Silhan Ozcelik betrayed by justice, like all the Kurds
Silhan Ozcelik is in a British prison. You might be outraged. You should be.
This is how the Islington Gazette headlines the story of the young woman who went to join the Kurds, the people fighting Asad and ISIS.
‘Feckless’ Islington teen convicted over bid to join PKK
A “feckless” teenage girl from Islington has become the first Briton to be convicted of trying to join the banned Kurdish group PKK. Silhan Ozcelik, 18, of Highbury Quadrant, Holloway, was on trial at the Old Bailey charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts.
The court heard she left Britain on the Eurostar in October 2014 and was arrested in January after getting off a flight from Germany at Stansted airport.
She left letters and a video for her family telling them she had gone off to try to fight with the Kurdistan Workers Party, the court heard.
But in her defence, she claimed that was a lie and she actually went to see a man she had formed a romantic attachment to in Brussels.
Young women, eh. In the thrall of hormones and dreamy guys.
The jury deliberated for less than a day to find her guilty and she was sentenced to 21 months in prison by Judge John Bevan QC.
Does that sound like a “feckless” teenager to you? Or does that sound like a very active teenager, a young woman who wanted to join the Kurds in taking the fight to the nihilists and nutjobs? US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters:
“We congratulate [Kobane’s] brave defenders. We’ll continue to support [the YPG and the Kurdish Peshmerga] as we look to the coming weeks ahead. This is an important step in the first phase of a long-term campaign to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS.”
Oddly, the US also says the PKK are terrorists.
Meanwhile in the UK, we’ve slapped our home-grown, would-be defender in prison:
The judge rejected a plea for a suspended sentence, and told her: “You are a stupid, feckless and deeply dishonest young woman. You have lied to your family and this jury.”
If she’s stupid, what is he?
Before she left home, Silhan Ozcelik wrote a letter to her family:
“Believe me this is the right thing for me to do. I am so happy right now that I have become a militant… My fight, my struggle is not just for the Kurdish people, it is for all people, for all women. It must not be misconstrued. This is not a Kurdistan matter. Even if Kurdistan is established today I will not return…”
“The only people defending them over there was the YPG, the PKK. It was amazing, the fact that they were there and they were trying to protect innocent people – I just admired it.”
Is he feckless and clueless? Does he sound like a women without direction?
Asked if she regretted it now, Miss Ozcelik, replied: “Yeah I regret everything – it’s caused trouble for my family and everyone else.”
The paper hears from Commander Richard Walton, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15). Just to recap: She was going to fight for the Kurds against the West’s common enemy.
“We continue to remain concerned about the number of young women and girls being drawn into all forms of terrorism. We urge parents and families to talk to us at the earliest opportunity if they have concerns about any girl or women being enticed into supporting terrorist groups like the PKK or Isil.”
The PKK or ISIL. One group wants a Kurdish homeland; the other wants your land, your soul and a photo of your decapitated head on a tweet.
David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, has a few words on the Kurds:
The Kurds of northern Syria, together with the Kurds of Turkey and Iraq, have been at war with ISIS since the latter rose up and declared their so-called caliphate. It was the Syrian Kurds and their Kurdish comrades in Turkey who helped rescue the Yezidis, after they had fled the ISIS onslaught to take refuge in the Sinjar mountains. It was the Syrian Kurds and their comrades in Turkey who liberated the city of Kobani from ISIS.
But the Kurds of northern Syria have not just been waging war. They have also been waging peace: creating new, democratic structures, declaring autonmous cantons; setting up schools, universities, hospitals. They have taken their inspiration from the Zapatistas of Mexico, who in their thousands retreated into the jungles of Chiapas and together with the Mayans created a new society, free from the oppression of the Mexican authorities.
In short, the northern Syrian Kurds have created and are living a social revolution. It is no wonder, therefore, that the authoritarian and neo-Islamist Erdogan Government of Turkey is doing everything it can to break the Kurds, including providing covert support to the Kurds’ main enemy, to ISIS.
In a recent article in the Guardian, Professor David Graeber of the London School of Economics stated how “Back in August, the YPG, fresh from their victories in Kobani andGire Spi, were poised to seize Jarablus, the last Isis-held town on the Turkish border that the terror organisation had been using to resupply its capital in Raqqa with weapons, materials, and recruits – Isis supply lines pass directly through Turkey.” Graeber added: “Commentators predicted that with Jarablus gone, Raqqa would soon follow. Erdoğan reacted by declaring Jarablus a “red line”: if the Kurds attacked, his forces would intervene militarily – against the YPG. So Jarablus remains in terrorist hands to this day, under de facto Turkish military protection.”
Read it all. And then wonder why Silhan Ozcelik is in prison?