Wednesday, March 28, 2012
While Turkey is in the midst of debates about the educational reform plans of AKP (see the third item on today's Newsfeed), there are signs of another "reform" on the way; find out what it is on GIT - North America.
Margaret Spiegelman's teaching experience in Gülenist Çağ Fatih College
Read Margaret Spiegelman's teaching experience in a Gülenist school in suburban Istanbul via GIT - North America to find out about the conditions of women in a Gülenist school.
4+4+4: Will this formula be a ticket to establish state-led religious schools?
Read Andrew Finkel's analysis of the AKP educational reform via GIT - North America.
The weekly Atılım seized three times in a month
Read about the Adana High Criminal Court decision about the seizure of the weekly Atılım on Bianet.
On her column dated March 16, Öğünç published an article entitled "An educational system in accordance with the brain of a Mrs." In this piece, she first reminds her readers of the fact that Eğitim-Bir-Sen (Eğitimciler Birliği Sendikası, the Syndicate of the Union of Educators), a conservative labor union in education, proposed an earlier version of the AKP educational reform back in November 2010 at the 18. National Education Consultative Assembly (Milli Eğitim Şurası), and that the union more recently provided the Parliament with its supportive views of the AKP proposal as well.
Then Öğünç withdraws our attention to the most recent issue of Bakış, a quarterly publication of the Eğitim-Bir-Sen. The January-March 2012 issue of the journal is focused on a single theme: mixed-sex education. Given the importance of the union as an indicator of future AKP policies in education, Öğünç wonders whether increasing opportunities for gender segregated education will be the next AKP educational reform that Turkey will witness in near future.
Out of the fourteen articles devoted to mixed-sex education in the most recent issue of Bakış, thirteen are about the harm co-education causes and the benefits of single-sex education. In the introductory piece of the issue, Ahmet Gündoğdu, the president of Eğitim-Bir-Sen, states that "there are a lot of things to do in the educational system that aims to turn our children into little ideologues. One of these things is the requirement of co-education that is still applied in our schools."
You can read the full Turkish text of Pınar Öğünç's column on Radikal.
“Every day, during and after school, teachers at Fatih College are modeling – largely without question – a society where women's behavior is closely monitored, and where they have no voice in leadership. Many Turks were just as surprised as I was to find this happening in a middle-class, Istanbul suburb. When I described the school to a Turkish friend, an Istanbul University professor in his 40s, he told me, “This is not Islam. This is new. This is Cemaat.” If there's no place for women leaders at top-performing schools in Istanbul, where will they be squeezed out next? Do women have a place in Fethullah Gülen’s vision for a fast-changing Turkey?”
To read the entire story visit Women in the World’s page here
AKP government’s proposed formula creates a lot of suspicion about its intentions. With this formula does the AKP government strive to improve Turkish education system or will it use the reform as a ticket for state led Sunni religious education for kids (at the age of 12-13) right after primary schools?
To read the details of the reform from Andrew Finkel in International Herald Tribune visit here
Sunday, March 25, 2012
GIT - North America is an independent organization, supported solely by the volunteered time dedicated by its members who are faculty and graduate students working on Turkey.
The daily Özgür Gündem closed for a month
Read about the police raid and the court-ordered closure of the Turkish daily Özgür Gündem on GIT - North America.
Selver's letter from prison
Read a letter from Selver İspir, formerly a college sophomore, currently an inmate at the Bakırköy Women's Prison, on our Witness Accounts page.
Student Cihan Kırmızıgül released after 25 months
Read about the release of Cihan Kırmızıgül, the Galatasaray University student who was subjected to pre-trial detention because of his keffiyeh, via GIT - North America.
The map of unnamed students
Find out about the map of "unnamed students" released by the Initiative for Solidarity with Arrested Students (TODI--Tutuklu Öğrencilerle Dayanışma İnisiyatifi) via GIT - North America.
This gross violation of press freedom is unfortunately not the first one that the daily Özgür Gündem experienced in its history. The first issue of Özgür Gündem was published on May 30, 1992. Seventy-six of its employees, including thirty reporters, had been killed within two years as it became the target of attacks due to its reporting of murders perpetrated by the Turkish Hizbullah and the "deep state" of Turkey. The newspaper had been closed in April 1994 and re-opened under the name of Özgür Ülke [Free Country]. After eight months, in December 1994, three offices of Özgür Ülke were bombed, which resulted in the death of one of its employees in addition to 21 wounded.
