Kurdish News Weekly Briefing, 25 January – 2 February 2012

NEWS

1. Country with the most Convictions: Turkey
2. BDP took Roboski massacre to International Criminal Court
3. VIDEO: BDP Chair Selahattin Demirtas, Public Meeting in London – Reversing the spiral of repression in Turkey: the Kurdish view
4. 2011 BİA MEDIA MONITORING REPORT: 104 Journalists and 30
5. Roboski massacre: who gave the order to fire?
6. “So-called Journalists are Police Murderers and Molesters”
7. Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Birand writes against worsening condition of freedom of expression in Turkey
8. Roj TV vs Eutelsat: Decision expected on 10 February
9. Multimedia: The PKK: ‘Rebels’ or ‘terrorists’?
10. Kurds Sue Turkish Government over Massacre of Their Compatriots
11. University Students Sentenced to 13 Years in Jail
12. Turkish Prime Minister defends talks with Kurdish ‘representatives’
13. Turkey’s new war strategy
14. Türk: Kurdish issue will be solved with negotiation and dialogue
15. Truth commission for disappeared rejected by AKP
16. TIHV submit report to Parliament on murders by unknown
17. Minister of Education declares adjunct high school teachers in the East as PKK propagandists
18. Law Proposal against “Unjustified Arrest”
19. Turkey is turning into an open prison
20. Hrant Dink’s voice
21. Gulf States and Turkey Hold Meeting in Istanbul to Continue Conspiring against Syria
22. Death Sentences Upheld for Two Kurdish Political Prisoners
23. UK: #TwitterKurds Organize First Social Media Gathering in London
24. Multimedia: Conference in Hamburg – SPOT
25. Kongra-gel call for long march

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

26. Do Turkish authorities seek a civil war with Kurdish people?
27. Republic of Kurdistan: political and historical dissertation
28. In the past Turkey was a gendarmerie state: Now it is a police state
29. Tiger Turkey at the crossroads
30. Taner Akcam: Genocide Recognition is about Justice, Not Freedom of Thought
31. Fascinating Year for Kurdistan Region
32. Turkey and Syria: A breakup bound to happen

PRESS RELEASES AND STATEMENTS

33. Press release by KHRAG: Closure of Roj TV an attack on fundamental freedoms
34. Press release by Doga Dernegi:
Villagers protest at Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace draws attention to impending loss of World Heritage in their hometown

NEWS

1. Country with the most Convictions: Turkey
27 January 2012 / Bianet

The European Court of Human Rights held its annual press conference on Thursday 26 January 2012. On this occasion, Sir Nicolas Bratza, the President of the Court, presented a summary of the Court’s activities and its statistics for 2011. He said that the European governments must assume their part of the shared responsibility for the protection of human rights across the continent.
http://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/135752-country-with-the-most-convictions-turkey

2. BDP took Roboski massacre to International Criminal Court
27 January 2012 / ANF

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has taken the case of Roboski massacre to the International Criminal Court.  BDP Commission of Law completed the file on the slaughter of 34 civilians by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) which bombed around Ortasu (Roboski) village in the Uludere district of Şırnak on December 28, 2011. In the application, which includes photographs and reports on the event, the BDP requested an investigation into the massacre by ICC prosecutors.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4001

3. VIDEO: BDP Chair Selahattin Demirtas, Public Meeting in London – Reversing the spiral of repression in Turkey: the Kurdish view

Selahattin Demirtas, Public Meeting in London with English translation from Saman Gareeb on Vimeo.

