ISIS in historical perspective, by David Morgan

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s David Morgan has written another article for Live Encounters, this time focusing on ISIS in historical perspective. An important read!

Two months or so ago, the name of Kobane was virtually unknown outside Syria and the Kurdish region. Now, as a result of the heroic resistance of Kobane against ISIS, the name is inspiring people around the world. Actions in support of Kobane’s struggle have been held in the unlikeliest of places many far removed from the Middle East. By any estimate, Kobane has put up a remarkably formidable resistance against ISIS which has sought to conquer the city for months. It has refused to yield.

Kurds are asking why ISIS is expending so much effort to take Kobane. Why has ISIS concentrated on taking this once obscure city? It is said to occupy a strategically vital border location integral for control of Syria, but there are many other important locations in Syria and Iraq where ISIS seeks to hold sway.

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KURDISH NEWS UPDATE, 14 November 2014

REPORTS FROM PEACE IN KURDISTAN CAMPAIGN DELEGATIONS TO NORTH KURDISTAN

  1. ‘We Can’t Ever Go Back. The Islamists Will Kill Us’
  2. ‘Women Are Leading Our Revolution’
  3. Health workers in Kurdistan harassed by Turkish police for treating refugees from Kobane
  4. Patrick Smith reports from Diyarbakir on community-run food banks
  5. “Another fighter laid to rest”

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Another fighter laid to rest

pikcampaign:

Patrick Smith continues his blog from north Kurdistan, reporting from the funeral of a YPG fighter laid to rest near Suruc.

Originally posted on MUSTACHES AND KALASHNIKOVS: Stories from Kurdistan:

Funeral 1

Dust billows on the road ahead, and out of it a clutter of flags. And voices. Angry, defiant.

funeral 2

The body of another fighter killed in the struggle for Kobani jostles on heavy shoulders, the coffin draped in Kurdish red, green and yellow. From the scruffy border town of Suruc, the funeral procession winds its way to the cemetery. The PKK youth, chins out, at its head. Elders, with moustaches and cummerbunds, and ululating women behind.

funeral 3

Unlike most killed in Kobane, he is to be buried on the Turkish side of the border. Having survived his injuries, he was rushed to hospital in Suruc, but succumbed to the wounds. And so his body, dressed in white cloth, is lowered by straining arms to the dirt, cries ringing out across the scrub.

Funeral 4

But as he is laid to rest, the fierce atmosphere drops away. The flags seem to hang limply now. Tears are…

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Patrick Smith reports from Diyarbakir on community-run food banks

Serif stands among the produce on offer

Serif stands among the produce on offer

The violent repression of the Kurdish people is well documented. But arriving in Diyarbakir as part of a delegation from the UK, the first thing that strikes me is the poverty that is clearly visible on the streets. This is not a rich city; this is not a wealthy region. The sky scrapers and high-end restaurants of Istanbul are a long way away. But with the Turkish Government unwilling to step in to help, and indeed promoting policies to keep the Kurdish regions underdeveloped, people here are having to take the situation into their own hands.

A study by the Union of SouthEast Anatolian Region Municipalities (GABB) shows the South Eastern provinces making up the lowest 21 ranks out of Turkey’s 81 provinces in nearly all socio-economic indicators. In spite of the region’s 16% share of the population and underdevelopment, it only receives 8.5% of the local administration spending, and attracts hardly any investment for major infrastructure projects. Continue reading

Feminicide in Sinjar – sexual violence, conflict, and gender liberation in the Kurdish struggle

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and Roj Women’s Association would like to invite you to


Feminicide in Sinjar – sexual violence, conflict, and gender liberation in the Kurdish struggle

[Venue]
Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS University, London WC1H 0XG

[Date/Time]
Saturday 22 November, 5-7pm

Three months after ISIS fighters attacked the Iraqi region on Sinjar, the fate of thousands of women kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery following the raids is still unknown and no international investigation into their welfare has taken place. However, just as it has done in the defence of Kobane in Syria, the Kurdish Women’s Movement has mobilised with allied organisations to take action for the missing women.

