“Grant Kurds an Autonomous State in Southeast Turkey,” Opinion by Evin Cheikosman

Evin Cheikosman 2013

Grant Kurds an Autonomous State in Southeast Turkey
Guest Opinion for Syria Comment
by Evin Cheikosman, a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Syrian-Kurd who plans to pursue graduate studies in Germany or Turkey.

TO: Recep Tayipp Erdoğan, Prime Minister, Turkey

Honorable Prime Minister Erdoğan, as you are aware, the long-standing Kurdish struggle for autonomy has remained a constant issue in Turkish national politics. Kurdish history is dominated by the unending fight for self-determination and recognition of a distinct ethnic identity within the Turkish community. However, Kurds have continuously been marginalized within Turkish borders, a place they have long considered home. Mr. Prime Minister, you’ve been in office since 2003, accepting the responsibility to safeguard the interests of the Turkish citizens, but what about the Kurds? Indeed you have mentioned occasionally that the Kurdish issue needs to be resolved and that you are in the process of launching initiatives to meet the demands of the Kurdish people. However, I have yet to see great improvement or a genuine fulfillment of those promises you made during your first few years in office.

There are 15 million Kurds in Turkey but they continue to face daily persecution, intimidation, and subjugation. In this day and age these unjust acts towards Kurds are unacceptable. Mr. Prime Minister, Turkey’s government continues to fuel the long standing war between Turks and Kurds. But this is not a war between good and evil as it has been depicted throughout Turkish-Kurdish history; it’s a war between right and wrong. What’s right is that human rights and freedom of mankind is a right of all persons, what is wrong is prohibiting that right and oppressing those who demand it.

I am writing to you adding my voice to that of Kurds who should be granted full autonomy in southeastern Turkey. The Kurds have their own language, distinct cultural traditions, identity, values, and have a deep attraction to southeast Turkey. Within this context, the Turkish government should indeed allow for a separate federal Kurdish state within Turkey. Kurdistan will manage their domestic affairs but under Turkish law. In this manner, Turkey will not lose its sovereignty and Kurds will be granted a state of their own. Kurds are a proud and independent people, who like all ethnic groups seek freedom to speak their language and enjoy basic human rights; something that Quebec in Canada and the Basque region in Spain have.

Thus, my opinion would be to revamp talks with Kurdish and Turkish leaders and representatives. At this conference, Kurds should be granted an autonomous Kurdistan state under Turkish legislation, a full ratification of the Turkish constitution should be established in line with EU standards, and PKK militants who did not commit crimes should be granted amnesty and allowed to integrate into society; this would eliminate time wasted on civil trials.

Mr. Erdoğan, you have noted on numerous occasions that entry into the European Union is a top priority. However given the endless list of human rights abuses that Turkey has committed, accession into the EU will continue on its unsuccessful path. Thus by granting autonomy to the largest minority in the country, EU membership will not be the only door of opportunity opening to Turkey. Mr. Prime Minister, it is important to start looking at the Kurdish people as an asset to Turkish-Kurdish prosperity; not as PKK militants. It is also worth noting Turkeys’ current annual trade of 10 billion USD with Kurdistan Iraq. A decision made by the Turkish government, realizing the extent of change and wealth that investment in Kurdistan Iraq would bring to Turkey. Thus today Kurdistan Iraq is Turkey’s second largest trading partner. Just imagine what a Kurdistan Turkey would do for the country.

Turkey has neglected to fully resolve the Kurdish issue and as a result Kurds are turning to acts of protest, damaging Turkey’s reputation as a young democratized state. According to BBC, Kurdish prisoners in various jails in Turkey were not too long ago rejecting to eat solid food, demanding Turkey to allow Kurdish in education and legal systems. Protesters also called for the release of PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, who was captured and sentenced to life in solitary confinement (Kurds Clash with Turkish Police over hunger strikers). It is events like these that are brewing at the core of Turkey and soon it will explode into a secular war. Turkey has made minor changes to Kurdish human rights including free publication of newspapers, TV, and radio in Kurdish. This is fine, but not enough. Kurds want full equal rights to be Kurds in Turkey and have their own autonomous state within the country.

Conflicts are already evident in Syria where Kurds are organizing an army, aligning with the PKK, and preparing for an all out secular war after the fall of the Syrian regime. This is a historical opportunity for the Kurds to finally achieve independence and they are working unitarily to make a “Kurdistan” in Syria a realization.  If Kurds in Syria succeed, they will influence events to come in Turkey. You once stated, “I will never tolerate initiatives that would threaten Turkey’s security” (Hacaoglu). However by suppressing the Kurds and being unresponsive to their demands, such comments alone are threatening to Turkey’s security. People all over the world no longer fear their government, and as witnessed by the Arab Spring people aren’t afraid to rise up against their government.

Thus soon your government’s authority will diminish due to the emergence of Kurdish autonomy in Syria, which will lead to Kurds in Turkey to establish the same. This will result in more frequent acts of brutality and protest; the situation as a whole would prove disastrous for the nation. Turkey will suffer financially, death and casualties will be profound, and destruction insurmountable. By suppressing Kurds, Turkey is fueling Kurdish hostilities and motivating the possibility for a “Kurdish spring.”

Depending on how the prospects in Syria turn out, Turkey will be forced to face the Kurdish domestic issue and will have to accept the consequences of not working earlier and more diplomatically to solve it. Sooner or later, Kurds will achieve an autonomous Kurdistan in Turkey. Whether Turkey is willing to have a say in democratizing and easing this task is the real question.

Comments (74)


Visitor said:

Why is Dr. Landis raising such an issue by making an amateurish letter the subject of a post?

I remember in the previous post he described an irrelevant idiotic site a must read!!

And now look at this letter that he puts up as a main post – pure sensationalism!!

There is something that does not add up in the way Landis creates his posts.

I am beginning to think that Akbar Palace is right in his accusations of Dr. Landis.

January 1st, 2013, 8:52 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Mr. Landis, If every sect wants to split into seperate state, US will be divided into 12 states at least,
Further I believe,once the Syrian revolution ends successfully, Syria can not survive without having special relationship with Turkey,
Finally there has been marriage between kurds and Syrian Arab,split will be very difficult.
Mr. Erdogan can be a unifying figure.

January 1st, 2013, 9:10 pm

 

Syrialover said:

VISITOR #1

Agreed, it’s disappointing in view of all else that should be discussed here.

Joshua has his loyalties to people, but this is one post that should have been abbreviated or put in a secondary position.

And all else aside, it’s fine for young Miss Cheikosman studying in Califormia with future plans for living in Germany to make grand pronouncements about a future Kurdistan in Syria. Also, she airily waves aside the Kurds serious internal issue of the PKK militants.

January 1st, 2013, 9:10 pm

 

Syrian said:

Measuring by the actions of most Syrian Kurds in Syria.I don’t think they are an honorable people who deserve anything more than what the good Mr. Ardogan is offering them
BTW there no such thing as Kurdish nation they are called through out history as mountain Turk.

January 1st, 2013, 9:14 pm

 

mjabali said:

Good subject Prof Landis and very suitable for this time.

People on this blog are afraid to talk about reality: the Kurds want to determine their own destiny.