4. 2011 BİA MEDIA MONITORING REPORT: 104 Journalists and 30 Distributors in Prison
31 January 2012 / Bianet

104 journalists and 30 distributors/media workers were imprisoned until the end of 2011. Journalists took the street to struggle for the release of their colleagues who were jailed in 2011and pursued the fight for legal remedies and the right to a fair trial at court. In 2010, 30 journalists were imprisoned. 2011 was the year of mass arrests of journalists with an approach that eliminated the principle of legality regarding the handling of crimes. The right to a fair trial was ignored. In the scope of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK) and the Anti-Terror Law (TMK) every journalist who was facing an investigation encountered a concept that replaced the term “legal” by “political” by alleging “connections to an illegal organization”, may that be “armed” or “un-armed”.
http://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/135831-104-journalists-and-30-distributors-in-prison

5. Roboski massacre: who gave the order to fire?
2 February 2012 / ANF

Report by Milliyet Daily claimed that the Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV-Heron) footages had been watched “minute by minute” by six bases before the bombardment in the village of Roboski where 34 civilians were killed on 28 December 2011. The report with the title “Intelligence came from UAV, the fire order from Ankara” said that the order to open fire on villagers had been given by the government in Ankara.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4046


6. “So-called Journalists are Police Murderers and Molesters”
27 January 2012 / Bianet

“A campaign against Turkey is being run by police murderers, sexual molesters and supporters of a coup by calling them journalists,” said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about imprisoned journalists during his speech given on the occasion of 25th establishment anniversary of Zaman newspaper on 25 January.
http://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/135748-so-called-journalists-are-police-murderers-and-molesters

7. Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Birand writes against worsening condition of freedom of expression in Turkey
1 February 2012 / GIT North America

During his speech for the 25th anniversary of the daily newspaper Zaman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrated the constitutional freedom that has become established in the past 9 years of his government. He praised the freedom of expression in Turkey while claiming that the journalists currently under arrest were being held for having committed ordinary crimes such as coup mongering, sexual harassment, and killing police officers.
http://gitamerica.blogspot.com/2012/02/turkish-journalist-mehmet-ali-birand.html

8. Roj TV vs Eutelsat: Decision expected on 10 February
2 February 2012 / ANF

Following the suspension of Roj TV broadcasts by French satellite company Eutelsat on 22 January, the trial of Roj TV’s appeal to Paris Administrative Court for the reversal of Eutelsat’s decision has been held in Paris today. The court decision on the appeal will be announced on 10 February.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4045

9. Multimedia: The PKK: ‘Rebels’ or ‘terrorists’?
30 January 2012 / Al Jazeera

When the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacked and killed 24 Turkish soldiers in October 2011, the violence made headlines around the world. But it also highlighted the very different approach the Turkish media takes when it comes to covering highly politicised stories. The administration of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, is often cited as proof that an Islamic government can exist within a democratic framework. Yet, when it comes to freedom of the press, the Erdogan government has a lamentable reputation – and it is growing worse.
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2012/01/2012125135143141623.html

10. Kurds Sue Turkish Government over Massacre of Their Compatriots
2 February 2012 / Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

The American Kurdish Information Network and their colleagues have initiated a criminal complaint against the Turkish government and members of the Turkish military forces for inciting, encouraging and directly perpetrating mass murder against Kurdish civilians on the night of 28 December 2011.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/kurds-sue-turkish-government-over-massacre-of-their-compatriots-2/

11. University Students Sentenced to 13 Years in Jail
2 February 2012 / Bianet

University students in Malatya (south-eastern Turkey) were sentenced to up to 13 years in jail because they were found guilty of “membership in an illegal organization” and “spreading propaganda for an illegal organization”. The charges stemmed from their attending demonstrations on 1 May and 8 March, the International Women’s Day, purchasing tickets for a concert of the Turkish band Grup Yorum and attending a press release related to the opening of mass graves.
http://bianet.org/english/youth/135880-university-students-sentenced-to-13-years-in-jail

12. Turkish Prime Minister defends talks with Kurdish ‘representatives’
1 February 2012 / Hurriyet

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday he stood behind the idea of negotiations with “political representatives” of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), but vowed that military measures against the group would not be let up.  “I’ve said that we will fight the terrorist organization and negotiate with its political representatives. I stand by these words. But they should carefully keep to this framework,” Erdoğan told the parliamentary group of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-prime-minister-defends-talks-with-kurdish-representatives.aspx?pageID=238&nID=12727&NewsCatID=338

