KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 1 – 11 November 2014

NEWS
1. Message from the resistance: we will fight to the end
2. HDP Urfa Deputy: Ortakaya was blatantly executed
3. Turkish soldiers have become border executioners
4. The Kurdish-Turkish peace process: Have the meetings between Abdullah Ocalan and the Turkish authorities come to a standstill?
5. ‘HDK will enter a new period with the congress’
6. A Revolution Of Life – Interview With Saleh Muslim
7. YPG/YPJ Commander: Initiative with the YPG in Kobanê
8. Peshmerga commander in Kobanê thanks YPG
9. ‘Since 15 September 3,000 gang members killed’
10. 100 settlements liberated from ISIS in Serêkaniyê
11. “Let’s change the genocide history of Êzîdîs”
12. ‘ISIS Sees Turkey as Its Ally’: Former Islamic State Member Reveals Turkish Army Cooperation
13. ‘Islamic State and Turkey cooperate to destroy the Kurds’: Former IS member reveals Turkish army cooperation
14. Turkey treads thin line with Kurds over Kobane
15. Turkey’s Kurdish peace process at a turning point: International Crisis Group
16. Turkey’s challenged ‘Kurdish solution’ roadmap
17. “Kurdish women defending the honour of the world’s women”
18. Humiliation replaces fear for the women kidnapped by Isis
19. Released schoolboys reveal torture, fear and anxiety in IS captivity in Syria
20. Artists: Kobanê is the scream of revolt
21. France remains silent about Paris killings
22. Solidarity delegation to North Kurdistan

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
23. Oil politics and the battle for Kobane
24. We Shouldn’t Be Surprised – Turkey Is Supporting ISIS
25. VIDEO: Kurdish women lead fight against ISIL
26. ‘Women Are Leading Our Revolution’
27. ‘Solidarity of oppressed nations needed to defeat global system of oppression’
28. Étienne Balibar: For the resistance in Kobane
29. Turks and Kurds: Distracted by old reflexes
30. Create a New Kurdistan and Destabilize Iran (Part V)

REPORTS
31. Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List
32. International Crisis Group Report No. 234 – Turkey and the Kurds: Saving the Peace Process

NEWS

1. Message from the resistance: we will fight to the end
8 November 2014 / ANF
YPG fighters in the front line in Kobanê have issued a call to the whole world. “ISIS gang members come from all over the world. They are savage and brutal. As everyone knows they chop off heads and commit rape. We call on everyone, not just the Kurds, to see this barbarity and support us morally, if not materially. We will not leave our positions until we have thrown ISIS out of Kobanê. All the world’s states should know that we will fight to the end in Kobanê.”

2. HDP Urfa Deputy: Ortakaya was blatantly executed
7 November 2014 / ANF
HDP Urfa deputy İbrahim Ayhan has responded to the district governor of Suruç who said “such an incident did not take place at the border”, regarding the killing of Kader Ortakaya, who was intentionally targeted by the Turkish soldiers. Ayhan was at the border area when Ortakaya was shot dead and said: “It all happened in front of my eyes. The soldiers opened fire behind them without any warning while they were crossing the border. They were civilians. She was blatantly executed”.

3. Turkish soldiers have become border executioners
8 November 2014 / ANF
Turkish soldiers at the border are acting with complete impunity as they target civilians. Since the revolution took place in Rojava (West Kurdistan) in July 2012, at least 30 civilians have been slaughtered on the border between North and West Kurdistan. While the Turkish state embraces the gangs, that are the enemies of humanity, it does not hesitate to target civilians who support the Kobanê resistance, who go to provide humanitarian aid or are maintaining a vigil at the border.

4. The Kurdish-Turkish peace process: Have the meetings between Abdullah Ocalan and the Turkish authorities come to a standstill?
11 November 2014 / Medhaj News
Says Kurdish leader Pervin Buldan: “It will not be Mr. Ocalan who terminates resolution process”
Following your meeting with Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali, did you as a committee meet with the government? If not, have you requested a meeting?
*We have not yet had a meeting with the state committee or the government committee. Following our last meeting with Mr. Ocalan (which was on October 21st 2014) meetings have stopped because of the polemical arguments that have occurred.

