KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 1 – 7 August 2015

NEWS

  1. Turkish Kurd leader urges world to denounce ‘unjust war’
  2. Intellectuals call on Parliament to step up for peace, democracy
  3. Academics call for consolidated ceasefire
  4. YPG General Commander Hemo: Turkey Wants to Establish a Buffer Zone to Prevent Our Advance
  5. Turkish State Terror In Kurdistan: 3 Civilians Killed
  6. HDP Delegation: Turkish State Carried Out A Massacre In Zergelê
  7. US, Turkey goals in backing ISIL at odds: Political expert
  8. US support of Syrian Kurds ruffles Turkey’s feathers
  9. PiK website blocked in Turkey government crackdown
  10. Trouble in Turkey
  11. Russian president to Turkish ambassador: “tell your dictator President he can go to hell along with his ISIS terrorists, I will make Syria a ‘Big Stalingrad’ for him!”
  12. Turkey says Iraq’s negative attitude towards air strikes on PKK ’disappointing’
  13. Call for an International Convoy for Kobane
  14. Turkey to boost security for oil and gas pipelines as Kurdish PKK attacks rise
  15. Mosul insurgents challenge Islamic State occupiers
  16. Lions of Rojava Press Conference
  17. Vigil for Kobane: Video

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. *PiK highlight* Britain’s secret ties to governments, firms behind ISIS oil sales
  2. Erdogan Sacrifices Peace To Entrench His Own Power
  3. Wrecking the peace process
  4. Turkey Is on the Road to Armageddon
  5. Erdoğan’s Bloody Gambit
  6. Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
  7. Turkey’s Cover: What Ankara is Really Trying to Accomplish With Airstrikes
  8. Why is Turkey bombing the Kurds?
  9. The U.S. picked the wrong ally in the fight against Islamic State
  10. KNK Information File on Turkey’s latest attacks published
  11. No way back: The recent attack on Suruc
  12. The Turkish Mission: Reining in the Kurds
  13. Al-jazeera English Interview Michael Gunter on Turkish Bombings vs Kurds
  14. VIDEO: Pushing Back the Islamic State: The Battle for Rojava (Dispatch 1)
  15. UK would be safer if it stopped following US foreign policy, says Jeremy Corbyn

STATEMENTS

  1. Joint Declaration by Kurdish, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian Parties and Associations
  2. Massacre in Sinjar, one year on: REPAK statement

APPEALS

  1. FIREFUND CAMPAIGN: STAND WITH KOBANE
  2. Call for Participation in an International Convoy for the Opening of Humanitarian Corridor from Turkey to Kobane