13. Turkey’s new war strategy
28 January 2012 / Kurdish Globe

Dark clouds continue on the Kurdish issue in the eyes of Turkish PM Erdogan.  In a recent statement, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “In the near future, very different strategies and methods will be put into practice.” Erdogan presented a two-pronged plan in the offing. “We will fight terrorism to the very end,” he declared, “but we will also negotiate with those who want a political solution.” Old war strategy that has been implemented by the previous Turkish governments dealt with the Kurdish issue only as a separatist terror, not taking into account the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or its fellow travelers under any circumstances. But, according to Turkey’s new strategy, the war against PKK will continue with the latest military technology and negotiations will continue with the Kurdish political parties.
http://www.kurdishglobe.net/display-article.html?id=A8281BB801678476514F92646F4AD2FA

14. Türk: Kurdish issue will be solved with negotiation and dialogue
29 January 2012 / ANF

Speaking at the Democratic Society Congress’ (DTK) Ordinary General Meeting Co-Chair Ahmet Türk underlined the need for a solution of the Kurdish issue based on negotiation and dialogue.

”The AKP [Justice and Development Party] government and the prime minister – said the DTK co-chair – have a negationist approach to the Kurdish issue. It is not possible for the PM to solve the Kurdish issue by alienating himself from the people and their democratic demands”.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4016

15. Truth commission for disappeared rejected by AKP
1 February 2012 / ANF

BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) proposal for an inquiry committee to investigate unidentified murders was rejected by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey plenary session on Tuesday. The ruling AK (Justice and Development) Party deputies voted ‘no’ whereas opposition CHP (People’s Republican Party) Istanbul MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu voted in favour of the establishment of such a commission.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4035

16. TIHV submit report to Parliament on murders by unknown
27 January 2012 / ANF

Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) Executive Board member Coşkun Üsterci has presented a report on murders by unknown people to the Subcommittee of Human Rights of Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM). The report states between 1990 and 2011 there have been 1901 murders by unknown people certified but warned a realistic estimate would be six to seven thousand. Üsterci underlined that human rights violations increased between 1990 and 1994.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4000

17. Minister of Education declares adjunct high school teachers in the East as PKK propagandists
2 February 2012 / GIT North America

On January 28, Minister of Education Omer Dincer spoke to the TV news-commentary show called Media Club and commented on adjunct school teachers awaiting full-time hire in the Eastern and Southeastern regions of Turkey. Rather than hiring full-time teachers, the Ministry has been criticized to chose cheaper labor and hire adjunct teachers and make them work without insurance. Following a controversy over the problems in the hiring process, and the complaints that only adjunct teachers were being sent to the Kurdish and Eastern provinces, the Minister sought to defend the discrepant hiring system by blaming the teachers instead.
http://gitamerica.blogspot.com/2012/02/minister-of-education-declares-adjunct.html

18. Law Proposal against “Unjustified Arrest”
1 February 2012 / Bianet

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP for Ağrı Halil Aksoy stated that long detention periods have turned into punishment and proposed to apply judicial control instead. Furthermore, Aksoy demanded to remove the catalogue crime regulation that “does not seek a separate justification for detention”. Aksoy submitted a law proposal and put forward that the application of Article 100/paragraph 3 of the Criminal Procedure Law (CMK) on “catalogue crimes” was problematic.
http://www.bianet.org/english/human-rights/135854-law-proposal-against-unjustified-arrest

19. Turkey is turning into an open prison
28 January 2012 / ANF news

AKP prison record, nine years on: 127 thousand 831 prisoners in 2011. While the AKP government is jailing all opponent sectors of society and Kurds in particular, Turkey has almost been turned into an open prison within the process of the AKP government in the last ten years. The number of prisoners and detained people, which was 59 thousand 428 in 2002, the year when AKP first came to the power, this number increased by 114 percent in nine years and rose to 127 thousand 831 in the year of 2011. 


http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4004

20. Hrant Dink’s voice
27 January 2012 / The New Yorker

Last week, tens of thousands of people marched from Istanbul’s Taksim Square to the offices of the Armenian weekly Agos to commemorate the death of its founding editor, Hrant Dink, and to protest a long-awaited verdict against Dink’s murderers, which had been delivered a few days earlier. At the doors of those offices, five years ago, on January 19, 2007, a teen-ager posing as an Ankara University student angling for an interview shot Dink at close range as he was returning to work. Dink, a Turkish citizen of Armenian heritage, was outspoken about Armenian issues; he was prosecuted three times for violating Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which makes it a crime to insult Turkishness, the Turkish nation, or Turkish institutions.
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/01/hrant-dinks-voice.html#ixzz1kt3dHVtU