The big question is what about the Kurds who are in the other parts in Syria, like those on the coast and Damascus, for example?

I asked these questions regarding the ethnic landmine and its role in the current Syrian conflict: no one wanted to talk about this.

Turkey always had problems with the Kurds, and for the Kurds to ask for succession is very understandable especially with what is happening to Iraq and Syria.

This is a very important topic especially with the complex ethnic composition of the Syrian landscape.

January 1st, 2013, 9:37 pm

 

Ghufran said:

The attack on Kurds by lovers of Turkey is a clear statement about the nature of some anti regime forces who advocate holy violence and sinful exclusion of Kurds from their double-faced movement for ” democracy and freedom”.
Only dishonest people will deny that Kurds were victimized by virtually all Arab and muslim governments including baathist regimes in Syria and Iraq. Turkey managed to contain Kurds and label Kurds legitimate rights for equality and dignity as terrorism, but Turkey’s success is coming to an end, justice is only good when it is universal, picking and choosing winners and losers is not justice, it is a form of thuggery, Syrians did not die to replace one group of thugs with another, exclusionary and racist movements are doomed to fail since they only produce violence and internal strife, it is unfortunate that some victims of Assad are now copying ideas and policies from their enemies.

January 1st, 2013, 9:43 pm

 

revenire said:

More FSA atrocities (don’t watch if blood bothers you).

you).https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=X6HjDf9OC8Y

These terrorists need to be eliminated from Syria.

January 1st, 2013, 9:48 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Do not listen to what Erdogan says,look at what he does, Turkey is now looking to find a negotiable solution with the Kurds and their ” terrorist” leader.
( only a kid has the energy and the drive to create 9 thumbs down in 45 seconds, some of you guys need to find a job)

January 1st, 2013, 9:52 pm

 

Syrian said:

For forty years the Ba’ath party has treated the Syrians Kurds like dirt, lots of them did not even have any papers to even go to schools or travel. And when the revolution started all of the sudden Mrs B.S. remembered them and offered for first time in Ba’ath history. The good wishes of Neroz, gave them the citizenship that they did get all their lives,made a deal with them to stand on the side line
They are Watching and waiting for their moment instead of fighting for their rights like the rest of the country, killing the one who supported the revolution like Mr. Temmo, creating distractions in the north.
They could have helped and got a lot more from the Sunnies than the deal they made with the devil. Now they will get nothing from either side after the war is over no matter who wins

January 1st, 2013, 9:54 pm

 

MarigoldRan said:

Landis is right to bring up this topic.

Mind you, Britain had similar problems in Ireland in the 1970s. But Ireland is a much smaller country than the Kurdish areas of Turkey.

Erdogan should negotiate. Violence should always be the LAST resort. Unlike the stupid Syrian regime, which resorts to violence at the first opportunity.

Everyone can see how that turned out. The Syrian Civil War is probably a good lesson for all the OTHER governments in the Middle East: behave and don’t use violence on your own people, or your country could become like Syria.

January 1st, 2013, 10:00 pm

 

norman said:

The solution in Syria and the Mideast including Turkey, Iraq and Iran is decentralization where each town manage itself with Mayer and city council and support from real estate tax and secondary support from the central government to provide to each area the same amount of revenue per each citizen, you can add to that registration for elections in the areas that people live not where they come from, that will melt the people in the areas they live in and with anti discrimination laws in housing and employment , Syria and the other countries will be for all the people not for certain religion or ethnicity. That is the future that can keep these countries together and even unite them.

January 1st, 2013, 10:11 pm

 

MarigoldRan said:

So you are recommending the Lebanese solution?

Because Lebanon’s government is that: very decentralized.

It has its problems, but it’s better than the Syrian situation.

January 1st, 2013, 10:14 pm

 

Syrian Atheist Against Dictatorships said:

Hi Dr Landis,

Best wishes to you and your family for the new year .

Previously you had devoted quite a bit of space and gave a lot of exposure to the video allegedly showing rebels executing a group of regime soldiers and shabbiha in Idleb and also to 3ar3our’s “meat grinder” threats. Will you be doing the same with this latest video of acts by regime fighters?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=X6HjDf9OC8Y&bpctr=1357094159

There is also this, though the details and context surrounding it are not clear, regardless of the label
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4253439490621&set=vb.1124809121&type7

Separately, I have a technical question re your blog and wonder if you could find a minute to explain something to me.

Are people able to see and read a comment posted on your blog while it is still awaiting moderation?
And, I heard that moderation/monitoring of comments had been abandoned on your blog, no?

Thanks.

MGB aka Syrian Atheist Against Dictatorships
(I have had to abandon the previous Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships since I could no longer stand to be associated with the name Assad, even sarcastically)

January 1st, 2013, 10:16 pm

 

Syrians said:

7 Reve.
You have no shame. That is the same video I posted showing clearly the regime soldiers with their Alawi accent that you did not even bother to mute it or change it
You only put the FSA logo on it
they are still addressing the captured 2 men with Areers(عراير)
You are betting that some one who don’t understand English will just take your word for it
Really I don’t know how you sleep at night

January 1st, 2013, 10:17 pm

 

Syrian said:

7Reve.
You have no shame. That is the same video I posted showing clearly the regime soldiers with their Alawi accent that you did not even bother to mute it or change it
You only put the FSA logo on it
they are still addressing the captured 2 men with Areers(عراير)
You are betting that some one who don’t understand Arabic will just take your word for it
Really I don’t know how you sleep at night

January 1st, 2013, 10:19 pm

 

MarigoldRan said:

@ SAAD (Syrian Atheist Against Dictatorships)

That’s fine. I don’t agree with it, but I can respect that position.

Unlike Zoo’s, which is intolerable. Why do some other atheists like Zoo defend this regime? Isn’t this regime a perfect example of why atheism is bad?

January 1st, 2013, 10:19 pm

 

Ghufran said:

KSA, the land of plenty ( or is it?):
A few kilometres from the blinged-out shopping malls of Saudi Arabia’s capital, Souad al-Shamir lives in a concrete house on a trash-strewn alley. She has no job, no money, five children under 14 and an unemployed husband who is laid up with chronic heart problems.
“We are at the bottom,” she said, sobbing hard behind a black veil that left only her eyes visible. “My kids are crying and I can’t provide for them.”
Millions of Saudis struggle on the fringes of one of the world’s most powerful economies, where jobs and welfare programmes have failed to keep pace with a population that has soared from 6 million in 1970 to 28 million today.
( source: the Guardian)

January 1st, 2013, 10:32 pm

 

Johannes de Silentio said:

11. NORMAN

“The solution in Syria and the Mideast including Turkey, Iraq and Iran is decentralization”

Exactly.

All these fake, cartoon countries should be dissolved and replaced by mini-states. It would solve all the goofy problems your silly religion is causing.

I suggest you all (at least those of you who are literate) read about the religious wars in Germany in the 1500s and 1600s. The solution in 1648 was to divide Germany into 365 autonomous mini-states. Some were Protestant, some were Catholic, some were now one and then the other. It was either that or keep on killing.

http://www.timemaps.com/history/germany-1648ad

January 1st, 2013, 10:37 pm

 

MarigoldRan said:

@ Syrian

Revenire probably sleeps fine at night. As you said, he has no shame. So nothing troubles him.

