The Photographer’s War Gear

Reuters photographer Umit Bektas walks through the gear he brought to Afghanistan. First and foremost, body armor and helmet. And then:

I was going to need two cameras but to be on the safe side, I took a third. As I was planning to do a multimedia piece as well, I packed an audio-recorder and GoPro Camera too. Also a Bgan to give me the internet access necessary to transmit my photos and the Thuraya to ensure communication at all events. As I placed my laptop in its bag, I thought “what if it breaks down” and added a nine-inch backup laptop too. Also packed was one spare battery for each piece of equipment that ran on them. For my cameras though, I took two spares each. As I would not be able to carry large lenses, I packed a converter, chargers, cables, memory cards, cleaning kits and adapters…

…When I was unpacking after returning from Afghanistan recently, I realized there was not a single piece of equipment I had not used, or had carried to Afghanistan unnecessarily.

2

From protests in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey today

1. Riot police fire tear gas during a protest in central Ankara on June 2, 2013. (Stringer/Reuters)

2. Demonstrators stand in front of a make shift shield during clashes with Turkish riot police in central Ankara on June 2, 2013. (Umit Bektas/Reuters)

3

Kurdish refugees from the Syrian town of Kobanê, or Ayn al-Arab, are seen outside their tents in a refugee camp in the Turkish town of Suruç, Şanliurfa province, near the Turkey-Syria border. The photographs taken today, October 11, by photojournalists Aris Messinis of Agence France-Presse (top), Lefteris Pitarakis of The Associated Press (middle), and Umit Bektas of Reuters (bottom). 

About 200,000 refugees, mostly Kurds, have fled to Turkey to escape the onslaught on the town of Kobanê and its surrounding villages by armed gangsters of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS). Most of refugees have reported having spent last two weeks in the area around Şanliurfa. A growing numbers of Kurds who have fled to Turkey from Kobanê continue their journey in other parts of Syria or in Iraq’s Kurdistani region, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told journalists in Geneva on Friday. “Conditions in the area have been difficult. People have contended with living in crowded mosques or in some cases on the streets without food or money,” said Edwards. “Many of the refugees were required to leave cars or livestock at the border when they entered Turkey, and decided to move to northern Iraq because they have relatives or friends there,” he added. As the battle for control of Kobanê creeps closer to a bloody denouement, the London Daily Telegraph’s correspondent Robert Tait reported Friday that up to 13,000 terrified refugees cower on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey — trapped in a dangerous no-man’s-land between the murderous violence of the IS jihadists and official Turkish suspicion towards Kurds. Thousands of people most likely will be massacred if Kobanê falls to IS fighters, a UN envoy has warned on Friday, as militants fought deeper into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town in full view of Turkish tanks that have done nothing to intervene. “If this falls, the 700, plus perhaps the 12,000 people, apart from the fighters, will be most likely massacred,” UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said. The United Nations believes 700 mainly elderly civilians are trapped in the town itself and 12,000 have left the center but not made it across the border into Turkey.

Bu geceye eşlik eden yeni misafirlerimiz. Playlist de Ayten Alpman ve Björk…

Peyniraltı Edebiyatı’ndan Yukio Mişima sayısı Peyniraltı Edebiyatı 18. sayısını Japon ve dünya edebiyatının en önemli ve en farklı yazarlarından Yukio Mişima’ya ithaf ediyor.Mişima dosyası, Henry Miller’ın daha önce dilimize çevrilmemiş, Mişima’yı ve onun ölümünü anlamaya çalışırken kendisi ve dönemi ile ilgili çıkarımlarda bulunduğu “Mişima’nın Ölümü Üzerine Düşünceler” isimli denemesi ile açılıyor.Yukio Mişima’nın hayatı ve intiharı, dergide daha önce hiç yapılmamış bir şekilde, Taha Sertaç Gezer tarafında Japon çizgiromanı Manga haline getirilerek anlatılıyor.Engin Yazan “Denizi Yitiren Denizci” kitabını incelerken Selim Bektaş, yazarın eşcinselliğini ve Aziz Sebastian tablosu ile ilişkisini anlattığı yazısıyla Mişima dosyasında yer alıyor. 
"Gökyüzü yıldızlarla dolu. Sen ay’ı göremiyorsun. Ay kirlenip yeryüzüne düştü. Ben pencereden atlarken ayın ardından atladım. Ay ile birlikte intihar ettik." 

