1. Clashes in Turkey’s southeast leave 12 dead
  2. One civilian dies, 5 others wounded in Cizre under curfew
  3. Diyarbakir Becoming Kobane
  4. EU condemns days-long curfews in Turkey’s Diyarbakır
  5. Once-jailed prominent legislator Leyla Zana again uses Kurdish in Turkey’s parliament
  6. Prosecution against HDP Co-Chair
  7. In Turkey, two journalists accused of creating terrorist propaganda with social media posts
  8. Bayık: Turkey’s policy on ISIS is dangerous for the whole world
  9. KCK: The states backing ISIS responsible for Paris attacks
  10. Syrian Kurdish-Arab alliance captures nearly 200 villages from IS Continue reading




There is a fantastic set of feature films in the programme for this year’s 9th Kurdish Film Festival. You can visit the website for a full programme and more information about the films. Go to www.lkff.co.uk for more information!


  1. HDP calls for urgent action for Silvan
  2. VIDEO: Turkey attacks Kurdish town of Silvan, several killed
  3. Six people killed as Turkish military launches attack on rebels in mostly-Kurdish town
  4. VIDEO: Police fire tear gas, water cannon at HDP delegation in Turkey’s southeast
  5. Conflict in Turkey’s Southeast: What Happened in Silvan over 10 Days?
  6. ‘Tens of millions of Turkish Kurds feel hard-done by the government’
  7. HDP says unfair election conditions, deliberate polarization behind poll result
  8. Erdoğan calls for new constitution, reform in next four years
  9. Turkish journalist wanted on terrorism charges Continue reading

Voter intimidation in Turkey’s Kurdish villages

Melanie Gingell, barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, has written the latest in a series of damning reports about the recent snap election in Turkey, which took place amidst a backdrop of serious violence. Here, she details how voter intimidation became a feature of polling day on 1st November:

The re-run election of 1st November was carried out against a backdrop of extreme state violence particularly in the South East of the country. Thousands of HDP and civil society activists had been arrested and hundreds of HDP offices had been attacked in separate incidents across the country. The mood was extremely sombre and there was little evidence of campaigning by any of the political parties. The two suicide bomb attacks in Suruc and Ankara had inflicted a terrible price on HDP supporters and progressive groups. HDP officials in Diyarbakir said that they had been busy organising funerals in the run up to the election, not campaigning.

Continue reading

2015 Turkey Progress Report finally published by the EU

After much controversy during the last several weeks in which the EU, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, were accused of delaying the publication of their annual Progress Report for Turkey’s EU accession process so that deals could be made over the refugee crisis, the report has finally been made public.

The report makes sharp criticisms of Turkey for ‘backsliding’ in respect to fundamental rights and the rule of law, in particular freedom of press, expression and assembly. It also calls for an immediate resumption of the peace process following a serious deterioration of its security situation.

You can download the report in full here (pdf): Turkey Progress Report 2015

Lord Hylton: Assaults on the Living and the Dead in Turkey

Member of the House of Lords, Lord Hylton, took part in an election observation delegation to Turkey’s southeast to witness the November snap general elections. His report recounts the brutal force used by the Turkish state against Kurdish civilians over the course of the summer:


In September and October 2015 the Government of Turkey, headed by President Erdogan, launched attacks against their presumed enemies and opponents. These took place in the run-up to the general election of 1st November. The PKK, or Kurdistan Workers Party, has been involved in political and armed struggles against the state. Many ceasefires have been offered, especially since 1999, the date of the capture and imprisonment of the party leader, Abdullah Ocalan. The PKK, with the constitutional pro-Kurdish party, the HDP (Peoples Democratic Party), and other cooperating groups including trade unions, different ethnic and religious communities, human rights and women’s organizations, and opposition parties etc, had long since declared in speeches and in writing that they did not seek to become independent or to separate from Turkey. They only wanted cultural and social autonomy within Turkey. The PKK made a unilateral ceasefire declaration on 10th October to avoid prejudice to the elections.

