Stone Offers Partial Praise to the Department of Homeland Security

American Justice? Two-and-a Half Cheers for the Department of Homeland Security!
Geoffrey Stone
The Huffington Post
July 23, 2010

This is a troubling, but moving story. It is about Ibrahim Parlak, a Kurd born in a small farming village in southeast Turkey in 1962. Being a Kurd in Turkey is not easy. As a minority ethnic and religious group, Kurds in Turkey have historically been subjected to rampant discrimination, oppression and violence. As a high school student, Parlak was imprisoned for three months in a military jail for participating in humanitarian activities designed to help his people. Because he was targeted by the Turkish police and military for repeated investigation and interrogation, he left Turkey still as a young man to continue his education in Europe.

Shortly thereafter, there was a military coup in Turkey, and the Turkish consulate revoked Parlak's passport. But things were much worse for the Kurds in Turkey. Many of his friends and family members were taken away by the authorities, and no one knew what had happened to them. Parlak and other Kurdish students in Europe organized humanitarian efforts to bring awareness to the human rights abuses in Turkey.

After seven years in Europe, Parlak decided to return to Turkey where he hoped he could do more good for his people. Because he no longer had a Turkish passport, he accepted help from a separatist organization known as the PKK in his effort to re-enter the country. He was soon arrested by the Turkish military, however, and subjected to a month of brutal torture, during which he "confessed" to whatever was demanded of him. He then served over one-and-a-half years in a Turkish prison for "separatism."

Geoffrey R. Stone