5. ‘HDK will enter a new period with the congress’
8 November 2014 / ANF
HDK Co-spokespersons Sebahat Tuncel and Ertuğrul Kürkçü have said that with the congress of 15-16 November the HDK will enter a new period. Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) Co-spokespersons Sebahat Tuncel and Ertuğrul Kürkçü held a press conference at the Divriği Cultural Centre regarding the HDK Congress to be held between 15 and 16 November. HDP Istanbul MP Abdullah Levent Tüzel also attended the press conference at which the first speaker was HDK Co-spokesperson Ertuğrul Kürkçü, who emphasised that at the Peace Conference held on 18 and 19 October the most important goal outlined was the socialisation of peace.

6. A Revolution Of Life – Interview With Saleh Muslim
10 November 2014 / Tenk
On Sunday November 10 Saleh Muslim Mohamed, co-president of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) representing the independent communities of Rojava (Syrian-Kurdistan) and its armed wings, the People’s Defense Unit (YPG) and Women’s Defense Unity (YPJ), visited the Netherlands. Muslim spoke about the fight of Rojava against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the development of democratic autonomy during the Rojava revolution. Artist Jonas Staal interviewed him afterwards.

7. YPG/YPJ Commander: Initiative with the YPG in Kobanê
6 November 2014 / ANF
As YPG/YPJ (People’s/Women’s Protection Units) continue putting up a historic resistance to the ISIS gangs attacking Kobanê since 15 September, and the initiative is with the YPG forces by now, YPG/YPJ Commander Meysa Ebdo assessed the current situation in the Kobane battle for the ANF. Meysa Ebdo informed that YPG/YPJ forces have struck major blows on ISIS gangs on three fronts of the town over the past days, also telling that they have been carrying out operations together with FSA and peshmerga forces on the western front.

8. Peshmerga commander in Kobanê thanks YPG
7 November 2014 / ANF
The peshmerga second-in-command in Kobanê, Amîd Deham İbrahim Gergerî, said: The YPG played a very active role in Sinjar and Rabia. We need to thank them for that. We wanted to come here. This has been an important step for the basis of future unity. We will not allow ISIS to remain anywhere where there are Kurds.” As ISIS gang attacks on Kobanê are into their 54th day, the YPG and YPJ fighters continue to repulse all ISIS assaults. The Burkan Al Firat group, affiliated to the FSA, are fighting alongside the YPG and YPJ.

9. ‘Since 15 September 3,000 gang members killed’
8 November 2014 / ANF
At a joint press conference organised by the YPG, YPJ Kobanê Command and the peshmerga, information was provided regarding the latest situation in Kobanê. YPG commander Dijwar Xebat said: “Since the attacks began around 3,000 gang members have been killed. The gangs have been seriously weakened. The YPG fighters and the peshmerga are inflicting serious blows.” YPG, YPJ and peshmerga commanders answered questions from local and foreign reporters at the press conference. Dijwar Xebat and Hebûn Derik spoke on behalf of the YPG/YPJ Commands and Ehmed Kurdî spoke on behalf of the peshmerga forces.

10. 100 settlements liberated from ISIS in Serêkaniyê
8 November 2014 / Hawarnews
YPG (People’s Protection Units) Press Centre has issued a written statement providing details about an operation launched by YPG forces in Serêkaniyê region. YPG Press Centre stated that around 100 settlement areas including villages and hamlets have been liberated from ISIS gangs as result of the operation around the village of Alya, to the west of Til Temir and south of Serêkaniyê.

