While I am writing these lines, Turkish jets are bombing terror bases of PKK in northern Iraq once more, according to Reuter's last minute news.
Operations inside the border are also going on. Some sources say hundreds terrorists are exterminated, some say no serious number of deaths. Military announced that they will release evidences and information about the results of the operations this week.
On the other hand, there are no reliable announcements from PKK. Neither their famous leaders (wonder how/ where they are) nor their spokesmen in Europe makes any comments other than a new campaign for Apo's transfer from Imrali prison and another to call help to stop Turkiye from operations. As usual they are confusing stem and straw in their useless calls.
Statements of northern Iraq Kurdish leaders are neither coherent nor realistic. There were some photos showing cement tombs, told to be the cemerery for dead terrorists instructed by Talabani but not confirmed. While Talabani, leader of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, condemn the cross-border attacks 16, claiming that numerous Iraqi Kurds have died in the operations; Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is also the leader of one of the main Kurdish political parties, is cautious in criticizing the Turkish military attacks, saying that Turkey had the right to defend itself against the terrorist threat; "We understand Turkey defending itself against the terrorist organization... We are aware of Turkey's sensitivities. We are not remaining silent, but we are not going to declare war, either."
Wish they they think on declaring war... In all their pathetic state under invasion, non existing sovereignty it is not even funny. They still can't differ the target of Turkiye, PKK and Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq. Forgetting the days they fought beside Turkish army against PKK or it was Turkiye who opened it's border to tens of thousands Iraqi Kurdish refugees during Saddam.
PKK and some other sources are trying to show Turkiye's operations are only in military attacks context. The international media says nothing about the political, economic, social and cultural packages which are planning to accompany the military actions.
One of the steps is he draft of the “Witness Protection Program Law” which will be presented to Parliament. According to some mediaıa reports, like similar to US and many EU countries, witnesses who provide valuable information about crime and crime gangs would be provided with new IDs, financial support and even a new look through plastic surgery. It will be an addition to current Article 221 of the Penal Code. Some terrorists already surrendered to security forces were questioned briefly and set free under the benefits of a “protection program.”
There are news about PKK taking away the portable radios from the militants to prevent them learning the law and thinking to surrender. Pardoning all the militants other than the 150 or more leading group is also in rumors. Of course, it is not something that leading group would prefer. There was even a comment of Talabani on this issue, in the news today.
I found an interesting survey by National Police Department today; "Over 50 percent of PKK terrorists below 25." Better put some parts below;
"Members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the most violent terrorist group staging attacks against Turkey, aged between 14 and 25 constitute 54 percent of the organization's members. High school and university students are the biggest sources of recruitment for terrorist organizations. There are 12 active terrorist organizations with leftist, separatist and fundamentalist ideologies."
"... They even recruit children. According to the survey, of the 262 PKK terrorists in prison, 54 percent are aged between 14 and 25, 34 percent between 26 and 37 and 12 percent between 38 and 58. A breakdown of PKK militants according to level of education reveals that 11 percent are university graduates, 16 percent high school graduates, 13 percent have finished secondary school and 39 percent have finished primary school while 12 percent are only literate without any formal education and 9 percent are completely illiterate."
"... A survey on 826 members of leftist terrorist organizations has shown that 65 percent are aged between 14 and 25; 16.8 percent between 25 and 30; and 17.5 percent are aged over 30. Furthermore, 20.4 percent of members of these terrorist organizations are college graduates or college students; 33.5 percent are high school graduates or students; 14 percent secondary school graduates; 29.9 percent primary school graduates and 1.9 percent are illiterate."
"... Security authorities assert that parents have a significant responsibility in terms of protecting youth from the grip of terrorism, emphasizing the fact that puberty is a critical period for young people as physiological changes seen in this period may have negative effects on them. Adolescents may become extremely sensitive and direct harsh criticism toward other people while not tolerating any criticism directed at them, experts say, and add that they tend to rebel against authority and the state."
