KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 22 – 28 August 2015

NEWS

  1. Erdogan’s Plan Was Against The HDP And PKK, But The Trap Has Failed
  2. Kurdish neighbourhoods take up arms as they declare autonomy in Turkey
  3. Cizre People’s Assembly calls people to the fronts of self-defense
  4. Kurds Fighting the Islamic State Enraged at Turkey Over Brutal Killing of Female Fighter
  5. Another mayor jailed over ‘self-rule’ claims: Van Public Prosecutor
  6. CHP discusses parliamentary move against President Erdoğan
  7. Now Erdogan is cooking up a coup to overthrow himself
  8. Exclusive: The Kurds’ Quest For A New Democracy
  9. Two British journalists detained in southeast Turkey
  10. Syrian rebels: Turkey tipped al Qaida group to U.S.-trained fighters
  11. ISIS Emir captured by YPG: Turkey satisfies all of our needs
  12. Syrian Kurdish Forces Allege Turkish Attacks
  13. Turkey ‘created a monster and doesn’t know how to deal with it’
  14. Security Council: Syria ‘largest humanitarian crisis in the world’
  15. Iran executes Kurdish activist, wary of Kurdish gains in Middle East

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. Why is Turkey Doing Everything To Eliminate Kurdish People
  2. Erdogan’s Broken Peace and its Catastrophic Aftermath
  3. From Genocide to Resistance: Yazidi Women Fight Back
  4. Orwell’s 1984 comes to life in Erdogan’s 2015 Turkey
  5. A Kurdish Political Star in Turkey Confronts Escalating Violence
  6. America’s Dangerous Bargain With Turkey
  7. Days of Infamy in Northern Syria
  8. Epistemologies of Freedom: Interview with a young Kurdish revolutionary
  9. Building autonomy in Turkey and Kurdistan: an interview with Revolutionary Anarchist Action
  10. Inside Kobani and the Kurdish War Against ISIS

STATEMENTS

  1. Turkish state terror continuing in Kurdistan

 

ACTIONS

  1. Mesopotamian Ecology Movement call to action against forest fires and ecological warfare
  2. Joint appeal from Kurdish Women’s Movement calls for signatures
  3. Appeal for a “Humanitarian Corridor” still open for signatures
  4. Call for Participation in an International Convoy for the Opening of Humanitarian Corridor from Turkey to Kobane
  5. Open letter to David Cameron from Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan – sign today!
  6. Background Information File Roadmap of the escalation: How did the Turkish-Kurdish conflict upsurge again