11. “Let’s change the genocide history of Êzîdîs”
6 November 2014 / ANF
Engin Özmen with the code-name Tori Şengalê, an Êzîdî youth who joined the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) ranks from Germany after the ISIS attack and massacre in the town early August, called on all Êzîdî youths to join the YBS to defend and liberate Sinjar from ISIS gangs. It was Özmen’s conscience that led him from Germany to Sinjar after the savagery the people of the Êzîdî community suffered from ISIS gangs. Şengalê, a member of a Kurdish family who migrated from Mardin to Germany, who spoke to ANF, emphasised that the Êzîdî people must now change the genocide history they have been through.

12. ‘ISIS Sees Turkey as Its Ally’: Former Islamic State Member Reveals Turkish Army Cooperation
7 November 2014 / Newsweek
A former member of ISIS has revealed the extent to which the cooperation of the Turkish military allows the terrorist group, who now control large parts of Iraq and Syria, to travel through Turkish territory to reinforce fighters battling Kurdish forces. A reluctant former communications technician working for Islamic State, now going by the pseudonym ‘Sherko Omer’, who managed to escape the group, told Newsweek that he travelled in a convoy of trucks as part of an ISIS unit from their stronghold in Raqqa, across Turkish border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.

13. ‘Islamic State and Turkey cooperate to destroy the Kurds’: Former IS member reveals Turkish army cooperation
7 November 2014 / eKurd
A former member of ISIS has revealed the extent to which the cooperation of the Turkish military and border forces allows the terrorist group, who now control large parts of Iraq and Syria, to travel through Turkish territory to reinforce fighters battling Kurdish forces. A reluctant former communications technician working for Islamic State, going by the pseudonym ‘Sherko Omer’, who managed to escape the group, told Newsweek that he travelled in a convoy of trucks as part of an ISIS unit from their stronghold in Raqqa, across Turkish border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February, in order to bypass their defences.

14. Turkey treads thin line with Kurds over Kobane
7 November 2014 / West Australian
Turkey is pursuing a delicate but potentially dangerous strategy over the besieged Syrian town of Kobane, working to thwart Kurdish domination of northern Syria but also running the risk of a breakdown of its peace process with the Kurds. While the United States and the West see the Islamic State jihadists battling Kurds for Kobane as enemy number one, Turkey is equally worried about the risks to its security from separatist Kurdish groups.

15. Turkey’s Kurdish peace process at a turning point: International Crisis Group
7 November 2014 / Hurriyet
The peace process between Turkey and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is at a turning point and both sides “need to articulate realistic end goals,” according to the International Crisis Group’s latest report, which also details the parameters of a possible peace deal.  “The peace process … is at a turning point. It will either collapse as the sides squander years of work, or it will accelerate as they commit to real convergences,” said the report, titled “Turkey and the PKK: Saving the Peace Process,” released on Nov. 6.

16. Turkey’s challenged ‘Kurdish solution’ roadmap
8 November 2014 / Hurriyet
There was a detectable concern within the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a party primarily focused on the Kurdish Issue, on Nov. 7 regarding the future of the dialogue between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in pursuit of a political solution for Turkey’s chronic problem. There were two reasons for that worry according to the HDP sources speaking on the condition of anonymity: One of those reasons is the media reports in the last few days about the reluctance of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) government whether to continue the process unless there is a clear signal from the PKK side to close itself to all kinds violence, including street protests.

17. “Kurdish women defending the honour of the world’s women”
11 November 2014 / Kurdish Info
Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist, commended the Kurdish women for their important role in the fight against the so called the Islamic State in Kobanê town of West Kurdistan, Rojava. In a letter praising the struggle of female fighters in the besieged town, El Saadawi said that; “The Kurdish women proved courage and great bravery in achieving victory against the ISIL terrorists in Kobanî, and it is our duty to recognize them. The women fighting in Kobanê are defending the identity and honour of the world’s women.”

