Monday, March 18, 2013

Three Reasons the PKK Should Lay Down Arms

March 19, 2013 by Amy L. Beam

Argus - world's largest camera

On the eve of Abdullah Ocalan's call for peace in Turkey, I add my fervent plea to the PKK to lay down their arms. I have a great deal of sympathy for the Kurds' demands for their ethnic and human rights. Last year in Istanbul a young Kurd told me, "No matter what anyone thinks about the PKK, it is because of the PKK that I can speak my language today."

The reasons for laying down arms have nothing at all to do with assigning fault or blame to any group. Laying down arms is not equivalent to defeat. It is simply the only logical thing to do to save one's life.

My plea to the members of the PKK is like a mother on her knees begging her child not to walk into death's trap. Live to fight another day . . . in another way. The battle for Kurdish rights in Turkey can never be won with guns in the mountains. The PKK must put down its arms because of Turkish and U.S. tactics for "finishing off" the PKK. These tactics are so terrifying that I am compelled to warn the PKK. Please don't shoot the messenger.

Reason 1: ARGUS - Greek Mythological Monster with 100 Eyes

In an environment of State secrecy where the public cannot pry information out of the U.S. military, the NOVA documentary ARGUS starts out with a peculiarly uncharacteristic statement by engineer Yannis Ontenyadis saying, "For the first time we actually have permission from the [U.S.] government to show the basic capabilities. It is important for the public to know that some of these capabilities exist." When did the U.S. military ever want to share its secrets? And why? Because Argus will terrify into submission all those labeled as enemies of the State. ARGUS is the 21st century equivalent of the Atom Bomb that ended WWII when it was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The PKK simply cannot win against ARGUS.

ARGUS is the equivalent of 100 Predator drones looking at a medium size city at once. Its cameras use the same technology as miniature imaging chips like those used in cell phone cameras. ARGUS melds together video from each of its 368 chips to create a 1.8 billion pixel video stream. When mounted on a drone that can hover for hours in one location, Argus can provide a "wide area persistent stare" to cover 25 square miles from 20,000 feet (6 km) in the sky. Touch screen technology allows the user to point to any location and open a window to see the detail of that area. Objects as small as six inches can be identified. ARGUS streams 5,000 hours of live video to earth in one day. The video is archived so one can go back in time and look at what was happening at a specific location at a specific time.

ARGUS development was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The software, called Persistics after the concept of persistent ISR — intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance — is tasked with identifying objects on the ground, and then locking on to them and tracking them indefinitely.

According to a US Embassy Ankara cable published by Wikileaks, on Nov. 5, 2007, the United States and Turkey formalized an agreement to share ISR. The United States flies drones over eastern Turkey to identify PKK locations. It passes this intel to Turkey to fly strikes against the PKK. The Roboski Massacre, Dec. 28, 2011, in which 34 innocent Kurds were killed is an example of the cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. Neither country took responsibility.

The original goal was to deploy ARGUS in Afghanistan, but that never came to pass. It isn’t entirely clear what ARGUS’s future is; it was meant to be mounted on Boeing’s high-altitude A160 Hummingbird helicopter, but the chopper has since been scrapped. If ARGUS is to be deployed, it may be strapped to the underbelly of a Predator drone. If ARGUS is deployed to Turkey, there will be no place to hide, no place to run, whether in the mountains or the city.

Reason 2. Attack of the Robobee Drones

Robotic drones have been in development for some years. They are now as small as a dragon fly and are equipped with audio and video recorders and radar sensors so they can fly into a building, photograph and map it and return to base. YouTube is loaded with videos, such as Attack of the Drones - USA, showing various drone designs. This video received so many negative comments that all 3728 comments were removed. There will be nowhere, even inside one's home, to maintain privacy.

Reason 3. Torture and Death at the Hands of Turkish Soldiers

The new battle space is cyber warfare. Anyone who wants to gain public support for their cause must use the internet to tell their story. The United States has declared cyber space as another battlefield and has multimillion dollar programs to mold public opinion through mass propaganda campaigns and psychological warfare. The war is a war for people's hearts and minds. Governments are trying to control and censor the free flow of information on the internet.

