Sheri Laizer interviews Hüseyin Baybaşin imprisoned in the Netherlands as a political hostage who has insisted on his innocence for the past 20 years.
Independence for the Kurdish Nation
Those who caused division and wreaked the destruction of Kurdistan must now help in the restoration of Kurdistan.
The United States of Kurdistan is the only solution to the instability of Turkey: they will never have safety and stability unless the Kurds obtain independence and this is one of Turkey’s problems; furthermore, it will end up being even worse than the situation in Syria is now. A peaceful solution will be the best for Turkey as a first priority. That is why Turkey should be helpful more than any other country.
The Kurdish nation are hardworking, decent and civilised people. The Kurds are true warriors – they won’t give up on their rights to form the nation state of Kurdistan and will never give up this just cause.
Ankara and Tehran don’t like this idea but it’s the only realistic project for stability in the region. Kurdish politicians must be united and work together on this project. If they don’t act in this unified manner a new Kurdish movement will emerge for the same purpose. We have to believe in it, work for it, and then we will achieve it.
Proposals from any of the Kurdish political parties to look for temporary solutions are not going to work and are a waste of time: these will only lead to more destruction. We have seen this for many past decades.
I didn’t want to follow any of the existing political paths – many Kurdish writers and broadcasters ask why I didn’t accept to give them an interview till now. This is because I don’t want to be part of any existing party that firstly looks out for itself and causes the Kurds more suffering.
Anything that is formed to serve Kurdish unification I would join with pleasure. What’s more those who caused division and wreaked the destruction of Kurdistan must now help in its restoration of Kurdistan. They must do this for their own moral integrity and for the damage caused by them to the Kurdish nation.
The United State of Kurdistan (USK) has its rightful place as a NATO member. Kurdistan, as I have said before, is rich in natural and human resources. It can survive independently and share its wealth on a just basis with friendly countries. Not all the profits should be going into the pockets of politicians and corrupt international companies as we see in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq/Iraqi Kurdistan.
The USK is the best project for our homeland and the most opportune for forming a nation state based on legislation; it enjoys enough wealth to share with the other parties who will be in a position to form the USK – everyone speaks about oil and gas but also we have fresh water, which has more value in the Middle East. We have to remember most of all it is water that is needed for Saudi Arabia and Israel/the Palestinian entity also can buy it. There are also other minerals in Kurdistan’s lands – it demands a business-like approach. We require safe borders for a peaceful environment – in business contracts a percentage can be agreed for those outside.
Kurdish diplomats are needed to call influential individuals to bring forth new representations and seek consensus among the Kurdish politicians. Kurdish diplomats have to convince the US to work with them – not thinking selfishly as they have done since before First World War. Turkey will never know peace without reaching an agreement with Kurds. If Kurdish diplomats can convince the US to help reach such an agreement, then we will define our borders and insist that the occupiers should leave our land without bloodshed; then we can share our wealth with our allies and partners.
It is not easy but we can work hard and convince the Turkish government to be happy on their own land. We can convince Iran that co-existence with Kurds is better than continuing the decades’ old bloodshed.
The “Fit-Up”: Twenty years in prison (ongoing) as a political hostage
The media has always misrepresented this case as being because I exposed Turkish State’s involvement in narcotics trafficking: it was not this. It was part of the clamp down on the Kurdish freedom movement and those most of influence. Let it not be for nothing! Let us make sure that the suffering of the Kurdish nation be rewarded in the independent United States of Kurdistan.
The review of my case in appeal has been going on since 2011! The Dutch Ministry of Justice exhibits enormous reluctance to consider the real evidence and reject the falsified information produced by the police team that worked hand in hand with the Turkish state.
Turkey wanted to extradite me as a Kurdish activist. Holland refused. Instead a more complicated deal was agreed. I was accused of ordering the murder of Süleyman Sadik Öge in Istanbul on 9 November 1997. A suspect named Yavuz Yavuztürk was initially arrested for the killing and I was said to have given him the order. He had been in Bulgaria at the time so could not physically have carried out a killing in Istanbul. That is the day the Dutch prosecutor claimed I gave him the order. Its contained in an official document from the Turkish prosecutor.
I heard about the murder only in the media – the Dutch Prosecutor didn’t present this information to the court when I was convicted. Yavuz had already been questioned by the Dutch police when he was detained in prison in Turkey for nine months before his acquittal. He was heavily tortured by the Turkish police to make him sign the document the Dutch police wanted him to sign.1 The Dutch Prosecutor told the Turks “we will arrange everything.”
During this period, I was being held in isolation in EBI Vught (Maximum Security Prison) and they were trying to drive me out of my mind. I’d asked for Yavuz to be questioned. In the hearing in Den Bosch court they claimed they’d asked the Turkish officials but the prosecutor claimed the Turks had said they could not find him. The accusations are simply not true.
Despite Yavuz Yavuztürk’s acquittal of the murder I was still not released. Öge’s sister has since stated to the Turkish media that she believes the Turkish police killed her brother.” (Other Turkish sources claim Öge was killed by the left-wing organisation – MLSPB – that he had once belonged to and the MLSPB had killed him for being an informant.2 Oddly, there is very little about the event in the Turkish media at all.
The Dutch elite working with Turkey still deliberately ignore the defence evidence against my having played any part in these events3. It was a conspiracy to get me out of the way ‘permanently.’ People would not believe such things happen in Holland. The deal replacing extradition to Turkey was to lock me up for good in Holland in exchange for covering up Demmink’s crimes in Turkey. The Prosecutor says “We will arrange everything.” Clearly, in Holland, this could not be done on the basis of an accusation of Kurdish ‘separatism’ – instead, they had to link me to crime: make the proverbial shoe fit and brand me a criminal. There is no evidence of any link.
