Kurdish News – Weekly Briefing 10-15 December 2011

NEWS

1.Journalists behind bars top 179, says CPJ
2.Roj TV campaign on social networks
3. Kurdish prisoners forced to say Turkish national anthem
4. Over thousand people turned themselves in to protest KCK arrests
5.
Demirtaş: We hope defense in mother tongue will be allowed in court
6.Solidarity with Özgür Gündem on Human Rights Day
7.TAYAD: Turkish Armed Forces lying about chemical weapons
8.Thousands of Arrests, Dozens of Deaths in Prisons
9. Turkish premier’s chief adviser views ruling party’s stance on Kurdish problem

10.Lawyers call for abolition of special courts
11.Defence written in Kurdish accepted

12.Torture still a daily issue in Turkish prisons
13. Syria The National Coordination Body produces draft proposals for a Syrian General Congress
14.Warning Signs for Kurds in Post-Assad Syria

COMMENT AND ANALYSIS

 1. Second statement by the International Intitiative – On the mass arrest of lawyers and Ocalan’s isolation
2.
Turkey cracks down on the ‘parallel’ Kurdish administration
3.Turkey: the ‘progressive’ land of repression
4.PKK Official Discusses Negotiations with Turkey
5.Druze Leader: Islamist Power in Middle East ‘Doesn’t Scare Us
6. Turkey, Cyprus and Kurds

NEWS

 1.Journalists behind bars top 179, says CPJ
11 December 2011 ANF news desk
The number of journalists imprisoned worldwide shot up more than 20 percent to its highest level since the mid-1990s, an increase driven largely by widespread jailings across the Middle East and North Africa, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found. In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, CPJ identified 179 writers, editors, and photojournalists behind bars on December 1, an increase of 34 over its 2010 tally.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=3694

2.Roj TV campaign on social networks
11 December 2011, ANF news desk
Kurdish and social media networks have launched a support campaign for Roj TV which is under trial in Denmark and face closure. Roj TV case is expected to end on 14 December. Referring to farcical allegations about Roj Tv, profile photos on Twitter and Facebook will be put upside down within the scope of the campaign. The message is “give a upside down look at an upside down case”.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=3696

3. Kurdish prisoners forced to say Turkish national anthem
by Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar, Kurdish Rights
A new report released by IHD Adana branch highlights the Human rights violations of Kurdish activists in prison. The report concludes the following;
http://kurdishrights.org/2011/12/11/kurdish-prisoners-forced-to-say-turkish-national-anthem/

4. Over thousand people turned themselves in to protest KCK arrests
15 December 2011 / ANF

At least 1220 people have turned themselves in in the last one month within the scope of the “I turn myself in” campaign launched on 16 November as a protest action by Kurdish organizations against “KCK” arrests evaluated as a “political blast”. “We are members of the KCK, we want to be tried too” said demonstrators in their petitions against KCK operations which have been conducted regularly since 2009 and targeted all voices in solidarity with Kurds.
http://www.firatnews.org/english/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=3720

5. Demirtaş: We hope defense in mother tongue will be allowed in court
12 December 2011, ANF news desk
The 29th hearing of the trial against 152 Kurdish politicians and human rights activists has opened in Diyarbakır. The trial was adjourned last week.
Speaking before the KCK trial, BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said that “As is known, there has been a deadlock at trials since the court refused defendants’ self-defense in mother tongue. And lawyers have decided to not to attend trials. However, some of these problems have been settled now and lawyers will attend trials. We hope that the trial will progress and the right for self-defense in mother-tongue will be recognized this time.”
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=3700

6. Solidarity with Özgür Gündem on Human Rights Day
12 December 2011, ANF news desk
About 50 journalists and intellectuals came together to show support to the Kurdish daily. Many different actions took place on 10 December to mark International Human Rights day. In Taksim square, in Istanbul the action was dedicated to freedom of the press. About 50 journalists and intellectuals came together to support the Özgür Gündem (‘Free Agenda’) newspaper. The protestors sold copies of the Özgür Güdem newspaper to people on the street. They demanded to give an end to an oppressive mindset carried out against all sorts of freedom of opinion and expression. They announced that they would always resist against this attitude.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=3697


7.TAYAD: Turkish Armed Forces lying about chemical weapons
12 December 2011, ANF news desk
Prisoners’ Families association reminds army used chemical weapons before
The Prisoners’ Families Solidarity Association (TAYAD) made a press statement on the savagery in Kazan Valley where 36 HPG (People’s Defense Forces) were killed by chemical weapons in a despicable fight on 22-24 October 2011.
TAYAD commented Turkish General Staff’s words “We didn’t use chemicals” as a “great lie” in the face of strong evidences of witnesses and researches confirming the use of chemical weapons in the area.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=3701

8.Thousands of Arrests, Dozens of Deaths in Prisons
13 December 2011 Ankara – BİA News Center
Ayça SÖYLEMEZ – The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) and the Human Rights Association (İHD) issued a joint press statement on the occasion of the Human Rights Week from 10 to 17 December. Both human rights organizations drew attention to mass arrests in Turkey in 2011.
http://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/134714-thousands-of-arrests-dozens-of-deaths-in-prisons

9. Turkish premier’s chief adviser views ruling party’s stance on Kurdish problem
Text of report by Turkish newspaper Star website on 3 October

