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The social revolution will sweep Turkey Kurdistan sooner or later

category mashriq / arabia / iraq | community struggles | news report author Sonntag November 16, 2014 07:39author by Zaher Baher - Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forumauthor email anarkistan at activist dot com Report this post to the editors

By Zaher Baher from Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum

Below is the outcome of my visit to Northern Kurdistan in Turkey between 02/11/14 to 08/11/14 as one of a delegation from United Kingdom, organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign (PIK), People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Democratic Society Congress (DTK).

The social revolution will sweep Turkey Kurdistan sooner or later

Below is the outcome of my visit to Northern Kurdistan in Turkey between 02/11/14 to 08/11/14 as one of a delegation from United Kingdom, organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign (PIK), People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Democratic Society Congress (DTK).

Throughout the visit we had a chance to meet many organisations, including political parties, local and regional Trade Unions, co-Mayor of Diyarbakir and Suruc, the Coordination of humanitarian aid to the refugees, Refugees Camps, Villages at the border of Kobane, representatives of Democratic Free Movement of Women, Human Rights Association, representatives of democratic Region’s Party, the Bar Association of Diyarbakir and finally meeting with the Federation of the Families of Detainees.
During our meeting with the people we had total freedom to ask the relevant questions about the situation, their responsibilities, their approach to the problems they are facing, and their current and future tasks.

There is no doubt that each of the above organisations was overloaded with work, shortage of funds, humanitarian aid and lack of support from the central government. These were because of the following reasons:
  1. The war in Kobane had created a big problem in the region due to the overwhelming number of refugees form the city and by the Eyazidis from Shangal (Sinjar Province). This has created a big problem for each of the above departments.
  2. The slow pace of the peace process between PKK and the Turkish government, which is nearly halted. This obviously made the people angry, frustrated and disappointed.
  3. Continuing the war in Kobane has caused more killing and displacement of people, while there is no clear sign of defeating the Isis. There is evidence that the Turkish government is supporting Isis. These are reasons for more demonstration and protest and vicious response from the police that destabilises the situation further.
    The most important observation in our visit is the fragmentation of organisations, and the formation of a variety of bodies in different places. A few of these were old but many had developed during the last couple of years. Each of them is working for progress of the society towards stability situation, peace, freedom, social justice, human rights, There was some signs of coordination among them.
Many of these bodies have been formed as a default and forced themselves over the situation and the central government. This is a reason for seeing some tension between them and the government. It is amazing to notice that while the Municipality of Diyarbakir is elected by the Kurdish people but has no contact with either the head of the police or the governor of Diyarbakir. This is the case with other departments. For instance, when we asked the Human Rights Association whether they have written to the police about their behaviour and harassment of local people, they replied saying that “There is no point to write to them as they never answer us.” There are many Kurdish schools but the state does not recognise them. The people however strongly support these and are confident that one day they can force the state to recognise them. It is interesting the people are defying and challenging the power and the state. There is a power within the power. There is ‘’people’s power’’ that people believe in, work with, have forced themselves through the actual state’s power and have made it workable and powerful. This is the way for them to gradually take back the power form the elite minority. While this is not difficult in the cities that overwhelming majority are Kurdish and believe in changes. This is how the social revolution starts from the bottom of the society, and not from the top.

After 28 years of war, PKK has realised that they must change their direction of their struggles, their aims and their strategy otherwise their future won’t be better than the future of other movements.

In my opinion PKK or at least the dominant faction or group within the PKK, has taken the right decision and the right direction by silencing their weapons and opening their minds, changing from military forces to people’s power and from political revolution to social revolution. The wave of the social revolution is so strong it will be extremely hard for anybody or any political party to change its direction let alone to stop it. It became a culture, custom especially for the young generation, they have realised that is the only way to defy the power, to challenge the system and make major changes.