EVENTS

Events page

NEWS

  1. Turkish Kurd leader urges world to denounce ‘unjust war’
    6 August 2015 / Daily Star
    Turkey’s Kurdish political leader Selahattin Demirtas on Thursday urged the world to denounce Ankara’s new “unjust war” on rebel Kurds and asked the EU to push clearly for a truce. During an unscheduled visit to Brussels, Demirtas told AFP he spoke by telephone last week with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and that he would meet with her top aide Stefano Manservisi here Friday. “The European Union must very clearly and openly support negotiations between the PKK and Turkey,” said the leader of the HDP party which scored a breakthrough in Turkish elections in June.
  1. Intellectuals call on Parliament to step up for peace, democracy
    2 August 2015 / Todays Zaman
    A group of Turkish intellectuals, including academics, scientists, politicians and statesmen, in a written statement on Sunday called on deputies in Parliament to return from their vacations and convene for the restoration of peace and democracy. Criticizing the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, without mentioning him directly, the statement said the stability of a country cannot be sacrificed for the political and personal interests of a person or a ruling party.
  1. Academics call for consolidated ceasefire
    6 August 2015 / ANF
    A group of academics from various universities across Turkey have joined calls for consolidated cease fire and demanded the end of the isolation imposed on the Kurdish People’s leader Abdullah Öcalan. In a moving statement, some  two hundred academics from Turkey universities have expressed their strong opposition to the intensifying military operations, and demanded immediate enactment of unequivocal and long-lasting peace.
  1. YPG General Commander Hemo: Turkey Wants to Establish a Buffer Zone to Prevent Our Advance
    4 August 2015 / Murat Civiroglu
    YPG has attracted worldwide attention after liberating Tal Abyad from ISIS. Most recently you announced the liberation of Sarrin and Hasaka. Can you update us on the battle-field please? Sipan Hemo: Our long-standing anti-ISIS campaign has spread to larger geography. After Tal Abyad we liberated Ain Issa and Sarrin. Our forces also fought off ISIS offensive in Haseke and established control over the area. YPG is currently establishing positions in Mount Abulaziz well as the recently liberated cities and towns to prevent and meet new ISIS offensives.
  1. Turkish State Terror In Kurdistan: 3 Civilians Killed
    7 August 2015 / Kurdish Question
    Police forces lay siege to the Zap and Avaşin neighbourhoods at around 04:00 last night in the Silopi district of Şırnak (North Kurdistan-SE Turkey) and attempted to raid houses in order to detain some young people. As people responded strongly against the police operation, and did not allow the entrance of the police forces into the neighbourhoods, clashes broke out between youth and security forces. Facing strong resistance against the detentions, police opened random fire on people, killing 2 people (initially) and wounding many others. Police forces also set 6 houses on fire, and also opened fire on the ambulances that were carrying the wounded civilians to the hospital.
  1. HDP Delegation: Turkish State Carried Out A Massacre In Zergelê
    6 August 2015 / Kurdish Question
    The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) delegation which visited Qandil’s Zergelê village where Turkish warplanes killed 8 civilians, stated that at least 6 houses in Zergelê were targeted during the attack. The delegation recalled that 8 civilians were killed and tens of civilians were injured, and Turkish warplanes had clearly carried out a massacre in the village. The HDP delegation composed of Riha (Urfa) Parliamentarian Osman Baydemir, Siirt Parliamentarian Kadri Yıldırım, İstanbul Parliamentarian Hüda Kaya, HDP Vice President responsible for foreign relations Nazmi Gür, Executive Committee member Hatice Altınışık and Democratic Regions’ Party (DBP) Hewler representative Şilan Eminoğlu inspected Zergelê village where Turkish airstrikes targeted civilians on August 1st 2015.
  1. US, Turkey goals in backing ISIL at odds: Political expert
    2 August 2015 / Press TV
    Press TV has conducted and interview with Rodney Martin, political commentator from Los Angeles, to ask for his insight on recent attacks by the Turkish military against the positions of Syrian Kurdish forces as part of Ankara’s so-called anti-ISIL campaign. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
    Press TV: First of all, if the Syrian Kurds’ claims are true, why do you think Turkey is bombing the YPG instead of ISIL?
    Martin: If you go back and look at why ISIL was created, it was created by the United States, the West and Saudi Arabia to continue to destabilize the region and to further their geo-political objectives
  1. US support of Syrian Kurds ruffles Turkey’s feathers
    4 August 2015 / Al Monitor