21. Gulf States and Turkey Hold Meeting in Istanbul to Continue Conspiring against Syria
29 January 2012 / Sana

Days after intelligence reports revealed that intelligence crews from some Gulf states, Turkey, the US, France and Israel have been supervising camps for gathering, recruiting and training mercenaries and terrorists inside the Turkish territories, Turkey and Gulf states on Saturday held a meeting in Istanbul to discuss activities of their terrorist groups operating in Syria.
http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/01/29/397165.htm

22. Death Sentences Upheld for Two Kurdish Political Prisoners
27 January 2012 / International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

The Iranian Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences of two Kurdish political prisoners, local sources told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Prison authorities from Rajaee Shahr Prison allegedly told Zanyar Moradi and Loghman Moradi that their death sentences were upheld. On 22 December 2010, Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced the two Kurdish prisoners to a public hanging on the charges of “moharebeh” (enmity with God) and “murder of the son of Marivan’s Friday Imam.”
http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2012/01/kurdistan-loghman/

23. UK: #TwitterKurds Organize First Social Media Gathering in London
29 January 2012 / Global Voices

A group of Kurdish Internet activists that have been organizing around the #TwitterKurds hashtag on Twitter have come together for the first Kurdish Social Media Gathering earlier this month in London. The event, which was followed through the #KSMG (Kurdish Social Media Gathering) tag, was live streamed and joined in via Skype and YouTube by those who could not be there physically, although there were participants who had traveled from as far as Australia to participate. It was held on January 21, 2012.
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/01/29/united-kingdom-twitterkurds-organize-first-social-media-gathering-in-london/

24. Multimedia: Conference in Hamburg – SPOT
25 January 2012 / ANF

Challenging Capitalist Modernity – Alternative Concepts and the Kurdish Quest” is the title of the three-days conference which will take place at the university of Hamburg on 3, 4, 5 February.
Three days in which discuss theoretical and practical efforts for an alternative way of life. This conference will provide an opportunity to catch up with the transformation of the Kurdish society and movement as well the alternatives they propose.
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=3981

25. Kongra-gel call for long march
29 January 2012 / ANF

In a statement about the “Freedom for Öcalan, status for the Kurdish people long march” which will take Kurds in Europe from Geneve to Strasbourg to ask for their rights and freedom for Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, Kongra Gel president Remzi Kartal called on all Kurdish people, intellectuals and institutions to join this long march and give support in all areas for the freedom of Kurdish people and their leader.

Pointing out to the total war the AKP government conducts against the Kurdish people and their Liberation Movement owing to the external support from the U.S. and NATO, Kartal underlined that; “The current phase when our struggle also requires a solution is a final process for all sides.”
http://en.firatnews.eu/index.php?rupel=article&nuceID=4019

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

26. Do Turkish authorities seek a civil war with Kurdish people?
14 January 2012 / European Left

The Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Erdogan, launched a huge and systematic operation of arrests and repression against Kurdish people, in 17 cities including Istanbul, Diyarbakir and even in the city of Van, which has to be rebuilt because of a big earthquake. This operation was particularly targeted against people who were refusing a military conflict and call for a peaceful solution.  How could the head of the Turkish government pretend to be fighting against terrorism when he is increasing tensions and violence in its own country?
http://www.european-left.org/english/home/news_archive/news_archive/zurueck/news-archive/artikel/do-turkish-authorities-seek-a-civil-war-with-kurdish-people-pierre-laurent-elpcf/