Özgür Gündem was re-opened almost a year ago on April 4, 2011. You can read more about the closure of Özgür Gündem on its website. The front page of today's confiscated Özgür Gündem is reproduced on the left.
To read the report on Bianet visit here. To watch the video that friends of Cihan had made shortly before he was released and to read the English subtitles through GIT North America, visit here.
The Initiative for Solidarity with Arrested Students (TODI--Tutuklu Öğrencilerle Dayanışma İnisiyatifi), the statement of whom was previously published by GIT North America, have released, what they called, the "Map of Unnamed Students". According to the report in Bianet:
With this project, the initiative wants to create awareness for judicial and administrative rights violations encountered by students and to make these violations visible. The map also aims at keeping track of the situations of the arrested students."The effectiveness and success of this initiative is based on contributing to an information flow. The map is a news channel for people related to rights violations faced by students", the initiative announced. They call on everybody to notify the initiative about situations like students in custody or arrest, convictions, rights violations in prisons, disciplinary investigations and penalties in schools in order to be able to improve the map. People who are able to document one of the above mentioned situations can inform the initiative on their website, the initiative's twitter account or via an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
"When do you think YOU will get arrested?"
Shocking Indictment for Academic Ersanli and Publisher Zarakolu
On 20th of February 2012, Cihan's friends at Galatasaray University answered the question "When do you think you will get arrested?" preceding the demonstration and the press release on the second anniversary of his arrest in this video.
Here is the English transcription of how they answered:
"The 2,400-page indictment includes a total of 193 defendants, 147 of whom are detained."
To read the full report on Bianet, visit here.
Pinar Ogunc started her speech by stating how much she appreciated the title of panel and how great a job she thought it does of elucidating the recent events. Ogunc pointed out that the ongoing arrests and repression of the students are not new [phenomena] and that students have always been repressed: “This process started with Ittihat ve Terakki. Back then students were arrested as well as teachers and professors. In the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s the situation was all the same. They try to keep students’ ideas and behaviors under control. Students are forced not to be oppositional.”
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Anthropologist Müge Tuzcu arrested
You can read about the arrest of Müge Tuzcu, who had recently written about the sexual abuse scandal at the Pozantı Juvenile Prison, on GIT - North America.
European Federation of Journalists:
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the release of four jailed journalists in Turkey but has warned campaigners that efforts must continue in support of these and other journalists under pressure in the country. Read more via GIT - North America.
Fiachra Gibbons questions the so called “democratic reform model” of Turkey in his Guardian op-ed on Turkey's imprisoned journalists. Read via GIT - North America.
The New Republic:
“Don’t overly criticize the Prime Minister; don’t question the police; don’t write about the cemaat, or the community, the Turkish Islamic Gulen Movement.” Istanbul-based writer Suzy Hansen writes about the continuing assault on Turkish journalists and the AKP's quieter method of censoring critical journalists. Read via GIT - North America.
Tuzcu was well known for her work among the children whose lives were affected by the civil war that has been going on in southeastern Turkey for decades. She had moved to Diyarbakır after the murder of Uğur Kaymaz, a twelve-year-old, by the police on November 21, 2005.
More recently, she had written about the sexual abuse scandal in the Pozantı Juvenile Prison. Just like the journalist who uncovered the scandal, Tuzcu, too, was arrested in the "framework" of KCK operations.
You can read more about this arrest on Bianet. You could sign a petition in her support on imza.la
"We welcome the release of these four journalists, who will continue to be tried but without arrest", said Arne König, EFJ President. "This is a small victory on a long road. We urge the government to release all journalists in prison and give them back the freedom they deserve."
The EFJ's International Press Freedom Mission to Turkey Report (2011) can be accessed here.
To sign the EFJ's petition to set Turkish journalists free please click here.
"The answer, or much of it, lies in that police raid last March on the homes of Sik and Sener, and shows how Turkey's once reformist government has succumbed to the same old repressive paranoia of the military-nationalist establishment it was elected to clear away nearly 10 years ago.