(Anselmo Bellegarrigue’in bir yapıtı olan Anarşist Manifesto)
1848’in sonucu olarak anarşizme dönen devrimcilerin çoğu bunu geri dönüp bakarak yaptılar, ama bir adam, Proudhon’dan bağımsız olarak Devrimler Yılı’nda liberter tavrını savundu. “Anarşi düzendir, hükümet ise iç savaş.” Proudhon’un sloganları kadar kasti bir şekilde paradoksal olan bu slogan altında Anselme Bellgarigue anarşist tarih sahnesinde kısa bir süre için de olsa belirdi. Bellagarigue bir miktar eğitim görmüşe benziyor, ama 1848’in arifesinden önceki hayatı hakkında çok az şey biliniyor; 23 Şubatta Amerika’dan Paris’e geri döndü. Amerika’da Mississippi vapurunda Amerikan Başkanı Polk ile tanışmış ve Amerikan demokrasisinin nispeten daha bireyci olan yönlerine hayranlık duymaya başlamıştır. Kendisinin söylediğine göre Paris’e döndüğünün sabahı olan devrim, onu da Proudhon kadar az etkilemiştir. Hotel de Ville’in dışındaki genç bir Ulusal Muhafız, Bellagarrigue’e bu sefer işçilerin zaferinin ellerinden alınamayacağını söyler. “Çoktan zaferinizi elinizden aldılar,” diye cevaplar Bellgarrigue. “Hükümeti belirlemediniz mi?”

Ferhat Dogan & Halil Furkan Bektas
  • Ferhat Dogan & Halil Furkan Bektas
  • Mah Cemâl (Kaval & Piano)
Play

Düşünceme dünyayı karıştırmadım,
Bir cümle ne kadar insana duygu katsa da
Ya da tüm yazdıklarını silse de..
Sonra o içimdeki sesler sustu
Bir cümle okudum,
Bir çok cümle kurdum
Okuduklarımda da yoktum yazdıklarımda da
Yeryüzüne inmek istemiyorum
Şimdi hangi müphem hayatın kanadıyım 
Hayat diyorum, çok havada değil mi?
İnsanların ayakları yere değmiyor..
Neredeydim ben
Bilinmeyen, bilinse de değişemeyen
Bunca ıstırap içinde olur muydu zaten,
Ahiret varken ne gerek vardı ki
Istırapla kurulan şu cümleleri dahi umuda dönüştüren
Ameller niyetlere göre olan bir hayat yaşarken 
Kelime kurulmasını neden bekler insan?
Cümlelerde yalan söylerken..
Kalpler adına sonrası sesteş

Smoke rises in the Syrian town of Kobani as Turkish Kurds watch near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc October 9, 2014. Islamic State fighters seized more than a third of the Syrian border town of Kobani, a monitoring group said on Thursday, as U.S.-led air strikes failed to halt their advance and Turkish forces nearby looked on without intervening. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Mideast crisis widens as Turkey bombs Kurdish militants

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani, seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province October 14, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/UMIT BEKTAS

Istanbul/Suruc, October 14, 2014 by Daren Butler and Humeyra Pamuk

War against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq threatened on Tuesday to unravel the delicate peace in neighbouring Turkey after the Turkish air force bombed Kurdish fighters furious over Ankara’s refusal to help protect their kin in Syria.

Turkey’s banned PKK Kurdish militant group accused Ankara of violating a two-year-old cease-fire with the air strikes, on the eve of a deadline set by the group’s jailed leader to salvage a peace process aimed at halting a three-decades-long insurgency.

