|This is the Newroz celebration in Diyarbakır (NTV called this field 'empty except for a few stragglers')|
A quick update—our aunt is visiting from Şırnak, and will tomorrow go see her brother in Kandıra in the first ‘açık görüş’ (open meeting)since she arrived. She will get to hug him, in other words. She came a few weeks ago because she had been having so many dreams about him and couldn’t bear being so far away—and what is the news that awaits her today? What hope do these democratic leaders of Turkey bring? The two most famous and thus most talked about people arrested with my father in law, Professor Buşra Ersanlı and Nobel PEACE prize candidate Ragip Zarakolu were formally charged today. The Professor—who is not Kurdish—was charged with leading the KCK, a Kurdish organizaitong that I am no longer sure is even real. They want 22.5 years for her. As for Zarakolu, he is charged with aiding and abetting the KCK and they want to slap him with a sentence of 15 years. (It’s funny, but my crime Turkish is really improving—for example from reading all the prison related crap I am now drowning in, I know that they say ‘slap with a sentence’ in Turkish, too—cezaya çarptırmak) No word yet on all the little non-media stars like mamoste they have caged in there with them, but we are expecting nothing different. The full indictment is apparently 2400 pages long, which makes me think we should call in Greenpeace in on the protest for all the forests they are leveling to print this nonsense. In other news, Newroz celebrations are being suppressed around the country. There is a video, right now, on the news that shows civil police in Cizre dragging a young girl out of a building by her hair (possibly the back of her collar—it’s hard to tell from this distance). Another officer is firing a gun into the building—which itself is hung with streamers and signs saying ‘Happy Newroz’. Tanks, water cannons, and tear gas clouds fill out the picture. In the rioting on Sunday, a BDP representative Haci Zengin was killed by police, and Ahmet Turk was beaten up by police just today. In our aunt's hometown of Şırnak (on the TV right now) police tanks are attacking a crowd of young boys with water cannons.The boys are throwing rocks--no doubt they will be sentenced to at least 15 years. Yeah, Happy Newroz—I wonder when folks here will start seeking refuge in Syria?