(...) In this atmosphere, with renewed violence and repression in the Kurdish south-east, chest-beating nationalism, and such public tension between the devout and the secular that MPs cannot debate an education bill without two mass brawls in a week, a new constitution to replace the old military one is finally being broached. Erdogan, the rock on which hopes of reform once rested, has entered his third term in power ill and ill-tempered, his absolute majority in parliament fighting yesterday's sectarian battles. The Turkish enlightenment may not yet be completely dead, but its flame is fading, locked away in the jails where so many journalists are now being held.
Let's hope for all our sakes it gets a second chance of life."
Read the rest of the article on The Guardian.
"Countless journalists can tell stories about late-night phone calls and terrified newspaper owners—corporate conglomerate bigwigs—who must please the prime minister in order to salvage business contracts unrelated to their journalistic enterprises. By now, journalists know well how to censor themselves: Don’t overly criticize the Prime Minister; don’t question the police; don’t write about the cemaat, or the community, the Turkish Islamic Gulen Movement.
Freedom of speech has never fared very well in Turkey, a fiercely nationalist and often-authoritarian country. Numerous laws in the penal code can still be used to attack speech, including one that allows the prime minister to sue someone for “insulting” him. It’s easy to sue or arrest just about anyone (usually Kurds) for “inciting hatred” or supporting terror with the printed word. The AKP, the most powerful party in Turkey’s history, has expressed little interest in changing these national traditions.
The more troubling question is why Erdoğan feels he needs to trample on journalists at all. The AKP has no credible political opposition, and more or less controls the judiciary system and the military. The businessmen love Erdoğan for making them rich, and he bullies them if they don’t. So why the thin skin over some newspaper columns?"
To read the rest of the article please visit the website of The New Republic.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
High school students protesting school cafeteria food accused of terrorism
Read about the Ismail Erez Industrial High School principal who called the police when students brought their own lunches from home to protest the high prices in the school cafeteria on GIT - North America.
New prosecutor demands 15 years of imprisonment for students demanding free education
Read about the case of three college students who are being tried for demanding "free education" on GIT - North America.
Mersin University students being tried with 18 years for chanting "Get out police! Universities are ours!"
Read about the case of six college students who are being tried for chanting slogans like "Police, get out!" on GIT - North America.
Journalists Şener and Şık out of prison, but their trial continues
Read about the release of Şener and Şık and their continuing trial via GIT - North America.
Women's Day by Prof. Büşra Ersanlı (from the Bakırköy Prison)
Read the English translation of the March 8 Proclamation by Professor Büşra Ersanlı on GIT - North America.
An interview with Prof. Büşra Ersanlı (by correspondence with the Bakırköy Prison)
Read the English translation of an interview with Büşra Ersanlı done by way of an exchange of letters on GIT - North America.
Mersin University students being tried with 18 years for chanting "Get Out Police! Universities are Ours"
The only evidence against the students in the indictment are the statements of the ten police officers who detained the students at the time. The police officers claim that the students called them "murderers" and threw their backpacks to the officers which caused some scratches on the police officers' bodies. The students said it was ridiculous that rather than the police officers who didn't let them attend the Minister's talk they themselves are being tried.
The trial will take place on March 25th in Mersin.
To read more about this in Turkish please visit Birgun.
The court had previously ruled against the release of prominent Şener and Şık, who have both remained behind bars since their arrest in March 2011 in connection with their alleged links to the Ergenekon clique. 'To silence journalists is to silence the people. It is journalism that is on trial here, and the principle of confidentiality of the news source that is being stamped out,' Sik said in court.
The next hearing of the Oda TV trial is scheduled for June 18. To read more about this on Hurriyet Daily News click here and here.
For a detailed account of the defendants' speeches of defense at the hearing please visit Bianet.
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released a statement expressing their relief and content about the releases but highlighted their concern "about the continued imprisonment of dozens of journalists and media workers in Turkey who are languishing in jail pending trial". Read the rest of the CPJ's statement here.
High school students protesting school cafeteria food accused of being terrorists by school principal
Last Monday (March 5th) the students distributed leaflets about their decision to bring food to school starting on Wednesday. All students fed up with the cafeteria food decided to support this initiative. Following this, the principal asked that the students distributing leaflets come to his room and he threatened these 17 students and shouted at them. According to Abdulmelik Y., one of the students, the principal said: "Are you terrorists or what? Why are you distributing leaflets?". When the students tried to express their concerns the principal started to curse.
