Kurdish News Weekly Briefing, 26 October – 1 November 2013

NEWS
1. KCK: Three conditions to move process forward
2. As Election Cycle Nears, Turkey’s Kurds Warn of Peace Talk Risks
3. Thirteen PKK prisoners on hunger strike
4. Ethnicity, sexual orientation excluded in hate crime draft presented to Turkish Cabinet
5. New hearing of journalists trial
6. Facebook Censures BDP Again
7. City of Selmas under siege
8. Al-Qaeda recruits entering Syria from Turkey safehouses
9. Syria Kurdish Leader: Solution Must Include Assad
10. Kurds rout Syrian militants on Iraq border
11. Kurdish militants tighten grip on Syria’s northeast
12. Assad: Foreign powers must end rebel support
13. Rebels conduct new chemical weapons attack in Syria near Turkish border – report
14. Iraqi Kurdistan plans second oil pipeline via Turkey
15. Kurdish Leaders and Academics Propose New Model for Middle East in Washington

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
16. Fixing a broken Turkish democracy
17. Turkey Must Refocus On Kurdish Peace Process
18. From HDP convention: We are the remedy
19. New Kurdish Party Could Impact Local Turkish Elections
20. The International Media Turns the Spotlight on Turkey
21. Turkish Kurds hope for linguistic freedom
22. Fragile Peace Holds on a Syrian Island
23. The Kurds Get a Second Chance in Syria
24. Five Reasons US Should Change Policies Toward Syria’s Kurds
25. The Road to Geneva 2 and the Challenges to a Negotiated Political Solution in Syria
26. Geneva II Talks: Are Kurds the Solution to the Syrian Puzzle?
27. Meet the Kurdish Female Freedom Fighters of Syria
28. ‘Geneva II is last opportunity to oust Assad’
29. As Syria disintegrates, so too does Iraq
30. Iraqi Kurdistan: State-in-the-making?
31. WADI’s ground-breaking campaign against FGM: interview
32. EU Proposal to Monitor “Intolerant” Citizens
33. Double standards on tolerance promoted in European Parliament

REPORTS
24. Conference Report: The Current State Regarding The Turkish-Kurdish Peace Process

NEWS

1. KCK: Three conditions to move process forward
29 October 2013 / ANF
Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council co-president Cemil Bayık has put forward three conditions in order for the continuation of the democratic resolution process in search of a peaceful question to the Kurdish question; improvement of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan’s situation, a change in legal arrangements and the participation of a third party in the negotiations. Speaking to journalist Faruk Balıkçı, Bayık remarked that the democratic resolution process was initiated by Öcalan and advanced by the unilateral steps of the Kurdish side. Bayık pointed out that the AKP government has on the other hand taken no steps intended for a solution and wanted to break the will of the Kurdish people by following policies deepening the war in the country.

2. As Election Cycle Nears, Turkey’s Kurds Warn of Peace Talk Risks
25 October 2013 / Wall Street Journal
Turkey’s much-vaunted Kurdish peace process has had a tough few months. Beset by mounting risks, both sides have accused one another of failing to honor pledges as they come under increasing pressure from their constituencies to take a tougher stance. On Friday, Turkey’s Kurdish leaders flagged what promises to be yet another risk to the peace process: an election cycle that tends to see Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan turn into a nationalist hawk to boost his party’s support at the ballot box.

3. Thirteen PKK prisoners on hunger strike
29 October 2013 / ANF
Thirteen PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) prisoners have started indefinite and irreversible hunger strike in Van F Type prison. After 18 PKK inmates in Bingöl M Type Closed Prison escaped from the jail on 25 September, 17 were arrested in an expansive military operation while the whereabouts of the other one still remains unknown. 13 of the fugitives were transferred to Van F Type prison where they have reportedly been subjected to arbitrary practices and orders during and after their transfer to Van F Type prison. Speaking about the protest of the fugitive prisoners, TUYAD-DER (Association of Solidarity with Prisoners’ Relatives) Van Branch Chair Ahmet Aygün said that the fugitives were placed in cells away from those of political prisoners.