18. Humiliation replaces fear for the women kidnapped by Isis
19 October 2014 / Guardian
They sold Amsha for $12. Other girls and women went for more, much more. But Amsha had a small son and was pregnant with her second child. She had already seen Islamic State (Isis) militants execute her husband in front of her. Now the terror of that crime and the fear of captivity was to be replaced by the indignity and humiliation of being traded like cattle. “A 50-year-old man with a dark beard came to buy me,” she recalls. “From that day on, I didn’t want to live any more.”

19. Released schoolboys reveal torture, fear and anxiety in IS captivity in Syria
7 November 2014 / Amnesty International
Five months to the day after being abducted and held hostage by the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS), a group of 25 students from Kobani were unexpectedly set free on 29 October. They were the last remaining captives from a group of around 150 schoolchildren from the embattled Kurdish-majority city in northern Syria who were returning from their final year examinations in Aleppo in May when IS members stopped their school bus at a checkpoint and abducted them all. In the months that followed, they were sporadically released. Those we spoke to had horror stories to tell about life in IS captivity.

20. Artists: Kobanê is the scream of revolt
6 November 2014 / Hawarnews
Being formed from film-makers, theatre players and musicians, Free Art Initiative (Özgür Sanat Girişimi) joined in the vigil of resistance at the Kobanê-Suruç border line on the 53rd day resistance. The artists underlined: “Not on the 52nd day, we would have come to here on the 2nd day. Kobanê is the scream of revolt for the noble resistance of humanity.” While the attacks of barbaric gangs of ISIS at Kobanê Canton of Wet Kurdistan, Rojava, are going on, dozens of film-makers, artists, actresses, dancers, theatre players, socialists and musicians have came to Suruç and participated into the vigil of resistance at the Kobanê-Suruç border line.

21. France remains silent about Paris killings
6 November 2014 / ANF
666 days have passed over the execution of Sakine Cansız, a founding member of the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party); Fidan Doğan, representative of the KNK (Kurdistan National Congress) in Paris; and Leyla Şaylemez, member of the Kurdish youth movement, in the French capital Paris on 9 January 2013. Light is yet to be shed on the murder of the three Kurdish women and the powers behind the killings. Weekly Wednesday protests demanding justice for Sakine, Fidan and Leyla continued in front of the Democratic Kurdish Society Centre this week.

22. Solidarity delegation to North Kurdistan
11 November 2014 / Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
In the wake of the severe onslaught by ISIS fighters on the town of Kobane in Rojava, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign has helped to facilitate two delegations to North Kurdistan. This first delegation included PiK’s trade union liaison officer Stephen Smellie, Unite member Paul Toner, trade union activist Ruth Walter, Zaher Aarif of the Haringey Solidarity Group, and environmental activist and Unison member, Helen Steel. During the visit, Stephen wrote several blog posts, covering the needs of Syrian refugees and the harassment of health workers. The delegation also released a statement calling on the people of the UK to donate what they can for the relief effort and on the UK government to pressure Turkey to allow a humanitarian corridor to Kobane.

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

23. Oil politics and the battle for Kobane
7 November 2014 / Open Democracy
Kobane was supposed to fall. As ISIS assaulted the town, Turkish troops besieged it from the north, preventing reinforcements and arresting hundreds fleeing. US jets bombed ISIS forces elsewhere, driving them towards Rojava: the largely Kurdish region in northern Syria self-administered by the movement for a democratic society (Tev-Dem), headed politically by the PYD, and defended by the YPG and YPJ. A month into the battle, Kerry admitted that defending Kobane was still not a US strategic priority, despite growing pressure for an airdrop.

24. We Shouldn’t Be Surprised – Turkey Is Supporting ISIS
11 November 2014 / Counterpunch
In one of the most contemptible of recent political developments, we now know that the great secular, democratic nation of Turkey is directly aiding ISIS fascists in order to crush the secular, left-wing Kurdish resistance. This proud member of NATO sat on its hands for weeks, watching across the Syrian border as Daesh fascists tried to take over the town of Kobane, a Kurdish stronghold under-equipped resistance forces have valiantly defended with their lives. Many Western pundits were perplexed by Turkish inaction, going to great lengths to craft risible theories. Clear-eyed analysts, on the other hand, understood what Turkey’s modus operandi was all along: “The enemy of the enemy is my friend.” Secular, leftist Kurdish opposition forces are a threat to Turkish hegemony. President Erdoğan would clearly prefer brutally violent Sunni ethnoreligious supremacist extremists over secular, leftist, autonomous Kurds.