After being asked to provide unofficial defenses the students got in touch with Egitim-Sen (Education and Science Worker's Union) and asked for their help. Officers from Egitim-Sen came to school to talk with the principal but this led to an even stronger oppression on the principal's side. An official investigation was started and this time the students were asked to provide official defense statements. Despite all the oppressive measures the students brought their own food to school on Wednesday, March 7th, and the moment they started to have their food on their desks in the classroom they were stopped by 12 plain-clothes police officers. The police officers told the students that it was forbidden to have food in the classroom and they asked that the students leave the classroom.
This year, the now traditional Women's Day Proclamation by the Syndicate of Writers in Turkey was written from prison by Büşra Ersanlı.
Let us think anew, once again...
It is women who give birth, who nurse, who cook, who distribute, who tidy up and clean, who look after the sick, after the old, who manage to do everything on time, who mend and protect, who give their unrecognized labor on the plantations in addition to their unrecognized labor at home, who work in factories, schools, offices with the lowest wages, and who still manage to save, but...
...it is men to make the decisions:
The government – 90 percent men
The parliament – 86 percent men
The local governments – 98 percent men
The ruling bureaucracy – 99 percent men
The holders of the capital – 99 percent men
The war starters, the military, all men – 100 percent
It is women who are exposed to violence, to harassment, to rape, to murder... These assaults have particular names: honor, custom, jealousy, love... These are, in fact, all the same thing, all seek to keep women away from power, from the government...
“To break the waist of whoever breaks the rule,” at least to keep them somewhere below, to damp them down... These are all actions of intimidation in the face of power. “I will punch you in the face,” “I will crash your skull,” “I will pluck all your hair out,” “I will pull your legs apart,” “I will break your nose.”
There are all actions of the conservative minds that are completely closed to criticism and improvement.
What is it that they want?
* Women should not make themselves visible!
* Women should bring up more male children for the struggles for power and for the war!
* Women should not use their intellectual potential in the public sphere!
* Women should not bring their creativity outside the home, the realm of cosmetics and other womanly activities!
* Women should not object and should not protest!
* Women should obey the power, i.e. men and their traditions, their justice and the laws they designed all by themselves!
* Women should not surpass men in their professional lives!
* Women should not gain fame and prestige in what they do; and if they do, they should immediately be defamed!
* Whatever they do, women should stand ONE STEP BEHIND!
* Women should melt and turn into residue! The ones who do not melt should be punished. Those who do not behave should be put in prison!
* Women should be hostages to the fights for power, hostages that are more indispensable than the capital itself to the men’s bargaining!
Women became conscious now, all women of Turkey who experience discrimination at home and in the office; Kurdish women whose native tongues are forbidden by the state and whose intellectual capacities are prohibited by their fathers, brothers and uncles; all women who are born and raised in Turkey, sisters of the women in the entire world who are sidelined in every realm.
With their organizations that have been developing every day for two or three decades, women participate in meetings, conferences and classes; they take it to the streets; they work in factories and plantations. They take their place in politics.
Us women do not have enemies; we have an observation, a statement:
Gender opression is the first and the strongest step of legitimizing the male predominance. Because the most apparent and the most widespread difference is gender difference. The longest living difference is gender difference.
Women, who have been denied all rights including human rights, have been neglected and disregarded through the concept of “mankind.” Women have already started their struggle to change the meaning of the notion of power and of predominance. Power will entail humanitarian partnership; an anti-militarist stance based on dialogue will govern; the precedence of dialogue will determine the precedence of law.
We shall justly divide the realms of decision-making and of administrative responsibility half and half, among men and women. We decided on peace. We reject war, both just and unjust. We believe in dialogue, in making life, in sharing.
Happy March 8th, International Laboring Women Day to all of us, all women, and everyone who supports us! (BE/ÇT)
[Originally published in Turkish on T24, an independent internet news site, this interview was conducted by Hazal Özvarış.]
Today is March 8, International Working Women’s Day. 24 women were murdered in the past month only, while the ministry entitled “Ministry of Family,” recently absolved of the word “Woman” in its title, introduced to the Turkish parliament the highly-expurgated bill for “Protection of the Family and Prevention of Violence against Women.”