This event will bring together women activists and representatives of the Kurdish women’s organisations to give you first-hand information about how people have responded to the crisis on the ground. We’ll also discuss the unique potential within the Kurdish Women’s Movement for engendering gender liberation in the region and its role in the development of the Rojava revolution.

Come and join us for this exciting one-off event!
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KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 1 – 11 November 2014

NEWS
1. Message from the resistance: we will fight to the end
2. HDP Urfa Deputy: Ortakaya was blatantly executed
3. Turkish soldiers have become border executioners
4. The Kurdish-Turkish peace process: Have the meetings between Abdullah Ocalan and the Turkish authorities come to a standstill?
5. ‘HDK will enter a new period with the congress’
6. A Revolution Of Life – Interview With Saleh Muslim
7. YPG/YPJ Commander: Initiative with the YPG in Kobanê
8. Peshmerga commander in Kobanê thanks YPG
9. ‘Since 15 September 3,000 gang members killed’
10. 100 settlements liberated from ISIS in Serêkaniyê Continue reading

Conference at the EP: Yezidi Kurds and the Middle East


The Representation in Europe of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the European Yezidi Federation co-organize a conference at the European Parliament on the following subject: YEZIDI KURDS AND THE MIDDLE-EAST:CURRENT SITUATION & FUTURE PROJECTIONS

November 19th 17:00 – 19:00
Room: 4Q2 – European Parliament / Brussels
Simultaneous interpretation: English, French & German

Opening speech:
MEP Ana Gomes, S&D Group, Portugal

PANEL

17:15 – 19:00

Moderator:
MEP Josef Weidenholzer, S&D Group in the EP, Austria

Current situation: the Yezidis From History to Present
Şefik Tagay (PhD), Chair of the Union of Yezidi Academics

Future Projections of the Yezidis for a Recognised Status
Mr. Ali Atalan, Co-Chair of the European Êzidi Federation Continue reading

Health workers in Kurdistan harassed by Turkish police for treating refugees from Kobane

By Stephen Smellie, UNISON South Lanarkshire who just returned from a visit to Kurdistan and Kobane. You can read more of his observations during his recent trip to North Kurdistan here.

5 November 2014

Police officers have kicked in the doors of a rehabilitation facility providing services to injured refugees from the ISIS attack on Kobane. Refugees were manhandled and verbally abused while health staff, working in a voluntary basis, were abused and told they should stop treating the refugees.

Selma Atabey is a nurse working at a large public hospital in Diyarbakir and co-president of the city’s branch of health workers union SES. Continue reading

Statement from the delegation to Kurdistan and Kobane in November 2014

7 November 2014

Following our visit to Kurdistan where we met refugees from the battle for Kobane and Yazidi refugees from Iraq, representatives of Kurdish organisations and municipal councils , trade unions and women’s groups we testify that a humanitarian crisis exists. Almost 200,000 refugees have arrived in the region in the past two months fleeing from, as one Yazidi put it, “the monsters” of ISIS.

The local people, unions and political representatives have responded magnificently whilst the Turkish government response has been slow and woefully inadequate. With winter approaching and temperatures as low as minus 10 , there is a real prospect of people currently living in tents, freezing to death. Continue reading

Benefit comedy gig at the Bloomsbury to take place 23 November

KobaneBenefitFlyerFabulous benefit gig supporting Kurdish Red Crescent and Kobane.

What is the benefit for?

The Kurdish Red Crescent who are co-ordinating aid for refugees on the Syria/Turkey boarder, people who have fled from Isis and the attacks upon Kobane.

Who is on the bill?

Nabil Abdulrashid
Jeremy Hardy
Nadia Kamil
Tim Key
Josie Long
Mark Thomas
Andy Zaltzman
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