Since the Kurdish prisoner hunger strike in 2012 in Turkey, people using Twitter have followed the news on hashtag #twitterkurds. For many months an American troll, mistaken by many to be Turkish, has been repeatedly posting 34 photos to anyone following #twitterkurds news tweets. The photos are of dead, mutilated bodies of PKK with Turkish soldiers standing around in most of them. Many of them show clear signs of torture such as a decapitated head, a man being dragged by a rope around his neck and between his teeth, eyes gouged out, bodies torn apart and more terrorizing photos. I urge readers not to search for these photos because they are deeply traumatizing which is exactly the intended effect.

As soon as the troll's account is blocked for spam, he/she opens a new Twitter account and continues to post 3 or 4 photos per minute for 3 to 8 hours per day. The troll has also, on occasion posted text messages, even stating he/she is an American citizen. He/she replies to tweets written in Turkish, Farsi, French, Spanish, and English. The troll is well-versed on Middle East history.

These 34 photos have been posted thousands of times and many remain on pic.twitter in spite of being flagged. Twitter uses image-matching software, so if a Twitter account posts a photo more than one time, Twitter recognizes it as the same photo and numbers the duplicate photos from 1 to 9. In spite of complaints for months from Twitter users and in spite of Twitter's image-matching software, Twitter has refused to block these photos. No one does this for hours per day, months on end without pay.

It is my belief that this is a military psychological operation intended to terrorize members of PKK and anyone sympathetic to the Kurdish cause. Why else does Twitter refuse to block these images? The message is clearly intended to show PKK members how they will be mercilessly tortured to death by Turkish soldiers. These photos are documentary evidence of Turkish war crimes.

Both Sides: Please Stop Killing Each Other

The question as to who is practicing terrorist tactics is debatable. What is clear is that the PKK cannot win with outmoded 20th century warfare tactics, regardless of how righteous their goals may be. It is time for the PKK to lay down its arms and work through peaceful protests and political avenues for full Constitutional rights for Kurds.

For a peace effort to be successful and lasting, Turkey must release its political prisoners and stop bombing Kurdish villages at the same time it is engaged in peace negotiations. PM Erdogan must take strong action against the hate attacks against Kurds in recent days and weeks by Turkish fascists. It is time for a new Constitution that grants full citizenship rights to Turkey's minority of 15 million Kurds.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PKK 9 Demands from 2009 Peace Opening - Same List 4 Years Later

On Oct 20, 2009 a "peace group" of 34 Kurds accused of PKK membership crossed the border from Iraq to Turkey as part of PM Erdogan's "Democratic Opening" peace process with the Kurds. Five out of 34 of them were arrested at the Harbur Border crossing.

After many hours of hearings by a judge called especially to the border, the five were released. Reportedly 3000 cars and buses were waiting at the border to transport the returnees to Diyarbakir, and thousands of people had gathered along the route to cheer them on.

These events contributed to the derailment of the 2009 peace process. Millions of citizens in Turkey and international supporters hope the peace process in 2013 will be successful and Kurdish rights will be realized in Turkey. In order for peace and a resolution to the Kurdish issue to succeed, the military must stop the bombing missions on the PKK at the same time it states it is engaged in peace negotiations with Ocalan, PKK leader imprisoned since 1999 on Imrali Island.

We hope the 8 Turkish hostages scheduled for release by the PKK on March 12, 2013, will soon be reunited with their families and that the release of students, journalists, and politicians in Turkey, accused of supporting or associating with a terrorist organization will soon follow. The names of those being released are Zihni Koç , Abdullah Söpçeler, Kemal Ekinci, Nadir Özgen, Kenan Erenoğlu, Reşat Çaçan, Ramazan Başaran ve Hadi Gizli.

The nine demands stated in 2009 by the PKK peace group are as follows:

  • The road map Ocalan created should be referred to the authorities of concern and should be made public.
  • Military operations should be terminated. Peaceful and democratic ways to solve the Kurdish issue in the political sphere should be developed.
  • The Kurdish identity should be protected under equal terms in the Constitution.
  • We should be able to freely speak our mother tongue (Kurdish). We should be free to learn it, promote it, and live our values, our culture, and geography within our language.
  • We should be able to freely name our children with Kurdish names, educate them in Kurdish, and raise them in that environment.
  • We should be able to freely live our history, culture, and literature and protect them.
  • We should be able to develop a democratic social organization established under our own identity. We should be able to freely engage in politics. We should be able to express ourselves freely.
  • We should be able to safely live in the villages, towns, and cities of Kurdistan under sufficiently developed conditions far from the oppression of special team members, village guards, and the police.
  • We demand more democratization in Turkey and we would like to have a more democratic Constitution.

