Kurdish News Weekly Briefing, 11 – 17 January 2013

NEWS
1. Turkey hits PKK in Iraq as bodies of slain Kurds arrive
2. CPT in Imralı
3. VIDEO: Farewell Ceremony to 3 Slain Kurdish Women
4. Remzi Kartal: Kurds Suspicious About Turkish Statements over Paris Killings
5. Jailed Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan ‘condemns’ Paris slayings
6. Jailed Kurdish rebel chief demands Paris murders solved soon
7. Kurdish rebel group sees nationalist hand in Paris killings
8. Kurdish activists killed in Paris were shot in head as mystery of executions grows
9. 100s of Kurdish women in Turkey protest killings in Paris
10. Photos: Europe’s Kurds march in their thousands in Paris
11. Mass protests in London condemning assassination of Kurdish activists in Paris
12. European Parliament remembered Sakine, Fidan and Leyla
13. London protest at assassination of Kurds in Paris

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
14. How Turkey Can Make Peace With the Kurds
15. Murder in Paris
16. Turkey and the PKK: The Kurdish women who take up arms
17. Theories and Motives Abound in the Killing of 3 Kurds in Paris
18. Killers must not spark war

STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS
19. Join the Friends of Adem Uzun!
20. KNK and Peace in Kurdistan Press Statement: This brutal execution of Kurdish women activists is a cynical attempt to derail the peace process that won’t succeed
21. KNK UK Open letter: Call for a thorough investigation into the apparent assassination of three Kurdish politicians in exile in Paris
22. Women Assembly of Peace and Democracy Party: Statement to International Public Opinion
23. IWA condemns the murder of 3 Kurdish women activists in Paris; calls for swift delivery of justice for the victims.

REPORTS
24. Carnegie Paper: Press Freedom in Turkey

NEWS

1. Turkey hits PKK in Iraq as bodies of slain Kurds arrive
17 January 2013 / Daily Star
Turkish jets have pounded Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq in the fiercest aerial campaign in years, military sources said Wednesday, the same day the bodies of three female Kurdish activists who were killed in Paris were due home. Sixteen F-16 fighter jets took off from their base in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, a Kurdish minority stronghold, around 10 p.m. (2000 GMT) Tuesday and bombed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases in the Qandil mountains, 90 kilometers from the border, a military source said.

2. CPT in Imralı
17 January 2013 / ANF
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture delegation has arrived on Imralı island today. The Committee will examine the prison conditions of leader Abdullah Öcalan. The Committee’s visit had been announced after Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Ahmet Türk and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Batman MP Ayla Akat have visited Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in Imralı prison on 3 January.  Lawyers for the Kurdish leader have been denied once again permission to visit their client, who has not seen them since 27 July 2011.

3. VIDEO: Farewell Ceremony to 3 Slain Kurdish Wome
17 January 2013 / Bianet
Hundreds of thousands people gathered in Diyarbakir early to this morning to say a last goodbye to Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez, 3 Kurdish politicians who were cold-bloodedly killed in Paris on January 9. The ceremony promptly started at 10am in the morning, when the bodies of 3 slain Kurdish women were checked out from a private hospital in downtown Diyarbakir to be escorted to the ceremony in Batikent Square. One the steps of the hospital, dozens of demonstrators formed a crowded from the early hours of the cold morning and held banners saying “We are all Sakine”, “We are all Fidan” and “We are all Leyla”.

4. Remzi Kartal: Kurds Suspicious About Turkish Statements over Paris Killings
14 January 2013 / Rudaw
Exiled Kurdish leader Remzi Kartal, a former MP who continues to play an active role in Kurdish politics, says that the Kurds have doubts about the Turkish government’s sincerity in peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers Party, since Turkish officials blamed the assassination of three Kurdish women on an internal PKK feud. Kartal, who is currently the leader of the People’s Congress of Kurdistan (Kongra-Gel), was an active politician in Turkey until he fled the country in 1994 after several of his colleagues were arrested and imprisoned by the Turkish authorities.

