Turkish Soldiers Hooded by America Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. 4 July 2003
Turkish Soldiers Hooded by America
Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. 4 July 2003















Istanbul: 13 November 2014

Yesterday, three sailors from the uncontrollably violent neighborhood called America met the true face of Turkey. Poor boys, they don’t even know what they represent. They don’t even know that their so-called leaders have made them punching bags for its criminal enterprise called American imperialism. They don’t even know how America and its treasonous internal agents, in particular the Turkish government, are attempting to destroy the future of the Turkish youth.

Perhaps these American boys got a quick lesson in the true nature of Turkish-American relations yesterday? But, sadly, probably not. The American boys ran back to the false safety of their warship, re-entering their “safe” world of imperialist propaganda, economic excess and hypocrisy. But there is no safety anywhere any longer. That is the gift of America to Turkey, and to the world. As usual, America authorities and its treacherous collaborating Turkish puppets screamed in outrage. And, as usual, the youth of Turkey, the true defenders of the Republic of Turkey, went to jail for exercising their patriotic duty. Nothing has changed, except one thing. Turkish young people, the nation’s true patriotic voice, will not take American crap anymore. And America should understand that. Listen and learn, America. You owe it to your own youth. Think of it this way, think of it as a symbol.

That’s the way the resident American-imposed agent of destruction, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, thought about his hooding of Turkish women into a grotesque series of Middle Age costumes that squeeze feminine brains into numb submission. So what, declared the then prime minister, if the head scarf is a political symbol? So what, indeed! Erdoğan used his compliant covered women to destroy democracy in his own country. He and his collaborators hid behind their women’s headscarves to do America’s dirty work. And now they cannot safely visit any neighborhood in their own land. No “hood” is safe for the hoodlums. And now the new president hides in a billion-dollar illegal palace, his inadvertent monument to treason. So what if he and his ilk cannot appear in public! So what!

So what if in 1980 the American president celebrated the success of his CIA-engineered military coup by proclaiming “Our boys did it!” Yes, then his gangster BOYZ did it. And yesterday, today’s Turkish youth remembered. And yesterday, our Turkish boys did it to America, symbolically, of course, because Turkish youth is civilized. They can be no other way; they are the current-day “soldiers of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.” This is something that the treacherous opposition political polities can neither say nor understand. Yes, Turkish young people are civilized and enlightened by the patriotic principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. That’s why, yesterday, no one, neither American boy nor Turkish boy was hurt. No one was tortured. No one was hung. No one was shot, exploded, beaten, gassed, or otherwise maimed. And that’s a lot more than America can ever say about their overt and covert interventions in Turkey’s affairs.

So what if America and its craven ambassador, Francis Ricciardone, aided and abetted the Turkish government in its beating, gassing, maiming and murdering of democratically assembled Gezi Park protestors. “The Turkish government is having a conversation with its people,” said the deceitful ambassador, as he arranged to have more poisonous gas sold to Erdoğan and his hoodlum police. A “conversation?” So what!

So what if the same ambassador conspired with the main opposition party leader to assure the election of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the presidency!

So what if yesterday the American boys’ heads momentarily felt the experience of being symbolically hooded! Symbolically hooded, not actually hung like so many patriotic Turkish young people have been. And by their own government! The Turkish people have been strangled and hooded by America, by its CIA meddlers and by its corrupt politicians for decades. And in the past decade of Erdoğan’s treacherous rule, America’s CIA “boys” have done it again. Or tried to.

So what if America has used its youth to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in its deceitful, illegal war of aggression!

So what if America has humiliated the Turkish military by hooding its soldiers in Iraq in July 2003!

So what if America has conspired with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan to kill hundreds of thousands of Syrians in its deceitful pretext of bringing democracy!

So what if America has supported the treasonous, under-educated, Islamic zealot, CIA-asset, Fethullah Gulen for decades in the Pennsylvania countryside!

So what if Gulen and Erdoğan have collaborated for decades in treacherous union to do America’s bidding in the subversion of the Turkish Republic! So what if the Turkish Army has been destroyed! So what if the independence of the Turkish judiciary has collapsed! So what if rivers have been stopped, farmers’ fields uprooted, forests felled, eternal olive trees murdered, lakes polluted, mountains plundered, the air made poisonous, all in pursuit of private profit, all indicative of massive governmental corruption! So what if the government has looted public funds! So what if the Turkish mass media slithers like a reptile on its overstuffed belly doing the bidding of its governmental master! So what if Turkey stinks from America’s subversion like a rotting corpse in the noonday sun!


Yesterday, clearly, directly, in a street-theater performance, Turkish “boyz” encountered American “boyz” in the Turkish “hood.” The US embassy in Turkey called the incident “appalling.” What is appalling is the embassy’s ignorance and arrogance. What is appalling is the criminal behavior of its criminal boss, the president of the United States. It is he and Erdoğan and all their co-conspirators, all the ones who need protection by regiments of armed-to-the-teeth goons, who deserve to be hooded. And now they can never step foot in our hood, ever again. Not ever! That’s the message from yesterday. Take your warships and your political puppets and go!

James C. Ryan


13 November 2014


Serena Shim (1984-19 October 2014)

I never met her. I wish I had. But I knew she was a reporter, a good reporter telling of bad wars, and telling all the sides. And this one in Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) has many more sides than two, all of them bloody, all of them reeking of criminality. This carnage in Syria is perhaps the most corrupt, criminal, imperial assault in modern history. There are no “good guys” in this slaughter on the rapidly crumbling edge of Turkey. It’s all lies, deceit and power politics. Call it murder. Call it the ultimate man’s tough-guy game—bombardment, siege, street-fighting, and always the stupidity.

The dogs of war run wild and ignorantly. For what? For a nothing town destroyed by chaos. She was telling as much as she could. The Turks there, the intelligence guys, the cops, the Turkish army, all the government “watchers” watched her and her partner, Judy Irish. She was called a spy. Watch out, they said. Maybe you’ll even be arrested, they mumbled. And the word got around. Not an easy assignment. She confessed that she was worried. Who wouldn’t be?

Note the eyes. They would tell exactly what they saw, wouldn’t they? She had two children, this beautiful Lebanese-American woman. She was 30 years-old, hard-working and dedicated. Perhaps it was Napoleon who spoke about his Marshalls “marching towards the sound of the guns.” She didn’t need the advice. She followed the danger instinctively. Maybe she could make sense of it all in Iraq, Lebanon, the Ukraine, and lastly, Turkey? Maybe? Maybe not? She told of the ISIS killers being smuggled into Syria in trucks with NGO labels like World Food Organization. Turkey has been at this double-dealing game for years. But this kind of truth hurts and it did not endear her to the Turkish “watchers” and “handlers” and “muscle-guys.”

On the way back to the hotel in a town called Suruç a cement-mixer truck, massive and deadly accurate, somehow, some way, intervened to crush her car and her. It all had the stink of bad fish. Based on the historic violence visited upon journalists and other dissenters in Turkey such a first impression of foul play is logical.

The governor of that area immediately said that “Turkey is a democratic state of law. The allegations are completely untrue.” What is completely untrue is exactly what he said. Democracy and the rule of law have both been crushed by the cement-mixer truck known as the Turkish government. And Serena confirmed that in her reportage. And so passes a brave young woman’s life in Turkey. And so continues the war.

James  (Cem) Ryan


21 October 2013

Brightening Glance

Afghan Refugees in Izmir

Suffering News: 150 Afghan Refugees (children, women & men) in Yabaneilar Sube Izmir, Turkey who are locked up, due to harsh condition and force deportation, stop eating food till their rights are accepted.



“Most of the things one imagines in hell are there—heat, noise, confusion, darkness, foul air, and, above all, unbearably cramped space.”

“Watching coal-miners at work, you realize momentarily what different universes different people inhabit. Down there where coal is dug it is a sort of world apart which one can easily go through life without ever hearing about.”

George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier, 1937

Soma, a small town near Manisa in western Turkey. By the Aegean Sea, a beautiful place, if you don’t have to be a coal miner or love one.

It’s now an ant swarm. It ebbs and flows around the human conveyor belt that runs from the endless rows of ambulances and the mouth of the lignite mine. Lignite is the poorest quality coal useful mostly for power generating plants. And the people in Soma are poor too, but in a different sense, a tragic sense. The stretchers bearing the living, the dead and the dying beat an endless track from the suffocating depths to the white ambulances. The bearers stack their loads in the back of the ambulances like well-cut logs. And off they go, back to the pit. And the ambulances crawl through the swarm to the hospital whose morgue is overflowing. It’s a simple, deadly rhythm now in its twentieth hour. Most of the women are covered. They weep alone in small groups.

A transformer blew up deep in the mine. The electricity failed. No elevators. A fire down below. No way out. No air, just carbon monoxide. The death count rises. It’s now at 205, but it’s more like 250. (In the interest of accuracy. as of 2:42 pm 14 May 2014 the “official” count is 232…now 238, now 240.) There are hundreds still buried hundreds of meters underground. The fire still burns. The deaths will be in the millions because every time one sees a stretcher with a limply swinging foot, or covered over, one dies a little. And there are more than 70 million of us living here, watching this absurd tragedy. They just brought out a 15 year-old boy, dead. Turkey’s, rather the Turkish government’s treatment of children is abysmal. One weeps thinking about all of this. And then, if one is human, one gets angry. How can all these poor people die at work? The record for coal mining deaths is 263 at Zonguldak in 1992. It seems in easy reach since so many are still unaccounted for and time inexorably wears on.

Not too many years ago, five or six, there was another mine disaster, small compared to Soma, “only” 130 died. The television channel ran some file film of a miner underground. And next to the miner what should appear but a canary in a cage. Jesus, I shouted, this stuff disappeared a hundred years ago! Well, it would be nice, but extremely naïve, to think so.

For this is Turkey. And here coal mining safety is a joke. One disaster after another comes to the mining families of this saddest of countries. And again neighborhoods are devastated by the massacre of its men. Except for China, Turkey has the worst coal mining safety record in the world. This industry like most others has been privatized by the government. That means cut costs to maximize profits. That means low wages. That means Soma Group, the mining company, operates uncontrolled and unregulated despite all the official blather. But why shouldn’t it? The Turkish government operates the same way and no one does anything about it.

So who is at fault? Easy.  Soma Mining is owned by Alp Gürkan. In a 2012 interview, Gürkan said the company had managed to drop the cost of coal to $24 per ton from $130 before privatization. How grand!  Yes, grand, indeed. How did he do it? Well, he hired subcontractors “for hard work with low salaries” thus undercutting union workers organized by Maden-İş. But his master stroke of “genius” seems to be Gürkan’s decision to have his company simply manufacture the electric transformers instead of importing them. And it was one of these “home-made” transformers that caused this human catastrophe, this mass industrial murder, this genocide of the working class. So it seems clear that prima facie evidence of criminal negligence points toward one Alp Gürkan, Chairman of the Board. The police can find him for purposes of preliminary investigation at: Soma Holding A.Ş, Lale Sokak No:5, Levent – İstanbul.

There is also another material witness and perhaps a co-conspirator. On 29 April Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party rejected a demand for a parliamentary investigation regarding safety in the Soma mines. Why was this petition refused? Does it have to do with the hoses he has everywhere? That refusal was just two weeks ago! Question him! Erdoğan can be found somewhere in Ankara. He has yet to appear at Soma. He, like Godot, may never come. It would be good.

As I write, the students in Ankara are protesting this horrific tragedy. Everything is normal, for Turkey. The police are gassing as usual, shooting canisters directly at them. The cops are chasing them through a beautiful pine forest. TOMA and helicopters are on the scene. Beatings will follow. Students of Ankara unite! You have nothing to lose but your brains.

The air is as heavy as lead.

No more words…

James (Cem) Ryan
14 May 2014







Istanbul process’ countries ready to help Afghanistan

Kazakhstan, Astana, 26 April / Trend, D. Mukhtarov /


The 3rd Ministerial Conference of the ‘Istanbul Process held in Almaty on Friday ended with a declaration in which the parties confirmed their willingness to give full support to Afghanistan in order to involve it in the economic and political life of the region, the Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan reported.

“The participants of the Conference noted the importance of these measures in the context of the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Forces from Afghanistan. Specific action plans on six confidence measures packages of Istanbul Process were approved,” the report says.

The forum was attended by more than 50 delegations, headed by the foreign ministers of participating countries, supporting countries and heads of international organizations. The parties fully supported plans for regional cooperation in Afghanistan, confirmed their willingness to purposefully expand and deepen regional cooperation based on the principles of friendship, respect and mutual benefit.

Several associated events in the context of regional cooperation in Afghanistan took place within the scope of the conference: A Presentation of the Capacities of Almaty as a Regional Hub of Multilateral Diplomacy Held by the Akim of the City Ahmetzhan Yesimov; a workshop of experts of the involved authorities of the participants of the Istanbul process with the presentation of capabilities of Kazakhstan as a transit corridor; an exhibition of goods and products of Kazakhstan for export to Afghanistan.

According to the Declaration adopted on the results of the forum, the next Conference of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Istanbul Process on Afghanistan is scheduled to be held in the People’s Republic of China in 2014.