Through talking to people, they are so confident that they can make changes. In meeting the Democratic Free Movement of Women, there were 9 women present. They told us how they deal with women’s problem in society, like domestic violence, rape and other abuses, how to support individuals in every ways to make them confident to tackle their problem. A few of them were talking about their own experience and told us since they joined the movement, in fact they have nearly became another person. They take part in women’s peace camp, sharing mission, they discuss the books they read and working with Kobane democratic federation women. When we asked them whether there was a gay or lesbian groups in Diyarbakir? In reply they said “ there are a couple of groups in the town, we have contacts with them and we are very supportive to them.” It is amazing to see in a town like Diyarbakir there are women’s movement with very brave and open minded individuals and are very supportive.

The Federation of the Families of Detainees (Tuhad-FED) is another group we had a couple of hours to meet with. This group was formed in 1996 under the nose of the government. It has 14 volunteers, half of them are women working tirelessly. Most of the foundation members of the group had very bitter experience of being in prison, as they were tortured or detained for a period of time. Its co-president of the federation is still held in prison. This federation is very active and has regular contact with the families and parents of the detainees. They support them by keeping in touch, finding a lawyer for the detainees and fund the families of the poor to visit their beloved ones in prison.

This group is in contact with the different groups abroad and locally with the Human Rights Association (IHD). In our meeting with the IHD, they confirmed that the police have arrested many people in the demonstration of 06/10 and 07/10/2014 against the Turkish authority. This was when many thousands fled from Kobane to Turkey against the wishes of the government. The demonstrations were against the silent policy of the state of Turkey supporting Isis. The head of IHD confirmed that just 5 minutes before our arrival, a couple of people came to their office to inform them that their sons, aged 16 and 17 years, have been taken away by the police. They were informed that during the demonstration 42 people and 2 police officers were killed, some 1,128 people were arrested including 53 children, with 221 still in prison.

In a meeting with co-president of one of the Unions who works in a hospital, she confirmed the arrival of 128 injured and some very sick people at their hospital. The police have raided the Union office and the hospital a few times to find out whether anybody who helped the people at Kobane has been treated in the hospital. When they found the presence of sick and injured people from Kobane they harassed her and other nurses, abusing them verbally and taking their identity documents from them.

In our meeting with the Bar Association of Diyarbakir, we met 5 Lawyers. They told us that they have about 1,000 lawyers in Kurdistan region working in different departments, caring for the rights of women and children or working at legal aid centres funded by the state. They confirmed that no major changes have taken place since the start of the peace process. They were optimistic and felt that the situation will improve by next year when the constitution changes. They pointed out that there was a bail system but this did not apply to people who were involved in politics and their case had to be settled in court. When we asked them about making complaints about the police behaviour, they replied “We do not think it is worth complaining because the police do not listen and they will not change their attitudes.”

They confirmed that 2000 students were arrested and all over turkey some 3000 to 4000 people are still in prison This is in spite of the constitution which states that people should not be arrested for political activates or opinions. However, if one belongs to a certain political party or found carrying some sort of a banner or placard with slogans inciting hatred, he becomes liable to be arrested.

The plight of the Refugees continues

Since the capture of Mosul, in Iraq, by Isis and the genocide of the Eyzidis and the start of war in Kobane, the Kurdistan region in Turkey is overwhelmed with refugees from both Kobane and Sinjar. More than 100,000 Eyazedis have fled, with many of them ending in Iraqi Kurdistan and some 18000 arriving in Turkey.There are also about 4000 of them staying in one of the camps just at the outskirt of Diyarbakir. The co-Mayor of Diyarbakir confirmed that there has been no support from UN. People in the region donated money towards the tents, food and clothes. He said "90% of the donation and help came to Diyarbakir Municipalities from the local people and only 10% from the state".’ He told us they work very hard to provide basic necessities of life such as tents, food, clothes, hot water, electricity, shower facilities, health clink and schools to their children. He mentioned that they have great difficulties as all the services have to be done by volunteers; they do not have enough people. They also lacked skilled labour, doctors, nurses, beds, ambulances and medicine. The Turkish government does not support them in providing the services and everything has been organised by the Municipalities.