At least 35 people were killed in riots last week when members of Turkey’s 15-million-strong Kurdish minority rose up in anger at the government for refusing to help defend the Syrian border town of Kobani from an Islamic State assault.

"For the first time in nearly two years, an air operation was carried out against our forces by the occupying Turkish Republic army," the PKK said. "These attacks against two guerrilla bases at Daglica violated the ceasefire," the PKK said, referring to an area near the border with Iraq.

The unrest in Turkey raised serious concerns that a peace process between Turkey and its Kurds could be in danger of collapse, a new source of turmoil in a region consumed by Iraqi and Syrian civil wars and an international campaign against Islamic State fighters.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who ordered a bombing campaign against Islamic State fighters that started in August, was to discuss the strategy on Tuesday with military leaders from 20 countries, including Turkey, Arab states and Western allies.

Washington has faced the difficult task of building a coalition to intervene in Syria and Iraq, two countries with complex multi-sided civil wars in which most of the nations of the Middle East have enemies and clients on the ground.

In particular, U.S. officials have expressed frustration at Turkey’s refusal to help them fight against Islamic State. Washington has said Turkey has agreed to let it strike from Turkish air base; Ankara says this is still under discussion.

NATO-member Turkey has refused to join the coalition unless it also confronts Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a demand that Washington, which flies its air missions over Syria without objection from Assad, has so far rejected.

Meanwhile, Islamic State fighters have been fighting their way into the mainly Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobani, where the United Nations says thousands could be massacred within full view of Turkish tanks that have done nothing to intervene.

The fate of Kobani could wreck efforts by the Turkish government to end the insurgency by PKK militants, a conflict that killed 40,000 people but largely ended with the start of a peace process in 2012.

The peace process with the Kurds is one of the main initiatives of President Tayyip Erdogan’s decade in power, during which Turkey has enjoyed an economic boom underpinned by investor confidence in future stability.

The unrest shows the difficulty Turkey has had in designing a Syria policy. Turkey has already taken in some 1.2 million refugees from Syria’s three-year civil war, including 200,000 Kurds who fled the area around Kobani in recent weeks.

"PROVOCATIONS COULD BRING MASSACRE"

Jailed PKK co-founder Abdullah Ocalan has said peace talks between his group and the Turkish state could come to an end by Wednesday. After visiting him in jail last week, Ocalan’s brother Mehmet quoted him as saying: “We will wait until October 15 … After that there will be nothing we can do.”

A pro-Kurdish party leader read out a statement from Ocalan in parliament on Tuesday in which the PKK leader said Kurdish parties should work with the government to end street violence.

"Otherwise we will open the way to provocations that could bring about a massacre," Ocalan said in the statement, which the party said he wrote last week.

There was no immediate comment from the military on the report that it bombed Kurdish positions, once a regular occurrence in southeast Turkey but something that had not taken place for two years. The PKK said the strikes took place on Monday, although some Turkish news reports said they happened on Sunday. There was no immediate explanation of the discrepancy.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the Turkish military had retaliated against a PKK attack in the border area. “Yesterday there was very serious harassing fire around the Daglica military outpost. Naturally it is impossible for us to tolerate this. Hence the Turkish armed forces took the necessary measures,” he told a news conference, without referring specifically to air strikes.

Hurriyet newspaper said the air strikes caused “major damage” to the PKK. “F-16 and F-4 warplanes which took off from (bases in the southeastern provinces of) Diyarbakir and Malatya rained down bombs on PKK targets after they attacked a military outpost in the Daglica region,” Hurriyet said.

The general staff said in a statement it had “opened fired immediately in retaliation in the strongest terms” after PKK attacks in the area, but did not mention air strikes.

"TOO LATE FOR US"

The battle for Kobani has grinded on for nearly a month, with Islamic State slowly advancing and now in control of much of the town. Kurdish fighters known as Popular Protection Units (YPG) want Turkey to allow them to bring arms across the border.

"There are fierce clashes, with no retreat or progress (by Islamic State). Yesterday, (IS) detonated three suicide car bombs in eastern Kobani," said Ocalan Iso, deputy head of the Kobani defence council. 