A study from University of Ankara study also gives striking results; "PKK is known to use children within its militant force and a recent study by the University of Ankara’s Health Sciences Institute has examined the motivations of some children captured from the organization. Of those surveyed, 86% had joined the PKK to bolster their families incomes following offers that it would provide for their families in return. All of the children reported that these offers were not fulfilled. 80% of those surveyed also reported that they had actively stopped other family members—usually younger brothers—from joining the organization too. The study also reported that 60% of those surveyed had an education level below high school level. When asked why they stayed in the PKK rather than turning themselves in to the authorities, two thirds stated that they were afraid of being caught by the PKK as reprisals are not just limited to physical harm towards the militant; their families would be at risk as well. Five percent said that it was from fear of punishment by the Turkish Republic. The study also examined attitudes toward gender equality within the organization. 88% of the subjects reported that, despite its Marxist ideology and claims that equality is a key objective, there was no equality within the organization."
Although politics accepts that the terror may be used as a tactic in armed struggle, the line between armed struggle and terrorism is a thin point. International community' has an increasing role in conflicts resolution in any part of the world now and today's armed rebel groups are handicapped more than ever before the advanced military technology.
As the role of NGOs and international community gets more and more powerful, governments or countries can't stay immune to the opinion of the world. It is one of the changes globalization and internet bring. Not only the states, countries, nations but also the rebel (or terrorist) groups have to take the world, peoples' opinions. If the point is "human rights", "using violence", "using children soldiers", "traumatizing the society", "violating the innocent civilians" or any similar thing, cause doesn't matter whether it is a state or a national group.
During the Cold War era, struggles for national independence of oppressed peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America was totally different. In our knowledge, armed struggle or guerrilla warfare is essentially a political war but if you try to give political war today, with the tactics of yesterday you are obliged to be defeated. If the target is the minds of the society, and the systematics or the values of the society changed, an armed struggle can't bring the same results as yesterday. You can't justify yourself in the eyes of that society, or in general any more. It is not possible to resist the change whether it is a state or an armed group.
There are other things involving in this resistance to change in PKK; domination of leaders, worshipping to leader Apo, preventing ideological flexibility, not carrying out inner freedom of speech, threatening innocent targets, not gaining base between oppressed workers but gaining base between peasants by oppression, giving importance to the support of tribal leaders more than the people, putting the ethnicity forward not caring the class struggle as it deserved and distancing from the Turkiye's left etc.. etc... Does these remind a national independence movement or a "nationalist movement" more?
In a way, this is also a great injustice, insult to Turkish left, history of Turkish left. We lived the times when there were no separation as Kurdish groups but all were Turkiye's revolutionaries. Before 1980 military coup, all leftist Turkish groups, organisations had their counterparts among the Kurds. When Turkiy's left was under the blow of the junta, PKK formed and most Kurdish leftists decided to join the PKK rather than remain in contact with Turkish left parties. They seem to forget the Turkish left's struggle history. They seem to forget the support and analyses of Turkish left to Kurdish problem.
While Turkish left is more interested in ideological matters (and lived divisions on ideological bases) PKK as the most powerful group between Kurds, lost interest in ideological matters. While, in years they turn more and more chauvinist, they also loose good relations with the Turkish left. They didn't use violence only to their own members, silence the different voices by murders but they also targeted many socialists from Turkish revolutionary groups.
Many researches put forward that, as well as receiving revenues from legitimate businesses owned by the organization, PKK also has been financing its movement by "taxing" narcotic traffickers and engaging in the trade themselves. Heavily involved in the European drug and human trafficking, especially in Germany and France. French law enforcement estimates that the PKK smuggles 80% of the heroin in Paris.
Between many more, there is one thing which is so disturbing and need questioning. They began to shift from conventional bombing to suicide bombing, launched fifteen such attacks between 1995 and 1999. The majority, more than 2/3 (11 of 15) of the suicide bombers were women; why? Again most of the suicide bombers caught by the officials before they could perform bombings in the last two years are females, why? One sad example was; telling the bomber she has ovary cancer and she better die as a national hero to convince her.
Well, military announced the result of operations before I could end writing. Military said; Turkish forces have killed hundreds of Kurdish rebels and struck more than 200 targets in northern Iraq in the past 10 days. 175 rebels were killed on 16 December alone. Targets hit include three command centres, two communications centres, two training camps, nine logistical areas, 182 living quarters and 14 arsenals, the statement said. This is an important logistic loss.
And what we are dealing with are; car burnings, suicide bombers caught at last minute (one they caught yesterday was able to destroy the Istanbul subway), bombs exploding in trash basins etc... As usual they are trying to send the militants to cities when they get in trouble at montains. As if it is urban gerilla warfare...