Revenire is soul-less and empty inside, like the regime and most of its supporters.

@Ghurfan

Every country has its problems. The Saudis at least TRY to keep their welfare rolls funded.

In contrast to the Syrian regime, which shoots protesters if they complain about welfare.

January 1st, 2013, 10:41 pm

 

Syrian Atheist Against Dictatorships said:

As to the “Kurdish Question” being addressed in this post, I personally do not believe in nation states per se, but in the real world they exist and will continue to do so. The Kurds have as much right to a state of their own in a land they inhabited for Millennia. On the other hand, it also is true that for them to get what they want now would cause numerous problems, in Syria, Turkey Iran and Iraq.

But the question one must ask is this: if the rule of law is the guiding principle in a country, if people are treated equally and without discrimination there should be no need for either autonomy or independence. Kurds have mixed in with other Syrians and many are now Kurds by name only. My best friend in HS was “Kurdish” on his father’s side but could not speak the language and was in every way the same as any other Syrian I knew.

Syria as well as Turkey need to have a real and functioning RULE OF LAW before anything else.

January 1st, 2013, 10:41 pm

 

MarigoldRan said:

@ SAAD

But what if it was religious law? Does that count too?

I’m playing devil’s advocate here. For the most part I agree with you. But the devil is in the details. After all, Iran is technically ruled by law too.

EDIT: Who determines what laws should rule the country? How should the laws be determined or passed? What should be done about people/communities that break them?

January 1st, 2013, 10:47 pm

 

revenire said:

Syrian Air Force strikes FSA terrorists in Ghouta – panic and weeping follows.

That is for murdering Maya Naser and kidnapping Yara Saleh.

January 1st, 2013, 11:08 pm

 

William Scott Scherk said:

So … the revenant Revenire, a mysterious rootless entity with a feeble grasp on reality, now puts forward a SAA/Shabiha execution atrocity video posted here yesterday, and re-labels it an FSA execution atrocity video?

And then, just to add a rancid note of sociopathy, he tells us “Atrocities Happen”?

This is worse than ZOO’s policy of “Atrocities Don’t Happen.”

In my opinion, Revenire is a fraud and a stain.

January 1st, 2013, 11:16 pm

 

Syrialover said:

REVENIRE is a shallow smartass playing games on this site. The situation in Syria is sport and amusement for him.

Ugly.

January 1st, 2013, 11:26 pm

 

Sami said:

“Why do some other atheists like Zoo defend this regime? Isn’t this regime a perfect example of why atheism is bad?”

The premise that this regime is somehow atheistic is completely false. Assadism is a sick and twisted cult with its own demented rituals, habits and indoctrination.

Having said that I would like to make something clear Secularism ≠ Atheism.

A secular state is a state with no set religion but rather a state that recognizes ALL religions (and non-religions) of its citizens, there is absolutely no reason why a religious party cannot run for office in a secular state.

Atheists are those that do not believe in the existence of God or any gods, including human ones proclaiming to be the saviours of Syria while wearing Ray-Bans…

January 1st, 2013, 11:28 pm

 
 

Sami said:

A sad two part story about a young couple in Syria.

In Syria, marriage as defiance

By Salma Abdelaziz, CNN
December 10, 2012

Ayat Al-Qassab carefully slipped the beaded satin wedding gown over her small frame. She peered at herself in the rusted mirror and cautiously smiled. For a moment, her war-torn world was transformed and she was a beautiful bride — free, safe and happy.

[…]

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/08/world/syria-marriage/index.html

The follow up a few weeks later…

‘Til death do us part: Marriage destroyed by war

By Salma Abdelaziz, CNN
December 29, 2012

Just a few months ago, 18-year-old Ayat Al-Qassab sang and danced with her mother and aunts as they dressed the bride in her wedding gown. Now, her shattered and bloodied body lies in a grave below the crumbling, bullet-ridden buildings of Homs.

[…]

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/29/world/meast/syria-newlyweds-death/

January 1st, 2013, 11:43 pm

 

zoo said:

The Moslem Brotherhood organization is outlawed in the UAE

UAE state security detains 10 over Muslim Brotherhood links

Ola Salem
Jan 1, 2013 Updated Jan 1, 2013 4.48pm

ABU DHABI // State security have arrested a cell of at least 10 people accused of having links to the Muslim Brotherood in Egypt.
Investigators had been monitoring the men’s movements for several years and believed they had formed their own network in the UAE, a security source told Al Khaleej newspaper in Sharjah.
He said they were organising well-planned activities “on state land”.

They held secret meetings in various “administrative offices” around the country and recruited Egyptians in the UAE to their organisation.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/uae-state-security-detains-10-over-muslim-brotherhood-links#ixzz2Gn34FPqM
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

January 1st, 2013, 11:45 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

THose who lie,doctor statement,twist facts they must be banned,they have no honesty, they have no place in SC.
Ghufran repeatedly fabricated false stories, Revenire lied,Ann doctored statement,why do we have liers here?they are worthless commentors,they add nothing to improve Syria,the worst is that they lie knowing what they say are lies.

January 1st, 2013, 11:46 pm

 

Johannes de Silentio said:

22. WILLIAM SCOTT SCHERK

“Revenire is a fraud and a stain”

Mossie can’t be both. He’s either a fraud or a stain. Unless you want to classify him as a fraudulent stain. Or perhaps a stainable fraud?

January 1st, 2013, 11:50 pm

 

zoo said:

WSS

ZOO’s policy is “Atrocities do Happen” in both sides of that pointless confrontation and it is time that it stops without preconditions.

January 1st, 2013, 11:51 pm

 

zoo said:

@29 Silentio

How dare you challenge our PHD in english language?

January 1st, 2013, 11:52 pm

 

Johannes de Silentio said:

28 MAJEDKHALDOUN

“Those who lie must be banned,they have no honesty, they have no place in SC”

Oh please, Majie, lighten up. One man’s lie is another’s truth. If everyone told the truth all the time, we’d have killed each other eons ago.

Deception, betrayal, dissembling – – these are all perfectly normal, and perfectly human, responses to stimuli. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, “We are all truth tellers, we are all liars.”

January 1st, 2013, 11:58 pm

 

My Open letter to PM Erdogan was published on Syria Comment | Minority Politico said:

[…] My Open letter to PM Erdogan was published on Syria Comment […]

January 2nd, 2013, 12:02 am

 

Ghufran said:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a secret meeting in Jordan with King Abdullah II, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, which has yet to be confirmed by Israeli officials, the meeting focused on possibility that Syrian President Bashar Assad would use chemical weapons against rebels in the ongoing sectarian conflict raging in that country.
Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg reported in The Atlantic earlier this month that Israel has asked Jordan twice in the last two months for a green light to attack chemical weapons facilities in Syria.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sent representatives of the Mossad intelligence agency to Amman twice already, to coordinate the matter with the Jordanians and receive their “permission” for the operation, Goldberg wrote.
( I am amazed that there are people who still believe that others actually care about what happens to Syrians or whether Syria has a democracy or not)

January 2nd, 2013, 12:04 am

 

Syrian Atheist Against Dictatorships said:

@marigoldran #20

How about the Universal Bill of Rights, like all individuals are treated equally and without discrimination, for a start?