We also met with the Union of the South East Anatolian Region in which Gabb is in charge of the coordination of humanitarian aid to the refugees. This body consists of 286 members of which 30% are women. They elect 7 people to be part of the active committee. Half of their budget comes from all the Municipalities in the region and they have contacts abroad. Gabb told us that they have an intensive plan for the next 3 months to coordination between refugee camps, between the refugees from Kobane and Shangal and also with Turkey to obtain information and humanitarian support. They also have to classify the people in the camp in term of their gender, age, health and other problems. They confirmed that they supervise and support 9 camps of refugee in which 4 of them Eyazidis from Shangal. They confirmed that already around 6,000 of them returned to Iraqi Kurdistan but received 96,000 more who settled in Suruc, and 2,840 in Mardin.

We also visited the refugee camp of Eyazidis where over 4,000 people live. These people complained about quality of the food, hot water, doctors and nurses. They told us that due to lack of transport it takes 15 days to be referred to a hospital and moneyless refugees have to pay for their treatment.

In Surus, we visited the Kobane refugee camp which was set up on 15/09/14. They have the same facilities as the Shangal refugees. It looked they lived in reasonable condition. We were told that they have 15 doctors, 20 nurses and many more on call to look after them. It seems they are happier than the Shangal refugees, probably because of the following factors:
  1. They are very close to Kobane, where they come from, as this psychologically influence them, compared to the Eyazidis from far away Shangal.
  2. The Kobane refugees feel their stay is temporary and will returned home soon. Shanglys have little hope of returning while Isis are in control of their region.
  3. The Kobane refugees had time to leave home and some managed to take their valuables with them. The Eyazidis, on the other hand were faced with immediate slaughter. They have left everything behind and many of their relatives were killed. hundreds of their women kidnapped by Isis and sold into sexual slavery following the raids is still unknown.
  4. The refugees from Kobane left while there were still people behind fighting the Isis forces. The Eyazidis people are bitter towards Massoud Barzani’s forces (The peshmarga), They informed us that as soon as the Isis arrived the Peshamrga withdrew and let the Eyazidis face slaughter. The withdrawal of the Peshmarga is a mystery and nobody knows whether it was on the order of Massoud Barzani, an agreement among Isis, the Turkish government and Barzani or something else. When we talked to people in the Eyazidis camp some of them did not hide their anger and frustration against Masoud Barzani’s Peshmarga.

The Turkish government has changed its tactic but not its strategy against Kurdish people

Everywhere there people had one thing in common: ‘There has been no major change since the ceasefire of Dec 2012.’ The suppression and the oppression are going on, still the Kurdish community is marginalised, still you can see a major difference between Kurdish and Turkish towns.

There is not much support from the governor of the cities or from the central government to Municipalities that are controlled by the Kurdish people. The Kurdish community suffers greatly from joblessness and from health problems. People still live in big fear either for their own safety or their children’s being harassed, kidnapped or detained without reason.

It is true that the Kurdish people are now in control of their Municipalities, and setting up many organisations, association, Unions and a variety of groups. However, they receive very little or no help from the government. It is noticed that the Kurds have forced their case and the Turkish government has no choice but to accept it. This may be due to the government hoping to become an EU member. Also the Kurdish have simply rejected the old situation. They are prepared to fight back and do not want to stop their social revolution which is at its beginning.

Things can happen but should not happen to derail the social revolution

The situation is very tense and delicate. The peace process seems to have come to standstill. Kobane is still being seized, Isis is still a big threat to the region and it seems removing Assad from power is not possible for the time being. The US and the rest of the western countries can run out of a clear policy or strategy to defeat Isis and the Turkish government is not serious in the negotiation with PKK. These factors have direct or indirect impact on the situation in Turkey.