Read more at US Embassy Ankara cables from 2009 posted by Wikileaks:


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Was the Assassination Order of Sakine Cansiz Posted on Facebook?

March 9, 2013 by Amy L. Beam, Ed.D.

Posted Jan 4, 2013, on Kirmizi.Sari football Facebook

March 9, 2013, marks two months since Kurdish activists Sakine Cansız, Leyla Söylemez and Fidan Doğan who were all shot in the head execution-style inside the Kurdistan Information Center, Paris office on Jan 9, 2013. French police charged a Turkish man named Ömer Güney with the assassinations. Cansiz (code name "Sara") was a founding member, along with Abdulla Ocalan, of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey.

Sakine Cansiz, assassinated Jan 9, 2013

Sakine Cansiz Was Targeted

US Embassy Cable 07ANKARA2917, posted on Wikileaks, sent to the Secretary of Defense in Washington, DC, Dec 7, 2007, identified Sakine Cansiz as the primary financier in Europe for the PKK:

"The United States works together with Turkey to implement the President's directive for effective action against PKK terror, we must also redouble our efforts to shut down the financial support that flows from Europe into PKK headquarters located in northern Iraq. . . . We need to identify and interdict PKK money that is flowing into northern Iraq. . . . by going after . . . Sakine Cansiz. . . . We can help by providing the most extensive dossiers possible and coordinating with law enforcement and intelligence counterparts in Europe to ensure these two terrorists are incarcerated."

Germany and France Were not Cooperative

In 2007, Germany refused to extradite Cansiz to Turkey after holding her for 40 days. The court stated that Turkey had not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Cansiz had broken any laws. Cansiz then moved to France.

Unfortunately, the Embassy cables shared by Bradley Manning and posted on Wikileaks end in 2010. Publicly, the U.S. continues its policy of solidarity with Turkey to "finish off" the PKK. What was the strategy adopted by the U.S. and its ally Turkey after Germany refused Turkey's request to extradite Sakine Cansiz and France granted her asylum?

Dangerous Double Speak

Even as PM Erdoğan is holding peace talks with imprisoned Ocalan and stating he is ready to "drink hemlock" for the sake of peace, Turkish war planes continue to strike PKK targets in southeast Turkey and the Qandil Mountains in Iraq, killing four PKK guerillas Feb. 26. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in his visit to Ankara last week, reaffirmed the US commitment to help Turkey fight the PKK. Turkey's policy remains to finish off the PKK and to make a distinction between "good Kurds" and "bad Kurds".

One cannot avoid the logical suspicion that Sakine Cansiz's assassination, along with Leyla Söylemez and Fidan Doğan, suggests government(s) involvement, particularly in light of the arrests and extradition requests in Spain, France, and Germany of suspected PKK financiers since the assassinations. Is the message behind the assassinations to European governments "If you don't extradite these suspects, there will be more assassinations"? On Feb 9, PM Erdoğan said “[Turkey’s] patience is running out."

FaceBook Communication Hiding in Full View

So, who killed Cansiz, Doğan, and Söylemez? It is possible the order was issued online through social media. Every other form of contact leaves traceable records: phone calls, email, tweets, and airline tickets. One could conceivably use a carrier pigeon but the internet is much easier. The truth is hiding in plain view on Facebook. This is not a new concept. During World War II, the French Resistance reportedly communicated through newspaper ads and even in lines of poetry.

According to press reports, Paris police showed a photo of an Ömer Güney, copied from the FaceBook page of Omerr Günayy. I refer to this as Facebook Omer Guney #1. He showed a link to his cousin who is holding up his Turkish police badge and sitting in a police car. Twice the link was removed and twice it was restored after Ömer Güney was arrested.

Facebook Omer Guney #2 was created Mar 7, 2010, and was never changed after Mar 11, 2010. The very first photo posted on Omer #2's FB page was of a roaring lion which is a symbol for Galatasaray, the most popular Turkish football team. Omer #2 is followed by a FB friend in Sweden who posted photos on Jan 3, 2013, of two men dressed in PKK-like costumes, also, photos of PKK leader Ocalan, PKK guerillas, the Roboski massacre, and a video of carrier pigeons in flight.