While the bill continues being discussed in the parliament, we received Professor Ersanli’s response to our letter from February 19. Ersanli, who was a professor at Marmara University’s Department of Political Science and International Relations, has been in Bakirkoy Prison for Women and Children for 128 days. The formal criminal charge against her is still unfinished. And so the grounds on which the arrest was made remain unknown.
One wonders whether the grounds are the lectures she gave as part of BDP’s [Peace and Democracy Party] Political Academy, or the notes on autonomy that she took in her journal. Alternatively they can be, to quote the Minister of Internal Affairs, Idris Naim Sahin, “the communist activities that she undertook before 1980” -- or are they “her sister’s [suspect] husband”!
Evidence and accusations have yet to be revealed… Also unknown is how a faculty member at a university, whose whereabouts and anti-war stance are in the public eye, could be a terrorist. Professor Ersanli is celebrating the International Working Women’s Day at the prison, all of five wards of which, she says, are too full. While she still awaits the finalization of the official accusations against her, let us read together the answers that Professor Ersanli gave [to the questions in our letter]:
- Those who have visited you report how “lively and joyful” you are. How are you? How are your days in prison passing?
Yes, I am, indeed, lively and joyful. There is a simple reason for it: I don’t like being a victim. Someone looking worried and sad is upsetting to some people, and pleasant to others. I don’t want to upset those who love me, nor would I want to please those who have had wrongdoings against me. The feeling of helplessness prevents one from working, and enjoying life. My personal way of resistance involves a continuous [self-]distancing from helplessness.
I read and write in the prison. I began with the things I hadn’t had the chance to read outside. We are 28 people here. I teach courses on Political Science twice a week: on Political Culture, Political System and Women in Turkey, and on Political Ideologies.
- You said “I don’t know what KCK means.” Of the 125 political prisoners held at Bakirkoy Prison for Women and Children, 104 are arrested due to [their alleged relationship to] KCK. What does KCK mean to you now?
To this day I do not know what “kay-ci-kay” is. There are conflicting explanations in the press. I also was not able to get to know about it here. I suspect that the people I know and am acquainted with here in the prison do not have substantial information about it either –I have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation. Apparently my arrest was decided under the rubric of [alleged association to] PKK/Kongra-gel [Kurdistan Workers’ Party]. I couldn’t believe it even when I saw it written. I know very well that I have no relation to an armed association because that would be simply impossible. I cannot bear to approve of any armed conflict, regardless of whether it is righteous or evil. This is how my morals work. Also, the number of residents at Bakirkoy has risen from 104 to almost 140. We no longer fit into 5 wards.
- What do you think, as part of the KCK operations ongoing over two years now, is specifically aimed in the case of your arrest?
Your questions are always referring me back to this “kay-ci-kay” issue. As far as I understand, however, my arrest was actually related to BDP [Peace and Democracy Party]. Everybody knows I am not a PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] member or that I would be against arms and violence… Their actual target [by arresting me] could be the transitivity that BDP provides to the “front and back yards”…
- In response to the criticism that ensued following your arrest, Idris Naim Sahin stated that “There are thirty thousand professors” and that he “…would have understood the commotion if it were a thousand of them being arrested,” asking: “What is this big deal for one person?” He continued: “Dear friends, I recommend you take a little tour in the pre-80s youth of Madam Professor Busra Ersanli. To see what crimes, what kinds of communistic activities that she was charged with and served prison time; and check out who her relatives are, to see for which other activities her sister’s husband is also in prison.” [With these words Sahin] brought your past forward as evidence to your potential criminality now. How do you feel about his approach?
Certain media had already started a smear and discrediting campaign against me around the time of my arrest –40 hours before my arrest to be more precise. The ministry may have taken over the post [from the media] to be more effective.
- Prime minister Erdogan asserted his wish that the former chief of general staff Ilker Basbug be tried without arrest. Why do you think the government refrains from expressing a similar wish for your case?