4. Ethnicity, sexual orientation excluded in hate crime draft presented to Turkish Cabinet
27 October 2013 / Hurriyet
A draft presented to the Cabinet concerning hate crimes does not include provisions for those targeted because of their sexual orientation or ethnic identity. The draft, which designates “hate and prejudice” as an aggravation cause for crimes, was presented as one of the reforms that government vowed to implement as part of its “democracy package.” However, hate and prejudice crimes are defined in the draft as “crimes committed based on someone’s or some group’s language, race, nationality, skin color, gender, disability, political views, philosophical beliefs or religion,” excluding those based on ethnicity and sexual orientation, different to many European countries.

5. New hearing of journalists trial
28 October 2013 / ANF
The seventh hearing of the so-called “KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Press Committee case” has resumed at Istanbul 15th High Criminal Court on Monday. 46 Kurdish press workers, 20 of whom are in prison, are tried in the KCK press case.  Speaking during the hearing, DIHA former reporter Ülkem Evrim Kepenek said that it was the journalism profession that was being tried in the KCK press case, and called on the court to either recognize or prohibit the freedom of press rather than trying journalists performing their works.

6. Facebook Censures BDP Again
29 October 2013 / Bianet
Facebook closed down the page of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) General Headquarters. 5 days ago, the social network also closed down the page of BDP Istanbul Administration. “Facebook’s censure policy on our party is similar to the oppression policies in the political field,” BDP said in a statement.  Facebook reportedly reasoned the closure with the word “Kurdistan” in the page content. BDP officials then said they spoke with Facebook Europe Director Richard Allan who said that the close was due to several factors. They added that Facebook is to return to their inquiries in 24-36 hours.  BDP’s statement continued as follows: “Facebook, as it appeared on the media, allowed video and image content where heads were chopped, saying that such content could not be banned for condemning purposes. They chose to allow this content and left a black stain in the history of social media.”

7. City of Selmas under siege
28 October 2013 / ANF
Iranian police and soldiers have surrounded the city of Selmas and forbidden entry to area following the execution of the Kurdish political activist İlham Mamed yesterday, October 26th. The execution came on the same day that the Iranian regime executed another Kurdish prisoner, Habibullah Gulperipur, in Urmiye prison. The city is in lock-down owing to regime fears of a public backlash following the execution. İlham Mamedi was born in Selmas, in the province of Western Azerbaijan, in 1978. The city is home to a mix of Kurds, Azeris, Assyrians, Armenians, and Persians, and the city has played an important role in the history of Eastern Kurdistan. Mamedi was known to have been from a family that was active in the Kurdish movement. Before his arrested he had worked in border trade, and had been married with two children. However his family was killed in a fire that broke out because of a tear-gas bomb in 2006.

8. Al-Qaeda recruits entering Syria from Turkey safehouses
30 October 2013 / Daily Telegraph
Hundreds of al-Qaeda recruits are being kept in safe houses in southern Turkey, before being smuggled over the border to wage “jihad” in Syria, The Daily Telegraph has learned.  The network of hideouts is enabling a steady flow of foreign fighters – including Britons – to join the country’s civil war, according to some of the volunteers involved. These foreign jihadists have now largely eclipsed the “moderate” wing of the rebel Free Syrian Army, which is supported by the West. Al-Qaeda’s ability to use Turkish territory will raise questions about the role the Nato member is playing in Syria’s civil war.

9. Syria Kurdish Leader: Solution Must Include Assad
26 October 2013 / Al Monitor
Salih Muslim, co-chairman of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said a solution in Syria without President Bashar al-Assad is not easy. “A solution without Assad means the death of 2 million Alawites,” he said. Muslim, who gave an exclusive interview in Rojava to Hilmi Hacioglu of the popular Turkish TV news program The 32nd Day, said his party wanted to participate in the Geneva meeting not as part of the Syrian National Coalition but as an independent Kurdish movement. Yet, some countries, including Turkey, were trying to block this. Muslim said a solution without Assad would have been possible two years ago, but it was now impossible. “All Alawites now support Assad. Insisting on a solution without Assad means the death of 2 million Alawites in the country,” he added.

10. Kurds rout Syrian militants on Iraq border
27 October 2013 / The Nation
Fierce clashes raged Saturday after Syrian Kurds seized from militants a crossing on the Iraqi border, a key supply route for weapons and fighters in the 31-month war, activists said. Meanwhile, UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was in Iran as he presses efforts to build a consensus for a Geneva conference aimed at ending the conflict.
Fighters from both sides were killed in the border clashes, which came a day after Syria’s regime and its opponents traded blame for a car bomb attack on a mosque that left dozens dead. The Kurds “took control of the Al-Yaarubia border crossing with Iraq at dawn after clashes with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the Al-Nusra Front and other rebels,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, citing activists.

