Friday, December 30, 2011

Turkey's insincere regret pose

CNN reports, "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that he regrets the deaths of 35 civilians in a military airstrike in a Kurdish area on the border with Iraq." Well I guess that makes everything all right then. Erdogan regrets it. Not enough to stop using drones. Not enough to announce a new plan for addressing the needs of Kurds in Turkey (needs that do include safety from being killed by the Turkish military apparently). 35 innocents were killed but, hey, Erodgan says he regrets it.

The Irish Examiner notes that "thousands" turned out for the funerals today. Al Jazeera adds:

Coffins were brought in a long convoy of cars and ambulances, sounding their horns as mourners flashed defiant V for victory signs.
"It is impossible to kill them mistakenly. The soldiers were 150 metres away and had a bird's eye view," 20-year-old Mehmet from Ortasu village, near the site of the raid, said, referring to troops who observed the attack.
Mehmet, who also makes his living by smuggling goods from the border, said: "I could have been one of the [victims]."
A young woman whose cousin died in the bombing was in tears.
"This was no mistake. They intentionally killed people, who were trying to earn a crust," she said.

But Erdogan has regrets. And, as EuroNews notes, there will be an investigation and, they swear, no cover up. BBC News notes Erdogan termed the attack "unfortunate and saddening" and President Abdullah Gul noted "pain" over the murder of the 35. Of course, the 35 probably felt more "pain" than Gul did (as did the one wounded survivor that I'm not seeing mentioned in the articles). A point made by a protester in Uludere who shouted, "Damn you, Erdogan . . . One day you too will know our pain!" The 35 killed were in Turkey. For some reason the Turkish government continues to insist upon stating that they were in northern Iraq. IC quotes PKK's Bahoz Erdal stating, "This massacre was no accident ... It was organised and planned. We urge the people of Kurdistan... to react after this massacre and seek a settling of accounts through uprisings." Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) notes of the 35 dead "most appeared to be members of an extended family and were under the age of 30."

As well as noting that 20 people were also injured in the bombing, Bloomberg News quotes Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc stating, among other things, "Turkey is combating terrorism and in that fight incidents like this may occur." That "regret"? Really not convincingly portrayed by Turkish leaders.

The following community sites -- plus The World Can't Wait, NPR, Jane Fonda, Susan's On The Edge, and Watching America -- updated:

A visitor e-mailed about a Danny Schechter column. Click here and you can read it at Al Jazeera. My thoughts? (I was asked in the e-mail.) I'll just make one comment. I don't know anyone in the music industry who thinks Rolling Stone is a "music magazine" -- those days ended with the 70s (and with Jann's decision to start taking ads from the US military). I hope to have a snapshot today. Hope. I'll go into it at the end of the next entry.

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