Must say I feel silly stating the obvious: any “law” religious or otherwise that gives/denies ANY individual or group rights that are denied/given to others is not a just law and must be struck down or never adopted.

Why must the President of Syria be a Muslim? The result of the election may be so, but the existing law denies non-Muslims the right even to nominate themselves and run for president. Is that Just?

If a person wants to use a religious law for his or her marriage, inheritance, or whatever then that is his/her prerogative, but there is no justice in imposing that same law on others who do not espouse that religion, is there?

January 2nd, 2013, 12:14 am

 

Azad said:

Refreshing post and very adequate subject for discussion. Props to Miss Cheikosmn and Landis for publishing this.

As for some of the previous comments; it is unfortunate the amount of pessimism and ignorance people have about this topic and the bias that is evident by such “Turkey lovers.”.

January 2nd, 2013, 12:21 am

 

Syrialover said:

SAMI #26

Thank you for that moving story that highlights how countless ordinary, brave, decent Syrians are being robbed of the hope of normal lives. Their losses will be too much to ever recover from.

Contrast it with the world of the parasites and protected species who are responsible for Syria’s suffering.

Below is an interesting account of how wealthy Alawite elites are busy feathering a comfortable nest that enables them to escape the realities of what is happening in the country:

Story: In Ravaged Syria, Beach Town May Be Loyalists’ Last Resort

EXCERPT:

TARTUS, Syria — Loyalists who support the government of President Bashar al-Assad are flocking to the Mediterranean port of Tartus, creating an overflowing boomtown far removed from the tangled, scorched rubble that now mars most Syrian cities.

There are no shellings or air raids to interrupt the daily calm. Families pack the cafes lining the town’s seaside corniche, usually abandoned in December to the salty winter winds. The real estate market is brisk. A small Russian naval base provides at least the impression that salvation, if needed, is near.

Many of the new residents are members of the Alawite minority, the same Shiite Muslim sect to which Mr. Assad belongs. The latest influx is fleeing from Damascus, people who have decided that summer villas, however chilly, are preferable to the looming battle for the capital.

“Going to Tartus is like going to a different country,” said a Syrian journalist who recently met residents here. “It feels totally unaffected and safe. The attitude is, ‘We are enjoying our lives while our army is fighting overseas.”

(continue reading:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/world/middleeast/syrian-resort-town-is-stronghold-for-alawites.html?ref=syria)

January 2nd, 2013, 12:48 am

 

Juergen said:

This is the last part of the 11 Syrians wishes for New Year

“Culture works only in the morning”

All I want for the new year is peace.
Nothing else. What kind of a state Syria
will be after, I no longer care. Everything has changed in Aleppo.
It has become terrible. I see people struggling, I hear
the explosions. There is so much death around us. Aleppo is now
a city of the walking dead. My gallery is still open,
However, I’m going to my gallery only in the morning. Also
Visitors come in the morning, because many no longer work, and there is not much else to do. We open
early and we close early. The cultural life has shifted
to the morning.Politically, I will no
move to one of the sides. Why should I? Most people in
Aleppo see it the way as I do: If you want our support, you should
convince us, so far neither side has convinced us. Sure I often had trouble with the authorities, when I organized the international photo festival in Aleppo. But there were always ways to come to terms. We didnt want war, the rebels have brought the war in our city .Those are all militiamen who kill and destroy!
These people are not the solution. And the international community? They have left us alone.
The media talk only with the jihaddists; the West thinks only
about their own safety. The people who are not part of this problem
are people like me that are not easily perceived and therefore ignored.
I will not leave Aleppo, but the Internet is cut off more and more If this continues, I can not work here, because I need to work the Internet. But if I can not work, what should I do still here?

ISSA TOUMA, 50 YEARS,
PHOTOGRAPHER, CURATOR AND
HOLDER LE PONT GALLERY
ALEPPO

——————————————————————-

“I want to have fun with my friends”

What should happen is that Assad leaves Syria and that is again, as it was before the war. I wish I’d be safe with my family.
I suffer sto be so far away from home. I come from a small town near the city of Hama. we have lived on a farm, my father was an officer in the Syrian Army. I was 16 years old when the uprising began, and I had gone to school. My father has deserted a few months ago, and since I also have started to work for the revolution. Now, my father and I are with a unit of the Free Syrian Army in the east of Hama . We call ourselves Sokur Kataeb al-Ghab. in Syrian arabic it means:. the battalion of the hawks of Ghab. We are about 20 to 25 men. I am something
as the spokesman for the group, I’m talking to journalists, give interviews and share the latest news. What I would really like is to improve is our communication technology. With weapons we are well equiped, but I desperately need a newlaptop with a good satellite modem and perhaps a new camera. Daily life is very hard, we do not have electricity, no oil, no gas, not even bread. Sometimes I get scared because the government troops shoot with grenades and missiles at the area, where we are staying. The school I did not miss (laughs). But I miss being with my friends and have fun with them.

AHMED RADOUN, REBEL, 17, LIVES
NEAR HAMA

——————————————————————-

“Assad falls, the chaos continues”

The insurgency will continue and extend far into 2013.
Also, the killing will not stop, not even after the regime has finally collapsed. As it did in Iraq, Syria will be in chaos, as regional powers abd big powers alike will do everything they can to further pursue their own interests, and will assist therefore acceptable parties in the conflict.
Neither the government nor the rebels can defeat each other. Therefore, it is impossible to say when fighting stops here.
Nothing will be better next year.

M.,dental physician from Rukn al Deen

Zoo,

i understand you missed some views which would represent the stand of the regime. Well, I dont know exactly how these interviews were made, maybe through the internet I suppose. I think you get 3 views out of 11 which would be fairly said to be more tending towards your position. Out of my personal experience most Syrians I know of, even those always in favor start to lament freely on the situation, and harldy anyone is still talking good these days about the regime.

January 2nd, 2013, 2:11 am

 

MarigoldRan said:

@Syrialover

The situation in Tartus is not all that different from the situation in Damascus a year ago. It won’t last forever. Tartus is NOT a foreign country. The war will spread there soon.

@ SAAD

America had a Bill of Rights, but when it was made those Rights applied only to white males. The other 70% of the population: women, slaves, Indians, and other non-whites, did not have those rights. America did not have an official religion and yet EVERY president since 1776 has been an avowed Christian.

If an American from today went back in time to 1780, they would think they had stepped into a male-dominated theocracy DESPITE the Bill of Rights or what-not.

My point is this: no democracy STARTS secular. Not even America or England. It took HUNDREDS of years of development and an occasional civil war or two to get to where they are now.

Why should the Middle East be any different? To rush things only leads to disaster, like in Libya with Gaddafi or Syria with Assad. The only place where it did work was Turkey, but that was almost entirely because of Kemal.

Better to begin as an Islamist democracy than the dead-end of a secular dictatorship.

January 2nd, 2013, 2:16 am

 

MarigoldRan said:

People may complain about the FSA, but they hate the regime from the bottom of their hearts.

January 2nd, 2013, 2:20 am

 

ann said:

Australian killed, say Syria rebels – January 2, 2013

“the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is unaware of any Australian national having been killed in fighting recently” 8)

http://www.theage.com.au/national/australian-killed-say-syria-rebels-20130101-2c48i.html

“This would be the first evidence of an Australian who has gone [to Syria] specifically to fight,” said Shandon Harris-Hogan from Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre.