    Turkey and the United States may have agreed on the use of the Incirlik Air Base near the southern city of Adana against the Islamic State in Syria, but the deal appears to have some snags, especially with regard to US assistance to Syrian Kurds fighting IS. This unresolved problem is considered one of the reasons why Incirlik has not been used yet in active operations by the US-led coalition, despite the urgency of the fight against IS and other groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra.
  1. PiK website blocked in Turkey government crackdown
    6 August 2015 / Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
    Last week, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s website was blocked to users in Turkey in the latest government crackdown on Kurdish and pro-Kurdish news and media. As part of a broad ranging attack on internet freedom, 77 million websites hosted by WordPress.com were temporarily blocked under Turkey’s Internet Law 5651. After WordPress challenged the ban, the Turkish government lifted restrictions to the majority of sites, leaving just five – which included peaceinkurdistancampaign.com and four other pro-Kurdish sites – inaccessible inside Turkey. WordPress’s appeal to the courts regarding our site and the others is still pending.
  1. Trouble in Turkey
    31 July 2015 / WordPress.com
    Earlier this week, nearly all of the more than 77 million websites hosted by WordPress.com were inaccessible to the people of Turkey, due to broad and arbitrary censorship by the Turkish government. We began to hear reports of service outages during the evening of Monday, July 27, Istanbul time. The blocks were apparently removed by midday Wednesday, July 29.
  1. Russian president to Turkish ambassador: “tell your dictator President he can go to hell along with his ISIS terrorists, I will make Syria a ‘Big Stalingrad’ for him!”
    3 August 2015 / AWD News
    The Russian president Vladimir Putin broke the accepted diplomatic protocols and has personally summoned the Turkish ambassador to Moscow, Mr Ümit Yardim, and warned him that the Russian Federation shall sever the diplomatic relations immediately unless the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stops supporting ISIS rebels in Syria, where Russia holds its last navy base in the Mediterranean sea.
  1. Turkey says Iraq’s negative attitude towards air strikes on PKK ’disappointing’
    31 July 2015 / Todays Zaman
    The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the Iraqi government’s “negative attitude” towards Turkey’s air strikes on Kurdish militant camps in northern Iraq was disappointing and difficult to accept. “It is obvious that many armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] militants have been sheltering inside Iraqi territory for years,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “It is not possible to accept or understand the opposing attitude of those who can’t control their border.”
  1. Call for an International Convoy for Kobane
    8 August 2015 / Help Kobane
    The Kobane Reconstruction Platform has issued a call for a huge international mobilisation for Kobane. With humanitarian aid still urgently need and very little getting through Turkeys’s blockade on Rojava, this action calls on solidarity activists across the world to travel to Suruc, just across the border, to participate in demanding that a humanitarian corridor be opened into Kobane. 15th September will be the anniversary of ISIS’ first attack on Kobane, which led to a four month siege. We join their call and will be working to ensure activists from the UK can join this effort in Suruc.
  1. Turkey to boost security for oil and gas pipelines as Kurdish PKK attacks rise
    6 August 2015 / eKurd
    Turkey will deploy thermal cameras and horse-back patrols to heighten security around key oil and gas pipelines as Kurdish militant attacks increase, in a bid to safeguard energy supplies in the import-dependent country, energy officials said. Tighter security around energy infrastructure would be welcomed by Iraqi Kurdistan, whose oil exports to the world are piped through Turkey. A recent attack on the line has cost it more than $250 million by halting oil pumping.
  1. Mosul insurgents challenge Islamic State occupiers
    22 July 2015 / Iraq Oil Report
    Members of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group are being hunted in and around Mosul. Dozens of militants have been killed, mostly gunned down by assassins, over the past two months as the group that calls itself Kataib al-Mosul – the Mosul Brigades, in English – has launched a violent insurgency. “We finally decided to end our silence,” said Fawaz al-Badrani, the pseudonym used by a leader of Kataib al-Mosul, who spoke to Iraq Oil Report by phone. “What we mainly sought for is the liberation of Mosul, even if it means cooperating with the devil himself.”
  1. Lions of Rojava Press Conference
    31 July 2015 / Youtube
    The full video of a recent press conference held at the KCC in London, with members of the Lions of Rojava, Jack Holmes, Jordan Matson and Macer Gifford who took questions form the audience. Film by Ari Murad.
  1. Vigil for Kobane: Video
    1 August 2015 / Facebook
    A short film shot at a recent vigil for Kobane held by Black Dissidents, Ciwanen Azad and supported by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign in front of the Turkish Embassy in London.

