KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 20 – 27 March 2015

 

NEWS

  1. Abdullah Ocalan’s Newroz Speech
  2. Kurds commit to Turkish peace process as PKK leader announces definitive end to ’40-year-long armed struggle’ with the state
  3. Ocalan stops short of disarming PKK
  4. Turkish Military Launch Operation Against PKK 
  5. Turkish military says clashes with Kurdish militants in southeast
  6. HSM: Turkish army deliberately increasing military activity
  7. Turkey’s parliament approves controversial bill increasing police powers, after Kurdish protest
  8. Kurdish Movement Demands Truth Commission For Turkey’s Kurdish Question
  9. HDP: Growing rift between Erdoğan, gov’t over Kurdish issue
  10. Interview with Figen Yuksekdag: Kurdish women’s movement reshapes Turkish politics Continue reading

KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 14 – 20 March 2014

Make this Newroz a genuine celebration of peace

19 March 2015

Newroz is traditionally the most cherished date in the Kurdish calendar, but this year it has taken on an added significance.

 It is the first Newroz since the historic victory of the Kurds in Kobane against the ISIS menace. The ultimate success of the courageous Kurdish men and women fighters in the battle for the strategically important city of Kobane has inspired people worldwide with a passionate sense of justice and this victory can now be understood as a historic turning of the tide in the fortunes of the Mideast and in the fate of all the peoples of the region.

Read the rest of Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s Newroz message Continue reading

Vasiliki Scurfield addresses Newroz reception in Parliament

The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) held an event in parliament on 17 March, to celebrate Newroz, the Kurdish New Year. The event was hosted by MP Mike Gapes. The speakers were Vasiliki Scurfield, the mother of Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, Michelle Allison, KNK UK women’s representative, Dr Alan Semo, PYD UK representative, and Dr Mohamed Kanyany, former KRG MP.

by Sofia Beatty

newroz parliament_vsAddressing a packed meeting in the House of Commons, Aysegul Erdogan, chairing, welcomed the speakers, with a special thanks to Vasiliki Scurfield, the mother of Konstandinos Scurfield, the ex-Royal Marine who died fighting with the YPG for the liberation of the Kurdish people. This year, said Aysegul, Newroz “takes on added significance, as this is the first Newroz since the victory of the Kurdish forces, the YPG and YPJ in Kobani, Rojava. This year, the fire of Newroz burns brighter than before. Newroz, for us Kurdish people, has a different meaning. To us, it means light over darkness, freedom over oppression, peace over war.” She praised the Kurdish spirit of resistance in the face genocidal acts against the Kurdish people, such as at Halabja. Continue reading

PYD: We have a common responsibility to prevent another genocide

We received this appeal from the Democratic Union party (PYD) representation in Europe, which calls on the international community to support YPG, YPJ and other defence forces as they resist the latest ISIS onslaught in the Til Hemis and Til Birak regions of Syria. 

An appeal to the international community

We have a common responsibility to prevent another genocide

It started with Kobane and Sinjar, and now we are witnessing the same developments in Til Temir, Serê Kanî and Al Hasaka. Since February 22th, these areas have come under a brutal and barbaric assault by the Islamic State. Triggered by their setbacks in Kobane, Til Hemis and Til Birak, the terrorists have launched a major terrorist campaign. No one has been spared, including women, children and so-called ”apostates”. Once again we have witnessed the horrendous enslavement of women by the hands of the terrorists, beheadings of innocent civilians and the destruction of churches and mosques. The tragic fate of our 300 kidnapped Christian’s brothers and sisters is sadly still unknown. Continue reading

Event: Newroz and the Kurdish people’s struggle for liberation

Hosted by Mike Gapes MP

 With contributions from Akin Birdal, former MP and honorary president of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD); Akif Wan, KNK UK representative; Xusrew Zeki, KNK member; Ciwan Afrin, PYD UK representative; Dr Mohamed Kanyany, former MP, KRG; representative from UCFL, tbc*

An event celebrating Newroz and the spirit of resistance

Date/time: Tuesday 17 March, 6-8pm

Venue: Committee Room 9, Portcullis House, Westminster, SW1A 0AA Continue reading

CAMPACC reports on the first of their innovative workshops series on self-determination

CAMPACC has initiated a research and outreach project which aims to critically examine the contradictions between national struggles for self-determination and the global ‘counter -terror’ regime, which has begun with a series of workshops focusing on key case studies – the Kurdish question; the Tamil struggle and the Somali struggle. Below is the report from their first workshop, which includes videos of each of the presentations.

On the 21st February 2015 CAMPACC, in association with SOAS Kurdish Society, hosted the first workshop in a series on Self-determination against the global ‘counter-terror’ regime. This was on the Kurdish liberation struggle. Continue reading

NEWROZ RECEPTION IN GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY

THURSDAY 12TH MARCH, 6-8pm Committee Room 4, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA

Hosted by Roj Women’s Association & Kurdistan National Congress Osman Baydemir (former HDP-Mayor of Diyarbakir)

We invite you to attend a reception to celebrate Newroz, the Kurdish New Year festival. The reception will take place in Committee Room 4, City Hall-Greater London Authority on Thursday 12th March between 6.00pm and 8.00pm and will be hosted by Roj Women’s Association and Kurdish National Congress. Food and drinks will be provided and there will also be an opportunity to enjoy traditional Kurdish music and dance. Continue reading

Victory in Kobane: What next for the Rojava Revolution?

“ ‘The victory of capitalism is in its ability to capture the mind.’ Whereas a hundred years ago, if you were poor you would rebel; now if you are poor, you dream of winning the lottery.”

Quoting PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan at the most recent Peace in Kurdistan Campaign/Roj Women event at SOAS University, Havin Guneser of the International Initiative – Freedom for Ocalan Campaign gave a rich exploration of how one of the world’s most vibrant contemporary anti-capitalist rebellions led not only to victory in Kobane following a devastating 6-month siege by ISIS, but the development of a genuine social revolution. As Guneser explained, it was that social revolution, now embedded in the personal lives and working institutions of the people living in Rojava, that ultimately ensured that Kobane had the strength to fight off ISIS attacks. Continue reading

REPORT ON URGENT AND ESSENTIAL NEEDS IN KOBANÊ

A new board has been established to oversee the reconstruction of Kobane, which has been left devastated after 6 months of siege. Currently 25,000 people are living or have just moved back into Kobane and many more are waiting their chance to return home, but an absence of basic food and water supplies and the physical destruction of the city’s infrastructure makes the situation extremely precarious. In addition, ISIS left land mines and explosive materials behind as they fled Kobane and the surrounding villages, even placing them inside kitchens and bedrooms of abandoned homes.

The Kobane Reconstruction Board has written a report, available for download, which provides an overview of the damage and lists the urgent needs facing the region.

You can download the report here: Report on the urgent and essential needs in Kobane, February 2015

Now Is the time: Abdullah Ocalan Freedom March

On Friday 13th  and Saturday 14th February thousands of people gathered in Strasbourg to call for freedom for Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is entering his 17th year in prison on the island of Imrali. The events came after many days of walking as many hundreds of people trekked across Europe to Strasbourg in  a show of solidarity with the PKK leader.  The incredible results of the Free Ocalan Campaign, in which over 10 million people signed a petition calling for Ocalan’s release, were also handed in to officials at the Council of Europe.

Thank you to filmmakers System D for the video!

Continue reading

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