If confirmed, the man would be the third Australian to have been killed in the Syrian conflict.

[…]

http://www.theage.com.au/national/australian-killed-say-syria-rebels-20130101-2c48i.html

January 2nd, 2013, 2:36 am

 

Syrialover said:

# 37. MARIGOLDRAN

You are putting Syria in a time warp by suggesting that “no democracy STARTS secular”. Agreed, the development of western deomcractic systems and institutions took a long time, but it was like medical science or forms of technology, once it was developed, it spread and became something everyone aspired to have.

In the 20th century we saw secular democracy adopted and sustained in India, Japan and other countries in Asia, as well as major countries in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and other parts of the former Soviet Union.

That’s why it would be a serious setback and waste of precious time and resources for post-dictator Middle Eastern countries – who are already lagging and handicapped – to play around with a phase of sectarian or “Islamist” governments.

Taking the dead-end path that has wrecked Iran and it appears to be wrecking Egypt would be a cruel twist of fate for Syrians who have suffered enough.

January 2nd, 2013, 2:51 am

 

Juergen said:

DER SPIEGEL journalist Christoph Reuter: You meet all kinds of people, all say “We want an islamic state”. And when asked and how shall this state be like, they answer: like Turkey.

January 2nd, 2013, 3:03 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Like Turkey,exactly.
Watch this and enjoy your like Turkey heaven.
Your friends cutting heads of soldiers in a way which no one in history has done,no one,not Hitler
Not jinkezkhan not holako not saddam no one.
Your like Turkey coming clip is vey gross:

January 2nd, 2013, 4:05 am

 

Visitor said:

Those who continue to bring up the subject of so-called secularism continue to argue in the void. While. It may be correctly put forth that secularism is not equal to atheism, yet many western countries with such secular constitutions have evolved into a defacto atheist state, particularly France since its adoption of the 1905 constitution and the recent amendments of 2004. France has become a defacto atheist state by taking that route

People need to understand the evolution of western secularism (laicism) and compare it to Islamic history in order to come to the unavoidable conclusion which is western secularism is NOT compatible woth Islamic beliefs and in short will not be welcomed.

Western secularism can best be described as an anti-clerical movement which began in the middle ages and continues to the present day. The clerical establishment in Europe came into existence due to a monoply it acquired for itself over the accessiblity and dissemination of scared text. As a result the clergy became a powerful class with political, religous and judicial powers which it exercised over the lives of ‘subjects’. When certain natural phenomena began to challenge the doctrines of the church, the anti-clerical movement began and sought to create a world view which it labelled as temporal versus divine and to drive the church gradually out of that sphere. It succeeded in doing so in Europe and much (but not all) of the West.

No such parallel history exist in Islam. On the contrary, the sacred text in Islam was available to the masses from the early inception of the Islamic State. No such class of clergy came into being and wielded political power as happened in Europe. The current state of affairs in mullah-stan is the anomaly and NOT the rule. Many Muslims would have no qualms labelling the mullahs of mullah-stan as heretics. In fact, the current mullah system in Iran is a challenge to Shiism and not to Islam as a religion.

We continue to maintain that the experience of Muslims with imported secularism has been negative, destructive and regressive to the countries in which it sought to rape those countries of their heritage and history.

Only democracy with civil institutions are suitable for countries such as Syria. Imported secularism must be dismantled and destroyed once and for all.

——————————————

On another note, which is more down to earth and more suitable for discussion than an amateurish letter or so-called secularism, Israel is racing with time to build a 54km long, 8m high fence in the Golan in anticipation of the fall of the rabbit of Golan (aka lion of Syria),

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2013/01/02/258249.html

January 2nd, 2013, 4:15 am

 

annie said:

Happy New Year and Happy Free Syria for 2013

from https://www.facebook.com/notes/borzou-daragahi/how-to-defend-bashar-assad-in-10-easy-steps/10151186147897286

“How to defend Bashar Assad in 10 easy steps
par Borzou Daragahi, lundi 31 décembre 2012, 17:34 ·

This is my guide for Syria analysts and journalists who want to defend Bashar Assad while continuing to retain their credibility in the West.

1. Keep mentioning Jubhat al Nasra and other Islamic jihadi groups without mentioning that the vast majority of armed groups are not nearly as extreme, are mostly locally based folks defending their towns and villages.

2. When referring to the armed opposition keep using the magic word: AL QAEDA

3. Make cursory mention of the regime’s brutality (you won’t have any credibility if you don’t) but avoid resurrecting the roots of the conflict in peaceful opposition to Bashar’s dictatorship. Avoid mention of wanton use of air power against civilians in bread lines and in their homes.

4. Keep talking about NATO, the Gulf countries and Western support for opposition; that will boost Bashar’s anti-imperialist creds among the campus leftists.

5. Focus on faults of incompetent and disorganized Syrian opposition abroad instead of networks of activists and homegrown civil society already establishing governance inside.

6. Frame Russia as an honest broker trying to peacefully resolve conflict instead of a shrewd chess player that doesn’t give a damn about Syrian civilians and murdered tens of thousands of Chechens in an attempt to put down a rebellion in the 1990s.

7. Keep warning about consequences of Syria state’s collapse: sectarian war, refugees in Europe, rise of an Islamist state.

8. Keep raising rare instances of rebel misconduct and faked videos and frame them as emblematic of the overall opposition.

9. Make the opposition look intransigent; they’re the ones who won’t agree to a peaceful settlement, not the president who did no reforms for 10 years and dispatched shabiha to murder peaceful protesters when they spoke out.

10. Pray to God (even if you are an athiest) that the rebels don’t get to Damascus, open up the files and find out what you did for the regime, the details of conversations on how you got your visas and your access to officials.”

January 2nd, 2013, 4:25 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

FSA attacked Taftanaz airport, mostly helicopter airport.it used to house 50.

January 2nd, 2013, 4:45 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Those who committed the crime shown in video are
هؤلاء المجرمين من منطقة وادي العيون قرية اللقبي التابعة لمصياف حماة وهم::: نائب …للشؤون العسكرية والامنية محمدتاصيف خير بك ا العماد عصام ناصيف خيربك اللواءفؤادخيربك معين خير منفذمجزرة سجن تدمروهو صهر رفعت الاسد أحمدكنعان يدير عصابات الشبيحة مع أخوه طارق بتكيف من خاله محمدناصيف خير بك المعروف بأبو وائل … من مهندسين حركة أمل الأرهابية أيام المقبور وهوصاحب ملف الاغتيالات بلبنان وله شبكات الاتصال بنسبة ستون بالمئة مع رامي مخلوف

January 2nd, 2013, 6:31 am

 

Warren said:

Turkey – world’s biggest prison for journalists

Coinciding with the publication of its annual roundup, Reporters Without Borders is releasing the findings of the investigation it has conducted in recent months into journalists imprisoned in Turkey.

