KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 19 – 25 July 2014

NEWS
1. Barzani voices support to Kurdish peace process
2. Exclusive: Turkey’s Presidential Candidate Selahattin Demirtas Talks To Kurdish Question
3. Turkey’s Kurdish candidate says peace does not hinge on Erdogan
4. Presidential candidate Demirtaş: ‘Turkey fanning the flames of the Middle East’
5. Öcalan: Attacks on tent protest unacceptable
6. A Kurdish general bombarded in Gaza
7. More than 700 killed in Syria as ISIS tightens grip on east
8. ISIS Tells Kurdish Families to Leave Mosul
9. HDP condemns Israeli offensive against Palestine
10. Ban on Firat News Agency lifted in Turkey
11. Margaret Owen Speaks To Kurdish Question
12. Syria Daily, July 21: Finally a Battle Between Assad Regime and Islamic State?
13. Clashes with PYD ongoing on Syrian border as death toll rises to nine
14. Christians flee Iraq’s Mosul after ultimatum by IS
15. Talk to Al Jazeera – Masoud Barzani: Kurdish independence
16. Kurds settle on candidate to be Iraq’s president, clearing way for vote

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
17. A portrait of Selahattin Demirtaş
18. The Presidential Election In Turkey And N.Kurdistan And Our Votes Around The World
19. Duran Kalkan: Independence And Freedom
20. Alevis find saying no to Erdogan a tall task
21. Turkey’s benign neglect helped spur the Islamic State’s rise
22. Turkey’s Response to ISIS and the Crisis in Iraq
23. Islamic State uses Turkish Consulate in Mosul as headquarters
24. The Stupidity of American Foreign Policy
25. The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
26. The Dilemmas of the Kurds in Syria
27. The realpolitik of Turkish-Kurdish energy cooperation
28. Iraqi Kurdistan and Israel: A choice between political strategies and moral stances
29. The 194th State: The Kurds’ Bid for Nationhood
30. The rise of ISIS signals a deeper crisis of representation amidst the different communities of the region
31. Video: Christopher Davidson on the Islamic State’s funding and strategy

REPORTS
32. Briefing Paper: The Remaking of Syria, Iraq and the Wider Middle East
Continue reading

Gunter: The Stupidity of American Foreign Policy

Professor Michael Gunter, secretary general of the EUTCC, has written a new opinion piece on US foreign policy towards the Kurdish issue, which we reproduce below:

 

THE STUPIDITY OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

Although there can be no doubt that compared to most other countries in the world today and in the past, American foreign policy has been motivated by relative honesty and intelligence, currently there are several specifics in that policy that can only be characterized as sheer stupidity. The first point has to do with American foreign policy towards the horrific civil war in Syria. Although President Obama’s basic instinct not to enter another disastrous Middle Eastern war is sound, his administration’s continuing attempt to support increasingly non-existent moderate oppositionists against the Assad regime is at the best based on wishful thinking because with one exception (the Kurds) such moderates in Syria no longer exist.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—now styling itself the Islamic State (IS)—has largely supplanted the moderates with the exception of the Kurds who have been battling the Islamists for more than two years. However, the United States opposes the Kurds because of a misguided belief that they are dividing the moderate opposition by insisting on Kurdish autonomy and probably even more are connected to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that is largely in control of the Kurdish areas but is an off-shoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which the United States considers to be a terrorist movement. While the PKK link is real and largely explains the PYD’s success in fending off ISIS so far, the PYD is also a moderate secular movement and thus is everything the United States should want to support. This is even more so because for more than a year now, Turkey has been pursuing a serious peace process with the PKK. Thus, if the U.S. NATO ally Turkey is now dealing with the PKK/PYD, there is no further reason for the United States to shun it. American foreign policy has simply failed to catch up with the times and is thus shooting itself in the foot.

Continue reading

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 12 – 18 July 2014

 

SELAHATTIN DEMIRTAS RALLY THIS SUNDAY

Demirtas: “Our call is to build a brand new life where all peoples and faith groups in Turkey live together freely without resembling, or being made to resemble each other.