In the Turkish town of Suruc, 10 km (6 miles) from the Syrian frontier, a funeral for four female YPG fighters was being held. Hundreds at the cemetery chanted “Murderer Erdogan” in Turkish and also “long live YPG” in Kurdish.

Sehahmed, 42, at the cemetery to visit the grave of his son who was a YPG fighter and died only a few days ago, said if Turkey had intervened in Kobani, the town would have been saved.

"For days now they are just watching our people get killed. Obama is too late too. (Islamic State) is now inside the city, they’re on the streets. The air strikes won’t work, it will only delay the inevitable. Its too late for us. Our poor people, we face one disaster after another." 

The U.S.-led coalition has hit Islamic State positions in and around the town but failed to halt the advance. At least six air strikes were heard from the Turkish side of the border on Tuesday. Gunfire and shelling were audible from the Turkish side, where Kurds, many with relatives fighting in Kobani, have maintained a vigil, watching the fighting from hillsides.

"I hear that people say (Islamic State) control the east and southeast but in fact they are scattered all across the city. That is why clashes are taking place pretty much everywhere," Adil Selmo, 28, said on the Turkish side. His brother-in-law in Kobani had told him no weapons or ammunition had made it.

Kurds complain that hundreds of refugees were detained after crossing into Turkey, and that wounded fighters died at the frontier because Turkish border guards would not let them in.

"If they had received help, even up to one hour before their deaths, they could have lived," said Omar, 34, a Kurdish activist who brought three wounded fighters to the frontier last week and watched them die. "Once the (Turkish) soldiers realised they were dead, they said, ‘Now you can cross with the bodies.’ I cannot forget that. It was total chaos, it was a catastrophe."

Kurds in neighbouring Iraq, who are also fighting hard against Islamic State, said they had sent ammunition to help their Syrian brethren in Kobani. Syrian Kurds said the shipment could not get to Kobani without Turkey opening a supply route.

In Iraq, Kurdish forces and government troops have rolled back some Islamic State gains in the north of the country in recent weeks, but the fighters have advanced in the west, seizing territory in the Euphrates valley within striking distance of the capital Baghdad.

The United States used helicopter gunships against the militants last week for the first time to prevent what Washington described as a threat to Baghdad’s airport.

The White House says it will not send U.S. forces back into ground combat in Iraq, where Obama withdrew all troops in 2011 after an eight-year occupation. U.S. commanders have spoken of increasing U.S. advice and support for Iraqi ground forces.

Kobane Solidarity in the Bay Area

On Saturday, October 11th, around fifty people gathered in San Francisco to support the Kurdish resistance in Kobanê. People held banners, chanted slogans and handed out flyers detailing the situation.

image

News coverage of the event wrote:

A crowded intersection in the downtown area of the city, protestors gathered to inform the public about events in Kobanê and to condemn the U.S. failure to effectively prevent a possible genocide in Rojava and support of Turkey to the gangs of ISIS. Bay Area anarchists as well as members of the California Kurdish Community Center attended the demonstration, called to recommend the immediate support of the YPG (People’s Protection Units) and YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) and to call attention to the ongoing resistance in Kobanê. Protestors distributed pamphlets to passersby explaining the Kobanê resistance and chanted “Stop ISIS, save Kobanê” and “Long live resistance of YPG”.

Ali Bektas, an anarchist from Turkey living in Oakland who was among the event organizers, emphasized that this action was just the beginning. “Some anarchists from Oakland organized this action in order to act in solidarity with Kobanê.

image

Next Tuesday, there was a small rally in downtown Berkeley, where more flyers were distributed to passerby. 

image

Over the next days, it was reported that graffiti appeared throughout west Oakland with slogans of support for Kobanê. 

image

Next Tuesday, October 21st, there will be another demonstration in Berkeley. 

