KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 23 – 27 November 2014

NEWS
1. Extended Delegation to Meet Öcalan in Imralı Prison
2. Erdogan: Solution process is not concession process
3. Green MP calls for ban on PKK to be lifted at NATO Assembly
4. U.S. and Turkey discuss transition away from Assad in Syria
5. Sozdar Avesta: PKK revealing the disappeared truth in the Middle East
6. Thousands of women gathered at border for Kobanê
7. Turkish President Erdoğan says gender equality ‘against nature’
8. Video: Christian militia fights Islamic State in northern Syria
9. Syrian Christians: ‘Help us to stay – stop arming terrorists’
10. Missing Kurdish teenager Silhan Ozcelik feared to have left London to fight against Isis in Syria
11. Women in the World United Against ISIS

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS
12. Turkey’s efforts to settle the Kurdish issue
13. Watching Kobane
14. Fighting ISIS In Kobani, A Syrian Kurd Tells His Story
15. Kobanê, Turkey, and the Syrian Struggle
16. An Interview with Revolutionary Anarchist Action on Kobanê: “We are Kawa against Dehaks”
17. What Obama doesn’t understand about Syria
18. Twenty-six Things About the Islamic State (ISIL) that Obama Does Not Want You to Know About
19. The US Is On A Collision Course With An ‘Absolutely Indispensable’ Ally
20. Iranian-Turkish Relations Vis-à-Vis Turkey’s Energy Transit Policy

NEWS
1. Extended Delegation to Meet Öcalan in Imralı Prison
25 November 2014 / Bianet
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Press Center announced that their request to visit PKK leader Öcalan on Imralı Island was approved by Justice Ministry. The extended delegation of 5 members will head to İmralı on November 30. Up to now, the delegation was composed of HDP Group Interim Co-Chairs Pervin Buldan and İdris Baluken as well as HDP Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder.

2. Erdogan: Solution process is not concession process
26 November 2014 / World Bulletin
“The solution process is not a bargain or a concession process,” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday. There are clear borders and a framework to the solution process, Erdogan said, speaking of the process which was launched last year, aiming to secure an end to the decades-long conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.  The process was interrupted after illegal demonstrations erupted in early October across Turkey as a sign of solidarity with Syria’s besieged Kurdish populated town of Kobani.

3. Green MP calls for ban on PKK to be lifted at NATO Assembly

24 November 2014 / ANF
At this year’s 60th NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in the Hague Austrian deputy Peter Pilz called for the PKK to be removed from the EU list of “terrorist organisations”. Pilz demanded that the chance previously given to the PLO be given to the PKK. Parliamentarians from NATO member countries gathered in The Hague for this year’s assembly, at which the crisis in Ukraine and the struggle with ISIS in particular were on the agenda.

4. U.S. and Turkey discuss transition away from Assad in Syria
23 November 2014 / World Bulletin
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said he and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan he had discussed a transition of power in Syria away from President Bashar al-Assad during a four-hour meeting in Istanbul. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey is determined to strengthen its cooperation with the U.S. against ISIL to maintain regional peace and security. Erdogan and U.S. Vice President Biden held a press conference in Istanbul addressing the cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. in fight against ISIL.

5. Sozdar Avesta: PKK revealing the disappeared truth in the Middle East
26 November 2014 / ANF
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was also marked by hundreds of guerrillas on the mountains of Kurdistan in Behdinan yesterday. Speaking at the gathering in Media Defense Areas, KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Co-Presidency Council member Sozdar Avesta said that 25 November was a symbolic day to say stop to violence against women, adding that; “Still, we know the meaning of this day very well. We are sharing the pain of the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic. We are also suffering from violence.

6. Thousands of women gathered at border for Kobanê
25 November 2014 / ANF
Thousands of women have gathered today at the borderline to mark the 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The women have dedicated their march to the women resisting and fighting in Kobanê. This year’s day of international struggle and solidarity for Elimination of Violence against Women has been dedicated to the women in Kobanê and Sinjar because of the brutal assaults of ISIS on these towns, that are specifically targeting women.

7. Turkish President Erdoğan says gender equality ‘against nature’
24 November 2014 / Hurriyet
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appears set to anger women and rights groups in Turkey once again after voicing his strong objection to the equality of women and men, instead recommending what he called “equivalency.” “When we are able to look at human beings from the point of view of justice, then the elimination of discrimination between women and men would be possible in a much more fair, humane and conscientious way. What do women need?” Erdoğan said Nov. 24, delivering a speech at an international gathering in Istanbul aimed at discussing women’s rights and freedoms.

8. Video: Christian militia fights Islamic State in northern Syria
26 November 2014 / Deutsche Welle
In the north of Syria, Christian and Kurdish militias are fight to keep Islamic State out of their city.

9. Syrian Christians: ‘Help us to stay – stop arming terrorists’
22 November 2014 / Telegraph
Outgoing artillery shook St Elias church as the priest reached the end of the Lord’s Prayer. The small congregation kept their eyes on the pulpit, kneeling when required and trying to ignore the regular thuds that rattled the stained glass windows above them. Home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, the hard to reach Syrian agricultural town of Izraa has stood the comings and goings of many empires over the centuries.

10. Missing Kurdish teenager Silhan Ozcelik feared to have left London to fight against Isis in Syria
24 November 2014 / Independent
Police are attempting to track down a Kurdish teenager from London, who is feared to have travelled to Syria to fight against Isis militants engaged in the country’s bloody civil war. Silhan Ozcelik, 17, from Haringey, boarded a Eurostar train from St Pancras International station with a male friend and travelled to Europe on 27 October, according to the head of the borough’s Kurdish Community Association.

