KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFNG, 23-29

August 2014

NEWS
1.Turkey shelters Yazidis running from ISIL
2. Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, to ‘succeed’ Erdogan
3. Kurdish language teachers in Turkey begin hunger strike
4. Turkey makes volte-face, moves to curb ISIL
5. Women to take to the streets against ISIS on September 1
6. Elderly Yezidis brutally massacred in the tomb
7. More Yezidis to be sheltered in Amed
8. Syria and Isis committing war crimes, says UN9. Aid tent for Yezidis and Turkmen set up in Ankara
10. Syria says ready to work with any state to fight ISIL
11. Kurdish Women Soldiers Take On ISIS Forces In Move To Humiliate Terrorists, Being Hailed As Heroes
12. Hundreds dead as ISIL seizes Syrian air base
13. IS jihadists advance threatens foreign investment in Iraqi Kurdistan
14. 11 die as suicide bomber targets Iraq Shiite worshippers 
15. Maliki: All Parties Should Join New Government
16. Lebanese Kurds Volunteering to Fight IS
17. Experts Pessimistic About Iraq Future

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
18. Rojava: A Beacon Of Hope Fighting Isis
19. The new PKK: unleashing a social revolution in Kurdistan
20. Freedom for Ocalan, political role for the PKK!
21. Analysis: Could support for the ‘other’ Kurds stall Islamic State?
22. The way to stop the Islamic State is a united, free Kurdistan – just what the US does not want
23. Iraq, Syria: US-caused ‘blowback’ as violence escalates; Kurds resist ISIS
24. The Kurdish Resistance and the Middle East
25. Understanding Davutoğlu
26. Iran’s Komala Party: Erbil and Tehran’s Interests are Never the Same

REPORTS
27. Gender and justice in an emerging nation: My impressions of Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan
28. Genocide against Ezidi Kurds

ACTIONS
29. Film Screening and Panel for Ezidi’s

NEWS

1.Turkey shelters Yazidis running from ISIL
24 August / Today’s Zaman
According to a report by the Cihan News Agency (CHA) on Sunday, some Yazidis have begun to cross the Hazil River in the Ilıcalar village of the Silopi district and enter Turkey through the villages of the Uludere district, also in the southeastern province of Şırnak.
ISIL has killed people in Syria using barbaric methods and after seizing the city of Mosul in Iraq it started to massacre civilians there, as well. The former al-Qaeda splinter group forced tens of thousands of people to flee to the Sinjar region where the Yazidi Kurds now live and hide in the surrounding mountains and many have taken refuge in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) before finding ways into Turkey.

2. Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, to ‘succeed’ Erdogan
27 August / The Guardian
Recep Tayyip Erdogan ignores the Turkish constitution to become a political president, which was formerly a ceremonial role.
Turkey’s ruling party confirmed the foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, will succeed Recep Tayyip Erdogan as premier and party leader, while both men vowed the handover would mean no change in strategy.
Erdogan, 60, is to be sworn in as president on Thursday and the approval of Davutoglu, 55, from the ruling justice and development party (AKP) was an important step in a tightly choreographed succession process.

3. Kurdish language teachers in Turkey begin hunger strike
27 August / eKurd
Over a dozen graduates from a Kurdish program here have begun a hunger strike to protest the lack of appointments for Kurdish language teachers.
Graduates of Artuklu University’s Kurdology Institute in Mardin province, southeastern Turkey, say the Turkish government has not followed through on its historic pledge to open up jobs for Kurdish language teachers.

4. Turkey makes volte-face, moves to curb ISIL
29 August / Presstv
Political observers say Turkey has realized the fallacy of its open-border policy which it put into practice in 2011 to let foreign militants into Syria to fight the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Diplomats and Turkish officials say thousands of fighters from Turkey, the United States, Britain and parts of Europe have joined the ISIL militants operating in eastern Syria and western Iraq.