Downtown Berkeley BART Station

October 21st

6:00

9

The week in pictures @intrepic

Ebola, ISIS, China, Barcelona, Sumatra and India are the most popular trending topics of the week. Pictures from AFP and unknow authors.

  • Volunteers fighting against Ebola. They are paid $100 a week to move away bodies in Sierra Leone. Florian Plaucheur / AFP
  • Dust goes up upon Kobane (Syria) after EUA attack against ISIS. Umit Bektas / REUTERS
  • Peasants from Caixmir area (India) are evacuated after late clashes with Pakistan. AFP
  • Catalan students demanding the right to vote in a referendum to decide the political future of Catalonia. Lluis Gene / AFP
  • Excalibur, the dog propierty of spanish nurse infected with Ebola, few minutes before authorities get in the house to slaughter it. Unknown
  • Volunteers collecting bodies of people dying of Ebola in the streets of Sierra Leone. Florian Plaucheur / AFP Photo
  • Thousands of residents were evacuated in the island of Sumatra, due to the eruption of Sinabung . Sutanta Aditya / AFP
  • View of Earth from the International Space Station. NASA / AFP
  • People walk in the streets of Beijing, under yellow alert for contamination. Fred Dufour / AFP Photo

Do you know the authors? Get in contact with us on social@intrepic.com to credit them

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/kurds-urge-more-air-strikes-in-kobani-monitor-warns-of-defeat/
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By Ayla Jean Yackley and Tom Perry

MURSITPINAR Turkey/BEIRUT Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:36am IST

1 of 4. Smoke rises after an U.S.-led air strike in the Syrian town of Kobani Ocotber 10, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Umit Bektas

MURSITPINAR Turkey/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Kurdish forces defending Kobani urged a U.S.-led coalition to escalate air strikes on Islamic State fighters who tightened their grip on the Syrian town at the border with Turkey on Saturday.

A group that monitors the Syrian civil war said the Kurdish forces faced inevitable defeat in Kobani if Turkey did not open its border to let through arms, something Ankara has appeared reluctant to do.

The U.S.-led coalition escalated air strikes on Islamic State in and around Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, some four days ago. The main Kurdish armed group, the YPG, said in a statement the air strikes had inflicted heavy losses on Islamic State, but had been less effective in the last two days.

A Kurdish military official, speaking to Reuters from Kobani, said street fighting was making it harder for the warplanes to target Islamic State positions.

“We have a problem, which is the war between houses,” said Esmat Al-Sheikh, head of the Kobani defence council.

“The air strikes are benefiting us, but Islamic State is bringing tanks and artillery from the east. We didn’t see them with tanks, but yesterday we saw T-57 tanks,” he added.

While Islamic State has been able to reinforce its fighters, the Kurds have not. Islamic State has besieged the town to the east, south and west, meaning the Kurds’ only possible supply route is the Turkish border to the north.

The U.N. envoy to Syria on Friday called on Turkey to help prevent a slaughter in Kobani, asking it to let “volunteers” cross the frontier to reinforce Kurdish forces defending the town that lies within sight of Turkish territory.

Turkey has yet to respond to the remarks by Staffan de Mistura, who said he feared a repeat of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia. Kurdish leaders in Syria have asked Ankara to establish a corridor through Turkey to allow aid and military supplies to reach Kobani.

A senior Kurdish militant has threatened Turkey with a new Kurdish revolt if it sticks with its current policy of non-intervention in the battle for Kobani.

Islamic State “is getting supplies and men, while Turkey is preventing Kobani from getting ammunition. Even with the resistance, if things stay like this, the Kurdish forces will be like a car without fuel,” said Rami Abdelrahman, who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in Syria through sources on the ground.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday that retired General John Allen, a U.S. envoy charged with building an international coalition against Islamic State, had just returned to Washington and reported progress.

“There was considerable progress made by General Allen specifically with Turkey,” Hagel told a news conference in Santiago. He said U.S. military teams would hold talks in Turkey next week.

“They’ll be spending a good deal (of time) next week with Turkey’s general staff and appropriate leaders going through the specifics of Turkey’s commitments to help the coalition specifically to train and equip areas of their contribution,” he added.