Dear friends, on the 2nd anniversary of the Rojava silent revolution Selahattin Demirtas, presidential candidate for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), will be joining us to speak for a public event at Lee Valley athletic club.
This one-off event has been organised by Kurdish community organisations in the UK. We invite you to join us on Sunday and hope to see you there.

Date and time:Sunday 20 July, 1-6pm
Full address: Lee Valley Athletic Centre, 61 Meridian Way, N9 0AR

NEWS
1. People of Botan to abolish Rojava border on 19 July
2. ‘May God help Erdoğan if I’m elected president’: Demirtaş
3. Turkey’s youngest Kurdish mayor slams ‘ridiculous’ jail term
4. Turkish support for ISIS is proved
5. KCK: Turkey facilitates ISIS attacks on Syrian Kurdistan
6. Turkish Airline Transporting Tajik Militants to Syria, Iraq
7. ISIL ‘attacks Shiite mosque’ in Istanbul
8. Turkey embracing Iraq’s Kurds as trade erodes old enmity
9. People flooding to Rojava border
10. Hundred of Kurds enter Syria to fight ISIL as Turkey increases security on Rojava border
11. KRG leader pays a critical visit to Turkey, oil revenues discussed
12. Barzani’s Ankara meetings end
13. Turkish airlines transporting ISIS gangs
14. Prosecutor uses PKK evidence against ‘girl with red foulard,’ lawyers cry foul
15. HDP: does Kürecik radar base protect Israel too?
16. While Iraq burns, Isis takes advantage in Syria
17. Syrian Kurdistan to defend itself with new law
18. Doctors confirm ISIS use of chemical weapons in Kobane (Graphic Photos)
19. Iraq crisis: Kurdistan’s female fighters take on Isis (with video)
20. Hundreds of Turkish Kurds en route to Syria to fight jihadists
21. YPG inflicts heavy losses on ISIS in Kobane
22. Syria conflict: ISIS marches further into Syria tipping the balance of power in the civil war
23. Syria conflict: Western countries sending millions of pounds in aid to ISIS-controlled regions
24. CIA expanding facilities in Kurdistan?
25. Uncertain welcome for Israel’s support in Iraqi Kurdistan

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
26. Kurds hope oil boom will fuel prosperous independent future
27. Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
28. “Iraq Has Already Disintegrated”: ISIS Expands Stronghold as Leaks Expose US Doubts on Iraqi Forces (Video)
29. Explaining Kurdish Nationalism Interview With Tenn Tech Univ Prof Michael Gunter
30. Revisiting Kurdistan: ‘If there is a success story in Iraq, it’s here’
31. Kurds: Signs of division?

REPORT
32. Turkey’s illiberal turn

STATEMENTS
33. Rojava must not fall: Support Kurdish democratic autonomy against ISIS

ACTIONS
34. New petition and postcard campaign to delist the PKK
35. Appeal to all Kurdistani people, supporters and humanitarian organisations to support Syrian Kurdish region

Continue reading

DANGEROUS SURVEILLANCE: Drones, Data and Deprivation of Citizenship

CAMPACC PUBLIC EVENT

 

Includes a screening of Dirty Wars, a film by Jeremy Scahill

Date: Tuesday, 5 August, 7-9.30pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Camden Town Hall, Judd St, London WC1H 9JE(near Kings Cross tube/rail station)

Revelations over mass electronic surveillance by US-UK state agencies have provoked public outrage at this threat to democratic freedoms.  State responses have further revealed its assumptions about the public as a potential source of various dangers.  Indeed, the state has a long history of targeting political dissent through human surveillance, which continues today alongside mass electronic surveillance of everyone.  In the past decade Muslim and migrant communities have been increasingly targeted to become informers. This pressure has been reinforced by blackmail threats linked to anti-terror powers which can impose various punishments without trial.  An extreme form has been deprivation of UK citizenship, sometimes followed by drone assassination.

The global expansion of drone attack has been documented by Jeremy Scahill’s book and film, Dirty Wars. This public event will first screen the film, followed by speakers linking various forms of surveillance and their political roles.  The discussion will consider how to oppose the state’s dangerous surveillance.

