‘Media Silence Is Killing Kurds’

LONDON-BASED KURDISH ACTIVISTS burst into the Guardian office today, calling for increased media coverage of the current plight of Kurds in Turkey. In what the prominent UK daily described as a “raucous” but “peaceful” scene, 15 members of the Kurdish Youth Group were prevented from entering the main newsroom, but were allowed to state their cause from the stairs.

Reading from a prepared statement, group leader Mark Campbell pointed to Kurdish politicians “being arrested every single day”, imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan “held in isolation now for 60 days”, and spoke of a “full scale war being perpretrated against the Kurds in Turkey with over 450 bombing raids against Kurdish villages in the Kandil Mountains”. Continue reading “‘Media Silence Is Killing Kurds’”

Turks Kick Ass At UN (Literally)

BLOOD ON THE FLOOR? Smashed ribs? U.N. staff suspended? No doubt Turkey’s new robust foreign policy is making many a Western headline these days, but it appears the Turks are just as liable to whack some heads on the political stage as they are to turn them. In what is still a sketchy story a week after it took place, it was the Inner City Press, a one-man investigative outfit embedded at the United Nations, who intially broke the news on 23 Sept., the day it kicked off:

While Mahmoud Abbas and Benyamin Netanyahu traded speeches about Palestinian statehood on Friday, a diplomatic incident occurred on the fourth floor of the General Assembly Hall.

Sources tell Inner City Press that the Turkish delegation literally had a run-in with security in the UN, in which the Turkish prime minister Erdogan was touched. Then, a male security official was injured and taken to the hospital, another officer also assaulted and injured.

And while Matthew Lee, a.k.a. Inner City Press, was certainly the first to get the story out, it would be another three days before an official U.N. statement muttered vaguely about “unfortunate misunderstandings” now “satisfactorily resolved”. In long form, that meant Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had apologized to the Turkish PM, as well as suspending six to nine (depending on the source) of his own guards on full pay. Continue reading “Turks Kick Ass At UN (Literally)”

How To Stop Football Hooliganism: Ban Men!

SEGREGATION OF THE SEXES is alive and well in 21st century Turkey, with a refreshing twist. In the age-old problem of punishing a team’s fans for running riot during a game, the Turkish Football Federation have turned the tables. Instead of meting out the usual punishment of forcing the team to play behind closed doors (and so, to a ticketless empty stadium), this time only the men were locked out while women and children got in. And all for free. With over 41,000 women and children under 13 pouring into Fenerbahçe’s Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium on Tuesday, 20 Sept., it was billed as a world first for football. Continue reading “How To Stop Football Hooliganism: Ban Men!”