KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 30 November – 5 December 2014

Kobane, the Rojava Revolution and the Kurdish Struggle: Useful Resources

Fascinated by the resistance in Kobane and want to know how it came about? Here you will find a whole set of resources to help guide you in your search for information on the historical struggle of the Kurdish people and the ideology that guides its practice.

NEWS

  1. Heyva Sor: Emergency Appeal for Kobane
  2. Kurds blame Turkey as suicide bombers hit Kobani
  3. Abdullah: Turkish state disregarded lives of thousands of civilians
  4. KCK: Our people should stand by the Kobanê resistance
  5. Öcalan: Legal guarantees essential for the process
  6. Night raid on Suruç Municipality
  7. Top Turkish court’s review of 10 pct election threshold prompts political debate
  8. Turkish Police to Get More Search Powers
  9. The world’s pitiful response to Syria’s refugee crisis
  10. Gysi: Embargo on Rojava must be lifted immediately
  11. EXCLUSIVE: Survivors of Islamic State massacre share their untold story (VIDEO)
  12. Kurdish activist speaks at Tri-continental Anti-imperialist Platform event
  13. Event report: Feminicide in Sinjar

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. Latest ISIS attack on Kobanê implicates Turkey once more
  2. Kurds Defend Kobani From Islamic State
  3. Is the Islamic State finding refuge in Turkey?
  4. The No State Solution: Institutionalizing Libertarian Socialism in Kurdistan
  5. The Iraqis and the Kurds Have Struck a Deal…Here’s Why That’s Very Bad News for ISIS Terrorists
  6. Talking Turkey
  7. A Surprising History of Turkey in America

STATEMENTS

  1. Peace in Kurdistan Campaign salutes the PKK on the 36th anniversary of its foundation

PRESS RELEASES

  1. Announcement of the 11thInternational Conference On EU, Turkey, Middle East And The Kurds“Chaos And Crisis In The Middle East: New Regional Order And The Kurds
  2. International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative to hold press conference in Brussels: Reporting back after fact-finding mission into Turkish-Kurdish peace process

APPEALS

  1. Appeal from the cantonal government of Kobanê to the United Nations and the international community

REPORTS

  1. Amnesty International: Struggling to survive: Refugees from Syria in Turkey

EVENTS

Go our our Events page

NEWS

1. Heyva Sor: Emergency Appeal for Kobane
5 December 2014 / Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê (Kurdish Red Moon) has issued a new appeal for donations and humanitarian aid for the people of Kobane and refugees across the region. International humanitarian relief in this region has been virtually non-existent and the Turkish government has made inadequate provision for refugees fleeing violence in Sinjar and Kobane to Suruc and the surrounding areas inside the Turkish border. Thousands of people are being hosted in self-made camps and are being fed, clothed and cared for by volunteers.

2. Kurds blame Turkey as suicide bombers hit Kobani
29 November 2014 / Reuters
Turkey’s main Kurdish party accused the government of turning a blind eye to Islamic State militants on its soil on Saturday after suicide bombers attacked the town of Kobani along its southern border with Syria. Four Islamic State militants blew themselves up in Kobani, one detonating a car bomb at the Mursitpinar border crossing. At least 30 people were killed in clashes across the town, a monitoring group and local officials said.

3. Abdullah: Turkish state disregarded lives of thousands of civilians
1 December 2014 / ANF
PYD Co-President Asya Abdullah who spoke to ANF’s Sedat Sur about Saturday’s suicide attacks in Mürşitpınar border gate area said that the ISIS attack on Kobanê launched from Turkish territory had not only targeted military forces, adding that one dimension of the attack had been an attempt to carry out a massacre of civilians.

4. KCK: Our people should stand by the Kobanê resistance
30 November 2014 / ANF
KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Presidency has released a statement in the wake of yesterday’s attack ISIS gangs launched on Kobanê town of West Kurdistan, Rojava, from Turkish soil. KCK recalled that the fascist ISIS groups backed by Turkey have been attacking Kobanê to overthrow the Rojava revolution and to occupy the town for two and a half months now, and that the brave resistance of YPG/YPJ (People’s/Women’s Defense Units) fighters and the local people has however inflicted severe losses and fatal blows on the gang groups and not allowed them to realise their vicious plan.