Continue reading

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 30 October – 6 November 2015


Turkey elections held amid an atmosphere fear and state violence: UK observers report back

Armed police at a polling station in Sur, Diyarbakir

Armed police at a polling station in Sur, Diyarbakir

Date and time: Monday 9 November, 6.30pm

Where: Committee Room 3A, House of Lords, Westminster SW1A 0AA

Hosted by: Lord Hylton
Speakers: Prof. David Graeber; Margaret Owen; Melanie Gingell, among others.



  1. HDP election observation of Turkish snap elections, November 2015
  2. HDP Objects To Turkey Election Results In Six Cities
  3. Turkish election campaign unfair, say international monitors
  4. Elections in Turkey offered voters variety of choices, but process was hindered by challenging security environment, incidents of violence and restrictions against media, international election observers say
  5. 80 percent of minorities in Turkey cannot express themselves openly: Survey
  6. Crowe raises concerns over Turkish elections – Sinn Fein International Continue reading

Scottish delegation to Kurdistan calls for peace process to be renewed

Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan, led by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s trade union liaison officer Stephen Smellie and student activists Roza Salih organised a fact-finding delegation to north Kurdistan in September to speak with representatives of the HDP, IHD, KESK and DISK trade unions among others. Here are their findings and recommendations.

Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan

Delegation visit to Diyarbakir, North Kurdistan/South East Turkey September 2015.

The delegation consisted of Sarah Collins, Viv Thompson and Stephen Smellie of UNISON and Roza Salih and Paul Toner of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan. We were in Diyarbakir from 21 to 25 September and met with a number of organisations and individuals. These included the Human Rights Association, Free Women’s Assembly, Rojava Association, KESK (public sector trade unions), DISK (private sector trade unions), Democratic Society Congress, HDP MPs, Ezidi refugees from Shengal and the refugee camp organisers. We spoke to people who had been at the HDP rally in Diyarbakir in June which had been bombed, including one woman who had lost both legs in the bomb blast. We also spoke to trade unionists who were organising and attending the ‘Labour, Peace and Democracy’ demonstration in Ankara on 10 June which was targeted by 2 suicide bombers and where over 100 people were killed. Continue reading

Latest election report reveals heavy military presence across Kurdish villages

A third report has been written by UK election observers who witnessed election day in several villages across Turkey’s Kurdish regions. They conclude that there was a ‘clear attempt’ by the Turkish government to discourage people from voting, as well as implicit threats – and explicit use – of violence. You can read more about all the observation work undertaken by independent volunteers from the UK here.


Written by Prof. David Graeber, Cllr Aysegul Erdogan, Elif Sarican & Rebecca Coles

We arrived in Diyarbakir in the late hours of Friday 30th October. There was an uncomfortable quiet in much of the city, several streets lined up by armored vehicles.
Continue reading

Global Rally for the freedom and reconstruction of Kobane

many_rally_in_rome_in_solidarity_with_kurdish_city_of_kobane_crop1446327675978.jpg_1718483346Thank you to everyone who took part in the Global Rally for Kobane on 1st November – now World Kobane Day. It is the second year in a row that thousands of people in dozens of countries have raised their voices for Kobane, which still suffers the consequences of a brutal 6 month ISIS siege which caught the conscience of many across the world. This time, over 400 separate actions took place in over 25 countries as far apart as India and Brazil, Denmark and Australia, Venezuela and Afghanistan, all calling for people and governments to support the reconstruction of Kobane and the lifting of the blockade. Demonstrations also took place in Rojava. Once again, it was a remarkable demonstration of solidarity and the spirit of internationalism. We send our thanks and solidarity to all those who took part and hope that collective efforts will lead to freedom and a new future for Kobane – and Rojava.

Continue reading

Crowe raises concerns over Turkish elections – Sinn Fein International

Sinn Fein’s international office released this press release today detailing their concerns over the election in Turkey. Sean Crowe TD, foreign affairs spokesperson for Sinn Fein, also used his priority question to challenge the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs on his view of Turkey’s elections. You can read Mr Flannagan’s surprising response here.

Sinn Féin Press Office
Leinster HouseKildare Street

For immediate release 5 November, 2015:

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, raised his concerns over the recent bombings and attacks against Kurdish and left wing activists in Turkey with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, in the Dáil, and directly with the Turkish Ambassador in the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee.

Continue reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 139 other followers