“With a total of 72 media personnel currently detained, of whom at least 42 journalists and four media assistants are being held in connection with their media work, Turkey is now the world’s biggest prison for journalists – a sad paradox for a country that portrays itself a regional democratic model,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“The number of detained journalists is unprecedented since the end of military rule but is not surprising given the Turkish judicial system’s structural problems – very repressive legislation with broad and vaguely-worded provisions that allow all kinds of excesses, and markedly paranoid judicial attitudes that prioritize security concerns to the detriment of defence rights and freedom of information.

“Most of the imprisoned journalists are representatives of Kurdish media, a situation that again underscores the fact that freedom of information in Turkey is inextricably linked with the search for a peaceful solution to the issue of its Kurdish minority.

“The Turkish authorities have apparently begun to appreciate the scale of the problem. The so-called ‘third judicial reform package’ (Law 6352 of July 2012) has led in recent months to the conditional release of about fifteen journalists, some of whom had been in prison for years. But their cases are only suspended and an even bigger number of journalists are still waiting to be released.

“Worse still, there has hardly been any let-up in the pace with which more journalists are being arrested, jailed and brought to trial. This was seen yet again last week, when Sadiye Eser, a journalist with the left-wing daily Evrensel, was arrested. According to our tally, at least 61 journalists have been arrested in 2012.

“Although Turkey’s media landscape is extensive and diversified, critical and investigative journalism is often criminalized – a tendency that has been reinforced by a renewed increase in tension surrounding the Kurdish issue. Only a complete overhaul of the anti-terrorism law and the repeal of about 20 repressive articles in the criminal code will be able to address this.

“These legislative reforms will have to be accompanied by changes in judicial practices in line with the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights – meaning much less use of preventive detention, respect for the right to information on subjects of public interest, protection for journalists’ sources and a more independent and transparent judicial system.”

https://en.rsf.org/turkey-turkey-world-s-biggest-prison-for-19-12-2012,43816.html

___________________________________________________________________

This is the regime the soonites want to emulate! As we can see on this board, soonites do not tolerate dissent & challenges to their rabid dogma.!

January 2nd, 2013, 7:06 am

 

Tara said:

Reve,

So you relabeled the video as an FSA atrocity’?

You have degraded yourself for what? Don’t you think this is criminal?

Sorry but I have nothing but contempt to your action.

January 2nd, 2013, 7:14 am

 

Warren said:

Despite the EU’s demands on human rights, Turkey’s persecution of Christians is escalating

To begin with, an interesting story about the doings of an American congressional committee, which I cannot imagine (given the head of steam building up among our own legislators in favour of Turkey’s admission to the EU) taking place in any committee room of the Westminster Parliament:

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US congressional committee on Wednesday urged Turkey to ensure religious freedom and return church properties to their “rightful owners” in a vote opposed by the Ankara government.

After a spirited debate, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a text that says Turkey should “end all forms of religious discrimination” and “return to their rightful owners” all churches and other Christian historic sites.

“Religious minorities are under grave threat in today’s Turkey,” said Representative Ed Royce, a Republican from California.

“Rather than enjoying protection, very vulnerable religious minority groups including the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church are denied full legal status,” he said.

Turkey in 1971 closed a major seminary of the Orthodox Church, which has been seated in Istanbul since Byzantine times, as the secular state tried to bring universities under its control.

Turkey does not recognize Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I’s title as head of Orthodox Christians and considers him only the spiritual head of Turkey’s tiny Greek Orthodox minority.

Some readers may remember a piece I wrote in February, about legal attempts then under way (and still, so far as I can discover, unresolved) to seize the land surrounding the Syro-Orthodox monastery of Mor Gabriel (necessary for the community’s continued existence) amid claims that the monastery itself was built on land on which there had once been a mosque, a ludicrous contention since the monastery itself actually predates Islam. This attempt is being supported by the pro-Islamic ruling party of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. The point is that this case is not unique: it is simply one more example of what appears to be a mounting Islamist-inspired anti-Christian campaign, which the Turkish government, despite its ambitions to join the EU, is doing nothing to discourage. Consider a story reported by Zenit in December 2009:

Three Muslims entered the Meryem Ana Church, a Syriac Orthodox church in Diyarbakir, and confronted the Reverend Yusuf Akbulut, according to a Dec. 15 report by Compass Direct News, an agency specializing in reporting on religious persecution.

They told the priest that that unless the bell tower was destroyed in one week, they would kill him. The Muslims were apparently acting in reaction to the recent referendum in Switzerland, which banned the construction of new minarets for mosques.

According to the report Meryem Ana is more than 250 years old and is one of a handful of churches that serve the Syriac community in Turkey.

There is little doubt that the Turkish government’s anti-Christian policies have a good deal of popular support: this is, quite simply, an anti-Christian culture (and therefore incompatible, I would argue, with the European culture it claims to want to be part of). About the same time as the incident at Meryem Ana, a survey showed that more than half of the population of Turkey opposes members of other religions being allowed to hold meetings or to publish materials explaining their faith. The survey also found that almost 40 per cent of the population of Turkey said they had “very negative” or “negative” views of Christians.

This is a problem with a long and violent history, which has in no way moderated in recent decades: ponder for a moment the state-sponsored and state-orchestrated Istanbul pogrom of September 1955, which was directed primarily at Istanbul’s Greek minority.

The riots were orchestrated by the Turkish military’s Tactical Mobilization Group, the seat of Operation Gladio’s Turkish branch; the Counter-Guerrilla. The events were triggered by the news that the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki, north Greece – the house where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born in 1881 – had been bombed the day before. A bomb planted by a Turkish usher of the consulate, who was later arrested and confessed, incited the events. The Turkish press conveying the news in Turkey was silent about the arrest and instead insinuated that Greeks had set off the bomb.

A Turkish mob, most of which had been trucked into the city in advance, assaulted Istanbul’s Greek community for nine hours. Although the mob did not explicitly call for Greeks to be killed, over a dozen people died during or after the pogrom as a result of beatings and arson. Jews, Armenians and Muslims were also harmed.

The pogrom accelerated the dramatic decline already taking place in the ethnic Greek population in Turkey, and particularly in Istanbul. In 1927, the Greek population of Turkey was 119,822; the official Turkish figures for 2008 were 3,000–4,000, though according to Human Rights Watch, the Greek population in Turkey was estimated at 2,500 in 2006. All this has had, of course, a huge effect on the Christian cause in Turkey itself, and puts the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in an almost impossibly difficult position. Turkey requires by law that the Ecumenical Patriarch must be an ethnic Greek by birth (and just what kind of country is it that has laws like that?), holding Turkish citizenship, despite the expulsion of most the Greek population. There have also been expropriations of church property by the state, which closed down the Orthodox Theological School of Halki in 1971; appeals against this from the United States, the European Union and various NGOs have been simply ignored. The Turkish government (unlike the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, the Pope, and indeed most of Christendom) refuses to recognise the Ecumenical Patriarch as the titular head of worldwide Orthodoxy, and simply insists (as though it was any business of theirs) that he is no more than the head of Greek-speaking Orthodox Christians in Turkey.

I could go on and on. The point about all this (one point about it at least, there are of course many) is that despite the Turkish government’s claim to be addressing its appalling human rights record in response to EU demands, the one thing it isn’t doing is to clean up its attitude to the Christian minority in Turkey. And the EU doesn’t even seem to be interested. I wonder why that is? Do you suppose they have a sneaking sympathy with the Turks?

