Turkish men pose to show women’s hidden wounds (& Kuwait: Israel was right on flotilla)

September 01, 2011

* Kuwaiti court shelves Turkish flotilla lawsuit: “The Turkish ship violated international law”

This dispatch contains items relating to Turkey.

There are also two other dispatches today, which can be read here and here.



1. Turkish paper publishes photos of men posing in order to expose women’s hidden wounds
2. Turkey to return Christian and Jewish properties
3. Turkish army admits it killed over 150 Kurds
4. Arab Times: Kuwaiti court shelves flotilla lawsuit: “Israel could win because the Turkish ship violated international law”
5. Turkish paper: “Why Golda Meir was right”

[All notes below by Tom Gross]


The Turkish paper Hürriyet Daily News has published an intriguing photo gallery of Turkish men – including prominent public figures – protesting the treatment of women in their country.

The first image in the series, below, is of politician Gürsel Tekin.

The accompanying text in the newspaper reads:

“Forty-nine per­cent of women are exposed to violence, 48 percent do not speak up, while 44.1 per­cent of working women and 41.1 per­cent of unemployed women are victims of violent acts. One of every 10 women who conceive at least once is beaten during the pregnancy.

“This year in the south­eastern province of Adıyaman, a 16-year-old girl was buried alive by her family and died in the honor killing. I will never forget her. This is not a part of religion, conscience or humanity. Our women are massacred under the guise of honor killings. And if they are not murdered, they live in hell because of violence from their husbands every day,” says Tekin.

The other photos can be seen here.



The Turkish government has announced that it is to return some of the properties it has confiscated from its Christian and Jewish communities since 1936. The move is seen as a step towards alleviating European Union concerns about the treatment of minorities in Turkey, an EU candidate country.

The decision was announced ahead of a dinner held to break the Ramadan fast that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attended with representatives of the Christian and Jewish communities in Istanbul earlier this week.

Turkey confiscated billions of dollars worth of property belonging to the Armenian, Greek and Jewish communities. The seized properties include hospitals, schools and cemeteries. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that these seizures were illegal.

Around 100,000 Christians and 25,000 Jews remain in Turkey, which has an overwhelmingly Muslim population of 74 million.

Istanbul, previously known as Constantinople, was once home to a large Christian population and was capital of the Greek Orthodox Byzantine Empire.


For background on Constantinople, see:

* From Turkey: A tale of two cities: Istanbul vs. Jerusalem (June 10, 2011)



The Turkish military has said it killed between 150 and 160 Kurdish fighters in August with artillery fire and air strikes. Some of the Turkish air strikes were carried out in northern Iraq. An unknown number of Kurdish civilians also died.

The Western media and human rights groups appear to care very little about the fate of the Kurds, the Middle East’s largest stateless minority.

On one day alone last month Turkey carried out air strikes on 60 sites, but this was barely reported internationally.

At least 40,000 civilians and soldiers have died in the Kurdish fight for a separate homeland over the last 25 years, far more than the number of Israelis and Palestinians in their conflict during the same time period.

Meanwhile, the Turkish government continues to berate Israel over its supposed wrongdoing.


* Among past dispatches on this, please see:

Turks kill 130 Kurds (& The world’s favorite sport is…) (June 21, 2010)



The Arab Times reports as follows:


Case against Israel shelved

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 28: The Ministry of Justice intends to shelve the case which has been filed by MP Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and others against the Israeli government for humiliating and assaulting them while they were aboard the Turkish flotilla which was carrying humanitarian assistance to the people of the Gaza Strip in Palestine, reports Al-Dar daily.

It has been reported the ministry was preparing to file a lawsuit in international courts but was advised by lawyers not to go ahead with the suit because Israel could win the case and Kuwait would end up paying billions of dollars in compensation because the ship had violated the international law by entering the Israeli territorial waters without permission.


[Update: since I sent this item out, the paper has altered its website.]

* For more on the flotilla, please see here.


I attach an article below from the Turkish paper Hurriyet Daily News:

Why Golda Meir was right
By Burak Bekdil
Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey)
August 23, 2011


It has been more than two and a half years since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told to Israeli President Shimon Peres’s face, “You (Jews) know well how to kill.” Prime Minister Erdogan has also declared more than a few times that the main obstacle to peace in this part of the world is Israel, once calling the Jewish state “a festering boil in the Middle East that spreads hate and enmity.” In this holy month of Ramadan full of blood on Muslim territories, let’s try to identify who are the ones who know well how to kill.

As the Syrian death count clicks every day to come close to 2,000, the Turkish-Kurdish death count does not stop, already over 40,000 since 1984, both adding to the big pool of blood called the Middle East. Only during this Ramadan, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK’s, death toll has reached 50 in this Muslim Kurds vs. Muslim Turks war. This excludes the PKK casualties in Turkey and in northern Iraq due to Turkish military retaliation since they are seldom accurately reported.

Let’s speak of facts.

Sudan is not in the conventional Middle East, so let’s ignore the genocide there. Let’s ignore, also, the West Pakistani massacres in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) totaling 1.25 million in 1971. Or 200,000 deaths in Algeria in war between Islamists and the government in 1991-2006.

But a simple, strictly Middle East research will give you one million deaths in the all-Muslim Iran-Iraq war; 300,000 Muslim minorities killed by Saddam Hussein; 80,000 Iranians killed during the Islamic revolution; 25,000 deaths in 1970-71, the days of Black September, by the Jordanian government in its fight against the Palestinians; and 20,000 Islamists killed in 1982 by the elder al-Assad in Hama. The World Health Organization’s estimate of Osama bin Laden’s carnage in Iraq was already 150,000 a few years earlier.

In a 2007 research, Gunnar Heinsohn from the University of Bremen and Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, found out that some 11 million Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, (0.3 percent) died during the six years of Arab war against Israel, or one out of every 315 fatalities. In contrast, over 90 percent who perished were killed by fellow Muslims.

According to Mssrs. Heinsohn and Pipes, the grisly inventory finds the total number of deaths in conflicts all over the world since 1950 numbering around 85 million. Of that, the Muslim Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict were at 46,000 including 11,000 during Israel’s war of independence. That makes 0.05 percent of all deaths in all conflicts, or 0.4 percent of all Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In another calculation ignoring “small” massacres like the one that goes on in Syria and other deaths during the Arab Spring, only Saddam’s Iraq, Jordan, the elder al-Assad’s Syria, Iran-Iraq war, the bin Laden campaign in Iraq, the Iranian Islamic revolution and the Turkish-Kurdish conflict caused 1.65 million Muslim deaths by Muslims compared to less than 50,000 deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1950, including fatalities during and after Operation Cast Lead which came after the Heinsohn-Pipes study. For those who don’t have a calculator ready at their desks, allow me to tell: 50,000 is three percent of 1.65 million.

Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, or rather the “Mother of Israel,” had a perfectly realistic point when she said that peace in the Middle East would only be possible “when Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”


[All notes above by Tom Gross]

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.