11. Kurdish militants tighten grip on Syria’s northeast
27 October 2013 / Reuters
Kurdish militants sought to consolidate their control of an oil-producing region in northeastern Syria on Sunday after seizing a border crossing with Iraq from Islamist rebels, activists said. Fighters linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought in neighbouring Turkey for decades, were clearing pockets of resistance of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, al-Nusra Front, and Ahrar al-Sham in the border town of Yarubiya, Syrian opposition sources said. “The Kurds are now in control of the Yarubiya border post. They now have a clear route to market the region’s oil, which should belong to all Syrians. Thousands of Arabs have fled,” said Yasser Farhan, a member of the opposition Syrian National Coalition.

12. Assad: Foreign powers must end rebel support
31 October 2013 / Al Jazeera
The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has said he is open to peace talks but insisted that they would not go ahead unless foreign nations stopped supporting rebel fighters. The comments came during a meeting on Wednesday with peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus. “The Syrian people are the only ones who have the right to decide on Syria’s future, and any solution or agreement must have the acceptance of the Syrian people, and reflect their desires,” Assad told Brahimi. The meeting came as part of a regional tour aimed at  garnering support for a US-Russian peace initiative for Syria planned next month in Geneva. Assad also warned there must not be “any foreign intervention” in seeking a solution to Syria’s civil war, in which an estimated 115,000 people have died  in 31 months. “Putting an end to support for the terrorists and pressuring the states that support them is the most important step to prepare… for dialogue,” Assad said.

13. Rebels conduct new chemical weapons attack in Syria near Turkish border – report
29 October 2013 / RT
The rebels used chemical weapons in north-eastern Syria near the border with Turkey on Tuesday, a Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen reported. The toxic shell exploded near a Kurdish defense forces’ checkpoint close to the border with Turkey in the city of Ras al-Ayn al-Hasakah.  The attack was reported by Kurdish defense forces who are conducting military operations against the rebels in the region.  They are quoted as saying they saw toxic yellow smoke that followed the shell explosion, while some of them had symptoms of severe chemical intoxication accompanied by nausea.  The reported chemical attack comes amid the second day of fierce fighting in the town.

14. Iraqi Kurdistan plans second oil pipeline via Turkey
31 October 2013 / eKurd
Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region plans to build a second new oil export pipeline to Turkey within the next two years as it ramps up output independently of Baghdad, Kurdistan’s natural resources minister said on Thursday. Speaking at an energy conference in Istanbul, Ashti Hawrami, a member of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), outlined an ambitious oil export growth strategy for the autonomous region, whose growing independence has angered Baghdad. Construction of the first pipeline to Turkey is complete, and it is being tested in preparation for the start of commercial shipments in the first quarter of 2014, officials said. Kurdistan will track the volumes of its sharply rising crude oil exports on the pipeline, independently of the central government,www.Ekurd.net Hawrami told the conference, adding that the region ultimately aimed to produce 3 million barrels per day of oil for export.

15. Kurdish Leaders and Academics Propose New Model for Middle East in Washington
29 October 2013 / Rojava Report
In a historic conference entitled “The Kurdish Role in the New Middle East,”  which took place yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C, prominent Kurdish leaders and academics joined with American politicians and regional experts to discuss the future of the Middle East and the changing place of Kurds in the region.  The conference consisted of four separate panels, each of which addressed a different topic. Salih Muslim, who was scheduled to attend the conference in person but was unable to for reasons that were unclear, reaffirmed his desire to establish relations with the United States and to cooperate in the building of a democratic Syria. When a representative of the KRG, Karwan Zebari, was asked about Muslim’s absence at the conference and the role that the KRG had played in the matter, he said he had no information and declined to comment.