PLUMES OF SMOKE

Turkey has been reluctant to help the Kurds defending Kobani, one of three areas of northern Syria where Kurds have established self-rule since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. The main Syrian Kurdish group has close ties to the PKK, which waged a militant campaign for Kurdish rights in Turkey and is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies.

Tall plumes of smoke were seen rising from Kobani on Saturday and the sound of gunfire was close to constant as battles raged into the afternoon, a Reuters journalist observing from the Turkish side of the frontier said.

After sunset, the sounds of gunfire and shelling continued. Red tracer gunfire lit the sky in the eastern sector of the town, much of which has fallen to Islamic State. Battles also raged at the southern and western edges of the town.

A Kurdish military official in the Syrian city of Qamishli, another area under Kurdish control, said thousands of fighters stood ready to go to Kobani were Turkey to open a corridor.

But Ghaliya Naamat, the official, said the fighters in Kobani needed better weaponry. “Medium-range weapons is what is lacking,” she told Reuters by telephone.

“According to the news and the information in Kobani, there is no shortage in numbers. The shortage is in ammunition.”

If U.S.-led air strikes fail to stop Islamic State militants from overrunning Kobani, it would be a setback for U.S. President Barack Obama’s three-week-old air campaign against Islamic State in Syria.

The campaign is part of a U.S. strategy to degrade and destroy the group that has seized large areas of Syria and Iraq, threatening to redraw borders of the Middle East according to its ultra-strict vision of Islam.

U.S. officials have acknowledged that it is possible Islamic State could seize full control of the town in coming days. If that happens, the group could boast that it withstood American air power. The U.S.-led coalition has launched 50 strikes against militant positions around the town.

Hagel, in Santiago as part of a Latin America tour and a summit of Defense Ministers of the Americas in Peru next week, said U.S. air strikes were aimed at driving back Islamic State fighters from Kobani.

“We know ISIL is occupying part of the outskirts of Kobani. It is a dangerous situation and we recognise that,” Hagel told the news conference in Santiago.

“We are doing what we can do through our air strikes to help drive back ISIL. In fact there has been some progress made in that area. It is a very difficult problem,” he added.

The U.S. military conducted six air strikes against Islamic State militants near Kobani on Friday and Saturday, U.S. Central Command said.

“WE NEED SOMETHING EFFECTIVE”

While much of Kobani’s population has fled, 500-700 mostly elderly people remained, with 10,000-13,000 nearby in a border area between Syria and Turkey, U.N. envoy De Mistura said.

The Observatory said no fewer than 226 Kurdish fighters and 298 Islamic State militants had been killed since the group launched its Kobani offensive in mid-September. It said the overall death toll including civilians was probably much higher.

Islamic State views the Kurdish YPG and its supporters as apostates due to their secular ideology.

Idris Nassan, deputy foreign minister of Kobani district, told Reuters by telephone that air strikes had helped Kurdish fighters regain some territory in the south of the city but they were not enough.

“A few days ago, ISIS attacked with a Humvee vehicle, they use mortars, cannons, tanks. We don’t need just Kalashnikovs and bullets. We need something effective since they captured many tanks and military vehicles in Iraq,” he said, calling for outside powers to send weapons.

“The supply of fighters is very good for YPG,” he added. “But fighters coming without arms, without weaponry is not going to make a critical difference.”

The Kobani crisis has sparked deadly violence in Turkey. The country’s Kurdish population numbers 15 million, and Turkish Kurds have risen up since Tuesday against President Tayyip Erdogan’s government, accusing it of allowing their kin to be slaughtered.

At least 33 people have been killed in three days of riots across the mainly Kurdish southeast, including two police officers shot dead in an apparent attempt to assassinate a police chief. The police chief was wounded.

(Additional reporting by Dasha Afanasieva in Istanbul and Anthony Esposito in Santiago; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Robin Pomeroy, Raissa Kasolowsky and Sandra Maler)

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