5. Women to take to the streets against ISIS on September 1
27 August / ANF News
Women affiliated to DİSK, KESK, TMMOB and TTB staged sit-in at Istanbul’s Galatasary Square to protest the massacre and abduction of women by the so-called Islamic State gangs.
“Women want peace” read the banner held by demonstrators on behalf of whom KESK Istanbul Branch Spokesperson Fadime Kavak made a statement to the press.

6. Elderly Yezidis brutally massacred in the tomb
27 August / ANF News
HPG (People’s Defence Forces) and Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ) Command has released a statement about the clash and a mass murder committed by gangs in the village of Cudale on August 24.
The Command remarked that some aged men and women living in villages in the skirts of Mountain Sinjar – avoiding to mention their names for security reason- haven’t left their homes as they didn’t want to leave their lands in the face of brutal attacks by ISIS gangs.

7. More Yezidis to be sheltered in Amed
27 August / ANF News
Thousands of Yezidi Kurds have found refuge in North Kurdistan after fleeing the savagery of the so-called Islamic State gangs in Sinjar region of South Kurdistan since early August.
Thousands of them who managed to reach Turkish borders have been sheltered in Şırnak and Silopi area -with the support of DBP municipalities and local people- where the mass influx has however caused some difficulties in meeting the needs of all refugees such as a lack of shelter, humanitarian aid and medicine.

8. Syria and Isis committing war crimes, says UN
27 August / The Guardian
The Syrian government and Islamic State (Isis) insurgents are both committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, UN investigators have said.
Syrian government forces have dropped barrel bombs on civilian areas, including some believed to contain the chemical agent chlorine in eight incidents in April, and have committed other war crimes that should be prosecuted, they said in a 45-page report issued in Geneva on Wednesday.

9. Aid tent for Yezidis and Turkmen set up in Ankara
25 August / ANF News
The HDK (People’s Democratic Confederation) Ankara women’s assembly has set up a solidarity tent in order to assist Yezidi and Turkmen refugees.
The HDK Ankara women’s assembly has set up an aid tent in Konur street in order to act in solidarity with Yezidi and Turkmen refugees.
http://en.firatnews.com/news/news/aid-tent-for-yezidis-and-turkmen-set-up-in-ankara.htm

10. Syria says ready to work with any state to fight ISIL
25 August / Today’s Zaman
Syria said on Monday it would cooperate in any international efforts to fight Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in the country, after Washington signaled it was considering extending the battle against the group into Syrian territory.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, whose government has been shunned by the West, presented his country as a vital partner in the war against ISIL that has seized wide areas of Syria and Iraq.

11. Kurdish Women Soldiers Take On ISIS Forces In Move To Humiliate Terrorists, Being Hailed As Heroes
24 August / Inquisitr
There is a new weapon being used against the brutal ISIS forces terrorizing Iraq and Syria. Kurdish women are fighting the Islamic State terrorists and are demonstrating that they are formidable in battle. They also bear a significant psychological advantage – dying at the hand of a woman supposedly means the jihadist won’t get his automatic 70 virgins and go to heaven.

12. Hundreds dead as ISIL seizes Syrian air base
25 august / Today’s Zaman
Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stormed an air base in northeast Syria on Sunday, capturing it from government forces after days of fighting that cost more than 500 lives, a monitoring group said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 346 ISIL fighters were killed and more than 170 members of government forces had died since Tuesday in the fight over Tabqa base, making it one of the deadliest confrontations between the two groups since the start of Syria’s war.

13. IS jihadists advance threatens foreign investment in Iraqi Kurdistan
28 August / eKurd
The Islamic State organization (IS) is threatening Kurdish dreams of attracting more Arab and foreign investments to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. The extremist organization’s militants took over Kurdish areas south and west of the Kurdistan Region, whose security situation had been stable for years.

14. 11 die as suicide bomber targets Iraq Shiite worshippers
25 August / Middle East Eye
A major suicide attack at a mosque in east Baghdad on Monday comes as Iraqi Kurdish forces north of the city retook villages from Islamic State militants and held off two other assaults.
A suicide bomber attacked Shiite worshippers during prayers on Monday, killing 11 people and wounding 32, security and medical officials said.