NEWS

  1. Erdogan’s Plan Was Against The HDP And PKK, But The Trap Has Failed
    25 August 2015 / Kurdish Question
    This interview with Cemil Bayik, Kurdistan Communities’ Union (KCK) co-president, was conducted for German daily Die Welt and published on August 23rd. It was republished in the Turkish daily BirGun and translated from the Turkish into English to be published on Kurdish Question.
  1. Kurdish neighbourhoods take up arms as they declare autonomy in Turkey
    27 August 2015 / Middle East Eye
    In the past month, much of south-east Turkey has been in a state of violence, as the peace process between the PKK and the Turkish government has unravelled. In Diyarbakir, tensions are high and armed police and military vehicles regularly patrol the streets. The peace process, which has been ongoing for more than two years, quickly fell apart after two policemen were shot dead in the border-city of Ceylanpinar at the end of July. Turkey has launched over 400 airstrikes on the PKK’s base, the Qandil mountains in northern Iraq and, according to the Anadolu Agency, the strikes have killed more than 700 militants since late July. Meanwhile, the PKK has killed more than 60 police officers and Turkish soldiers, leading to fears of a renewed period of conflict consuming the region.
  1. Cizre People’s Assembly calls people to the fronts of self-defense
    28 August 2015 / ANF
    Cizre Democratic People’s Assembly has called on the people of Botan region to mount total resistance against the ‘deliberate policies of massacre’. The Democratic People’s Assembly of Şırnak’s Cizre district held an emergency meeting after the attacks by Turkish state forces in Nur neighborhood yesterday left four people dead, who included two children, one of them aged 7. The Assembly called upon the people of Botan, the southeast region of Turkey, to the fronts of self-defense against the AKP fascism and deliberate policies of massacre that killed civilians under the name of security.
  1. Kurds Fighting the Islamic State Enraged at Turkey Over Brutal Killing of Female Fighter
    23 August 2015 / Vice
    As photos of the naked and bloodied corpse of a female Kurdish militant recently trended on Twitter, women’s rights groups in Turkey reeled at an act of sexualized torture committed by Turkish police, who also allegedly leaked the images. The pro-Kurdish group Save Kobane identified the body as Kevser Elturk, known by her nom de guerre Ekin Van. Elturk was a commander in the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), an organization that has fought an armed campaign for a independent Kurdish state since 1984 in the area where Turkey, Syria, and Iraq meet, and which has recently been instrumental in repelling advances in the region by Islamic State (IS) militants.
  1. Another mayor jailed over ‘self-rule’ claims: Van Public Prosecutor
    24 August 2015 / Daily Sabah
    The co-mayor of Edremit district of southeastern Van province, Sevil Rojbin Çetin, was arrested on Monday for trying to disrupt the constitutional order. According to the obtained information, within the scope of the enquiry commenced by the chief public prosecutor’s office of Van, Mayor Sevil Rojbin Çetin and municipality employee S. S. were interrogated by the public prosecutor. Following their medical examinations, Çetin and S.S. were brought into court upon the prosecutor’s arrest request.
  1. CHP discusses parliamentary move against President Erdoğan
    21 August 2015 / Hurriyet
    The Republican People’s Party (CHP) is discussing whether to take action against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on charges of “bribery and forgery” in relation to the huge now-dropped Dec. 17 and 25, 2013 corruption cases, which embroiled four former ministers and their relatives. The CHP is also considering taking a step against Erdoğan in relation to the weapon-filled Syria-bound intelligence trucks that were halted upon a prosecutor’s initiative in 2014. The draft motions prepared by CHP Mersin deputy Fikri Sağlar, which directly refer to the four former ministers involved in the corruption cases, were presented to the party’s parliamentary group on Aug. 21.
  1. Now Erdogan is cooking up a coup to overthrow himself
    18 August 2015 / Al Monitor
    Over the past decade, many of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s adversaries were blamed for cooking up coups in Turkey against “the constitutional order.” Some were imprisoned, for months or even years, after highly controversial investigations and indictments. It has also been a dominant theme of the pro-Erdogan propaganda machine to depict all elements of the Turkish opposition as pawns of a global conspiracy to topple Erdogan with a coup. Few could imagine that Erdogan himself would be blamed for a coup.
  1. Exclusive: The Kurds’ Quest For A New Democracy
    21 August 2015 / Kurdish Question