5. Öcalan: Legal guarantees essential for the process
30 November 2014 / ANF
The HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) delegation for İmralı talks, made up of Group Deputy Chairs Pervin Buldan and İdris Baluken, Istanbul MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder and DTK (Democratic Society Congress) Co-chair Hatip Dicle involved for the first time, issued a statement providing details of the meeting with Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan in İmralı prison yesterday.

6. Night raid on Suruç Municipality
2 December 2014 / ANF
The supplementary service building of the Suruç Municipality in Aligor that is being used to serve people from Kobanê who took refuge in Suruç was raided midnight by Turkish soldiers and police supported by armoured vehicles. The police interrogated dozens of people staying at the building, including children and the elderly, and seized their identity cards.

7. Top Turkish court’s review of 10 pct election threshold prompts political debate
1 December 2014 / Hurriyet
Turkish political parties have launched a fresh debate over the possibility of lifting the 10 percent threshold in the election system, with the Constitutional Court now considering an application to review the matter. The debate was triggered after Constitutional Court head Haşim Kılıç was quoted as saying by daily Habertürk on Nov. 30 that the Court was working on applications and would make a decision in two or three weeks.

8. Turkish Police to Get More Search Powers
3 December 2014 / New York Times
The Turkish police will have wider latitude to conduct searches, and the government will have greater control over the judiciary, under a bill passed late Tuesday by Parliament. The legislation will allow the police to obtain search warrants based merely on “reasonable suspicion,” rather than requiring “a strong suspicion based on concrete evidence,” the former standard. The country’s courts will have broader powers to seize the assets of people under investigation, including those suspected of “disrupting constitutional order.”

9. The world’s pitiful response to Syria’s refugee crisis
5 December 2014 / Amnesty International
World leaders are failing to offer protection to Syria’s most vulnerable refugees with catastrophic consequences, Amnesty International has warned in a new briefing ahead of a UN pledging conference in Geneva on 9 December. Left Out in the Cold: Syrian refugees abandoned by the international community highlights the pitiful numbers of resettlement places offered by the international community. Around 3.8 million refugees from are being hosted in five main countries within the region: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Only 1.7 per cent of this number have been offered sanctuary by the rest of the world since the crisis began more than three years ago.

10. Gysi: Embargo on Rojava must be lifted immediately
3 December 2014 / ANF
The Parliamentary Group Chair of Die Linke (German Left Party), Gregor Gysi, has demanded the urgent lifting of the embargo on Rojava after his visit to South Kurdistan and Rojava last week. Gysi said Germany must undertake responsibilities in sending urgent aid to the region and called on the member countries of the UN Security Council to immediately take action.

11. EXCLUSIVE: Survivors of Islamic State massacre share their untold story (VIDEO)
4 December 2014 / Your Middle East
The Islamic State (IS) massacre of Iraq’s Yezidi minority in the town of Sinjar has been widely documented and reported worldwide since August. But the survivors are now saying that the reported narrative is incomplete, claiming they were betrayed by the Kurdish peshmergas. The Iraqi central government and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have termed the massacre “genocide”, while the UN timidly describes it as “an attempted genocide”.

12. Kurdish activist speaks at Tri-continental Anti-imperialist Platform event
1 December 2014 / Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
The Tricontinental Anti-imperialist Platform held an event at Housemans in central London recently entitled Global Resistance: From Ferguson to People’s Korea. Activist and member of the Kurdish Student Union and People’s Assembly, Elif Sarican, took part in the event, which connected resistance struggles from across the world, on the place of the Kurdish struggle in the borader movement against colonialism and imperialism. You can watch the video of her presentation belo

13. Event report: Feminicide in Sinjar
2 December 2014 / Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
On Saturday 22 November, representatives of several women’s organisations gathered in SOAS University for a seminar to discuss the use of sexualised violence in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Syria. In particular, the event sought to bring attention to the kidnapping of Yezidi women in the Sinjar province by ISIS fighters in August and discuss ways to campaign for their release. The seminar was introduced and chaired Isabel Käser, a PhD candidate, at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, and included members of a newly emerging Women’s Alliance for Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria, a platform of UK based women’s groups who convened following the crisis in Sinjar.