However, factors more important than the above which may derail the social revolution are:
  1. Ending the ceasefire by PKK and returning to guerrilla war. This will be a disaster for Turkish society and the Kurdish community. No doubt this may bring more killing, more destruction, more displacement of people, creating the feeling of hatter between Kurds and Turks, increasing the wave of racism and will have a negative impact on the region as whole and the Kurdish region in Iraq, Iran and Syria in particular.
  2. The attitude of US and the western countries treating the PKK as a terrorist organisation does not help the situation. Continuing such a policy will bring no benefits either to Kurdish people or to their allies in the region. These countries need to change their attitudes about PKK, they should understand that it is not the same organisation as it was in the 1990s. They should consider PKK as a main force in the region and is very popular. It has indeed changed and progressed considerably during the recent years. Therefore the PKK cannot be marginalised. The US and the western countries should force the Turkish government not to take the ceasefire for granted, they should all grab this opportunity to end this very long dispute.
  3. The Turkish government has doubtful relations with Isis and the other terrorist organisations in the region. For instance it uses them in a proxy war which may become extremely harmful to Turkey. The president of Turkey, Mr Tayyip Erdoğan, and his government should leave behind their dream of establishing the old Ottoman Empire in the Twenty-first Century. Instead they should concentrate on its internal problems, especially the Kurdish issue.
  4. There is still a big struggle between the military Generals and politicians in Turkey over power. The peace process has never been in the interest of the military Generals. Although currently the struggle is getting less effective, the intervention from spy networks within the region along with the US and the western countries could revive this struggle and strengthen the Generals to do a military kudeta . This obviously is not in the interest of the peace process and the social revolution by bringing back the old polices of suppression, oppression and killing innocent people and to return to the first square.
Zaher Baher
Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum

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Mashriq / Arabia / Iraq | Community struggles | News Report | en

Mi 28 Jul, 22:57

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iraq.jpg imageUpdate report : The mass protests in Baghdad and Southern Iraq continue 06:43 Mi 25 Jul by Zaher Baher 0 comments

This short report covers the current situation of Iraq

textPalestine-Israel, The joint struggle really changed the world* 21:50 Sa 05 Sep by Ilan S. 0 comments

The failed arrest of 12 year old child in Nabi Saleh caused a million views storm in the media. This situation and the next Friday of the joint struggle demonstrated again how the involvement of the AATW Israeli Jews prevented in the past and prevent now the extinguishing of the non armed Palestinian struggle with rivers of blood. It was one shooting of Gil Naamati in 2003 in a joint action of the anarchists AATW that caused a real wide media scandal in Israel (which forced the higher commander of the army to visit him at hospital and apologize) that resulted in the change of shooting order about dispersing non armed demonstrations in the occupied lands when Israelis are involved. In addition to our helping to distribute the news, Our main contribution is the supply of "life insurance" to the Palestinians and even to the stone throwers in the demos.... though it is not perfect and along the years about 20 were killed and many more were injured. [Italiano]

Bil'in, 10.07.15. Photo: Mohammed Yasin Photography imagePalestine-Israel, The activists participating in the joint struggle get old... but the struggle is s... 16:10 Di 28 Jul by Ilan S. 0 comments

It is hard for many activists when the real meaning of the struggle are not concrete achievable gains, but a global worldwide struggle. This week, the concrete and the global merged when the struggle against the destruction of Susiya village recruited international support and forced Israel to delay or even cancel the demolition of the village. Pressure from the imperial powers on Israel was joined by European warning about approaching sanctions against the Israeli banking system for its involvement in the settlers' projects in the occupied West Bank. It seems the erosion of Israeli immunity from paying for its war crimes is collecting momentum. The Israeli media is full of news about B.D.S. - the joint struggle in which thousands of international activists participate, contributing a lot. The heroic Bil'in, Ni'lin, Nabi Saleh, Qaddum, Ma'sara, and Sheikh Jarrah keep the weekly flame from extinguishing. [Italiano]

textPalestine-Israel, the joint struggle which enhance the B.D.S. suffer lately more punishments then ev... 05:57 Di 02 Jun by Ilan S. 0 comments

The non armed joint actions - mainly few Friday demos, do not cause the Israeli armed forces much load. However, the focusing of the media on these, and more so the international activist participating in them who enhance the international struggle when they return home, really worry the Israeli authorities. Their borders screening which succeed to prevent the entry of activists is not much effective. The Israeli ruling elite is not in panic yet, but lately they worry a lot. The president of Israel warn that the development of the B.D.S. must cause a real concern. The threat of the expulsion from the FIFA cause Israel to make concession to prevent the voting and even agreed to a special monitoring comity. The subject of the B.D.S. is more and more in the media and many of the speaker admit their fear from its intensifying. [Italiano]

textPalestine-Israel, As the split in the elite, a part of which is already suffering, threatens Prime m... 00:57 Sa 23 Mai by Ilan S. 0 comments