    Following the declaration of autonomous cantons in Rojava (West) Kurdistan, Kurds are now trying to form and declare democratic self-governance in the cities and towns of North Kurdistan. The centralised ‘single power’ being enforced by the Ahmet Davutoglu government in Ankara is being countered in places like Silopi, Cizre, Varto, Silvan, Gever (Yuksekova), Lice, Nusaybin and across many Kurdish towns and cities with the people declaring their own free democratic will and defending it with active defence and resistance.
  1. Two British journalists detained in southeast Turkey
    28 August 2015 / Hurriyet
    Turkish police have detained two British journalists from Vice News for reporting from the predominantly Kurdish southeast without government accreditation, security sources said on Aug. 28. Police detained Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury in the Bağlar district of Diyarbakır province, where they were filming clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants, the sources said.  The two Britons and their Turkish translator were in close contact with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, the same sources said.
  1. Syrian rebels: Turkey tipped al Qaida group to U.S.-trained fighters
    24 August 2015 / McClatchy DC
    The kidnapping of a group of U.S.-trained moderate Syrians moments after they entered Syria last month to confront the Islamic State was orchestrated by Turkish intelligence, multiple rebel sources have told McClatchy. The rebels say that the tipoff to al Qaida’s Nusra Front enabled Nusra to snatch many of the 54 graduates of the $500 million program on July 29 as soon as they entered Syria, dealing a humiliating blow to the Obama administration’s plans for confronting the Islamic State.
  1. ISIS Emir captured by YPG: Turkey satisfies all of our needs
    17 August 2015 / Kurdish Info
    ISIS Emir Yasin Ebdileziz Egumi was captured by YPG forces during the ISIS attack on Kobanê on June 25, and said that all critically injured gang members received treatment in Turkey, which gives logistic support to ISIS. The Turkish state gives economic as well as military and political support to ISIS. ISIS gangs fighting against Kurds in Rojava (West Kurdistan) receive the biggest external support from Turkey, which continues to fail convincing the world that it is fighting against ISIS since its collaboration with the gangs became exposed. ISIS Emir Yasin Ebdileziz Egumi was captured by YPG forces during the ISIS attack on Kobanê on June 25, and confessed to Turkey’s military and logistic support to ISIS by saying that the group that carried out the June 25 massacre entered Kobanê from Turkey.
  1. Syrian Kurdish Forces Allege Turkish Attacks
    21 August 2015 / VOA News
    When Turkey began a two-pronged assault against Islamic State and Kurdish PKK rebels last month, critics of the Turkish government worried the fight would spread to other Kurdish targets. Anti-IS Kurdish forces’ allege they recently have come under Turkish attack in Syria. Tensions are building along the Turkish-Syrian border, where a Syrian Kurdish militia outpost recently came under attack. In the Syrian village of Zor Mughar, members of the YPG militia blame artillery from Turkish tanks across the border.
  1. Turkey ‘created a monster and doesn’t know how to deal with it’
    Feb 2015 / Business Insider
    Turkey’s notoriously lax border policies during the Syrian war are starting to catch up with Ankara and its allies who are trying to counter ISIS, Yaroslav Trofimov of The Wall Street Journal reports. “Turkey’s policy from 2011 and until mid-2014 was that anyone and everyone who wanted to fight [Syrian President Bashar] Assad was welcome to go to Syria and do so,” Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told The Journal.
  1. Security Council: Syria ‘largest humanitarian crisis in the world’
    23 August 2015 / Al Monitor
    The UN Security Council announced on Aug. 17 that Syria “has become the largest humanitarian emergency crisis in the world today, threatening peace and security in the region.” It is a mark of despair that many will hardly consider this news, and that the scope of the Syrian tragedy — “at least 250,000 have been killed, including well over 10,000 children, and 12 million people have been forced to flee their homes, including over 4 million who have sought refuge in neighboring countries, and more than 12.2 million people in Syria require urgent humanitarian assistance,” according to the latest UN tally, has become so familiar that it no longer shocks, which is itself shocking.
  1. Iran executes Kurdish activist, wary of Kurdish gains in Middle East
    27 August 2015 / Reuters
    Iran executed a Kurdish activist on Wednesday accused of killing a public prosecutor, the second such case this month, rights groups said, as Iran, unsettled by Kurdish gains in the region, tightens the screws on its Kurdish minority. Behrouz Alkhani, 30, was convicted in 2011 of having ties to the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an outlawed group that seeks self-governance for Iran’s Kurds and has links to Turkey’s militant Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