The Dutch prosecutor also tried to say there was a call for an intended murder in Kentucky in November 1997. They tried to use a digital recording with cutting and pasting. The person I am said to have spoken with – a former Israeli Lieutenant Colonel, a businessman at the time I met him in 1997, came forward and showed he has an exemplary past. He has stated that no such subject was involved and was astonished. The Dutch prosecution try to say the phrase “make him cold’ was used when all that was said was ‘make him call’ (have him call). 4 No one was charged with any criminal offense in the US on this issue. My lawyer, Mrs. van der Plas introduced evidence from him directly that the taped conversation (call no. 38) was manipulated and composed of various calls between us that had nothing to do with any criminal act or intention.5
Solitary confinement and abuse in EBI Vught maximum security prison
In EBI Vught when I was trying to prepare my defence, during the court hearing they kept my light turned off; they left water leaking all night, and kept saying these were technical problems. The guards were kicking the outside of my door all night to prevent me from sleeping. I had no light to prepare my defence.
When they took me to court they put a helmet on my head with headphones playing loud music. When I complained about the noise and that my head was hurting they would hit the helmet and say “Is this better?”
I came before the judge and the judge saw that my face was swollen from being hit inside the helmet. They claimed to the judge that a car had been following us from Belgium with false number plates and that those inside were “trying to assassinate Baybaşin. We have to protect Baybaşin…”
This was a flimsy excuse. If they knew the number was false, then why not stop the car and question them? This was the excuse that was given for my ill treatment saying it was “for your own protection.”
After my complaint they arrested three people – an author critical of the Grey Wolves, an Armenian from Belgium and someone from England related to the Workers Party based in Haringey who had come to follow the proceedings in the court. They released them an hour later but first they publicised that these three people were suspects trying to free me from the court. Rotterdam High Security Court does not even allow the public inside the court room. They can only watch from the court building on a screen.
An hour later the three were released from the police station. I lodged a complaint –it is all so nasty and so ugly.
All the documents provide evidence as stated that “We are using the Baybaşin case against Turkey to make them do another case for us.“6 That is the basis of this case. (“Do another case for us” means cover up “Demmink’s case”). The order came from high up and was circulated down through the lower ranks saying, “Don’t do anything on Baybaşin’s file as it seems we cannot extradite him but we are using this case against Turkey for pressure on another case. Demmink is on holiday and coming back soon and he knows what to do. Nobody should do anything without Demmink’s order.” 7
We have more than ten other documents showing that Demmink had meetings about “Baybaşin’s case”. Before my case began there were already high level proceedings on the paedophilia offences concerning Demmink. They appointed an official who was telling all the police officers to sign statements not to talk about Demmink’s case. We know these high level names – all this was going on before I was even arrested. That Attorney General closed the case and six months later made an agreement with the political party that is now the governing party and he became Minister of State. It is all published in a Dutch book called Demmink’s Doofpot 8 (deaf ears)9.
Jan Poot, an entrepreneur who is now over 80 years old and living in Switzerland says “this is like wartime in my country. How can this be happening?” He was also the subject of a conspiracy involving Dutch judges that prevented his company from building infrastructure around Schiphol airport on the land his company had bought for that purpose. It has become known as the Chipshol affair. “Only after public and media pressure did the Public Prosecutor decide to prosecute the judges, being the first time in Dutch legal history.10
The Kurdish cause can be sacrificed unflinchingly to paedophiles
Turkey’s Dutch partners agreed the deal to protect their corrupt elite involved in horrible crimes including paedophilia, just as we spoke about last time.
It may seem incredible to the outside world that the Kurdish cause can be sacrificed unflinchingly to paedophiles in Holland because some of them occupy positions of the highest power
The mask of the Dutch Ministry of Justice has long since fallen off: there is not even any real attempt to consider the evidence that supports me and finally say, “Let him go free.” My defence team is very frustrated by this. It is a political case – all of the Dutch judicial and political hierarchy are aware of all the facts in this case.
Because we Kurds do not have our own state, the nations that oppose Kurdish rights and freedom believe they can do whatever they like with us as they have done so for such a long time and gotten away with it. So for us Kurds independence is a matter of life or death.
Working for the establishment of the United States of Kurdistan is not terrorism.
We are a huge nation and have a rightful voice. Turkey and Iran still try to silence this voice by all means – in Turkey the most extreme example was denying our very existence and banning our language – it got nowhere. It brought nothing but death. Turkey’s anti-Kurdish policies still bring death and misery. Now is the time for the attention of the United Nations.
Turkey is pursuing a backward course that brings about disaster. Islamic extremism has been nurtured officially by Turkey – now they are paying the price for this as well. They created Islamist terrorist organisations to crush the Kurdistan freedom aspirations. It didn’t work. Entities hostile to the Kurds enemies are likely to engage in further ugly acts of destruction and I promise you that none of this will work. I believe if we have faith in ourselves and work for unity, the United States of Kurdistan will become a reality in a very short time.
3 Searches undertaken online show that the defence assertions can be backed up yet the Dutch authorities continue to ignore them.
7 Documentary evidence provided.
10 Leander, Mascini (April 26, 2012). “Provincie wil grond Chipshol laten onteigeningen”
Sheri Laizer, a Middle East and North African expert specialist and well known commentator on the Kurdish issue. She is a contributing writer for Ekurd.net. More about Sheri Laizer see below.