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

16. Fixing a broken Turkish democracy
30 October 2013 / Open Democracy
September 30, 2013 was a historic milestone in Turkey’s political life and that of its so-called ‘youthful’ democracy. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a democracy package including some reforms regarding the rights of different groups within society. This declaration was broadcast live by several television stations, a kind of habit in Turkey, whenever the Prime Minister declares anything much at all. However, this time, Erdoğan’s message was really important. Some deputies in the Peace and Democracy Party (the pro-Kurdish Party in Turkey) even went to Qandil Mountain to watch the declaration being made alongside PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) leaders.

17. Turkey Must Refocus On Kurdish Peace Process
24 October 2013 / Al Monitor

For years, at every national and international platform, I have stressed that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey wants a solution to the Kurdish issue, especially when I was addressing Kurdish audiences who didn’t want to believe me. Mind you, I was never sure that the AKP government had fully understood the Kurdish issue and that it would come up with an appropriate solution. Nevertheless, I kept supporting any step that would bring Turkey nearer to a solution, and I will not stop doing so. This should not stop us from seeing the gaps in the solution process that arise from the government’s lack of grasping the core of the Kurdish issue, or perhaps its unwillingness to understand it. Such gaps could in time widen and derail the solution process.

18. From HDP convention: We are the remedy
29 October 2013 / Hurriyet
At the Ahmet Taner Kışlalı Sports Hall, where their convention was held in Ankara, with banners on all sides of the stands the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) described itself with these adjectives:  Democratic, populist, liberal, colorful, youngest, pro-autonomy, peaceful, ecologist, egalitarian, laborer, LGBTI and a female party… As the idea matured, the HDP generated several debates. From the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and even to the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). This is also related to its formula. What kind of a formula is this?

19. New Kurdish Party Could Impact Local Turkish Elections
31 October 2013 / Al Monitor
At a party convention in Ankara on Oct. 27, participants shouted intriguing chants. One of them — “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance” — was the hallmark slogan of the protests that broke out in Istanbul on May 30 over the cutting of trees at Gezi Park and then spread nationwide. Do the chants, shouted at the convention of the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), indicate that a party is emerging to fill Turkey’s “democratic opposition” vacuum, which the Gezi protests themselves had underscored? A party that has allocated a 10% quota for LGBT individuals and a 50% quota for women, could the HDP have a say in Turkey’s future? To find the answers, let’s first see how the HDP was born.

20. The International Media Turns the Spotlight on Turkey
31 October 2013 / IFJ
After seven years behind bars, Turkish journalist Füsun Erdoğan was still not released when she appeared in an Istanbul court on Wednesday. However, international and Turkish media are now really turning the spotlight on the case of the dozens of imprisoned Turkish journalists. Pressure, from the IFJ/EFJ and others, is growing against the regime’s treatment of journalists – including on the square in front of Europe’s largest courthouse.  Twenty-five relatives, friends, and human rights activists form a wall in front of the courthouse. They are carrying signs and wearing vests emblazoned with the words ‘Waiting for Justice’. The peaceful – and completely silent – demonstration is filmed by the BBC, Dutch television and a number of Turkish media. The message of the human wall is clear: the fifty imprisoned Turkish journalists must be released.

21. Turkish Kurds hope for linguistic freedom
26 October 2013 / Deutsche Welle
“Roj bas” means “Good day” in Kurdish. The greeting marks the start of a language lesson at the premises of the Kurdi-Der association in Diyarbakir, a city with a large population of ethnic Kurds. The participants seated at the desks are all Kurdish, aged between 24 and 30. One of them is Derya Can, a student of medicine, who is doing an internship at a local hospital. “Working there I noticed how limited my knowledge of Kurdish was,” said Can, adding that this made communication with patients more difficult and created larger problems in the patient-care system. “This is why I decided to learn Kurdish really well and become a doctor who can communicate properly with her patients.”

22. Fragile Peace Holds on a Syrian Island
31 October 2013 / IPS
“The whole region is under control but be careful in the city centre,” says a Kurdish militiaman at the eastern gate of Qamishli, 600 km northeast of capital Damascus, confirming rumours about breaches in Syria’s relatively stable northeast. Sandwiched between Turkey and Syria, this city of 200,000 is known for its large Christian processions at Easter, held almost simultaneously with the mass celebration of Newroz, the Kurdish and Persian new year. Qamishli is not only a melting pot of Assyrians, Armenians, Kurds and Arabs but also the place where the Syrian Kurd uprising had its origins. It was March 2004 when rioting after a football match in Qamishli led to days of dissident protests in the Kurdish regions, as well as in Damascus and other cities with a significant Kurdish population.

