Michael Albert in Greece and Turkey

Published on ZNet, by Michael Albert, Sept. 6, 2011.

I am in Thesselonika, in Greece, giving some talks at a conference here. I hope to report after I return on my observations, however tentative, of what I am seeing and hearing. In a few days I go to Turkey, Istanbul and then Diyarbikar a far eastern city that is overwhelmingly Kurdish. In Greece I have been asked to talk about political organizing strategy, last night, and tonight participatory economics. in Turkey they have requested that I talk about parecon and the Kurdish struggle and efforts to define new political structures, and the economy as well.  

As preparation they are sending me some documents, albeit a bit late, and that is the reason for this blog post. I thout I would make those documents, which I am finding very revealing, inspiring, and, one hopes, important. I am not sure this will work, I am on a weak connection, using an iPad, but I can try. Neighborhood Councils: Abdullah Ar?, a Kurdish Activist, Interviews a Group of Neighborhood Council Activists in Diyarbak’r, August 2011.

Question: What are the purposes and functions of neighborhood councils? What role do they assume for establishment of the Democratic Autonomy?

  • Answer: Being the smallest unit of the democratic organization, the function of councils is to promote people’s organization in the ground in their own neighborhoods. They aim to create and promote an organization empowered to influence decisions at higher levels, as well as making decisions at the local level … //

… Question: For a last question, what role do the neighborhood councils assume in economy? Can you summarize with a few examples the solutions sought for eliminating poverty?

  • Answer: Neighborhood councils collect membership fees from their members and build economic solidarity through occasional festivities. Apart from that, for detection of poverty in the neighborhood, Sarma??k association (an organization to fight the poverty) is advising the council.

An Outline of the the Developments Regarding the Kurdish Question During the Last 3 Years: … //

… This new anti-terror strategy (indeed nothing is new with it and peace defenders in Turkey are afraid that “we are back into 90’ies” when very severe human right violations took place in Kurdish area. N. Chomsky wrote a lot about this ominous period) consist of I) established a professional army to better deal with the “terror”, ii) using anew so-called “special operations forces” (which are in reality counterinsurgency troops) and increasing their numbers.

By the beginning of August 2011, relying on a secret collaboration, Iran troops started an operation against PJAK (the pro-PKK organization fighting for the rights of Iranian Kurds). The aim was a place called “Kandil”, in Northern Iraq, a very broad and mountainous area where PKK’s main guerilla camps are. Iran troops couldn’t succeed militarily to occupy this area.

Toward the end of August, Turkish Air Force bombed very heavily the same area (Kandil) targeting to eliminate the guerilla camps. However civilian Kurdish people in Northern Iraq were also targeted, the residents in the villages surrounding Kandil. A family of 7 persons, 3 of them are children are killed savagely by air bomb. The photo showing the massacre published in some international news agencies.

Nowadays, with its “new strategy” in mind, the AKP government is preparing for a ground operation toward Northern Iraq, aiming to eliminate the PKK camps and probably to cerate a buffer zone. Indeed more than 25 across borders military operations had been organized by Turkish military since the beginning of the conflict in mid 80’s. No one has reached the envisaged goal. Iran troops already begin to bomb a few days ago this mountainous area “Kandil”. It’s supposed that Turkey and Iran are in collaboration in this military attack. (full huge long texts on Turkey-Kurdish problems).

Link: the IOPS Project on ZNet: click on /Org Aims / ICC (New Organization) … on internal links above in left column of the frontside.

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