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

14. Latest ISIS attack on Kobanê implicates Turkey once more
2 December 2014 / Roarmag
In the early hours of Saturday, November 29, on the 75th day of the resistance of Kobanê, the militants of the Islamic State launched yet another attack against the city. In the 2.5 months that ISIS has been besieging the predominantly Kurdish city at the border with Turkey it launched numerous attacks — ranging from indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas with tanks, mortars and heavy artillery to suicide attacks by individuals and car bombs (VBIEDs) — but never before did it attack the city from the north, from the Turkish side of the border.

15. Kurds Defend Kobani From Islamic State
4 December 2014 / Huffington Post
The men and women of Kobani call one another “heval” — Kurdish for ‘comrade’ — and fight with revolutionary conviction, vowing to liberate what they regard as Kurdish land from Islamic State group militants. Amid the wasteland and destroyed buildings, a sense of camaraderie has developed among the town’s defenders who have for more than two months doggedly fought off the advances by the extremists. Often, members of the same family can be found on the front lines.

16. Is the Islamic State finding refuge in Turkey?
2 December 2014 / Al Monitor
According to the Kobani watchers in Caykara [Mahzer] village, Islamic State (IS) forces crossed from Turkey and attacked the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces controlling the Syrian side of Mursitpinar border, crossing from the rear. IS badly wants to capture the crossing. Did the IS car bomb attack at Mursitpinar Saturday morning [Nov. 29] originate from Turkey? Information provided by official sources about how the attack was carried out is murky. The Mahzer crowd congregating directly behind the Mursitpinar crossing insist the bomb-laden vehicle came from Turkey, broke the lock on the gate and crossed to Syria.

17. The No State Solution: Institutionalizing Libertarian Socialism in Kurdistan
2 November 2014 / New Politics
In what many outside of the territory are referring to as the Rojava Revolution, a major shift in political philosophy and political programmatics has taken place in Kurdistan. Yet, this shift is not limited to the region of Rojava, or what many call Syrian or Western Kurdistan – a region where the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has taken an active part in this change. In “Turkish,” or rather Northern Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been the foremost leader. In Eastern Kurdistan (lying within Iranian borders) the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) has taken to the change in ideological orientation as well.

18. The Iraqis and the Kurds Have Struck a Deal…Here’s Why That’s Very Bad News for ISIS Terrorists
4 December 2014 / I J Review
One of the things the Iraqi government had to do to defeat ISIS was to reach a deal with the Kurds on oil revenue. The Kurdish government hadn’t received any money due from the Iraqi government for months. They were unable to pay the peshmerga fighters that were keeping ISIS at bay since the summertime.

19. Talking Turkey
5 December 2014 / Counterpunch
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin clinched a groundbreaking deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that will strengthen economic ties between the two nations and make Turkey the major hub for Russian gas in the region. Under the terms of the agreement, Russia will pump additional natural gas to locations in central Turkey and to a “hub at the Turkish-Greek border” which will eventually provide Putin with backdoor access to the lucrative EU market, although Turkey will serve as the critical intermediary. The move creates a de facto Russo-Turkey alliance that could shift the regional balance of power decisively in Moscow’s favor, thus creating another formidable hurtle for Washington’s “pivot to Asia” strategy.

20. A Surprising History of Turkey in America
26 November 2014 / Foreign Policy
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently made the news when he claimed that Muslim seafarers “discovered America” and that when Christopher Columbus arrived in Cuba in 1492 he found a mosque, built there by the natives, who were also Muslim. It may sound ridiculous (OK, it is ridiculous), but it says a lot about Turkey’s president and the Islamic chauvinism that makes Erdogan’s “new Turkey” so different from the secular ideals of the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

STATEMENTS

21. Peace in Kurdistan Campaign salutes the PKK on the 36th anniversary of its foundation, 27 November 2014. 

PRESS RELEASES

22. Announcement of the 11th International Conference On EU, Turkey, Middle East And The Kurds“Chaos And Crisis In The Middle East: New Regional Order And The Kurds”. 10-11 December 2014.

You can watch a live stream of the whole conference at this link: http://eventstream.streamovations.be/european-union-turkey-middle-east-kurds-10-dec.php

23. International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative to hold press conference in Brussels: Reporting back after fact-finding mission into Turkish-Kurdish peace process, 5 December 2014.

APPEALS

24. Appeal from the cantonal government of Kobanê to the United Nations and the international community, 2 December 2014.

REPORTS

25. Amnesty International: Struggling to survive: Refugees from Syria in Turkey, 20 November 2014.

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