23. The Kurds Get a Second Chance in Syria
30 October 2013 / Bloomberg
More than 200,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees have moved into Iraqi Kurdistan. They have crossed an international border to be sure, yet it is, in the Kurdish world view, a passage from one part of their homeland to another. The Kurds disregard these frontiers, imposed on the Fertile Crescent almost a century ago by Anglo-French power. No Kurd is lamenting the erosion of the borders in this tangled geography. The partition of the successor states of the Ottoman Empire brought the Kurds grief and dispossession. The Persians, Turks and Arabs secured their own states. Indeed, the Arabs were bequeathed several states in the geography of “Turkish Arabia” that runs from the Iraqi border with Iran to the Mediterranean.

24. Five Reasons US Should Change Policies Toward Syria’s Kurds
31 October 2013 / Al Monitor
Syria’s most influential Kurdish group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has been running a belt of mainly Kurdish settlements along the Turkish border since July 2012, has been knocking on Washington’s door for some time, but it remains firmly shut. The situation was driven home on Oct. 28 when Kurds from across the globe gathered for a groundbreaking conference called “The Kurdish Role in the New Middle East” held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Organized by Turkey’s largest pro-Kurdish party, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the event offered Washington pundits and policy makers a rare chance to take part in a conversation about the world’s largest ethnic minority, which despite not having a state of its own, has become a key player in the Middle East.

25. The Road to Geneva 2 and the Challenges to a Negotiated Political Solution in Syria
28 October 2013 / Institute for National Security Studies
The Syrian conflict has long since descended into a protracted and bloody civil war, with the regime and the diverse groups that comprise the opposition locked in a painful stalemate, unable to tip the military balance of power in anyone’s favor. The Geneva 2 negotiations, reportedly scheduled to take place in late November 2013, should be seen in light of this reality, underscoring the importance of ending the conflict through a political deal. Indeed, the notion of renewing the efforts launched in Geneva in June 2012 has gained additional traction in the weeks following the US-Russia entente on Syria’s chemical weapons, with the UN Security Council endorsing the implementation of the June 2012 plan in Resolution 2128 on Syria’s chemical arsenal. But even with these renewed international efforts, the challenges ahead are monumental.

26. Geneva II Talks: Are Kurds the Solution to the Syrian Puzzle?
25 October 2013 / International Business Times
While the world holds its breath awaiting the Geneva II peace talks, scheduled for 23 November, analysts are beginning to wonder whether a minor player may shed new light on the Syrian puzzle. Together with the Syrian opposition, Syrian Kurds are preparing themselves to take to the negotiating table. While their hope is to gain recognition of the historical northern Kurdish region of Rojava, deeper regional and international interests may currently be at stake. A tangled web of divisions and mistrusts is preventing both Kurds and international actors from considering the potential of their participation. Should they overcome these suspicions, however, the international community may dispose of a key piece in the Syrian puzzle.

27. Meet the Kurdish Female Freedom Fighters of Syria
29 October 2013 / Vice
Avesta, a female sniper, sits smoking a cigarette in Ras al-Ayn, Syria. A cross hangs from black string around her neck. Other women, clutching Kalashnikov assault rifles, smoke Gauloises cigarettes and sip coffee, sitting beside a car camouflaged by a thick layer of dried mud. “If I see a commander, I will shoot him,” says the 27-year-old sniper, Avesta, her long brown hair coming down to her shoulders. “Otherwise, I pick whoever is closest to me.” Avesta and her companions are fighters with the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia defending Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province. For much of the past year, the YPG’s fighters have battled al-Qaeda-linked militants—notably the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra (JN)—and Free Syrian Army militants for control of the oil-producing province.

28. ‘Geneva II is last opportunity to oust Assad’
30 October 2013 / Deutsche Welle
Gebrail Kourie is the President of the Assyrian Democratic Organization.
DW: Can you describe the Assyrian Democratic Organization and how it works?
Gebrail Kourie: The Assyrian Democratic Organization is a national, political and democratic movement which was founded in 1957 in Qamishli (around 700 kilometers northeast of Damascus – the ed.) and we’ve been working underground ever since. We are the first political organization of the Assyrian people in Syria and we have branches in the US, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey. The Assyrians are the living descendants of the people and the civilization of Mesopotamia, Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Chaldean, Assyrian, Aramean, Syriac…Our people has been known in Mesopotamia throughout history under all these denominations.