For background on Somalia, see ‘Somali communities targeted by UK “counter-terror” measures: the need for solidarity’ (pdf)

  Continue reading

Appeal to all Kurdistani people, supporters and humanitarian organisations to support Syrian Kurdish region

Appeal for funds from the Kurdish Red Cross. Please do what you can to support humanitarian efforts in Rojava:

Today the Syrian people in general and Kurds in particular are going through a violent proxy war. The Syrian Kurdish region is suffering most severely due to imposed double blockade of both the brutal Assad regime and the armed opposition. People in the Kurdish regions are suffering from lack of essential food and medicine and are becoming isolated in a crippling siege, which is threatening to become a severe humanitarian disaster in these hard winter conditions, the shortage of food, medicines and fuel for heating, bakeries, transports and electrical generators operation for hospitals and medical centres.

This situation is threatening people’s life, because of spread of diseases and lack of medical aids. However the Kurdish regions have been excluded from the international humanitarian aid despite hosting thousands of hundreds of refugees and displaced people from all Syrian war affected towns and cities.

The recent brutal attack targeting civilians in SereKaniye (Ras al Ain) on 16 January 2013 by Selafist armed mercenaries affiliated to terrorist groups, Turkey and others regional powers to destabilise and dragging the relatively peaceful Kurdish region into violent civil war which makes the Kurdish region a violent proxy war zone, targeting the civilians by killing indiscriminately and shelling civilians’  houses and properties which have been destroyed and looted and thousands have forcibly fled in horror and displaced.

We, the Kurdish Red cross crescent an humanitarian relief organisation established in Syrian Kurdish region to support the affected people in need and earnestly call all Kurdistani people, regional and global humanitarian Relief organisations, EU, UN, International community and public opinion to support the Kurdish region people and carry out their duties and responsibilities over the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the region where vulnerable people are losing lives.

Looking forward to your support and contributions to save lives!

Dr Mohamed Mustafa,
Representative of Kurdish Red Cross/ Crescent in the UK.
Mobile: 07872 300836
The objectives of campaign:
– Inviting and asking everyone, all Kurdistani people  and humanitarian relief organisations to contribute in this campaign.
-Organising sub-committee for collecting of donations from businesses, shops, homes, families, individuals.
-Organising a fund raising event in the UK

Britain: Kurdish Red Moon, Address: Fairfax Hall 11 Portland Gardens / London N4 IHU
Registered Charity No: 10 93 741, Company No: 42 85 714

Bank Sort code: 20 46 60

Bank Account No: 40 91 23 87

 

 

 

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 21 – 27 July 2014

NEWS

1. Demirtaş: We will run the Presidency like a people’s assembly

2. Demirtaş: Everyone will see the power of the people

3. Turkish bill would relaunch PKK evacuation to Qandil

4. ‘Framework Law’ accepted by Turkish Parliament

5. Turkish parliament gives legal recognition to Kurdish peace talks

6. With peace process in muddle, PKK gets more recruits

7. BDF’s 3rd congress has started

8. AKP enlarging military posts in Hakkari

9. Öcalan: There must be more meetings at Imrali

10. Kobanê government calls for mobilisation against ISIS

11. Kurds resist Iranian pressure to step up fight against militants Continue reading

KNK releases proposals for the future of Rojava

This useful information pack begins by situating Rojava in its recent political context, with short sections on the ‘Kurdish question’, Syria, the Ba’ath regime, Assad, etc.  It also explains how these factors have led to the continuing repression of Kurds in Syria. Taking into account recent developments and the various interests and ideologies responsible for them, the KNK assess the recent accomplishments of the Kurds in their struggles toward self-determination, and lays a blueprint for installing ‘democratic autonomy’ as an alternative political system. The proposals are thorough, thoughtful, and grounded on statistics which are provided inside the document.  Click here to access – Canton Based Democratic Autonomy of Rojava: A Transformation Process from Dictatorship to Democracy

