Monday, October 31, 2011

A letter to the congressman or woman for the release of my father in law and others...

For the problem, see my last entry. If you are American, you can copy and paste this letter (add your name at the bottom of course and your reps name at the top) and send it off. 

Dear Representative ___________,

I am writing in regard to the proposed sale of Cobra helicopters to the Turkish military.

According to the Leahy Amendment it is illegal to sell arms to a country found to commit gross violations of human rights.  This weekend the Turkish government has rounded up 50 academics from the opposition BDP party in the name of ‘anti-terrorism’. This includes Kemal Seven, the father-in-law of my friend and Massachussetts citizen, Jeff Gibbs. More than 7000 people from the opposition have been arrested in the same way over the past 2 years. This past week, human rights groups and activists have accused the Turkish military of using chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels in the southeast—including napalm in clear violation of international law.

I urge you to block the sale of the Cobra helicopters and other weapons in Congress until Turkey ceases the random arrests and the use of chemical weapons.



Anonymous said...

Let's not make comments on issues we don't fully understand.

CS said...

Pasted below is an excerpt from a 2001 report ( This argument against selling arms to Turkey crops up now and again, but Turkey almost always gets what it wants. The US does not walk the walk on human rights when selling weaponry to its allies.


Although it has a functioning, parliamentary democracy, Turkey also has a longstanding record of restricting freedom of speech and association, and a record of brutal repression against its Kurdish population. Turkey is also a major recipient of U.S. arms and training, receiving a total of $10.5 billion in U.S. arms from 1984, when its war against Kurdish rebels began, through 1998.[13] According to statistics from the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, U.S. arms flows to Turkey continued at a rapid clip in 1999, with over $1.5 billion in weapons delivered.

Going back to the mid-1990s, a series of reports by independent monitoring groups like Human Rights Watch and by our own State Department have documented the use of U.S. weaponry to bomb and burn Kurdish villages in southeastern Turkey, as well as the use of U.S.-supplied light weaponry in specific human rights violations. Because of this record, a number of U.S.-based human rights and arms control organizations have been working to block a pending sale of U.S. attack helicopters to Ankara until such time as the Turkish government makes major, measurable improvements in its human rights performance. The country report on Turkey gives ample evidence of the need for caution in promoting major new arms transfers to Ankara at this time. The department reports "credible reports of extrajudicial killings by government authorities continued"; that "Police harass, beat, and abuse demonstrators,"; that "Arbitrary arrest and detention continue to be problems"; and it also cites evidence of potential involvement of Turkish military officials in efforts to "discredit Fazilet and HADEP parties, Human Rights Association (HRA) Chairman Akin Birdal, and several journalists." In addition, the report notes that despite a virtual cessation of activities on the part of the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) guerrilla movement, four southeastern provinces remain under a state of emergency which amounts to "quasi-martial law."

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.