29. As Syria disintegrates, so too does Iraq
28 October 2013 / Independent
The civil war in Syria is reigniting the sectarian civil war in Iraq. A vast area of eastern Syrian and  western Iraq is turning into a zone of war. Well-armed and well-organised al-Qa’ida-linked movements are launching attacks with  suicide bombers from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Tigris River. They may also be over-playing their hand and risk  provoking a counter-reaction by all those with a reason to fear al-Qa’ida and its fanatical  Sunni fundamentalism. No doubt groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) are growing stronger by the day. Its advance in Syria has been well publicised and has done enough to frighten the US and its allies into doubting how far they want to see President Bashar al-Assad replaced by Sunni fanatics.

30. Iraqi Kurdistan: State-in-the-making?
28 October 2013 / BBC News
Wherever you are in the world it takes nerve to invest in the amusement park industry – roller coasters can go down as well as up.  But the Chavy Land Park in the Iraqi-Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah offers a particularly challenging balance of risk and reward. On the one hand there isn’t much competition for the leisure dollar in the Iraqi tourism industry – not yet at least. On the other, the violence and chaos of the last few decades is still a painfully recent memory.  You get an echo of that in the recorded announcement at the gate which reminds you that you’re not allowed to bring weapons into the park. But Chavy Land is an impressive achievement.  The neon lights of an imposing Ferris Wheel and an eye-wateringly high roller coaster gleam against the inky night sky like precious stones on a jeweller’s cushion.

31. WADI’s ground-breaking campaign against FGM: interview
27 October 2013 / Hivos
Falah Moradhkin is WADI’s project coordinator in Iraq. He was one of the few who survived a poison gas attack by Saddam Hussein in Halabja, Iraqi Kurdistan, in 1988. Now part of WADI, a German-Iraqi NGO working in the region since 1993, he fights against other such crimes against humanity. His colleague Suad Abdul Rahman leads the women’s programme, with which Hivos has worked closely for years. Since WADI helped open the first women’s safe house in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1999, its local staff have focused on empowering and assisting women and invested much time and effort in the fight against female circumcision (also referred to as female genital mutilation, or FGM). This was no easy task, according to Falah: “Even my friends and acquaintances zapped away when I was on television. They found it embarrassing to hear me – a man – discuss such an intimate subject as FGM!” Initially, WADI emphasised the medical angle of the story by having doctors talk about the health risks of FGM.

32. EU Proposal to Monitor “Intolerant” Citizens
28 October 2013 / Gatestone Institute
While European leaders are busy expressing public indignation over reports of American espionage operations in the European Union, the European Parliament is quietly considering a proposal that calls for the direct surveillance of any EU citizen suspected of being “intolerant.” Critics say the measure — which seeks to force the national governments of all 28 EU member states to establish “special administrative units” to monitor any individual or group expressing views that the self-appointed guardians of European multiculturalism deem to be “intolerant” — represents an unparalleled threat to free speech in a Europe where citizens are already regularly punished for expressing the “wrong” opinions, especially about Islam.

33. Double standards on tolerance promoted in European Parliament
20 September 2013 / European Dignity Watch
A proposed Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance was presented to members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on the 17th of September. It called for direct surveillance of supposedly intolerant behavior of individual citizens and groups by Governmental bodies. Put forward by an NGO, the ideas contained in the policy proposal would not only create double standards on the issue of tolerance but would severely limit freedom of speech and expression. It is part of a broader trend of such ideas becoming official EU policy. A prominent 45-minute slot was given to the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), to present their policy proposal at a recent meeting of LIBE this week.

REPORTS

24. Conference Report: The Current State Regarding The Turkish-Kurdish Peace Process, by Professor Michael Gunter. 31 October 2013.
On 28 October 2013, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Representative Office in the United States, organized a one-day conference on “The Kurdish Role in the New Middle East” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The primary concern of this conference was to analyze the current state of the foundering Turkish-Kurdish peace process. This brief report will detail some of the most important points made at this conference.

 

 

 

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