11. Women in the World United Against ISIS
23 November 2014 / Jean Lambert MEP
It was a miserably wet Sunday in Trafalgar Square, and to mark The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,  (tomorrow, 25 November),  Women of the world and the International community joined together in the rain to support the struggle of women against ISIS in the Middle East.

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

12. Turkey’s efforts to settle the Kurdish issue
24 November 2014 / Cihan
It seems we have overcome the turbulence of the last two months regarding the settlement process. Among the things included in the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) dialogue with the government is the possible improvement of the prison conditions of Abdullah Öcalan, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) leader serving his life sentence at a prison on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara.
A secretariat will be established for Öcalan, and if what Selahattin Demirtaş said last week is true, Öcalan will conduct the discussion for disarmament with his secretariat, consisting of the PKK militants who are serving their terms at other prisons. The initial impression had been that the secretariat would consist of influential figures of the pro-Kurdish political movement such as Hatip Dicle. But it turned out that Öcalan’s secretariat will be comprised of prisoners like him.

13. Watching Kobane
27 November 2014 / Kurdistan Stories

The fireworks of Bonfire night lit up the sky as I flew out of London. But now, just a few days later, the dull blooming lights on the horizon are accompanied by more deafening booms, and more deadly consequences. The explosions are met with a burst of cheers from the crowd gathered a couple of kilometres from Kobane. An old man leaves the warmth of the fire to point out that the fighting is going on in the east of the city, where in the next day in the daylight a black flag can be seen flying high.

14. Fighting ISIS In Kobani, A Syrian Kurd Tells His Story
26 November 2014 / World Crunch
Sardar is a 26-year-old fighter in the ranks of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, known by its Kurdish acronym, the YPG. A former blacksmith, he has taken up arms for the past five years, since he first became involved with the militant group. In his eyes, it is the core of a Kurdish army that will someday represent the future state of Kurdistan.
His priority now is to defend the city of Ain al-Arab, also known by its Kurdish name Kobani. The city has been under attack by ISIS since September.

15. Kobanê, Turkey, and the Syrian Struggle
23 November 2014 / International Viewpoint
An extended interview with Joseph Daher, a member of the Revolutionary Left Current in Syria, living in Switzerland, will be published in the forthcoming Winter 2015 issue of New Politics. Here we [New Politics] just post the questions dealing with Kobanê and Turkey. He was interviewed in Geneva on October 22, 2014, by New Politics board member Riad Azar, with some email updates.

16. An Interview with Revolutionary Anarchist Action on Kobanê: “We are Kawa against Dehaks”
27 November 2014 / Anarsist Faaliyat
For two years now the foundations of social revolution have been being developed in Rojava, the west of Kurdistan. Bearing this, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the basis of the attacks against Kobanê is the interest politics of Turkish State and global capitalism. Abdülmelik Yalcin and Merve Dilber from Revolutionary Anarchist Action were in the region of Suruc, on the border with Kobanê, since the first day of the resistance against the attempts to obscure the people’s revolution, in solidarity with the people of the region. We interviewed them on the Kobanê Resistance and Rojava Revolution.

17. What Obama doesn’t understand about Syria
26 November 2014 / Foreign Policy
The current U.S. strategy to destroy the Islamic State is likely doomed to fail. In fact, it risks doing just the opposite of its intended goal: strengthening the jihadis’ appeal in Syria, Iraq, and far beyond, while leaving the door open for the Islamic State to expand into new areas.
This is in large part because the United States so far has addressed the problem of the Islamic State in isolation from other aspects of the trans-border conflict in Syria and Iraq. Unless Barack Obama’s administration takes a broader view, it will be unable to respond effectively to the deteriorating situation on the ground.

18. Twenty-six Things About the Islamic State (ISIL) that Obama Does Not Want You to Know About
19 November 2014 / Global Research
The US led war against  the Islamic State is a big lie. Going after ” Islamic terrorists”, carrying out a worldwide pre-emptive war to “Protect the American Homeland” are used to justify a military agenda. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a creation of US intelligence. Washington’s “Counter-terrorism Agenda” in Iraq and Syria consists in Supporting the Terrorists. The incursion of the Islamic State (IS) brigades into Iraq starting in June 2014 was part of a carefully planned military-intelligence operation supported covertly by the US, NATO and Israel. The counter-terrorism mandate is a fiction. America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism”

19. The US Is On A Collision Course With An ‘Absolutely Indispensable’ Ally
25 November 214 / Business Insider
The US and Turkey are headed for a showdown over Syria, as evidence mounts that Ankara is enabling groups that Washington is actively bombing. Discord between the two allies is now more public than ever following a new report by Dr. Jonathan Schanzer and Merve Tahiroglu of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Bordering on Terrorism: Turkey’s Syria Policy and the Rise of the Islamic State” details Turkey’s apparent willingness to allow extremists — including militants from the Islamic State (aka IS, ISIS, or ISIL) — and their enablers to thrive on the 565-mile border with Syria in an attempt to secure the downfall of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

20. Iranian-Turkish Relations Vis-à-Vis Turkey’s Energy Transit Policy
14 November 2014 / Jamestown Foundation
Despite Western economic sanctions, Iranian-Turkish relations have been developing in many different directions in recent years. Illustratively, on October 24–25, the Eastern Anatolia Development Agency (DAKA), Iran’s Foreign Ministry Institution for Political and International Studies (IPIS) and the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) jointly hosted the Turkey-Iran Van Forum in the Turkish city of Van. The main theme of the Forum, which was inspired by a Turkish-Iranian foreign ministers’ meeting from earlier this year, was “Sectoral and Financial Deepening” (tasam.org, accessed November 14).

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