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2011/07/27/despite-the-eu%E2%80%99s-demands-on-human-rights-turkey%E2%80%99s-persecution-of-christians-is-escalating/

__________________________________________________________________

With the attacks on Christians in Syria now acknowledged in the Western media; it’s patently obvious the soonite insurgents have taken a leaf out of their Turkish masters’ book. Who mercilessly murdered and expelled Greek & Armenian Christians from their land!

January 2nd, 2013, 7:24 am

 

mjabali said:

Sami said in comment #24:

Having said that I would like to make something clear Secularism ≠ Atheism.

Dude:

Secularism is not Atheism. Secularism is the separation between religion and state. In a secular state you can have believers and atheists in the same place with the same law governing all. Secularism establishes for you the rules of the public space. Whatever you want to worship is guaranteed to you under Secularism.

PS: Hey: Sami aka Edgar Allen Poe: do you watch your sentences? You put two sentences in one. These are two separate sentences. what is wrong with your English here mr. Shakespeare?

This is what you wrote in comment #24: ”
A secular state is a state with no set religion but rather a state that recognizes ALL religions (and non-religions) of its citizens, there is absolutely no reason why a religious party cannot run for office in a secular state.”

Also regarding what was the official language of Damascus in the 19th C., I still say Turkish was the official. Arabic was getting out of fashion especially with After the Ibrahim Basha period. Arabic came as a response to the Turkification of Damascus and the Turkification policies of the Ottomans. This is no secret. I asked my dog and he knew this.

If it was not to the Shami Christians (Lebanon, Palestinians, Syrians: Zreiq, Azurri etc) and an Algerian (Taher al-Jazairi) Arabic would have not known its renaissance of the early 20th C.

AS for the ethnic composition of the population of Damascus, I also still in my position: Damascus is a very mixed city. Studying the 19th C. alone shows you how mixed it is.

January 2nd, 2013, 7:35 am

 

mjabali said:

Majedkhaldun:

Don’t you lie when you say that the Alawis are Persians?

January 2nd, 2013, 7:36 am

 

Warren said:

The wretched and god-forsaken soonites have failed miserably in their attempts to kill the Lion of Syria. In frustration, the followers of the rabid barbaric creed have resorted to killing rabbits and posted it on the internet: to demonstrate soonite prowess!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs86RJR3ZUk

And

January 2nd, 2013, 7:36 am

 

mjabali said:

Syrialover:

I read your nice posts and wonder who is the one giving you all of those thumbs down.

It is obvious that who is giving you 12 thumbs downs is one person.

My dog and I went on an investigation and were able to find our right away the criminal who is manipulating the thumbs down/up system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guess who is this “man?”

January 2nd, 2013, 7:39 am

 

apple_mini said:

According to news,a rebels’ commander, Maher Samak was killed during their attack on Taftanas military airport.

January 2nd, 2013, 7:50 am

 

Observer said:

I think the issue is whether the identity called Syrian comes before the particular of each subgroup or after. It is clear that for the Kurds they were second rate citizens and therefore in the presence of a weakened central state and its attractiveness of an overriding identity, it is only natural that the sects and ethnic groups revert to their tribal and kin affiliation.

I also think that the borders are artificial and the ME entities are inherently unstable and will implode as Iraq and Sudan did and Syria will also.

So the Baath party failed in making the Arab National identity as a primordial identity and this regime has many years ago lost its legitimacy especially towards the Kurds when it withdrew the citizenship to spite Turkey. The regime is an arsonist extortionist criminal enterprise.

AIG do not waste your time and effort ZOO does not answer questions. He is extra lucide as they say and he has exclusive access to the truth. He wears Ray Ban sun glasses and they make him see the world as belonging to the Athad family and the world is their playground and the humans are their slaves.

So this post in my opinion is about legitimacy of any regime in providing
1. State institutions
2. The rule of law
3. Accountability to the electorate

It is not easy to accomplish those tasks and a strong state may abuse its position and electoral fickleness may make a state weak and unresponsive and special interests may undermine the rule of law.

In the meantime atrociites abound and the Ostritch has become the king of animals in the ZOO of Somaria Alathad.

Cheers and as long as there is no justice for Hamza this regime remains illegitimate. After all Freddo himself promised justice

January 2nd, 2013, 8:04 am

 

Juergen said:

Top Mideast story of 2012: Syria’s ongoing uprising
By ARIEL BEN SOLOMON

Will the Assad regime fall, and if so, how long will it take? Will there be an intervention by neighboring states, the US or Israel?

“Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, in the Saudi-backed Arabic daily Asharq Alawsat, contemplates what a third year of conflict would mean for Syria. The Syrian regime “has prolonged its life not due to the valor of Assad or his forces but because the superpowers took the decision not to intervene, as they did in Libya.” He goes on to predict Assad’s demise in the coming year.”

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=298117

January 2nd, 2013, 8:04 am

 

Sami said:

Mjabali,

“Secularism is not Atheism. Secularism is the separation between religion and state”

Maybe you should put on your reading glasses, because THAT IS EXACTLY what I wrote… and the ≠sign is a DOES NOT EQUAL sign. Go ask your dog…

“PS: Hey: Sami aka Edgar Allen Poe: do you watch your sentences? You put two sentences in one. These are two separate sentences. what is wrong with your English here mr. Shakespeare?”

I do watch my sentences, and they are mostly constructed correctly and anyone that passed grade school English shouldn’t have any problems reading them. This should explain your hard time comprehending them.

By the way the comma, is a punctuation mark indicating a PAUSE between sentences… and the Mr. in your “mr. Shakespeare” should be capitalized.

And what you have to say about what the people of Damascus please provide FACTS, with accompanying documentation or links. For the very basics of research would prove your point null:

After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. During Ottoman rule, the city decayed completely while maintaining a certain cultural prestige.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus
And of course Damascus is a mixed city, always have always will be.

I think you just like to argue for the sake of it, even when you know you are wrong.

January 2nd, 2013, 8:33 am

 

Sami said:

Visitor,

Are you aware that Turkey just as in France is a strict observer of the principle of laïcité?

Personally I am not in favour of laïcité, I do understand the importance religion plays in peoples lives. But I am fully in favour of a Secular State especially since Syria is a country with multi-religious backgrounds.

Btw many times you write in the plural as in “we”, may I ask are you speaking on behalf of a group officially here?

January 2nd, 2013, 8:43 am

 

zoo said:

Juergen

” harldy anyone is still talking good these days about the regime.”

In view of the ‘friends’ you have in Syria, I would have been surprised if there were any.

January 2nd, 2013, 8:46 am

 

Visitor said:

Sami @56,

You need to be patient with jabali. His math skills are rudimentary, and while his dog far surpasses him in many areas and deserves the highest repect as a canine, I doubt the dog has been tutored in math.

Keep in mind that Jabali is the typical متفلسف type that you find in many mountainous areas, hence the name.

We are trying to set him up as a gas station attendant where a need for windshield cleaner may arise that would keep him afloat with good tips. Otherwise, we’ll try to find him a meat grinding job in an 3ar’our co.