Whenever the police would point me to a chair to sit at the station, that is the building on Vatan Street, they would also tell me how so many admirals and generals had also sat on those chairs. I do not think the comparison in your question is correct. In fact, it is far from appropriate especially for independent reporting. The army is a state institution and, with all its staff, works under the command of the government. Academia does not work for the state. Regardless of whether public or private, it is expected to be an autonomous area. The right thing for the researchers and academics to do is to carry on this freedom. Because university, etymologically [and otherwise] entails universality, its autonomy should be first and foremost. Unfortunately a reverse kind of tradition has been carried on in the political history of Turkey, where the military has been autonomous and academia dependent. The military has lost its autonomy. However, it seems academia has yet to traverse to the realm of autonomy. As for the Prime Ministers assertions on the former chief of general staff Basbug… Who knows, perhaps dear prime minister does not even wish that I be tried…
- Your arrest due to the KCK allegations was in contrast to your anti-violence stance, and caused public criticism. Your arrest was seen as exemplary of the lack of any effort [on the part of the state] to differentiate between accusing someone with violence and accusing someone for their thoughts. However, we found out, though Koray Caliskan’s article that the president of Marmara University would not contact you. Were you deserted by academia? Is this because the academia has grown numb to what has been going on, or because they are afraid of being associated with the Kurdish issue?
I was arrested because I am a member of BDP [Peace and Democracy Party]. And yet, I am referred to variably as having different alleged associations, which result in different reverberations. President of Marmara University, Professor Zafer Gul, had visited out department (the Deparment of Political Science and International Relations) before his appointment as president to ask for our support of his candidacy. He had told us about his projects and we had exchanged out opinions on academic freedom. He had made promises to support academic liberties. I think he should have contacted me as an academic after I got arrested, even if he didn’t share my political views [on a personal level]. He could at least have sent me something like a happy-new-year’s card. Especially following the clearing of my office [at the department]… I hear that police forces are positioned at the door to my office now. I have no idea what to make of this, when I am also denied a simple happy new year’s wish. I patiently await some kind of initiation, some contact that will come from the university management. I had once given them my support.
Of course I continuously get the support of numerous academics, including my close colleagues in the form of letters, cards, and books. Since January I have also been receiving support letters from Europe and the United States.
- Did Ahmet Davutoglu, who was your academic reference in getting the “visiting” position at Beykent University, failed your expectations from him as a politician?
Professor Davutoglu was not my reference. I asked me to work at Beykent because the department was in its infancy and in need of support. It was not that I was looking for a job. Beykent was very far from where I lived, too. I taught there for 2 years, which was mainly out of my respect and sympathy for Professor Davutoglu. His main work has been in the academic sector. I am sure that he must have wanted to support me in terms of supporting academic freedom. But I do not understand why Professor Davutoglu does not demonstrate his support publicly, especially because I am confident that he knows the meaning of academic liberty. We even have our thesis adviser in common: Professor Serif Mardin. I will keep waiting, and I know that I will be waiting for a while.
- Do you see any deficient or faulty attitudes within the Kurdish political struggle? Do you have any criticism towards the Kurdish movement?
Of course there are, and have been deficiencies and faults. But I do believe that they will decrease in time. Because it [the Kurdish political movement] is pioneer in terms of its quota for the representation of women and in terms of the liberties they embrace for women. I see BDP as a party that engenders hope and new horizons for the resolution of the Kurdish problem. They also work sensitively on the issues of labor, creative labor and ecology. It was BDP that have come up with comprehensive parliamentary questions comprising a variety of areas such as social, political, economic, educational, and cultural. Under normal circumstances I could also demand a quota for the representation of young people and suggest building up temporary cooperativeness with different parties on project basis. I am happy to hear that the last conference on Dersim was very good, for example.
All politicians have to create areas on which they can work collaboratively with others, despite their differing views. It does not suffice to be open to that. Ability to collaborate and have a dialogue is a key prerequisite in every single step.
 These are direct quotes from Sahin’s public speech in mid-November 2011. (http://siyaset.milliyet.com.tr/-profesor-hanimin-oncesine-bakiniz-/siyaset/siyasetdetay/17.11.2011/1463733/default.htm) Ministers comments came as an official and public approval by a high-level government representative of the larger-scale hate-speech campaign that had previously ensued in the right-wing/conservative media (see, for example, our coverage from November 1 here (http://gitamerica.blogspot.com/p/contact.html)
 Translator’s note: PKK , also known as KGK, Kongra-gel, or Kadek, is known to have been engaged in armed struggle with the Turkish state since 1984.
 Translator’s note: Ersanli is quoting a public speech by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Idris Naim Sahin, where he had expressed his novel and chilling descriptions of terrorism. The latter include poetry, music, and painting, which, the minister redefined as indirectly terroristic activities, and likened their “motivation” to the “back yard of terrorism.”