15. Maliki: All Parties Should Join New Government
27 August / Rudaw
In his weekly televised address Iraq’s outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called the demands of some parties for joining a new government unconstitutional, but he said it was vital that all parties participated in the government.
“We have listened to all parties and received the demands of some,” said Maliki. “The demands of some of them are against the constitution while others are possible to meet.”

16. Lebanese Kurds Volunteering to Fight IS
27 August / Rudaw
Dozens of young Kurds from Lebanon are volunteering to join the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in their fight against the armies of the Islamic State (IS/formerly ISIS), said Muhammed Emerat, head of the largest Kurdish party in Lebanon.
“Despite differences in their political views, tens of young Kurds have decided to move to Kurdistan to defend against ISIS,” Emerat, who heads the National Loyalty Party, told the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

17. Experts Pessimistic About Iraq Future
27 August / Rudaw
It would be “disastrous for Iraq” and the world if the new Iraqi prime minister fails in his efforts to form a government, Dlawer Ala’Aldeen, head of Erbil’s Middle East Research Institute, warned at a debate in Washington.
Speaking at an event at the Wilson Center titled “Turkey, Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government,” he noted that the prime minister designate, Haidar Abadi, had until September 10 to announce a new government.

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

18. Rojava: A Beacon Of Hope Fighting Isis
25 August / Morning Star
Rojava should be trending on Twitter. Rojava should be on the lips of all of us, especially of those on the left. Rojava (or Syrian Kurdistan) is a sign of hope in a world which often seems rather dark. However, most of us haven’t even heard of Rojava.

19. The new PKK: unleashing a social revolution in Kurdistan
17 August / Roarmag
Excluded from negotiations and betrayed by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne after having been promised a state of their own by the World War I allies during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds are the largest stateless minority in the world. But today, apart from a stubborn Iran, increasingly few obstacles remain to de jure Kurdish independence in northern Iraq. Turkey and Israel have pledged support while Syria and Iraq’s hands are tied by the rapid advances of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS).

20. Freedom for Ocalan, political role for the PKK!
24 August / Kurdish Question
In order for real stability in Turkey…
In order to apply the rule of law…
In order to establish a proper democratic state…
The road to the realisation of all of these ambitions goes through the “Kurdish question”.
This was the case before, it is still the case now.

21. Analysis: Could support for the ‘other’ Kurds stall Islamic State?
25 August / BBC
The US and European countries have started arming and co-ordinating with the Kurds to fight the Islamic State (IS). But the Kurds are by no means a monolithic body, raising the question: are Western powers really helping the Kurds who can most effectively take on IS and rescue besieged civilians?

22. The way to stop the Islamic State is a united, free Kurdistan – just what the US does not want
17 August / Counterfire
The Kurdish struggle for national liberation is one of the longest in the Middle East. The 30 million Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state. At the end of First World War the major powers divided the Kurdish areas between four nations: Turkey, where most Kurds live, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

23. Iraq, Syria: US-caused ‘blowback’ as violence escalates; Kurds resist ISIS
24 August / Links
Since August 8, for the first time since officially ending its occupation at the end of 2011, the United States has been carrying out air strikes in Iraq.
The strikes were aimed at the extremely violent multinational terrorist group that was until recently known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but which renamed itself simply the “Islamic State” on June 29, to reflect that its ambitions are global. The group originally emerged in the aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

24. The Kurdish Resistance and the Middle East
25 August / Kurdish Question
ISIS’s surge that has enabled it to reach the outskirts of Baghdad in Iraq, continued in Syria and Rojava Kurdistan throughout the month of July. ISIS, on the one hand has been attacking Kobane to eliminate the Rojava Revolution, and on the other hand has been attacking the Syrian regime in Raqqa in order to broaden its territories. In this regard, ISIS’s Kobane attack was broken, however, by overrunning four brigades of the Syrian army ISIS was able to broaden its area of operations.