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. *PiK highlight* Britain’s secret ties to governments, firms behind ISIS oil sales
    31 July 2015 / Insurge Intelligence
    Key allies in the US and UK led war on Islamic State (ISIS) are covertly financing the terrorist movement according to senior political sources in the region. US and British oil companies are heavily invested in the murky geopolitical triangle sustaining ISIS’ black market oil sales. The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq and Turkish military intelligence have both supported secret ISIS oil smuggling operations and even supplied arms to the terror group, according to Kurdish, Iraqi and Turkish officials.
  1. Erdogan Sacrifices Peace To Entrench His Own Power
    4 August 2015 / Kurdish Question
    Fearful of Kurdish electoral gains in Turkey and military advances in Syria, Erdogan pushes for war with the PKK to secure his own political future. Turkey stepped up its campaign against the PKK on Saturday when it bombed the Kurdish village of Zergele in Iraqi Kurdistan, killing at least six civilians and displacing hundreds. Turkish airstrikes have targeted PKK positions across their bases in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan since July 24 in an intense offensive which government-linked sources claim has killed 260 PKK militants so far.
  1. Wrecking the peace process
    30 July 2015 / Weekly Worker
    The old dictum has proved once more to be true: dictators tend to initiate a civil war before being deposed. The president of the republic, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had dreamt of his party winning the June 7 general election by a large margin, so that he could amend the constitution to create an elected Sultanate position for himself. In the course of the campaign he started to realise that his party would not win enough seats to form a government. Facing a major setback, he put all the pretence of presidential neutrality aside and joined the electioneering fray in a desperate attempt to swing the outcome.
  1. Turkey Is on the Road to Armageddon
    30 July 2015 / Huffington Post
    The current situation in Turkey is nothing short of apocalyptic. Radical Islamists who have turned the country into a “jihadi highway” to Syria — while Ankara has looked the other way — are now carrying out attacks within Turkey itself. Following last week’s ISIS-linked bombing in the Turkish border town of Suruç, which killed 32 civilians, it is no longer possible for Turkey to ignore the threat posed by ISIS. Official figures estimate that the group has 700 Turkish citizens in its ranks and that there are dozens of ISIS cells in major cities like Istanbul and Ankara. Residents of such cities have been on the alert for the past few days, with warnings of imminent bomb attacks in public places.
  1. Erdoğan’s Bloody Gambit
    3 August 2015/ Jacobin Mag
    In July 20 a suicide bombing took the lives of thirty-one socialists in Suruç. A delegation of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) was on its way to Kobanê to help with the reconstruction of the city, and build a library and a playground. The massacre took place in the yard of the Amara Cultural Center, a meeting point for those who flock to the Turkish border to show solidarity with the struggle in Kobanê or even cross the border. During a public declaration, a twenty-year-old ISIS supporter blew himself up amid some three hundred people.
  1. Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
    31 July 2015 / Counterpunch
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lost his bid to become Turkey’s supreme leader in last month’s elections. So he’s taken the country to war to increase his popularity and improve his chances of victory in snap elections in November. Turkish bombers continued to pound Kurdish positions in Northern Iraq early Thursday after killing an estimated 100 Kurds a day earlier. Erdogan broke off peace talks with the Kurdish militias and launched this latest assault after failing to win enough seats in Parliament to change the constitution.
  1. Turkey’s Cover: What Ankara is Really Trying to Accomplish With Airstrikes
    3 August 2015 / Foreign Affairs
    On July 23, Turkey finally joined the fight against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), and it did so with much fanfare. It began with a series of air and artillery strikes to push back ISIS forces in Syria and seal what has been a porous southern border. The Turkish government also gave the United States access to its Incirlik and Diyarbakir airbases, opening them up to support combat missions, not just surveillance operations.
  1. Why is Turkey bombing the Kurds?
    4 August 2015 / Open Democracy
