KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 16 – 22 May 2015

NEWS

  1. Kurdish political party launches colourful election campaign in Turkey
  2. Bomb blasts hit pro-Kurdish HDP party in south Turkey, six wounded
  3. What does the Turkish electorate think about HDP?
  4. Turkey’s AKP isolates Kurdish PKK leader to end peace talks: delegation
  5. IHD: HDP targeted by 114 attacks during the election campaign
  6. Journalism is persona non grata in Turkey
  7. Turkish intelligence helped ship arms to Syrian Islamist rebel areas
  8. Kurdish women fighters wage war on Islamic State in Iraq [Photo report]
  9. British Lord: I Admire The Self-Administration In Rojava
  10. Kurdish fighters expel ISIS radicals from major stronghold in Syria Continue reading

PiK sends congratulations message to the SNP

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign today sent this message to the SNP congratulating them on their landslide victory in Scotland in last week’s election:

Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Leader of the Scottish National Party
First Minister of Scotland

10 May 2015

Dear Nicola Sturgeon,

We send our congratulations to your party and the Scottish people on the news of your historic victory in the British general election.
Continue reading

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 3 – 8 May 2015

NEWS

  1. HPG: Turkish army continues provocative operations
  2. Turkey’s Kurdish opposition accuse Erdogan of breaching constitution
  3. International mobilisation for Kobanê
  4. Christians, Kurds join forces against ‘IS’
  5. Turkish military puts brakes on Syrian intervention
  6. ISIS advances in Kobane countryside amid Kurdish retreat
  7. Syrians return to Kobani despite deep scars of war
  8. Kurdish Women’s Communities Of Kurdistan Calls For Action For Farinaz Xosrow
  9. Kurdish Uprising In East Kurdistan As Woman Commits Suicide To Avoid Rape By Iranian Intelligence
  10. Snowden Docs: NSA Technology Lets Gov’t Generate Transcripts of Private Phone Calls
  11. Election 2015: Greens – migrants blamed for policy woes

Continue reading

Message of support to Plaid Cymru

On Election Day today, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign wishes Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, great success. Over the last few weeks, Plaid has put the country and people of Wales centre stage in British politics, demonstrating that only they have the belief and determination to bring the concerns of the Welsh people to the heart of British politics.

Plaid presents an excellent alternative to the failed policies of austerity that have only served to entrench inequality across the country. They have taken a principled stand on key issues of the day, for example confronting the power of corporations and opposing the TTIP agreement, while also standing firm on key issues affecting the Kurdish people, such as calling for freedom for Abdullah Ocalan and the delisting of the PKK. Continue reading

Rojava: A Democratic System in Progress – A Short Film by System D Media

System D media has released a short video on Rojava and the Kurdish struggle for Democratic Confederalism in the region. Featuring interviews with Kurdish activists Memed Aksoy and Zeynep Kurban, the International Initiative’s Havin Gunesser, academics Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley and Dr David Graeber and more, the film offers a useful introduction into the revolution in Rojava and its origins, as well as the role of the PKK, and the theoretical influence of Ocalan.

Many of the interview were filmed during CAMPACCs recent workshop on National Self-Determination and the Global ‘Counter-Terror’ Regime, which took place in February.

Many thanks to Solene Cravic for her work!

Stop ISIS/Daesh – new petition

Vasiliki Scurfield, mother of Erik Konstandinos Scurfield who was martyred in battle while fighting alongside the YPG in Kobane, has launched a signature campaign and is pushing for 100,000 signatures so that a debate takes place in Parliament. You will find the petition at Change.org – please sign and share!

STOP ISIS/DAESH

They all have names. Every one of the people who ISIS has murdered has a name and every day more people die trying to protect their right to a life free from persecution and terror.