The election which was a response to rebellion in the elite - threatening to restrict his daily newspaper - resulted in a partial defeat. He is dependant now on the support of the center-right party and the orthodox parties,and now he is trying desperately to regain control. The mounting pressure on Israel threatens to take a fast escalation. It is already expressed in the threat to expel Israel from FIFA and of intervention of the Hague Court. The French initiative in the UN security council is approaching. The escalation in transfer actions - both within Israel and the West Bank is an effort to recruit at least the support of orthodox parties and the extreme right. In spite of harsher efforts to repress the Palestinian struggle - both in occupied east Jerusalem and the popular non-armed struggle the struggle continues. The very optimistic activists already feel the approaching victory. [Italiano]

textPalestine-Israel, The joint struggle enhance the B.D.S. which intensify the international pressure w... 01:20 Fr 08 Mai by Ilan S. 0 comments

The B.D.S. which intensify the pressure not only worry the Israeli elite - it already caused a split in it. The split expressed in the initiation of law against the Netaniahu daily caused him to dismantle his coalition and call for election. The result was even worse for him. He lost the majority of the hard core right. The 61 (versus 59) coalition was achieved only with Kakhlon center-right that already blocked the main rightist moves and some of the extreme neoliberal tendency. A new power balance in the Israeli elite may result with a near future coalition with the pseudo left party Zionist List or even entirely different coalition without Netaniahu or even without the Licud party. With this back ground, transfer of Palestinians intensify - both citizens of Israel and in the occupy west bank... And the repression and struggle continue in Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Nebi Saleh, Qadoom, Ma'asarah, Sheikh Jarrah, South Hebron Hills and sporadicly in other places. [Italiano]

textPalestine-Israel, The joint struggle continues with fresh conviction that it is a fulcrum of the int... 19:56 Sa 18 Apr by Ilan S. 0 comments

With the conviction that our main contribution is not so much in changes on the ground but in the spirit of the struggle of the participants and the fulcrum we provide to the international lever. The gradual increase in international pressure which the Israeli high court verdict is that is a criminal act for Israeli to promote causing already much of damages in the economy of occupation and concern of the Zionist-colonialist Israeli ruling Elite. We see here again how small number of activists can initiate a turn in the course of history when it is applied in the ripe cross-road. It started in a small joint camp in Masha 2003 for struggle against the separation fence, after the idea raised half a year earlier in the European People Global Action conference in Leiden - in which activists from the East of the Mediterranean region participated too. The camp initiated struggles in various villages that riped at 2005 in the Bil'in struggle... which expanded and expanded...

textPalestine-Israel, The collapse of the deterrent ability of Israel in the last Gaza war is expressed ... 05:37 Mi 08 Apr by Ilan S. 0 comments

The frustrated Israeli state force who do not dare to prevent the weekly non armed popular demonstrations - Joined and purely of Palestinians, resort to shooting on demonstrators with frequent use of live fire by snippers. In the annexed regions of Jerusalem they no more pretend it is not an occupied area and apply there the occupation procedures - both in treatment of detaining children and houses demolition. The "hot" areas of the popular non armed struggle gradually expand but still far away from a general uprising. The international popular struggle worry the Israeli elite but the damages to the Israeli economy is still in the margins. It seems the Zionist settler colonialist elite which bribed the tycoons section of the capitalist elite with extreme neo liberal measures cannot do it any more as other sections of the capitalist elite (backers of Cakhlon) rebelled.

textPalestine-Israel, the joint struggle in turbulent times of the fragmentation in the Zionist rilling ... 16:22 So 22 Mär by Ilan S. 0 comments

The merger between the Zionist leadership and the capitalist elite which started 1948 picked in the Tycoons dominance, at 20010. The "too successful" neo-liberalism was challenged by the social struggle, conflicts within the capitalist elite and threatened by international pressure yielded the diminishing power of the old order when the right lost its absolute power in the parliament depending now on the opponent of the milder Zionist right (Kachlon). It is not sure how fast the retreat in the neo-liberal trend and the defeat of the Tycoons combined with the international pressure will yield also retreat in the advance of the Zionist settler and transfer effort. Mean time the joint struggle continue in Bil'in, Ni'ilin, Nebi Saleh, Kadum, Ma'asarah, Southern Hebron Hills, Sheikh Jarrah, the Bedouins of the south, Dahamsh... with additional locations from time to time. [Italiano]

textPalestine-Israel, The joined struggle in a decisive year* 00:42 Di 10 Mär by Ilan S. 0 comments