5. Jailed Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan ‘condemns’ Paris slayings
15 January 2013 / eKurd
The jailed leader of Turkey’s Kurd rebels, Abdullah Ocalan, condemned on Monday the killing of three Kurdish women activists in Paris, one of them a longtime comrade, the Anatolia news agency reported, quoting his brother. “It was a very sad get-together,” Mehmet Ocalan told reporters after a visit to the prison island of Imrali near Istanbul, where his brother, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been kept for 14 years. “He is very saddened by the massacre in France and condemns it,” he added, referring to the killing of the three activists on Thursday in an attack dubbed an “internal feud” by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The killings came days after Turkish media reported that Turkey and Ocalan had reached a roadmap to end the Kurds’ three-decade insurgency.

6. Jailed Kurdish rebel chief demands Paris murders solved soon
15 January 2013 / Reuters
Jailed Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan called on French police to solve the murders of three Kurdish activists quickly, his brother said, but he gave no indication their killing would disrupt nascent peace talks between him and Turkish officials. The three Kurdish women, one a co-founder of Ocalan’s Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, were found dead in Paris on Thursday in execution-style killings regarded by many as an attempt to sabotage the fledgling peace moves.

7. Kurdish rebel group sees nationalist hand in Paris killings
11 January 2013 / Reuters
Kurdish rebels suggested on Friday that clandestine Turkish nationalists may have assassinated three Kurdish activists in Paris, but Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the killings appeared to have been the result of an internal feud. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) said the execution-style killings of the three women in an institute in central Paris had been premeditated and planned and warned France would be held responsible if it failed to get to the bottom of their deaths.

8. Kurdish activists killed in Paris were shot in head as mystery of executions grows
11 January 2013 / Independent
Three Kurdish activists assassinated in Paris were each shot several times in the head, it has emerged. The three women – including a founder member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish separatist movement – were wearing outdoor coats as if they had just returned to their office or were about to leave. French investigators have not excluded the possibility that their killer, or killers, arrived in the company of one or more of the victims at a Kurdish “information office” near the Gare du Nord. This would reinforce the theory – advanced once again by the Turkish government – that the attack was motivated by faction-fighting within the PKK. […]

9. 100s of Kurdish women in Turkey protest killings in Paris
15 January 2013 / Press TV
Hundreds of women have held a demonstration in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir to protest against the recent killings of three female Kurdish activists in Paris. On Monday, the protesters gathered in the center of the city to demand justice for three activists who were shot dead in the French capital on January 10. The demonstrators later marched toward a nearby post office to post their protest letters to the French Embassy in Ankara. The body of Sakine Cansiz, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was found at the Kurdish Information Center in Paris with multiple bullet wounds to the head. The dead bodies of two other female Kurdish activists, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez, were also lying beside her.

10. Photos: Europe’s Kurds march in their thousands in Paris
17 January 2013 / Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Photos courtesy of David Brunetti.

11. Mass protests in London condemning assassination of Kurdish activists in Paris
14 January 2013 / TamilNet
Thousands of Kurds from across the UK took to the streets in London on Sunday condemning the recent assassination of three Kurdish women activists in Paris. Demanding a proper inquiry and immediate justice for the brutal murders of Sakine Cansiz, co-founder of the PKK, and activists Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez, the protestors raised slogans of ‘”Turkey is a terrorist state” and “We want freedom”. Kurdish sources told TamilNet that the assassination was an attempt to sabotage the Kurds desire for peaceful negotiations and France should act soon, lest it portrays itself complicit by inaction. Large protests were also held in France and Germany on Saturday […]

12. European Parliament remembered Sakine, Fidan and Leyla
15 January 2013 / ANF
Three Kurdish politicians Sakine Cansiz, a co-founder of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), Fidan Doğan, representative of the KNK (Kurdistan National Congress) in Paris and Leyla Şaylemez who were found shot dead in the Kurdistan Information Office on 10 January were remembered at the meeting of the European Parliament (EP) whose January sessions started in Strasbourg on Monday.  The family of Fidan Doğan and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) European Representative Faik Yağızay were also invited to the EP meeting which begun with one minute’s silence for the three women. Group member MPs also conveyed their condolences and messages of solidarity to the families of the three Kurdish politicians.