COMMENT, OPINION AND ANALYSIS

  1. Why is Turkey Doing Everything To Eliminate Kurdish People?
    24 August 2015 / Kurdistan Tribune
    The Turks of Turkey are a product of the Mongol Holargu conquest following the destruction of Baghdad in 1258. Almost 800 years after this bloody conquest of the upper Middle East, many Turks still suffer from an inferiority complex. That’s a lack of self-worth, a doubt and peculiarity. These feelings of not measuring up to “normal” standards of the cultures of the area can be easily seen in Turkey’s political and military behavior. This can explain the Turkish identity crisis throughout these 800 years and especially since WW1, when European nation-building became a model in the area.
  1. Erdogan’s Broken Peace and its Catastrophic Aftermath
    21 August 2015 / Kurdistan Tribune
    The June 7 elections in Turkey and the electoral victory of the Kurdish Democratic Party (HDP) brought the world a new awareness of the Justice and Development Party ‘s (AKP) character and intentions in regards to the settlement issue and the global campaign against Islamic State. For over a decade before Recep Tayyib Erdogan became the Prime Minister and long before he became the President, Erdogan aggressively advocated the peace process. In both local and national elections, he used the settlement issue as his most important political strategy, which in essence reshaped the image of Turkey in the world.
  1. From Genocide to Resistance: Yazidi Women Fight Back
    21 August 2015 / Telesur
    The old Kurdish saying “We have no friends but the mountains” became more relevant than ever when on Aug. 3, 2014, the murderous Islamic State group launched what is referred to as the 73rd massacre on the Yazidis by attacking the city of Sinjar (in Kurdish: Shengal), slaughtering thousands of people, and raping and kidnapping the women to sell them as sex slaves. Ten thousand Yazidis fled to the Shengal Mountains in a death march in which they, and especially children, died of hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. This year on the same day, the Yazidis marched in the Shengal Mountains again. But this time in a protest to vow that nothing will ever be the same again.
  1. Orwell’s 1984 comes to life in Erdogan’s 2015 Turkey
    24 August 2015 / Al Monitor
    In his cult novel “1984,” George Orwell described a dystopian world of people under constant government surveillance. In a letter to an American trade unionist, Orwell wrote he believed a society similar to the one he imagined could one day become a reality. The world we live in today may not be the exact nightmare the writer imagined, but it often fills us with fear that our lives are closely monitored. This may explain why “1984” has been back on the best-seller list in Turkey in recent years. Its popularity may surge even further after the country’s more than 50,000 mukhtars — leaders of neighborhoods and villages — were tasked with informing the government on fellow residents.
  1. A Kurdish Political Star in Turkey Confronts Escalating Violence
    26 August 2015 / New York Times
    Emerging from a daylong meeting with party officials, Selahattin Demirtas was anything but the dynamic Kurdish politician whose coolness and rhetorical skill have evoked comparisons to President Obama. He was frazzled as he paced back and forth, addressing his advisers before charging into his next meeting, vowing to bring an end to the reignited war between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants.
  1. America’s Dangerous Bargain With Turkey
    27 August 2015 / New York Times
    AFTER a year of intense diplomatic negotiations, the Turkish government is now permitting the United States to use Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, which will allow American aircraft to fly missions in Syria and Iraq with greater operational effectiveness and economic efficiency.
  1. Days of Infamy in Northern Syria
    5 August 2015 / Robert Graham blog
    Sketchy reports of the renewed Turkish bombing campaign against the Kurds in southern Turkey, northern Syria and Iraq have recently appeared in the North American media, but usually the reports emphasize Turkish and American claims that the Turkish forces are targetting ISIS. Despite the fact that so far the Kurdish forces in Rojava have been the only ones to mount any effective opposition to ISIS, the Americans have now made clear that in exchange for the use of Turkish air bases and for token air strikes by the Turkish airforce against ISIS, with the brunt of the Turkish attacks being concentrated on the Kurds, the U.S. is prepared to abandon the Kurds to a different kind of massacre, that from the air above.
  1. Epistemologies of Freedom: Interview with a young Kurdish revolutionary
    26 August 2015 / Institute for Social Ecology
    In the last year, the small Syrian city of Kobane and its gender-liberated, stateless revolution has captured the attention of Leftists across the world. The following interview was conducted with Sherhad Naaima, a young revolutionary from Kobane and a student of Ocalan’s thinking. It offers a brief account of his experiences as well as some reflections on the Rojava Revolution, social ecology, and Turkey’s recent betrayal of the Kurdish Movement.
  1. Building autonomy in Turkey and Kurdistan: an interview with Revolutionary Anarchist Action
    27 August 2015 / Corporate Watch
    In May this year, Corporate Watch researchers travelled to Turkey and Kurdistan to investigate the companies supplying military equipment to the Turkish police and army. We talked to a range of groups from a variety of different movements and campaigns. Below is the transcript of our interview with three members of the anarchist group Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet(DAF, or Revolutionary Anarchist Action) in Istanbul during May 2015. DAF are involved in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle, the Rojava revolution and against ISIS’ attack on Kobane, and have taken action against Turkish state repression and corporate abuse.
  1. Inside Kobani and the Kurdish War Against ISIS
    27 August 2015 / Time
    Last January, when Kurdish forces ended the Islamic State’s five-month siege of Kobani, a contested town in Rojava, a semi-autonomous region on the Syrian and Turkish border, the local population rejoiced. The scene today is very different, says photographer Lorenzo Meloni, who, alongside his Magnum Photos colleague Moises Saman, photographed the region earlier this month.

STATEMENTS

  1. Turkish state terror continuing in KurdistanKNK Press Release, 27 August 2015.

ACTIONS

  1. Mesopotamian Ecology Movement call to action against forest fires and ecological warfare, 25 August 2015.
  1. Joint appeal from Kurdish Women’s Movement calls for signatures, 19 August 2015.
  1. Appeal for a “Humanitarian Corridor” still open for signatures, 17 August 2015.
  1. Call for Participation in an International Convoy for the Opening of Humanitarian Corridor from Turkey to Kobane, 5 August 2015.
  1. Open letter to David Cameron from Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan – sign today!

REPORTS

  1. Background Information File Roadmap of the escalation: How did the Turkish-Kurdish conflict upsurge again? 8 August 2015.
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