All decent human beings are disgusted and horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by ISIS, yet ISIS continues is evil work unhindered, growing in strength and even affiliating with other extremist organisations. In the meantime there are some half- hearted coalition air strikes which, at best, succeed only in temporarily containing ISIS. Yet all across Northern Syria Rojavan Kurds continue to fight, essentially unassisted, to protect people of all religions and ethnic backgrounds and support refugees. Continue reading

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 27 April – 1 May 2015

NEWS

  1. Erdoğan denies existence of Kurdish issue to garner nationalist votes
  2. HDP says settlement process has come to end of the road after Erdoğan’s remarks
  3. Turkish police stage crackdown across Istanbul
  4. Women ready for Batman May 1st celebrations
  5. Kurdish ‘peace conference’ gets underway in Turkey
  6. Judge who ruled for release of journalist under arrest, second judge facing arrest
  7. Kurds in Turkey Atone for Their Role in the Armenian Genocide
  8. Turkish court acquits all 26 suspects in Gezi protests case
  9. PYD officially invited to Geneva III Conference
  10. Women’s Houses aim to reach all Rojava women Continue reading

STUC conference passes motion supporting Rojava

The motion below was recently passed at the STUC conference in Ayr. Kurdish activists and Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s Trade Union Liaison Officer Stephen Smellie (UNISON) were at the event for three days, where they met with union activists including Dave Parentis, general secretary of UNISON.

Kurdish activists with Stephen Smellie and UNISON general secretary Dave Parentis

Kurdish activists with Stephen Smellie and UNISON general secretary Dave Parentis

STUC April 2015

104. SUPPORT ROJAVA, DEFEND KOBANE, DEFEAT ISIS

“That this Congress expresses its concern at the events in Syria, resulting in thousands of deaths resulting in thousands of deaths and that conflict and the rise of ISIS has created a humanitarian crisis in the region and that millions of refugees have been displaced and some are now surviving with the assistance of local authorities, trade unions and volunteers, often without international aid.

Congress note:

  • the efforts in Rojava to establish an inclusive, non-sectarian and democratic self-rule, which has attracted considerable attention because of their experiment in democratic self-government, which is unique within the region;
  • the role that women are playing in the administration, and defence, of Rojava;
  • the role of the defence forces of Rojava, the YPG and the women’s YPJ, the Peshmerga of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq and the PKK, in defending Kobane and the battle against ISIS in Iraq; and
  • That assemblies and popular militias have been formed, regime property turned over to worker co-operatives and all despite continual attacks by ISS forces.

Continue reading

Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Kurds: Geostrategic concerns for the U.S and Turkey – Gunter

Michael M. Gunter, professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University, has published a new article in the Middle East Policy Journal which analyses the geostrategic concerns of Turkey and the U.S in the Middle East. It is available via Middle East Policy Journal,

The rise of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq as well as the ongoing insurgency of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and now peace negotiations with the Turkish government have empowered the Kurds and challenged the existing political map of the Middle East. On July 19, 2012, the previously quiescent Syrian Kurds —largely under the leadership of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), closely associated with the PKK — also suddenly emerged as a potential game changer in the Syrian civil war and what its aftermath might hold for the future of the Middle East. In an attempt to consolidate an increasingly desperate position, government troops were abruptly pulled out of the major Kurdish areas. The Kurds in Syria had suddenly become autonomous, a situation that also affected neighboring Turkey and the virtually independent KRG in Iraq. Indeed, the precipitous rise of the Kurds in Syria could become a factor in changing the artificial borders of the Middle East established after World War I by the notorious Sykes-Picot Agreement.

Read the article in full.

PYD responds to government criticisms of the party in recent report

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), one of the leading parties in Rojava, has responded to criticisms about the party that were laid out in a recent Government report. The report was written as a response to a Foreign Affairs Select Committee document, entitled UK Government Policy on the Kurdistan Region of Iraqwhich was the result of an inquiry into theUK’s relationship with the KRG, including investment, foreign policy implications, and diplomatic relations.

The government’s response to that enquiry included a section on Syrian Kurdistan and the PYD, which it accused of maintaining links with the Assad government and refusing to work with the official Syrian opposition. It also suggested the party should make a greater commitment to pluralism and human rights, in total ignorance of the pluralism being engendered in Rojava’s political sphere which is no small part due to the PYD’s policies. It is worth giving the report a read.

The PYD’s co-chair Salih Muslim, recently submitted a response to the UK government’s accusations, which we reproduce below. Continue reading

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