    War is the continuation of politics by other means’, Clausewitz famously remarked. Nowhere is this maxim better in display than in Turkey’s current dual-offensive against the ‘Islamic State’, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). For rather than being a policy U-turn, as it has generally been described in mainstream media, this offensive is essentially a new tactic by Turkey’s ruling ‘Justice and Development Party’ (AKP) to extricate its grand strategy of domestic entrenchment and regional hegemony from a structural impasse central to which is the advancements of the Kurdish revolution in Turkey and Syria.
  1. The U.S. picked the wrong ally in the fight against Islamic State
    4 August 2015 / Reuters
    When Turkey finally agreed to join U.S.-led efforts to fight Islamic State, Ankara was supposed to make the battle against the extremist group more effective. Yet within days, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bombed not just Islamic State forces but also, with even greater fervor, the one group showing some success in keeping them at bay: the Kurds. The United States miscalculated by bringing in Erdogan. Turkey’s embattled and volatile leader looks far less interested in combating Islamic State than in reclaiming his power at home. Erdogan’s personal agenda, however, cannot be allowed to alienate U.S. partners and prolong the conflict.
  1. KNK Information File on Turkey’s latest attacks published
    6 August 2015 / Kurdistan National Congress
    The latest information file from the KNK is titled, “STOP AKP- ISIS COLLABORATION! STOP THE WAR AGAINST KURDS! The Turkish State’s attacks and their impact on the status of the Kurdish Issue” and is available to read and download online. The KNK is an umbrella organisation established in 1999 to embody the unity of the Kurdish nation and work towards a democratic solution to the Kurdish question.
  1. No way back: The recent attack on Suruc
    31 July 2015 / Verso
    Perhaps one day historians will look at the bomb crater left behind by last week’s suicide attack on the Turkish-Syrian border town of Suruc, which left 32- left-wing students dead, and consider it a turning point in what is benignly referred to as ‘international relations’. A storm is slowly gathering. The situation is comparable, as veteran war journalist Patrick Cockburn has suggested, to the early murmurs of the Iraq war. Turkey, Kurdistan, and parts of the Middle East currently risk descending into the bloodiest chaos seen in a generation. How has this come to be?
  1. The Turkish Mission: Reining in the Kurds
    4 August 2015 / Counterpunch
    The situation is pressing. Turkey, having always expressed an ambivalent position on how to deal with the threat of Islamic State, has gone on the offensive against their mortal enemy, the Kurds. This is problematic, not least because the Kurds have also provided considerable fight in the battle against Islamic State and its assortment of forces.
  1. Al-jazeera English Interview Michael Gunter on Turkish Bombings vs Kurds
    4 August 2015 / DC Kurds
    Watch Prof Michael Gunter’s interview on Al Jazeera.
  1. VIDEO: Pushing Back the Islamic State: The Battle for Rojava (Dispatch 1)
    6 August 2015 / Vice News
    The northeastern city of Hasakah is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse in Syria. Its population of Kurds, Sunni Arabs, and Christians was until recently politically divided between equal zones of Kurdish and Assad regime control. Immediately following the fall of the strategic border town of Tal Abyad from Islamic State (IS) fighters to Kurdish YPG forces in June, however, IS hit back with a sudden shock offensive on the regime-held half of Hasakah, causing regime forces to crumble in a matter of days.
  1. UK would be safer if it stopped following US foreign policy, says Jeremy Corbyn
    3 August 2015 / Middle East Eye
    Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn has said the United Kingdom must become “a constant irritant on human rights” and should stop looking to the United States when formulating foreign policy, in an exclusive interview with Middle East Eye. The veteran left-wing MP said that the UK would be safer from terrorist threats “by not being part of US foreign policy at every step”. He explained his foreign policy as Labour leader would be focused on dealing with issues of inequality and environmental crises.


STATEMENTS

  1. Joint Declaration by Kurdish, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian Parties and Associations, 6 August 2015.
  1. Massacre in Sinjar, one year on: REPAK statement, 3 August 2015.

APPEALS

  1. FIREFUND CAMPAIGN: STAND WITH KOBANE
    Please visit firefund.net today to donate to the Kobane Reconstruction Board’s crowdfunding campaign!
  1. Call for Participation in an International Convoy for the Opening of Humanitarian Corridor from Turkey to Kobane, 8 August 2015

EVENTS

Go to our Event’s page

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