Monday, September 11, 2006
Don’t Let New Disappearances to Happen in Turkey!
Arzu Torun Must Be Released Immediately!
In Turkey, which is known by ongoing violation of freedom of thought and long-years of imprisonment of many journalists, new attacks, arrestments and attempts of disappearing people under police custody are recently being of the agenda. While we are worried about the lives of some of the people who have been taken into custody because of letting them to speak with nobody and existence of torture in Turkey, it is being learned that Arzu Torun and somebody else together with her have been kidnapped by the police.
A human rights defender and lawyer Eren Keskin, who spoke at the press meeting organised by the weekly socialist newspaper Atilim and supported by many institutions, on Sunday, the 10th of September, stated that her client Arzu Torun, together with someone else, have been kidnapped somewhere in close distance to the Adana Airport by the police. Eren Keskin said that Torun shouted for help during the mentioned incident of kidnapping and said “Call Eren Kesin, my lawyer, they want to disappear me”. Keskin noted that the witnesses had reached her through phone call.
It is also being learned that the Chief Editor of Atilim Newspaper, Ibrahim Cicek is taken into police custody while traveling in a car in Manisa on 8 September, and the others, the Coordinator of Atilim Newspaper, Sedat Senoglu, Ziya Ulusoy, Ali Hidir Polar, Hatice Bolat, H. Tuncay Yurttas, Bayram Namaz, Rukiye Erbas, Hanefi Kinaci, Cemile Aktas, Fatma Siner, Naci Guner, Volkan Okumus, Seyfi Polat, Huseyin Ari, Arif Celebi, Elif Almakca, Erhan Ceylan, Ayhan Ocal, Ayhan Guzel, Gulden Guzel, Ozgur Gedik those who are known as revolutionaries and socialists and the Chief Coordinator of Ozgur Radyo, Fusun Erdogan are also being taken into police custody and brought to the Vatan Anti-Terror Branch in Istanbul, known as the torture centre. It has been learned that the people under police custody are not being let to speak with their solicitors, except Ibrahim Cicek.
One can see that such attacks in Turkey are being increased and the opposition is being tried to be put in silence after the introduction of New Anti-Terror Laws. We are witnessing the intense violation of human rights and freedoms as shown by the instances of police attacks on the people those who are protesting sending of troops to Lebanon, and their imprisonment, the torture in the police stations and the massacre of 3 people, including a 8 years-old child, Mizgin Ozbek, in Batman.
ICAD protests the Turkish State’s violation of human rights and freedoms, and demands the immediate release of arrested journalists and other oppositional people.
ICAD worries about the lives of arrested journalists and the people in opposition to state, and calls upon all organisations and individuals, those who are for the human rights and freedoms, to protest these anti-democratic practices of the Turkish State.
ICAD protests the Turkish State’s new attempts to disappear people, and demands immediate release of Arzu Torun and the other person who has been kidnapped together with her.
You can send your protest messages in order to prevent new disappearances to the following mail addresses:
The Justice Minister, Murat Baseskioglu, E-Mail: email@example.com, Tel: 0090 312 296 60 00
The Minister of Interior, Abdulkadir Aksu, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, E-Mail: email@example.com
ICAD International Office
C/o Unser Haus e.V. Wentorfer Str. 26, 21029 Hamburg , Germany
Tel: 0049-40-7210 46 76, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donation Account: ICAD, HASPA, BLZ: 200 505 50, Kontonummer: 1034-219 871
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Stop Ilisu dam project!Flood as means of counterinsurgency
The Turkish state wants to flood a large area of Kurdistan - the valley of Hasankeyf. Thousands of inhabitants will be forced to leave their homes, and huge historic sites will be destroyed for ever. The economic benefit of the project is little, but the fascist government of Turky is doing everything possible to destroy Kurdish identity.
The Siemens owned VA Tech, Züblin und Co. is willing to build the dam. In the next days the German government will decide whether it will financially support this horrible project.
Join the fax campaign!
Demand from the turkish responsables that they stop the project because it will result in many social, ecological and cultural loss and will have very negligible benefits.