The minimal pressure of the imperial power on Israel to soften its pressures applied to the would be transfered Palestinians of the 1967 occupied areas have its results (more in the west bank than in the Gaza Ghetto). The about 100.000 Palestinians of the occupied territories are employed by Israelis. Most of the roadblocks were removed. The rebellion of the Palestinians in the west bank is channeled mostly through a small minority of activists in the joint and separate week end activities. People are like holding their breath to see if the culminated crisis in the international arena will yield a significant break throw. Mean time, the persistent week end struggles - though in a diminished intensity in Bil'in, Ma'asara, Ni'ilin, Nabi Saleh, Qaddum, South of Hebron Hills, Sheik Jarrah... with sporadic struggles in other locations. [Italiano]

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textOn the current protests in Lebanon : When spring comes late , would it achieve more ? Sep 20 by mazen kamalmaz 0 comments

On the current protests in Lebanon : When spring comes late , would it achieve more ?

imageRojava: Fantasies and Realities Nov 08 by Zafer Onat 1 comments

The Kobane resistance that has passed its 45th day as of now has caused the attention of revolutionaries all over the world to turn to Rojava. As a result of the work carried out by Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF), anarchist comrades from many parts of the world have sent messages of solidarity to the Kobane resistance.(1) This internationalist stance without a doubt carries great importance for the people resisting in Kobane. However if we do not analyze what is happening in all its truth and if we romanticize instead, our dreams will turn to disappointment in short order.

imageHorizons for the Syrian revolution Mai 23 by Mazen Kalmamaz 0 comments

The main features of the Syrian revolution are its youthful, spontaneous aspect, and the fact that it was created on the streets and is linked directly to the people. It is a revolution without centralized control, led by insurgent individuals. Consequently, no-one can claim to govern it or lead and the reason is simple: the young insurgents rose up spontaneously and there are no signs of participation by religious elements, whose ideas are extremely reactionary, or indeed by any other tendency. [العربية ]

imageSolidarity with the mass protests in Iraq Okt 12 0 comments

We understand from the historical experiences and experiences in recent years such as what happened in Tunisia, Iran and Iraq that we must all having solidarity against racism and sectarianism and rely on self-organization and self-adminstration building in farms, work places, schools, hospitals and other social affairs.

textBlood-baath in Syria and proletarian direct action Feb 15 Class War Group 0 comments

Greetings to proletarians in struggle in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia... and all over the world!

imageItalian speaking tour of an Anarchist Against the Wall Apr 07 Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici 0 comments

From 5-15 April 2009, a member of Anarchists Against the Wall, Haggai Matar (well-known also for his anti-militarist work, since he was one of the first of the new wave of political objectors to military service), will be in Italy for a speaking tour with the dual aim of providing updates on the current situation in the struggle against the wall and the occupation, and of collecting funds for the activities of AAtW. If you can, please come to one of the events below. If you are unable to attend but you want to contribute to the work of AAtW, please log on to for details on how to do so. [Italian]

textAnarchists Against the Wall and Bil'in Popular Committee awarded Carl von Ossietzky Medal Okt 17 1 comments

Anarchists Against the Wall and the Bil'in Popular Committee exemplify the nonviolent resistance to the Israeli-built "Separation Wall" on Palestinian land, as well as steadfastness in the diverse grass-root campaigns against the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

imageIsrael-Palestine: The murder of Ahmad Husam Yousef Mousa Jul 30 0 comments

Ahmad Husam Yousef Mousa, 10 years old, was murdered yesterday as he demonstrated together with his friends against the separation wall which is being constructed on the lands of his village Ni'ilin. When Ahmad and his friends reached the construction site the soldiers shot rubber bullets at them and they began to
retreat. At that point one of the soldiers shot a live round at Ahmad's head from a distance of about 10 meters.

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