s was very well determined. Well, Turkey was not need to be seen as a close ally any more.

But things -especially in the Middle East- from remained as usual until the first Gulf War. Turkey in one way or another supported US but this war seemed to trigger a change in the political geography of the region.

More immediate and everyday life situations:
1. Emergence of a Kurdish State in the Northern Iraq. An unimaginable political entity for Turkish elites.
2. Claims that this newly emerging Kurdish state harbors PKK guerrillas. The latter then crosses border and Turkish targets/soldiers.
3. Claims that American army is in fact providing direct support for PKK guerrillas. i.e. the American arms found.
4. An instance where Turkish special team members in Northern Iraq were interrogated by American soldiers. Labelled as humiliation.

More distant but still effective situations:

5. American media despising/insulting Turkey for not letting American army to start the Northern front.

In other developments,
6. Civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Bosnia could be added to an extent) Turks in general never cared for the Eastern neighbors but increasing Islamic sensibility could have played a role.
7. Israeli interventions in Lebanon and Palestine (supposedly backed by US)
8. 2001 Economic crises could be traced back to the first Gulf War. Turkey losing a lot in the regional trade. American demands not to trade with Iran while Turkey tries to play a role as regional energy center.

[Note from Amar: Erkan and I met yesterday to discuss this topic with local bloggers. He prepared these thoughts in response to a request from me this afternoon. His blog can be found at:]

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