Turkish Prime Minister R.T. Erdogan: email@example.com
Turkish Minister for Energy and natural ressources: firstname.lastname@example.org
DSI (Turkish State Water/Hydrology Agency): email@example.com (General Director)
Turkish leader company Nurol:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com (Project Coordinator)
Demand from the european governments that they should not gove loan security for this destructive project. They have to act after their own social and human right criterias:
firstname.lastname@example.org (German Councellor Mrs Merkel)
Fax: 0049-30 4000 1843 (if it doesnt work: 0049-30 4000 2357)
email@example.com (Austrian Chancellor Dr. Schüssel)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Austrian Finance Minister Grasser)
Fax: 0043-153 115 4274
Swiss Government (Federal Councellors Mrs. Leuthard and Mrs. Calmy-Rey):
Doris.email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: 0041-31 322 59 94
Foreign Companies leader Andritz (VA Tech):
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
In the context of a "development project" for Southeast Turkey (GAP), the construction of another large dam is planned: the Ilisu dam. After some companies and banks withdrew from the project in 2001 due to massive social and environmental concerns, another attempt is being made to push ahead the disastrous project.The most severe expected impacts of the dam include:
Disastrous environmental impacts in the region.
- The destruction of flood-plains and habitat for endangered animals and plants
- A massive fish die-off
- Sedimentation and eutrophication
Also the people living in the region as well in downstream riparian states face tremendous direct impacts:
- Evictions without proper rehabilitation and resettlement
- Human Rights violations
- Severe decrease in water quality
- An increase of water-born diseases like malaria
- Aggravation of the already existing water conflicts in the region, especially between Turkey and its neighboring states
Furthermore the city of Hasankeyf, a central cultural asset for Turkey and a symbol of human civilization, will disappear in the Ilisu floods forever.
It is obvious that the construction of the dam would lead to devastating ecological and social problems due to major deficiencies in the planning and designing of the project. Still, corporations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland plan to participate in the project, for which they have applied for Export Credit Guarantees.
We live in a country, which has signed up to agreements on refuge for individuals and basic social rights in accordance with international laws.
There are hundreds of thousands of Kurds living in Europe, mostly in Germany. We are a community, which has migrated here because of war, expulsion, repression, inequality and undemocratic actions. We are striving, on the basis of legitimate rights, to live as an integral part of German society. In our own country, Kurdistan, we are arrested, persecuted and killed because of our struggle for freedom and democracy. We have come together in order to fight for our rights. In Germany alone, over 60 centres are active in the Federation of Kurdish Associations (YEK-KOM).
Arrests and bans
But also, here in Germany, we are not recognized as who we are. Due to policies of the government, for years, we have been robbed of our freedom, our newspapers banned, and our people threatened, intimidated, or arrested. Fundamental, democratic constitutional rights, such as freedom of opinion, and assembly, to hold seminars, and make public statements on political events were banned. Intimidation, threats and pestering of members and leaders of Kurdish associations on the basis of their political activities and cultural practices, and the persecution of legitimate interests were the order of the day. The most recent example being the arrests at the beginning of August of the Kurdish political figures Muzaffer Ayata, and Riza Erdogan
in Germany, as well as Nedim Seven in Holland.
Turkey, Germany and the USAs collective plan
Behind these arrests lies Turkeys pressure, which still rejects a political and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question, and above all, most recently has been conspicuous in its efforts to reject one, and by it to bring the USA and Iraq to act against the PKK in South Kurdistan.
There is no longer any doubt that the policy of terrorising, provoking and isolating the Kurds is a result of the collective plan of Turkey, the USA, and the European countries for geo-strategic and economic reasons. Above all, Germany, as the main mover of this plan makes our lives unbearable.
Criminalising and stigmatising
People who have lived and worked in parts of this country for many years are criminalized by immigration officers and the courts, and stigmatised as dangers to Germanys internal security, who would have to leave Germany. Associations which are allied to the YEK-KOM were immediately described as PKK supporters. This, despite all centres having full memoranda and articles of association, and were fully legally entered into the register of companies. We see this as a worrying development.
Co-operation and dialogue
As Kurds, our work concerns itself with peaceful and equal co-operation with all social groups. We have been at pains to create a dialogue with the relevant politicians in Germany. All the same, we are banging our heads against a wall of silence and ignorance. We, as Kurds, are obviously isolated and ostracised. Its our experience that Kurds in Germany - who in their own homeland are prosecuted, arrested and tortured; whose language, culture and very existence is banned - which they believed to be a safer haven, find the same repression as exists in Turkey. That is painful.
Criminalisation is no solution
We wish to make one thing clear: we will imperturbably stick to our policy of dialogue. We call upon the German politicians responsible, neither to deny our efforts, nor to refuse a debate; an exchange of views. We also call upon the Federal Government and the EU to develop a policy on Kurdistan, which is not based on economic interests, and finally to make a contribution to a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question.
Closing the association and the hunger strike
As a protest against the continuing practice of criminalisation, we have
along with the other 60+ centres in the umbrella group YEK-KOM shut the Navenda Kurd association as of 21 August 2006. With Stuttgart and Cologne, we will also be staging a hunger strike.
Dialogue not bans! 24 August 2006 Translation from German original