27. Republic of Kurdistan: political and historical dissertation
23 January 2012 /Kurdistan Tribune

by Mahmod Mala Ezat:
The establishment of the Kurdistan Republic is the most significant historical event in the history of Kurdistan and is so important because of the experience of the Kurdish nation having its own rule. The importance of such a kind of study lies in giving an ample lesson to the Kurdish movement today and for their struggle in the future. This historical event is the second chance the Kurdish people have had in the 20th century; this complicated and vague chance brought the Republic to life. In this way the Kurds could achieve their nationalistic ambition as well as it providing a promising outlook for the future.
http://kurdistantribune.com/2012/republic-of-kurdistan-political-historical-dissertation-by-mahmod-mala-ezat/

28. In the past Turkey was a gendarmerie state: Now it is a police state
27 January 2012 / Kurdistan Tribune
While most of the world is busy focusing on the Arab Spring, a possible war on Iran, the US and Europeans debts, world financial markets, and the price of oil, Turkey and Gulenists’ police are busy jailing all the Kurdish intellectuals, journalists, elected leaders, students, and writers. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is strongly backed by the Gulenists, and their media is conducting a dirty campaign against the Kurdish political party, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), with a clear motive. It is part of the strategy of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Gulenists against the Kurds’ only representative party, the BDP, with its 36 democratically elected MPs.
http://www.kurdishaspect.com/doc012712AM.html

29. Tiger Turkey at the crossroads
28 January 2012 / Independent

In the tea houses of Istanbul the mood is generally optimistic as customers listen to the news of the European economic crisis. “Turkey doesn’t need Europe,” says one tea drinker. “Look at Greece – it was inside the European Union and they’re going bankrupt.” Osman, a middle-aged estate agent, adds that “when you compare Turkey today with Turkey 20 years ago, everything has got better.” Not everybody in the tea house is quite so positive. Its manager says: “I think the economy is going well for those with money. But talk to somebody on the minimum wage and see how they feel.” There is some Schadenfreude over the problems facing the EU, given that it has so far rejected Turkey as a member. But one customer, looking up from his card game, says “I have just been to Germany and it is still better abroad.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/tiger-turkey-at-the-crossroads-6295939.html

30. Taner Akcam: Genocide Recognition is about Justice, Not Freedom of Thought
2 February 2012 / Armenian Weekly

“Turkey’s hysteria, and anger, and temper tantrums will pass and some of the negative developments that have occurred will be quickly forgotten. What will remain is the heavy reality of a very serious unresolved problem. Such an outcome will, I expect, support the position of those intellectuals who assert that confronting and remembering history is strongly connected to the creation of a democratic society” says Prof. Taner Akcam, the Robert Aram, Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marion Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University, an interview with Le Monde on January 7. Read the rest of the interview on the Armenian Weekly.
http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/01/25/akcam-genocide-recognition-is-about-justice-not-freedom-of-thought/

31. Fascinating Year for Kurdistan Region
28 January 2012 / Rudaw

After months of waiting, we look to be in the final stages of government reshuffle.  Around the world that is a time when the political system takes a deep breath, scans the horizon and looks at what needs doing.  The arrival of a new set of ministers in Iraqi Kurdistan gives civil servants the opportunity to come up with some new plans, changes of direction, new initiatives.  New ministers will want to set out their new messages; a clear sense of strategic direction.
http://www.rudaw.net/english/science/columnists/4365.html

32. Turkey and Syria: A breakup bound to happen
15 January 2912 / Jadaliyya

The sultans must be green with envy. At no time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire have Turks held such sway over the Middle East. In the context of Arab uprisings, Turkey has been able to solid position it has been carefully trying to establish for the past decade. So far, Turkey appears to have made all the right choices. Now, it is navigating everyday turns in the Arab uprisings with a dexterity that is only more salient when juxtaposed with the failed, often barbaric attempts by the region’s bumbling dictators to quash revolts, which never fail to pop back up.
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/4046/turkey-and-syria_a-breakup-bound-to-happen

PRESS RELEASES AND STATEMENTS

33. Press release by KHRAG: Closure of Roj TV an attack on fundamental freedoms, Friday 26 January 2012
http://wp.me/p1UMS4-fM

34. Press release by Doga Dernegi: Villagers protest at Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace draws attention to impending loss of World Heritage in their hometown, Friday 26 January 2012
http://wp.me/p1UMS4-fR

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