13. London protest at assassination of Kurds in Paris
12 January 2013 / Socialist Worker
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Turkish Embassy in central London yesterday, Friday, to protest at the killing of three Kurdish activists in Paris. Workers, students and campaigners united to demand justice. Among the banners were flags from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). PKK co-founder Sakine Cansiz, Kurdistan National Congress Paris representative Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez were murdered in an armed attack on the Kurdistan Information Bureau in Paris. […]

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

14. How Turkey Can Make Peace With the Kurds
15 January 2013 / The New York Times
THE assassination of three Kurdish activists in Paris last week has raised fears that the true target was peace talks between Turkey and the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the P.K.K. But the so-called peace process was already in shambles before the killings, which have not been solved.  Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claims that he wants a deal to end nearly 30 years of war between the state and the P.K.K. rebels. But he has yet to take the decisive action needed for a credible peace process. Until he understands that the Kurdish problem in Turkey is about politics and identity, and not just about getting the guerrillas to withdraw from Turkey and give up their weapons, there will be no hope for peace.

15. Murder in Paris
11 January 2013 / IHT Global Opinion
It is easy to be cynical about the Turkish government’s stated intention to bring about a settlement to the country’s vexing Kurdish problem. Yet someone took very seriously the authorities’ recently announced decision to negotiate with Abdullah Ocalan, the founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.), on his island prison not far from Istanbul. In what appears to be an effort to sabotage those talks, someone just shot and killed one of Ocalan’s original comrade-in-arms, along with two other women in the Kurdish Information Center in Paris, around the corner from the Gare du Nord.

16. Turkey and the PKK: The Kurdish women who take up arms
15 January 2013 / BBC News
The execution-style killing of three women in Paris last week threw a spotlight on the murky struggle between Turkey and its Kurdish rebels. But how did women from such a conservative society rise to prominence in a paramilitary organisation? Among the three women killed was Sakine Cansiz. Photographs soon circulated showing her in khaki military uniform, standing alongside the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan. She was one of the most visible symbols of women within the military and political ranks of the Kurdish movement.  The PKK, which Turkey, the EU and the US list as a terrorist organisation for its attacks on Turkish security forces and civilians, is a highly capable force.

17. Theories and Motives Abound in the Killing of 3 Kurds in Paris
11 January 2013 / New York Times
With her signature long hennaed hair, fiery resolve and olive-green military fatigues, Sakine Cansiz was a feminist, guerrilla fighter and former political prisoner as adept at wielding a machine gun as organizing political protests from a jail cell. One day after she and two other Kurdish activists were killed in the heart of Paris, speculation abounded regarding Ms. Cansiz, 55, and whether she had been the main target.  One of her brothers, Metin Cansiz, and activists interviewed Friday said her main role in recent years was to raise money and provide political support for the separatist group she helped found, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K. Ms. Cansiz may also still have been involved in providing arms for the rebels.

18. Killers must not spark war
13 January 2013 / Morning Star Letters
The murder of three Kurdish women activists in Paris (M Star January 11) is truly shocking.  The only conclusion that can be drawn at this stage is that this was a political act by someone to derail the efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey.  That the perpetrators could be linked to interests within the Turkish establishment or within the banned Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) does not make the murders any less outrageous. It is clear that a military struggle cannot achieve a separate Kurdish state and that a solution will require democratic means. This was the conclusion of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the PKK.

STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS

19. Join the Friends of Adem Uzun!
17 January 2013
A new initiative by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) UK unites members of parliament, lawyers, journalists, political commentators and activists in a common cause, to demonstrate support for detained Kurdish politician Adem Uzun and demand his release from prison. Click on the link to find out how to join.

20. KNK and Peace in Kurdistan Press Statement: This brutal execution of Kurdish women activists is a cynical attempt to derail the peace process that won’t succeed, 10 January 2013

21. KNK UK Open letter: Call for a thorough investigation into the apparent assassination of three Kurdish politicians in exile in Paris, 12 January 2013.

22. Women Assembly of Peace and Democracy Party: Statement to International Public Opinion, 13 January 2013.

23. IWA condemns the murder of 3 Kurdish women activists in Paris; calls for swift delivery of justice for the victims, 11 January 2013.

REPORTS

24. Carnegie Paper: Press Freedom in Turkey, January 2013.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: