by Gordon Taylor | 10/23/2007 01:32:00 AM

The "friends of Aynur" would of course be her fellow guerrillas in the HPG, or PKK, as it's usually called. Here are a few of them, photographed at a conference (probably in an unheated tent) on Kandil Mt. in Iraq. Spread upon the table: the flag of the PKK. Standing and smiling is Dr. Bahoz Erdal, the nom de guerre of a Syrian Kurd named Huseyin Fehman, reputedly a hardliner in the PKK. I do not know why he is called 'Dr.', whether this is an M.D. or Ph.D. or just an affectation. Erdal is the headquarters commander of the guerrilla army, and as we will soon see, their chief spokesman in times like these. The actual commander of the HPG is Murat Karayilan (Murat "Blacksnake"), a longtime associate of Abdullah Ocalan ("Apo"), the smiling, burly (and kind of cross-eyed) man whose picture flanks the dais. Ocalan is, of course, the former leader of the PKK who is now serving a life sentence on an island in the Sea of Marmara. To Erdal's left sits a woman I cannot identify: undoubtedly a commander of the women's forces. To her left, a baby ibex (mountain goat) kept as a pet by the Kurds of the HQ camp on Kandil. (It is shown in several other pictures at their website.)

Soon I'll talk more about Aynur, the female guerrilla whose picture began this series, but first the news. As of this writing the Turkish Army has not invaded northern Iraq, sparking an all-out war with the Kurdish Regional Government. That's the good news. However, more details are emerging about Sunday's clash between the PKK and the TSK (Turkish Armed Forces), and those details don't seem to favor the Turks. Bahoz Erdal has labeled as a "lie" the Army's statement that 34 guerillas were killed. Erdal is saying that in fact the PKK killed 35 Turkish soldiers. (No exact numbers about PKK casualties.) Moreover, they have given out the names of 8 Turkish soldiers who surrendered and are in their custody. Among the weapons captured, they claim, were an "A-6" grenade launcher, three M-16 rifles, and three G-3 (Belgian, I believe) assault rifles. One soldier was slightly wounded, but the rest are evidently OK. The PKK (unlike the Turkish Army) has no history of abusing or torturing prisoners, so it's expected that eventually these men will be set free. That's what has happened before when soldiers fell into the guerrillas' hands. In Turkish cities, meanwhile, demonstrators from the extreme-nationalist (a euphemism for fascist/nazi) elements of Turkish society are calling for an immediate invasion of Iraq.

To see another of photo of B. Erdal, try this. More details, and a resolutely pro-PKK attitude, are available at a blog by Mizgin, a young Kurdish-American woman who "takes no prisoners," as current parlance will have it. From her posts it is obvious that Mizgin knows firsthand the experience of being a Kurdish woman in Turkey. Some of those facts, along with more images, will help us understand more about the brief life of Aynur Evin in coming posts.

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