——–

@57,

The use of we is an oversight. I made it clear in many posts that I prefer a one-one discussion and would never tolerate a discussion where someone claims to speak on behalf of many and that includes me.

Yes I am aware of Kemalist laicism.

As I mentioned I am against it in principle because of the historical reasons that I mentioned. However, you must pay attention to the term imported secularism, which is what I am really against.

It is fair to say that even in Turkey imported laicism has been destructive as it has been in Syria, Iraq, Egypt and others.

January 2nd, 2013, 8:47 am

 

zoo said:

#57 Sami

“Are you aware that Turkey just as in France is a strict observer of the principle of laïcité?

This is totally incorrect.
(Also read about the recent announcement of the mandatory exam on religion to be admitted in Turkish Universities). Turkey is been increasingly Islamized by the AKP that is conservative and ideological close to the Moslem Brotherhood
In France any sign of religion is banned from schools ( hejab kippas, crosses). Hejab is outlawed in public places.. etc…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Turkey

Turkey is “officially” a secular country with no official religion since the constitutional amendment in 1924 and later strengthened in the Kemalist Ideology, alongside the Atatürk’s reforms and the appliance of laïcité by Atatürk at the end of 1937. However, currently all public schools from elementary to high school hold mandatory religion classes which only focus on the Sunni sector of Islam. In these classes, children are required to learn prayers and other religious practices which belong specifically to Sunnism. Thus, although Turkey claims to be a Secular state, the enforcement of secularism in public grade schools is controversial. Its application to join the EU divided existing members, some of which questioned whether a Muslim country could fit in. Turkey accused its EU opponents of favouring a “Christian club”.[7]

January 2nd, 2013, 8:52 am

 

mjabali said:

Visitor the Chiwawa with the meat grinder:

ولاك قردYour self esteem is at Zero.

You write some outlandish crap and give your self 12 thumbs up if not even more.

I see you how you give the people you do not like 6 thumbs downs here and 12 there. My dog told me that you are not that smart.

PS: You should concentrate on your gas station business and not waste your time online.

January 2nd, 2013, 9:25 am

 

mjabali said:

Sami:

Your sources like Wikipedea and Lawrence of Arabia’s book are laughable at best. It is like bringing a toothpick to a tank battle.

Reply to my claim that Turkish was the official language in Damascus most of the 19th C.

Reply to my claim that there was a huge Turkification wave in Syria back then.

Also reply to my claim that the ethnic population of Damascus is very mixed with the ethnic Arabs constituting a minority, especially in the 19th C.

January 2nd, 2013, 9:31 am

 

mjabali said:

Hajji Observer: Notice how this قرد gave you 6 thumbs down in one shot.

January 2nd, 2013, 9:33 am

 

Juergen said:

DER SPIEGEL:

Syrian air force bombed gas station in suburb of Maliha killing at least 30 people and injuring many.

The bombardement started right when a shipment of gasoline arrived.

I await youtube videos.

January 2nd, 2013, 9:42 am

 

Ghat Al Bird said:

Another year where Syrians some with “foreign” friends are killing each other.

Bibi Nethanyahu must be ecstatic that the plan his team in the US called a “Clean Break” and which covered the invasion of Iraq, the attacks against Iran as well as the destabilization of Syria is in process.

Are there no Syrians that are able to call a truce and talk to each other towards an acceptable solution to the killings of Syrian men, women and children?

The only winners in this tragedy are ALL non syrians.

Happy New Year.

January 2nd, 2013, 9:56 am

 

Citizen said:

64. JUERGEN said:
I await youtube videos.

Yallah men there! Your gentlemen,still waiting for your movie in youTube! do it faster! your mother!

January 2nd, 2013, 10:16 am

 

Visitor said:

Zabali @62,

It has become my specialty to drive idiots like you to such levels of madness.

It gives me soooooooooo much pleasure, especially now that you made it clear that you have nothing better to do than counting stupid thumbs up/down. Ask your dog for a solution for this dilemma. It may give you a clue on how to improve your score and regain your self confidence.

Right now we only have jobs in meat grinding @ 3Ar’our and Sons. Are you interested? No tips. Straight time.

January 2nd, 2013, 10:31 am

 

Syrian said:

@mjabali
For you to talk about the the Arabisim of Damascus is laughabel,
The Turkish languge up tp 1922 was written in arabic letters,
the turkish calls damascus to this day as Sham Shareef and conisdered it the fourth holisest city in the world after Mecca. Madina. and Alqudes,
what you called the”Turkification policies of the Ottomans” is outright lie, because that only happened for vey short time at the end of vey end of the Ottoman rules and that was all under the Secularist Yong Turk, who by the way also did the Araminan population transfers and not the Ottomans
Finally I don’t need wikki. or any source to proov to you that you are not an Arab, all you have to do is go and look in the mirror and study that Hayna look of your Kneck that all Alwais are famous for, the long one peice Attachec neck to the back that no Arab have it.you know what i’m talking about it is what Hamwies who know you best call Sendayha

January 2nd, 2013, 10:48 am

 

Roland said:

@54 Observer,

Most of the countries in the world are polyethnic.

Most of the countries in the world have boundaries, or at least sections thereof, which have been drawn arbitrarily.

Does that mean that most countries don’t deserve to have their sovereignty or territorial integrity respected?

I think that is intellectually lazy and slovenly to argue that this country or that country is “artificial,” especially when such a condition is noticed only during a time of trouble in a given country.

If the current legitimacy of a state seems questionable, how can anyone assume that the imposition of new boundaries or a revised ethnic composition would be more legitimate? Existing states, even if arbitrarily established in the past, usually have some legitimacy simply from the standpoint of usage.

As for the tired old laundry-list of “rule of law” etc. please note that those worthy things can arise only after the paramount question of sovereignty is resolved. Until there is a sovereignty, there cannot be rule of law, constitutionality, and so forth. Unfortunately, in war, and especially in civil war, sovereignty is exactly what is most in dispute.

January 2nd, 2013, 3:44 pm

 

William Scott Scherk said:

Is SYRIAN making some important points about sect, ethnicity, ‘race’, genetics and human varieties … or is he making bigoted statements about Alawites and Kurds and Arabs?

If not the latter, what is the goal of these remarks? I don’t see any aim but to provoke hatred and contempt:

that Hayna look of your Kneck that all Alwais are famous for
— it is what Hamwies who know you best call Sendayha
— no such thing as Kurdish nation they are called through out history as mountain Turk

How low do commentators want to go? One-topic pot-bangers like Warren use abusive terms for ‘Soonites,’ as does the suddenly MIA Revenire. But no one expects Warren or Revenire to have an intelligent discussion.

In real life, face to face, all of these gambits are ‘fighting words,’ and are no part of civil discussion. They are used only to provoke confrontation and conflict. They are the taunts of brutes, thugs and worse.

Is there some way we can encourage angry Syrian expatriates to treat each other with some basic humanity here?

Syrian, can you explain why you reduce MJABALI to a set of physical characteristics? Is there any other end result but to dehumanize and to sort into categories for extermination?

Why, Syrian, why use such language? If the end result is that you appear a loathsome racist heckler, have you won any prize?

If only you could see that otherwise reasonable arguments are poisoned and killed by taint of sectarian demagoguery.

January 2nd, 2013, 7:22 pm

 

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