PYD: Stand with us against ISIS

PYD Statement, 8.7.14

Statement to the Public Opinion
Since the ISIS took over Iraqs second largest city Mosul, seizing heavy weaponry in the process, it quickly turned its attention to western Kurdistan (northern Syria). ISIS has increased its attacks against our Self-Administration areas dramatically, using all kinds of criminal and barbaric methods. The recent attacks have mostly been in the Kobane canton, on the western countryside, including the villages Zormagar, Al-Bouaz, Dekerman and Al-Byada. Countless civilians, including women and children have been displaced as a result of their terrorist activities.
The ISIS does not recognize any code of conduct and has violated all international standards systematically. Once again our people, the Kurds, are facing mass killings and crimes against humanity with the tacit agreement of the international community!
ISIS has openly proclaimed that they are intending on altering the demography of the region. With their ruthless methods they have thrown the whole region into an uncertain and dangerous future. Continue reading

Report: The Kurdish Perspective on the Conflict and How to End It

REPORT

8 July 2014

 

A report of a political briefing hosted by Green Party peer, Baroness Jenny Jones, held in Westminster on 2 July and organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign.

The keynote speakers were a senior delegation of leading representatives from Rojava, Syria: namely, Saleh Muslim, co-president of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Deputy General Coordinator of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB); Basam Ishaq, chairman of Syriac Council (representing the Christian community); and Abdul Karim Omar, the spokesperson of Jazira Canton Foreign Affairs Department.

The delegation, visiting the UK to urge support for the people of Rojava, explained their independent perspective on the Syrian conflict before a specially invited gathering of parliamentarians, policy advisors and researchers. The majority population of Rojava are Kurds but the self-administration that has been established in the past few months had brought together all the region’s communities. This highly positive development needed to be more widely understood.

Continue reading

KNK: “A widely planned massacre against the people in Kobane is feared imminent”

The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) has issued a statement denouncing ISIS attacks against Kobane, Rojava, as an attack on Kurdistan by hegemonic powers who are using the group as tools.

06.07.2014

Urgent Call to the UN, USA, the EU and all international organisations

Stop the ISIS crimes against humanity

Since the beginning of March, there have been waves of attacks of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in the Kobanê Canton.  On July 2nd, ISIS launched a new major attack in Kobane Canton and widespread clashes are continuing. ISIS is attacking and brutally targeting all civilians regardless of age.

It is claimed that heavy weapons and artillery used by ISIS have been transported from Iraq after the invasion of Mosul in June.  It is publicly known that ISIS has transferred their heavy artillery and have shifted from Iraq to Rojava, Syria, after getting military supplies from Mosul.

Furthermore, the gangs have taken two out of three of the border crossings of Iraq and Rojava, Syria, under their control. On the other hand, the ISIS gangs are able to manoeuvre freely through the Turkish border to areas of Rojava. During the past year ISIS has been using Turkey’s borders without any serious obstacles, since the Turkish army and authorities have been turning a blind eye; ISIS has even been able to have their wounded members receive medical treatment in Turkish hospitals.

Along with the Turkish state, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some Western powers have plans and are intent on using ISIS to achieve hegemony in the Middle East region. It needs to be stressed that ISIS has become a tool in the hands of those who are seeking hegemony in the Middle East. The power sharing conflict is now focused in the Kurdish areas in Syria and Iraq, but it will spread to other areas, if ISIS is able to defeat Kobane.

The Kurdish political authorities in Rojava have consistently urged the international community to take measures against those states, which support ISIS. Instead of diplomatic and political sanctions against states using ISIS to achieve their power interests, it was preferred to turn a blind eye. This political stance has only encouraged the gangs to continue to carry out crimes against humanity in Rojava, Syria and Iraq.

Now a widely planned massacre against the people in Kobane is feared imminent.

We therefore appeal again to the international community to stop immediately the attacks against Kurdistan in Kobane particular and in Rojava generally by taking concrete diplomatic, political, economic and legal measures in line with international law.

Kongreya Neteweyî ya Kurdistanê
Kurdistan National Congress
Congrès National du Kurdistan

 

 

 

 

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