25. Understanding Davutoğlu
27 August / Dicle News
Ahmet Davutoğlu is the new Turkish Prime Minister. He is known for his Islamist tendencies and his enthusiasm for ‘neo-Ottomanism’, which he calls ‘strategic depth’. This image blurs the ‘essence’ behind the intellectual shallowness and conceals his real function.
With his new post the time has come to reveal this essence in a clearer way. This essence is significant, given that it also reflects the direction of the ‘leader’ and when this reality is grasped it is evident that Davutoğlu’s appointment is a conscious choice.

26. Iran’s Komala Party: Erbil and Tehran’s Interests are Never the Same
27 August / Rudaw
Rudaw: As an Iranian opposition group what do you think of Iran saying it would provide the Kurdistan Region with political and security assistance?
Raza Kaabi: I think from its establishment the Islamic Republic has played a very destructive role against Kurdish freedom movements. It has done its best to exploit every situation in the region to its interest, and I think Iran has played a destructive role among Kurdish political groups.

REPORTS

27. Gender and justice in an emerging nation: My impressions of Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan
11 February / Ceasefire
In December 2013, Kurdish rights and women’s rights advocate Margaret Owen travelled to Rojava, in Syrian Kurdistan, just three weeks before the region officially announced self-government. Here she reports on her experiences in the conflict-zone and the PYD’s principles of gender equality in action.

28. Genocide against Ezidi Kurds
24 August / KNK
In this dossier we wish to share with you important information about the ongoing war in
Syria and Iraq. As you will gather from this information there is a great war happening
in the Middle East and especially throughout Kurdistan. The report also shows that the
terrorists of ISIS are carrying out a whole scale massacre and an act of genocide against
the Kurdish people and other ethnic and religious groups (Shia, Christian, Ezidi (Yezidi)
etc.) in the region. Kurds are engaged in a legitimate war of self-defence to put an end
to this dirty war against humanity. They are fighting ISIS with limited arms and military
technology and only have their willpower and the support of the people. The tragedy is
that Kurds have been left alone in this war which threatens all of humanity. Despite this
the Kurds are resolute in resisting.

ACTIONS

29. Saturday 30 August
Film Screening and Panel for Ezidi’s
Venue: SOAS Main Building, Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), Thornhaugh Street, Russel Square, WC1H OXG, London
Time: The event will be held between 1:00pm and 6:00pm

For the last two weeks, the world has been watching the great tragedy, exodus and displacement of the Yazidi people unfold. Members of this ancient faith are now faced with annihilation as a result of brutal attacks of the Islamic State that is wreaking havoc on their ancient homeland. Hundreds of thousands of people,young, old, women and disabled have been displaced, kidnapped, killed. Many more, have died from hunger and thirst in these vicious attacks staged by IS. The scale of the tragedy that is still unfolding is still unknown and it seems like these tragedies in the Middle East will be on going for the unforeseeable future.
Programme:
1) 13:00-An exhibition of drawings by the German Illustrator Olivier Kugler, which depicts the social life of displaced people in Domiz Camp in Dohuk city, Kurdistan.
2) 14:00- The screening of “Lalish Mihrani” by director Aso Haji, a documentary portraying the life of Yazidi people and the spiritual journey of their belief system.
*15 Minutes Break.
3) 15:15- A short screening of news coverages in the region.
4) 15:30- Panel: “Yazidis; Past, Present & Future”. Who are the Yazidi People? What took place? Why Yazidi people have been targeted? and the future of Yazidi people in the Middle East?

Panellists:
Moderator : Guney Yildiz (Journalist- BBC News)
Panellist 1 : Professor Christine Allison (Exeter University)
Panellist 2 : Yilmaz Gunay (Secretary of Federation of Yazidis Associations in Germany)
Panellist 3 : Eyup Burc (IMC TV Co-ordinator)
Panellist 4 : Aris Roussinos (Freelance Journalist-Vice News)

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