FB Omer Guney #1 is portrayed as a nationalistic Turk.
FB Omer Guney #2 is portrayed as being sympathetic to the Kurdish cause and the PKK.

The photos of Omer Guney #1 and Omer Guney #2 are of the same person with a distinctive mole near his left eye. Two different personalities were created, thus allowing those involved in any later assassination cover-up story to use the Facebook personality most suitable to the story and delete the other one.

Facebook Omer Guney #1

Facebook Omer Guney #2

Was Sari Kirmizi FaceBook Football Page the Messenger?

FB Omer #2's page, okyay.guney, was following another FaceBook page account named Kirmizi.Sari featuring the Galatasaray football team, but not the official page. It was created Dec 30, 2011, by Tom Hayes, a peculiarly American name for a Turkish sports team. Between Dec 30, 2011, and Jan 3, 2013, over 500 photos were posted, one or two at a time. All of these photos were related to the Galatasaray team showing game plays, football player celebrities, fans, cheer leaders, sports jerseys and stadium shots. This FB account has 4,084 followers. One of them was FB Omer Guney #2.

On Jan 4, 2013, five days before the assassinations, FB user kirmizi.sari posted an unlikely photo of a uniformed soldier kneeling and aiming a rifle. The watermark on the photo is which translates to "Danger Troll." A troll in internet slang means someone who posts inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

On that day two photos were posted. Since then the FB account has been abandoned. Take your screen shots before it, also, is deleted.

Was This the Signal for the Assassination?

Here are the last four photos to be posted by Kirmizi.Sari. Could the soldier aiming his rifle have been the signal to assassinate Sakine Cansiz and her unfortunate Kurdish colleagues? If investigators can find who created this account, possibly they can discover who is involved in the assassination plot. Call it a crazy, off-the-wall conspiracy theory, but can anyone offer a more plausible explanation for the Kirmizi.Sari Facebook account, which Omer Guney followed, posting this photo, and then being abandoned after posting 500 sports photos?

Was this a signal to Ömer Güney to assassinate Sakine Cansiz?
Watermark "" Dikkat means danger.

Laughing in your face!

"I have not forgotten the peace brother."

"The devil is in the details:)"
See reflection of photographer in the window.

A Chronology

June 12, 2010 - Facebook Omer Guney #1 created (probably his real personality)
Mar 7, 2011 - Facebook Omer Guney #2 created, first photo posted was of a roaring lion for sports team
Dec 30, 2011 - sports team Facebook account created
Jan 3, 2013 - Sweden FB friend following Omer Guney #2 posted photos of men in PKK costumes
Jan 4, 2013 - Last photo posted of soldier pointing rifle by
Jan 9, 2013 - Assassinations of Sakine Cansız, Leyla Söylemez, and Fidan Doğan
Jan 19, 2013 - Paris police arrest Ömer Güney for the triple murders of Cansız, Söylemez, and Doğan
Jan 25, 2013 - The links to who FB Omer Guney #2 is following and who is following him were hidden
Feb 1, 2013 - Amy Beam wrote the "Murder Mystery of Sakine Cansiz" about Omer Guney FB accounts.
Feb 2, 2013 - Murat Şahin, former Turkish MIT intelligence agent, says Ömer Güney is a member of MIT
Feb. 24-25 - Both Omer Guney Facebook accounts were deleted while he was (supposedly) in jail
Mar 9, 2013 - kirmizi.sari141905 FB account inactive since Jan 4, when soldier aiming rifle was posted

Who was changing and then deleting the Omer Guney Facebook accounts if he was locked up?

Where Is Ömer Güney Now?

Since arresting Ömer Güney Jan 19, Paris police and both the French and Turkish governments have fallen silent about the assassinations. Answers about these assassinations must be found and shared with the public as part of the "Imrali talks" and achieving peace in Turkey. If Güney was unknowingly set up to take the fall, his life, too, may be in danger. According to Güney's uncle, Ömer Güney claims that he was present with two other men, but he himself did not kill any of the three women. It remains a disturbing mystery.

Amy L. Beam, Ed.D. has been a software engineer for 30 years. She now runs a tourism business in eastern Turkey with Kurdish partners. She is writing her book: Climbing Mount Ararat: Love and Betrayal in Kurdistan.

Copyright 2013 Amy L. Beam
Twitter @amybeam