25. VIDEO: Kurdish women lead fight against ISIL
6 November 2014 / Al Jazeera
Kurdish women are leading the campaign in the Syrian battleground of Kobane against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Aisha Effendi has joined the frontline along with her husband to stop ISIL’s months-long offensive on the town.

26. ‘Women Are Leading Our Revolution’
8 November 2014 / Morning Star
IN Suruc thousands of refugees from Kobane, just over the border in Syria, are living in tents and preparing for the day, that they are sure will come soon, when Isis is defeated and they are able to return to rebuild their city.  Living among them is a remarkable woman, Fayza Abdi. She is co-president of the Kobane Legislative Council, the autonomous administration set up by the city’s mainly Kurdish inhabitants during the Syrian civil war when the Assad government withdrew from the area.

27. ‘Solidarity of oppressed nations needed to defeat global system of oppression’
4 November 2014 / TamilNet
“The system that oppresses us is global. The system that oppresses us is united and in solidarity with each other. So we need to be in solidarity with each other against the same system that oppresses us. The Tamil national liberation struggle is a case in point. Your enemies are our enemies”, said Kurdish activist Memed Aksoy, urging for greater solidarity among oppressed nations. In an exclusive interview to TamilNet on Sunday, Mr. Aksoy, who is also a filmmaker and writer, talking about the current situation in Kobane, the nature of the ISIS and its supporters, the duplicity of Turkey, the PKK’s commitment to the peace process, and the changing policies of the West towards the Kurds, gave a concise picture of the Kurdish resistance and the local and global challenges it faces.

28. Étienne Balibar: For the resistance in Kobane
3 November 2014 / Verso Books
While the situation is evolving from one hour to the next, it seems like the worst may well have been avoided – that is, a repetition of the Warsaw Rising, which was crushed by the Nazis in full view of the Red Army, which was waiting to take the chestnuts out of the fire by itself… The Americans did end up coordinating with the fighters on the ground and even Turkey seems to have been forced to half-open the border, allowing reinforcements to come in. Let’s hope that the city has indeed been saved, stopping the Islamist advance. In the little space that I have here and with the information that I have available to me, I would like to insist on two points.

29. Turks and Kurds: Distracted by old reflexes
7 November 2014 / Todays Zaman
The Kobani crisis has not only put relations between Turkey and its Western allies under mounting pressure. At home, we are witnessing signs of a growing mistrust between the government and pro-Kurdish parties on a daily basis. According to some, the settlement process to resolve Turkey’s longstanding Kurdish issue has already come to a halt and there is a real danger that many of the recent gains may be lost when the use of violence on both sides continues. Ankara is rife with speculation that something is going on behind the scenes, but nobody really knows what.

30. Create a New Kurdistan and Destabilize Iran (Part V)
7 November 2014 / Townhall
Winton Churchill surveyed the staggering magnitude of worldwide carnage and destruction at the end of World War II and remarked that there was never a war easier to prevent. When Hitler stationed troops in the Rhineland in 1936, in clear violation of the Versailles treaty, the French military alone could have overwhelmed the German Army. But with the horrors of World War I still vividly remembered, the European allies were politically unable to move against Hitler. So they waited and talked. The cost of their inaction was 60 million lives.

REPORTS

31. Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List, by David L. Philips for The Institute For The Study Of Human Rights, Columbia University. 10 November 2014.

32. International Crisis Group Report No. 234 – Turkey and the Kurds: Saving the Peace Process, 6 November 2014. Read the report in full. Watch Hugh Pope discuss the peace process here: http://youtu.be/vk5qYls2py0

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