[Interview with Yalcin Akdogan by Fadime Ozkan; “They Cannot Force the PKK Demands as Resolution”] Asst Prof Yalcin Akdogan, deputy of Ankara and adviser to the chairman of the AKP [Justice and Development Party]: Terror undermines solution processes and slows down democratic development. It is despite the terror that the reforms were realized till today. The BDP [Peace and Democracy Party] should give up the politics on behalf of the organization and as their spare.
http://www.mesop.de/2011/12/15/turkish-premiers-chief-adviser-views-ruling-partys-stance-on-kurdish-problem-text-of-report-by-turkish-newspaper-star-website-on-3-october-interview-with-yalcin-akdogan-by-fadime-ozkan-date-a/

10. Lawyers call for abolition of special courts
13 December 2011 D.F. – ANF / IZMIR
The Contemporary Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) İzmir Branch has announced a campaign launched across the country for the abolition of ‘Special Authorized Courts’. In a press statement of Association member lawyers in front of İzmir Court, ÇHD İzmir Branch Board Member Nergiz Tuba Aslan pointed out that the ‘terror special trial’ in Turkey was increasing more and more day by day.

11.Defence written in Kurdish accepted
13 December 2011 ANF/Diyarbakir
The trial of seven members of Democratic Solution and Peace Group was held at Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court yesterday. The group of 34 members, included four children, came to Turkey from Kandil and Maxmur on 19 October 2009 upon the call of PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan.  The trial was adjourned to 17 January 2012.

12.Torture still a daily issue in Turkish prisons
13 December 2011 D.F. – ANF / news desk
In a statement made on behalf of all PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan) prisoners in Turkey, Deniz Kaya explained the violations of right Kurdish prisoners are subject to in prisons. 8,000 PKK and PJAK prisoners have been on an alternate indefinite hunger strike since 1 December in protest against the current prison conditions, the isolation AKP government exposes on PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan and increasing KCK arrests.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=3705

13. Syria The National Coordination Body produces draft proposals for a Syrian General Congress
7 December
/ www.supportkurds.org
National Coordination Body for Democratic Change has produced a draft document of proposals for the creation of the Syrian General Congress.  The NCB delegation is currently in Cairo working with the Arab League to unify the ranks of the Syrian opposition.
http://supportkurds.org/news/national-coordination-body-produces-draft-proposals-for-a-syrian-general-congress/

14.Warning Signs for Kurds in Post-Assad Syria
15 December 2011/ Rudaw
Since the start of the Syrian revolution, Kurds have not hesitated to join the movements against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The Kurdish struggle against the Baath party and Assad’s regime did not begin recently, however, but in the early sixties. The Kurds struggled relentlessly against the Arabist ideology which always marginalized the Kurds and denied their rights in the Syrian Arab Republic.
http://www.rudaw.net/english/news/syria/4228.html

COMMENT AND ANALYSIS

1. Second statement by the International Intitiative – On the mass arrest of lawyers and Ocalan’s isolation
http://www.freedom-for-ocalan.com/english/aktuell/press/pr_20111206.htm

2.Turkey cracks down on the ‘parallel’ Kurdish administration
13 December 2011, Guardian Weekly,  Guillaume Perrier
Thousands of officials, political militants, academics and NGO workers have been rounded up and many end up in prison
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/13/turkey-crackdown-on-kurdish-organisations?newsfeed=true

3.Turkey: the ‘progressive’ land of repression
11 December 2011, The Guardian, Ayça Çubukçu
Turkey claims to be a successful democracy, but for thousands of political protesters, it is anything but.
There is a growing disjuncture between those who promote modern-day Turkey as a democracy and those who experience Turkey as a land of arbitrary detentions, political repression and military destruction.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/dec/11/turkey-progressive-repression

4.PKK Official Discusses Negotiations with Turkey
14 December 2011 / RUDAW SPECIAL
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) official Muzaffer Ayata spent 20 years in prison in Turkey and a year and a half in Germany for his ties to the militant group in an interview with Rudaw, Ayata discussed negotiations between the PKK and Turkey in Iraqi Kurdistan and Norway.
http://www.rudaw.net/english/interview/4226.html

5.Druze Leader: Islamist Power in Middle East ‘Doesn’t Scare Us
12 December 2011 RUDAW SPECIAL 
ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan–Walid Jumblatt, the political leader of Lebanon’s Druze community, was the first Lebanese politician to visit the Kurdistan Region of Iraq when he met with Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani  in Erbil last week. Jumblatt maintains his ancestors were Kurdish and moved to Lebanon from Turkey’s Kurdish region, but that he now considers himself a Lebanese Arab.
Jumblatt visited the leaders of Kurdistan’s Yazidi community. Yazidi is a secretive, pre-Islamic faith that is believed to share some ancestry with the Druze.
Rudaw met with Jumblatt in Erbil and conducted this interview.
http://www.rudaw.net/english/news/syria/4219.html

6. Turkey, Cyprus and Kurds – Letter – Both countries the Rep. of Turkey and Rep. of Cyprus, are in need of a constitutional overhaul of their 1982 and 1960 charters, with the main issue being how to address the rights of their double-digit ethnic minorities. Turkey links the two issues. In one case using force to suppress the minority, in the other to secure for it apartheid like rights.
Any discussion about the rights of 16-18 million ethnic Kurds of Turkey that does not entail the level of rights Turkey supports for less than 100.000 Turkish Cypriots in EU Cyprus is lacking in effectiveness. Feel free to contact me to know how I answer the above questions. K. Kyriakides, 13 December 2011
http://antifon.blogspot.com